This Issue

2015 January-February

Raising the Bar

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="18578" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="18579" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text]By Daniel Overbey A new partnership between the USGBC and UL sheds light on product transparency. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1" css=".vc_custom_1424113776341{margin-top: 25px !important;margin-bottom: 25px !important;}"][vc_single_image image="18582" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full" alignment="center"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1424114062714{margin-top: 10px !important;}"]Mikhail Davis, director of restorative enterprise at Interface, explains it was not until the company adopted a life-cycle approach to sustainability that the true impacts of Interface's products could be understood. Photo: Huntsman Architecture[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] [dropcaps type='normal' color='' background_color='' border_color='']I[/dropcaps]t has been 15 years since the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) launched the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system. That first year, 51 projects participated. Today, LEED is the most widely recognized green building program in the world, guiding the design, construction, operations, and maintenance of over 68,000 projects globally. With the emergence of LEED, USGBC’s mission of market transformation took the first steps toward realization. Credits for single-attribute building products featuring recycled content, certified wood, or regional sourcing prompted manufacturers to not just divulge such characteristics about their products, but also to make the information easy to find. Today, manufacturers of building products routinely offer lists of green attributes through convenient resources. As the...

Read More

Taking Shape

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="18598" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] The USGBC’s Texas Gulf Coast Chapter is making inroads into middle-class green living.   By Kiley Jacques   [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_single_image image="18620" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=".vc_custom_1424119896533{margin-top: 25px !important;}" row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="15"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]Since 2008, U. S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) Texas Gulf Coast Chapter board chair, Sergio Grado, has been promoting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes in Houston. Grado, owner of GradCo Structures and Homes—a construction company specializing in green building—has made it his mission to push LEED certification toward the mainstream. He feels most green efforts are made in either low-income sectors or among affluent homeowners. According to Grado, multifamily, section eight, or million-plus-dollar homes are more likely to be LEED certified than are those belonging to the middle class. “That’s where the bulk of the activity is being seen right now,” notes Grado. The other arm of the effort is in the military, which is building LEED-certified army barracks and homes. But he and board members Paul Vanderwal and Michael Martin, among others, are working to change that. “Here in Houston, we are trying to spotlight those builders who have taken it upon themselves to [construct] super energy-efficient homes,”...

Read More

Product Innovation

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="18627" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="30" padding_bottom="30"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text] Whole Trees Architecture & Structures WholeTrees uses whole diameter tree trunks and unwanted branched timbers that would otherwise be removed from routine forest thinning (such as fallen or diseased trees) to create structural building solutions. What results is round-timber: a sustainable, cost-effective alternative to steel, concrete and heavy timber products. Round-timber uses less than one-fifth of the energy required to make conventional lumber. It’s 50 percent stronger in bending strength than comparably sized squared timbers and typically costs less to install than other materials and is more light weight, reducing the need for foundation capacity. Round-timber helps earn points in green building rating systems, including up to 10 LEED points (v 4.0), and comply with international and state building codes. For more information on using WholeTrees products, visit www.wholetrees.com or call 608/310-5282. Whole Trees LLC www.wholetrees.com [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text] Solarban® z75 Solarban® z75 glass provides a steel-blue/gray appearance with an exceptional 0.24 SHGC in a standard one-inch IGU. Similar in appearance to Solarban z50 glass, the coating on Solarban z75 glass provides an added level of solar performance, giving architects two options for neutral cool-gray glass that is optimized to...

Read More

Q&A

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="50"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="18659" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_single_image image="18655" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1424124156255{margin-top: 20px !important;}"]Greg is a proven leader in managing complex design, construction, and operations projects with a focus on measuring performance and building team capacity. He has 18 years experience in environmental science and engineering and the building performance analysis. He is a principal with and president of Altura in Irvine, California.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]Q.What are some of the big changes are you seeing in the market right now? With buildings and real estate, we are seeing the financial markets begin to take a larger role in driving green building performance. Investors are seeking companies that can demonstrate better environmental sustainability metrics than their competitors. And the evaluation of these metrics is becoming more quantitative and sophisticated. As a result, there is a growing paradigm of not only being capable of reporting portfolio environmental performance and carbon emissions but also showing concrete evidence of how you are valuing environmental risk and what projects you are undertaking to position that portfolio for a changing climate. Q.What are some new green building innovations? New software ventures are looking to leverage data and the Internet into the green building market...

Read More

Leading the Way

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="18466" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/4"][vc_single_image image="18470" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Mahesh Ramanujam Chief Operating Officer, USGBC, president, GBCI [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="3/4"][vc_column_text] [dropcaps type='normal' color='' background_color='' border_color='']T[/dropcaps]he U. S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has been established for 22 years, and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for 15. As we travel around the globe, we hear one consistent message from our leaders: “USGBC is leading the way.” LEED, our tool for market transformation, is used in more than 150 countries and has helped create a trillion dollar industry. USGBC and LEED continue to serve as inspiration for many green building councils and green building rating systems around the world. USGBC has been able to realize this phenomenal success by associating equal emphasis on the development and implementation of LEED. While USGBC focused on the development aspects of LEED, Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) began focusing completely and singularly on LEED implementation in 2008. In the past six years, GBCI has accelerated the growth, adoption, and implementation of LEED. From my past experience with IBM and Lenovo, I know very well that to stay relevant in today’s global landscape, an organization must focus and scale its core competency....

Read More

Vision Quest

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="18059" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="18476" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Mary Grauerholz Chairman of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Michael Roizen is a champion of good health practices.   Whether he is writing a best-selling book, creating an Emmy award-winning project, or developing a new patent, Dr. Michael Roizen projects his unique vision of wellness with a ferocious, forward-driving energy. In a world bursting with diet and exercise books, the former anesthesiologist, with his rational, uplifting philosophy, is winning over a worldwide audience hungry for guidance on health and well-being. But much of Roizen’s most influential work is done in a quieter arena, as the chairman of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic and the clinic’s chief wellness officer, teaching companies and other communities how to establish and sustain health. For individuals, the heart of Roizen’s optimistic message is not just in adopting healthy habits—it is also developing a new way of thinking. “The key is to have a purpose and passion in life, so that everything is fun,” Roizen[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2" css=".vc_custom_1424103118408{margin-top: 15px !important;margin-bottom: 15px !important;}"][vc_single_image image="18478" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1424103056831{margin-top: 10px !important;}"]Dr. Michael Roizen is transforming the way Cleveland Clinic employees think about wellness.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]says. “You...

Read More

Transforming Markets

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17498" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="18523" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text]By Jeff Harder Benchmarking sustainability is a win-win for global real estate investors.   [dropcaps type='normal' color='' background_color='' border_color='']T[/dropcaps]he sustainability performance of portfolios has been an area of increasing focus within the global real estate investment sphere. That’s not entirely surprising, considering the impacts buildings can have on the bottom line: Energy efficiency can lead to lower operating costs, vulnerability to extreme weather can mean financial disaster, and bill-paying tenants are increasingly demanding features that promote health and provide superior experience. “One way or another, green building information is relevant to investors,” says Chris Pyke, chief operating officer of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark, also known as GRESB. “How they embed this information into their decision-making is an evolving process, but there’s a global consensus that this information should be on hand.” [caption id="attachment_18531" align="alignleft" width="600"] The Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) applies sustainability metrics across real estate portfolios of residential and commercial buildings. [/caption] That’s where GRESB, an organization that merged with the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) last October, comes in. GRESB applies sustainability metrics across real estate portfolios of multiple—and, in some...

Read More

Greater Good

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="18094" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="18539" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text]By Jeff Harder LEED steps into the arena of social equity with its newly launched pilot credits.   [dropcaps type='normal' color='' background_color='' border_color='']W[/dropcaps]hat if a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified building was as much a benefit to the people living and working around the block as it was to the people on the top floor? What if the workers who built it moved on with new skills and brighter prospects for the future? What if the building used ethically produced materials from the ground up? What if LEED buildings, beyond being healthy and environmentally sound places to live and work, were bona fide forces for social good? With the recent launch of LEED’s Social Equity Pilot Credits, those hypotheticals are beginning to seem a little more real. The set of three one-point credits—Social Equity Within the Community, the Project Team, and [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2" css=".vc_custom_1424112241040{margin-top: 10px !important;margin-bottom: 10px !important;}"][vc_single_image image="18542" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]Chicago’s Town Hall Apartments may be among the first projects to fit the criteria of LEED's social equity credits. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]the Supply Chain—accounts for the social impacts of building design and construction with a focus that the LEED...

Read More