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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...

In Advocacy and policy 07.31.2014

Homeowner views on energy codes

A recent market research study revealed that Idahoans value energy efficiency. In fact, 65% of them favor energy codes that are consistent with national standards, but less than half trust the State of Idaho to adopt the right energy efficiency standards for Idahoans. The reasons for supporting energy codes are primarily financial. The monthly operating costs are the top driver of whether someone supports energy codes. Additional key motivators include the beliefs that energy code...

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 08.28.2014

10 super rad LEED public projects

Have you ever pulled into a train station and felt like you had really arrived somewhere else, because the station felt like part of this new town’s identity? Did you ever tour your local fire station as a kid, and if you were very lucky, slide down that shiny silver pole? Did you ever go to the local jail, and… well, actually that’s none of my business. Public structures really help define the personality of a town, and they’re where the actions that define history...

In Advocacy and policy 05.2.2014

GSA announces its award-winning green building projects

After several days of nonstop cold rain here in the District, it was nice to see the sun shining again on the first day of May. But it was even nicer that day to hear about all the award-winning building projects honored by the General Services Administration (GSA) as part of its Design Awards ceremony. GSA announced 20 federal buildings that were recognized for demonstrating the agency’s commitment to leadership and innovation in sustainability. A panel of judges from private-sector...

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 400,000 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 08.1.2014

USGBC supports key resilience legislation with the new PREPARE Act

Today, I joined Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA) in a press conference call he hosted to introduce his new bipartisan legislation, the PREPARE Act (Preparedness and Risk management for Extreme weather Patterns Assuring Resilience). Joining several co-sponsors, Cartwright introduced the bill in the House on July 31, 2014. The PREPARE Act makes us smarter, stronger and safer in the face of these increasing extreme weather events. We’ve all seen the tragic costs these events are having on...

In Advocacy and policy 05.1.2014

Efficiency bills march out of House committee

This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee pushed for positive change for building efficiency legislation with the passage of H.R. 4092, the Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2014, and H.R. 2689, the Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act of 2013. These bipartisan bills both cleared the committee by voice vote. Each bill aims to make important improvements to existing federal policies. H.R. 4092 would task the Department of Energy with...

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