Podcast: Mark Edlen, Community Developer and Green Builder

June 19, 2015

The concept “20-minute living” was created by Portland-based firm Gerding Edlen and has become widely used nationwide. Mark Edlen, my 12th “podguest” serves as managing partner and driving force behind one of the nation’s leading real estate investment and development firms, and he wants you to live better.

As a country, we lose $87 billion a year in productivity and fuel while stuck in traffic—and that’s not the way it should be.  “Twenty minute communities are places where people can get to where they need to be within 20 minutes and do it on their own two feet,” said Edlen. “They are places that are intriguing. They are places that people want to come back to again and again.”

In the newly released episode, Edlen shares perspectives on socially responsible real estate investment, green design, and why he’s not just interested in the construction of buildings but the development of vibrant communities.

Conceptualized on a fishing trip with he and Bob Gerding, Gerding Edlen has more LEED certified buildings than any other private developer in the world. And Edlen has ambitious plans to develop net zero buildings within the next three years. To him, it’s about always doing a little better.

“How can we get to zero percent energy or how can we save even more water or better yet how can we do things that will generate energy and get beyond net zero?” said Edlen.

Toward the end of our interview, I asked what keeps him blazing new paths.

“You have to have unbounded optimism. There are too many things where you could say this is really hard or this isn’t working so let’s quit and lets go back to the old ways of doing things,” said Edlen. “I think you have to be willing to run into a wall and get a headache and turn back around and run at the wall again with a new idea. There isn’t a manual out there that says how to. That’s part of the fun.”

I hope you enjoy this latest episode (you will), and make sure and give it a review on iTunes.

And keep an ear out for the upcoming episode with Vanessa Keitges, president and CEO of Columbia Green Technologies, a developer of green roof solutions.

As always, thanks for listening.

Joe Whitworth

Are you interested in more podcast episodes?

Listen Here

#architechture    #Bob Gerding    #Conservation    #ecosystem services    #environmental podcast    #freshwater Talk    #Gerding Edlen    #green building    #green design    #green real estate    #LEED    #net zero buildings    #real estate    #water