HGTV… really?

There’s a new show on HGTV, “Million Dollar Rooms”. I watched for the first and (probably) last time a few days ago. Frankly, I don’t think how much you spent on a room is an acceptable subject for conversation in polite company. However, that’s not what caused me to shout at my television.

A segment featured a 10,000 sq. ft. NYC townhouse that was… LEED certified!

For non-geeks, LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It’s a program developed by the U. S. Green Building Council and many government agencies have adopted LEED “initiatives” that make LEED standards more or less a requirement for any government buildings. It is only a matter of time until a certain level of LEED  finds its way into commercial and residential building codes, where it will live on as the inflexible requirement of what was initially sold as a guideline for voluntary compliance.

You can have the best insulation system known to man. You can have the most energy efficient heating and air conditioning system ever made. You can use products that are so sustainable that they have baby products that grow up to be sustainable products for others to use. But, if you have a 10,000 square foot house for two people, you are NOT demonstrating Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and to award such a home a LEED certification is (to me) a clear indication that this program is deeply flawed.

If you’d like to build a house that demonstrates a concern for the environment, NOTHING you can do will save more of the planets resources than building small. Nothing except buying a small existing home and updating the insulation, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. If you’d like to see more environmental heresy read “It’s Confusing Being Green”. So, please, build what you want, for whatever reason you want, but don’t think you’re fooling anyone with the faux/show green stuff.


About More Than Architects

I’m Rick Clanton. Michael Ruegamer and I are architects and the principals of Group 3 Design on Hilton Head Island, SC. We provide architecture and interior design services for homes in the US and the Caribbean Islands.
This entry was posted in design, green design, home design, what not to build. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to HGTV… really?

  1. Vernon says:

    LEED is rubbish, lads. Give me a Low Country raised cottage or a dog trot: long side facing south, full south porch, generous openings on the south, smaller openings on the north, modest floor span (20 to 24 feet), cross ventilation, 10 foot ceilings and some well-placed deciduous items in the landscape. Green is what we would have had to do were it 1875 and we wanted to avoid stewing in our residence. HGTV is mostly rubbish. I have yet to see a real gardening show on this channel, leaving me to wonder what the G really stands for…not that there is anything wrong with that. I have been searching for a lot that faces due north-south on which to green build a home. These are remarkably few. Plats in subdivision seem to have been cut on the advice of the sultan some oil-rich fiefdom.

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