For more than 30 years, Alex Wilson has been the most trusted voice on energy efficiency and environmentally responsible design and construction. He founded BuildingGreen in 1985 and launched Environmental Building News (EBN) in 1992 as the first North American publication focused on green building. He built the reputation, resources, and staff that today makes BuildingGreen, the leading information company on green building, publishing not only EBN, but also the GreenSpec Directory, BuildingGreen.com, and LEEDuser, as well as providing consulting for a variety of companies for whom sustainable design is a core value.
Alex’s expertise in energy efficiency comes from hands-on engagement in the industry, including serving as executive director of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association for five years in the early 1980s and running a hands-on workshop program on the construction of solar greenhouses in New Mexico in the late 1970s. Books that he has authored or co-authored include Your Green Home, the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings (American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, 9th edition 2007), and the Rocky Mountain Institute's comprehensive textbook, Green Development: Integrating Ecology and Real Estate ( John Wiley & Sons, 1998), along with hundreds of articles for such publications as the Journal of Light Construction, Architectural Record, Landscape Architecture, the Journal of Industrial Ecology, Construction Specifier, Natural Home, Solar Today, and Popular Science. Outside the building field, Alex has coauthored a series of four books on quiet-water paddling for the Appalachian Mountain Club.
Alex also leads BuildingGreen’s involvement with Boston Architectural College’s Sustainable Design Institute, which is the nation’s most comprehensive online curriculum in sustainable design. He served on the board of directors of the U.S. Green Building Council for five years and was a founding member of the USGBC Research Committee. Alex is currently a trustee of The Nature Conservancy–Vermont Chapter, an appropriate role for someone who has written guidebooks on quiet-water paddling throughout the Northeast.
In 2008 Alex received the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership Award for Education, and in 2010 he became the second recipient of the prestigious Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing.
In 2012 Alex founded the Resilient Design Institute, also based in Brattleboro. RDI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing practical strategies for making buildings and communities more resilient in the face of storms, floods, heat waves, droughts, power outages, and interruptions in heating or motor fuel.
- Passive House Arrives in North America: Could it Revolutionize the Way We Build? (April 2010)
- The Folly of Building-Integrated Wind (May 2009)
- Growing Food Locally: Integrating Agriculture Into the Built Environment (Feb 2009)
- Three-part series on water (Feb, May, and September, 2008)
- Driving to Green Buildings: The Transportation Energy Intensity of Buildings (Sept 2007)
- Passive Survivability: A New Design Criterion for Buildings (May, 2006)
- Biophilia in Practice: Buildings that Connect People with Nature (July 2006)
- Flame Retardants Under Fire (June 2004)
- Radiant-Floor Heating: When it Does–and Doesn't–Make Sense (Jan 2002)
- Thermal Mass and R-value: Making Sense of a Confusing Issue (April 1998)
- Establishing Priorities with Green Building (Sept 1995; co-authored with Nadav Malin)
- Straw: The Next Great Building Material? (May 1995)
- Should We Phase Out PVC? (Jan 1994; co-authored with Nadav Malin)