'Will be the driving forces behind future green communities worldwide'

The Green Building Certification Institute announced the launch of a new Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, or LEED, professional credential: the LEED standard for neighborhood development.

This credential will designate the specialized knowledge and experience of professionals participating in the planning and development of environmentally responsible communities. The LEED AP ND exam measures knowledge of LEED for the Neighborhood Development rating system, introduced by the U.S. Green Building Council in April, and the ability to facilitate the LEED project certification process.

“LEED AP for Neighborhood Development professionals will be the driving forces behind future green communities worldwide,” said Peter Templeton, president of the institute. “This credential recognizes leading practitioners committed to the principles of smart growth, neighborhood design and green building.”

The green building council, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Congress for the New Urbanism partnered to develop the standards for the new designation. It is intended to encourage the development of healthier communities by reducing the environmental impact of urban sprawl, increasing alternative transportation choices and promoting neighborhood walkability and access to public space.

The new designation is part of the suite of LEED professional credentials that provide employers, policymakers and other stakeholders with assurance of an individual’s green building knowledge and skills.

“LEED professionals are influential and effective catalysts of change creating a more sustainable built environment for us all,” said Mr. Templeton.


The Climate Protection Campaign is hosting an event titled "What’s Really Going on with the Climate? A Scientist’s Perspective" on June 30 in Santa Rosa.

Speaker Carl Mears will discuss his work in merging climate information gathered from different satellites together, determining the accuracy of the resulting datasets and comparing the results to other measurements of climate change and predictions of climate models.

He is a board member at the Climate Protection Campaign as well as a senior scientist at Remote Sensing.

Mr. Mears was a major contributor to "Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences," the first released report from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program.

This free event will be at the Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Ave. on Wednesday, June 30, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.  For more information, contact Lora Neffson at 707-525-1665 ext. 114 or lora@climateprotectioncampaign.org.


The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors honored the 2010 Green Employee of the Year, Alexander “Bud” McMahon of the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office, at its the June 10 meeting. Mr. McMahon was chosen as the first-ever recipient of the award created to recognize all of the individual efforts made by county staff who positively impact the environment through their work.

“We desire to embrace sustainability both as an organization and as individuals," Chairwoman Valerie Brown said. "Bud’s efforts highlight the incredible impact one person can have and provides a model for others to follow."

Mr. McMahon is a deputy district attorney, currently assigned to the Juvenile Division. He has worked for the district attorney's office for more than 25 years. Mr. McMahon was nominated because of his consistent use of public transportation, bike riding or driving his hybrid car to work; his efforts in recycling; use of reusable containers for lunch; and spearheading the office’s compost initiative.

The acknowledgment will be on display in the lobby of the main administration building at 575 Administration Drive, Santa Rosa.


Westcoast Solar Energy, a solar systems provider founded by former Akeena employees Nate Gulbransen and Jeremy Greer, has moved to new 6,500 square foot headquarters in Rohnert Park after graduating from the Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster incubator program. The 20-employee company also has a solar information center and sales office in Petaluma.


Submit items for this column to Jenna V. Loceff at jloceff@busjrnl.com, 707-521-4259 or fax 707-521-5292.