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How to Apply Green Rating Systems

Green rating systems have become a source of contention and debate, and this is a good thing, says Jason Hercules of the US Green Building Council. No matter which rating system you choose, he says, if a rating is your "end-all solution," you're doing it wrong.
Thursday, January 2, 2014 06:00 EST | 4
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CitySolver
CitySolver  
2/26/2014 9:40:58 AM
User Rank Blogger
Rating relativity
Yes, the ratings systems are if not arbitrary then at least contentious. Many dont cover aspects of sustainability that others do and vice versa. So its important that we set minimum standards higher up the chain to at least achieve some benefits that we all agree on, the rating systems then (like in the chef world) are then only there to designate excellence over and above normal standards.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
1/3/2014 3:44:58 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Don't make a religion out of ratings
Well said, kq4ym. As in anything, just seeing to please everyone is likely the very worst strategy a city council can take when it comes to urban planning.

kq4ym
kq4ym  
1/3/2014 3:01:55 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Don't make a religion out of ratings
Green rating can certainly get out of hand if based on a narrow view promoted either by the government agencies themselves or commercial interests who might provide a bit too much influence in the decision making of the administrative rulings. It's not easy to please everyone while ultimately trying to make decsions that benefit the public and the environment while not stepping on anyone's toes.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
1/3/2014 10:10:11 AM
User Rank Staff
Don't make a religion out of ratings
Jason makes a great point here. Anytime any standard becomes a religion, it can become very limiting. I'm not saying that standards aren't needed -- they are. But when it comes to evaluation specs, like green ratings, there is a chance that focusing on them too much can shift the focus off the specific needs of a given city. Green ratings are tools, not ends in themselves.

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