Why I'm not LEED accredited / by Josh Brincko

To illustrate my point of why I'm not LEED accredited, read this sample question from the LEED exam.

When applying for innovation credits, a project team:

A. Cannot submit any previously awarded innovation credit.
B. May receive credit for performance that doubles a credit requirement threshold.*
C. May submit a product or strategy that is being used in an existing LEED credit.
D. May receive a credit for each LEED Accredited Professional that is on the project team.

As you can see from reading the question and possible answers (B is correct by the way), this content has NOTHING at all to do with sustainable design. The exam is doing nothing to test your knowledge of sustainable design and construction strategies. Instead, it is testing whether or not you have memorized how to implement the rating system to get a project approved by LEED. I have always had a problem with this. On a few occasions, I have sat down with the intention of studying for the LEED exam, but I have always quickly stopped when I affirmed that I was wasting my time memorizing the process and rules to fill out formwork for earning the system's credits. Anyone who knows me would certainly attest that I'm not a quitter, I am very determined, I never procrastinate, and I achieve 100% of what I set out to do. I have always been very interested in sustainable design, and I highly value its importance. For me, however, I have never valued a rating system to prove that my projects are sustainable. I just do it naturally, and I don't need a trophy, medal, or certificate to prove that I'm doing the right things for my projects. Each time I've considered studying for LEED, I did it for the sole interest in thinking I would learn some new sustainable design strategies while reading the study guides. This has never been the case. I've always been turned off by the lack of useful design information and the focus on the administrative procedure of participating in the program. 

Please don't misinterpret this. LEED is a great thing. It encourages people to design sustainably, and we need as much encouragement as we can to make the greatest difference in the sustainable design of our built environment. I am just more interested in learning sustainable strategies and putting them into practice. 

The construction of buildings and the operation of buildings have THE most impact on our environment. More than anything else combined. As a designer of the built environment, I am very cognizant and careful about the things I specify: whether it's a product, a practice, or a design solution that will surely shape the way people live and interact. As an architect, I have the highest responsibility for deciding how something will be built and how people will use a building for the rest of its life. Because of this, I have the greatest responsibility in ensuring our environment (built and unbuilt) will thrive for generations. LEED does not give me this responsibility. I do.