Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gratitude III

photo of a street with a sense of enclosure
© harrington
This morning I'll be participating in a meeting of the board of the US Green Building Council-Minnesota Chapter. One of the many things for which I'm grateful is that My Minnesota has one of the most active and dedicated chapters in the organization. USGBC are the folks who brought us "green building" and sustainable development through LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). One of the less used, but I think more promising, LEED rating systems is for Neighborhood Development (ND). Many of the other systems (except LEED for Homes) focus largely on the design, construction and operation of the individual building or project. But, as we learn more about reducing energy consumption and how many people actually want to live in walkable neighborhoods, we're discovering that often it takes as much or more energy to get inhabitants to their destination as it does to keep them comfortable and healthy once they're inside. LEED-ND is one way to get a handle on that king of concern. I have some quibbles with the criteria in LEED-ND and how well they may fit with rural centers, many of whom also want to be known as being "green and sustainabe." That's one of the reasons I'll be at the board meeting. The Minnesota chapter is prioritizing a collaborative "Dynamic Green Approach" to engaging communities, schools and the governmental sector. I'm excited about that approach because My Minnesota certainly doesn't have one size or shade of green that fits all.