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The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) announce Woods Bagot Global Sustainability Leader Russell Fortmeyer as a 2023 LEED Fellow.
This year, he joins 21 professionals worldwide in recognition of their mastery of LEED and exceptional work advancing green building practices.
“LEED Fellows represent the most dedicated and accomplished green building professionals in our industry, helping drive USGBC’s vision of creating green buildings for everyone in a generation,” said Peter Templeton, president and CEO of USGBC and GBCI. “This year’s distinguished LEED Fellows serve as models of green building leadership, catalyzing transformative change in communities worldwide.”
For context, LEED Fellows must demonstrate expert-level technical proficiency, proven educational impact, leadership, advocacy, commitment, service, and mentorship for at least ten years as a LEED professional to qualify for the distinction.
“It is truly an honor to join this year’s group of fellows, all of whom represent the diversity of the organization and the variety of ways we are making progress toward climate action in the built environment,” says Woods Bagot Global Sustainability Leader Russell Fortmeyer. “I was starting my career in engineering when LEED was introduced, and I instantly connected with its aims. It’s gratifying to know that after 20-plus years, it remains as relevant as ever for our clients and industry.”
Fortmeyer considers advocacy one of the most resonant principles on the journey to fellowship.
“One of the pillars of Woods Bagot’s Global Impact strategy is advocacy, so I have always felt that when you have the creative engine of an organization like mine behind you, sharing our ideas and experience with our communities across our practices is key to staying connected and relevant,” he says.
“It was important for me to step up my commitment to the USGBC by becoming a LEED Fellow because there is so much more work to be done in our industry. Publishing our Climate Playbook in April was a big step for us to acknowledge our progress and our goals as architects to deliver sustainable projects.”
The USGBC is recognizing the 2023 LEED Fellows on Thursday, Sept. 28, at its annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo.
Russell leads Woods Bagot’s response to climate change and ecological imperatives across our operations, culture, and projects. Fortmeyer, trained in engineering and architecture, has focused on progressing sustainability in the built environment to address climate change, social equity, human health, and applying green technologies to architecture.
His LEED projects with Woods Bagot include LAX MSC South, which targets LEED Gold certification. Before joining Woods Bagot, he collaborated with the team on the Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center, the only hospital to achieve LEED Platinum twice – using the LEED v3 Health Care and the LEED v4 Existing Buildings tools. He also led the sustainability strategy for the new U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, which is certified using LEED for Neighborhood Development.
He is currently teaching a thermal environmental course in the graduate program in the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California. Previously, he taught environmental systems at SCI-ARc for 12 years. His courses focus on urban microclimates, circular economy approaches to design and zero-carbon architecture. His research has included Kinetic Architecture, a book on dynamic façade systems published in 2014, and a 2016 Bellagio Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation to advance his study of air quality in urban public spaces.
Russell’s latest LEED project, LAX MSC South.
Russell at Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center.
LEED Platinum-certified TreePeople Center for Community Forestry. Architecture by Marmol Radziner in Los Angeles. Russell’s first LEED certified project. Photography: Benny Chan.
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