Ohio’s Green Building Controversy



Time was when green building meant a moss-colored house. These days, every state wants more energy efficient structures. Ohio is a leader in green-built schools, but the Ohio senate just passed a measure to ban the current energy efficiency standards, in favor of others. This hour we’ll find out the reasons for the proposal, and who’s opposed.


  • Joe Uecker, Ohio State Senator
  • Eric Thompson,  architect at NBBJ
  • Nadja Turek, Director of Sustainable Design at Woolpert, Inc.

Join The Conversation

  • Mlyn

    Sen. Uecker expressed concern about adopting new building standards when the longterm effects aren’t yet known. Yet many new products are in widely used — and promoted — when it’s demonstrated that they have harmful effects. Monsanto’s GMO seeds are one example: they are sold to individuals in developing countries where they actually inhibit self sufficiency. GMO seeds have been designed as “annual” seeds that must be purchased each year. Farmers who live in impoverished countries would greatly benefit from crops whose seeds can be kept over and used the following year, yet GMO seeds are widely in use.

    I use this example because ours is a world economy and how we do business in the U.S. has far reaching effects. Emerging economies, such as India and China, have a rapidly growing demand for building materials and energy, and are using sources that aren’t sustainable. As a developed country, this is a good time for the U.S. to adopt sustainable and energy efficient building practices — and promote them in developing countries across the globe. What we do in the U.S. has global effects.

  • Steve Castro

    We have to be willing to disrupt industry and lose some jobs in order for our country to keep up with innovation and stay strong. Workers have to never stop learning, continually be willing to change and preparing to move into different, hopefully better ways of doing things, if necessary, for the greater good. As workers, we can’t just expect to be able to clock in every day for the rest of our lives producing whatever environmentally unfriendly products we have, and then get upset when those jobs go to a company that’s innovating and thinking about the future.

    If we want to keep window making jobs in Ohio, then hopefully this program will encourage Ohio companies to make better windows.

  • Thomas Stacy

    At 23:33 Ann asks whether it is possible the LEED standards are getting to a point where the bar is raised too high and the standards become too burdensome and unfairly damage industries. The response from Eric Thompson struck me as something Wesley Mouch would have said (an antagonist character in the novel Atlas Shrugged). His answer is no, but then he enumerates the ways government forces companies to invest in ways other than the way they would in the free market. Essentially “at the point of a gun” as Rand would put it. It’s almost like something out of a nightmare. In my opinion Americans need to hold onto this before it slips away: “When a company is not being guided by the products they make and what the customers need, but by how they can manipulate the system — get regulations on their competitors, or mandates on using their products, or eliminating foreign competition — it just lowers the overall standard of living and hurts the disadvantaged the most. – See more at: http://www.masterresource.org/2014/03/charles-koch-on-cronyism/#sthash.EC9gAQWj.dpu

    I advocate for the government to give no special treatment to anyone. Guess how much that job pays!