Archive for July, 2017

Continuing Education Blitz: Water Justice

CE Blitz - 2017 Water

 

 

Click here to view a list of attendees.

From the Philosophical to the Spigot . . . 

Join USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter for a full-day Continuing Education Blitz focused on water policies, use, access, and quality in the Mississippi River Basin.

Who owns water in the United States? Who determines its use? Who protects it? The answers to these questions are, in some ways, both everyone and no one.

And yet in a time of increased demand and growing climate instability, not just in the United States, but around the world, the answers–and the questions–are more important all the time.

On October 17, 2017, 8:00AM-5:00PM, join us for an exploration of water justice through the perspective of river systems – from local to global, urban to agricultural, individual to corporate – trying along the way to determine a better future for our most valuable resource.

AGENDA
8:00-9:00 – Registration & Networking
9:00-9:20 – Nick Reding: Welcome & Opening Remarks
9:20-10:20 – Alexandra Campbell-Ferrari: Water Security is a National Priority
10:35-11:05 – Michael Wysession: Definitions, Diagrams &  Ecosystem Services
11:05-11:15 – Derek Hoeferlin: River Animation
11:15-12:00 – Janet Buchanan: Where Rural Meets Urban
12:00-1:00 – Lunch
1:00-1:10 – Morning Recap & Afternoon Preview
1:10-1:40 – Bob Menees: Legal Considerations
1:40-2:40 – Derek Hoeferlin: From Mega-Regions to Hydro-Regions
2:55-3:25 – Wanda Evans: Success Stories in Water Conservation at the Saint Louis Zoo
3:25-4:30 – Panel Discussion Moderated by Beth Martin: From the River Basin to the Paris Accord

KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Alexandra L. Campbell-Ferrari
HeadshotAlexandra Campbell-Ferrari is the Executive Director of the Center for Water Security and Cooperation (CWSC) in Washington, D.C. Ms. Campbell-Ferrari was a 2014-2015 Fulbright Scholar in Spain researching European and Spanish water law and watershed management. After receiving her Juris Doctor (JD) Degree in Environmental Law from George Washington University, Ms. Campbell-Ferrari practiced with Sullivan & Worcester LLP in its Environmental, Energy, and Natural Resources practice, where she co-authored an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court of the United States on stormwater issues. She has also worked with the Office of the Connecticut Attorney General; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Natural Resources Defense Council; the Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Environmental Crimes Section; and the Department of Energy. Ms. Campbell-Ferrari’s current scholarship focuses on U.S. and European water law, including interstate water compacts and river basin management. She currently teaches at American University Washington College of Law, George Washington University Law School, and University of Maryland Francis King Carey School.

PRESENTERS

Nick Reding, Journalist (Emcee)

Michael Wysession, Professor, Department of Earth &Planetary Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis

Janet Buchanan, Project Manager, HeartLands Conservancy

Bob Menees, Staff Attorney, Great Rivers Environmental Law Center

Derek Hoeferlin, AIA, [dhd] derek hoeferlin design
Associate Professor of Architecture, Washington University in St. Louis

Wanda Evans, LEED AP, Sustainability Coordinator & Construction Project Manager, Saint Louis Zoo

Beth Martin, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Studies and Community Engagement Faculty Fellow, Washington University in St. Louis

CONTINUING EDUCATION
7 GBCI CE Hours and 7 AIA/CES LU

WHEN
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

WHERE
Please note change in event location. The event will now be held at:
Missouri Botanical Garden’s
Monsanto Center
4500 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110

FEE
$100 for USGBC-MGC Members
$150 for Non-Members
$75 for Emerging Professionals
$50 for Full-time Students
$100 for Washington University Faculty/Staff – FULL DAY
$25 for Washington University Students – FULL DAY
Free for Washington University Students/Faculty/Staff – KEYNOTE PRESENTATION ONLY

REGISTER

Click here to register online.

THANKS TO OUR PRESENTING SPONSORS!

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WashU

THANKS TO OUR EXHIBITING SPONSOR!

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Green Buildings Are Better – Health

Guest post by John May, author of MoGreenStats.com

Green buildings have better indoor environmental qualities, and deliver direct health benefits to those who work in them or live in them.


Americans spend an average of 90% of their time indoors. Indoor environments with low air circulation can concentrate pollutants 2 to 5 times higher than in outdoor air. Contaminants found in indoor air include organic compounds (e.g. formaldehyde, pesticide, fire retardant), microbes (e.g. bacteria, mold), inorganic gases (e.g. ozone, carbon monoxide, radon), and particulate matter (second-hand smoke, dust, smoke from fires).

Building-related illnesses include infections (e.g. Legionnaire’s disease), headache, nausea, nasal and chest congestion, wheezing, eye problems, sore throat, fatigue, chills and fever, muscle pain, neurological symptoms, and dry skin. That’s quite a list, and it should be apparent that indoor environmental quality is very important to health and well-being.

Green buildings have better indoor environmental qualities, and deliver direct health benefits to those who work in them or live in them, according to a review conducted in 2015. The review looked at 17 different studies of the relationship between green buildings and health. Green buildings had lower levels of volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde, allergens, nitrous oxide, smoke, and particulate matter.

The improved indoor environmental quality translated to improved self-reported health outcomes, and improved self-reported productivity. Only one study used objective health outcome metrics, but it is instructive. Thiel et al compared results at a children’s hospital in Pittsburgh before and after it moved from a non-green to a green facility. After the move, there was less employee turnover and open positions filled faster. Blood stream infection rates declined 70% and the number of corrections that had to be made to medical records declined 49%. Not only that, but patient mortality was expected to be 11% higher after the move, because the case load became more severe. However, the green hospital actually had a 19% decrease in patient mortality.

In a more traditional office setting, 263 employees were studied before and after they moved from a non-green building to a green one. After moving, they reported a 56% decrease in absences due to asthma and respiratory allergies, a 49% decrease in absences due to depression and stress, and an improvement in productivity (productivity was measured using an index that does not lend itself to a numerical comparison of before and after).

Thus, the data look promising for green buildings. At the same time, confounding factors could explain some of the improvements observed, and the fact that many studies used self-report data suggests that caution should be used in interpreting the studies. Studies using more objective data are needed.

What about the financial performance of green buildings? The next post will explore that.

Visit MoGreenStats, a blog exploring Missouri’s environmental statistics, to read more analysis of environmental statistics and reports. 

Sources:

Allen, Joseph, Piers MacNaughton, Jose Laurent, Skye Flanigan, Erika Eitland, and John Spengler. 2015. “Green Buildings and Health.” Current Environmental Health Report. Downloaded 7/9/2017 from https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs40572-015-0063-y.pdf.

Singh, Amanjeet, Matt Syal, Sue Grady, and Sinem Korkmaz. 2010. “Effects of Green Buildings on Employee Health and Productivity.”

Thiel, C.L., Needy, K.L., Ries, R.J., Hupp, D., Bilec, M.M. (2014). “Building Design and Performance: A Comparative Longitudinal Assessment of a Children’s Hospital.” Building and the Environment. 78, August 2014, 130–136.
American Journal of Public Health. 1665-1668. Downloaded 7/9/2017 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2920980.

U.S. Institute of Medicine. 2007. Green Healthcare Institutions: Health, Environment, and Economics: Workshop Summary, Chapter 4. The Health Aspects of Green Buildings. National Academies Press. Viewed online 6/10/2017 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK54149.




Missouri University of Science & Technology Solar House Team’s Next Innovation: SILO

Guest Post by the Missouri University of Science & Technology Solar House Team

It’s that time again! With the latest design nearly complete the ground is rumbling with the sound of construction as the next Missouri S&T Solar Decathlon entry is taking shape once again. The team is made up of students, faculty, staff, industry partners and a few others. For the 7th time the team is constructing a new house for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. This newest house, called SILO, will compete in Denver against other collegiate teams in October. What is behind the name? Well SILO is so much more than just a self-sustaining, net-zero home.

The “S” in SILO stands for smart, represented by a home automation system that enables the homeowner to live efficiently and at ease.

“I” for innovative; the numerous sustainable technologies include the solar array, greywater reclamation, and on-site energy storage.

“L” represents living. The home’s abundant greenery and modern appliances combine for comfortable, smart living.

Additionally, ample sunlight, clean air, and relaxing atmosphere create the “O” in SILO, which stands for oasis. Together, these features combine into a Smart Innovative Living Oasis, the ideal experience for any homeowner.

Cameron Summers, Public Relations Director for the Solar House Design Team and senior in Architectural Engineering shared, “SILO was created to meet the needs of a rapidly growing demographic: couples looking to downsize and invest in their future. “

Jennifer Nickel, Director of Design for the Team and senior in Architectural and Civil Engineering states, “The team felt strongly the design should be centered on couples who are entering their late 40’s and early 50’s where kids have often left their home to forge their own paths.” Abby Clancy, senior in Architectural and Civil Engineering shared, “Designed with the practicality of a farmhouse and the modern, sustainable style of a conventional home, SILO is perfect for a couple or individual looking for a more relaxed, “green” way of living.”

“This has been a two year process and the team has learned a great deal about the design and construction process,” states Mr. Heath Pickerill main faculty advisor. “The experience has proven to be a great stepping stone for their careers in industry as many of team members typically get multiple offers in industry”, says Dr. Stuart Baur faculty advisor and Assistant Chair in the Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Department.

With the Solar Decathlon set for this coming Fall, students have been hard at work to complete construction of this house. The team is looking forward to showing of its latest entry to thousands of visitors as well as win the 10 competition areas against 12 other universities from around the world. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends design excellence and smart energy production with innovation, market potential, and energy and water efficiency. Please consider this your personal invitation to join us at the decathlon in Denver with tours available from October 5th through to the 15th. “Come out support our team and sustainable living, and most importantly, learn how you can make a positive impact on the environment with simple changes to your home”, says Luke Mueller project manager and recent graduate in Chemical Engineering.

Follow the team’s progress at solarhouse.mst.edu,  www.solardecathlon.gov, and on their Facebook Page.

 




Seeking Nominations for 2018 Board!

Be a part of the green building movement & help us make every building a green building!

USGBC-Missouri Gateway is currently seeking nominations for At-Large board directors. All terms begin in 2018. Nominations are due by 5 pm Central Time on Friday, August 18, 2017. 

Self nominations are accepted and encouraged. Nominees must be a member in good standing with USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter and must currently serve or have previously served on a Chapter committee or as a Chapter volunteer. The online nomination form, can be found here.

For more information, please see: 

In 2015, we shifted our board nomination and election process, and no longer hold elections. Nominations are still accepted from the membership. The Governance Committee collects nominations and ensures eligibility of nominees. The committee then consults a matrix of leadership needs to determine a slate to present to the board for approval. The committee expects to present a slate to the board for discussion at the September 2017 board meeting.




USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Opposes Ice Center Development in Creve Coeur Park

St. Louis County Government is considering a proposal to convert 40 acres of Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park into a 250,000 square foot, 4,500 seat ice hockey complex. While we enthusiastically support the development and expansion of recreational facilities in our region, like the proposed ice facility, we believe this is the wrong location for any such development.

This development will significantly increase the built and impermeable space in Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park, reducing open space and leading to increased stormwater runoff and flooding. Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park is a pristine, biodiverse, and delicate ecosystem that would be threatened by a development in such close proximity.

USGBC’s LEED Rating System strongly discourages development of environmentally sensitive lands and encourages the conservation of existing natural areas and restoration of damaged areas.

The site is in the 100 year floodplain. Development as proposed will only add to the existing flooding issues around Creve Coeur Lake and Marine Avenue. Additionally, the site provides valuable habitat and ecosystem services.

The parkland intended for the Ice Arena was purchased through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, designated 6-F, and restricted for outdoor recreation use only. The Arena would be predominantly an indoor use facility and would need a waiver from the National Park Service. We believe outdoor recreation and wildlife habitat are the best uses of the space.

The site is not accessible by public transportation, and so does not allow convenient access by all socioeconomic groups in the region. With a seating capacity of 4,500, the facility will create significant traffic and carbon emissions if only accessible by automobile. LEED encourages projects to reduce the pollution and the land development impacts from automobile use by selecting sites within walking distance of public transportation.

The proposed development will contribute to multiple forms of pollution – including air pollution and carbon emissions, and light and noise pollution, diminishing access to natural areas for our residents and wildlife.

We encourage St. Louis County and the Legacy Ice Foundation to select a different site for this development, prioritizing:

  • Preservation of existing open and natural spaces
  • Selection of a site outside of a recognized floodplain, and use of Low Impact Design strategies and Stormwater Best Management Practices in site design.
  • Energy efficient building design
  • Access to public transportation

We encourage you to voice your concerns by doing the following: