My last green building class is tomorrow night. The class has been better than I expected and I think I have learned as much from the my peers in the class as the instructors. The class was made up of people from a variety of different building backgrounds and levels of knowledge. There were:
- the typical greenies, who started each question with "within the hyper-consumer culture in which we live…"
- the literalists, who reduced the definition of no or low water usage into statements like, "they say the urinals don’t use water yet you need water to clean them"
- the out-of-depth, like myself, who aren’t quite sure what we are doing here but feel like this is a direction that makes sense and are just beginning to wrestle with the idea of LEED
- the cool kids, who are already well entrenched in the field are working on cool projects and are confident enough to say LEED isn’t everything
Now, I have to start studying. I have stretched the spine on the New Construction and Major Renovation Reference Guide and looked at the supplemental materials. But this has just been a skim along a very deep pool and I want to be prepared to take the test sometime towards the end of January. The deadline I am using as a forcing agent or I could spend the next 6 months organizing my materials before I actually sat down and started studying and also because I would like to have this all tucked away neatly before I start the residential portion of this program.
My only complaint about the class is that it is not offered online. There are numerous and obvious benefits of meeting the cool kids and the greenies in a course like this. But I can’t help but think that there maybe something a little hypocritical about lamenting our waste of fossil fuels and the amount of CO2 we emit into the atmosphere only to climb into our cars at the end of class and drive our solitary selves home. I suspect the online version will come soon.
In the meantime, I’ll keep trying to talk to the cool kids and work to figure out how I can apply what I have learned.