USGBC Names Haiti Orphanage in Honor of President Clinton
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) President, CEO and Founding Chair Rick Fedrizzi recently announced that their Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action, a LEED-registered orphanage and children’s facility that USGBC will construct in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, will be officially named the William Jefferson Clinton Children's Center.
The facility, aiming for LEED Platinum, has been named in honor of President Clinton in recognition of CGI’s longstanding work to engage and empower the global community to find innovative solutions to the world’s most pervasive problems, as well as his efforts following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti to foster its reconstruction as a stronger nation.
“In 2011 at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, USGBC and its partners made a commitment to creating a symbol of hope for Haiti’s thousands of orphans and forge a model of green, sustainable, resilient building practices upon which to rebuild a nation,” said Fedrizzi. “Today, as we progress toward a project groundbreaking, we are honored to name the project for the individual who helped spark the conscience of the world toward a powerful humanitarian response, including using green resilient rebuilding practices to help protect its citizens going forward.”
“Through their CGI commitment, the U.S. Green Building Council and their partners are helping to rebuild Haiti to be stronger than ever before. This remarkable project will give many Haitian children a better chance to live their best life story, and I am deeply honored by this dedication,” said President Bill Clinton.
In making the announcement, Fedrizzi was joined on stage by Gina and Lucien Duncan, Executive Director and General Director, respectively, of Fondation Enfant Jesus (FEJ), a non-denominational, non-governmental, apolitical charitable organization that operates three successful children’s facilities in Haiti, including one destroyed in the January 2010 earthquake. The William Jefferson Clinton Children's Center will be constructed to replace the FEJ facility with a culturally relevant model of sustainable and resilient construction that will be replicable throughout the nation.
The Center was designed pro bono by an all-volunteer team at HOK, USGBC’s official design partner, which integrated biomimicry to create a locally attuned and responsive building solution through which FEJ can meet the health and emotional needs of orphaned children and provide a safe and legal pathway to adoption. Upon completion, the William Jefferson Clinton Children’s Center will house a health clinic, administrative offices for FEJ and a training center to educate local women on family planning, in addition to housing for 25-30 orphans at a time.
“Additionally,” said Fedrizzi, “we've revisited the project plans through the lens of USGBC’s growing human health commitment. To that end, we are partnering with Delos and its WELL Building Standard to make sure this most vulnerable population in Haiti has access to the most current thinking and technology for enabling the healthiest, most comfortable indoor environment.”
The facility is representative of USGBC members’ commitment to sustainable rebuilding throughout Haiti, which is currently home to five LEED-registered projects. Construction of the William Jefferson Clinton Children’s Center will provide an invaluable opportunity for USGBC to learn about implementation of LEED in a challenging construction environment. USGBC will work with local construction firms to teach principles of resilient green design and construction that can be applied to building projects throughout the nation, which currently has few standards or guidance toward mass reconstruction.
The project also represents a deepening of USGBC’s ongoing relationship with FEJ, which continues to operate its two other facilities in Haiti, in Kenscoff and Lamardelle, providing education and health services for orphans in a nation still in crisis.
For more information on the William Jefferson Clinton Children’s Center, please visitwww.usgbc.org/projecthaiti.