Green Building Initiative™ President Helps Educate State Attorneys General About the Implications of Public Policy on Sustainable Construction
COEUR D’ALENE, ID. (May 13, 2008) — Earlier this week, Ward Hubbell, president of the Green Building Initiative (GBI), spoke before the first-ever National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Presidential Initiative on Energy Summit about opportunities policymakers have to positively impact the environment by improving the design and operation of America’s buildings.
Hubbell addressed attorneys general from all 50 states, joining industry representatives from organizations such as General Electric, Southern Company, the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management and the American Alliance of Auto Manufacturers.
During his speech, Hubbell provided NAAG members with an overview of the GBI, as well as its rating and assessment tool for commercial buildings, the Green Globes™ system, which is designed to help more mainstream commercial developers and architects implement sustainable construction practices. Green Globes also forms the basis of the GBI’s Proposed American National Standard 01-2008P: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings, which the organization released last week for public comment.
He also highlighted the efforts being undertaken by the National Association of Home Builders to develop a consensus standard for residential green building under the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which encourages fair, equitable and open standards development and helps to ensure that the best standards are brought forward to the public.
Hubbell emphasized the importance of public policy to harness the power of competition in the rating system field — describing how this not only ensures that the best possible products and services are provided to the public, but facilitates the greatest benefits to our built environment. He cited specific examples of how an increased level of competition in the green building arena has stimulated some exciting advancements since the GBI’s introduction four years ago, including:
Hubbell stressed the need to improve buildings already operating across the U.S., highlighting the new Green Globes module — Green Globes for Continual Improvement of Existing Buildings — as an opportunity for positive change. "This is the first time that building owners and facility managers have an affordable tool for setting benchmarks, identifying areas for improvement and tracking their success," he said. "When you consider that there are more than 100 million structures currently operating in the U.S., the potential power of this tool — and other similar tools that follow — cannot be understated."
In closing, he applauded the members of the National Association of Attorneys General for bringing together such a diverse group of leaders and experts to shed light on the importance of sustainable construction. "We encourage policymakers and others in similar positions of influence to insist on policies that recognize as many credible approaches to sustainability as are out there and to remember that green rating and assessments are only a means to an end. In the grand scheme of things, organizations and rating systems don’t matter if we don’t accomplish our ultimate objective of improving the performance of our buildings to reduce the impact we have on the environment."
For more information about the GBI, visit www.thegbi.org.ABOUT THE GREEN BUILDING INITIATIVE: The mission of the Green Building Initiative is to accelerate the adoption of building practices that result in energy-efficient, healthier and environmentally sustainable buildings by promoting credible and practical green building approaches. A not-for-profit education initiative, the GBI is supported by a broad cross section of organizations and individuals with an interest in residential and commercial construction. For more information on the Green Building Initiative, please visit www.thegbi.org.