A Watershed Moment: Living Grand Rapids Challenge

On today’s episode we hear from Matthew VanSweden, Community and Environmental Advocate at Integrated Architecture, and Brett Little, Executive Director at the Alliance for Environmental Sustainability, who discuss the Living Grand Rapids Challenge.

The Living Grand Rapids Building Challenge goes beyond the LEED rating system that Grand Rapids has been a leader of, and is the highest bar for green buildings. The challenge will improve new green buildings in Grand Rapids, mainly around design and construction, creating zero energy buildings that put energy back into the grid.

“Sustainability for a long time, is kind of like this idea of doing less bad. Really what we want to be is, we want to restore that damage, but eventually get to this place of regeneration,” says VanSweden.

If initiated in Grand Rapids, the challenge will push building and design professionals to think about how a building can benefit all components of the community. “How does it benefit the environment, the community, and how does it improve the economy as well?” says Little.

VanSweden and Little are working to get professionals and community members involved and in support of the program, so it can start making a positive impact on the city of Grand Rapids.

To listen to this episode, click here.

“A Watershed Moment” is a weekly radio program focused on environmental news and happenings in West Michigan, plus solutions for living a greener life.  Broadcast on WYCE-FM 88.1 on Tuesdays at 8:30am and 5:30pm, this program is produced by Grand Rapids Community Media Center and West Michigan Environmental Action Council.

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