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In Advocacy and policy 12.19.2013

3-2-1 Action! Review of 2013 green building policy campaigns

I’m inspired by the many people I meet who are committed to the idea that green building design, construction and operations will change the world. The market’s uptake alone is reason enough to be sure that we really are having an impact, with already nearly 60,000 LEED projects around the world. We know we can catalyze this impressive growth and focus on sustainability if we ensure that the right frameworks exist to help these efforts flourish and thrive. That’s where you,...

In Advocacy and policy 11.18.2013

Importance of Green Buildings Stressed by Business and Industry at UN Climate Negotiations

Globally, buildings account for 40% of energy use, 38% of greenhouse gas emissions, 12% of potable water and 20% of solid waste streams in developed countries. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified buildings as the greatest impact, least costly way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. Beyond emissions reduction and environmental protection, green buildings have extensive co-benefits, including cost-savings, job creation, and improved human health...

In Advocacy and policy 11.12.2013

Gov. O’Malley launches innovative challenge to spur Maryland building efficiency

The list of benefits from Maryland’s building energy efficiency programs feels a little like a MasterCard commercial. These programs have led to an investment of nearly $200 million, attracted more than 42,000 participants (17 percent of accounts), saved nearly 800,000 megawatt hours and more than a billion dollars, created more than 2,100 jobs and avoided nearly 400,000 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. Oh yeah, and what about the benefit to the state’s climate resilience?...

In Advocacy and policy 10.30.2013
photo credit: AmericnJewl via Flickr Creative Commons

Once again, GSA recognizes that LEED works

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s what General Services Administration (GSA) concluded again on October 25. After a lot of study, the GSA decided that the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building rating system can and should be used in government buildings. LEED, it said, advances energy efficiency and saves taxpayers’ money. LEED has become synonymous with excellence and it’s comforting to know that GSA, the largest landlord in...

In Advocacy and policy 12.13.2013

Best in class: King County, WA leads by platinum example

For green building policy geeks like us, King County, Washington, is as cool as it gets.  And, my dear geeky friends, they’re at it again. This week, County Executive Dow Constantine’s proposal to upgrade the existing green building ordinance (and commit an even wider range of county buildings to the highest levels of green building and climate leadership) was unanimously approved by County Council.  Specifically, the new commitment to LEED Platinum for public facilities...

In Advocacy and policy 11.17.2013


In Ohio, we’re proud to be number one in the nation for green schools, thanks to our state’s commitment to use the LEED green building rating system for new public facilities, including schools. LEED is the preeminent standard for buildings because it helps ensure they conserve energy, save taxpayer dollars and are healthier for occupants – especially for our school children. Why then, is the Ohio State Senate, specifically Sens. Joe Uecker (R-Loveland) and Tim Schaffer (R-...

In Advocacy and policy 11.11.2013
Photo Credit: Bipartisan Policy Center

Focus on efficiency in affordable housing at BPC Housing Policy Forum

Last Monday at the University of Southern California, I joined housing policy luminaries, including ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and former Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros, at the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) Housing Commission Forum. The forum is a series of engagements around the country to discuss the need for robust housing policy reform. The public forum featured discussions on a...

In Advocacy and policy 10.16.2013
photo credit: Earmark Social Paper Good via Flickr Creative Commons

Green Building Law Update's “A Week in the Life of LEED Certification”

Check out Stuart Kaplow’s Green Building Update to see a highlight of how much LEED does in just one week. Some stand out stats include: 45 projects were certified. Those 45 projects comprised 5,891,366 square feet in total of LEED certified space. The 45 projects were spread across 28 states. Of the projects, 2 were Platinum certified, 15 Gold certified, 22 Silver certified, and 6 Certified. The credit achieved most in these projects was the EAc1 Energy Performance. And the 2nd most...

In Advocacy and policy 12.4.2013
Photo Credit: Reto Kurmann via Flickr Creative Commons

USGBC collaborates with DOE in launch of Better Buildings Accelerators

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Energy announced three Better Buildings Accelerator programs. USGBC Senior Vice President of Global Policy and Law Roger Platt and I were in attendance at the White House events. Driving better building practice is central to USGBC’s work, so it’s no surprise that the program launch took time to highlight our community’s ongoing contributions to building energy benchmarking, accessing data and unlocking new markets for energy efficiency....

In Advocacy and policy 11.15.2013
Photo credit: DVIDSHUB via Flickr Creative Commons

The test and opportunity posed by Typhoon Haiyan

Contributed to by Joe Crea The devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines continues to mount.  Winds that reached 195 mph brought unmitigated ruin, an untold number of deaths and displaced more than 600,000 people throughout the country. This beast of a storm has not only destroyed human lives but human health, too. Not just physically and emotionally, but socially; when natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy strike, they threaten and decimate...

In Advocacy and policy 11.1.2013

The business case for green buildings: ASBC event hosted at USGBC

People like to talk about the environment in terms of protecting nature — making sure we don’t pollute or ensuring conservation of natural resources for future generations. That’s a worthy goal; since buildings in the United States account for 39 percent of our carbon emissions, more than industry or transportation, it's a good place to start if we want to cut emissions.Another way to think about it is in terms of creating a good working environment. That includes making sure...

In Advocacy and policy 10.10.2013

This October it’s pumpkins, shutdown, and green building codes

October is not even 10 days through and it’s already been a great month for greener building codes.  Here are four of this month’s highlights (in reverse chronological order). Thank goodness none of these required any action by the federal government!  One thing seems pretty clear to me: we’re getting a little smarter and more sophisticated about the greening the codes… Oct 10: Rollbacks Defeated & New Ground Gained in 2015-IECC: Code officials once again...

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