People are starting to take notice of these contradictions and LEED is growing up fast. It only makes sense that energy used by people in using the building should be a component of any sustainability rating system. Enter LEED-ND, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – for Neighborhood Development.
As part of the new rating system the following are required: smart location, floodplain avoidance, walkable streets, connected and open community. Additional considerations include: brownfield redevelopment, bicycle network and storage, housing and jobs proximity and access to public spaces, among many others.
It’s very smart to promote green buildings, but what we ultimately seek is green living. We need to expose the fallacy involved with awarding WalMart a LEED-Silver designation. Given the incredible amount of energy used by WalMart stores, “greening” WalMart can have a substantial environmental impact. However, a “green” superstore is an illusion.