Monday, June 29, 2015

U.S. Green Building Council President to Step Down

Charismatic leader at the forefront of industry-wide growth

As the country prepares to choose a new president to lead in 2017, another influential change will be happening as well – albeit on a slightly smaller scale. Rick Fedrizzi, the CEO and founder of the United States Green Building Council, has announced he will be stepping down as the Council’s CEO at the end of 2016.

While Fedrizzi may not be a household name, his leadership has had a national impact. Current USGBC Board Chair Marge Anderson described him as “a transformational leader,” citing his effect on a market that has seen major shifts over Fedrizzi’s 12 years as CEO. In his time at the Green Building Council – 22 years in all, including time as the volunteer founding chair – Fedrizzi guided the group through four iterations of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ratings system, with each new version reflecting a growing awareness of the impact of green design on communities as well as on the planet.

Green design is evident in this office building's construction
During Rick Fedrizzi’s time at the U.S. Green Building Council, green design has become increasingly important.
In a recent press release, the charismatic CEO praised his coworkers’ dedication and experience and emphasized the Green Building Council’s strength. “The organization’s executive team is seasoned and capable, assuring that USGBC’s work will continue to be executed at a high level and that USGBC’s reputation as a leading voice in the sustainability movement will continue uninterrupted,” Fedrizzi said. “The emerging leaders across the organization are running sophisticated global business units of their own.”

That description, though, understates Fedrizzi’s own role in building the Council and keeping the LEED certification prestigious: Anderson points out that “[Fedrizzi’s work is] evident not only in the fundamental positive shifts in the market, but also in the amazing team he has assembled and nurtured, especially at the executive level. USGBC’s next leader will have a strong foundation from which to launch USGBC’s next chapter.”

The LEED certification program has always had a focus on sustainability, and Fedrizzi’s work supported a growing push to make renewable energy mainstream. In upholding high standards for green design and rewarding buildings built with sustainability in mind, the U.S. Green Building Council has been at the forefront of an ever-developing trend toward environmentally responsible construction.

As conversations continue to swirl about human impact on climate change, the Green Building Council’s role as a strong leader in the field of green design has become more and more important. While sustainability is a frequently cited ideal, Fedrizzi led the Council beyond buzzwords like “renewable energy” and “environmentally friendly.” The group’s focus on clear and high-quality criteria have created a growing demand for LEED-credentialed professionals. Architects, designers, and construction workers increasingly recognize the benefits of LEED courses and certifications, as the Council’s importance promises to grow during and beyond Fedrizzi’s last year.

“As one of the founders of USGBC, I never could have imagined the sweeping global impact the organization would have, the wide-ranging work that could be accomplished, the dramatic change in our industry that we would lead, the scale of the innovation we would spark or the number of lives we would touch,” Fedrizzi said. “It’s been a humbling and gratifying experience.”

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Friday, June 12, 2015

EPA News Release: EPA Inspection Reveals Violations of Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule for Kansas City Company

EPA RRP recordkeeping tool for EPA audit

This article was originally released by the EPA on June 11, 2015.
EPA Media Contact Information: Angela Brees, 913-551-7940

(Lenexa, Kan., June 11, 2015) – EPA Region 7 conducted a random recordkeeping inspection at Damage Control & Restoration, Inc., in Kansas City, Kan., which revealed violations of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule. As part of a settlement with EPA filed recently in Lenexa, Kan., the company has agreed to pay a $12,194 penalty to the United States.

The Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule seeks to reduce lead exposure from toxic lead dust that can be disturbed during renovations and repairs. The rule regulates lead-based paint activities, including renovation of residences built prior to 1978, and the certification of individuals and firms who are involved in these activities.

The recordkeeping inspection at Damage Control & Restoration, a home renovation company that specializes in fire and water restoration, revealed that the company failed to distribute required pamphlets, and retain records documenting lead safe work practices.

Lead exposure can cause a range of adverse health effects, from behavioral disorders and learning disabilities to seizures and death, putting young children at the greatest risk because their nervous systems are still developing. Today at least 4 million households have children who are being exposed to high levels of lead.

There are approximately half-a-million U.S. children ages 1-5 with blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL), the reference level at which the Centers for Disease Control recommends public health actions be initiated.

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