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The Problems with Green Architecture Go Beyond Anything a LEED Award Can Solve


We think we have a new crush and she goes by the name Cathleen McGuigan. Her piece, “Bad News About Green Architecture,” in the upcoming issue of Newsweek, is a terrific calling out of how much further the green movement, particularly in regard to design, has to go. Granted, this is not particularly new, as we were reporting on the negative co-opting of the term “green” by marketers across the globe, but McGuigan puts a nice spin on it by complaining that just because something takes home some flashy LEED award (we’re looking at you, China), that doesn’t mean that anything involved with the building even remotely follows the tenants of greenness (e.g. the “Green McMansion” or the greening of Vegas hotels). But she comes full circle and explains that these transitions are all part of the initial growing pains into something new and hopefully, people like Renzo Piano (she really likes his new California Academy of Sciences building), will help save us all from ourselves, eventually leading to “green” becoming bland and ordinary from hyper-familiarity.

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