U.S. Green Building Council Makes Commitment at Clinton Global Initiative to Build a New Orphanage and Children’s Center in Haiti

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Project Haiti to be LEED certified; HOK providing pro bono design services

U.S. Green Building Council

Project Haiti is our commitment to the children of Haiti to not only provide a safe shelter, but to provide a model of sustainable construction that can be replicated throughout the country.

The U.S. Green Building Council’s Project Haiti announced today at the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting that it will build a brand new orphanage and children’s center in Haiti as its Commitment to Action.

Project Haiti is an Orphanage and Children’s Center to provide for the immediate health and emotional needs of orphaned children in Haiti and offer a pathway to adoption. Together with dedicated partners including design partner HOK, Lendlease, Adaptive Building Solutions and Fondation Enfant Jesus, USGBC is committed to catalyzing the unrivaled passion, expertise and generosity of the green building movement to construct a new facility and provide the people of Haiti with both a powerful symbol of hope and a model of sustainable building practices for rebuilding their country.

“Project Haiti is our commitment to the children of Haiti to not only provide a safe shelter, but to provide a model of sustainable construction that can be replicated throughout the country,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “It comes out of our ongoing resiliency agenda to help devastated communities rebuild in ways that provide safer, more durable buildings that also save resources made more precious by the aftereffects of natural disasters. Our commitment at CGI gives us the opportunity to help keep the spotlight on the massive needs of this community and provide a small measure of relief to children who are so desperately in need.”

The USGBC commitment is addressing a multitude of issues currently facing Haiti, including access to pediatric healthcare, orphan security, adoption and placement, as well as a retraining of Haitian workers in sustainable building practices. Through the design and construction of this orphanage, which will be LEED® certified, USGBC will provide a global, replicable model of high performance green building practices.

“We’re grateful that the USGBC community has stepped up to not only help us raise the funds for this effort, but provide leadership in so many arenas. Notably, HOK, one of the world’s leading architectural design firms stepped up to provide their services pro bono, allowing us to stretch the dollars raised to their highest use. We are grateful for their support,” said Fedrizzi.

“We are proud to be the USGBC’s design partner for Project Haiti,” said HOK director of sustainable design Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C. “This challenge – to design, build and operate a showcase sustainable project in Haiti – is a unique opportunity for our design team. We are getting much more than we are giving.”

About Project Haiti
Immediately following the earthquake, USGBC appealed to our national membership to support the rescue and relief efforts of the William J. Clinton Foundation, which was already deploying life saving emergency services to the people of Haiti. Through support of this ongoing appeal and President Clinton's clarion call to action to not just restore Haiti, but to assist it in becoming the strong, secure nation its people have always desired and deserved, USGBC decided we needed to do more and to take responsibility for what we could do to both answer the President's call and provide a model of how to rebuild. To prove what is possible not in words but in action.

With the land secured and the designated charitable organization identified, USGBC and its project partners are now engaged in a full-fledged capital campaign to support the construction of the first LEED orphanage and children's center in Haiti. USGBC and its partners are committed to utilizing the skills of Haitian based companies and their native employees.

Following construction of the orphanage and children's center, the center will be operated by the Foundation Enfant Jesus. Established in 2003, the Foundation is a non-government, non-denominational, apolitical charitable organization, which successfully operated the original orphanage on the building site. The construction site and currently condemned orphanage is located in Del Mas, Rue Fernand de Baudiere, in Port au Prince.

About Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together nearly 150 current and former heads of state, 18 Nobel Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made more than 2,000 commitments, which have already improved the lives of 300 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued in excess of $63 billion. The 2011 Annual Meeting will take place Sept. 20-22 in New York City.

This year, CGI also convened CGI America, a meeting focused on developing ideas for driving economic growth in the United States. The CGI community also includes CGI U, which hosts an annual meeting for undergraduate and graduate students, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young CGI members for leadership development and collective commitment-making. For more information, visit http://www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.

About the U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 79 local affiliates, nearly 16,000 member organizations, and more than 167,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. GDP from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students. For more information, visit http://www.usgbc.org.

To support Project Haiti, visit: http://www.usgbc.org/haiti

About HOK
HOK is a global architectural firm that specializes in planning and design solutions for sustainable buildings and communities. Through its collaborative network of 25 offices worldwide, the firm delivers design excellence and innovation to clients globally. Founded in 1955, HOK's expertise includes architecture, engineering, interiors, planning, sustainable consulting, lighting, graphics, facilities planning and assessment, and construction services. In 2011, DesignIntelligence magazine ranked HOK as the #1 role model for sustainable and high-performance design.

Marisa Long
External Relations Manager, USGBC
Follow us on Twitter @usgbc

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