Tag Archives: green life

Let’s Celebrate World Green Building Week!

This week we’re celebrating World Green Building Week. For me, it’s a time to reflect, celebrate and renews my sustainability commitments.

It’s hard to believe it’s almost two decades now since I stood on that stage in Tokyo on Earth Day 1998 and proclaimed by vision to found a UN of country green building councils. I figured that since I was there welcoming Japan as the world’s second green building council, that this movement would soon go global.

Fast forward to today, and the World Green Building Council, which I envisioned that day now has more than half the world as members. Many of them have green building rating systems like LEED, Green Star or BREEAM and are actively certifying green buildings as their memberships grow and inspire. Some say we’ve spawned a trillion dollar economy!

Here’s a blog I wrote to celebrate this week and to share some of our history with country green building council members.

When I was about 20 years old and a young engineering student at Stanford University in 1980, I used to sometimes skip my hardcore classes and walk over to the fountain in the central quad of the beautiful campus and read Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse. I had difficulty understanding how all the mathematical formulas and equations would apply to my life and found the problem sessions abstract. Instead, as a salve, I found the story of the young Brahman wandering through the desert and into remote villages as he searched for meaning and purpose more palpable.

I believe we’re here for a higher purpose, one that’s actually divine. But I’ve found that it’s easy to quickly lose focus and no longer hear the calling. Pressures of designing, building and operating our buildings requires diligence to successfully navigate the outcome. Financial pressures, risks and schedule constraints often force the process. But to what result?

>> CLICK HERE to read the rest of my story <<

What’s the benefit of your labor?

On Monday we celebrated Labor Day. Since its first celebration in 1882 in New York City, the holiday has been dedicated to worker’s social and economic achievements that have helped advance the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

This is my first of many blogs to come, and I’d like to reflect a bit on the nature of our labor and its relationship to transformation. I’ve also got a few announcements for you below, including a priority wait list sign up for my new forthcoming BuildMove pilot trainings.

I’ve experienced several epiphanies that not only changed my life but my relationship to labor. Since that first one in 2001, when I’d taken a hard look at who I’d become: fancy Armani suits, Ferragamo loafers and slicked back hair. I’d strayed far from my true nature and could no longer hear my calling. I realized that I could change my work in the real estate field to add greater value, meaning, and health. I no longer needed to solely work on maximizing profit but could embrace a newer definition to include people and planet – what we now refer to as the triple-bottom-line.
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Episode 45 Sander Paul van Tongeren

I’ve long believed that if you want to boost global sustainability, then work on greening real estate – our buildings and homes. The impact is vast in terms of energy, water and materials consumption, and health of occupants and the planet.

GRESB is a nonprofit based in Amsterdam [and is a subsidiary of the GBCI] and is having huge success with its benchmark tool in assessing some of the world’s largest real estate portfolios. The membership organization has participants from 60 countries, including some of the world and US’s biggest pension fund investors, such as CALPERS.

Join me in this week’s Regen360 iTunes podcast show where I interview GRESB’s Co-Founder and Managing Director Sander Paul van Tongeren. We learn more about GRESB and its enormous initiative, organizational details, and annual growth, as well as what drives Sander Paul.

To the greening of real estate portfolios while boosting profit!

David

Episode 36 Dr. Pedram Shojai

Daily life for most of us is chaotic. Emails, text, cell phones have only made it worse, creating few boundaries for quiet time.

Time itself is one of the scarcest of commodities. And personal health for many is lacking.

How do we catch ourselves and push the reset button? It requires the patience, skills, and discipline of a monk.

Enter Dr. Pedram Shojai, OMD. He’s an extremely rare combination of East meets West: trained as an ordained priest from the lineage of the Golden Dragon Temple, movie producer, bestselling author, podcast host, qigong and herbalist master, doctor of oriental medicine and founder of Well.org.

I’m thrilled for you to meet my good friend and colleague Dr. Pedram Shojai in this week’s Regen360 iTunes podcast show. Join me in learning about Pedram’s newest book, The Urban Monk, where we’ll hear about modern hacks to stop time, find success, happiness, and peace!

To adding more monk to our urban lives!

David Gottfried

Episode 24 Hunter Lovins

I remember the first time I met Hunter Lovins. We were on a joint trip to China, invited by a group sponsored by the mayor of Shanghai. Our mission was to help brainstorm the future sustainability of a city that wanted to double in size in about ten years, adding the equivalent density of San Francisco.

On the morning of the first day we boarded a bus to tour the old city, where they’d started to tear down many of the historic structures for their growth on steroids. I looked over at a woman standing next to Amory Lovins, who I’d met before at a few early U.S. Green Building Council meetings at the renowned Rocky Mountain Institute, one of the foremost environmental NGO think tanks in the world, which Hunter cofounded.

She had on a large black cowboy hat, pointed red and black cowboy boots and a large thick oval metal belt buckle securing her thick brown leather belt around her dark blue jeans. Long braided brownish blonde hair hung down over a checkered pink and white flannel shirt. She looked fit and strong. Later I learned that Hunter was an active rodeo barrel racing champion.

During our intensive US/China brainstorms on how to mitigate the environmental impact of the massive development plans for Shanghai and decades later of good work and interactions, I’ve come to admire Hunter’s prolific mind and passion for nurturing business and capitalism to solve our ecological problems in a win-win.

In this week’s Regen360 iTunes podcast show, Hunter says, “It has become really apparent that there is a business case for sustainability. Activists used to think that it was simply a moral imperative that we would lose life as we know it on the planet, and that remains true, but what has changed… is that companies have realized that when you behave more responsibly to people and the planet, you make more money. Surprise!”

Hunter has an incredible background. She’s president of Natural Capitalism Solutions and has been a professor of sustainable business at several MBA programs. She’s an author of more than 14 books, global keynote speaker, and Hero of the Planet award winner by Time Magazine. Hunter was Rocky Mountain Institute’s CEO for strategy and has a law degree.

It’s my pleasure to invite you to listen in to our conversation as Hunter Lovins and I discuss the future of business and our planet in this week’s Regen360 iTunes podcast show.

Episode 23 Alan Christianson

A few years ago I was in the Caribbean at a business mastermind. On the first morning, I woke up early and took a long walk on a pathway along the sparkling ocean. Just as I was hitting stride about a mile from the hotel, I was startled by an exuberant call.

“Excuse me!”

I jumped to the side of the road as what looks like an ironman triathlete passes me on… a unicycle? Sweat is pouring off the guy’s face, drenching his joy. It was Dr. Alan Christianson.

“Hey, David,” Dr. C shouted. “Great morning for a ride.” I nod my head up and down in awe. I wipe my forehead.

Fast forward one year. I’m in Dr. C’s Prius driving to another business event when he tells me that his other favorite morning sport starting at 5 a.m. is to lift boulders next to his home in Arizona and place them on a wall he’s building. Once the wall is finished, he takes down the boulders and builds another one. And he’s not even in prison.

Not only is Dr. C an uber athlete, but he’s similarly driven in his functional medicine practice. He’s also the author of the New York Times bestseller The Adrenal Reset Diet. At his clinic, he helps patients with thyroid problems, adrenal issues, weight loss, and hormonal imbalance. Dr. C brings a rare blend of intellect, care, humor and cutting-edge personalized medicine.

It’s my pleasure to invite you to join Dr. C and me in this week’s Regen360 iTunes podcast show. You’ll learn how to boost your health and take individual control of your weight, energy, stress and future.

To your health,
David Gottfried

 

Episode 21 Bill Browning

I remember the first time I heard Bill Browning speak. It was in 1991 at the AIA convention in Boston. Initially, I was sitting in the rear, but I moved to the front row after he’d started so that I could catch every word. Bill is a bit soft spoken and speaks at his own cadence, stopping to smile, chuckle and sprinkle his thoughtful words with humor or more like an erudite riddle. He spoke about terms I’d never heard before: life cycle assessment, embodied energy, blackwater treatment. I wrote so fast in my notebook that it’s a wonder that I didn’t break my pen.

Please join me in this week’s Regen360 podcast show where I have the pleasure of interviewing Bill Browning. We talk about Biomimicry and some of his favorite green projects. We reminisce about the early days of green building such as the greening of the White House.

At that first green convention for me, I learned that Bill had started the green development services arm of the renowned Rocky Mountain Institute, under the tutelage of Amory Lovins. I’d read Amory’s book Soft Energy Paths in my solar engineering course at Stanford in 1981. It was the first time I’d heard the term Amory invented: Negawatt, meaning that a watt of energy saved is equivalent in power to a watt generated, but has a zero ecological footprint.

Bill went on to write several important sustainable building books, including Green Development. We first worked together when I founded ASTM’s green subcommittee and then the U.S. Green Building Council in 1992. Bill was our first environmental organization member and is still active 25 years later.

What I love about Bill is his mind. It’s prolific, almost photographic and critically analytic. It seems that all concepts come easy to Bill and his unique ability is the synthesis and articulation. He can apply his focus to almost any topic, but sustainability and the future survival of humans and other species is his main concern.

Please join me to hear my interview with Bill Brown in this week’s Regen360 podcast show. You’ll understand why Bill is so dear to the world and our future, and worth every minute of your time.

To our sustainable future,
David

Episode 13 Paul Scialla

I vividly recall that ornery night in Sevilla Spain about 17 years ago when I looked into the mirror and realized the person looking back wasn’t me. He had red bags under his eyes, a puffy inflamed face and was coughing away phlegm from his fourth seasonal flu, indicating a trashed immune system.

That was an epiphany for me. And I went on to invent a greening my life program, leading to my Life Balance Sheet [a 100 point rating system]. I scored just 53 points on my first pass. Fast forward to today, and I’m living much more in balance, and scoring in the Platinum 90s. To score well, I need to practice wellness in my personal life and where I live and work. It also values the transformational nature of my work.

In the past decade, I’ve associated green buildings and sustainability with health. It’s about health of the planet and its people [plus other living things that we forget are here too]. Of course, health of the planet is linked to our health. This includes not only what we eat and how we exercise, but also the quality of our air, water and soil.

Listen to today’s show on how life and the products and services we make all need to be clean and non-toxic: to promote health and productivity for today and tomorrow.

-David

Learn more about Paul and his work by clicking here!