Live Earth Awareness Must Be Backed Up by Higher Leverage Actions
By: Jerry Yudelson, PE, LEED AP - Friday, July 13, 2007
Source: Yudelson Associates

While Live Earth expanded awareness of the climate crisis, without a commitment to a green building revolution, a leading green building consultant says awareness and small actions may not be enough.

Jerry Yudelson, principal at Yudelson Associates, a leading green building consulting firm, commented on the Live Earth awareness-raising concerts last weekend by saying, "It's great to change your light bulbs and stop using plastic water bottles, but for real solutions to the climate crisis, a commitment to green building is a necessity."

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"By 2035, in the U.S. alone, we will build or renovate about 75 percent of the building stock in this country. If this new and renovated construction is not hugely energy-efficient, we'll be worse off than today in terms of climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions, because of the inherent growth in the number of buildings," Yudelson said.

Citing studies by a number of sources, he said "energy-efficient green buildings can cost-effectively provide 25 percent of the carbon reductions we need to stabilize carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at a livable level." 

Yudelson pointed out that each person can play a role in supporting the commitment to green building. "If you're in the market for a new home, ask homebuilders whether their homes are Energy Star or LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, or get a local utility certification for energy efficiency. That way you know the home will use less energy, and you'll be saving money to boot. If you're a homeowner, especially of an older home, start looking at energy-efficient home improvements like better insulation and windows, on-demand water heaters, and installing a solar power system."

He continued, "And if you're in a position to design, build, finance or influence the development of a new or renovated commercial or institutional building, make sure it's built to the highest LEED standards, with at least 50 percent less energy use than a standard building. Each one of us can make a difference, at home and at work, and everyone should try to make the green building revolution a reality."

About Jerry Yudelson
Jerry Yudelson, is a leading green building consultant and national authority on green buildings and corporate sustainability, with three books on marketing green buildings and more than three dozen magazine and newsletter articles to his credit during the past three years. His forthcoming book, The Green Building Revolution (Island Press, October 2007), details how green buildings are entering every sector of the building industry. He is also the senior editor of the iGreenBuild web site,  where he writes a monthly column. Mr. Yudelson is a former Board Member of the U.S. Green Building Council, a national nonprofit with some 10,000 corporate, agency and institutional members. He has trained more than 3,000 people in the LEED green building assessment framework since 2001, and he served on two national committees developing the next generation of green building standards.

Yudelson Associates, a consulting firm in Tucson, AZ, is a green building consulting company dedicated to "growing the business of green building" and facilitating sustainability initiatives in higher education and the corporate world. Yudelson Associates offers project-specific green building consulting services, green building marketing consulting, workshops, keynote speaking, and corporate or institutional sustainability planning.


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