USGBC-NCR Social Equity Master Class: Beyond Green: Strategies for Increasing Equitable Outcomes in LEED

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Social issues, alongside environment and economics, represent the third pillar of USGBC’s definition of sustainability. To the extent that people face disadvantages that are defined and exacerbated by the very buildings where they live, work and learn, the built environment is an arena where issues of equity can be tackled. Community development corporations, public agencies and grassroots organizations are working to address these issues, but the mainstream green building industry has not yet been leveraged to support those efforts.

USGBC recently created three LEED pilot credits that address social equity in new and existing buildings and in neighborhood development, looking at what can be done at the project team level, in the community, and in the supply chain. Of these, the one addressing community is by far the one most often used.

This lecture will concentrate on what it means to address community needs in a project. We will discuss the different ways projects have addressed equity, including the process for understanding needs and hopes; overall design and social strategies used, and metrics developed to determine effectiveness.

To bring home the point, we will present projects that exemplify what is possible, including LEED projects that were awarded the pilot credits and local public-interest design projects in the National Capital Region. Participants will reflect on examples from their own lives and work, and complete an exercise applying social equity concepts to a project.

Please note that this is a brown bag event. We ask that guests bring their own lunches, as we will not be providing it.


Joel Ann Todd, Environmental Consulting, Co-Chair, LEED Social Equity Working Group, USGBC

Mandy Lee, LEED AP ND, TRUE Advisor, Associate, LEED Social Equity Working Group, USGBC

Greg Kearley, AIA, LEED AP, Executive Director, Inscape Publico, Washington, DC


USGBC Headquarters
2101 L Street NW
Washington DC 20037

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