Resources

The U.S. Green Building Council is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community of leaders working to make green buildings available to everyone within a generation. This is the fastest growing green building organization on the planet and the leader in consensus driven green building programs and certifications.  I am a representative of the Chapter Steering Committee for 2009-2010.

As a founding member and past board chair, I am still quite active with the USGBC Central Texas – Balcones Chapter, a not-for-profit organization made up of a diverse professional constituency in Central Texas and surrounding communities.  I am honored to have found a family of friends here that have asked me to represent them on the South Central Regional Council for 2009-2010.

Architecture 2030, a non-profit, non-partisan and independent organization, was established in response to the global-warming crisis by architect Edward Mazria in 2002. 2030’s mission is to rapidly transform the US and global Building Sector from the major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions to a central part of the solution to the global-warming crisis.

Ask Nature is the world’s first free, online, searchable library of Nature’s solutions, organized by function, that can service as an educational and cross pollinating tool so bio-inspired breakthroughs can be born. I also curate a strategy topic on this site entitled: Multifunctional integration is remedy for architecture: ecosystems.

We believe that biomimicry and its principles are the most important emerging strategies and ideas out there. The mission of The Biomimicry Institute is to nurture and grow a global community of people who are learning from, emulating, and conserving life’s genius to create a healthier, more sustainable planet.

The Biomimicry Guild is the only innovation company in the world to use a deep knowledge of biological adaptations to help designers, engineers, architects, and business leaders solve design and engineering challenges sustainably.

Ecosystem services play a huge role in our sustainability practice. The Sustainable Sites Initiative is an interdisciplinary effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the United States Botanic Garden to create voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices.

The University of Texas Materials Lab at the School of Architecture catalogues cool stuff, and anyone can drop by to visit them to see physical samples and sometimes even mock-ups.

I love Living Buildings, the closest thing out there to truly regenerative design for buildings right now. The International Living Building Institute’s mission is to encourage the creation of Living Buildings, Sites and Communities in countries around the world while inspiring, educating and motivating a global audience about the need for fundamental and transformative change.

Currently the best resource out there for green building product information, whole systems thinking and project case studies, is BuildingGreen.com. This is a subscription based site if you want full content, which we highly recommend.

I would be totally remiss if I didn’t give a HUGE shout out to CMPBS, The Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems. I attended their Friday Open Houses back in the early 90s as an architecture student and remember the inspiration and intimidation I felt back then. If ever there was a motivating influence for me to figure out all this sustainability stuff, this group can hold themselves responsible for show casing great research and opening their doors to all that are interested.

Austin Green Building Program. Yes indeed, America’s #1 Green Building Program. They’re still going strong, setting the precedent for municipalities around the country to follow. I particularly love their monthly educational programs.

One of the best environmental websites to be found, Worldchanging is a 501(c)3 media organization that comprises a global network of independent journalists, designers and thinkers covering the world’s most intelligent solutions to today’s problems.

Ok, I love this one just as much as Worldchanging. TreeHugger is the leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream. Partial to a modern aesthetic, they strive to be a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information.

I love good blogs, and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Blog, The DIRT, is a newly discovered treasure.

The Environmental Defense Fund, Innovation Exchange is a great online collection of industry information based on pressing issues within particular sectors. I really love the tools section, but also find it useful to keep current with things that might otherwise slip past me.

The Buckminster Fuller Challenge, Idea Index is a hugely inspirational site that is full of innovative ideas that also help me create that critical and needed shift of perspective from time to time.

Stacey Frost rocks and has also served as a tremendous source of inspiration for me. I had the honor of helping facilitate the kick-off charrette for Re:Vision Dallas and then later compete with an international team once the competition for this sustainable urban block opened to the public. Urban:Revision is a leader in influencing sustainable urbanism by providing a unique venue to brainstorm new approaches and by forging the necessary partnerships that enable them to be considered.

How can you not love this? OpenEco.org is a global on-line community that provides free, easy-to-use tools to help participants assess, track, and compare energy performance, share proven best practices to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and encourage sustainable innovation.

For all you’ll ever to know about commissioning services and then some, look no further than the Commissioning Resource Center.

Two outstanding websites that are growing awareness about safeguarding our waters and creating the tools to assess our impacts are Water Footprint and Pacific Institute.

I met Michael Sylvester of fabprefab several years ago now when I was tinkering with the idea of joining a consortium to launch a Central Texas based prefab company. I still love prefab and see lots of opportunity to integrate assemblies and systems into structures of many types.

Shortly after I met Michael Sylvester, I had the good fortune of meeting Steve Glenn of Living Homes at a prefab conference in Austin. Living Homes is an innovative design/build company delivering beautiful prefab homes to the market. Living Homes has the unique distinction of receiving USGBC’s first LEED Platinum certified home. Steve also recently introduced me to my 2009 summer intern, Daniel Jacobsen.

I love information design, and Pharos Lens is a really great tool because it speaks to material evaluation with a more stringent reporting on human health impacts, and it does it through the use of great visualization to boot.

High performance design can only happen through an integrated process, and the Whole Building Design Guide serves as the preeminent resource for articles, case studies, tools, applied research and more on the topic. They also link to great resources for Life Cycle Costing and Assessment.

Better Bricks is a comprehensive resource focused on energy efficiency for buildings that also delivers many of the subsets that energy efficiency strategies depend upon.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is a CEO-led, global association of some 200 companies dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development. The Council provides a platform for companies to explore sustainable development, share knowledge, experiences and best practices, and to advocate business positions on these issues in a variety of forums, working with governments, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations. I subscribe to several of their newsletters!

Cool Austin.org is the City of Austin’s website for the Austin Climate Protection Program.

TreeHugger is the leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream. Partial to a modern aesthetic, they strive to be a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information.

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the NC Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP), sponsored by a coalition of public interest nonprofit groups, government agencies, and other organizations in the energy efficiency field, is designed to give consumers and businesses information they need to make use of the federal income tax incentives for energy efficient products and technologies passed by Congress as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and subsequently amended several times.

Just as fiber optics transformed the way you communicate every day, we’re about to revolutionize the way you receive, use and even generate energy. The Pecan Street Project is a city-wide laboratory In Austin devoted to exploring new ideas. It’s a place where researchers and entrepreneurs to develop, test and implement the Smart Grid, the urban power system of the future.

The Pew Center’s Climate TechBook is a primer on low-carbon technologies & climate solutions at your fingertips. Greenhouse gas emissions come from diverse sources across the economy. The magnitude of emissions and diversity of sources means that no single technology, policy, or behavioral change will be able to “solve” climate change. Rather, a portfolio of solutions is needed. A wide range of technologies already exist, or are currently under development, to facilitate greenhouse gas emission reductions.

I’ve been in involved as an advisor on two past Solar Decathlon entries by the University of Texas, and I continue to be inspired by this competition in which 20 teams of college and university students compete to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house.

My “pay it forward” attitude is inspired in large part by the generosity of Michelle Reott of Earthly Ideas. She was extremely generous as a mentor to me a few years ago and I hope I can do the same for others.

For all things regarding business ethics and corporate responsibility, we turn to The Corporate Responsibility Officer

It’s simple: Business. The Environment. The Bottom Line. GreenBiz is the leading resource on how to align environmental responsibility with business success. They provide daily news, tools, and resources to corporate executives and sustainability directors at large and small businesses through a combination of websites, electronic newsletters, online events, briefing papers, and other means

Net Impact is a global organization of students and professionals using business to improve the world. They offer a portfolio of programs and initiatives to educate, equip, and inspire our more than 10,000 members to make a tangible difference through business. See also Net Impact Austin.

Uplift Austin is a great organization that transforms public schools into sites of unexpected color and spirit by educating youth in the fundamentals of sustainable design through the real-life renovation of their own schools. We’re trying to help.

The Skoll Foundation drives large-scale change by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs and other innovators dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing problems.

Austin is home to an amazing community of people that care about the environment.  The Austin EcoNetwork has created the networking vehicle for us to get information, event notifications, and resources related to Austin and the environment.

Triple Pundit is a group of critical optimists who write about the creation and development of sustainable organizations, brands, and business cultures- innovative solutions to make business better. 3p covers the startups in garages, the corporate titans and the cube dwelling change agents – those who realize that true profitability is more than financial and material gain.

Appropedia is the site for collaborative solutions in sustainability, poverty reduction and international development. Appropedia helps us sustain our world by creating an open source work space for everyone to participate.

Localism and food production are united in a truly wonderful way through Resolution Gardens, an extension of Austin Green Art. If you are wanting help getting your own garden(s) started or help keeping them maintained, this group can a create a solution for you.

Are you looking for something else? This list only scratches the surface, so let us know if we can help you find the resources of interest to you or if you’d like to see something added to this posting.

For information on more green products, services and support, check out our Green Products and Services (click to download) spreadsheet.