Jerry Yudelson, "Godfather of Green"
Jerry Yudelson, "Godfather of Green"

Reinventing Green Building: Zukunftsfähige Gebäude jenseits von Zertifikaten


April 2016 - Der amerikanische Ingenieur Jerry Yudelson, den das Magazin WIRED einmal den "Godfather of Green" genannt hat, ist weltweit einer der renommiertesten Experten auf dem Gebiet der Nachhaltigkeit von Gebäuden. Er gilt als einer der Wegbereiter des Green Building Movements Ende der 1990iger Jahren in den USA und hat maßgeblich an der Gründung des ersten Ortsverbands des US Green Building Councils, Cascadia in Seattle, mitgewirkt. Der langjährige LEED-Fellow hat während seiner aktiven Zeit rund 4.000 Fachleute aus der Bauindustrie am LEED-System ausgebildet. Zwischen 2014 und 2015 war er Präsident der Green Building Initiative (GBI), eine Nonprofit-Organisation, die das Green Globes Green Building-Ratingsystem und -progamm in Amerika anbietet.

Neben seiner praktischen Tätigkeit hat Yudelson 13 Bücher über Nachhaltigkeit im Gebäudesektor veröffentlicht. Im Juni 2016 wird mit "Reinventing Green Building" seine neueste Publikation erscheinen, in der er sich ausführlich mit der Frage beschäftigt, ob die Gebäudezertifizierung als Methode für mehr Transparenz und Ressourcenschutz, tatsächlich weiterhin zeitgemäß ist oder ob nicht eine modernere Alternative gefunden werden muss und wenn ja, wie sie aussehen könnte.  greenIMMO hat mit ihm über sein Erfahrungen in den letzten Jahren und seine Ideen gesprochen.

greenIMMO: Why this book? What was your intension?


Jerry Yudelson: The intention of the book was, first, to document how little success LEED and other green building rating and certifications systems have had in addressing the major source of carbon emissions: existing buildings and homes, and second, to present a new way to look at green building certification that could increase market share 10x in the next 10 years. That's what's needed to seriously deal with carbon emissions and global climate change.


greenIMMO: Are green building certificates today the right solution to achieve sustainable or lets better say future-oriented buildings?


Jerry Yudelson: Certificates are important to document achievement and continuous improvement, but they must be completely integrated with technology now being widely adopted for building management: cloud-based platforms with open-source APIs. We're still in the Internet 1.0 era with certification, while the building management world is rapidly moving to Internet 3.0 (mobile, cloud, anywhere/anytime data access, etc.)

greenIMMO:  What is necessary to come forward with sustainability and achieve real longterm value?


Jerry Yudelson: First, we have to get serious about tackling the issues with Key Performance Indicators: Scope 1, 2 3 carbon emissions; water use; waste generation/recycling; and sustainable purchasing practices. Everything else is "nice to have," but not "must have."


greenIMMO:  New issues have occurred in recent years like digitalization or prop-techs that are willing to disrupt the established processes and industries. What do you think of this? Are these things that you are addressing in your new book?


Jerry Yudelson: The book is fundamentally based on the need to understand that we are living in an Age of Algorithms and that green building approaches, especially for existing buildings, need to fully embrace them. I find it strange that to certify a building in the LEED system, one has to upload all kinds of data and then have each project reviewed by multiple individual "experts" for compliance with standards, costing by my estimates at least US$400 million per year, all this for 3,000 to 4,000 projects per year. By contrast, the US tax authorities review 140 million individual taxpayer returns each year and select about 1% for audit using software triggers. Why shouldn't LEED, BREEAM, DGNB and other standards work the same way - self-certification with selected audits when software suspects something is amiss?

greenIMMO:  You have been consulting company for more then two decades to build and manage their office sustainable and in a modern way. What was the toughest part?

Jerry Yudelson: It's quite easy for the "top 1%" to be super-green; they get far more PR and personnel benefit than it costs them to achieve such results. The hard task ahead of us is to address the existing building operations market. In the US that's 5.5 million buildings, of which perhaps 35,000 have some sort of LEED certificate today. Do the math: less than 0.7% of buildings, after 15 years of hard work -- pretty clear we will NEVER reach our carbon reduction goals this way. And we have NO DOCUMENTATION, NO STUDIES, NICHTS! about continued energy/carbon performance of certified buildings ANYWHERE in the world. Why do we continue to play this game, i.e., pretending that certification means something beneficial for the planet? Question 6 What about the tenant and his wishes and needs. Do you give investors and developers some advices or clues to really have him in focus? Especially when it comes to future offices and workplaces? The tenant wants, of course, a safe, clean, healthy, affordable place to work. But remember, most offices

are occupied 50% of the time or less, so we need to make sure that they are not contributing to global climate change in terms of the total carbon picture - the next big push will be for "net zero energy" buildings and facilities, taking Scope 3 Carbon emissions into account.


greenIMMO:  Where and when will can we see you presenting your book?


Jerry Yudelson: I am available to speak about the book anytime after it's published and available in June 2016. Please contact me on my webside