How many times have you heard someone say, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could see into the future?” Gazing into a crystal ball to find out if you are going to win a future lottery or if love is on the horizon really would be nice. The reality is you usually have to play wait-and-see. However, there is one way to predict the future if impressing friends is important. Architects, engineers and builders have been working on the future of green building and came up with some Star-Trekky kind of ideas. Like this one – a building that can think and adapt based on usage and its environment. Or this one – a building environment that mimics nature, since nature is so good at what it does.
Sustainability and building green are not new ideas to mankind. From caves and tents to huts and igloos, men and women have used the materials at hand to build places to live and meet. Modern-day sustainability takes the same approach but with one major difference – technology has been added to the mix to develop building designs and products that promote environmental sustainability.
Let’s face it – a lot has changed since mankind consisted of cave-dwellers and hut-builders. The population continued growing. Non-renewable resources continued disappearing. The climate has turned warmer and more treacherous, judging by the intensity of storms ravaging cities and towns around the world. People cannot control the weather, but they can certainly change the environment in which they live to take advantage of new technology to improve building performance, create integrated design principles based on whole-building concepts, adhere to stronger energy performance standards, and much more.
Gaze into the Crystal Ball of Green Building Technologies
Harnessing technology to go green has never been a more exciting. Utilizing BIM, going digital, and creating state-of-the-art recyclable building products are just a few of the ways technology has advanced green efforts. Of course, energy simulation has been around a while, but isn’t that predicting the future with the help of sophisticated modeling systems? How about some 5D modeling, improving gray water use, and breathing green life into tired old buildings? Mystics may hear disembodied voices, but green experts are sticking with embodied energy principles. The only voices they might be hearing are in their own heads (but that’s a whole another story).
LEED v4 is here! Finally! It is the crystal ball sparking a future where the green imagination is unlimited and discussions on real world applications actually move into….you got it…the real world. The fourth evolution of the star-quality LEED rating system upgrades green principles and practices. It reflects state-of-the-art possibilities and encourages the people bringing all of us a greener built environment to think…well…dare we say it…greener.
Though it would be nice if it only took some intense moments of gazing into the glass orb to grasp the changes and enhancements of the LEED rating system upgrades that have been so long in development, there is just too much information to pack into one little glass ball. Therefore, the Green Building Research Institute (GBRI) has developed a comprehensive set of courses to help architects, engineers, LEED professionals, students, and anyone else who is interested, learn field applicable knowledge about the new LEED v4 and related green concepts, principles and strategies through its LEED Project Management Series.
Reading a Greener Future
LEED v4 is just the opening course. We want to help everyone, including green building designers, contractors and landscapers, better understand the big picture. So GBRI has developed a series of courses that turn course participants into crystal ball readers who also earn Continuing Education credits. The courses discuss traditional things like what the heck makes LEED v4 so different from v3. However, the courses that follow will take you into a not-so-secret world filled with things like ecobalance and biomimicry, xeriscaping, carbon credits, eQuest, global footprints (they are big!), and advanced daylighting techniques. There is a fifth dimension, buildings that can think and adapt, eco-tourism, and whole lot more.
It doesn’t take a mystic to realize that a growing population, climate change, and depleting resources are changing the world in dramatic ways. GBRI is in front of the knowledge base, and now you can be, too. We don’t predict the future, but we do offer new courses that go where no man or woman has ever gone before. Looking ahead, we see a much greener world thanks to people like you who are willing to learn and adapt to new technologies, principles, and practices. Following is a list of the upcoming GBRI courses that will begin January 22, 2014 with Bigger and Better: The New LEED v4.
So put away the crystal ball, mark your calendar, and ask yourself this: Are you prepared to become a green seer?