The USGBC’s Earth Day Challenge


Everyone has something to say on Earth Day, and that’s not all that bad.  We’re going to keep the noise to a minimum, but here’s the thing:  A good Earth Day experiment just might lead to greater commitment, so why not give this one day a shot?  The USGBC sent out an email with an Earth Day challenge that may pay dividends long after this day is over …

In today’s email, Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO, and founding chair of the USGBC, reminds us that existing residential and commercial buildings need renovating.  He says, “there are more than 120 million energy hogs out there that need to be retrofitted for high performance.  It could save more than $160 billion in energy costs, and it could put our industry and a lot of other people back to work.

All sorts of players (including the FBI and the William J. Clinton Presidential Center) are working on green renovations and energy-efficient retrofits — plus the government is shedding major dollars to encourage this kind of activity.

So Mr. Fedrizzi continues with the USGBC’s Earth Day Challenge:

I’d like to challenge each and every member of USGBC to identify an existing building within your own portfolio to green. Start with the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance checklist, identify the low-cost/no-cost improvements, and get on the path to greater gains. Adobe Systems Inc. is saving $1.2 million annually and getting a 121% ROI on their commitment to green operations and maintenance. How much can you put back in your bottom line?

There you have it.  With over 20,000 member organizations and over 100,000 LEED APs, this challenge has the potential to be huge.

Photo credit: Clinton Library by GroWild.

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  • Portland Real Estate

    Thanks for the post. I really hope that people jump on the bandwagon now, the faster you get your simple checklist done to save energy, the faster you and the rest of the world can start reaping the rewards.

  • vincetastic

    Kudos to Mr. Fedrizzi, this is great stuff, thanks for the post. Earth Day should be everyday, it is good that there is at least one day to spread awareness. Here are some suggestions on what you can do to help the Earth:, you can add your own suggestions.

  • Anonymous

    With this economic downturn, LEED registrations are expected to decline. Therefore please find USGBC some new revenue sources, by digging deep and renovating buildings whether it meets your organization’s needs or not.

    This has a three-fold benefit. Your organization gets a fancified building, it stimulates the economy and USGBC makes lots of money (and Mr. Fedrizzi gets a big bonus!!!). Oops that’s 4 benefits.

    P.S. Don’t forget to send your registration fee, certification fee, appeals fees, and CIR fees to USGBC.

    $$ $$

    • Preston

      We’re not opposed to making money on this website, but in fairness to Rick Fedrizzi, he never asks anyone to actually go through the LEED EBOM certification process. He says to use the checklist, cherry pick the investments with a quick payback, and move forward. What’s wrong with that?

      • Anonymous

        Just to premise my response I think Earth Day is a joke. Only one day each year for our planet? Every day, is Earth Day to me.

        I don’t have a problem with making money. I think it’s swell. I do think that building codes should not be in the hands of private firms with motives and operations that are not exactly transparent. With more jurisdictions including a requirement for LEED certification into their building codes, that places too much power in the hands of USGBC.

        When SMACNA or ASHRAE standards are incorporated into building codes, the code officials verify compliance and special fees are not paid to SMACNA or ASHRAE.

        Until USGBC develops standards, and releases them for inclusion into building codes, without the requirement of outside fees and certifications, I will question what they are doing.


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