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School Sustainability Leaders Summit: Days Two & Three

July 3, 2012
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Note: This blog was originally posted on the Verdis Group blog.

I’m on the plane headed home from D.C. after a torrid and invigorating few days at the USGBC’s School Sustainability Leaders Summit. My mind is simultaneously racing and completely at ease. Yes, I know that sounds a little impossible. Let me explain.

Mind Status: Racing
Why: Opportunity Overload?

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All I Ever Needed to Know About Bike Safety I Learned in Germany

July 2, 2012
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Guttentag!

Five years ago, in preparation to lead USGBC’s green school efforts, I spent three months working alongside a wonderful born and educated German, Anja Caldwell, who at the time was the green building program manager for Montgomery County Public Schools. In this field, Anja was a pioneer and visionary, and she never missed an opportunity to remind me that all she really needed to know she learned in Germany.

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Green Building Facts

July 1, 2012
Authored by: 
Ashley Katz
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MARKET IMPACT

By 2015, an estimated 40-48% of new nonresidential construction by value will be green, equating to a $120-145 billion opportunity1

U.S. respondents to a 2012 international survey projected that 58% of their building activities in 2015 would be green2

More than 2.8 billion square feet of building space are LEED-certified (as of January 1, 2014)

41% of all nonresidential building starts in 2012 were green, as compared to 2% of all nonresidential building starts in 2005.3

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A Story of Stone Soup

June 29, 2012

Let me tell you a story of stone soup. You know, the fable where a drifter shows up with a stone and a pot, fills it with water just outside of town, then sighs and remarks that the soup would be so much better with carrots. A townsperson is gleeful that they have carrots and they go get them and add them to the soup. “Sigh, this would be so much better with some meat”…enter another townsperson, eager to contribute. My husband thinks this is a scam – the guy shows up with nothing and cons meat and veggies out of the townspeople.

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Occupant Empowerment: Creating a Culture of Sustainability with LEED

June 29, 2012
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Less power, more occupant empowerment. Photo credit: Public Domain Photos

I hear people say it all the time: “Buildings don’t use energy, people do.” So then I ask myself: Why has the idea of engaging with building occupants fallen by the wayside?...Despite the fact that it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to minimize energy consumption and save money? I wish I could provide a simple answer to that question, but the reality is that influencing occupants to modify their behavior to meet the sustainability goals of a building and/or an organization is far from straightforward.

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What Will You Do @ Greenbuild 2012?

June 28, 2012
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In 2004 I joined the U.S. Green Building Council and attended my first Greenbuild in Portland. Nine years later, I’m excited to return to the West Coast for Greenbuild 2012, being held in San Francisco from November 14-16.

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Hospitality Development Update: Moving Towards LEED

June 28, 2012
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Courtyard Marriott in Portland, Ore.

Green construction starts have increased by 50% in the past two years, and now represent 25% of all new construction today, according to a study by McGraw Hill. Green and sustainable construction initially had a slow start for the hospitality industry, but now seem to be gaining momentum. Today, there are 141 LEED-certified hotels and nearly 1,200 more that are registered with the intent to certify upon completion.

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Tokyo’s Urban Cap and Trade for Commercial Buildings Sees Huge Success in First Year of Operation

June 26, 2012
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Me with Yuko Nishida, planner, Bureau of Environment Metropolitan Government of
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Tens of thousands of delegates from diverse backgrounds and geographical regions convened in Rio to protect the future we want through sustainable development policy. While progress was made on the negotiating text, few are satisfied with the level of commitments and accountability from national governments. However, the news from Rio isn’t entirely bleak. Subnational governments are leap-frogging the unambitious goals of national governments to realize their own goals of urban sustainability.

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U.S. Green Building Council - Long Island Chapter
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