As you may recall from my last SCN GreenAV article, InfoComm’s Green- AV group
tried and failed to get USGBC to add a videoconferencing credit to its 2009 revision of LEED. In essence, the green-building juggernaut is barreling down the green superhighway, and we’re standing on the side of the road with our thumbs out hoping to hitch a ride. The swift failure of Plan A tells me it’s just not going to be that easy.
However, we AV types don’t take “Uh, who are you guys again?” lightly. We go to Plan B. Plan B began in October with an industry-first GreenAV summit in Atlanta. Industry leaders in the GreenAV movement came together at the LEED-Platinum Southface Eco Office, an InfoComm Shines project, to formulate and add coherence to our industry’s sustainability initiatives. The meeting was also InfoComm’s first carbon-neutral event, which provided opportunities to highlight principles of sustainability. Participants ate locally sourced food and walked or used mass transit where possible, and InfoComm balanced the environmental footprint of travelers by purchasing carbon offsets.
During this day-long meeting, representatives from the industry’s top manufacturers, integration firms, consultants, rental/stagers, and technology managers discussed a
During this day-long meeting, representatives from the industry’s top manufacturers, integration firms, consultants, rental/stagers, and technology managers (including Walker and InfoComm’s Randal A. Lemke, Ph.D., shown here) discussed a wide range of topics. wide range of topics, including highlighting and promoting green manufacturing, defining green design and construction practices, making live events greener, and approaching USGBC with our top GreenAV solutions. The group carved out a three-prong strategy: create a GreenAV body of knowledge with case studies and best practices, infuse this knowledge into InfoComm’s acclaimed educational offerings, and start an advocacy program to encourage InfoComm members and our customers to adopt GreenAV practices.
Plan B continued in November when Tony Warner of RTKL and I attended the USGBC GreenBuild show in Boston. We, along with representatives from BISCI, met with USGBC’s new director of development for the LEED rating system and offered our bold suggestion: USGBC should create a new credit area in LEED for “Building Technologies.” This new credit area could, we envision, contain subheadings for GreenAV solutions, green data/telecom solutions, green security solutions, etc.
While our USGBC friend was patiently receptive, he stated clearly that the best way for our industry to make its case was to pick our top ideas and submit them as innovation credits en masse across numerous projects. Once USGBC sees that we’re out there, the doors of possibility will open up to us.
So here’s the deal: We as an industry need to take the passion that makes our industry
In October, an InfoComm Shines project was held in Atlanta at the LEED-Platinum Southface Eco Office to formulate and add coherence to our industry’s sustainability initiatives. so great and focus it on earning innovation credits like there’s no tomorrow, because the green solutions we have to offer are abundant—comprehensive conferencing technologies to offset carbon emissions, AV and building energy management through AV touch panel interfaces and scheduling software, digital signage for green education. We’re going to have to create our own mode of transportation, force our way onto that superhighway, and floor it.
Our goal should be to employ a “Powell Doctrine” approach of using overwhelming force to flood USGBC with innovation credits over the next two years leading up to the next revision of LEED in 2011. In this way we will be able to offer our clients real tangible benefits to their green initiatives while establishing our value proposition to the building industry as a whole. Understanding the challenges we all face in proposing AVcentered innovation credits on real projects when none have been attempted, Waveguide is attempting four AV innovation credits as we pursue LEED-gold certification for our headquarters relocation. Once we get a few wins under our belts, we need to come out guns a’blazin.
Scott Walker, CTS-D, LEED AP, is president of Waveguide Consulting and past president of InfoComm International. In June 2007, he made history when he became the world’s first LEED-accredited certified technology specialist in design.