Building Better Spaces: NWF Honors William McDonough

NWF   |   April 22, 2015

National Conservation Achievement Awards

During the 2015 National Conservation Achievement Awards Gala on May 14, National Wildlife Federation’s J.N. Ding Darling Conservation Award recipient will be William McDonough, a renowned architect, designer, and leader in sustainable development. McDonough will honor us by speaking at the Gala about his extensive conservation background and environmentally sound practices and measures.

William McDonoughAs one of the pioneers of the green building movement, McDonough has earned the reputation of being “the leading environmental architect of our time,” and joins previous honorees like President Bill Clinton, Robert Redford, and Lady Bird Johnson in this prestigious honor. McDonough’s award-winning architecture practice, William McDonough + Partners, has designed structures across the world, including the Ford Rouge Center Landscape, YouTube’s headquarters, and NASA’s Sustainability Base.

Sustainable designs like those pioneered by McDonough are critical to enhancing biodiversity efforts in urban landscapes, like the City of Baltimore, where NWF’s Mid Atlantic office has worked extensively to help “Birdland” become a certified community habitat.

In the United States, the building sector accounts for more than 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions. Buildings with inefficiencies such as poor insulation, inadequate lighting and heating, and a heavy reliance on the conventional electric grid waste an enormous amount of energy, contributing to ongoing climate change. Wildlife and people alike are negatively impacted by this nationwide inefficient energy use. To transition into a more sustainable energy future, we need to start building better and smarter using ideas and examples from sustainable growth pioneers such as William McDonough.

“Here’s where redesign begins in earnest, where we stop trying to be less bad and we start figuring out how to be good.” – William McDonough, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (2002)

William McDonough is globally recognized for his work as a pre-eminent voice for ecologically intelligent design and what he calls “waging peace through commerce.” For 40 years, he has defined the principles of the sustainability movement, creating its seminal buildings, products, texts and enterprises and preparing the ground for its widespread growth.

Cradle to CradleAs a visionary innovator and conservation leader, McDonough has been extremely proactive in the green movement. He is the co-creator of Cradle to Cradle®, a global standard for the design of safe, healthy products, and business strategist or advisor for leading global organizations. He is also the author of The Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability (1992), and co-author of the widely influential Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (2002) and The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability—Designing for Abundance (2013).

William McDonough + Partners is at the forefront of the green building movement. The company is dedicated to place-specific, high performance designs that support ecological health and human well-being. McDonough designed the first “green office” in New York for the Environmental Defense Fund (1985) and established many of the principles and practices that have come to define sustainable design. By helping improve the building sector, McDonough’s work is tackling the larger issue of climate change which in turn helps the environment, wildlife, and us.

William McDonough’s expertise and experience extend well beyond this blog post. Join NWF in honoring him at the National Conservation Achievement Awards (now famously known as the Connies), on May 14, 2015 at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington D.C and meet this amazing conservation hero for yourself!

Buy your Connies ticket today!

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