LAKE PLACID - The head of the U.S. Green Building Council was the keynote speaker Wednesday at the 19th annual Conference on the Adirondacks, held at the High Peaks Resort Wednesday and today.
Rick Fedrizzi, who is from Syracuse, talked about the green building movement, providing some background on some problems associated with development and some positive things happening now.
Fedrizzi said 50 percent of the world's population lives in cities, which occupy 2 percent of the world's land mass. Still, they use two-thirds of the world's energy and produce two-thirds of the world's carbon dioxide.
Rick Fedrizzi, the head of the U.S. Green Building Council, talks about the green building movement as the keynote speaker Wednesday at the 19th annual Conference on the Adirondacks, being held at the High Peaks Resort Wednesday and today.
"So you have this immense amount of people in this small space using a lot of resources," he said "Those resources are 80 percent of the world's resources, and they produce a billion pounds of waste annually. It's really frightening."
Fedrizzi also addressed the issue of development in general, noting that some people think it should be slowed in some areas.
"I may agree with part of that, but I think economies are going to grow, people are going to demand things and development is going to happen," he said. "Our goal is to make sure they do it right. If they do it right, it can be a teaching tool in a legacy in generations to come and ultimately change the way things are going forward."
One of the way's the Green Building Council affected development was to create LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, in 2000. LEED is a green construction standard. Buildings that show sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality can reach varying levels of certification.
"There is a number of benefits in the LEED program and why these buildings are now in high demand," he said. "A lot of it comes from the business community. ... You have the ability to differentiate yourself from other businesses."
Fedrizzi said there are now 150,000 LEED-registered projects in 130,000 countries, about 40 percent outside the U.S.
Currently the council is working on its LEED 2012 program, which will establish a new rating system and focus more on warehouses, existing schools and retail stores, among other places.
"This is the next wave of the LEED rating system," Fedrizzi said. "When you start to look at what 2012 is, it's a little bit different."
Among those differences is that the system will go beyond looking at just energy consumption. It will also look at toxins, waste and water.