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Principles of Sustainability and Green Building

On June 1 & 2, 2015 I attended the inaugural class of Principles of Sustainability & Green Building: LEED for All, taught by Greg Hamra, Everblue’s Senior LEED Educator. In the spirit of the green movement, I decided to travel to class using Miami’s public transportation. The walk and Metrorail ride from Coconut Grove to Downtown prove to be quicker and easier than I expected.

It was an excellent class and much more than I expected could possibly be covered in two days. As I came to meet the other participants, I learned class was attended by an eclectic group. This included new and familiar faces from diverse backgrounds including: construction, policy, engineering, design, and city halls. We even had an environmental law professor and a LEED consultant for a major mixed-use project happening in Miami. Our instructor, Greg Hamra has been the senior educator for Everblue and is now the Miami Chapter Leader for Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Greg is a guru in the areas of green building and sustainability education (www.hamra.net) and one of the best-known names in the sustainability movement in Miami. Greg can be found at just about every environmental conference in Miami.

Principles of Sustainability & Green Building: LEED for All is designed to provide a foundation course for anyone interested in understanding the big picture. This includes the business case / corporate drivers for sustainability and the framework of LEED. In addition to several LEED professionals, this class consisted of many who were considering pursuing their LEED professional accreditations, or stepping up to the next level. According to Greg, LEED exam prep courses generally cover the “what” and “how” of LEED, and this class covers the “why.” Greg says the LEED professional accreditation is the single most recognized credential in the world of sustainability.

I found the class to be an excellent use of time for the two day seminar and I think it would prove to be of value to anyone in policy, local government, builders, developers and designers. Of course it’s difficult to take two days off for a seminar, but this class literally couldn’t be more densely packed with valuable information. And if you live in Miami consider that: “Miami is considered ground zero for the economic impacts of sea level rise, with the greatest value of assets at risk in the world.”


  • The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman – Recommended reading
  • Hot, Flat and Crowded, Thomas Friedman – Recommended reading
  • This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein – Recommended reading
  • The Cove – Recommended documentary
  • Years of Living Dangerously – Documentary series, highly recommended
  • Snowpiercer – Thought provoking film
Principles of Sustainability & Green Building: LEED for ALL

Principles of Sustainability & Green Building: LEED for ALL