Quickly becoming one of our favorite Interior Design bloggers, Peggy Bonda talks number. You can find many more blogs by her at Interior Design, the website.
Yup, you read that right. To date 1,873 projects have certified under LEED-CI representing 78,464,155 gross square feet. Amazing.
Recently I’ve had reason to dig through old files and take a trip or two down memory lane. LEED-CI was birthed in 1999 when the USGBC Board of Directors authorized a small group of volunteers to begin writing a rating system for commercial interiors. It wasn’t an entirely smooth road. The first draft, dated early 2000, included a credit granting points for excluding certain chemicals, which caused A LOT of controversy. In fact, USGBC hosted a meeting where the subject was hotly debated and the credit was eventually withdrawn.
The first draft also included a Pre-Design category that listed the following:
Credit 1: Pre-Design Goal Setting
Credit 2: Building Location and Site Selection
Credit 3: Best Practices
Credit 4: Flexibility Adaptability by Design
Credit 5: Education
Credit 6: Interior Product Stewardship
Credit 7: Accredited Professional
Only Credit 7 Accredited Professional survived intact. The site selection credit evolved into the much-improved version in use today. Other first draft credits that ended on the cutting room floor include moisture and acoustical control, drinking water quality, interior landscaping. lifecycle evaluation of materials, manufacturing process, and biophilia protocols.
Why were they cut? Remember, in early 2000, USGBC had recently launched what we now refer to as LEED NC and it was just gaining a foothold in the marketplace. Collectively we agreed that CI shouldn’t deviate too far from the structure and format of NC.
It’s very cool, however, that some of CI’s original credits have come back. Last year USGBC added credits that address chemicals of concern in building materials to the LEED Pilot Credit Library, such as halogenated flame retardants, phthalates and dioxins. And, I am currently working with others to write Integrated Process credits for LEED 2012 that mimic the goals set in CI’s pre-design credits.
Yes, it’s amazing what can happen in 11 years –1,873 projects that focused on healthier, environmentally responsible interiors.