I’ve recently taken to studying, and hopefully taking and passing the LEED AP exam.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a certification program for green buildings. It’s developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), and it’s basically giving a project credits for following its recommendations. Enough credits earns the project a LEED certification. Passing the LEED AP (Accredited Professional) exam just tells the world that I’ve learned those recommendations and principles.
Although my core job is structural engineering, I’ve always had an interest (albeit not very active, like most of my interests) in sustainability. I had taken a course in building envelopes while at Ecole des Ponts, then another one on sustainable urban design at Todai. On a personal note, and especially in recent years, I have educated myself about the food industry and its impact on the environment, and generally try to consume less (meat, fast fashion) and better (organic/local food, quality products). It’s only natural to try and apply the same principles to my job.
Now, the risk is obviously to get distracted from my core career; but why would I be?
The whole point of my job is multi-disciplinary collaboration. Architects, environmental engineers, they do their job as much as I do. LEED can only give me more awareness of sustainable building issues, but doesn’t mean this is all I’m going to do (and actually, I don’t really plan on using the AP credentials in the short term). Mainly
Of course, LEED is perfectible. Like any certification of its kind (BREEAM, and don’t get me started on HQE). If there’s one thing that US does right, is in writing their guidelines/codes/norms. I can tell you that the ASCE codes are much more digestible than the Eurocodes.
Now the trick is to pass the old LEED exam (up until 15 June). The new one is still a mystery. Wish me luck!