Happy Holidays from USGBC

Rick Fedrizzi
President, CEO & Founding Chairman
U.S. Green Building Council

Dear Friends of USGBC,

As the year winds to a close, I am honored to reflect on yet another historic year for the green building movement. Thanks to our faithful USGBC members, committed LEED Professionals and project teams, dedicated volunteers and advocates, and the myriad other invaluable contributors to USGBC, we took great strides toward our collective mission in 2011:

  • 3,500 commercial and 5,400 residential projects were LEED certified this year, with cumulative totals exceeding 11,000 and 14,600, respectively. And another 31,800 commercial and 61,500 residential projects have been registered. More than 125,000 projects are part of LEED –– an extraordinary accomplishment. And now we look forward to the development of LEED 2012, focusing on the technical rigor of the rating system, expanding the market sectors able to use LEED and striving for simplicity in terms of usability.
  • When enrollment closed in October, more than 61,000 LEED APs had opted into LEED AP with specialty credentials. Today, more than 175,000 professionals hold a LEED Professional credential and the industry is even more equipped to handle the different types of building and community projects coming through. In September, we announced the 34-member inaugural class of LEED Fellows, the most distinguished professionals in green building. These folks are inspirations to us all.
  • This year our USGBC chapters played a critical role in influencing local and state government policy. The Charlotte Chapter worked closely with local officials to get Oct 24-28 declared Environmental Sustainability Week, coinciding with a series of sustainability programs hosted by the chapter. The Delaware Valley Green Building Council received a USGBC innovation grant that has enabled them to develop a green building legislation “action alert” online system. The California Advocacy Committee, representing all eight California chapters, kicked off its first year of statewide collaboration around green building policy and advocacy with a new, community-developed model for decision-making and engagement and already has a list of wins.
  • Our national and chapter members are working hard to fulfill the Administration’s Better Buildings Initiative, supporting the aim to make America’s commercial buildings and plants more energy- and resource-efficient over the next decade by providing incentives for private-sector investment.
  • The Center for Green Schools at USGBC placed the first Green Schools Fellows in Sacramento and Boston, and commissioned the first nationwide survey on green schools with founding sponsor United Technologies, hosted a Healthy Schools Summit and released its inaugural “Best of Green Schools” list.
  • Despite the challenges of holding the first Greenbuild outside U.S. borders, Greenbuild secured a record number of partnerships, sold out our expo floor and welcomed 23,000 attendees to Toronto. With the help of our progressive host city and devoted volunteers, we achieved 95% waste diversion, setting a Greenbuild record.
  • The USGBC App Lab launched in November as part of LEED Automation, which is transforming the way project teams interact with LEED data. Comprised of applications designed by LEED Automation Partners for Web browsers, tablets, smartphones and other devices, the App Lab simplifies the certification process and maximizes building performance.
  • As of this month, cumulative square footage of LEED-certified existing buildings surpassed LEED-certified new construction for the first time. As the U.S. is home to more than 60 billion square feet of existing commercial buildings, most of which are energy guzzlers and water sieves, this trend serves as a promising indicator of our progress.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of the hundreds of accomplishments that we can celebrate this year, as we should. But we also have much to do.

As we enter this season of giving, the USGBC family has always been a generous one, especially as we’ve worked to bring the benefits of green building to those who need it most –– populations made vulnerable by age or poverty or natural disasters. And this year we continue our work on behalf of the impoverished victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Through the generous USGBC community, we have secured contributions and pledges totaling more than 50% of our fundraising goal for Project Haiti Orphanage and Children’s Center, a zero-impact, LEED Platinum facility and Clinton Global Initiative Commitment of 2011 that will not only provide for the immediate health and emotional needs of orphaned children in ravaged Port-au-Prince, but will also serve as a model for sustainable rebuilding and a teaching tool for local architects, contractors and students. As you consider your year-end charitable contributions, we urge you to consider a contribution to Project Haiti at USGBC.org/Haiti so we can bring this important effort to fruition.

Celebrating our achievements of the past year, I gaze ahead with great optimism. The economic and political winds continue to shift, but in spite of that, green building continues to thrive, and the stage is set for a remarkable 2012. Thank you for your significant contributions to this transformational journey toward a more sustainable, healthy and prosperous built environment. From all of the staff at USGBC, we wish you a safe and joyful holiday.

U.S. Green Building Council
S. Richard Fedrizzi
CEO, President and Founding Chair

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