Building for Sustainability: The Process

I have always been a sucker for an old building. I’ve renovated five old homes (including a couple of historic ones) and every office space Shelton Group has enjoyed has been in an old house or building. Not surprisingly, as my career headed down the energy and sustainability path nine years ago, so did my building projects. Today, I make a point to put myself through the process that we work to convince consumers to go through, just to get a little perspective. So I’ve put my houses through blower door tests, challenged contractors to think differently and try greener building materials they’re unfamiliar with, and been nearly decision-paralyzed trying to figure out how to best tighten a building envelope.

We went this same route with our recent office build-out, putting ourselves in the shoes of a typical small business signing up for the LEED process. As those of you who’ve been in those shoes know, it’s not an easy process. Like with any construction project, there were delays and unexpecteds. But adding the layer of LEED made (and is actually still making) the process far more time-intensive than usual. We LOVE the space and think it does a great job of conveying who we are — it’s obviously “green”, it’s warm, open and has a fun vibe. And the process was another reminder that all of us must focus on bringing the construction channel and green/EE building process up to speed. If we rely on the end-consumer or building owner to drive energy-efficient and green construction forward, we may well be sunk. If we can get the market AND the entire channel on board the train, we’ll likely win.

Here’s to winning!

Suzanne Shelton

About Suzanne Shelton

Suzanne Shelton is President and CEO of Shelton Group, the nation's leading marketing agency focused exclusively on energy and the environment. Drawing on her extensive knowledge of the industry, Suzanne provides unparalleled strategic insights in her writing, research, and client work. Suzanne is a guest columnist in multiple publications and websites, such as, and she speaks at over 20 conferences a year, including ACEEE, AESP, Greenbiz Forum, and Sustainable Brands.

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