I hope everyone had a happy New Year's celebration. Hopefully 2009 will turn out better than '08. I've had a fairly productive couple of days here. I've been off from work for a little while and although the first few days off were pretty much dedicated to Christmas shopping, this week I've been able to get stuff done around the house. I've finished almost all of my sewing projects, plus we cut a hole through the wall between our foyer and office/den. The previous owner had converted it into a bedroom which really cut it off from the rest of the house. I'll post some photos as soon as there is some nice sunlight for taking them.
Another item on my "to do" list that I haven't been quite as productive on, is studying for the LEED exam. For those that don't know LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is essentially a rating system to determine how "green" a building (or neighborhood) is. Since everyone is looking to jump on the bandwagon to call their stuff "green", this provides a pretty tough standard for actually making it so. There are some other rating systems out there, but they seem to be more influenced by various building product industries so their standards seem to be a bit more watered down (IMO). You may be wondering how one studies for a rating system. Actually, the test is to become a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) which is one way of calling yourself an "expert" in green building. It shows a knowledge of both green building and the rating system itself and how it works. The reason I am rushing to study now is that in the spring they are adopting a new "upgraded" system and test which will be harder and require prior experience in green building before you can sit for the exam. By prior experience, they mean you have to have worked on the certification of a commercial LEED building. The firm where I work does primarily residential projects, so it would be hard to get to work on a commertial LEED project since there aren't too many out there. If you'd like to find out more information about the system or how to become certified, check out www.usgbc.org .