How I Built This | Charlie Cichetti & Drew Shula Talk Green Building Entrepreneurship

Drew Shula is Founder & Principal at Verdical Group, a leading Los Angeles-based full-service green building consulting firm specializing in certification project management, net zero, commissioning, energy modeling, and program management. Verdical Group is a certified B Corporation and 1% for the Planet member company. In addition to managing some of the highest profile green building projects in California, including LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge projects (such as the first Energy Petal certified project in California), Verdical Group hosts the world’s largest annual Net Zero Conference. Shula is a Founding Steering Committee member of the Living Building Challenge Los Angeles Collaborative and a frequent speaker on net zero and high performance buildings including at Cornell University, The 2 Degrees Symposium on Climate Change, and the Living Future unConference. Shula has appeared in USA Today, Forbes, USGBC+ Magazine, and the International Living Future Institute’s Trim Tab. He holds a 5-year professional degree in Architecture from the University of Notre Dame.


Charlie Cichetti is the CEO of several small giants in the Green Building industry: Sustainable Investment Group (SIG), Green Building Education Services (GBES), Blue Ocean Sustainability, and Aetos Imaging. Over the course of his career Charlie has personally taught and trained over 10,000+ professionals in-person about LEED, the green building movement, and how to pass LEED exams. His green building education company GBES has over 130,000+ professionals around the world who use their study tools and CE materials to help maintain their credentials after Charlie and his team helped them pass their exams. Charlie also advocates for LEED and the green building movement to thousands of people monthly as they tune in to listen to his weekly podcast, Green Building Matters. Charlie is an expert in both the designing of green buildings and the operations of green buildings. Charlie has led many projects (over 50 Million SF of LEED/Energy Star/Cx-RCx) to LEED Gold, and even a few to the highest mark: Platinum, and is a master trainer on sustainability topics.

Show Highlights

  • Focused on decarbonizing the built environment.
  • Verdical Group’s three buckets. 
  • Join the largest net zero building event in the world.
  • A template for folks just coming up in the industry and thinking about starting their own businesses in the future. 
  • Accomplishing the Triple Bottom Line.  
  • One of the problems with the industry. 
  • Education, innovation and software tools to help with the evolution of the movement to capitalize on the moment to impact the future.
  • The drive  to become social entrepreneurs and how to chase opportunity.
  • How Charlie and Drew are building companies to make a positive environmental and social impact on the world? 
  • Forecasting the future to be part of building equitable solutions
  • Success versus luck.
  • Understanding entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship and knowing when you go through the window. 

“I don’t know how you do it, Charlie. You are an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur with all your startups. It’s really incredible. You’re like the Elon Musk of the green building world and you drive a Tesla to boot, so kudos to you with all the amazing things you’re working on.”

-Drew Shula 

Drew Shula’s Show Resource and Information

Drew Shula Transcript

Don’t forget to catch more episodes and resources for all of your green building news at the Green Building Matters website.

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GBES is excited our membership community is growing.  Consider joining our membership community as members are given access to some of the guests on the podcasts that you can ask project questions. If you are preparing for an exam, there will be more insurances that you will pass your next exam, you will be given cliff notes if you are a member, and so much more. Go to to learn more about the 4 different levels of access to this one-of-a-kind career-advancing green building community!

If you truly enjoyed the show, don’t forget to leave a positive rating and review on iTunes. We have prepared more episodes for the upcoming weeks, so come by again next week! Thank you for tuning in to the Green Building Matters Podcast!

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