Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Regulation of Energy comment

Still having problems commenting on posts from are my thoughts about knowing it all:

But Kyle, they make it so easy to just check boxes and achieve Platinum certification! Why would you even bother to learn why any of those thinks work?
Think about the idiot light in the car you drive everyday. Do you need to know what the little oil can light means? Or do they just put an all encompassing check-engine light on the dash board now? Regardless, when the light comes on, we now have only the choice to either take it to the dealer or to another “specialist” to get fixed. They are the experts...

So what does that say about the significance we put on design? Are architects supposed to be the experts? The public need not know, they are protected from themselves by experts.

If the energy consumption in a building is too high, the architect is responsible, by code.
Does the Toyota chassis designer know the specifics underlying internal combustion engines and the computers running them? Or does he only understand the size and torque of the engine?
I think he works on part of a team, no? The team is working together to produce a highly sophisticated machine (ok, maybe not a Toyota).

Does the establishment of codes make the Toyota chassis designer, if he were an architect, responsible for cars speeding out of control on the interstate? I think general knowledge is a good think, in fact, the quest for knowledge is probably my curse, but it is difficult to know it all. As an analogy, I think it is better to hire a plumber when you need a plumber, hire an engineer when you need an engineer and a designer when you need something designed. However, I still need to know if the plumber can do his job well....


  1. Everybody is conveniently ignoring the fact that the occupant of the building is responsible for so much of the building's energy use. Consumption is engrained into our economy and our way life, why do we think that LEED is going to change that mindset? Until we change the mindset of our culture (good luck), a government mandate isn't going to help anything. You can put a light on the gas guage but that doesn't stop everybody from running out of gas.
    Having taken the LEED exam I know firsthand that it is a test on your ability to navigate the certification process, nothing else. In any case, I think the LEED fad is out of the range of this studio and probably our education. A good designer (with a minumum complement of morals) should be able to design a building which is fire safe and should be able to reduce energy and resource consumption to the extent of his/her ability and the clients' willingness.

  2. Schneider, you mentioned that "if one is truly concerned about the underlying tenants of ecological design, [...], then LEED is just a starting point.
    So, then if we are truly passionate about our ecological design, and do everything possible to make it environmentally sound, wouldn't it then be a functional building that works well?

    If you are you are passionate professional and not just preaching environmental jargon, you would have no room for meaningful design.... other than its efficiency, in a scientific nature.

  3. opps, pasted that in the wrong spot. Look below for Schneider's comment.


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