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Posts Tagged ‘Green Building Alliance’

Cities share strategies for energy innovation at Better Buildings Summit

Published on 12 Jun 2017 Written by Alysson Blackwelder Posted in Advocacy and policy

At this year’s Better Buildings Summit, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy from May 15–17 in Washington, D.C., public and private stakeholders seized the opportunity to share their challenges and successes in reaching greater energy performance. Among those making strides to improve their energy efficiency were our nation’s cities, and USGBC was there to celebrate their latest achievements.

Here are a few examples from cities we’re proud to count as USGBC members, cities we hope will inspire others to innovate on local energy policy:

  • With the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, Seattlehas amassed a vehicle fleet that will help drive the city in the right direction. Andrea Pratt, Green Fleet Program Manager, shared that of its total fleet of 4,000, Seattle now has 99 battery electric vehicles and 47 plug-in hybrid vehicles. To help sustain this fleet, the city has successfully retrofitted an existing parking garage to include two floors of EV infrastructure.
  • Calling itself “The Green Port,” Long Beach, California, is home to the second busiest port in the U.S. Its Green Port Policy directs the port to incorporate sustainabilityin its development and operations. Richard Cameron, the port’s Managing Director of Planning and Environmental Affairs, spoke on its efforts to quantify and address greenhouse gas emissions. Its Middle Harbor is currently being redeveloped, and once completed in 2018, will reduce air pollution from port-related operations by 50 percent or more at the terminals. The terminal uses zero-emission automated guided vehicles, as well as solar panels, shore-side electrical power for ships and expanded on-dock rail for moving cargo via rail instead of trucks.
  • Travis Sheehan, Senior Infrastructure Advisor at the Boston Planning and Development Agency, discussed Boston’s efforts to adapt to the effects of climate change. The city has taken steps to strengthen its energy resilience to avoid disruptions for its residents. For Boston, a key to making progress in this area is developing public and private partnerships across different industries.

These latest actions are just a snapshot of city leadership in energy performance. These cities have a long history of efforts to address building energy efficiency, with LEED being a part of their toolbox.

Indeed, Seattle, the Port of Long Beach, and Boston each have LEED building policies in place, ensuring that at least some of their buildings meet this standard. In addition, Boston and Seattle are ranked first and third in this year’s ACEEE City Scorecard (Long Beach is not ranked, due to size).


Green building trends in India: 2017

Published on 28 Feb 2017 Written by Taryn Holowka Posted in Industry

On a global scale, green building construction is doubling every three years, according to the World Green Building Trends 2016 report, by Dodge Data and Analytics. Some of the leading drivers of this growth are client demand, environmental regulation and an enhanced awareness of the occupant and tenant benefits of green buildings.

Over the last several years, green building has also seen a dramatic increase in India. USGBC, the developers of the LEED green building program, are committed to advancing even more rapid adoption of green building practices in India. In fact, green building is projected to grow 20 percent in the country by 2018.

India already ranks third among the Top Ten Countries for LEED, and in 2016, nearly 650 projects in India earned LEED certification. Emerging economies such as India are engines of green growth, with development varying from two- to sixfold over current green building levels.

According to a recent USGBC survey, 87 percent of Indian green building professionals anticipate the use of LEED in India increasing overall, with nine out of ten industry senior executives in India anticipating that their LEED-related work will increase over the next several years.

We are very focused on encouraging and growing the green movement in the country and have been preparing for some time:

GBCI India

In 2015 we launched GBCI India, which is a local GBCI hub in New Delhi that is designed to help LEED teams and others in the sustainability industry with on-the-ground customer service and technical support as well as a local connection.


Registration Now Open for Greenbuild 2016

Published on 2 Jun 2016Written by Ashley Katz Posted in Industry

The world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building and design is headed to Los Angeles this Oct. 5–7. With 600 exhibiting companies, 200+ educational sessions, nearly 20,000 colleagues and endless networking opportunities, Greenbuild is shaping up to be iconic.


Greenbuild International Conference and Expo
Expo: Oct. 5–6, Conference: Oct. 5–7
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA

Like iconic screen roles and the Hollywood sign, buildings withstand the test of time. When we think of icons, we conjure up images of people, places and things that withstand the test of time, symbolizing our beliefs, culture and community.

Greenbuild features three groundbreaking days of inspiring speakers, invaluable networking opportunitiesindustry showcasesworkshops and tours of the host city’s green buildings. Join thousands of others who agree that green building is a good idea and good for business.

USGBC members can take advantage of exclusive and discounted registration. Become a member today.

Plan ahead and save. Register before the early bird deadline on August 1.

Ashley Katz

Director of Corporate Communications & Marketing U.S. Green Building Council

Member employees, USGBC staff


USGBC and UVA School of Medicine Awarded 
$1.2 Million Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Published on 14 Jul 2015Written by Aline Peterson Posted in Media

Funds will help advance existing Green Health Partnership, research to promote healthy places

Washington, DC – (July 14, 2015) – USGBC and the University of Virginia School of Medicine (UVA) announced today that they have been awarded a three year, $1.2 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to advance their Green Health Partnership. This research initiative, led by Chris Pyke, Ph.D., (USGBC) and Dr. Matthew Trowbridge (UVA) directly addresses longstanding gaps in the availability of practical tools to promote healthy places.

The development and launch of new tools with the expertise of UVA’s top-ranked School of Medicine, leveraging USGBC’s LEED green building rating system, will support RWJF’s vision for a nation-wide Culture of Health by enabling and incentivizing real estate professionals to participate in broader population health promotion efforts.

“The U.S. Green Building Council is pleased to work with UVA to bring the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s vision for a Culture of Health to the built environment,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “Enhancing human health is a longstanding value of the green building movement, and RWJF’s support allows us to create powerful new tools for project teams and new strategies to effectively engage capital markets.”

This new phase of funding from RWJF will allow the UVA/USGBC Green Health Partnership to focus on developing two complementary sets of tools:

 New tools for green building project teams to create healthy places.

The team will engage with a network of collaborators to create and demonstrate the value of an innovative process for the promotion of public health through the design, construction and operation of green buildings.

 New tools for real estate investors to promote healthy places.

The team will partner with the Amsterdam-based Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) to bring a public health lens to assessments of commercial real estate portfolios.  The goal is to empower institutional investors to pursue health and wellness as investable attributes of real estate in the same way green building allows investment in sustainability performance.

“The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation values the opportunity to continue work with both the UVA School of Medicine and the U.S. Green Building Council to further promote a national Culture of Health,” said Sharon Roerty, RWJF Senior Program Officer. “Partners with influence over the built environment, such as USGBC, combined with the public health expertise of institutions like the University of Virginia, allow us to drive community development that promotes health and well-being at a national scale.”

Aline Peterson

Media & Communications Specialist U.S. Green Building Council

USGBC staff


International Parking Institute and Green Parking Council Collaborate with GBCI, the Certification Body for LEED


Published on 18 Dec 2014Written by Taryn Holowka Posted in Media

New collaboration recognizes importance of sustainable parking facility design and management to the built environment

In recognition of the importance of sustainable parking facilities and practices to the development of sustainable communities, the Green Building Certification Institute(GBCI), the certification body for the U.S. Green Building Council’s global LEED® green building rating system, today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the International Parking Institute(IPI), the world’s largest parking association, and the Green Parking Council (GPC).

“Sustainability in parking is integral to building a greener future, not only structurally, but also by shaping transportation networks that support more livable, walkable communities,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president, GBCI. “This agreement will also expand the GBCI’s portfolio and mission to recognize excellence in green performance and practice.”

The three organizations will work in a strategic partnership for the delivery and promotion of the GPC’s recently launched Green Garage Certification program, which applies to both new and existing parking structures.

Green Garage Certification was developed by experts from a range of related fields, including parking, architecture, engineering, technology, property management, and academia. It assesses 50 elements of parking facility sustainability, including management practices that maximize performance while minimizing waste.

“This is a game-changer,” explained John Schmid, chairman of GPC, an affiliate of IPI. “Collaborating with the GBCI will result in a multiplier effect, dramatically increasing awareness of sustainable parking design, operations, and management.

“With GPC’s Green Garage Certification standards, IPI’s established focus on education related to sustainability, and GBCI’s distribution channels all working in sync, we’re enthusiastic that we can mainstream sustainable parking,” said Shawn Conrad, CAE, IPI’s executive director. “We are confident that will have a positive, far-reaching effect on the environment.”

 Taryn Holowka

Senior Vice President, Marketing, Communications & Advocacy U.S. Green Building Council

Member employees, USGBC staff


Sense and Survivability: How evolution shapes design decisions

Published on 9 Jan 2015Written by Sam Pobst Posted in Education

The 3.8 billion years of evolution of the DNA strand that uniquely identifies the human genome has invested in humanity a host of sensory inputs that are essential to our survival. This distinctive combination of skills has made Homo sapiens the single most efficient predator on the planet. We possess an exceptional set of sensors from which we extract many subtle cues from our environment, providing us with constant reassurance of our safety. If our building designs do not satisfy our innate security interests, then we feel disconnected.

Various theories and hypotheses about the interaction between man, nature, and the built environment have been proposed. Biophilia references the spiritual aspect of a visual contact with nature. Eco-psychology submits that contact with nature extends a bond that provides sensations of harmony, balance, and stability. Environmental psychology addresses the psychological responses we have to environmental stresses, and proponents have performed studies on the effect of the built environment on human behavior.

Humans thrive in many harsh environments from the desert to the arctic. We have designed and built protective shelters unique to each of these environments to facilitate our survival. From these shelters we obtain security, comfort, convenience, and efficiency. The scientific community lists as many as 21 acquired sensory traits in humans, with many appearing to be subsets of the five senses of taste, touch, smell, hearing, and vision. In addition to these five familiar traits, breathing is relevant as a sixth sense as it relates to how we design our buildings.

The need to satisfy these elemental instincts is no more a discussion of nature vs. nurture than learning to cry or breathe is a response to a sharp whack by an obstetrician. Removing your hand from a heat source is not a learned response. The smell of bread baking in the oven is not a learned response. Tastes of bitter, sweet, salty, and sour are not learned, but serve to sharpen our survival skills. Addressing these most basic instincts in our building designs provides for our sense of security.

Each of these six sensory inputs has an impact on how we design and operate our buildings on an elemental level that exceeds what can be derived from a spiritual or psychological influence. As we think of these senses, they are so primal that we are unconscious of their origin and impact. We taste because we have taste receptors, we feel the touch of heat and cold because we have a neuro-chemical response to those influences. We see, hear, and breathe from the moment we are born with no thought to the implications. We have responses to each of these sensory inputs that affect our survival and are hardwired into our essence.

Sam Pobst

Principal Eco Metrics LLC

Pro reviewers, Chapter members, Member employees, USGBC faculty


LEED Certification

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non profit organization that certifies sustainable businesses, homes, hospitals, schools, and neighborhoods. USGBC is dedicated to expanding green building practices and education, and its LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™.

Chemline, Inc. is a member of The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and has the potential to provide LEED points.