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LEED’ing The Pack


With LEED Certification already under her belt, Advanced Interior Design Technology’s Ashlee Bardos is already ahead of the game.

With sustainability and eco-friendly practices very much top of the building industry’s mind these days, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard projects – and those who know how to design to these standards – are increasingly attractive.

Bearing this in mind, we were excited to hear that one of our soon-to-graduate Advanced Interior Design Technology students had spent the recent term break studying for and received her LEED Certification.

Ashlee Bardos successfully wrote her LEED Green Associate Exam, which recognizes that she is capable of doing green, sustainable work. The certification covers all of North America.

“People recognize LEED, and everybody in the design world knows what it means,” explains Bardos. “I wanted to have that extra step in my knowledge, and to let people know that I want my designs to be green.”

So just what is LEED exactly? Lesley Cowie, green building and renewable energy advocate, describes LEED as follows: “The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards offer guidance on how to design, build, or maintain an energy-efficient building or home. In order for a building or home to earn a LEED Certification rating (Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum), the space must embody a series of recommended “green” characteristics or strategies. Those efforts are best described as LEED credits, and these credits comprise a number of categories.”

I think a lot of people are going into the sustainable green design area, so this will be definitely something future employers will look for.”

Ashley Bardos, ‘Advanced Interior Design Technology’ Student

There are four different categories considered in Leed: Water Efficiency; Materials & Resources; Energy & Environment; and Indoor Environmental Quality.

“You could have flooring that is green, or elements of the plumbing, or you can go extreme and make every single material in the building be sustainable,” explains Ashlee. “You can have every piece of the exterior be sustainable, or also have correct transportation links – that is direct public transportation links available to the site.”

Green materials would be those considered sustainable, eco-friendly, non-polluting, etc. Many view LEED Certification as a goal for whole buildings, but LEED principles can be applied to interior spaces.

“Interior designers can share the same interest in these categories and therefore align their work with the LEED standards,” says Cowie. “By doing so, a ‘green’ interior designer cultivates an indoor space that is better for the planet and its occupants. Green interior designers can help their clients earn a LEED Homes Certification. With a LEED credential in tow, an interior designer can be an integral part of achieving that certification.”

“I started doing the course on my recent two week break and I said to myself that at the end of the two weeks I have to write my test,” says Bardos. “They recommend you take six months to study, but I did it in two weeks!

Jen (Jennifer Yeo, AIDT Department Head) always talks about LEED, how important it is, and how we should incorporate it into our projects. I just took it one step further by getting my associate.

I think a lot of people are going into the sustainable green design area, so this will be definitely something future employers will look for.”

“It’s fantastic that Ashlee took the opportunity to do the LEED program while still in school. It leaves her in good stead in terms of hiring potential,” says Jennifer Yeo. “It’s the thing employers are looking for today. It is a fantastic asset to both her and any firm she chooses to work for.”