2009 will certainly be the dawning of a new age for the United States, and now that Barack Obama has been named president-elect, he should be prepared to follow through on his aforementioned goals. He needs to walk the walk. In the green building department, he proposed investing in infrastructure, advancing energy efficiency and sustainable buildings, and developing a 21st century transportation system. Sounds great. But, as we all know, no man is an island, and he'll need some help (lots) along the way. The American Institute of Architects, which led the “Greening of the White House” initiative in the '90s, has offered to help Obama with these goals. To hear about AIA's green building proposals for the White House, read more.
To start, the group has recommended that a high-level advisor on green buildings be put in place in the White House to coordinate executive branch activities and promote green building issues to the public. AIA has also offered to help develop a White House Office of Urban Policy to address national energy and infrastructure issues. One of AIA's most notable proposals (to me, at least) is to work with the Obama administration to make the White House a model of energy efficiency, and make federal buildings in general less reliant on fossil fuels. As much as I love to see high-profile Hollywood types like Leonardo DiCaprio living in eco-friendly condos, you can't get more visibility on an international level than the White House. So I hope Mr. President-elect will accept this generous offer, and I'm eager to hear more specific details of how they'd like to create the Green House. And, if the White House edible garden petition is a success, 1600 Pennsylvania will be a prime example of eco-consciousness!