Contest, keynotes, and the USGBC daring to go where no LEED®has gone before.

Sometimes we get just about the right amount of good material to, as our friend and longtime columnist Ken Sinclair might say, keep the ads apart. Other times, I wind up with a few interesting bits that we couldn’t quite squeeze in. This was one of those months.


The Green Leaf Inn hasn’t opened yet, and in fact, it could use your help. Specifically, the Green Leaf Inn Building Challenge invites engineers to design the inn’s energy management system. From the website (

Design an Energy Management Control System, providing a strategy and product selection to control, manage and gather data on an integrated renewable energy system for the Green Leaf Inn (GLI), opening Spring 2013.

Your design will require the integration of three different solar thermal systems; a cogen system, geothermal system, and a wood-fired boiler, to be combined with a 1,250 gallon thermal storage system insulated to R-80, providing heat and cooling for this historic first Net Zero Energy Hotel.

According to the inn and their partner at GreenBuild.TV, the winning control strategy will be judged on style, cost, and data presentation. Furthermore, “This challenge is intended to be the first of a series of design/building challenges,” says Fritz Kreiss, co-owner of the Green Leaf Inn. We want to encourage both individuals and companies to explore creative and unique ways to solve a variety of green building challenges.”

The Inn is located in Delavan, WI. The goal is to be “the first net zero and regenerative energy hotel to be built in North America.” They’re after quite an ambitious marriage of sustainability and luxury — scheduled launch is next spring — and it’s clever to open this up to the best and brightest for energy management. Maybe that’s you?



In the weeks after the big hubbub over Apple and its supplier/assembly factories in China, I couldn’t help but notice when Johnson Controls released its latest Global Reporting Initiative online sustainability report. Distributed in an effort to demonstrate its good global corporate citizenry, the online matrix “provides a detailed review of the company’s environmental, social and governance performance over the past year.”

The GRI is designed to provide some infrastructure and continuity both for the companies doing the reporting and the others reviewing the data. It’s available to anyone online at Good idea. 


Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and other partners have begun developing LEED® criteria for data center certification at the request of the USGBC. We ran this in a newsletter as soon as it came out (hint: subscribe to one or two newsletters to get the news at its newest), and we’ll surely hear more about this as they pursue certification requirements for these demanding environments. In the meantime, get more details (and a couple of early guide and checklist downloads) at     


Craig Walker is director of the Energy Systems Program Office at United Technologies Research Center. At our High-Performance Buildings event this September in the Washington area, he’ll deliver a presentation on “Advanced Building Systems: Guaranteed High Performance From Design Through Operation.” And really, that’s pretty much exactly what most of the industry is shooting for, isn’t it?

From discussing the very latest technologies to identifying barriers to performance, and on to sustaining performance once you’ve achieved it, Walker will make it a worthwhile event for everyone trying to do more with less, and smarter. There’s probably still some sort of earlybird discount waiting if you go over to soon and register. The content is going to be great either way; it’s just a matter of how much you want to pay for it. Sign up and join us! ES




JUNE 13-14

Energy Efficiency Forum 2012

Cosponsored by Johnson Controls &


Washington. For info,


JUNE 23-27

ASHRAE 2012 Annual Conference

San Antonio. For info, visit