David Allen: What Will It Take to “Green” Our Built Environment?

Source:  Clarity Communications Consulting blog, September 21, 2011.

David Allen, executive vice president of Seattle-based McKinstry, knows a thing or two about a subject covered in Tuesday’s New York Times: the enormous potential for turning old buildings “green.” The potential isn’t just in energy and resource savings, but profit. McKinstry is a substantial second-generation business. The company helps building owners save a great deal of money while providing comfortable spaces for occupants by improving building systems efficiency. Sometimes it’s about running the building with smarter systems. Sometimes it’s about doing old-fashioned stuff like weather-proofing and upgrading heating and cooling systems. Sometimes it’s about adding renewable energy sources like solar. Most often, it’s a combination of many things.Because of McKinstry’s prominence in this emerging industry, David was asked by the Rocky Mountain Institute, “an independent, entrepreneurial, nonprofit think-and-do tank,” to review the chapter of its soon-to-be-released book Reinventing Fire on “Buildings: Design for Better Living.” David will be speaking on that very subject to UW’s Environmental Innovation Practicum class and its Environmental Innovation Speaker Series at UW on Nov. 1st. I asked him to tell me a bit about the problem and the opportunity.

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