Communications & Technology Mgr.
I have learned so much since starting the LEED Internship, and it has turned my career focus around. This is my 2nd semester in the LEED Internship. I started this, my first ever internship, after I completed my tenure as an Interior Design student. For the previous 4 1/2 years I was very focused on just 2 things: I was Mom and Interior Design student. I toiled away diligently, patiently, until I reached my goal of earning the certificate. Along the way, in the program, ‘green’ had come up in classes on a few occasions, but it wasn’t as huge a consideration as it is now.
In my last semester, Anna brought up the LEED Internship. My initial thoughts were, “Green. Commercial. On Campus. Perfect!” Up until this point in the Interior Design Dept. I was enjoying like-minded people; but like-minded GREEN people… these are people who understand…! I’ve always been an avid environmentalist. And I see that there is a natural marriage between Interior Design and designing more sustainable buildings, (esp. since buildings are usually enormous polluters and resource hogs). Now everything clicks! My training can flow naturally into my “saving the world” ethic.
What specifically have I learned since the internship? If you asked me early last semester, I’d say I’d learned many acronyms! LEED is full of them! But, joking aside, specifically I learned about EBOM (existing building operations & maintenance), the group I had the pleasure to observe. Because of that observation, I now understand how the EBOM checklist is used; how the credits are chosen, interpreted and clarified; and a workplan developed. I’ve also learned about where to research and input for GBCI to review.
I’ve learned that being Green means so much more than choosing materials with recycled content. It means that with some clever designing you can require very little energy or potable water at all. Well, there are many ways good design can help. I feel very fervently that the planet needs help; the greenhouse effect and climate change in particular must be dealt with. Therefore I’m usually drawn to topics that reduce energy dependence or deal with alternative energy production.
Meanwhile, as Social Media/Communications and Technology Lead, I have the opportunity to share our Internship’s activities, information, our successes with the world. I take this role seriously, because I want to further the internship’s success. Reporting is also an important “Re-“ (such as reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink, etc). Our LEED-inspired group is eager to make big changes. And so, with the internet audience, we share. And hopefully inspire.