August 2004: Volume 46, Number 8
by Karen R. Smith, WC&P Executive Editor
Welcome! Let me introduce myself--I’m Karen Smith, the new Executive Editor here at WC&P. This issue marks the transition to a new editorial team, and I want to begin by thanking my predecessor, David Mogollon and Ron Perez, for their outstanding work. I know each of our readers joins me in wishing them every success in their new endeavors.
The water conditioning and purification industry is changing daily as the marketplace defines new roles, new risks and new standards for every aspect of the trade; simultaneously, government is seeking to better manage--and regulate--the most precious of all resources. Dealers and manufacturers can embrace these challenges and position themselves for success. As we go forward, a major goal of this publication is to provide the news and insights that will help you to do so. I’d like to begin with an avenue many of you may, as yet, be unfamiliar with--water treatment’s role in green building.
Sustainable construction, or green building, is a movement that has gathered momentum for a number of years. It has come to fruition thanks to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The nation’s foremost coalition of leaders from across the building industry, the USGBC works to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.
To produce a new generation of buildings that deliver high performance inside and out, Council members worked together to develop LEED™, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) Green Building Rating System. LEED is a national consensus-based, market-driven building rating system designed to accelerate the development and implementation of green building practices. In short, it is a leading-edge system for designing, constructing and certifying the world’s greenest and best buildings. LEED provides a complete framework for assessing building performance and meeting sustainability goals. Based on well-founded scientific standards, LEED emphasizes state-of-the-art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. LEED recognizes achievements and promotes expertise in green building through a comprehensive system offering project certification, professional accreditation, training and practical resources.
The LEED system has been adopted by a growing number of cities and entire states and that trend continues. What does this mean to you, the water dealer? How does this impact you, the manufacturer? Water Treatment is an important, itemized component of LEED. Has your state already adopted LEED standards for all new construction? Is such legislation coming down the pike? At a traditional jobsite, there is only the plumbing subcontractor to take on all tasks related to water. At a LEED jobsite, broader synchronicities are the norm. The traditional, often adversarial relationships take a back seat to working together to create a sustainable whole. How will your products play a part? How will it increase your bottom line?
Now is the time to plan for your company’s role in sustainable construction. You might want to start by visiting the Council’s website, www.usgbc.org. There are USGBC chapters across the country, so you may find it easy to participate locally. Or contact their headquarters in Washington, D.C. for a complete information packet: The U.S. Green Building Council, 1015 18th Street, NW, Suite 508, Washington, DC 20036, telephone (202) 82-USGBC or 828-7422. And please take a look at www.GreenerBuildings. com, a content-rich website designed to provide companies of all sizes and sectors with information and resources on the full spectrum of environmental issues related to buildings and facilities.
I helped organize the USGBC’s New Jersey chapter and have seen what the change to sustainable construction can mean in the marketplace. There, the Governor, through Executive Order, mandated LEED standards in all new schools. This past June, Chicago’s Mayor Richard M. Daley announced that all newly constructed public buildings will be LEED certified there. Federal agencies and private companies are making the transition to green construction across the nation. Your participation, as those who know water treatment best, can open this new market for your company, while creating a better built environment that benefits everyone.
Karen R. Smith, WC&P Executive Editor