11/10/2006: "the idea is gelling"
Tonight my aunt and uncle were passing through town and stopped in to treat us to dinner. When we get together with them, it's pretty much guaranteed that my aunt and I will start talking "green"; she pioneered the recycling program in Durham region, and is also a Green Party supporter (or at least, she really really wants to be), so we're quite content to chat about such things.
Over dinner I was further explaining exactly what becoming LEED-accredited (thanks to Bob for pointing out my error - buildings are LEED-certified, people are LEED-accredited), and it dawned on me how I can transition my career using LEED. I can become a Green Home Consultant.
First off, I do what it takes to become LEED-accredited. That will lay the groundwork for my knowledge of all thing good in terms of commercial buildings, and will also make me more valuable to businesses that are developing building products that want to be included in the LEED program (and EnergySTAR, and possibly even R-2000). From here, I build.
Next year LEED-H, for residential homes, comes out in the USA, and will likely come pretty quickly thereafter to Canada. Although pretty much all of what I learn through the LEED-NC program (that's New Construction, but in regards to commercial buildings) will be applicable, having a residential program under my belt will give me more knowledge and credibility.
My uncle suggested that to further develop my knowledge base about homes and construction in general that I take a home inspector's course. For a fraction of the cost of an MBET I could learn all about home inspection, which would also give me an excellent starting point for a part-time evenings-and-weekends career. (Exactly how much that fraction will be is yet to be determined, but by the looks of it if I want to do it right and be accredited, it would be pushing $3k.)
On top of all this, give me the means to indulge my love of learning about new home technologies, construction methods, materials, and so forth. Now, roll it all together, and what do you have? A LEED-accredited home inspector with a passion for sustainable building practices. With a little bit of marketing, that becomes a Green Home Consultant. Cool, huh?
The best part, it can all be done part-time while I'm still working. Even better, the total cost will be minimal. It will likely take me a year or two to do it all, but that OK too. Hmm. Jannette and I will have to have a good chat about this.