Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The green building industry in California: From ideals to buildings
by Duckles, Beth Molinari, Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2009, 290; 3366716
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines the growth of environmentally sustainable commercial building practices as a voluntary, market-based standard called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), created by the US Green Building Council. I address how environmental ideals became institutionalized and integrated into the design and construction of commercial buildings through the growth of this standard. My goal is to discuss the site at which an ideal becomes a part of organizational practice and to discuss mechanisms by which social movement ideals become institutionalized without the state as a coercive force.

First, I look at the historical context in which the environmental movement and the green building movement emerged to see understand adoption of voluntary market-based standards. The USGBC was able to bring together three disparate forms: environmental ideals, the creation of a voluntary standard and a market-based profit focus. I examine how the decentralized environmental movement, the rise of "third wave" environmentalism and corporate strategic environmentalism and a lack of political opportunity made this new form a useful strategy for the movement. Then I examine the importance of the LEED AP accreditation program as a mechanism for integrating green practices into professional work by socializing them through three frames, the LEED system, integrated design and high efficiency buildings. I introduce a new model called hybrid professionalization to explain the integration of social movement ideals across an industry and with a variety of professional groups. Finally, I turn to the demand side of the field to examine the role of organizational consumers and their strategies to rationalize green building to stakeholders. I discuss various ways that green buildings allowed organizations to display and enact their greenness.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Galaskiewicz, Joseph
Commitee: Grant, Donald S., Ragin, Charles
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Sociology
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 70/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Sociology, Organizational behavior
Keywords: California, Green building, LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Organizational form, Professions, Social movements, U.S. Green Building Council, USGBC
Publication Number: 3366716
ISBN: 9781109284003
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