Ché Wall leaves a huge legacy for the green building movement: “I remain committed to… driving deep, fast, low-cost carbon emissions cuts via energy efficiency improvements in existing non-residential buildings”

By Tina Perinotto…

After seven years at the helm of the green building revolution, Ché Wall has stepped down as director of the Green Building Council of Australia, leaving a huge legacy both in Australia and internationally, according to green building industry leaders.

Mr Wall, managing director of green building engineers, Lincolne Scott,
was a founding director of the GBCA in October 2002, founding chair of its Technical Steering Committee, which has overseen the development of the Green Star environmental rating system for buildings, and founding chair of the World Green Building Council.

Chairman of the GBCA, Tony Arnel, said Mr Wall had been a committed sustainable building advocate for many years and would leave an “enormous legacy” for the property industry in Australia.

“Since Ché co-founded the GBCA in 2002, green building has penetrated the commercial property sector to the extent that today around 11 per cent of Australia’s commercial property is Green Star certified.”

Mr Wall takes with him top awards for his work, including in 2002 a President’s award from the Royal Australian Institute of Architects for outstanding contribution to the architectural profession in the area of sustainable development and in 2004 the prestigious Prime Minister’s Environmentalist of the Year Award from the Banksia Foundation.

In 2004 he was also awarded the National Exemplar Award from the ING Real Estate Year of the Built Environment, Towards Sustainable Communities and in 2006 nominated as one of 20 Australian Financial Review BOSS True Leaders.

Mr Wall said: “The formation of the Green Building Council of Australia and the Green Star environmental rating system for buildings have driven a dramatic market shift towards green buildings in Australia, and I am proud to have played a role in both.”

“Perhaps the greatest indicator of that market shift and Australia’s growing global leadership in green building is the fact that Australian property companies flew in overseas ‘experts’ to guide the development of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games venues; in 2009 Australian expertise is highly sought after in the global building sector.”

Mr Wall is currently setting the sustainability agenda and its implementation for districts 6 + 8 of the world’s largest private development, Songdo City in Korea, and he is on international bid teams for the Sydney Barangaroo development and the Low2No low/no carbon development competition in Helsinki, Finland.

Mr Wall said in a media statement that he noted that the original draft of the GBCA Constitution included a provision that no director should sit on the Board for more than six years and, while it no longer stands, he felt “most comfortable sticking to that original intent.

“I remain committed to the green building movement and my interest in advocacy will not wane, particularly in relation to driving deep, fast, low-cost carbon emissions cuts via energy efficiency improvements in existing non-residential buildings,” he said.

David Gottfried, chief executive officer of Regenerative Ventures and founder of  the U.S. and World Green Building Councils said: Ché Wall …has been a catalyst for the greening of Australia and the world.

“It’s hard to imagine anyone with a greater ecological impact in Australia than Ché,” Mr Gottfried said.

Joe Van Belleghem, founder of the Canada Green Building Council and director of the US Green Building Council said: “What struck me immediately about Ché was here was this engineer with a heart and unwavering passion and understanding of the environmental issues we face and the direction we need to go.

“His generosity in knowledge sharing has been an inspiration to many. Che’s impact and influence has gone well beyond Australia touching many of us around the globe.”

Maria Atkinson, global head of sustainability for Lend Lease Corporation and co-founder of the GBCA said that Mr Wall’s “compass for the right thing and his bright innovative and effective ideas” had transformed the real estate and construction sectors in Australia and around the world.

“I know that we could not have achieved the successes of the green building movement without Ché – we all owe him thanks for what he gave and leaves with us during in his six years as Director of the Green Building Council of Australia.”