John Quale is running for the Educator (Post-Secondary) seat on the 2016 USGBC Advisory Council.
Why do you want to serve on the Advisory Council?
During my three years on the Board of Directors, I have participated in some of the most transformative decisions in USGBC’s recent history. We have made difficult choices to ensure the fiscal health of the organization so that it can continue to focus on its mission. These include the Chapter Evolution process to help ensure USGBC chapters of all sizes can thrive, and the evolution of the Board of Directors / creation of the new Advisory Council, to bring our governance structure into the 21st century.
I want to serve on the Advisory Council because I believe it is best place for me to utilize my board experience and blend it with my knowledge of academia to serve the organization. Due to the complex and time-consuming work on the Board during the last three years, I was seldom able to share my perspective as an academic. I can offer my expertise in the environmental impacts in construction processes, as well as my intimate knowledge of the challenges creating sustainable buildings in low-income communities — trying to achieve rigorous sustainability on a low budget. I have also been recognized for creating innovative teaching strategies that have since become more common in my previous university and elsewhere.
A background that balances theory and practice is essential as the green building industry evolves in this era of tight financial management. For the USGBC to remain relevant, we must continue to raise the bar on sustainability, while keeping an eye on the bottom line.
What resources could you bring to help further participation by diverse sections in USGBC?
I have a deep understanding of how higher education is currently addressing green building. Having worked with faculty from my current institution and several others (in five different countries) in the fields of architecture, engineering, construction, landscape architecture, planning, preservation and life cycle analysis, I can bring the voice of those pursuing academic research, as well as those applying their knowledge to teaching, especially in hands-on projects.
Since 2004, I have worked closely with nine non-profit affordable housing organizations. These partners range in scale from a small town group run by two people, to local Habitat for Humanity affiliates and large regional organizations. Affordable housing professionals are amongst the most creative and resourceful individuals I have ever met.
I led the first life-cycle analysis study to assess the environmental impact of off-site construction versus conventional on-site construction. I partnered with on-site contractors and the modular industry to gather data from built projects, and the results (showing an environmental benefit for modular construction in some situations) were published in a leading peer-reviewed journal and presented at GreenBuild 2011. I co-chaired a conference on Prefabrication for the Association of the Collegiate Schools of Architecture, organizing the sessions focused on sustainability. I have established many contacts in the off-site and on-site construction worlds.
My early architectural career was spent in New York City, working for a cutting-edge design firm (Architecture Research Office), an international star (Richard Meier), a large, multi-disciplinary firm (Perkins and Will) and a legend in sustainable design (William McDonough).
Specify and describe your participation and leadership experience in any civic, environmental, and other organizations, as well as any of your affiliations, membership, and accreditations, that may be pertinent to your leadership at USGBC.
Prior to serving on the USGBC Board of Directors, I spent four years on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Sustainable Building Network, a non-profit that occasionally partnered with USGBC.
I currently serve on the SEED Network Advisory Board, and contributed to efforts to get the SEED Evaluator established as one of the paths to a new LEED Social Equity credit. Working with Design Corp, I have organized a regional Public Interest Design Institute. I have twice served as a juror for the AIA COTE Top Ten Green Buildings jury, and will be in the jury for the AIA-ACSA Housing Education Award for 2016.
For three years, I worked with several other academics on the Carbon Neutral Design Initiative, organized by the Society of Building Science Educators (SBSE). Our goal was to deliver useful information about carbon neutral design strategies to practitioners, faculty and students. I helped to create a free guidebook on carbon neutral design for affordable housing organizations.
I was a member of the Architectural Review Board for Albemarle County, Virginia. We regularly assessed projects ranging from retail and housing developments to renovations of fast food establishments. It helped me get an even deeper understanding of the daily challenges faced by clients, contractors and developers.
Over the years, I have been asked to advise representatives about legislation and regulations on green building, including the 2007 U.S. Senate Energy Bill, the Virginia Energy Plan, and the Comprehensive Plan in Charlottesville, VA.