From Minimizing Harm to Enhancing Life

 

Build It Green was founded in the early 2000s when local government officials, building and real estate professionals, and activists coalesced around the vision of healthier and more resource-efficient housing for California.

We were successful in achieving this initial vision of market transformation by bringing green building into the mainstream. This groundwork of establishing standards and best practices allowed us to reduce the impacts of the residential building industry.

This ongoing shift from conventional to green design represents an essential phase of California’s sustainable development trajectory. But minimizing damage has never been Build It Green’s end goal. The mission we defined more than a decade ago—to create a world of healthy and sustainable homes for all people—has always implied a future where buildings don’t merely do less harm but actually heal and strengthen conditions for humanity and other living systems.

Regenerative is the word many now use to describe human habitats that give more than they take. Regenerative buildings enhance the uniqueness and vitality of local communities. Regenerative development increases the diversity and resilience of bioregions. And in our view, regenerative design leaves no one behind because safe, healthy and affordable shelter should be a human right.

The climate crisis and California’s housing affordability crisis sometimes feel like insurmountable challenges. But I’m optimistic that we’re on the cusp of major, positive change. In conversations with our board and staff and the larger building industry community, I’m hearing growing determination to turn visions of regenerative design into reality. The Build It Green community has always been drivers of market transformation, and we look forward to co-creating a regenerative future with you.

Karen Kho
Board President, Build It Green

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