Showing that green building has effectively moved into the mainstream, USA Today published an article this week titled “‘Green’ growth fuels an entire industry”. In it, they take a close look at the nationwide adoption of the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) green building certification program, LEED. The article reports that, today, over 200 government agencies now require that buildings meet LEED standards, and that the green construction market could reach $122 billion in the next 3 years. It goes on to say:

LEED has won wide acceptance among people who plan, design and construct buildings as a way to win environmental approval and boost profit. There are 13,500 LEED-certified commercial buildings in the U.S., and another 30,000 have applied for LEED approval.

Offering encouraging news about the nation’s growing awareness of the importance of green building and energy efficiency, the article also takes a look at the evolution of LEED standards and the role that the building industry plays in the process. It is encouraging to see these topics being discussed on such a mainstream platform as USA Today. It shows just how far we have come in the last 10 years, and we see it as a clear indication that the green building movement, while continually evolving, is here to stay.

To see the USGBC’s response to the USA Today article, click here.

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Green Depot NYC - Certified LEED Platinum

As the leading retailer of green building products in the nation, Green Depot has long been at the forefront of supplying materials for certified green projects. The product experts at each of our locations have assisted with countless certifications – residential and commercial. So, we were pleased to get to apply our knowledge to our own flagship store in New York City. When we were done with our renovations in 2010, our Bowery store became the first to achieve a LEED Platinum Certified Retail Space in all of New York State .

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) designation is an “internationally recognized green building certification system,” organized and developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.  All buildings which apply for LEED certification are judged on a set of prerequisites and credits – prerequisites being mandatory for all projects, and credits accumulating to raise a building’s certification from Certified, up through Silver, Gold, and Platinum.  Credits are judged on criteria as diverse as the siting of the building, water efficiency, energy consumption, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

Our New York City store, located at 222 Bowery is a beautiful, unique space and carries nearly all of our green building supplies and green lifestyle products.  We’re located in the building that once held NYC’s first YMCA and was home to a string of artists and musicians – including Mark Rothko – so we worked closely with the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission to preserve some of the original structural elements like tiling from the YMCA pool.

We gained LEED credits through our renovation projects: improved indoor air quality, low-VOC finishes, high-efficiency energy handler, LED light fixtures, and reused and recycled construction materials, among other criteria.

If you are in NYC, stop in and take a look at our Bowery store!  If you are working on a green building, we  have people knowledgeable in LEED Certification at all of our locations nationwide and we can assist you in reaching your LEED goals with Green Depot products. Most of our building products count toward LEED points in at least one category, so be sure to ask when you’re getting started on your project!

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.

 (Originally posted on April 31, 2011 with the title “Proud to be Green!”)

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Green Building Trends in 2012

December 27th, 2011 | Posted by sschultz in Green Building - (0 Comments)

Predictions for green building trends in the coming year are optimistic, inspiring, and point to a period  of growth and innovation ahead.

Green Building Services, a consulting firm based in Portland, Oregon, put out their predictions for the Top 10 Green Building Trends of 2012 – and they are very promising! From design firms building in efficiencies so that they meet future standards (rather than just keeping pace with current ones,) to increased transparency around product ingredients, to the adoption of LEED practices internationally – their list is jam-packed with reasons to feel optimistic about 2012. According to GBS, sustainable practices in general will continue to be increasingly incorporated into the mainstream – a perfect example of this being efforts by our nation’s sports teams to green their venues and events.

Building-Products.com, an online resource for the building industry, predicts that 2012 will be a year of innovation for green building products  despite today’s slow economy. In a recent article titled A Green 2012: Innovation in Interesting Times they describe a building of momentum in the development of increasingly sustainable and efficient products. Because “innovation breeds innovation” they say that we should expect to see very radical ideas presented in the coming year.

There are other promising signs for 2012 as well! One such is that support continues to grow for  The Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 – proposing an increase in regulation for the use of chemicals in consumer products. Another promising sign is that light bulb manufacturers have announced their intention to  move forward with the phase out of 100 watt incandescent bulbs – despite the last minute move by congress to save the bulbs from extinction.

If the above trends do, in fact, pick up steam in 2012 it will be a very energizing year indeed. We at Green Depot are looking forward to it with great anticipation – and we wish you a very Happy New Year!!

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This week, Green Depot Founder, Sarah Beatty hosted a special evening with “The Father of LEED,” Rob Watson, and Jigar Shah, CEO of The Carbon War Room. 75 people gathered for a discussion of the political, environmental, and technical realties of the race to prevent unmanageable climate disruption. Attendees included representatives from across the community including lending firms, retail stores, designers, artists, media and event companies, climate change organizations, public schools and universities, green building experts and more! This kind of cross-disciplinary discussion is vitally important if we hope to begin to tackle the issues of our time. All of the event’s attendees are dedicated, in their lives and organizations, to thinking bravely and differently about how to combat climate change. The challenges that we face are universal – engagement and cooperative action from all segments of our markets and communities is essential.

The leaders of this week’s discussion are both prominent, active leaders in the fight against climate change, Rob Watson and Jigar Shah.

Rob Watson is pioneer of the modern green building movement and  is best known as “the Father of LEED” for his leading role in the development of the LEED green building rating system, the most widespread and fastest-growing international green building standard. In 2007 he founded EcoTech International Group to meet the fast-growing demand for green building technologies and services worldwide. As the Director of International Energy and Green Buildings Programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Mr. Watson has worked in China on green building programs and market development since 1997, and is a recipient of a “Green Innovation” award by China’s Ministry of Construction, the only foreign expert so honored.

Jigar Shah is the CEO of the Carbon War Room, Jigar is dedicated to identifying business-as-usual practices and replacing them with low-carbon solutions. Prior to the Carbon War Room, Jigar founded SunEdison in 2003. Under his leadership, SunEdison revolutionized the solar industry by introducing a business model to sell solar as a service. The transformation to solar power service agreements is responsible for turning solar services into a multi-billion dollar industry. Jigar is also an expert on energy project finance, changing energy policy, working with entrenched stakeholders, and convincing individuals to embrace energy technology. He works closely with entrepreneurs, policymakers, and investors around the world to develop, incubate, and implement sustainable solutions.

The event was sponsored by Tipping Point Productions and Serious Energy.

We look forward to continuing the conversation at future such events, and in the community at large.

Click here to visit our Homepage.

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