Earth Month presents an unparalleled opportunity to reflect on the progress the green building community has made toward a more equitable, sustainable, healthy and prosperous future, while also challenging ourselves and one another to rise up and push harder for the realization of our vision of green buildings for all within a generation.
Now, as April comes to a close, our resident experts at USGBC from disciplines as diverse as advocacy, market development and sustainable site creation offer their perspectives on the actions we all can take to make a more sustainable tomorrow.
Taryn Holowka, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Communications and Advocacy
Celebrate successes to make continued progress.
When we celebrate our successes and our green buildings, we inspire change. We know that intellectual agreement doesn’t cause a change in behavior—only emotional connections create change, and that is exactly what we are doing when we talk about all of our amazing LEED projects.
Hilari Varnadore, Director, LEED for Cities and Communities
Plan new cities to be sustainable and healthy.
New eco-cities are being planned, designed and developed in China to address rapid urbanization. The concept is to implement sustainable development principles to ensure a high quality of life, while also providing economic opportunity and a healthy natural environment.
Ryan Snow, Director, Market Transformation and Development
Think about the big picture in your green building project.
The most successful green building teams don’t approach a project as "just another building." They take a step back and find creative solutions to larger environmental, social and technical problems. As a result, they drive down energy and resource use, and create healthy places that inspire.
Kelly Worden, Director, Health Research
Pay attention to the details of your surroundings.
The more we question how our built environment is performing against environmental and human health goals, the more likely we are to increase our expectations and demand more of our buildings and communities. So, be curious about the buildings and spaces that you encounter on a daily basis. How do they influence your behavior and health?
Karema Seliem, LEED Specialist and Sustainable Sites Expert
Connect humans to natural elements in your LEED projects.
The new Jewel Changi airport in Singapore is a fascinating LEED Platinum project that just opened for public use. The glass structure features a 6-acre indoor forest, walking trails and the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, composed of rainwater collected from a central oculus on the roof. The waterfall is not just an aesthetic feature—it also serves the important function of recycling rainwater throughout the building, including for irrigation of the 2,500 trees and 100,000 shrubs.