Inhabitat posted an article today about the Bahrain World Trade Center turning on its 3 very large turbines. It has been reported that these turbines can generate 10 – 15% of the buildings power needs. In the US – LEED requires a 20% alternative energy power generation on the building premises (solar, wind, geothermal, etc) to get one credit. For an oil nation this is a huge step – even if it may be a publicity stunt. Though I still have to wonder, three gigantic blades spinning in open air have got to be very dangerous for the surrounding birds. Unless of course these are the slow turbines.
On tuesday the DCist ran an article about the National’s Stadium being the first LEED rated stadium in the country and the general move of DC towards what may be perceived as “Green Architecture”. (Click here for the article) I feel that this article fails to clarify some key issues and understand a few things about the difference between “Green Architecture” and LEED. First, the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to quote their own website is “a 501(c)(3) non-profit community of leaders working to make green buildings accessible to everyone within a generation.” This group is not affiliated with any state government, and I feel that it bears questioning the merits of requiring new construction to comply with a private non-profit agency (as DC is doing), instead of a public agency. This smells a little to strongly of privatization for me, but thats another post for another day. Second, the LEED system is a method of ranking a building based on points for certain qualifications. This system does not weight any points higher than others; using solar panels to account for 20% of your used power is worth the same as providing showers and bike racks or choosing a site [...]