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Martin Smith's Comments

April 18, 2014

Push Coming to Shove For Those Seeking to Take LEED Exam

Hi Thomas M, thanks for the comments. While skepticism is a smart approach, informed skepticism is even better. In this case, you might want to look at why LEED is in "flux" as you say. Rather than a "money making scheme," it's actually a peer-reviewed rating system that goes through voting rounds and comment periods for USGBC members, meaning that LEED content is reached through a consensus of the people who implement it. Therefore it undergoes constant revision and improvement. V4, for example, has been in the works for a few years now to ensure it is as comprehensive as it can be.
And you're right, the point of getting certified is to show that one has all the knowledge required. As the new versions come out, the new material only adds to the material on previous versions; it doesn't nullify that material. So it wouldn't really be fair, or make sense, to take away the credential from people who qualified with previous exam versions. The new test is in a revised format with more information, yes, but the content is not different enough to justify your point about having to take the updated version in order to keep a credential achieved through a previous version (that would sound more like a money making scheme to me).
Also you might want to look into the prerequisites of LEED certification buildings. "Livability" plays a critical role in LEED's rating system. Rather than thinking of it as "what is needed for the resident" versus "green features," think of these as overlapping, since things like indoor environmental quality are factored into a building's rating.
With 1.5 million square feet of building space certified to LEED every day, the rating system is hardly "obsolete" in its applications. Indeed it is the foremost system for ensuring the environmental and energy performance of new and existing buildings. Could it use improvements? Sure. And that's what the revisions and new versions are all about.

January 15, 2014

Which Is More Effective: Marketing Solar with Anxiety or Inspiration?

This is a great point, and it touches on two distinct but related ideas. For one, as communications are saturated with not-so-subtle attempts to highlight the value or purported necessity of what they're selling, consumers are becoming more discerning with the media messages they are choosing to accept as credible and palatable. Secondly, and perhaps more encouraging with regards to the solar industry, this opens the gates to a more uplifting way of promoting solar energy products. The fact is, the solar energy industry shows a lot of promise for the future (see for example the National Solar Job Census by TSF), and should be marketed as such.

Martin Smith

Martin Smith

Martin Smith is a writer and researcher at CleanEdison, a national provider of clean energy training and certification courses. Originally from a California desert, Martin is powered by the sun. He studied communications and linguistics...

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