• Meehan Green


This November, our team member Muge Karasahin attended Greenbuild which is the world's largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. The event was hosted in Chicago with the theme Human x Nature; celebrating the intersection of humanity and the building environment with over 18,000 attendees from 93 countries.

Here are the highlights;

Exhibition Hall at Greenbuild Chicago!

1. During the Opening Plenary USGBC’s President and CEO Mahesh Ramanujam announced the launch of Living Standard - to raise the standard of living for human beings all around the world.

2. Opening Plenary also hosted human rights lawyer Amal Clooney. Amal talked about a few of her legal cases and highlighted to how fighting the impacts of climate change is fighting for human rights.

3. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the BRE Group (BRE) have announced a partnership.

4. Several programmatic updates to the LEED green building rating system were announced throughout the week including:

- LEED Transit Rating System – USGBC released LEED green building certification standards for new transit stations, which were also announced during Greenbuild India

- LEED Zero Certification – USGBC officially introduced a new LEED Zero certification offering. The new program recognizes buildings or spaces operating with net zero carbon emissions from energy consumption and occupant transportation to carbon emissions avoided or offset over a period of 12 months.

- Integration of STAR and LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities – It was announced that the STAR Community Rating System, which offers certification for sustainable communities, has been fully integrated into USGBC’s LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities programs, to help advance sustainable cities and communities worldwide.

- LEED v4.1 credit language is now available for review under Resources on LEED Online.

5. LEED Recertification – USGBC announced that it will begin offering LEED recertification. All LEED projects – past, present and future – are now eligible for recertification by providing 12 months of data, powered by Arc, that shows consistent or improved performance, using the most recent version of the LEED rating system.

6. LEED, Wellness and Arc in Retail: A Starbucks Perspective’ session on LEED Volume program and Arc. The panel talked about the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai, which both functions as a roastery and a café with more than 8000 daily costumers, from an energy use, water use and air quality perspective; and how this data is built in Arc platform.

7. Designing with Nature: A Biomimicry Genius of Place Workshop’ where the attendees worked in groups of six. The groups were given a natural biome and two species surviving within that biome. By identifying the natural strategies of survival, groups were able to create building design applications responding to our biome.

8. ‘The Missing Piece to Your Next Wellness Design’ session is the most inspiring session of the event. The session was based on how to translate wellness research into wellness features and then into the only metric that your clients will understand.

9. The Missing E in LEED: Why Emotion Is the Next Frontier in Sustainable Architecture’ session taught the tools and techniques designers can use to increase ‘empathetic’ conditions in the built environment, improving public health and well-being and reducing stress and anxiety through design.

10. During Closing Plenary Carmen Yulin Cruz, mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico gave a very emotional speech on what the communities in Puerto Rico experienced and overcame during the Hurricane Maria in September 2017. She advocated for solar power and resiliency, spoke on Centers for Community Transformation – areas for medical assistance, food, water, power and more. “We can make the worlds better place. I refuse to believe we cannot do it together. We just have to know where we are going.” And she added “This is not about politics, it’s about saving lives”.

Opening Plenary - Amal Clooney

The WELL Booth at Greenbuild Chicago!

One more thing to mention even though it was not part of Greenbuild: Visit to the International WELL Building Institute’s Headquarters in New York!

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