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People: Leaders in Green Thinking

Get to know the most interesting and innovative people leading the green-design movement, with in-depth interviews with green policy makers, environmental consultants, green architects, and green economists.

Sustainable to the Roots

Sustainable to the Roots
Richard Piacentini is executive director of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden in Pittsburgh. Since joining Phipps in 1994, he has guided the organization through the transition from public to private management and overseen an ambitious expansion.

David Aschkenas



Jason McLennan

HUD Honcho
Secretary Shaun Donovan on the importance of sustainable planning and inter-government collaborations.

 

Photo © Kristine Larsen


Recent Articles
07/2014 Sustainable to the Roots: Richard Piacentini is executive director of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden in Pittsburgh. Since joining Phipps in 1994, he has guided the organization through the transi...
05/2014 City Slicker: Laurie Kerr is the director of the City Energy Project, a national initiative launched by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Institute for Market Transformation, to hel...
04/07/14 Systems Thinking: Stephen Selkowitz is leader of the windows and envelope-materials group and senior advisor for building science at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in Berkeley, Califo...
01/2014 Full Disclosure: Aaron Smith is the director of sustainable building solutions for Assa Abloy, a global door, door-hardware, and access-control-device company. He is the only representative of a m...
11/2013 Making Strides: Now in his second term as the mayor of his hometown, Mayor Michael A. Nutter is executing an aggressive agenda for America’s fifth largest city to become the country’s greenest.
09/2013 Big or Tall?: Carol Willis is the founder, director, and curator of the Skyscraper Museum in lower Manhattan.
07/2013 The Advocate: Whitney Austin Gray, PhD, LEED AP, is the Director of Research and Innovation at Cannon Design in Washington, D.C.
05/2013 Proving It: An interview with green consultant Jerry Yudelson, recent author of The World’s Greenest Buildings: Promise Versus Performance in Sustainable Design.
03/2013 Keeping Google Healthy: David Bennett is Google’s Real Estate and Workplace Services Green Team Operations and Innovation leader.
03/2013 Making ConneXions: Andrew Dent: Andrew Dent, Ph.D., is vice president in charge of library and materials research at Material ConneXion in New York.
11/2012 Free Parking: With a background ranging from performance art to biochemistry, John Bela took a unique path to becoming a landscape architect. His fascination with nature and cultural spaces led...
09/2012 Janette Sadik-Khan: Making a Sustainable City: As the NYC Department of Transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan has overseen the creation of hundreds of miles of bike lanes, the installation of 18 pedestrian plazas, an...
07/01/12 Peter Calthorpe: Purging Suburbia: Peter Calthorpe has been redefining models of urban and suburban growth throughout his career. In the early 90’s, he developed the concept of Transit Oriented Development (T...
05/2012 The Networker: David Gottfried: David Gottfried has hustle. As a cofounder of the United States Green Building Council and an author of LEED, he relentlessly promoted the organization and its rating system, taki...
03/01/12 Michelle Moore: Relentless Change Agent: Michelle Moore was the Obama Administration’s federal environmental executive from 2009 until early 2012. The office stewards the implementation of President Obama’s Executive Ord...
01/2012 The Race to Clean Energy: Amory Lovins is an American environmental scientist who serves as chairman and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute.
11/2011 Amanda Burden: Activist for Urbanity: Amanda Burden serves as director of the New York City Department of Planning and chair of the City Planning Commission.
09/2011 America Needs A Comeback: Greenbuild keynote speaker Thomas Friedman wants America to get its groove back.
07/2011 Executing Brad Pitt's Vision: Tom Darden is the Executive Director of the Make It Right (MIR) Foundation, a nonprofit building 150 affordable, green homes in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward.
07/2011 From Containment to Sustainability: Col. Mark Mykleby of the Marines and Capt. Wayne Porter of the Navy recently released a paper called “A National Strategic Narrative” as a framework for policy decisions.
05/2011 The Clock is Ticking: The case for reducing embodied greenhouse gas emissions.
05/2011 Taking It to the Streets: Jan Gehl is an architect and former professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
03/2011 Is It Time for a New ?Ism?? : Two Dutch-born authors claim that ?sustainism? will dominate the culture of this century, shaping everything from design to politics to grocery shopping.
03/2011 Reflecting Nature: Janine Benyus discusses biomimicry and declares building certification schemes as agents of natural selection.
01/2011 Feist?s Physics: Dr. Wolfgang Feist founded the Passivhaus Institut (PHI) in 1996. He is currently the acting director of PHI and a professor of building physics at Innsbruck University in Austria.
11/2010 Renaissance Man: Environmentalist, entrepreneur, and author Paul Hawken’s work includes starting ecological businesses, writing about the impact of commerce on living systems, and consulting with heads of state and CEOs on economic development and environmental policy.
11/2010 Looking Forward: Green Forecast Remains Strong: Not only has sustainability changed the DNA of the design and construction industry, but its impact endures in spite of the economic downturn.
09/2010 Solar King: Richard King, Director of the Solar Decathlon, has been with the DOE since 1986, primarily in the Solar Energy Technology Program.
09/2010 A Clear and Present Danger : Most of the focus on glass is about increasing energy efficiency, but more reflective glazing poses a greater threat to bird species.
07/2010 A Sack of Corn for the Fire: In the past farmers ran their operations entirely on solar power. For most it was a difficult existence with few luxuries.
05/2010 Push for Zero Carbon: Professor Phillip Jones is the Chair of Architectural Science and Director of Architectural Science Research at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University.
03/2010 Greening the Ghetto: Majora Carter advocates for public health and environmental equality as one of the nation?s pioneers in successful green-collar job training and placement.
03/2010 Supply and Demand: The tremendous energy needs of the building sector give it great leverage for driving demand for green electricity.
01/2010 Recycling Rebel: Mike Reynolds discusses his off-the-grid “earthship” dwellings, which are often constructed with unconventional building materials.
01/2010 Tending the Wild: Designing for “living cities” can reduce the impact of buildings on the natural environment according to Bill Reed and John Boecker.
11/2009 Simple Solutions: A few common sense but often overlooked principles can ensure energy savings and occupant satisfaction.
11/2009 Desert Dreamer: Paolo Soleri is an Italian-American architect and theorist who has devoted his life to experimental urban planning.
09/2009 Fossil Fools: Is it Too Late? With the world on the brink of change, we can only hope that this current sense of urgency is enough to reverse generations of damage.
09/2009 Stable-Wedge Theory. Robert Socolow is a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the co-director of the Carbon Mitigation Initiative at Princeton University.
07/2009 Recession Realities. New Yorker writer David Owen discusses how consumer spending intended to revive the flagging world economy works against climate-change priorities.
07/2009 Ed Markey Speaks Up. Congressman Edward J. Markey, chair of the newly created Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, speaks up about national energy policy.
05/2009 Ramping Up Green. Ken Yeang’s visions for greening the skyscraper move toward realization in Singapore
05/2009 Watchdog For The World?s Water. The private sector, or the market, should not be determining water policy.
03/2009 A Green Economy. by investing in green construction?retrofits in particular?we can create hundreds of thousands of jobs.
03/2009 The Facts, Unvarnished. Elizabeth Kolbert began her career covering politics for the New York Times, and has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1999.
01/2009 Sustainability Requires Durability. To be green and durable and energy efficient, we need a new mantra: manage energy and moisture with equal intensity
01/2009 The Facts, Unvarnished Sarah Susanka, FAIA, is an architect and the best-selling author of seven books that propose a “Not So Big” approach to building and to life.
11/2008 Free-Rolling Buildings. The next generation of buildings must be designed to use so little energy that on-site renewables can meet their heating, cooling, and lighting loads.
11/2008 Man on Fire. Bill McKibben’s work conveys his belief that we must make a massive, immediate effort to wean ourselves from coal, gas and oil.
09/2008 The Hidden Costs of Commuting. Much of the focus of building green is on reducing the energy consumption of buildings.
09/2008 Lifetime Achievement: John Todd has advocated sustainable design for over 40 years. His submission, Comprehensive Design for a Carbon Neutral World: The Challenge of Appalachia, was named the winner of the first annual Buckminster Fuller Challenge, in June.
07/2008 Can Fully Glazed Curtainwalls Be Green? It?s high time to revive the craft of designing beautiful facades that don?t cost the earth.
07/2008 The Fantastic Catalyst: What will be the oil of the future? According to MIT Professor Dan Nocera, Water plus light. That’s it.
04/2008 Interview with Kathleen Sebelius: Coal-fired controversy.
04/2008 Banning the Bulb: The Bulb is being phased out in a reasonable way, But we have to find alternatives that are equally as good by 2020.
01/2008 The 2030 Challenge: Achieving the goals of the 2030 Challenge, set out by architect Ed Mazria?s Architecture 2030 organization, is critical to slowing and stopping our emissions of carbon into the atmosphere.
01/2008 Political Warming: Interview with Dr. Joseph J. Romm
Dr. Joseph J. Romm served as principal deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy from 1995 to 1998, and as acting assistant secretary in 1997.
11/15/07 Thom Mayne on What's Wrong with LEED:
Thom Mayne, founder of Morphosis and 2005 Pritzker Prize winner, practices ecologically sensitive design but refuses to be co-opted by any particular movement. LEED is far from perfect, in his estimation.
11/2007 Autodesk?s Phil Bernstein:
Listen to Bernstein discuss a sustainability analysis program being developed in collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council. The program could provide users with graphic feedback about the impact of design decisions on a project’s LEED rating.
10/2007 The Landscape Healer:
Bargmann?s work is changing the way we think about site remediation.
10/2007 OPINION: Ecology and Hospitals:
Hospitals today are the least daylit of any regularly inhabited building type.
08/07/07 GSA: More than the Government?s Landlord
07/2007 Betting on the Future
An ‘internet of things’ might make the flow of resources much greener.
07/2007 Sustainability and Real Estate
Landlords will find it harder to raise rents in energy -inefficient properties
04/2007 A Radical Ecology
Improving efficiency and performance might buy time, but they are not enough for dealing with the critical problems that lie in the future.
03/2007 William McDonough, FAIA
The renaissance man of the green movement
02/26/07 Gurus Seek a Building Rating System with Even Greener Pastures [links to: enr.com]
02/12/07 Officials Begin To Ask Themselves Just How Green Could My Highway Be? [links to: enr.com]
02/12/07 Dire Global Warnings Inspire Promising Antidotes to 'Civilization' [links to: enr.com]
01/07 A New Metaphor for LEED
We need to seize the moment, so that today's green edge is tomorrow's standard practice
01/07 GREEN DEVELOPERS: Seeing Green
Sustainable development is not a contradiction in terms. as the mainstream market warms to green, three innovators tell us how they are going further.
01/07 Preventive Medicine
A conversation with Dr. Eric Chivian, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School.
11/06 Contractors Take the LEED
Contractors' Roles Intensifying In Sustainable Building Projects [links to: midwest construction.com]
11/06 David Orr: Sustainability Champion
The reality of our time was captured long ago by H.G. wells’ observation that we are in a race between education and catastrophe.
11/06 A Generational Shift
We need to seize the moment, so that today’s green edge is tomorrow’s standard practice
10/10/06 Reflections from Five Years on the USGBC Board
Recently Updated Reader Profiles
 
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06/06 Passive Survivability
A New Design Priority for the 21st Century.
06/06 Edward O. Wilson, an entomologist and biologist, is known for his work in the fields of ecology and evolution. He is credited with coining the term “biodiversity” in the books The Diversity of Life and The Future of Life.
08/22/06 USG Joins Alliance for Sustainable Built Environments
08/17/06 Steven Strong is the president of Solar Design Associates based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has worked in the solar and energy consulting industry for over three decades.
02/06 How Architects can Reverse Global Warming: A Conversation with Edward Mazria, AIA [links to: architecturalrecord.com]
07/18/05 Students Learn Life Lessons In College Building Contests.
College-level engineering contests are more than an opportunity for students to socialize [links to: enr.com]
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