Want to outfit your home with the edgiest in eco-tech? Just ask engineer Jerry Yudelson.
Green building and carbon-neutral living might seem like recent ideas, but engineer Jerry Yudelson has been in the environmentally friendly building business for 14 years. Today he directs a consulting firm in Tucson, Arizona, and his name is on a dozen books about green design. Before LEED certification (that’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, to us non-pros) was a glimmer in any architect’s eye, Yudelson was pushing for solar houses. And he still is.
If you’re being taken for granted, it can be hard to tell. Just ask the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED certification system.
For years, as more and more flashy new buildings lined up for their bona fides, LEED routinely allowed them to stand on its shoulders and reap the benefits of sustainable credentials and higher property values. But once the certifications had been awarded, did those buildings look back? Did they keep the green promises they’d made?
“It’s been like an arranged marriage. You go to the ceremony, then never see each other again,” says green building consultant Jerry Yudelson about LEED, now in its third major iteration. “That’s not the way it’s going to be going forward.”