Bill Browning

Terrapin Founder

Bill Browning is one of the green building and real estate industry’s foremost thinkers and strategists, and an advocate for sustainable design solutions at all levels of business, government, and civil society. His expertise has been sought out by organizations as diverse as Fortune 500 companies, leading universities, non-profit organizations, the U.S. military, and foreign governments.


Bill Browning Early in his career, Bill helped build Buckminster Fuller’s last experimental structure. In 1991, he founded Green Development Services at the Rocky Mountain Institute, an entrepreneurial, non-profit “think and do tank”. His consulting projects at RMI included new towns, resorts, building renovations, and high-profile demonstration projects including Wal-Mart’s Eco-mart, the Greening of the White House, the National Aquarium, Disney Hong Kong, the Pentagon, Lucas Film, Grand Canyon National Park and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Village. In 1999 Green Development Services was awarded the President’s Council for Sustainable Development/Renew America Prize.

Beginning in 2004, Bill was the Director of Design and Environment for Haymount, a New Urbanist community in Virginia. In this capacity he led the development’s site planning, authored a set of design guidelines, and guided development of innovative infrastructure systems. In 2005 he co-founded Browning+Bannon LLC, an independent real estate and consulting firm focused on environmentally responsive development.

Bill was a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Board of Directors, and served as Chair of USGBC’s Governance Committee. Over the years Bill has served on the Boards of Greening America, the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education, RealEnergy, the Roaring Fork Conservancy, and ioby. He has also served on The Nature Conservancy Real Estate Advisory Council, ASTM Green Building Rating Committee, and the Department of Defense’s Science Board Energy Task Force, the AIA National Committee on the Environment, the Department of State’s Overseas Building Office Advisory Council, the Real Estate Advisory Council for the Trust for Public Land, the Interface “Green Dream Team.” He is a GSA national peer, and editorial advisor for Environmental Building News, Environmental Design & Construction Magazine, and Green @ Work.

In addition to consulting, Bill writes and lectures widely on sustainable design and building practices. He is a co-author of Green Development: Integrating Ecology and Real Estate; A Primer on Sustainable Building; Greening the Building and the Bottom Line; and Biophilic Design. He has published articles in Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, Urban Land, and AIA’s Environmental Resource Guide. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Elle and Popular Science, among others, and he has been interviewed by NPR, CNN, and PBS.

Bill received a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design from the University of Colorado, specializing in energy-conscious architecture and resource management. He holds a Master of Science in Real Estate Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was awarded the MIT Center for Real Estate’s 1991 Public-Sector Fellowship, and, in 1995, the Charles H. Spaulding Award. In 1998 Bill was named one of five people “Making a Difference” by Buildings magazine. In 2001 he was selected as an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects, and in 2004 he was honored with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership Award.

In 2006, Bill founded a new firm, Terrapin Bright Green, LLC. With longtime partners Bob Fox, Rick Cook and Chris Garvin, Terrapin crafts high-performance environmental strategies for corporations, governments, and large-scale real estate developments. Their diverse clients include Cacique Resort in Costa Rica, Starwood’s Element hotel brand, NRDC, PNB Malaysia, New Songdo City in Korea, InterfaceFLOR, Bank of America, and the National Geographic Society. Bill is based in Washington, D.C.
The Old Executive Office Building, part of the Greening of the White House project.

© Bill Browning

The Old Executive Office Building, part of the Greening of the White House project.

A geodesic dome created by Buckminster Fuller.

© Bill Browning

A geodesic dome created by Buckminster Fuller.