16 May USGBC’s Taryn Holowka on the changing state of the green building industry
Senior Vice President, Marketing, Communications & Advocacy USGBC
When I walk around town, I can’t help but notice how many people have their heads buried in their phones. It strikes me just how little interaction people have at times as we sit at the pinnacle of the age of technology. It also makes me remember the importance of connecting with others and getting out there—whether it’s attending a conference, meeting new people at a luncheon, or hearing a new speaker. These events help us learn new skills, get some networking time in, invest in ourselves, and give us a change of scenery.
Every day, USGBC is working to improve the living and working conditions of people. We have spent the last several years growing and expanding the in-person interactions and touchpoints that bring people together. This year alone, Greenbuild, the world’s largest green building conference and expo experience, is taking place in China, Mexico, Brazil, and Europe, in addition to Atlanta here in the U.S. And our regional U.S. events have become the places to connect in individual markets and will offer the opportunity for local leaders to come together and discuss solutions to the biggest problems affecting our society including how sustainable buildings, cities, and communities can positively impact human health and raise the standard of living for everyone. It is a platform to celebrate those who are working to make green buildings, green communities, and green cities for all a reality.
USGBC events, along with our programs, volunteer opportunities, and more, all serve to bring people together. In the last 25 years, we’ve learned something crucial; we will only achieve our mission by bringing people to the table and meeting each individual where they are.
This issue of USGBC+ is about the state of the changing green building industry. In the last several decades, our movement has come so far so fast, and at USGBC we embrace change and we work hard to keep our members and the green building community up to date and informed.
Green building has grown into a global industry with 2.6 million square feet of space LEED certifying every day. This year has already led to new milestones for LEED with the launch of LEED v4.1, which makes LEED the first green performance standard and the most comprehensive, collaborative, accessible, and effective LEED system to date.
In addition, the USGBC community is stepping up with initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, expanding activities that impact human health and well-being, and devising effective solutions to life-threatening challenges in the U.S. and around the globe. LEED v4.1 is our chance to lead the market on all these fronts and will be a preeminent topic at all of our events.
The impact of buildings, cities, and communities on people continues to be a priority for USGBC and for our members across industries. We are expanding our green building efforts to ensure LEED is not only the de facto leadership standard, but also the foremost living standard. And we will continue to explore the latest and greatest green building trends and innovations.
In this issue, we profile cultural firebrand Dr. Leyla Acaroglu who provided the keynote at this year’s Greenbuild Europe. This issue also highlights members like GAF and designer and green building advocate Annette Stelmack. These are the voices of our community, and we strive to bring them to you in this magazine, and at our regional and global events throughout the year.
The state of the green building and sustainability market is ever-changing and holds immense promise for continued positive impact on our world’s most overwhelming challenges. To all the readers of USGBC+ and our USGBC members, I encourage you to look beyond these pages and seek new ways to engage with others in 2019. Join a USGBC event or committee, host a Green Apple Day of Service Project, or bring people together in your office for an in person training with a member of the USGBC Faculty.
Here’s hoping our spring issue inspires you to reach for new heights.