VG CEO Drew Shula Selected as 2020 LEED Fellow

VG CEO Drew Shula Selected as 2020 LEED Fellow

LEED Fellows represent the top of their fields in green building design, engineering, and development. 

Los Angeles, CA – (October 20, 2020) – Verdical Group’s Founder & CEO Drew Shula has been named a 2020 LEED Fellow by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). Shula is among 25 professionals who represent exceptional practitioners and leaders within the green building community and have demonstrated mastery of the technical application of LEED, the world’s most widely used green building rating system. The first class of LEED Fellows was announced in 2011, and the 2020 class is the tenth class, with a total of 341 LEED Fellows including this year’s class. Shula is one of just six individuals ever to receive both the LEED Fellow and Living Future Hero Award.

Verdical Group’s mission is to build an equitable net zero future for all people, now. A highly proficient LEED practitioner with a deep understanding of all rating systems, Shula has proudly worked on more than 100 LEED projects throughout his career. He leads multidisciplinary design and construction teams, effectively working with clients to customize a green building approach specific to each project.

Shula embraces his role of inspiring the team at Verdical Group — the firm he founded in his Pasadena garage in 2012 — and the firm’s clients to push the envelope of what sustainability goals they thought might be possible. Verdical Group is a certified B Corporation, as well as a 1% for the Planet member company, and hosts the world’s largest annual conference dedicated to net zero building design, the Net Zero Conference. Shula often works with his team to recommend additional high-performance building strategies that enable projects to attain higher levels of LEED certification than the project team originally targeted. In all of his project work, Shula seeks to educate project team members that using LEED as a tool is not about checking boxes, but about the sustainability intent of each credit and working to achieve ever-higher levels of green building performance.

Shula is a frequent public speaker on LEED and net zero design and has spoken at events hosted by such institutions as Cornell, the AIA Los Angeles 2 Degrees Symposium on Climate Change, the Conrad Hilton Foundation, and the Living Future unConference. In 2016, he served as a speaker at Greenbuild giving a tour of his hometown host venue, the LA Convention Center. A past Board Member and long-time volunteer with the U.S. Green Building Council Los Angeles Chapter (USGBC-LA), Shula has dedicated hundreds of hours of service to further USGBC’s mission. He has received numerous leadership awards for his service from USGBC-LA and USGBC National, including the Green Agent Award in 2011, the Above & Beyond Volunteer Award in 2014, USGBC Leadership Award in 2015, and Certificate of Appreciation Recipient in 2016. Shula has been featured or published as a green building expert in media including USA Today, Forbes, and USGBC+ Magazine. He holds a 5-year professional degree in Architecture from the University of Notre Dame.

Shula has also worked with his team and clients to pursue multiple innovative LEED pilot credits, including the Local Food Production credit and, more recently, the new Safety First pilot credit to help owners and occupants stay safe during pandemics like COVID-19. In 2017, Shula worked with a Verdical Group team member to submit a new pilot credit, “Residential Energy Submetering and Real-Time Usage Data.”

“As a social entrepreneur and environmentalist, it’s been my privilege to provide leadership on energy and environmental design, using the LEED rating system as a primary tool throughout my career,” said Shula. “I’ve made it my personal mission to create a built environment that functions more like our natural environment.”

LEED Fellows are nominated by their peers and must have made at least 10 years’ worth of exceptional impact on LEED and hold an active LEED AP with specialty credential, among other requirements. The evaluation process includes extensive portfolio review and is carried out by the LEED Fellow Evaluation Committee and supported by GBCI.

The LEED Fellow program was established in 2011 to recognize outstanding LEED APs who have demonstrated exceptional impacts with LEED in key mastery elements related to technical knowledge and skill; a history of exemplary leadership in LEED; significant contributions in teaching, mentoring, or research with proven outcomes; and a history of highly impactful commitment, service, and advocacy for LEED. 

“The green building industry plays a critical role as we look toward rebuilding our economy and our communities in the months and years ahead,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of GBCI and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). “Our LEED Fellows are on the frontlines of that work helping to ensure our buildings and spaces are healthy, resilient and sustainable places for us all to enjoy. LEED Fellows have made substantial contributions to the green building community and their commitment to LEED will continue to help us shape a better living standard for all.”

The 2020 LEED Fellows were recognized at the Greenbuild Virtual conference during the USGBC 2020 Leadership Awards on Thursday, November 12.

Watch Mahesh Ramanujam, President & CEO of USGBC and GBCI, give the 2020 LEED Fellow awards including Verdical Group Founder & CEO, Drew Shula.

Read the press release from the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) here: