The USGBC is a concensus-based organization that works to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built, and operated. It’s behind the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) system, which is a national benchmark for energy-efficient, green buildings. It’s important to be congnizant of the fact that LEED buildings can come in different shades of green, but even the lowest level, or "Certified" buildings, are environmental leaders. David Gottfried is the founder of the USGBC and the World Green Building Council. His career began as a successful real estate developer in Washington D.C., and he had a green epiphany while working on the Environmental Defense Fund’s Washington office. His transformation from the developer to the green developer is the primary story of his memoir "Greed to Green." I read an article about Gottfried and thought I would share some of his notable quotes.
- Green Yourself First – "the key to the green-building movement is not LEED or technology; it’s people. If we’re going to green this world we have to green ourselves, and we can’t lose sight of that."
- Watch Al Gore’s Movie – "wake up to the fact that climate change is real and the biggest challenge facing humanity in the short term."
- Green Buildings Are A Solution – "buildings consume 70% of the electricity in the US. That’s an environmental argument, but from a financial basis green buildings make more money, save expenses and have a higher value."
- Get Smart About Your Buildings – "your assets will be devalued if they’re energy hogs, water inefficient, or toxic inside."
- Green Buildings Are Green Opportunities – "this is about economics. The fastest-growing sector of the building industry, which is a $3 trillion industry globally, is green building."
The article also mentioned Gottfried’s personal green standard, which he developed called the "Life Balance Sheet" or "Leed-life." It’s a 100-point system with Certified at 60, Silver at 70, Gold at 80, and Platinum at 90+. In the beginning, he only scored a 53, but now he fluctuates between 70 and 84, depending on a variety of factors. I couldn’t find the standard online, so I think it is in his book (if only Amazon had a copy!). Good luck, I hope we can all live Platinum LEED-life lives!
Igniting the Spark by Christina Koch [PDF – Eco-structure]