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American Society of Landscape Architects


August 2005 Issue

So You’re LEED Accredited—Now What?
In a win-win situation, LEED accredited landscape architects can secure more jobs and protect the environment.

By Kevin Flynn

More than 19,000 design professionals (including a handful of landscape architects) have become leed accredited to stay competitive and foster the growth of sustainable design within the profession. But after the exam, then what? Are landscape architects able to steer the design process toward environmental betterment?

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) provides a framework for assessing building and site performance and meeting sustainability goals. Based on well-founded scientific standards, LEED emphasizes strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, building systems, materials selection, indoor environmental quality, and waste reduction. Points are awarded depending on the specific strategies implemented on a project, and the total points gathered determine how “green” a project is compared to traditionally designed, constructed, and maintained projects. LEED recognizes achievements and promotes expertise in green building through a comprehensive system offering project certification, professional accreditation, training, and practical resources. Getting accredited is relatively easy: Becoming familiar with sustainability principles and applying them to projects will allow most landscape architects to pass the stringent exam (see “Water Conservation Strategies for LEED Points,” Landscape Architecture, June, and “Waste Not, Want Not,” March).

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