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Greenbuild session spotlight: Applying LEED v4 internationally

Published on Posted in Greenbuild

This article was written by Alessandro BisagniAlicia Silva and Torsten Biernat.

Learn about green building overseas at the Greenbuild 2013 International Summit. At the Lessons Learned – LEED v4 Beta educational session, you'll hear first hand from international LEED v4 beta participants practitioners applying LEED v4 to projects in Germany, Mexico and China. This session will evaluate LEED-related strategies and barriers unique to these countries, compare and contrast LEED v4 to LEED v2009, and discuss LEED v4’s global applicability, and identify success factors in implementing LEED v4 internationally. 

Speakers Alessandro Bisagni, Managing Director at BEE; Alicia Silva, Founder and Director General of Revitaliza Consultores; and Torsten Biernat, Head of Green Building & Facility Management at Ebert & Baumann Consulting Engineers, preview this exciting session!

We asked our presenters: Why is the topic of your session so important?

Alessandro: LEED is continuing its growth as a globally accepted and recognized standard for benchmarking green building performance. Now, more than ever, it is important for the public to know the successes of projects outside of North America so that barriers to entry are removed and we can continue seeing LEED certifications take place in more countries around the world and outside the major cities.

Alicia: Because it breaks the myths regarding the difficulty of moving to the new LEED system, LEED v4. It clarifies what is needed in emerging markets and we need to do as green building professionals to facilitate the change we want to see.

Torsten: My presented project is the first office building in Germany to be certified with LEED v4 and will achieve Passive house standard as well. It’s about the development of LEED and how it can be implemented abroad.

Why should Greenbuild attendees attend your session specifically?

Alessandro: As the only fully completed LEED v4 project, we can share real insight on the process we went through to achieve certification, and discuss what worked and what didn’t, so that other international projects can benefit from our experience.

Alicia: Because there is so much opportunity in the emerging markets to help enhance the green building community. It gives the attendees perspective on how we can overcome the challenges and make the new version of LEED more accessible and a tool to inspire others to go further.

Torsten: I will provide attendees with firsthand experience about LEED v4 NC and talk about advantages and disadvantages of LEED v4 in Germany.

What makes you an expert in this area?

Alessandro: I have worked on LEED projects in China for the past seven years and I understand the unique challenges in applying the system here. I have also worked on LEED projects in 15 countries in the Asia Pacific region and in Australia. 

Alicia: My company is the leading firm certifying LEED projects in Mexico and I am a LEED AP BD+C, O+M, ID+C. I have more than 16 years of experience in green building with international experience working in Seattle and Mexico City.

Torsten: I was responsible for several LEED projects, such as the LEED Platinum Deutsche Bank Green Towers in Frankfurt, Germany. This was the first major renovation of a high rise building worldwide, and the first LEED office project in Germany. Since then, I have worked on and certified multiple projects, mostly in the U.S. and Europe. I have also led several LEED workshops for various companies, including Siemens.

What’s the most interesting experience you’ve had in the green building/sustainability world?

Alessandro: It’s hard to beat having the first v4 projects in the world but apart from that, three years ago I founded a group for LEED professionals in Shanghai called the GBPP. Since then, the group has grown to have hundreds of followers, a sister group in Beijing, and, last year, we were officially invited to be part of the LEED International Roundtable representing Mainland China — an amazing achievement for a small group of LEED APs working on this in their spare time. I had the honor to then be voted as the group’s representative to sit on the International Roundtable. 

Alicia: Transforming mind frames. I love to break myths and demonstrate that green living is the most gratifying way to live and work. I love working with organizations that do not believe in green living and, after working with us, become true participants, transforming their organizations. I especially love when people give their work another meaning and understand their leadership and the importance of their role in the transformations of our world.

Torsten: I was part of the renovation of Deutsche Bank Twin Towers in Frankfurt, Germany, the first skyscraper in Europe to be LEED Platinum and DGNB Gold Certified.

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