Fournier ' LEEDs ' the Way to Sustainability
By Meghan Dufresne, News Editor
Donald Fournier, a specialist in energy and building research, has been working with the Building Research Council ( BRC ) since 2001. His research interests have included sustainability, energy efficiency, and air pollution. Most recently, he has been working on a BRC project on mold problems in Native American housing. He has gone to two reservations to inspect conditions and train residents about household mold. In addition, Fournier and Kate Brown, also of the BR , have conducted two training sessions for the North American Indian Housing Council.
Don Fournier's undergraduate degree is in electrical power engineering. Following that he received a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering. Fournier went on to study sustainable development, and is working towards a doctorate in urban planning. He came to the BRC after retiring from the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL), one of the five labs of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Currently, Fournier is working on three active research projects. The first is a CERL project, designed to have a set of 48 indicators of sustainability to rate regions around military installations. The purpose is to highlight regions where there may be conflict with the military and the surrounding regions. These areas could benefit from regional planning initiatives and other conservation techniques such as easements and land-use restrictions. This new methodology is called the Sustainable Installations Regional Resource Assessment.
Another project he is working on is called the Strategic Sustainability Assessment (SSA). SSA is a scenario-based look at the future to assess environmentally related issues that may impact military bases over the next 25 years. The assessment helps point the way to change policies and actions to enhance sustainability. Key issues in this ongoing study of various regions are climate change, energy, water, land-use change, air quality, and biodiversity. Fournier works on a team with a computer scientist, a geographer, and several urban planners.
Recently, Fournier has been developing a new energy management plan and strategy for the U.S. Army. He has published a white paper on the topic and has presented his findings in Washington D.C. He is currently developing a report on the world and national energy situations and their impact on the energy supply and security postures of army installations.
Don Fournier is also very active with the U.S. Green Building Council and the development of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. Mr. Fournier chairs the Multiple Building Product Committee, which is developing the LEED Campus Application Guide. The application guide puts LEED into the campus environment and discusses approaches to credits within the multi-building environment. In addition, he is on the Energy and Atmosphere Technical Advisory Group for LEED and spent two years on the LEED Steering Committee. Fournier was also involved in the development of the Sustainable Project Rating Tool (SPiRiT), which is a version of LEED applied to army buildings.
During the interview, Fournier recommended several local green buildings in the area. He is looking forward to Cesar Pelli's design of the new business school to be located on the corner of Gregory and Sixth Streets. The design team is going for a LEED Gold rating. Fournier explained that LEED is a checklist that takes site, water usage, energy efficiency, atmosphere, materials, resources, and innovation into account. Currently, Fournier and Professor Brian Deal are consulting on the Faith United Methodist Church project in town, designed to be a LEED Silver/Gold building. Another nearby LEED project is the Children's Museum in Bloomington. The Urbana Public Library remodeling and addition was also designed to include green design aspects, but is not a LEED project.