My interest in green building and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) led me to read Greed to Green: The Transformation of an Industry and a Life, by David Gottfried. It is an apt title for a book about a Washington, D.C. real estate developer turned green building pioneer and co-founder of the USGBC and its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building rating system.
In Greed to Green, readers learn about the history of the green building movement and David Gottfried’s part in building it.
Part One: Greed
In part one, Mr. Gottfried describes his work as a commercial real estate developer in Washington, D.C. over the course of a decade during the 1980s and how he became interested in green building. Amusingly, Mr. Gottfried’s wardrobe seems to mirror his greed to green journey; from Versace and Ferragamos to a forest green suit he bought to symbolize his emerging green beliefs.
Part Two: Green
Part two opens with Mr. Gottfried moving to San Francisco to start a green building consultancy and further develop a green building standard initiated while he was the chair of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Green Building Subcommittee.
Greed to Green covers events that led to Mr. Gottfried co-founding the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) with Mike Italiano and Rick Fedrizzi. Stories follow development of the organization comprised of diverse stakeholders including architects, real estate developers, manufacturers, contractors, property managers, and non-governmental organizations.
The book wraps up with the founding of the World Green Building Council and a segue into Mr. Gottfried’s next book, Greening My Life: A Green Building Pioneer Takes on His Most Challenging Project.
The Bottom Line
Mr. Gottfried co-founded the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1993 and the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) in 1998. He is the CEO of Regenerative Ventures.
Although Mr. Gottfried’s privileged background and connections probably helped him along his journey, it is his commitment, passion, and sheer perseverance that make him a true green building visionary.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Greed to Green and recommend it to anyone interested in green building and the USGBC.
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