Speaking at a TEDx conference a few years ago in Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University professor Vivian Loftness, FAIA, remarked, "Climate change is real, and it can be disasterous. But, the alternatives can be spectacular." As we continue to creep toward potentially perilous environmental tipping points, this statement not only holds true but it also highlights the tremendous potential for innovation in the building and construction industry.

With this in mind, for the third year Hanley Wood is exploring the building, design, and construction industry's progress toward critical sustainability goals under the Vision 2020 initiative, which is a team-driven program that identifies and explores challenges to sustainability between now and the year 2020. For the past two years, we have engaged an annual panel of 10 of the industry's foremost high-performance building experts—Loftness included—in key sectors of sustainable design to share research, highlight innovations, discuss critical challenges, and map an essential path toward a sustainable future.

We are extremely honored to introduce the newest panel of thought leaders and experts, under banner of the Hanley Wood Sustainability Council, who will guide us in 2014.

Building Design + Performance
Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA
Founder of the sustainable design initiative, HOK
Resident Fellow, Sustainability and Design for Health, AIA

Dennis Wedlick, AIA
Founder and Co-owner, BarisWedlick Architects

Economics + Financing
Philip Henderson
Senior Financial Policy Specialist, Natural Resources Defense Council

Energy Efficiency + Building Science
Steven Winter, FAIA
President, Steven Winter Associates

Paul Torcellini
Principal Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Green Building Codes, Standards + Rating Systems
Maureen Guttman, AIA
Vice President For Buildings and Utilities, Alliance to Save Energy

Indoor Environmental Quality
Vivian Loftness, FAIA
Professor of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University

Materials + Products
Blaine Brownell, AIA
Associate Professor, University of Minnesota School of Architecture

Sustainable Communities
Ellen Dunham-Jones, AIA
Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, Georgia Tech School of Architecture

Water Efficiency
Doug Bennett
Conservation Manager, Southern Nevada Water Authority

Stay tuned to Ecobuildingpulse.com for on-going updates throughout the coming year. The work of this year's Hanley Wood Sustainability Council will culminate in the annual Vision 2020 Sustainability Summit, to be held in conjunction with Greenbuild International Conference and Expo on Oct. 21 in New Orleans. In addition, the program will also produce a special year-end issue diving into each of the key subject areas above, and will continue to update the Vision 2020 roadmap for the building industry. Click here for the Vision 2020 special edition from 2013. If you have targets or benchmarks to add to the Vision 2020 roadmap, email suggestions with any supporting documentation to kweeks [at] hanleywood [dot] com.