April Fools

USGBC Introduces “Greta Merch” for LEED Compliance

Stickers, cardboard cutouts, and a Revit plug-in aim to help project teams keep carbon in the forefront.

April 1, 2020

Image: Jump Time
On the heels of the announcement that teen climate-change activist Greta Thunberg will have her own BBC television show, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is introducing Thunberg-related merchandise that will be required for achieving certain credits in the LEED rating systems. The so-called Greta Merch includes stickers, cardboard cutouts, and a Revit plug-in.

Greta stickers, which will now be required in order to comply with Optimize Energy Performance under the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (O+M) rating system, feature Thunberg’s scowling face and a speech bubble containing the words, “How dare you?” They must be installed beside all thermostats, light switches, and power outlets.

Life-size cardboard cutouts of a smiling Thunberg will now be required at all project meetings, workshops, and charrettes for project teams pursuing the Integrative Process credit across all relevant rating systems.

The Thunberg-themed Revit plug-in focuses on embodied carbon—the upfront greenhouse gas emissions associated with manufacturing and transporting building materials. When software users select materials with excessive embodied carbon, such as concrete with a high percentage of portland cement, a pop-up video clip of Thunberg will appear, saying one of the following:

  • “The eyes of all future generations are upon you.”
  • “I want you to act as if the house is on fire.”
  • “We deserve a safe future. And we demand a safe future. Is that really too much to ask?”

Project teams will need to install this software as part of achieving the Whole-Building Life-Cycle Assessment option of the Building Life-Cycle Impact Reduction credit under LEED for Building Design and Construction (BD+C).

USGBC CEO Mahesh Ramanujam promoted the new merchandise during his recent nationwide roadshow.

“Greta Merch represents the next small step toward our LEED Positive vision for the future and yet another new way USGBC is addressing the global climate crisis,” Ramanujam said in a press release. “Like Greta herself, we are all in.”

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April 1, 2020 - 12:49 pm

This is an absolute waste of money and time.  Very disappointed that USGBC has jumped on this particular band wagon.

April 1, 2020 - 1:00 pm

Be sure to check the date before judging them too harshly. :-)

April 1, 2020 - 1:28 pm

Genius. Can I just buy the merch?? ;)

April 1, 2020 - 1:30 pm

I'm very disappointed in this action too!  It does not help our cause, and therefore hurts it, in my opinion.

April 1, 2020 - 1:39 pm

Happy April Fool's Day!

April 1, 2020 - 2:17 pm

I'm sad this wasn't real! I was looking forward to a T-shirt with "How Dare You?" on it! I would probably wear it around the office - or on Zoom calls for the near term.  :)

Thank you for a much-needed smile in this crazy time.

April 1, 2020 - 2:23 pm

I'm so glad you enjoyed the article. Maybe there are t-shirts that meet your specifications on the market? The Internet is full of surprises. :-)

April 1, 2020 - 5:30 pm

Our office thoroughly enjoyed the Tiny Clown House and Five Federal Buildings articles in light of their relevance to the current architectural models that the US continues to explore.  Thanks for the fun!

April 1, 2020 - 8:26 pm

Actually, easy peel-off stickers you can put on a wall or switchplate when absent-minded or clueless individuals leave lights, hot tubs, haters, AC, etc on when not needed would be kinda genius.