Room at the Table

Something occurred to me during a cab ride I shared with a fellow attendee of Greenbuild in Phoenix last month. My companion had recently earned the designation of a LEED Accredited Professional, but admitted quite frankly that he still did not fully understand the green building concepts his title suggested that he did (or should).

He had memorized the information required to pass the exam under the old accrediting process, but he did not have practical experience working on a LEED project—a scenario that has since been remedied under the new credentialing requirements (thankfully). In other words, while he had a pretty good idea of how it all worked, he did not have all the answers.

Then, at a dinner hosted by HOK, I found myself seated at a table surrounded by people who are passionate and highly knowledgeable about design and sustainability. It was a lively and thoughtful discussion about their businesses and mine. Add to that the numerous conversations I had in the exhibit hall and educational seminars with some of the best minds in the industry, and it dawned on me: no one has it all figured out. Both design and sustainability seem to share a common elusiveness in that, as you to try to define them, you realize they often mean different things to different people. And that’s OK—there are a lot of stakeholders who are interested in advancing the cause of sustainability, and there is room at the table for all of us.

Speaking of opinions, we sought yours to determine which products we featured in the magazine this year were your favorites, and we are happy to announce the results of our first ever Readers’ Choice program. We received hundreds of votes in each of 13 categories, and while all of the products in the running had merit, you, the readers, have spoken and declared these products to be the best.

Whether you agree or disagree, or whether you are a novice or a veteran to the world of design and sustainability, have a seat and join the conversation—we want to know what you think.

Robert Nieminen, Editor

Robert Nieminen,