Green Building Networks
This page provides information on people, communities and institutions involved in the practice of sustainability and green building, as well as blogs and forums addressing green building, energy efficiency, and other sustainability topics. The intent of this page is to connect users with the latest developments in the area of sustainability, and build peer-to-peer networking opportunities.
The following resources showcase the work of champions that are promoting sustainability and green building principles and practice around the nation.
- Bill Browning
One of the green building and real estate industry’s foremost thinkers and strategists, Mr. Browning is also an advocate for sustainable design solutions at all levels of business, government, and civil society. He is also one of the founders of Terrapin Bright Green, a partnership to help lead the transformation to a restorative economy.
- Majora Carter
An environmental justice advocate and economic consultant from the South Bronx area of New York City and the founder of the Majora Carter Group and Sustainable South Bronx, Ms. Carter recognized the link between environmental improvement and economic revitalization, and also helped with the founding of Green for All.
- Anthony Cortese
Dr. Cortese is co-founder with U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and Teresa Heinz and President of Second Nature, a nonprofit organization with a mission to develop the national capacity to make healthy, just, and sustainable action a foundation of all learning and practice in higher education.His essays on Education for Sustainability serve as foundational reading for transforming the process and content of higher education.
- Pliny Fisk III and Gail Vittori
Co-directors of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems (CMPBS), Fisk and Vittori are pioneers in the field of sustainable design. Fisk helped create AshCrete, an innovative building material made from the fly ash generated by coal-fired power plants and the bottom ash from aluminum smelters. Vittori led a committee that devised the Green Guide for Health Care, a 360-page "design tool kit" that suggests steps that hospitals and other facilities can take to reduce hazardous chemicals and adopt green practices everywhere from the cafeteria to the housekeeping department.
- Van Jones
Former Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and the founder of Green for All, Dr. Jones worked to advance the current US Administration’s energy and climate initiatives with a specific interest in improvements and opportunities for vulnerable communities. He is a major supporter of green-collar jobs and the green economy.
- Amory Lovins
Co-founder, chairman and chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute, Dr. Lovins has been active at the nexus of energy, resources, environment, development, and security in more than 50 countries. He is widely considered among the world’s leading authorities on energy—especially its efficient use and sustainable supply—and an innovator in integrative design.
- William McDonough
Co-author of “Cradle to Cradle” and founding principal of William McDonough and Partners, Mr. McDonough supports the creation of “goods and services that generate ecological, social and economic value.”
- David W Orr
Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College and a James Marsh Professor at the University of Vermont, Dr. Orr is a well-known environmentalist and is active in many areas of environmental studies, including environmental education and environmental design. In 1996, he organized the construction of one of the greenest buildings in North America, the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies at Oberlin College.
The following resources provide information on various efforts by students and local groups to promote sustainability and green practices.
- Community Sustainability Partnership
The CSP is a diverse network of community organizations in West Michigan that uses sustainability guiding principles in the planning and operations and is striving to make a positive impact in the community.
- PBS Independent Lens - Power Paths
This film follows an intertribal coalition as they fight to transform their local economies by replacing coal mines and smog-belching power plants with renewable energy technologies. This transition honors their heritage and supports future generations by protecting their sacred land, providing electricity to their homes and creating jobs for their communities.
- Smart Communities Network
This network was created by the National Center for Appropriate Technology to help communities adopt sustainable development as a strategy to strengthen their local economies, improve the quality of the environment, and enhance the well being of residents.
- Sustainable Saunders
A student-led initiative at the University of Hawaii works toward transforming the environmental performance of an on-campus building and creating change across the entire campus.
- Sustainable South Bronx
Founded by Majora Carter, this organization works toward advancing the environmental and economic rebirth of the South Bronx and inspiring solutions in related sustainability areas across the nation and around the world.
- Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative
A cross-sector collaboration seeking to leverage the climate action commitments organized by Cornell University, Ithaca College, Tompkins Cortland Community College, Tompkins County, and the City of Ithaca to mobilize a countywide energy efficiency effort focused primarily on the retrofitting of buildings.
- uHome University City
uHome U City engages Washington University students in designing LEED® certified homes for local neighborhoods in University City, MO. Other partners in the project are Arcturis, Green Space Construction, and the City of University, and they share the belief that creativity, responsibility and collaboration are the foundation of the community’s future.
- UChicago Green Campus Initiative
A student organization at the University of Chicago involved in encouraging the university to improve its energy efficiency, and green its operations.
- USGBC Campus Initiatives
A list of campus initiatives compiled by the U.S. Green Building Council that includes links to initiatives at universities such as Arizona State University, Duke University and Santa Clara University.
- YouthBuild Rural & Tribal Development Initiative
This initiative provides individual technical assistance to local programs, supports new site development, and offers training at rural national conferences for rural youth and rural program staff.
- Youth Build USA Green Initiative
The Green Initiative assists YouthBuild programs to address global warming, environmental justice, and the rising costs of energy, in ways that provide youth with employment and community service opportunities in addition to providing families-in-need with more affordable and healthy housing.
The following efforts portray higher education and other institutions’ commitment to sustainability and green building practice
- American College & Universities Presidents' Climate Commitment
An effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions, and to accelerate the efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate
- Clinton Climate Initiative
An initiative by the William J. Clinton foundation to create and advance solutions to the core issues driving climate change including increasing energy efficiency in cities
- Evergreen College - Sustainability at Evergreen
An institution that aims to be a laboratory for sustainability as demonstrated in its operations, curriculum, and quality of life for employees and students
- Furman University Center for Sustainability
A showcase of programs and initiatives at Furman University that promote sustainability as an interdisciplinary field
- Harvard University Office for Sustainability
Harvard University’s office that connects members of the college community to make the university sustainable in the long term.
- Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building Initiative
The Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building Initiative aims to achieve marketable net-zero energy commercial buildings by 2025. Net-zero energy buildings generate as much energy as they consume through efficiency technologies and on-site power generation.
- Portland State University – Green Building Research Laboratory
The university is in the early stages of creating a facility where university researchers from across Oregon and beyond work in close collaboration with industry partners to solve the fundamental and applied research needs of the green building industry.
- Sustainability at UC Santa Barbara
Sustainability efforts being undertaken at UC Santa Barbara including sustainability plan, student projects, and its grant initiative to promote student and faculty sustainability projects
- RMI Accelerating Climate Change Climate Initiative
A partnership between the Rocky Mountain Institute and the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education to research barriers and solutions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions on college and university campuses
- USGBC Green Campus Campaign
U.S. Green Building Council’s campaign to strengthen campus sustainability efforts through partnership with students, faculty and administrators
- USGBC Portfolio Program
This program enables companies and building owners to integrate LEED® into their new and existing building projects using a cost-effective, streamlined certification process.
- UNEP Climate Neutral Network
This initiative was launched by the United Nations Environmental Program to assist in catalyzing a response to global warming. The key objective is to facilitate information exchange and networking on achieving a transition to a low and eventually climate neutral society.
- University of Florida – College of Design, Construction and Planning
UF’s This College of Design, Construction and Planning is dedicated to demonstrating sustainable solutions in the built environment.. The program seeks ways to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.
- UNH University Office of Sustainability
The oldest endowed sustainability program in higher education in the U.S housed at the University of New Hampshire. Click here to watch a video on UNH's Green Initiative.
- University of Virginia - ecoMOD
A collaborative project by School of Architecture at the University of Virginia that has students create ecological, modular, and affordable housing units, USGBC profile.
- University of Washington Tyson Research Center
The University of Washington recently completed the Living Learning Center, a 2,900-square-foot facility built to meet the Living Building Challenge. Article
These blogs are useful to colleges and universities as they provide up-to-date information on new developments and initiatives in the sustainability field.
A blog providing event coverage, reviews, and opinion on the latest news from the green building field
A blog by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) covering topics related to campus sustainability
- Environmental Protection Agency Blog
Green building blog posts from Greenversations, the official blog of the US Environmental Protection Agency
- Getting to Green
A blog on administrator’s efforts to move his university and the world to a more sustainable equilibrium
- Greenedia Green Building Blogs
A number of green building blogs listed at Greenedia, the green social media website
- Greener Building Blogs
Blogs on issues related to designing, constructing, and operating environmentally responsible commercial buildings
- GreenTech Pastures
A blog by media professionals on green and sustainable practices at the intersection of business and technology
- iGreenbuild Blog
A blog on green building, sustainable design, innovative design materials and environmental issues
- OnEarth Blog
Blog posts from the Natural Resources Defense Council publication including green building posts
- The Natural Step Archived Blogs
Blog posts from an organization researching the science of sustainability and linking it to real world applications
A blog dedicated to making sustainability part of mainstream culture by covering the latest in green news, initiatives, solutions and products
The intent of this section is to connect users with communities that share similar interests and trigger conversation and discussion on green building and sustainability topics.
- Advancing Green Building Group
A forum focused around green building at higher education institutions by Second Nature.
- AASHE Buildings Forum
A discussion forum on buildings by AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
- AASHE Campus Sustainability Forums
Discussion forums on campus sustainability by AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
- Green Buildings and Homes Forums
Forums on green building at the Fostering Sustainable Behavior website.
- Solar Energy Forums - CBSM
Forums discussing solar energy at the Fostering Sustainable Behavior website.