LEED v4 Materials Credits Without Their Scary Masks.
Blog article by Michelle Bombeck.
Building Capacity Blog
LEED v4 Materials Credits Without Their Scary Masks.
Blog article by Alistair Jackson and Elizabeth Powers
O’Brien & Company sees reason to celebrate.
How can the green building industry continue to improve the value, quality and performance of buildings?
Kathleen O’Brien shares why the time is now for Emergent Leadership
A new credential recognizes Living Building expertise
Emerge Leadership Project Launches Vital Training for Green Building Advocates in Northern California
Leadership training in the Bay Area
Kathleen O’Brien recently returned to the former site of a derelict Sears Auto Store, now the award-winning LEED Platinum office and studio for RiceFergusMiller. This urban Infill project reveals how a sustainable built environment is about so much more than bricks and mortar.
Hunter Lovins shares her views on the future and the role Northwest business educators and public servants have to play in helping us survive it in this interview with Kathleen O’Brien.
Accessing Funding, Redefining the Economy, and Women’s Leadership were themes providing food for thought at Living Future 2012, held in Portland Oregon. Kathleen O’Brien, Donna Trost, and Chris Edlin, all members of the O’Brien & Company crew, share tasty tidbits from the popular UnConference menu.
Kathleen O’Brien, long term sustainable building activist, recently shared her story of leadership in the transformative atmosphere of TEDx Tacoma.
When we transform the conversation from one of subtraction to one of integration, we change the focus from problem to solution. Green building expert Alistair Jackson reports on the recent Green Enterprise Communities National Summit, where a positive collaborative approach, with the assistance of technology, turned the conversation about greening affordable housing on its head.
Not a conventional leadership workshop, nor typical sustainable building education, Emerge: Leadership for a more sustainable society is about finding a new way of being in the world that will advance sustainable building through the work of ordinary heroes who serve the greater good. Hear from Kathleen O’Brien, long term green building advocate and founder of the Emerge Leadership Project.
Developer Quadrant’s energy efficiency program nearly doubles economic savings for Northwest homeowners when accounting for the water saved through Energy Star measures. Alistair Jackson, Principal of O’Brien & Company, and consultant to Quadrant provides data that tells the story.
Training can backfire if something other than lack of know-how is in the way of achieving better building performance. Kelly Kirkland, Education Coordinator from O’Brien & Company, a green building consultancy located in Seattle, WA shares some ways to discern whether its training that you need, or something else.
Seven years in, does LEED’s tool for LEED for multiple buildings and on-campus building projects meet the market’s needs? Elizabeth Powers, CSBA, LEED AP BD+C, ID+C Responds.
Trying to apply LEED to your campus or multiple building project cost-effectively? Elizabeth Powers, CSBA, LEED AP (Multiple Specialties) discusses how far the LEED tool has come and how far it still needs to go to meet the market’s significant demand for this solution.
Elizabeth Powers recently shared her observations on 2011 trends in the Northwest green building environment in the December O’Brien & Company newsletter. Building Capacity Blog Editor O’Brien points you to this timely article and suggests you “like” the newsletter for 2012 to take advantage its practical bent!
Failing insulation field inspections isn’t fun for anyone. Chris Edlin, CSBA, Project Associate at O’Brien & Company shares lessons learned from a day in the field with managers of a major insulation company willing to crawl and climb to find workable solutions.
Colleen Groll, CSBA and Senior Project Associate at O’Brien & Company, Inc. candidly discusses the usefulness of LEED for Health Care tool and how it’s being applied by Group Health Cooperative in two of its clinics in the Pacific Northwest.
Kathleen O’Brien reviews Vision 2050, a World Business Council on Sustainable Development project, as it lays out a pathway created by business for business to create one-planet living.Vision 2050 has been integrated into the Bainbridge Graduate Institute’s curriculum, a happy development according to O’Brien
Green Schools From Top to Bottom: Interview with Kim Armstrong Co-Executive Director for Washington Green Schools
Schools are the first place to start when promulgating sustainable building concepts. Hear how the recently developed and piloted Washington Green Schools, is doing in this interview with Karen Armstrong, co-Executive Director.
Alistair Jackson, CSBA and LEED for Homes QAD discusses a recent development in building performance surrounding air barriers in multi-family projects.
The Built Green Santa Barbara recently defined cool for youth at a green building career event held at the Built Green Resource Center, a green historic remodel. Building Capacity Blog Editor Kathleen O’Brien describes the event and why it succeeded.
In Emerge: Leadership for a Sustainable Society, nationally renowned sustainability expert Kathleen O’Brien provides insights on leadership based on years of experience guiding clients and others to a sustainable built environment.
Not all Low-E windows are alike. Alistair Jackson, CSBA and LEED for Homes AP discusses how to make the best choice for a historic home in the Northwest, in spite of flawed markets, policies, and understanding of the technology.
We learned at the King County Green Tools Government Confluence today that King County Executive Dow Constantine declared today to be "Kathleen O’Brien Day" in honor of her over 20 years of service to the green building community. Governor Gregoire also … Continued
Kathleen O’Brien reports her sustainability observations while on a 200 mile trek along the St. James Way in France.
How can the sustainable building industry help drive market transformation in the energy efficiency world? Read about Alistair Jackson’s impressions from the LEED for Homes Provider retreat and thoughts on how to use residential building to steer the market.
Almost two years into the use of LEED 2009 ratings system and most project teams are still encountering the system for the first time. When discussing the LEED project boundary, many projects find themselves in a fuzzy area with no definition or direction. Elizabeth Powers discusses the options and methods for deciding your project’s site boundary.
Squire Park’s First Woonerf Project Completes a Street – O’Brien & Company’s Nora Daley-Peng ASLA, AICP, LEED AP BD+C, Interviews Bill Zosel
What’s a Woonerf? O’Brien & Company’s Nora Daley-Peng interviews Bill Zosel to find out how this strangely named neighborhood amenity provides a place for community, safe pedestrian access, green space and sustainable design.
Developments in and discoveries of the impact of solid waste disposal and recycling require a new perspective on construction waste management. LEED AP Homes Alistair Jackson discusses the current methods and explores some alternatives.
“Extreme” collaboration is exactly what it sounds like, and when aimed at sustainable buildings, cities, and economies, achieves so much more. Andrea Lewis, Senior Project Associate of O’Brien & Company, reports on three examples of this uber approach to getting things done in the Northwest.
Strategic visioning lays an important foundation for success. In this case, success has meant a living, learning laboratory integrated into a campus that has “gone green” — seriously. Alistair Jackson and Elizabeth Powers shares how on O’Brien & Company’s Building Capacity Blog.
Nora Daley-Peng reports on her thirst-quenching experience at Cascadia’s Come Rain/Shine Workshop, where a net zero water future reveals itself.
Its more integrated approach to designing and implementing solutions on the ground makes the Washington Business Alliance a winner for this sustainable building consulting firm, says Donna Trost, O’Brien & Company’s Business Manager.
LEED Rescue: How do projects get into trouble, and how do they get out? Jodie Clarke, LEED AP BD+C Responds
Jodie Clarke, LEED AP BD+C of O’Brien & Company sometimes comes to the rescue for clients needing a LEED Rescue. In this article, she offers tips on how you can prevent an emergency in the first place, and what to do if you find yourselves in one.
Everything old is new again: Regulatory changes and changes in LEED reinforce waste prevention and source separated recycling as best practice for construction waste management
Regulations and changes in LEED means it may be more difficult to meet the letter of the law or LEED using commingled recycling facilities. Elizabeth Powers, LEED AP, an old hand at construction waste management policies and practice, discusses three issues contractors must consider for non-residential construction projects.
Colleen Groll, CSBA, LEED AP for Homes, and Senior Project Associate at O’Brien & Company, points out an area where developer and green buildng interests coincide: multi-family, and discusses why.
Green Gut Rehab Serves as Building Science Laboratory for Guild’s 2011 Green Home Tour: Interview with Colleen Groll, CSBA, LEED AP Homes, Energy Star Verifier and Performance Tester
Colleen Groll, LEED AP for Homes and CSBA and Residential Services Manager for O’Brien & Company, shares her lessons learned converting her 1918 “fixer-upper” into an energy efficient, healthy home that functions like today and meets aggressive LEED for Homes standards.
Capacity Building Tool for Planners hoping to achieve Net Zero Water Buildings and Neighborhoods Marks World Water Day
Kathleen O’Brien reviews a new capacity buildng tool for planners hoping to achieve Net Zero Water Buildings and Neighborhoods: “Toward Net Zero Water: Best Management Practices for Decentralized Source and Treatment.”
Don’t Touch My Building: Yvonne Kraus, LEED AP balances energy efficient adaptive reuse with historic preservation
Yvonne Kraus, LEED AP, and leader of LEED EB: O+M services at O’Brien & Company discusses how to best balance historic preservation needs with adaptive reuse and energy efficiency goals, outlines key factors to consider, and provides her favorite resources on the topic.
Client Health and Autonomy, Building Durability, and Cost Control were Key Drivers for Sound Mental Health’s LEED Platinum Housing Project in Seattle, Washington
Kenyon House is an 18-unit two-story affordable housing project for previously homeless people with disabilities and fragile health. Kathleen O’Brien interviews designer Christina Bollo, getting feedback on using LEED late in the game, restricted budgets and the satisfaction of building a beautiful, sustainable, durable home for those in need.
I’m a designer: What do I tell my client when he or she asks me what LEED will cost them for their project? Elizabeth Powers, LEED AP BD+C responds.
I’m a designer: What do I tell my client when he or she asks me what LEED will cost them for their project? Elizabeth Powers, LEED AP BD&C offers designers of LEED BD+C and LEED ID+C some answers to this burning issue at www.buildingcapacityblog.com.
How do you optimize a forced-air system to maintain a green home? Alistair Jackson, LEED AP for Homes Rater Responds: Part 4: MECHANICAL VENTILATION
Alistair Jackson, LEED for Home Rater offers the FOURTH and FINAL installment on How to Optimize a Forced-Air System for a Green Home at Building Capacity Blog. Focus: Ventilation.
How do you optimize a forced-air system to maintain a green home? Alistair Jackson, LEED AP for Homes Rater Responds: Part 3: HEAT SOURCE & CONTROLS
After you’ve dealt with the thermal envelope and ductwork of the home, it’s time to look at HEAT SOURCE (and controls). Alistair Jackson, LEED AP for Homes and Principal of O’Brien & Company’s Residential Technical Services writes the THIRD of a four part series on Optimizing Forced-Air Systems in a green home.
How do you optimize a forced-air system to maintain a green home? Alistair Jackson, LEED AP for Homes Responds: Part 2: FILTRATION
Alistair Jackson, LEED AP for Homes offers practical tips for optimizing Forced-Air Heating and Cooling Systems in new and existing homes. THIS WEEK (Part 2): FILTRATION
How do you optimize a forced-air system to maintain a green home? Alistair Jackson, LEED AP for Homes Responds: Part I: Distribution
Alistair Jackson, LEED AP for Homes offers practical tips for optimizing Forced-Air Heating and Cooling Systems in new and existing homes. First of a four part series, starting with Distribution.
Shoreline’s Sustainability Strategy Bears Fruit: Interview with Juniper Nammi, Associate Planner, AICP.
Juniper Nammi, AICP, Associate Planner with the City of Shoreline reports on progress resulting from her City’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy implemented in 2008, and offers her experience to those hoping to do something similar in their communities.
EECS & Strategic Energy Plans: Part 2 of 2. Kathleen O’Brien (O’Brien & Company) and Katie Spataro (Cascadia Green Building Council) discuss the ins and outs of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EEC) Strategy Block Grant money authorized by the National Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Examples of different strategies from cities around the nation can help you get your local government on the move!
To what type of construction does the Passive House system apply? James Jenkins, Certified Passive House Consultant replies.
It’s a misperception that Passive House applies only to homes. James Jenkins, Certified Passive House Consultant corrects this misperception for Building Capacity Blog readers, explaining how it applies to all buildings.
Economic Development Manager Ellen Miller-Wolfe discusses how the City of Kirkland is working towards economic sustainability in this challenging economy with a focus on local enterprise, green business practices, green job creation, and green building. For Miller-Wolfe, it’s all about place! Interview conducted by Building Capacity Blog Editor Kathleen O’Brien
LEED Silver Building Stands as Beacon of Hope for Agency with Long Legacy of Fighting Poverty: Interview with Larry Eyre
Larry Eyer, Executive Director of Kitsap Community Resources, an agency with its roots in the War on Poverty, discusses how its new LEED headquarters acts as a fitting beacon of hope and financial sustainability for its clients coming for help developing their personal financial independence.
What mechanical systems and fuel choices make sense for homes in a warming world? Alistair Jackson, LEED for Homes Rater Responds
With recent record high temperatures in North America and Russia and massive flooding in Pakistan as I write this, the evidence that climate destabilization is real – whoever or whatever is causing it – continues to pile up. If we … Continued
What would it take to accelerate the green building movement? Kathleen O’Brien discusses how an individual can foster positive change in the decision-makers they meet professionally through a deliberate approach using listening and learning.
Vulcan’s Sustainable Real Estate Initiatives Have Deep Roots: Interview with Lori Mason Curran and Brandon Morgan
Green building icon Kathleen O’Brien interviews Lori Mason Curran, Real Estate Investment Strategy Director and Brandon Morgan, Real Estate Development Manager on Vulcan Real Estate’s sustainable initiatives in the South Lake Union District of Seattle. They talk about Vulcan’s many firsts, the commercial real estate’s rationale for its deep rooted investment in sustainable development, and contributing factors that explain their success in the green building arena
LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance’s Energy Threshold: What does it take to get through the door? Kelly Kirkland, LEED AP O+M, Responds
Is it possible for our building to get LEED-EB certified? How do we find out before we get too far down the road? Kelly Kirkland, LEED AP O+M, responds.
Passive House Standard is a bit of overkill for mild climates. Or is it? James Jenkins, Certified Passive House Consultant says no, and makes his case with research results, and good hard reasoning aimed at green building designers, builders, and owners.
Editor Kathleen O’Brien provides tips on how to comment and submit questions to her recently launched www.buildingcapacityblog.com, and offers some good reasons to do so: Free good quality advice, Free marketing, and an easy way to help build capacity towards a sustainable future.
Leading design firm shows how to take the parking out of the parking lot. Interview with Walter Schacht.
Parking lot projects are common. They won’t be going away. In this interview with Walter Schacht, leading designer in the Northwest, we hear about how to approach these projects in a whole new light. Schacht discusses two campus parking lot projects (one new construction and one a renovation) that have been selected as pilots for Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™), the nation’s first rating system for green landscape design, construction and maintenance.
Get a taste of the recent Living Future 2010, the only conference focused on the Living Building Challenge, from the perspective of Kathleen O’Brien, a respected pioneer in the field, recently called the “matron saint” of green building — (not kidding!)
Patti Southard, Program Manager at King County GreenTools, describes the bioregional sustainability effort the County is spearheading to close the governmental gap between natural resource solutions and development policy through its 2010 Government Confluence. (If you work for, with, and in governments located in the Cascadia Region, be there or be square!)
On July 1, 2010, the new Washington State Energy Code comes into force.This week, Travis of Topline Builders asked Building Capacity Blog: As contractors, how can we meet the new code without losing our shirts? Are YOU ready? Are you confident your construction practices will meet the new infiltration requirements? Alistair Jackson, head of O’Brien & Company’s residential technical services group responds to Travis’ question with a gameplan you can use to make sure you don’t get caught with your proverbial pants down.
Learn how Art Castle, representing of the building industry in Kitsap County successfully changed LID Policy in Kitsap County and all four cities in its jurisdiction using an Ecology Grant and working with consultants O’Brien & Company, Herrera, and an impressive group of stakeholders. Castle shares his advice on how others could follow his act.
Find out why green building and sustainable development expert Kathleen O’Brien has launched the Building Capacity Blog — a tool to exchange ideas, highlight solutions and lessons learned, and reduce risk as we all work towards a full-bore vision of a sustainable built environment.