Brenden McEneaney

From Enthusiasm to Engagement 

Across America, cities and states are recognizing green building as a way to protect the environment, create jobs, promote energy independence, save money and create healthier places to live, work and learn. USGBC works side-by-side with members to achieve these benefits for our communities.

USGBC Northern California Priority Efforts

  • Green Schools
  • Sustainable Neighborhoods
  • Green California State Policy

As USGBC President, CEO and Founding Chair Rick Fedrizzi once said, USGBC’s most important achievement is not measured by LEED-certified buildings—it’s measured by changing minds. It is the 1 million square feet of green building space that earns LEED certification every day that is helping us change minds and policy.

Various LEED initiatives, including legislation, executive orders, resolutions, ordinances, policies and incentives, are now found in 45 states, including 442 localities (384 cities/towns and 58 counties), 35 state governments (including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico), 14 federal agencies or departments and numerous public school jurisdictions and institutions of higher education across the United States.

Contact us to get involved in USGBC Northern California’s advocacy efforts, or contact one of our committee chairs, listed below.

Green Building by the Numbers


$36-$49 billion: The annual market for green building products and services in the United States.

36%: The average CO2 emission reduction a green building achieves.

40%: The average water use reduction a green building achieves.

7.9 million: Jobs being created by the green building industry through 2013.

$127 billion: Projected government savings from using smarter growth patterns.

1 million: The number of square feet being LEED-certified each day.

$0: The net cost of reducing emissions from buildings around the world by 29% in the short run.


Advocacy Chairs

Green Schools Committee

John Diffenderfer, Principal, AEDIS


John is a Principal at AEDIS Architecture and Planning in San Jose and has more than 20 years of California school design experience. John designed the state’s first net-zero-energy school and was a featured speaker at Greenbuild on net-zero schools. He has overseen large and complex school construction programs, including an award-winning project recognized by the City of San Jose's Green Star award.


Sustainable Neighborhoods Committee

David Jaber, Principal, inNative


David Jaber is Founder of inNative and serves as Director of Audits and Performance Evaluation with Blue Star Studio Inc. He has 15 years of experience in assisting companies and communities with metrics tracking and benchmarking, product supply-chain analysis, greenhouse gas inventory and reduction strategy and efficiency audits.

David has overseen over 150 waste reduction and energy efficiency site assessments in a wide range of food processing, hospitality, manufacturing, retail, office building and other settings. Previously, he served as Project Manager at Natural Logic, Inc., where work included building efficiency, food processing environmental excellence, and recycling consulting. David is a LEED O+M AP, and he works on grant writing, community planning and related issues with tribal communities.

Libby Barnes, Partner/Founder, de sola.barnes LLP


Libby Barnes is a California-licensed architect and a partner/founder of de sola.barnes LLP, an architecture firm based in Big Sur specializing in green residential and commercial architecture. She is a graduate of Smith College and received her master’s degree in architecture from Parsons School of Design.

Libby has over 15 years of experience in green building and interiors. Originally from New York state, Libby has been on the Monterey Peninsula since 2003. She is a LEED-accredited professional and has been working in advocacy with USGBC Northern California/Monterey Bay Branch since 2007. Libby also volunteers as an architect for the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Libby has been a guest lecturer at UC Santa Cruz and Monterey Peninsula College, teaching about green specifications and life cycle analysis.

State Policy: San Francisco Advocacy Committee

Dennis Murphy (Chair)

Dennis Murphy is on a mission to cool and heat buildings at scale, utilizing the vast thermal battery potential of the ground below our feet. As part of the founding team at Seasonal Energy, Inc., he is commercializing Smart Thermosiphon Array thermal storage technology for a variety of large-scale applications. With a career arc spanning design to demolition and data to heat networks, Dennis filled business development and executive roles at Potter Drilling and GroundSource Geo. At GroundSource, he led a team that won a Clean Tech Open Sustainability Award and produced the “Project Negathermresearch report for the California Energy Commission. Dennis is active in clean tech and energy efficiency policy, has been deeply involved in USGBC Northern California advocacy and is the founding and current chair of USGBC California.

Paul Wermer (Northern California Representative)


Trained as a chemist, Paul’s focus on sustainable practices began while he managed materials development programs in the semiconductor industry. Work on environmentally related projects highlighted how significant both regulatory and market forces are in influencing business actions and the power of advocacy in shaping both those forces. Following his interests, he joined Global Footprint Network as a senior scientist, where he applied the Ecological Footprint as a sustainability metric in a number of projects—and was astonished at the resource impacts of building and remodeling practices. This evolved into an interest in land use and green building practices. Paul has been active in USGBC Northern California’s state advocacy activities since 2008.