Gail was my favorite professor at the N.C. State School of Design. I often google her just to see what she is up to. Having just done so now, I am shocked and saddened to see that she is gone.
Gail Lindsey, FAIA, LEED AP
I had the privilege of having Gail Lindsey as my professor for two architecture studios at N.C. State while earning my Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture. I was her student in the early 90's while she was developing her ideas and organizing her thoughts about green building standards, technical criteria, and the rating system that later became LEED. I benefited directly from her enthusiasm and pioneering spirit.
Gail introduced me to Cohousing. One of our studio projects was to do a master plan for the Arcadia Cohousing Community in Chapel Hill, N.C. under the direction of lead architect, Giles Blunden. We learned to carefully analyze the site and incorporate key green, sustainable planning strategies into the master plan. Arcadia later developed into one of the best examples of sustainable community oriented design in the southeast.
Another studio project assigned by Gail was the first green, sustainable, passive solar house at the Potluck Community Farm, an intentional community of 13 families in Rougemont, North Carolina. Gail taught us to consider sustainable design solutions and green building practices from the early stages of master planning to the final touches on the building. She encouraged us to view green design as the norm and not the exception.
Gail was born in Miami, Florida. She disliked it there because she felt that overdevelopment was destroying the beautiful South Florida environment. She attended Columbia University, where her passion for everything green flourished. Gail later settled in Wake Forrest, N.C. where she founded the green consulting firm, Design Harmony. After three successful rounds of chemotherapy for breast cancer, Gail died on February 2, 2009 due to complications from a recurrence of liver cancer.
Gail Lindsey was the co-creator of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, and a founding member of the American Institute of Architect’s Committee on the Environment. She was among the first LEED trainers, and she helped create the AIA’s Top Ten Green Projects program. She headed the greening of the White House, the greening of the Pentagon, and the greening of Habitat for Humanity.
Gail was also responsible for the Sustainable Design Initiatives for the National Park Service, the International Green Building Challenge and companion GBTool, and the interactive CD ROM known as the Green Building Advisor. She also developed the Department of Energy’s web-based high performance case study database, the Department of Defense’s Sustainable Design Training Program, and the U.S. EPA’s Energy Star Program.
These are just a few of Gail Lindsey's many achievements. She was without a doubt, the godmother of the green building movement.