Renewable Natural Resources Foundation honors LEED-ND
CNU, NRDC, and USGBC receive Outstanding Achievement Award
The Renewable Natural Resources Foundation (RNRF) has awarded its Outstanding Achievement Award for 2011 to CNU’s LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system. Every year, the award recognizes a project, publication, piece of legislation, or similar concrete accomplishment in the natural resources field. CNU shares the award with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), co-creators of LEED for Neighborhood Development.
Accepting the award on CNU’s behalf, CNU Board Member Sarah Lewis attended a ceremony on Thursday, November 10th at the Washington DC office of the USGBC. Together with Sophie Lambert and Dara Zycherman of USGBC, and Kaid Benfield of NRDC, the groups were feted by RNRF in what Lewis called “more of a celebration — an opportunity to connect with long-time friends and meet a few new like-minded people. Kaid gave a little history of how the effort was begun among the organizations. He acknowledged the involvement of Shelley Poticha (former CNU CEO) and joked that the teaming was motivated by each organization being afraid that the other would establish a rating system first — not as strong as if all were participating. As the ceremony proved, certainly Kaid was correct that our collective efforts have been most beneficial for all.”
Green building and neighborhoods
The LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system integrates green building into community development to reduce sprawl, increase transportation choices, decrease automobile dependence, encourage healthy living, and protect threatened species. The system acknowledges the connection between transit-oriented development and proximity to services, amenities, and jobs and human health benefits and economic capital. Projects constitute portions of neighborhoods, whole neighborhoods, or multiple neighborhoods, and are most often mixed-use and complementary to existing neighborhoods. There are already 68 LEED-certified neighborhood developments in the U.S. and abroad.
Previous winners of the RNRF Outstanding Achievement Award include: The Water Withdrawal Assessment Process of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (2010); Dig It! The Secrets of Soil, an exhibition in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History (2009); Integrated Ecosystem Restoration and Hurricane Protection: Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (2008); and National Coastal Assessment of the U.S. EPA- Gulf Ecology Division (2007).