Thursday, October 23, 2014

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54º F (12º C)

U.Va. Architecture Professor Elected to U.S. Green Building Council Board of Directors

Associate professor John Quale, director of the graduate architecture program in the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture and an expert in sustainable building research and practice, has been elected to a three-year term on the U.S. Green Building Council’s Board of Directors, filling a slot reserved for post-secondary educators.

According to the non-profit organization’s website, the U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. The council works toward its mission of market transformation through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, green building program, educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, an annual conference and expo, and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities.

“I'm looking forward to this opportunity to help shape the future of the USGBC,” Quale said. “The organization is at an important moment of transition, and is facing several significant decisions in the next couple years.

“In the 19 years since its founding, the educational programs and the LEED rating program created by the USGBC have transformed the professions associated with the built environment in a way that could not have been predicted at its inception,” he added. “LEED is perceived by most as a guiding light, and by some as a lighting rod. The next generation, LEED v4, will be finalized in the next year or so. This is a major challenge for the volunteer peer review system that creates the credits – but it is likely to further transform the industry.”

Quale initiated and serves as director of the award winning ecoMOD and ecoREMOD projects, multi-year design-build-and-evaluate initiatives in collaboration with U.Va.’s School of Engineering and Applied Science that focus on sustainable practices. Integrated teams create prefabricated, affordable housing for organizations. Prototypes are being produced by housing manufacturing companies in Southside Virginia as part of a $2.45 million grant from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission to support economic development.

ecoMOD has garnered numerous awards, including being a finalist for the 2009 U.N. World Habitat Award and the recipient of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Excellence in Green Building Curriculum Award. The American Institute of Architects’ Committee on the Environment recognized it as one of a few exemplary sustainable design curriculum initiatives in the country. In 2007, the ecoMOD project received the National Council for Architectural Registration Boards’ Grand Prize For Creative Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy, the American Institute of Architects’ Education Honor Award and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s Collaborative Practice Award – the first time an initiative received all three in the same year.

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