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In Advocacy and policy 02.3.2014

Global green building event calendar 2014

The global green building professional’s attention is perpetually divided. With relevant and compelling events taking place all over the world, it is impossible to be everywhere at once. Joe and I have prepared a cheat sheet for the “who,” “what” and “where” you should be in 2014. Of course, the calendar is far from comprehensive but we hope that you find this resource valuable as you navigate the global green building landscape.  Download PDF...

In Advocacy and policy 01.27.2014

A haiku of state and local advocacy opportunities in 2014

New year, new session; Advocates plan, train, and meet; For chance to green laws. I believe in concise writing; thus, what better way to lay out advocacy possibilities in 2014 than with a haiku? As one year closes and another begins, it is customary to look back on what we accomplished and the possibilities in the new year. We've already looked back on the campaigns in 2013, courtesy of Jeremy Sigmon, so let’s look at the advocacy possibilities for creating a greener, more sustainable...

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 01.30.2014

House committee clears important legislation for commercial tenants

On Tuesday, the House Energy & Commerce Committee took a positive step in advancing building efficiency legislation with the passage of H.R. 2126, the “Better Buildings Act.” This bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives David McKinley (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-VT) cleared the committee on voice vote. In a statement, Representative Welch lauded the passage of the bill: “The Committee’s action today demonstrates that energy efficiency is a policy area...

In Advocacy and policy 12.20.2013
photo credit: rc6750 via Flickr Creative Commons

USGBC 2014 congressional wrap-up and look ahead

With only a few short weeks before the New Year, the House and Senate completed a series of important legislative milestones including the bipartisan budget deal. With this budget deal in place, the House and Senate Appropriations Committee will begin to formally negotiate over the holiday recess by dividing up some $498.1 billion in domestic discretionary spending. They will have until January 15th to negotiate a spending package to replace the expiring continuing resolution...

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 01.29.2014

Dear Mr. President: Support better buildings through executive action

Last night, I was inspired watching President Obama outline a plan to "make this a year of action" and calling on us all to do everything we can to invest in a stronger America. The president himself also wasn't shy about reaffirming his commitment to take action: "Wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that's what I'm going to do." Well, here at USGBC, we're all too familiar with all the various actions the executive branch...

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?...

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