Terrific post by Jacobean on LEED and sprawl
Posted April 8, 2009
I have periodically written on the theme of buildings claiming to be "green" when they aren't, really, because their location causes more problems than their on-site technology solves. (For an example, see my post about a new corporate headquarters in the midst of Illinos farmland and little else.)
The blogger Jacobean on his blog City of Lakes Urbanism has now made a very similar point with regard to a new LEED-platinum building in Maple Grove, Minnesota. See any maple trees in that photo? I didn't think so.
Here is Jacobean:
"Perhaps the building is sustainable from a point of view of construction materials and on-site energy and water conservation, but from a land-use point of view, this is nothing more than typical suburban sprawl. The gigantic parking lot takes up more space than the building itself. The site is accessible only by a major arterial highway, which contributes to vehicle travel and congestion. The building is set back far from surrounding buildings, which reduces the practicality and attractiveness of making short trips to or from the building by walking.
"This type of development should not be eligible to receive the highest ranking in sustainable building practices. It deserves appraisal for its efforts at on-site energy and conservation, but to give such a development LEED-Platinum status gives support to the idea that sprawling, auto-dependent development can be sustainable . . ."
Much more in the excellent post here.
Kaid Benfield writes (almost) daily about community, development, and the environment. For more posts, see his blog's home page.
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