Eco Thinking:

The Green Economy Post is an informative blog covering the impact of the environment, sustainability, cleantech and renewable energy on the US economy.  Readers are provided with insightful feature stories, checklists, commentary, case studies, practical advice and insight, news and... more.

One article is about 12 tactics on how to engage your employees in the company's sustainability efforts.  The article Make Sustainability Personal talks about emphasized in my previous posts.  Check out the site and the article, its a good read :)

Design Management: Creativity, Design and Darwinism

 Many things will inspire you in life or just strike a cord of revelation or connection.  I was reading an article on the DMI web page and it inspired me to write this blog.

I have been part of the Design Management Institute (DMI) for years now. DMI has great information and bring design and business leader together to educate and advance business on all levels. My Masters in Design Management has taught me the importance of Design on all levels of business and how to use design and creativity can make a company grow.  I was reading one article by Charles Bezerra titled "Key to Innovation" where he links Darwinism to business practice.

One part of the article hit home in what I have been saying to some companies out there about the green movement and what to do in managing change to be the leaders in the industry.  Charles stated "Darwin never said that the strongest or the most intelligent is the one that survives; what he really said was the one who survives is whoever is better prepared for change, in other words, the most adaptable. In a world of extreme competition as we live, people and organizations need to learn to adapt faster and faster."

In business a company needs to stay ahead of the competition and make sure that it has the tools to stay ahead of the game. As back in the 80's ADA changed the way the industry thinks so is the green / sustainability movement.  For any company to be one that gets the jobs and stay ahead of all they will need to adapt to the change.  Adaption needs to happen on all levels of the organization.  This needs to be done consecutively.  Making sure all communication channels are open and all internal and external communication systems are sending the same message.  Analyzing existing standards,tools and seeing what needs to be added or changed is important.

At the same time an organization needs to make sure that their employees are also educated to what the changes are and what they need to do.  Educating the staff on all levels will create a solid team and insure that mistakes are not made.  "To innovate, a company needs to create the right environment, the right culture to inspire people and enlighten their minds, in order to lead people to reach their full potential. Acquiring machinery, processes, and systems has no value if we don’t invest in people. This is the most important job for today’s leaders. In innovation there are no formulas. Before creating innovations, we need to create the innovators."

I understand these needs and have started M3D Consulting to help organization with the change process. Check out my website for more information.

Green Building 101: LEED Simplified

Understanding green buildings is simple, as one builds, designs, develops, renovates,… one has to keep 3 simple in mind:  

1. Interior Environments  
2. Ecological Environments  
3. Material Use

Understanding what are the implication of the 3 ideas, how to achieve these goals and how they are all connected is important.  LEED credit sections address all these ideas across the all credits.  LEED breaks down these ideas in credits and helps the users address them in detail and find documented ways to achieve them.  Here are the 3 ideas in a more defined mode:

1.      Interior Environments – When thinking about interiors consider the users of the space and the environmental impacts of everything you are doing to make that a healthy one for the users.   This would include:
  •  Air quality – ventilation and  toxic material that may be released in the air
  • Natural lighting – visibility to the outside, day lighting
  •  Temperature – Creating an environment with temperature that is stable and suitable to the human body (not too hot or too cold)
  •  Material reuse – includes, recycling and trying to keep items out of landfills on all levels
Information on how to try to achieve these environmentally safe and healthy interiors would be in these LEED sections:
  •   Energy & Atmosphere
  •  Material & Resources
  • Indoor Environment Quality

2.      Ecological Environment – When thinking about building, renovating, designing… one needs to consider the implications on the natural environment and all living things.  This would include:
  •   Rebuild the eco systems for other living things
  •    Remove toxins from the environment for the health of humans and other living things
  •    Reduce the use of natural resources that destroy other living things homes, this includes water
  •     Reduce the impact of our needs on other living things
Information on how to try to achieve these ecologically sound environments would be in these LEED sections:
  •    Energy & Atmosphere
  •  Material & Resources
  •   Sustainable Sites
  •    Water Efficiency

3.      Material Use – When thinking of materials, one needs to think about all materials being used.  Make sure all materials used are environmentally friendly and toxin free. One needs to think of how materials are manufactured and what will happen to them after their use is done; the term “Cradle to Cradle” is being used in the industry.  This would be thinking about all materials from production to the grave. This would include:

  •   All exterior building materials
  •  All interior building materials
  • All materials used on building site
Information on how and where to use environmentally sound materials would be in these LEED sections:
  •   Energy & Atmosphere
  •  Material & Resources
  •  Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Indoor Environment Quality
LEED reference guides and sections help answer the questions of the what and the how for these 3 ideas.  Each LEED Section is broken down to:
  •          Prerequisites - have to do’s
  •          Credits – areas of green buildings / environments one is looking into
  •          Intent – what one wants to have happen
  •          Requirements – what one  needs to follow by law and code for it to happen
  •          Potential Technologies and Strategies - what could be done to achieve this
  •          Submittals – What one would need for a LEED project in this section
  •          Supportive Section – This area has terms, definitions, calculations, decision makers and more
Understanding how to use these sections as a tool and how they all relate to the 3 main ideas is important to understanding green building and communities.  LEED Green Associates have an understanding of how the LEED sections relate to the Interior environments, Ecological environments and Material use.  LEED AP with a specialty understands how to implement these sections for their area of expertise.

My Article on


Check out my article on

Developing Sustainability through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)




Thinking Green: Is LEED Enouph?

Is LEED Enough? It is a question that is being asked by a lot in the industry.  My answer is NO.  LEED is only a stepping stone that all need to know.  We are in a time of change just like back in the mid 1980’s when ADA was first introduced by congress.  This was not an easy transition for the building industry as we needed to learn to build and design differently; But now any designer, architect, contractor, etc knows the simple regulation such as main hallways need to be 5’-0” min, doorways need to be 3’-0” min.  Without thought we know these have to be done.  Well, LEED provides these same rules that need to be followed and thought of as all aspects of a project is being developed. 

Again our industry is in transition and we are at the beginning of the movement where we have local organizations fighting for the change.  Some examples of NYC organizations are USGBC Urban Green Council, NY League of Conservation voters, GrowNYC, Lower East Side Ecology Center, Solar One / Two. There are so many more that are out there that see the need for change and are fighting this battle through education, public awareness and policy.  

This is not an easy transition for companies as it was not back in the 1980’s, but it is coming and it is time to embrace it.  As individuals we need to educate ourselves with the basics, LEED Green Associates is a start.  As companies we need to hire individuals that understand the green building process; these individuals would be LEED GA or LEED AP.  As organizations we need to make sure that we work with companies that have true knowledge of sustainability with an accredited staff.  As consumers we need to purchase green products and organic produce to show the manufactures that this is where they need to be.
As I stated before LEED is NOT enough and as I said it is not an easy transition.  If it was simple at this time, all that is built would be LEED Platinum.  But we need to start Striving for Living building and communities with LEED Platinum as a minimum.   The Living Building Challenge strives past LEED to create self a self sustaining building and community, etc.  It has similar performance areas as LEED, they are: Site, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity and Beauty. They provide a framework for design, construction and the symbiotic relationship between people and all aspects of the built environment.  Check out the latest Version 2.0 challenge at

As individuals, we need to strive for higher sustainability measures while using LEED as a template for understanding.  As we do this and collaborating with others to try to achieve these measures, people will start developing products that will make it easier for others to do the same.  

 “If not us, who? If not now, when?” John F. Kennedy.