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Original Green Scorecard

The Original Green Scorecard is a green rating system similar to a baseball batting average in that a perfect score is 1.000. But unlike other green rating systems which only look at the green virtue of a building, or of a neighborhood, the Original Green Scorecard considers the sustainability of the town, the neighborhood, and the building because it is painfully obvious that a building with net zero carbon emissions built in a place where you have to drive everywhere in order to live there is far from sustainable. So the scorecard multiplies the town score, the neighborhood score, and the building score to get the true sustainability score of this building in this place. For example, a building with a rating of .800 in a neighborhood with a rating of .500 in a town or city with a rating of .250 has a combined rating of .800 x .500 x .250 = .100. Obviously, that's a pretty low batting average; a player at that level likely would not make the team.

A Living Tradition [Architecture of The Bahamas]

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The first edition of this book was calibrated to the LEED green rating system, but that system, while popular and created with the highest of good intentions, has serious drawbacks, including the fact that achieving a rating on a building tends to be slow, complex, and expensive. It is also still easy to get a high rating on a building located in a very unsustainable place. The Original Green Scorecard, by contrast, is meant to be fast, friendly, and nearly free. It is also appropriate to the region (unlike LEED), so the version used in this book is calibrated to The Bahamas. LEED is built almost entirely on Gizmo Green, which is the proposition that with better equipment and better materials, we can achieve sustainability. While efficiency is a part of frugality, Gizmo Green misses most of what true sustainability is really about. If you compare the 2018 edition to the original 2007 edition, it’s clear that more patterns show up as sustainability patterns using the Original Green Scorecard, highlighting how the architecture of The Bahamas is attuned so wonderfully to its place. The Original Green Scorecard was rolled out for the first time for the second edition, with the hope and intent that The Bahamas becomes an international model of sustainability.


Here’s how the Scorecard achieves its core virtues:


The Building module is designed to be able to rate a building in about an hour. It achieves this by keeping most of the math "under the hood," and looking for simple indicators of complex conditions. Rating geeks can look under the hood if they want to, but for everyone else the interface is intended to be simple and elegant.


Some credits can be determined with just a yes/no answer, and complex math is avoided. Questions are in plain English. Here's a good example of the friendliness of the Scorecard: The LEED irrigation credit in LEED for Homes (which is supposed to be simpler than the LEED system for other building types) includes several pages of fairly complex math. The Original Green Scorecard irrigation credit asks "does the plant material installed require no longterm irrigation because it is native to or well-adapted to the region?" If so, you get the credit; if not, you don't."

Nearly Free

The Scorecard is free to use by anyone at any time. Expenses are incurred only if you want to submit your design and worksheet to receive a certificate.

Primary & Secondary Credits

The four foundations of lovable, durable, adaptable, and frugal buildings are primary to the Building module. But buildings can also contribute to sustainable places that are nourishable, accessible, serviceable, and securable, and to sustainable societies that inhabit those places with strong education, economy, culture, and wellness. These are secondary credits of the Building module. The credits are organized by foundation, category, and subcategory for buildings, neighborhoods, and towns.


The Original Green Scorecard is in the alpha stage, with the foundation built and a number of credits established, especially for the Building module.

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