This Issue

local pulse

Q&A with George Bandy, Jr.

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="50"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="23232" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_single_image image="23474" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1481231070127{margin-top: 20px !important;}"]George Bandy, Jr. serves as vice president of sustainability for Mohawk Group, a leading commercial flooring company. George is responsible for managing the comprehensive concepts and practices of sustainability for Mohawk. He identifies opportunities to position environmental, economic, and socially responsible solutions for both the organization and its customers. Illustration by: Tristan Chace[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]Q.What is your greatest fear? Not living up to my full potential Q.Which historical figure do you most identify with? George Washington Carver Q.Which living person do you most admire? My father…George Bandy, Sr. Q.What is your greatest extravagance? Haberdashery Q.What is your favorite journey? To Opelika, Alabama to see my family Q.What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Good looks (LOL) Q.Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Expeditiously Q.What is your greatest regret? That my grandparents are not here to see the things they saw in me “come to pass” Q.Which talent would you most like to have? The ability to sing Q.What do you consider your greatest achievement? The birth of my children Q.If you were to die and come back as one person, who do you think it would be? The President Q.If you could choose what to come back as one...

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Q&A with Kevin Hydes

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="50"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="22812" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_single_image image="22814" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1474307501535{margin-top: 20px !important;}"]Kevin is internationally recognized for his contributions to the building industry. He is an innovator, pioneer, and green business leader, creating transformative strategies. Illustration by: Tristan Chace [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]Q.What is your greatest fear? My biggest fear is that we get ahead of ourselves in the green building industry with our successes and think the job is done. We have a long way to go and as a great man once said after winning a famous battle, “This is not the end. This is not even the beginning of the end. Rather the end of the beginning.” Q.Which living person do you most admire? President Clinton. He takes on the world’s greatest challenges—AIDS epidemic, climate change—with unique approaches to harnessing global collaboration with business and leadership. Q.What is your greatest extravagance? My Tesla. I love the vote of confidence in the future that Tesla represents and the world of EV [electric vehicles] and renewable transport. The leather is nice, but maybe I should have gone with standard upholstery. Q.What is your favorite journey? Driving up Highway 1 in California with my family—the ocean on one side and...

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Q&A with Dagmar Epsten

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="50"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="22475" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text] Illustration by Melissa McGill [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_single_image image="22476" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1469042041186{margin-top: 20px !important;}"]Dagmar B. Epsten is the founder and owner of Epsten Group. In its 25-year history, Epsten Group has grown to a 55-person multidisciplinary architecture and building consulting firm with an international reach and a broad range of services including sustainable design, energy optimization, building commissioning, and LEED consultant services. Epsten is a founding member of the USGBC Atlanta chapter and served on the Board of Directors for Green Chamber of the South.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]Q.How have you seen innovation evolve since the company’s beginnings in 1991? I have seen sustainability and LEED evolve into a key driver of innovation. In the early 1990s, manufacturers were working on carpet recycling, and now sustainability has created defining criteria for how to organize business models, supply chains, and the design, construction, and operation of buildings. The attention given to life-cycle analysis and data from measuring and projecting a building’s impact on the environment has heightened the urgency of innovation. The innovation that comes from the desire to create sustainable environments is a tangible objective, connected with everyone’s personal experience as well...

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Q&A with Alex Liftman

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="50"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="22194" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text] Illustration by Melissa McGill [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_single_image image="22192" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1462470713339{margin-top: 20px !important;}"]As Global Environmental Executive for Bank of America, Alex Liftman is responsible for the company’s environmental sustainability strategy. She oversees the bank’s aggressive operational goals, its environmental business initiative, and its policy positions and philanthropic investments.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]Q.What is the Catalytic Finance Initiative? The Catalytic Finance Initiative (CFI) is a multipartner collaboration launched in September 2014 by Bank of America. The goal of the initiative is to stimulate at least $10 billion of new investment into high-impact, yet hard to finance, clean-energy and sustainability projects. The initiative is focused on developing or advancing innovative financing structures that reduce investment risk, and thereby attract a broader range of institutional investors to these projects. Bank of America began the initiative with a $1 billion capital commitment and asked others to join. Q.What are the main goals of the Initiative? The goal of the CFI is to demonstrate how we can accelerate and scale up investment into high-impact clean energy projects by making it easier for larger amounts of capital to be mobilized and invested. In general, we expect CFI to focus...

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Q&A with Libby Schaaf

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="50"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="21876" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text] Illustration by Melissa McGill [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_single_image image="21875" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1458589799748{margin-top: 20px !important;}"]Mayor Libby Schaaf was inaugurated Oakland, California’s 50th mayor on January 5, 2015. She is committed to revitalization that preserves and celebrates Oakland’s diversity and leads to direct prosperity for long-time residents and newcomers. Her four areas of focus as mayor are holistic community safety, responsive trustworthy government, sustainable vibrant infrastructure, and equitable jobs and housing.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]Q.What are some of the threats of climate change to the city of Oakland? As a waterfront city, Oakland is threatened by sea level rise. Our airport, seaport, and low-lying neighborhoods are all at risk as sea levels rise and tidal and storm influences change. In addition, climate models predict more intense droughts and storms, which will affect our entire community as wildfires and floods grow stronger and more damaging. However, the most critical threat that Oakland faces is the impact of climate justice. Ensuring that the City can protect the lives, homes, and well-being of our most vulnerable community members in the face of a changing environment is key to our sustainability strategy. Q.Who will be most affected? Communities of...

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Q&A with Katherine Hammack

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="50"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="21533" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text] Illustration by Melissa McGill [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_single_image image="21531" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1454011306345{margin-top: 20px !important;}"]The Honorable Katherine Hammack was appointed the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment (ASA IE&E) by President Obama on June 28, 2010. She is the primary advisor to the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of the Army on all Army matters related to installation policy, oversight, and coordination of energy security and management. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]Q.What are some of your responsibilities in your role with the U.S. Army? As the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, I am responsible for policy and oversight of sustainability and environmental initiatives; resource management, including design, military construction, operations, and maintenance; base realignment and closure (BRAC); privatization of Army family housing, lodging, real estate, and utilities; and the Army’s installations safety and occupational health programs. Q.What has been your greatest achievement in your 5 years in this position? I am proud to lead a team to establish the Army’s Net Zero program, publish a comprehensive Energy Security and Sustainability Strategy and create the Office of Energy Initiatives (OEI). The Net Zero Strategy is the...

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Q&A with Kevin Kampschroer

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="50"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="21130" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text] Illustration by Melissa McGill [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_single_image image="21128" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1446143439697{margin-top: 20px !important;}"]Kevin Kampschroer created the framework for which GSA responds to the challenges of greenhouse gas emissions reductions and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s mandate to move GSA’s Federal building inventory toward high-performance green buildings.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]Q.When did you take over as the GSA Federal Director? I have been the Federal Director for the GSA Office of Federal High Performance Green Buildings since the office’s inception in March, 2008. The Office was created by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Q.What are the sustainability goals of the General Services Administration (GSA)? GSA set goals for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, building energy efficiency, water efficiency, renewable energy use, percentage of green buildings, and GHG per mile for fleet. We benchmark these goals (and their sub-goals) across the Federal government. For example, one sub-goal is purchasing a certain percentage of alternative-fuel and electric vehicles. Another is conducting energy audits every four years on each of GSA’s larger buildings. Over the last 10 years, GSA reduced the energy intensity of our portfolio by 32 percent, and we’ve set a goal of another 25 percent...

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Q&A with Pepper Smith

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="50"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="20691" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text] llustration by Melissa McGill [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_single_image image="20690" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1443190217194{margin-top: 20px !important;}"]Pepper Smith joined Davis Energy Group in 2007, managing the residential sustainability consulting and programs group including LEED for Homes, Enterprise Communities, Green Point Rated, and other verification programs. Currently, she is the company’s director of sustainability. She is also the current chair of the GreenBuild Program Working Group and has sat on a number of national USGBC committees. Pepper also taught LERN online courses offered at colleges around the world and at UC Berkeley Extension in their Sustainable Building Certificate Program.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]Q.How did you get involved in LEED for Homes Provider program? I started working on LEED for Homes in 2005 as a production builder where we built one of the first LEED Homes in the country. When I came onboard with Davis Energy Group in 2007, they were already a LEED for Homes Provider (one of the original 12), and I manage that providership. Q.How are you educating homebuilders on the value of LEED? Every meeting we have with homebuilders, we discuss green building in general as we gauge where they are on the green building programs ladder. This...

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Q&A with Mark Ginsberg

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="50"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="20293" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text] Illustration by Melissa McGill [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_single_image image="20296" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1437073949913{margin-top: 20px !important;}"]Mark Ginsberg founded Ginsberg Green Strategies in January 2012 to consult on Eco-Cities, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. In Fall 2012, the U.S. Green Building Council designated Ginsberg as the first USGBC senior fellow, where he serves as a senior policy advisor and Ambassador. Prior to that, he served as a senior executive at the U.S. Department of Energy for 20 years and the Arizona Energy Office for 10 years. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]Q.What is most remarkable about LEED’s trajectory? It still stuns me to see how far and wide LEED has grown in so little time. When Rob Watson first came to me with the idea for a green building rating system–and the hopeful promise of a full turnkey effort for just $100,000!– I could never have envisioned it being used in 150 countries with over 13 billion square feet of space rated. From a few early federal buildings and industry leaders, it amazes me to see iconic buildings like the Empire State Building, Shanghai Tower, TAIPEI 101 and Carpe Diem in Paris all LEED rated. The 2002 Olympic Oval Building...

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Q&A with Helen Kessler

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="50"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="19825" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text] Illustration by Melissa McGill [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_single_image image="19828" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1430494071011{margin-top: 20px !important;}"]Helen is addicted to continuous learning, has been a leader of green building projects for over 30 years, and currently runs a sustainability consulting practice that focuses on green building, LEED, and energy efficiency. She is a past USGBC Illinois Chapter Board member and has received numerous awards, including the chapter’s prestigious “Intent to Matter” and Chapter Leader awards. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]Q.How and why did you get into green building and LEED? My final project in architecture school in the mid 1970s was a solar house and my first job after graduation included doing research on passive solar heating and cooling systems and designing passive homes. In 1991, I became deeply involved with the nascent American Institute of Architects Chicago Committee on the Environment. At the time, I was consulting on energy efficiency and lighting design projects. As a committee, we actively debated green building and, more than anything, we wanted to work on a green building project. Eventually we had the opportunity to work on the first municipal LEED Platinum project in the country. Q.What is the coolest project you’ve worked...

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