Green building consultant explores the truth about green building performance in new book

A new book from leading sustainability, green building author and expert Jerry Yudelson challenges assumptions about the value of sustainable design and environmentally-friendly buildings.

April 02, 2013 |

The hottest topic for architects and developers in the green building industry is, “How well do green buildings actually perform?” How do we know that these environmentally-friendly designs significantly reduce energy consumption and produce measurably better water conservation?

Jerry Yudelson says, “I decided to find out!” Yudelson and co-author Professor Ulf Meyer of Berlin, Germany, have compiled the most extensive research to date on the measurable performance of LEED Platinum or equivalent buildings. “With 55 case studies from 18 countries, we found out what to expect from high-performance green buildings in most of the major climate zones around the world,” said Yudelson.

The World’s Greenest Buildings, from UK publisher Routledge, looks at buildings constructed since 2003, which were willing to release a year’s worth of energy use data and, where possible, water use data. In order to be included in this green building book, buildings had to have a LEED Platinum or equivalent top rating from a national green building rating program, represent a non-residential type, and be at least 50,000-sq.ft. in size.

“We were aiming at the top-rated green buildings built in the past 10 years,” said Yudelson, “with the goal of giving guidance to future projects in terms of best-practice energy and water performance, but also to refute the claims that green buildings don’t perform. In fact, the average building we profile uses almost two-thirds less energy than the 2003 average of U.S. commercial buildings.”

Praise for the book comes from academics and practitioners around the world:

Yudelson and Meyer have identified globaldesign exemplars that integrate architecture and context, economics and social responsibility, performance and aesthetics, demonstrating exciting solutions to meet the challenges of creating a more sustainable world.

--Bruce Kuwabara, founding partner, Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, Toronto

This book’s important mission is to make the most plausible case that "post-fossil planet and people-friendly architecture" is the only way to go.

-- Professor Martin Despang, University of Hawaii School of Architecture, Honolulu

This is information we have all been waiting for; while offering a global overview of green buildings, it helps to unlock the truth about the real performance of sustainable commercial architecture."

--Professor Steffen Lehmann, University of South Australia, Adelaide

Using real performance data, Yudelson and Meyer showcase and compare buildings which combine great design, environmental quality and sustainability, providing the guidance necessary for the next generation ofsustainable building design.

--Thomas Auer, Transsolar Climate Engineering, Stuttgart, Germany

The book presents 22 projects in North America, 1 in South America, 17 in Europe and 17 in the Asia Pacific region, giving for the first time in print a good look at global sustainable designpractices for high-performance commercial buildings. The book also includeschapters on the business case for green building, integrated design process and sustainable urbanism. Further information on the book can be found on Yudelson’s website.

Yudelson is the author of 12 previous green building books presenting design and planning options for increasing sustainability in the built environment. While he advocates for technological solutions, Yudelson also claims, “We must dramatically change our approach to design, construction and operations to meet urgent carbon reduction goals for the built environment.”

A professional engineer, LEED Fellow of the US Green Building Council and experienced sustainability and green buildingconsultant, Yudelson trained as an engineer at Caltech and Harvard and completed his MBA with honors at the University of Oregon.

About Yudelson Associates

Yudelson Associates is a leading international firm in sustainability consulting, designing with water and green building certification. The founder, Jerry Yudelson, a LEED Fellow, is widely acknowledged as one of the nation’s leading green building and sustainability consultants and is an internationally recognized keynote speaker. In 2011, Wired magazine dubbed him the “Godfather of Green.” He is the author of 13 green building books and chaired the country’s largest annual show, Greenbuild, for six years through 2009.

For more information please contact Jerry Yudelson, 520-243-0996, or visit

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