Notes from BuildingGreen's breakfast gathering at Greenbuild for partners and Sustainable Design Directors from forward-thinking firms around the U.S.

Innovation point for the Hearst Tower in New York: reduced steel in the structure.

Back on November 5, Nadav Malin posted here about "the imminent creation of the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI)." The USGBC is now distributing the following press release:

The folks who make Waterless No-Flush urinals (we've had one in our office since 1998) have been distributing the following quiz.

I'll be interviewed about GreenSpec and Green Building Products this evening on Santa Fe Public Radio, KSFR, at 7:10 p.m. (Eastern time), for 15 or 20 minutes. Tune in if you'd like — 101.1 FM if you're in New Mexico (pretty much anywhere between Taos and Albuquerque)...

The U.S. Green Building Council has announced its Greenbuild keynote speaker for 2008: Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It's an interesting choice, following on the heels of Vice President Al Gore being given half of the Nobel Prize for peace, that reinforces the connection between social justice and environmental performance. What will Tutu have to say about green building?
"There's one thing worse than being young and full of stormy tantrums, and that's being old and backward-looking and crotchety."
An interesting conversation about what lies beyond LEED has been happening over the last few days on the Big Green email list. Some excerpts of the exchange follow. (I've done some editing, and added links. Check the December '07 and January '08 Big Green archives for the complete, unedited exchange.)

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The GreenSpec team is regularly contacted by manufacturers and their marketers asking how to get products "certified as green." The question itself reveals one of two things: that they either haven't done any work yet to understand what it is they're actually asking... or that they have. In the first case, good on 'em for looking into it.
7/1/09 Update: The LEED AP exam has significantly changed, and the following information has not been updated to reflect this. And by the way, if you are looking to learn about the LEED 2009 rating systems, there's no better tool out there than our own LEEDuser.com.

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architecture2030.org — which will be hosting a 2010 Imperative webcast at the end of January — was righteously stoked when the "Energy Independence and Security Act" was signed into law the other day. From their email bulletin: The President signs Energy Bill containing The 2030 Challenge targets