I ♥ Online Communities
Believe it or not, there are times (read: most of the time) RealLifeLEED has a question he needs help with and can't find an answer. As a general rule, that's when I fish the question out to the internet at large. Between AREForums' LEED section, 4specs.com's Sustainable Design Topics Section, and to a lesser extent DesignCommunity's LEED and Green Certification forum, you can normally get an answer or some form of guidance within a day or so. Of the three, AREForum is the most responsive, 4specs is the most credible, and DesignCommunity... well... there's a fair amount of yelling but it can be interesting.
Not This Forum
The USGBC hosts a Member to Member (M2M) exchange, but as the name implies you must work for a USGBC member company to have access, so it's usefulness is limited. It's organized by profession (architect, engineer, contractor, etc.) which is a pretty useless organization strategy given sustainability's emphasis on INTEGRATED design. Worse still is the fact that comments are ordered by the date the initial post instead of last comment, so new comments are frequently buried. Hopefully a rework of this system will be unveiled alongside the LEED-Online improvements scheduled with the roll-out of LEED 2009.
Getting to the point...
So what this all means is there's a fair amount of usefull information available buried in many of these forums. I'm going to start posting helpful forum posts on RealLifeLEED on a "vague time period" basis starting... NOW!
Forum Round-Up 1