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Knowledge is Power: The 3 things you need to know this week

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I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I am voracious news reader; however, I will sheepishly admit that I was not always as on top of my assigned reading at university. I am a very big fan of CliffNotes, SparkNotes and other resources that enable one to digest more information in less time. Now it’s time for me to “pay it forward.” Allow me to be your “CliffNotes” version of the global green building news. Here are the top line things you should know this week. (If it is extra motivation to stay “In the Know,” you should always be prepared for a surprise, or “pop,” quiz.)

  1. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released its updated findings on the science of climate change mitigation, including statistics on the emissions contributions from each sector. Buildings have a dedicated chapter in the report, of which our own Chris Pyke is a lead author. My favorite finding: “Even if the most ambitious of currently planned policies are implemented, approximately 80% of 2005 energy use in buildings globally be ‘locked in’ by 2050 for decades, compared to a scenario where today’s best practice buildings become the standard in new building construction and existing building retrofit. As a result, the urgent adoption of state-of-the-art performance standards, in both new and retrofit buildings, avoids locking-in carbon intensive options for several decades” (p. 5).
    [Bonus details for impressing your boss and/or strangers: The full report is called the Fifth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The buildings chapter is included under the scope of the IPCC’s Working Group III on Mitigation of Climate Change.]
  2. Since June of last year, the global map of LEED certified projects has added 15 new countries—Bahrain, Burundi, Honduras, Ecuador, South Sudan, Luxembourg, Serbia, Bahamas, Haiti, Tunisia, Ukraine, Venezuela, Croatia, Latvia and Kuwait! I tell myself that this is due in part to the success of LEED Earth, which offers a refund of standard certification fees for the first project certify in a country without a LEED building, a campaign very near and dear to my heart. I’m very excited to draw your attention to the first LEED certified project in South Sudan.
  3. On Wednesday, USGBC launched the dynamic State Market Briefs. These new online data visualization resources highlight real-time green building data, including LEED projects, LEED-credentialed professionals and USGBC membership, for each U.S. state and the District of Columbia. This resource is a game-changer for the green building industry domestically, as we are now able to do more than just tell the story of green buildings locally, we can now show it! A similar resource, highlighting the green building policies and industry trends, is under development for the world’s largest cities. From the Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG) to real-time State Market Briefs, data access and transparency is positively transforming the green building industry.

Tune in next week for an update from my other/better(?) half, Joe Crea, including an exciting international announcement.

Follow us on “the twitter”: Joe (@cacciatorecrea) and Maggie (@maggiecomstock).

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    Maggie Comstock made 10 contributions in the last 6 months

Maggie Comstock

Policy Analyst U.S. Green Building Council

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