Monday, October 13, 2008

LEED 2009

In order to remain relevant in a rapidly changing market, technology must evolve; LEED, as a market transformation instrument, is no different. The suite of LEED Green Building Rating Systems has enjoyed remarkable and unprecedented growth as the building industry has sought to engage with its concepts and technical criteria. LEED has been an incontrovertible success as a tool to promote market transformation and recognize buildings with exemplary green pedigrees. As of May 1, 2008, 3.5+ billion square feet of building projects (10,000+ individual projects) have registered intent to seek LEED certification with dozens more signing up every day. LEED's rapid success presents its stewards, the USGBC membership, with an opportunity to advance the system to ensure that future buildings certified under its criteria are even greener than the stock in the pipeline to date.

LEED has always existed and enjoyed unparalleled success, in part, due to its ability to operate in the dynamic tension between the pursuit of environmental excellence and the business realities of buildings industry. While the urgency of pending environmental crises that face the coming generations weighs heavily on all of us, there is recognition that LEED cannot completely forsake market uptake for environmental priorities. Issues like global climate change may be the most urgent and dire social equity issues that we have ever faced, and they demand immediate, effective action. In spite of this knowledge, we also acknowledge that no transformation is catalyzed if the bar set by LEED is unachievable in the context of existing technological and economic boundaries.

Continuing to strike the optimal balance between market uptake and technical advancement is one of the driving forces behind the LEED 2009 work. Additionally, much has been invested in the current LEED system and, as a direct result, a concerted effort has been made to ensure that LEED 2009 capitalizes on the existing market momentum.

Read complete summary (in PDF)...

Presidential Candidates on the Environment

The election is right around the corner. We thought we would take some time to outline each of the presidential candidates approach to the environment.

Barack Obama

When asked bout promoting green technologies and fuel efficiency standards, Obama said, "[For] this to happen, we've got to be courageous enough to not just talk about it in front of the Sierra Club or organizations already sympathetic to us. When I announced my proposal to increase fuel efficiency standards on cars, I went to Detroit in front of the automakers and said they had to change their ways..and I told them that when I am president, there will be no more excuses - we will help them retool their factories, but they will have to make cars that use less oil."

According to the Obama-Biden website, the Obama-Biden comprehensive New Energy for
America plan will:

  • Provide short-term relief to American families facing pain at the pump

  • Help create five million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future.

  • Within 10 years save more oil than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela combined.

  • Put 1 million Plug-In Hybrid cars -- cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon -- on the road by 2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America.

  • Ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25
    percent by 2025.

  • Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

Find out more on Barack Obama

John McCain

When asked about nuclear, wind, tide, solar, gas, coal, John McCain said, "We can work on nuclear power plants. Build a whole bunch of them, create millions of new jobs. We have to have all of the above, alternative fuels, wind, tide, solar, natural gas, clean coal technology. All of these things we can do as Americans and we can take on this mission and we can overcome it."

According to the McCain-Palin website, John McCain's Principles for Climate Policy are,

  • Climate Policy Should Be Built On Scientifically-Sound, Mandatory Emission
    Reduction Targets And Timetables.

  • Climate Policy Should Utilize A Market-Based Cap And Trade System.

  • Climate Policy Must Include Mechanisms To Minimize Costs And Work Effectively With Other Markets.

  • Climate Policy Must Spur The Development And Deployment Of Advanced Technology.

  • Climate Policy Must Facilitate International Efforts To Solve The Problem.

Find out more on John McCain