Bob Berkebile encourages us to look to nature as our model for how to live sustainably.
Omega: For more than 30 years, you have been a pioneer in the sustainable design movement, and helped introduce the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard that has become the benchmark for green buildings in America. How can new standards in sustainable design help to restore the environmental, economic, and social vitality of communities?
Bob: LEED was created as a voluntary educational tool for those who wanted to reach for higher levels of performance in the built environment, but, as it turned out, the industry was ripe for a new standard. When the United States Navy and the General Services Administration made it their standard for design and construction, others followed and it became a standard. I would argue that, by far, it has been the most transformative tool in the design and construction industry in my professional life.
Omega: You've been widely recognized for your leadership in the industry, including being listed as on of the top five role models for green and sustainable design by DesignIntelligence. Were you always passionate about the environment or was it something that evolved over time?
Bob: I always loved nature. My mom taught me about observing the subtle but powerful forces of nature, and I try to bring that to my work. I always look to nature to see how we can evolve and change the way we build. Once, one of our buildings partially collapsed. I spent an anxious night on the rescue team, wondering if somehow I had caused this catastrophe. It was an epiphany. I became aware of unintended consequences and the need to change the design and construction industry to support life. This still continues to fuel my desire for change. READ MORE >>