Friday, December 2, 2011

The Light Bulb Side of Green Building


"Humour is a serious thing. I like to think of it as one of our greatest natural resources, which must be preserved at all cost." —James Thurber

With Cop 17 not going to well and lack of political will evident, there is perhaps reason for doom and gloom. With environmental matters topping our list of concerns, if we are to follow Thurber's lead, we of course naturally progress to green building light bulb jokes..... Naturally!

Before we proceed, a bit of background information may prove necessary. LEED is the acronym for ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’. It is essentially a rating systems developed by the U.S. Green Building Council for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, homes and neighbourhoods.

Enjoy......

How many daylighting consultants does it take to change a light bulb?
None—the sun will be back up in exactly 10 hours.

How many LEED Accredited Professionals does it take to change a light bulb?
Four—one to tell you how to earn LEED points by changing it, one to change it, one to document the change, and one to deliver the check to the U.S. Green Building Council for certifying the change.

How many product manufacturers does it take to change a light bulb?
10,001. Ten thousand to resist the change for as long as possible, and then the same 10,000 to tell you how many LEED points you can earn from making the change with their product. Oh, and one to change it.

How many occupants does it take to change a light bulb?
None. They'd rather curse the broken light bulb, the electrician, the landlord, and the architect.

How much actual energy performance data does it take to change a light bulb?
Don't know—we're still waiting for information from the engineer, who's waiting for information from the utility, who won't provide information until a submeter is installed, and the owner decided not to pay for it.

How many salvage contractors does it take to change a light bulb?
Two—one to change it, and one to sell the broken light bulb as aggregate for landscaping around the new light bulb.

How many code officials does it take to change a light bulb?
CHANGE?! I think not.

How many life-cycle assessment experts does it take to change a light bulb?
Two—one to change it, and one to change it back again after more data has come in.

How many LEED credits does it take to change a light bulb?
One—but you need a writer, 18 committee members representing manufacturers, government, the environmental community, the social justice community, and the health and safety community, three draft versions, two public comment periods, one life-cycle analysis, one pilot period with 100 pilot light bulbs, one member ballot, and one competing system with completely different standards.

How many State of California regulations does it take to change a light bulb?
Three—one to require that you change the light bulb, one to warn you that changing it could cause cancer, and one to ban disposal of the old light bulb.

How many inventors of new lighting technology does it take to change a light bulb?
It just looks like it's broken—the color temperature on these is in the Celsius scale.

How many Forest Stewardship Council-certified light bulbs does it take to change a light bulb?
None—the indigenous light bulb population won't allow it. And that new light bulb isn't certified for chain-of-custody, is it?

How much greenwashing does it take to change a light bulb?
Don't change at all. Just fund an "independent" organization, use it to write a "sustainability" standard, and put this cool planet logo on the same old light bulb.

How many advocates for market transformation does it take to change a light bulb?
Just one to write a green light bulb standard, changing the light bulb market forever. Oh, and one to specify a light bulb certified under that standard; one to start a foundation to subsidize purchases of the certified light bulbs; one to search the ends of the Earth for the actual product; one to buy it, and one to change it.

How many William McDonoughs does it take to change a light bulb?
The real question is, how do we love all the light bulbs of all species for all time? Let's eliminate the concept of the broken light bulb.

How many commissioning agents does it take to change a light bulb?
Two. One to note the problems with the light bulb, the design of the lighting controls, the lightshelves, and the shading system, and one to change the light bulb.

How many owner's representatives does it take to change a light bulb?
Sorry, that item has been value-engineered out!

How many U.S. Green Building Council Cascadia Chapter members does it take to change a light bulb?
You can change the light bulb, but only if there was already a light bulb in that socket before, if you use a light bulb with no PVC, formaldehyde, or halogenated flame retardants, and if the new light bulb is beautiful and inspiring.

How many natural builders does it take to change a light bulb?
Two—one to change it, and one to sculpt a decorative mud-and-straw wall around the old light bulb.

How many lighting designers does it take to change a light bulb?
Uh... "light bulb"? That's a lamp, what you are calling a "socket" is a luminaire, and I think you'd get better efficacy if you changed the ballast instead.

How many Environmental Building News editors does it take to change a light bulb?
Two. One to change it, and one to write, "One billion light bulbs will be changed in 2008, according to U.S. Department of Energy statistics. It's critically important that we use energy-efficiency light bulbs to replace the broken ones, but unfortunately, many light bulbs don't meet our GreenSpec standards, and changing light bulbs entails numerous health and environmental risks that you have never heard of before. In this article, we will examine the history of the light bulb, from its origins with tungsten filament..."

How many LEED AP exam takers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Let's see... EA Credit 1, EA Credit 5, MR Credit 2 if you recycle it, and maybe SS Credit 8, depending on the location. Sorry... what was the question?

Green building humour courtesy of Tristan Roberts and www.buildinggreen.com

Ernest Roper
Durban Regional Manager

CONSULT YOUR ASSOCIATION.
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