Clarkson University Howard E. Lechler Endowed Director of Construction Engineering Management (CEM) and Executive Officer for the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Professor of Practice Erik C. Backus, has been elected Co-Chair of the Market Leadership Advisory Board for the New York Upstate Community of the U.S. Green Building Council. Backus, who is a faculty member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, brings with him years of experience in sustainability of the built environment.
Clarkson is an organizational member of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) which is made up of a broad national network of organizations, as well as student and community volunteers that are moving the building industry forward in a way that advances a triple bottom line approach. The USGBC is a diverse group of builders and environmentalists, corporations, and nonprofits, teachers and students, lawmakers and citizens that share the same vision of a sustainable built environment for all within the next generation. The New York Upstate Community promotes environmentally responsible, healthy and profitable places to live, work, learn, shop, and heal in 53 counties across New York State.
“I’m honored to have been chosen as the volunteer co-chair for a two-year term by the leadership of the New York Upstate Green Building Community,” says Backus. “One of our key initiatives, as a community, is the engagement with institutions of higher education and their students. Clarkson continues to be a leader with students executing student-led LEED Green Associate workshops, offering classes in sustainability topics, and having the Institute for a Sustainable Environment (ISE) as a mechanism to pull together faculty and staff throughout the university to study and research topics across the spectrum of sustainability.” It is through his work with the USGBC, in conjunction with Clarkson, that the Olympic Region of New York State is in the process to become a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Community.
In a recent board meeting, Village of Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall indicated that “The value of a community that would become LEED certified is amazing for Lake Placid.” Thanks to Professor Backus, among others, a partnership is being developed to have Clarkson students participate in these the Olympic Region’s efforts through the Clarkson’s Adirondack Semester program run through Clarkson’s ISE. LEED for Communities/Cities is a program that was developed and piloted by the USGBC in the last year to help communities evaluate their goals across the spectrum of a community including economic, social, and environmental aspects. “This developing partnership will enable Clarkson to host the first-ever LEED for Communities Lab pilot to help out the Olympic Region of NYS in the world-famous Adirondack Park,” says Backus, “I’m excited to see how this will develop both for Clarkson, but also for the New York Upstate community of USGBC.”
For more information about the USGBC New York Upstate Chapter please visit them on the web at http://www.usgbc.org/chapters/usgbc-new-york-upstate. For more information about Clarkson, its Sustainability efforts and the ISE, visit us at http://clarkson.edu/green/.