LEED pioneer Rob Watson explains that ‘there are good buildings, and there are bad buildings’ while speaking at a sustainability and design conference in Atlanta.
“People still don’t appreciate how important buildings are,” Watson said Wednesday at the 16th annual Greenprints conference, where he delivered the keynote address. “We need to help people figure out that buildings are not just an appendage. They are our skin.”
Watson has been a sustainability advocate since the 1990s, when he created the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system for the U.S. Green Building Council, now the gold standard for quantifying almost any building’s environmental virtues. Dubbed the “father of LEED,” he then founded the EcoTech International Group, where he currently serves as chairman, CEO and chief scientist. While he is no longer with the USGBC, he’s still considered the father of LEED throughout the industry.
“Hopefully we’re on our way to eliminating ‘green’ as a modifier,” he said. “There are good buildings, and there are bad buildings.” Good buildings save energy, water, time and effort, he explained — but perhaps most importantly to their occupants, they save money. “This is not a fad,” Watson added. “The bottom line of green is black.”