Sustainability is the hot issue of the day. It seems like everyone, not just the preservation community, is talking "green" or "going green" or "greening" themselves. In fact, it's hard to get past the verdant vernacular to the substance of what being "green" really means.
Because the term "green" has become ubiquitous, it can mean almost anything or nothing at all! Used interchangeably, the terms "sustainable" and "green" development can have different goals and are not always compatible. For example, a building could be "green" but not "sustainable" - the building might meet USGBC standards for LEED certification, but be built in a location that requires a long commute or displaces an existing community or demolished an existing structure.