USGBC Founder's Home Renovation Marks Green Home Milestone

The founder of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) has completed the highest-scoring green home renovation since the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes green building rating system launched in January 2008. David Gottfried, the founder of USGBC and the World Green Building Council (WGBC) and CEO of Regenerative Ventures, and his wife, Sara Gottfried, medical director at the Center for Integrative Medicine, moved into the LEED Platinum home in Oakland, Calif., with their two young children in mid-August. The home received 106.5 points out of a total 136 possible under the LEED for Homes certification program.

“David is a personal hero of mine. We crossed the line from friends to family a long time ago, and to my mind, he has always been the epitome of authentic green leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “He leaves nothing to chance and truly believes [...] that he will be the change he wants to see in the world. This stunning achievement further illustrates his dedication to the health of his family, his community, our environment and the organization he founded. ”

The 1,500-square-foot home in the Rockridge neighborhood is much smaller than the Gottfrieds’ previous home in the Berkeley Hills. Gottfried specifically wanted it to be small to reduce the home’s footprint and show that a family of four can live happily in a smaller space, as humans historically have.

“We hoped to showcase how to green an old historic home and still achieve LEED Platinum, as well as downsize 50 percent for a family of four,” Gottfried said.

The restored 1915 Craftsman bungalow further reduces its impact on the environment because, as a restoration, it enables reuse of many materials and doesn’t eliminate open space on a previously home-free site.

Gottfried works in a regenerative “Lifepod” in the backyard of the home, cutting out the air pollution and greenhouse gas emis-sions associated with a commute to the office. It is built in a neighborhood where most amenities are available to the family with-out needing to drive. The home is designed to be a net-zero-energy home, meaning with its solar photovoltaic power generation and its solar- and hydronic-powered water-heating, the home strives to produce all the energy it needs to operate without drawing from the power grid.

Learn more about this project at

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