X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

[IMGCAP(1)]DALLAS-With LEED now part of everyday conversation, the sustainable revolution is ready to advance. The US Green Building Council has its own call to arms under way as does a lesser-known nationwide organization that has planted the seed to create an evaluation tool for the built environment.

The Social Economic Environmental Design Network, founded in 2005, held its first nationwide conference last Friday in Dallas. Its members are design practitioners, activists and theorists whose mission is to advance the right of every person to live in a socially, economically and environmentally healthy community.

SEED’s members hope to effect change by creating design principles for residential and commercial structures in settings that would be mutually beneficial to all, whether developer, owner, tenant, resident or neighbor. Among the outcomes would be the conservation of resources and minimized waste.

The similarities between USGBC and SEED are many. The difference is USGBC’s mission statement focuses on transforming buildings while SEED claims it’s a “right” of the people and for the people to work, live and play in healthy buildings.

SEED members are waging a battle to create a ranking system for design projects, much like LEED does, but in a more holistic approach. SEED’s sustainability measures make community development priorities as much a part of the equation as reducing carbon footprints and recyclable building materials.

“This does seem like the time where people are looking at these issues. There are a lot of discussions going on,” Frank Giblin, director of the feds’ GSA urban development/good neighbor program, told the 100 members attending the conference in the Dallas Museum of Art at 1717 N. Harwood St. In Washington, DC, dialogue is ongoing to add new dimensions to LEED criteria for sustainable sites and addressing social equity issues.

But, guidelines and regulations can’t do the job single-handedly. [IMGCAP(2)]“It’s not until you get a change in peoples’ minds is it going to make a difference,” said Gail Vittori, co-director of the Austin-based nonprofit, the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, and this year’s chair-elect of the USGBC board of directors.

For four years, Vittori has been campaigning and creating green guides for healthcare structures. The public comment period drew 2,200 comments, perhaps a record-breaking number for a USGBC initiative. To date, there are 15 LEED-certified healthcare facilities–and more on the way as data from initial buildings validate the need for change.

There is an increasing public awareness that sustainability is far more than lip service to being green or monitoring carbon footprints. It’s the big picture: construction materials, impact on surroundings, conservation and waste reduction, affordability for all. And, it’s the marriage of design principles and government regulations.

“It’s all about buildings,” Vittori emphasized. “It’s where we live, work, learn and heal. It’s the major engine for the economy.”

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 3 free articles* across the ALM subscription network every 30 days
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

GlobeSt. APARTMENTS SPRING 2021Event

Join 1000+ of the industry's top owners, investors, developers, brokers & financiers at THE MULTIFAMILY EVENT OF THE YEAR!

Get More Information
 

GlobeSt

Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.