It's that time of year when your inboxes and Facebook and Twitter feeds fill up with retrospective "best of the year" lists. But let's try something different! Inspired by a recently Yahoo! Finance piece on 15 words and phrases that should be retired in 2013, we want to know: what are the green building or sustainable design-related words that you think should go away after Dec. 31? Which industry terms have outlived their usefulness or lost their charm due to overuse? One example: "green." Has this word lost its meaning? A green building should just be called a building, says Dennis Creech, co-founder and executive director of Southface in Atlanta and the 2013 recipient of the Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing. Would you ditch it? If so, what would you use in its place?
To start the ball rolling, we asked a number of green building gurus for their picks of words they think should take a hike from our vocabulary after 2013. Among their picks are:
- Algorithm. Not only is this term over used, but people sometimes use it inappropriately, says Ralph DiNola, executive director of the New Buildings Institute.
- Certifiable. Make 2013 the last time you say something is "LEED certifiable," says Robert Phinney, AIA, LEED Fellow, director of sustainable design and energy services for HDR Architecture. "Either it's LEED certified or it's not."
- Cradle to Grave. "The term no longer has validity!" writes Allison Ewing, AIA of Hays + Ewing Design Studio and our Vision 2020 co-chair for Building Performance + Design this year.
- Greenest. Cliff Majersik, executive director of the Institute for Market Tranformation says it's time to ditch this term because it doesn't factor in the many variables that are often in play. "One thing," he says, "is not preeminent over others in a clear way. It's always mutifactored."
- Solar demonstration. We know solar works, Creech says, and don't need to demonstrate the obvious. What's more, "buildings without solar are really more than demonstration projects--they demonstrate that the decision makers lacked vision, couldn't do math, were too set in their ways, and doubt the laws of physics."
Update: Thinking along the same lines, The Atlantic Cities
started a similar list of urbanist buzzwords that should potentially bite the dust
. Among their suggestions: Urbanism, bus rapid transit, congestion pricing, placemaking, build environment, and smart growth.
We have to agree. What would you add to the list? Leave your suggestion in the comments below.