Article written by Kris Wilson
Greenbuild 2014, USGBC’s annual green building conference, was hosted in New Orleans October 22-24, 2014. The experience of joining 25,000 people assembled in the Big Easy to learn, share and celebrate green building practices will likely stay fresh in the minds of the the Idaho chapter attendees for some time to come. “Green building is a movement” is the refrain that stands out in my mind. And what better place to be reminded of the power of the green building movement than the scene of the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. The storm struck in 2005 and took parts of New Orleans to it’s knees. Evidence of the the destruction and subsequent rebuilding is still plainly visible. Touring the lower 9th ward and nearby neighborhoods to view the rebuilding, one notices that the construction is decidedly green. Solar panels grace rooftops. Homes are built with small footprints elevated above flood level and low maintenance landscaping. Energy efficiency, water efficiency and green building materials dominate the design of the homes. Reclaimed building materials centers have sprung up to make use of the glut of available salvage material.
Beyond the buildings themselves, the idea that resiliency and green building practices are not just important, but imperative is prevalent in the Big Easy. Local architect firms put their top talent to work to ensure that their design was chosen for pilot rebuild projects. Design firms are using New Orleans as a laboratory to enhance their knowledge of resilient design to position themselves as global resilient design experts. Development companies have embraced green building practices in their projects. And the citizens of New Orleans are as proud of their vibrant city as ever.
We will always see news about disaster and devastation, though hopefully none of us will experience it first hand. However, there are powerful lessons embedded in losing everything and it is telling that people have repeatedly turned to green building in the wake of disaster. There is something important for all of us to learn in the fact that through the grounded lens of vulnerability, victims of disaster view the common sense approach of green building as the best option to regain long term security.
In addition to the organic resiliency theme provided by the rebuilding of New Orleans, some exciting new developments in the LEED rating system were unveiled at the conference. USGBC plans to roll out a new LEED rating system for utilities and will be incorporating new pilot social equity credits into the existing LEED rating system. Green power and green buildings for all. These developments point to USGBC’s commitment to continual improvement and maintaining a leadership role in the creation of our built environment.
Green building is a movement – a critical movement. Join in and help create a better world for everyone.
~ Kris Wilson, Program Manager USGBC Idaho
Article written by Charlie Woodruff
Dear USGBC Idaho supporter,
As we work to catalyze the green building industry here in Idaho I ask that you support our efforts to drive innovation in the design, development, construction, operations and financing sectors to build a more resilient and prosperous Idaho.
This has been a productive year and a half for the chapter and we are excited about the opportunities to advance green building in Idaho ahead of us. Join us in creating a sustainable future for Idahoans as we work to:
- Advocate for policies that support energy efficiency and green building practices
- Engage K-12 students to make their schools more sustainable through the Idaho Green Schools Challenge
- Educate professionals and the public about the benefits and how-to of high performance and healthy buildings and homes
- Develop Idaho specific resources to make the business case for sustainable development and green building
- Drive innovation through neighborhood scale sustainability planning
Please join us in transforming our built environment in Idaho to save money, create jobs, improve human health and productivity, and reduce our environmental impact. Support our Work Today!
Last June we brought on a full time Program Manager position who has been a huge asset to our work. The Program Manager position helped us produce the 2013 LEED Green Building Report for Idaho that discusses trends in our state with an accompanying interactive green building map. Our focus moving forward is really to create Idaho specific resources that will help accelerate the green development sector in our state.
We’ve also been focusing a lot of our time and resources on organizing a neighborhood approach to sustainability for the Central Addition in Boise. We recently produced an overview piece on our proposed Central Addition EcoDistrict and are gaining momentum around this initiative as we formulate a team of people from the City of Boise, Idaho Power, the development sector, and the Integrated Design Lab to participate in an EcoDistrict incubator training program in Portland to work with other teams from around the country working on similar initiatives.
Thank you for your interest and support for USGBC Idaho’s work. We are only as strong as the PEOPLE who lend their passion and commitment to our mission to transform the built environment here in Idaho.
USGBC Idaho Chapter
Article written by Kris Wilson
2014 Law Review Symposium Hosted by the University of Idaho College of Law
April 4, 2014
Idaho Water Center
322 E Front St.
The 2014 University of Idaho Law Review symposium will focus on defining city resilience, as well as cutting-edge, non-traditional legal approaches to implementing environmental and social projects that promote city resilience.
Preview the symposium with an interview with symposium contributors Tony Arnold and Barbara Cosens on this week’s Building a Greener Idaho radio show.