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In Industry 05.22.2015

USGBC National Capital Region to host Greenbuild 2015 in DC

As this year’s Greenbuild fast approaches (coming November 18-20, 2015), I sat down with Emily English, Director of the National Capital Region, to discuss some of the many exciting activities underway. There’s a tremendous amount of preparation leading up to the conference, themed Monumental Green. How many people are serving on the Greenbuild Host Committee and how were they selected?There was an incredible amount of interest. We received 200 applications, which were scored on...

In Industry 05.14.2015

PEER and the microgrid architecture

Distributed generation and the expected growth of microgrids has many utilities stymied. Some would react to this in fear, grasping all the more tightly to the status quo, but the most successful utilities will be those that work proactively to seize new opportunities and tackle new challenges head on. PEER, a new rating system administered by GBCI, is based on a microgrid architecture framework that can help utilities and consumers on the path towards high-performance, sustainable power...

In Industry 05.7.2015

Turning Adversity into Opportunity: Ghettos and Slums as Hotbeds of Green Innovation [...

This article was originally published in the March/April 2015 issue of USGBC+. Read the original version. I recently gave a TEDx talk on Mastering TAO. Not TAOism in terms of Eastern philosophy—although, in some ways, yin and yang are a part of it—but in this case TAO stands for Turning Adversity into Opportunity. I call the people, places, and policies that have mastered the art of Turning Adversity into Opportunity “Hope Dealers.” Hope Dealers ask questions like:...

In Industry 04.14.2015

Countering the six myths-conceptions of sustainable design

I read with admiration Lance Hosey’s recent blog on the Six Myths of Sustainable Design. He got ‘em, and nearly all of them from what I’ve experienced. They frustrate me often. I am a solutions person, seeking to figure out not only what’s stopping us, but how to accept it in order to work with the limitations realistically and grow through or around the problem. After reading the Six Myths blog, I was compelled to compile my thoughts on how to begin to dispel these...

In Industry 05.21.2015

Economics, employees, environment: A recipe for success

This article was originally published in the Charlotte Business Journal. Read the original article. Three components critical to business success are economics, employee talent and the environment. These components show up in questions like, How do we save/make money? How do we recruit and retain top talent? Will weather impact production or will there be enough raw materials?  Businesses look internally for answers, but external sources also play a large role, often in the form of...

In Industry 05.13.2015

Health in Harmony

In 2010, USGBC convened the Material Health Harmonization Task Group to map the similarities and differences between the various building product disclosure and optimization programs and work towards synergies through inter-Program harmonization and data sharing. Such harmonization would support manufacturer implementation of both the Disclosure and Optimization options in the LEED v4 Material Ingredients credit and accelerate progress in the industry towards the manufacture of inherently safer...

In Industry 04.21.2015

Vying for Vets [USGBC+ March/April 2015]

This article was originally published in the March/April 2015 issue of USGBC+. Read the original version. Veterans for sustainability, an idea generated in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is taking shape and moving across the country. "We are hoping to be both the model and the catalyst,” says Brian Sales of the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Green Veterans Group. As one of the group’s two founders, Sales speaks emphatically about the program that helped him reintegrate...

In Industry 04.10.2015

Five megatrends that will unleash business value in the circular economy

Leading companies like USGBC members Veolia, Philips and Cisco are shifting from the traditional linear “take, make, dispose” business model to a more regenerative circular economy framework. This transformation employs a systems level approach and intentional strategy to design waste out of the system and to manage materials for longer circulation and greater re-usability. The goal is to generate more value and economic opportunity with less material and energy consumption. Value...

In Industry 05.20.2015

You're invited to "America Answers: Powering Cities"

On June 23, the Washington Post is bringing business leaders, elected officials, tech pioneers and scientists from around the country together to discuss and debate solutions for producing, delivering and conserving energy. We’ll look at clean energy, batteries and storage, the grid, innovations in oil and gas, infrastructure priorities and more. Cities and towns are incubators for change. America Answers is The Washington Post's new multi-platform series highlighting innovative ideas...

In Industry 05.7.2015

There’s no Lone Star leader in Texas

For Earth Week, I had the opportunity to visit the great state of Texas. This whirlwind trip opened up my eyes to some of the incredible faces of leadership in green building. And in a state as big as Texas, it’s no surprise we had multiple gatherings of industry leaders where the forward-thinking conversation perfectly reflected the upward mobility of this movement. A few moments from this energizing visit stand out to showcase the breadth and power of leadership in the state. My...

In Industry 04.14.2015

Green building expertise

Green building requires new skills and new knowledge, as well as new attitudes and new mindsets. In a linear and hierarchical practice, each participant does his or her part and passes the job on to the next in line. There is little interaction, and people are compartmentalized by discipline or profession. By contrast, the green building process is interdisciplinary, iterative, and collaborative. Teamwork and critical thinking are valued. Everyone needs to learn to ask the right questions and...

In Industry 04.9.2015

Top 10 states project profile: Xcel Energy Center

2014’s Top 10 States have shown tremendous leadership in the green building movement by certifying 1,662 commercial and institutional projects representing 251.7 million square feet of real estate. These buildings will have a tremendous social impact over the coming years by providing healthy and environmentally sustainable spaces to produce new breakthroughs in many different fields of science, medicine, education, business, the fine arts and environmental and social justice. This...

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