From USGBC: Exploring the benefits of green buildings near and far

Stefanie Young

VP, Technical Solutions, USGBC

With summer in full swing, it’s time to explore. Sometimes exploration takes us far from home, into the mountains or to the ocean. A sense of adventure and curiosity can take us to a new city or call us back to a place we’ve already been for a second look. Some of the best adventures can take place in our own backyards, or between the covers of a magazine. In this issue of USGBC+, we are excited to take you on a journey through both familiar and uncharted territory.

Over the past several months, in my capacity as technical solutions lead for USGBC, I have joined our president and CEO, Mahesh Ramanujam, on a whirlwind tour of the U.S., delivering LEED v4.1 education across the country. We have presented more than a dozen workshops on the rating system, and we’ve met and engaged with more than 250 LEED users. As I’ve traveled from state to state, I’ve been reminded of the many destinations and attractions that have embraced LEED over the years, several of which are profiled in our feature article.

From zoos and aquariums, to theatres and museums, LEED works for every space type, improving the environmental performance and human experience of every project. LEED-certified attractions are everywhere. Some are more famous than others, but all are inspiring. Now is as good a time as any to explore the LEED projects in your own neighborhood, or to add a few stops to your next trip.

Apart from travel, summer is a time for growth and preparation, two themes I see in our articles on California and Hawaii. Both states face unique challenges because of their geography and climate, but each state is embracing innovative solutions to ensure the health, safety, and prosperity of their populations for generations to come.

As a native of California, witnessing the devastation the wildfires have brought to my home state has been heartbreaking. As California’s wildfire season stretches to encompass most of the calendar year, the need for places of refuge with excellent indoor air quality will only increase. LEED buildings can offer sanctuary.

Beyond being temporary places of respite, LEED buildings can also be the place we come home to at the end of a journey. My home is LEED Certified, as is my neighborhood, and knowing this gives me confidence that where I choose to live is a part of the solution to so many of our environmental and societal problems.

All of this underscores something we know to be true: Green buildings are all about people. They can keep us safe and healthy in the face of poor conditions, even as they work to improve our natural environment. They can play host to activities and attractions that delight and educate us, even as they reduce our footprint. They can be our own personal retreat from the world—our home and our platform for the betterment of our community.

No matter where you live or where you roam in the summer months, there is almost certainly something interesting going on with green building nearby. In the spirit of summer, may this issue of USGBC+ inspire you to explore, grow, and prepare for great things ahead.


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Current Issue

From USGBC: Exploring the benefits of green buildings near and farRead more
LEED in your backyard: Sustainable summer vacation destinations in the U.S.Read more
Hawaii: A model state for a sustainable and independent economyRead more
From high-performance buildings to AI technology, California is a hotbed for emerging resilience strategiesRead more
Marriott’s sustainability and social impact program aims for large-scale changeRead more
Chris Ladner, LEED Fellow, puts Arkansas on the sustainability mapRead more
Interface calls for industry collaboration to address embodied carbonRead more
Taipei 101 Tower pushes new heights for super-tall buildings and sustainable artRead more
In conversation with Skanska USA’s Chief Sustainability Officer Elizabeth HeiderRead more
Introducing a new way to test your knowledge of the stories and strategies presented in...Read more

Previous Issues

USGBC’s Taryn Holowka on the changing state of the green building industryRead more
Building a sustainability-fluent workforce for Tennessee’s construction sectorRead more
Unveiling RELi 2.0: piloting a new standard for sustainability, resilienceRead more
Advancing healthy interiors with LEED v4.1Read more
Solving for the first/last mile: micro-mobility looks to bridge city transportation gapsRead more
Embracing disruptive design with Leyla AcarogluRead more
The rise of distributed energy: what it means for utilities, consumers and green infrastructureRead more
How LEED Fellow Dana Kose got her unexpected startRead more
Austin storage facility becomes first of its kind to achieve LEED PlatinumRead more
Interview with Bill Browning, partner at Terrapin Bright GreenRead more
Introducing a new way to test your knowledge of the stories and strategies presented in...Read more
LEED’s broad applicability in Europe: from Sweden, to Italy to GermanyRead more
UN Young Leader Karan Jerath on climate changeRead more
LEED Cities shun a one-size-fits all approach to sustainabilityRead more
Schools worldwide achieve sustainability goals through data, experiential learningRead more
What’s next for LEED: v4.1, recertification and LEED ZeroRead more
The four commandments of sustainable co-working spacesRead more
We are still in: USGBC reports back on progress toward Paris commitmentsRead more
LEED’s broad applicability in Europe: from Sweden, to Italy to GermanyRead more
Moving the needle with longtime sustainability leader and LEED Fellow Mary Ann LazarusRead more
The Space Needle completes first phase of Century ProjectRead more
Interview with Dave Witek, COO of Arc Skoru, IncRead more
USGBC’s Mahesh Ramanujam: The future of the human race is intertwined with the planetRead more
The Windy City embraces its environmental legacy ahead of Greenbuild 2018Read more
Interface’s Climate Take Back Initiative Aims to Reverse Global Warming, One Tile at a...Read more
EPA grants millions in funding to research green building impacts on health, performance in schoolsRead more
Survey says: Employees are happier, healthier and more productive in LEED buildings Read more
Eternally green: Bala Cynwyd cemetery achieves SITES certification for sustainable landscape design Read more
A look at how McDonald’s, Bank of America, and Colgate-Palmolive are advancing UN SDGs...Read more
New York native Harry Gordon: Architect, advocate and green building legendRead more
New USGBC-commissioned case study examines Boston’s resilience, emergency preparednessRead more
Chicago’s theMART leverages the Arc platform as it eyes a new LEED certificationRead more
Interview with Wight and Company’s chief sustainability officer Lois Vitt SaleRead more
NYC chief sustainability officer talks energy innovation in the Big AppleRead more
Costa Rica’s LEED-certified Olas Verdes surf hotel gives local community an economic boostRead more
As South Africa’s water crisis continues, the nation’s building industry pushes for conservation...Read more
A new wave of activists and businesses is tackling food waste worldwideRead more
The tiny house movement goes mobile in Florida with help from volunteers Read more
NYU Langone Health overhauls its power system, emphasizing resilience using PEERRead more
Intel, Autodesk making inroads in industry, innovation and infrastructure Read more
LEED pilot credit for building materials helps clarify potential health, safety and environmental impacts Read more
Kath Williams: A self-proclaimed 'old-fashioned' Montana girl’s journey into sustainabilityRead more
Go inside the LEED Platinum home of actor and activist Ed Begley Jr.Read more
Interview with Lance Hosey, architect and LEED FellowRead more
Mayor Bowser’s vision for a green D.C.Read more
Industry leaders sound off on the trajectory of the U.S. green building marketRead more
New streamlining for building code makes it easier to achieve green projectsRead more
Designing for human health is the next frontier in sustainable buildingRead more
Educators eye green building strategies to enhance K-12 curriculum, career preparationRead more
Saint Paul is on the cutting edge of decarbonizationRead more
MARS tackles quality of life challenges for farmers in alignment with U.N. Sustainable Development...Read more
For schools, net zero energy design provides more than cost-saving benefitsRead more
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has been in existence for 25 years, and Leadership...Read more
High-performing, energy-efficient homes dominate millennial real estate marketRead more
Interview with Emily Pilloton, Founder and Executive Director, Project H Design/Girls GarageRead more
USGBC’s certification programs encourage innovation in sustainability on a much broader scale than ever...Read more
In coastal Vina del Mar, the fuel and energy company COPEC SA is working with...Read more
Mirabella, a new community in Florida, creates 158 sustainable houses specified to USGBC’s highest standards.Read more
LEED On letter from Rep. Chris LeeRead more
HP creates a breathtaking and sustainable landscape for its Boise campusRead more
Toyota’s new Lone Star State headquarters showcases the company’s singular vision of sustainabilityRead more
Rhode Island takes another huge step toward expanding its green infrastructureRead more
Q & A with Andy To, managing director of GBCI North AsiaRead more