Going green is a huge deal today, and one of the most important certification programmes is called LEED.
Leadership in energy and environmental design or LEED is the green building certification programme by a non-profit U.S. green building council (USGBC). This includes a set of rating systems that are used for design, operation, maintenance and construction of green building, structures and homes that are built with the aim of sustainability along with environmental protection and optimal use of resources.
LEED is changing the way building and communities are planned today and LEED- certified buildings are high on functionality and resource efficiency as they use moderate amounts of water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and well as being financially viable.
As per the USGBC there are nine key points that are measured by LEED. They are water efficiency, location and linkages, awareness and education, innovation in design, sustainability, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and regional priority.
But just because there are these parameters for LEED certified interiors, it doesn’t make them tedious; in fact, there’s a lot you can do within these parameters and as per your own style and needs.
I have learnt through my experience and practical research, is that, all you need is an open mind, a creative outlook and a designer who is dynamic enough to execute and implement a refined vision. Here are some of my most cherished lessons that you need to remember while working for LEED certified interiors.
1. Make practical design decisions:
Designs for places like home or office should be extremely practical and user-friendly without compromising on comfort and aesthetics. I feel that keeping in mind the durability of items and take into account the daily wear and tear, is essential.
2. Don’t trust labels:
Many product labels could use words like green-washing and eco- friendly. I suggest you do not go by these labels alone as sometimes they may be marketing gimmicks. Look beyond brands and labels too, undertake comprehensive product research, at every step.
3. LEED interiors :
It also mean having a healthy home which would also imply clean indoor-air, reduced use of harmful gas and chemicals and other hazardous material.
4. Reuse and repurpose:
To keep wastage at bay make sure you try and repurpose your old furniture that can be used in multiple ways instead of just discarding and investing in new pieces. Sometimes even hand-me- downs can be useful for your interiors and can even end up saving a lot of your money.
In India, however LEED certification hasn’t taken off yet but the trend is catching up with architects and interior designers who have worked in the field of sustainable design and are inclined to pursue the subject further. In India we also have the Indian Green Building Council Accredited Professional (IGBC AP) credential that also has similar value in terms of sustainable designing.
I feel that over time, with India’s real estate and interior designing industry on the rise, an inevitable time shall come, where India will also need to go Green and follow certain standards to ensure we have our own contribution into making the world a better and Greener place.