by Patrick McLaughlin
A few months ago, I brought up the topic of green buildings and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program by recalling a presentation that was delivered at the BICSI Conference last September (see “LEED by example,” October 2007, page 6). Not long after thatarticle was published, I received a call from a long-time contact of mine, who is employed by one of the manufacturers in our industry. He had a responseto the final line in my October column: “I’ll be interested to hear more about our industry’s take on LEED.”
His take is that our industry will have a very minimal role in the program. Many of the products you work with on a daily basis—those that get written about and advertised in this magazine, and displayed at exhibitions, such as those that accompany BICSI conferences—fall outside the realm of what LEED considers, he said.
After taking that call, I said out loud the figurative, “I don’t believe it.” It’s not that I literally did not believe the information; it came from a trustworthy source who more than deserved the benefit of the doubt. It was just one of those (many) occasions on which I said one thing and meantanother. What I really meant was, “I’m surprised to hear that.” Surprised because I have heard all kinds of chatter about cabling systems’ potential impact on LEED certification.
Fast forward just a little, and I’m at BICSI’s most recent conference, held last month. What follows is a truestory: While on the exhibition floor with a fellow staff member of this magazine, he was listening to one gentleman talk about the important role cabling-related systems play in LEED at the exact same time that, not more than three feet away, I was listening to another gentleman say that, in fact, most of what our industry concerns itself with is exempt from the LEED program.
As much as that scene might have resembled something from a slapstick comedy, the last thing we want toresemble is an assembly of keystone cops trying unsuccessfully to relayintelligent information aboutcabling’s role in LEED. So, my pledge is this: We at Cabling Installation & Maintenance will work to cut through the clutter and bring you relevant, meaningful information aboutLEED and, more importantly to us in this industry, information about the extent to which it and other environmental initiatives will affect us.
It appears that many in ourindustry have much to learn about the subject, and I’ll rank myself as the neediest for such information. But hopefully, not for long. Please stay with us as we peel back the layers of what is sure to be a challenging topic for many.