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In Advocacy and policy 10.21.2014

Troublemakers at Greenbuild 2014 are taking action to support a stronger, greener economy

This week tens of thousands of leaders from the green building movement are descending on New Orleans for Greenbuild 2014, the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building.  During Greenbuild, USGBC will be working to empower the passionate members of the green building community to take action to support important green building policies that ultimately help strengthen our economy. Through our extensive grassroots support infrastructure, we’ll be engaging...

In Advocacy and policy 10.9.2014

Sustainability leadership: An interview with GSA’s Ruth Cox

Overseeing real estate, acquisition, and technology for the federal government is a lot of responsibility. That's the job of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). In fact, with oversight of nearly 10,000 federally-owned or leased buildings, a total of 300 million square feet of office space, GSA is the largest landlord in the nation. With cost-saving as a major priority, the leadership at GSA has helped usher in a new era of efficiency, innovation and performance. And...

In Advocacy and policy 09.30.2014

Talk the talk, march the march, 400K strong

“This is what democracy looks like.” Last Sunday, I had the privilege of joining the Urban Green Council and over 400,000 other concerned global citizens, including celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio, and leaders like UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in the People’s Climate March. The aerial photos say it all! This was an unprecedented mass of people demanding better from our leaders for our people and planet. The diversity of this group makes it clear that climate change is...

In Advocacy and policy 09.25.2014

Thank you, Mr. President, for taking a bold step on climate change; Congress, feel free...

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called international leaders to Climate Summit 2014 being held this week to galvanize and catalyze climate action. He has given these leaders homework: bring bold announcements and actions to the Summit that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful agreement in 2015. The U.S has for too long struggled to commit to the sort of bold action that is needed. But this year, the Obama administration...

In Advocacy and policy 10.17.2014

Governor takes action to boost energy efficiency in Virginia

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe arrived yesterday morning at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Richmond, VA, to make a major announcement on energy efficiency. (Yes, you read that correctly; we were at the DMV).   This particular DMV, through an innovative collaboration with Trane, had recently undergone an extensive energy retrofit that was now saving 36 percent in energy use and saving a whopping $284,000 a year. That was something that the Governor was eager to see and...

In Advocacy and policy 10.7.2014

Half the planet’s animals are gone, and how buildings can (and must) help

I was shocked to read in the Washington Post last week that roughly half of the world's vertebrate (and non-human) animals have vanished since 1970.  Goodness knows how many had been lost before we started counting.  “The main culprits?” the article reads, are “exploitation (i.e. overfishing and overhunting), and habitat degradation. It may be compelling enough for some to act just knowing that we are on this sorry path—a path towards a world where we may...

In Advocacy and policy 09.26.2014

People's Climate March in New York reflects new environmentalism

This time it was personal. Marching down Central Park West with my daughter and 300,000 other people passionate about the health of our planet, I felt at home, and in a way I was.  Having been born in New York Hospital and raised in a neighborhood just across Central Park from where the march began, I had a sense of deja vu. Back in the late 60s and early 70s I had joined my Mom—and fellow members of her New York teachers union—in marches against the Vietnam War in Washington,...

In Advocacy and policy 09.2.2014

Three building code questions you should be asking

The phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” is often applied to judgments of people — and to buildings, too.   A building’s façade can be beautiful, but it doesn’t necessarily indicate the quality of its indoor environment. A building’s “Walk Score” doesn’t tell you much about how well it manages rainwater. A building’s energy use alone doesn’t tell you much about the productivity of the people inside. A...

In Advocacy and policy 10.16.2014

DOE affirms federal leadership in sustainability and continued use of LEED

For over a decade, federal agencies have successfully used third-party green building rating systems, like LEED, to deliver exceptional building projects that address the myriad federal requirements, reduce energy and other resources and save taxpayer money. It’s a testament to the green building leadership we see in the federal sector. Consistent with that record of leadership, last week the Department of Energy (DOE) issued its final rule on federal agencies’ use of...

In Advocacy and policy 09.30.2014

D.C. joins exclusive ‘LEED 100 Million Club’

We have reached a new era in the history of green building with Mayor Vincent Gray’s recent announcement that Washington, D.C., has surpassed 100 million square feet of LEED-certified space. While the District of Columbia is not the first city to reach this milestone—predecessors include Chicago, New York and Houston—with a population of approximately 650,000, D.C. is the smallest city in the world to pass this mark. You can be sure that this was a point of...

In Advocacy and policy 09.26.2014

An evening with the stars at the Alliance to Save Energy's annual awards event

Like you, I’m sure, I am a big fan of energy efficiency. In my free time, I also enjoy a healthy dose of astrophysics. So what could be better than an evening this week with the stars of energy efficiency receiving awards named after galaxies and supernovae?  How about all of that and also a top awardee that has made it clear that the sky is the limit for their commitments to sustainability in their super-green building?! Yes, the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in...

In Advocacy and policy 08.29.2014

“Four More Years!” State policymakers rack up wins for green building

Last week, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL) gathered for their largest ever policy summit. The issues discussed varied from clean power plan implementation to clean water and indoor air, to healthy, high-performing schools. As a framework for addressing these and many other economic and ecology issues, green building was a central focus, too. For years, state lawmakers and agencies have used the power of the pen and the purse to prioritize energy efficiency, healthy...

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