Where Things Stand
Conference presentations and
conversations revealed that a high
level of frustration still exists among
our members when it comes to LEED.
I admit that it is frustrating in many
ways. Where did this organization,
which we had never really heard of
until 5 to 10 years ago, come from, and
why is it exerting so much influence on
our campuses and in this organization?
Doesn’t it know that IDEA has been
around for more than 100 years? The
answer to that question is ‘no.’ In fact,
until a few years ago, it had never even
heard of us.
In the midst of the discussion,
Tom Nyquist, one of the conference
panelists who is the director of facili-
ties engineering at Princeton University,
made this statement, which I have para-
phrased: “It’s easy to think about what
the USGBC has done as an annoyance
to campus district energy operators, but
we often overlook the positive effects.
Ten years ago, when architects came
onto our campuses to tell us what they
could do, the words ‘energy efficiency’
were not even part of their vocabulary.
Today, no architect comes to Princeton
without first talking about how they
can design energy-efficient facilities.
This is a good thing. It has increased
the value of what we as campus energy
managers do on campus and has raised
the value of the energy discussion.”
Tom nailed it. The USGBC wants
to drive more sustainable facilities, and
IDEA can help. Moving forward I’m
excited about what our two organiza-
tions can do together.
AP is IDEA’s liaison with
the U.S. Green Building
Council. He is a principal
and branch manager
with RMF Engineering
Inc., a firm specializing
in district energy system design and
commissioning. A registered engineer and a
LEED Accredited Professional, Griffin has a
bachelor of science degree in mechanical
engineering from North Carolina State
University and a master of business
administration degree from Colorado State
University. He authored the book Winning
With Millennials: How to Attract, Retain,
and Empower Today’s Generation of Design
Professionals. He may be reached at
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