U.S. Green Building Council - Missouri Gateway Chapter Blog
Welcome to the USGBC-MO Gateway Blog, a place for the Chapter to share information on green building, LEED, sustainability and other "elements of green" in and around the St. Louis area.

Member Spotlight of the Year – Brandon Verhoff

Posted: December 8th, 2021

2021 Member Spotlight of the Year
– Brandon Verhoff

“As education plays a crucial role in the adoption of sustainable development in society, we must ensure the next generation is sustainability literate.”

Brandon Verhoff standing with painted flower mural, USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter 2021 Member Spotlight of the Year

Brandon Verhoff, PH.D., Manager, Budgets & Reporting, Caleres Inc.
USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Member since 2015
Chair, Education Committee

Sustainability passion:

Sustainability Literacy: To ensure future generations are armed with the right information to make the best possible decisions in their future professions, we must educate our society on sound environmental, social, and financial reasoning. As education plays a crucial role in the adoption of sustainable development in society, we must ensure the next generation is sustainability literate. This passion for sustainability literacy was at the core of my dissertation when completing my Ph.D.

Most meaningful experience with USGBC:

Being the Chair of the Education Committee, I’ve been able to meet wonderful experts in their fields, learn from their expertise, and keep up with the latest trends. The reason I joined the USGBC Missouri Gateway Chapter was to network and provide my expertise to our community. I’ve gained much more by participating with amazing members of our Chapter. I believe the Missouri Gateway Chapter is a beacon of sustainability success in St. Louis and I’m proud to be involved with the success it has created.

What will most impact the future of green building:

Wellness will be a main driver for future building projects. With the on-going pandemic, companies will focus more on how to improve the mind and body when designing spaces. Providing a space that caters to wellness will give building owners a competitive advantage in the marketplace. We’ve already started to see big campaigns from celebrities focused on the WELL building standard, but we can expect more attention on combining energy efficiency with creating a more welcoming, safe, and just space for its occupants.

Favorite LEED Project:

Edward A. Doisy Research Center at Saint Louis University. This project is close to my heart because of my involvement as the past Director of Sustainability & Benchmarking for the University. It was the University’s first endeavor into LEED and is an anchor of research in the St. Louis region. We learned a lot through the certification process and how to improve other construction projects on campus.

Favorite place in the St. Louis region:

My favorite place in St. Louis is the Missouri Botanical Garden. I love plants, so I visit the garden regularly to see the changing seasons, flowers, festivals, and events; like the Best of Missouri Market, Japanese Festival or Garden Glow. It’s a wonderful place in the City that is transformative, all while still being located in the heart of St. Louis. I instantly feel relaxed and at home while visiting.




October Member Spotlight – Cara Spencer

Posted: December 8th, 2021

October Member Spotlight – Cara Spencer

Help us welcome Cara Spencer to the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter! Cara is Director of the new Building Energy Exchange STL (BE-Ex STL) which will expand existing local resources for energy efficiency and building performance resources and services; a force multiplier for climate action and local economic development.

“Financing and Affordable housing. Giving property owners access to the capital they need to improve efficiency is key to making retrofit projects happen.”

Cara Spencer on a Missouri river, USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter October 2021 Member Spotlight

Cara Spencer, Director, Building Energy Exchange STL & Alderman, City of Saint Louis
USGBC-MGC Member since 2021

Sustainability passion: I love growing my own food. Right now our figs are producing nicely and we eat them right off the bush. Nothing beats home grown tomatoes and basil in the summer and I’m a year round micro-green enthusiast.

Most meaningful built environment experience: I’d have to say the O’Fallon Commerce Bank. Its just a regular, everyday bank building but its the first LEED certified banking facility in MO. What’s most meaningful about it is just its everyday-ness. That a bank made the community conscious decision to lead with LEED certification is incredibly inspiring.

What will most impact the future of green building: Financing and Affordable housing. Giving property owners access to the capital they need to improve efficiency is key to making retrofit projects happen. This is especially important in the affordable housing space where energy savings are not experienced by the property owners but by tenants for whom energy savings greatly impacts quality of life.

Favorite Sustainability Project: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. People often (erroneously) confuse sustainability with boring. But the Crystal Bridges building is absolutely stunning and architect Moshe Sadie’s attention to detail is impeccable. It incorporates so much of its natural environment in its construction materials and in its landscape design. Walking through it, the visitor gets the sense of being in and outside all at once – a truly magical experience.

Favorite place in the St. Louis region: The arch. It just never gets old. I am there most mornings on a run or bike ride and I never tire of seeing it. The museum renovation is phenomenal and I love the native plantings on the north side, the trails throughout and the energy pulsing through the many daily visitors.


Cara Spencer is a native St. Louisan who studied math at Truman State University. She loves hiking, cycling and as of late – paddle boarding on MO rivers. She has a 10 year old son who loves drawing and Legos. Together they love eating breakfast outside and bike commuting most days to school and work. Cara is looking forward to helping reduce our community’s carbon footprint. Being a resource to our developer community in achieving energy efficiency goals and helping make St. Louis a climate ready city with a global sustainable reputation that can attract new residents and new employers.




September Member Spotlight – Julie Villa

Posted: September 23rd, 2021

September Member Spotlight – Julie Villa

“I believe local cities and municipalities requiring improvements to the existing building stock will serve as a major push to reduce overall energy consumption and make our neighborhoods healthier places.”

Julie Villa LEED AP BD+C, NCARB, Associate Architect, Ittner Architects
USGBC-MGC Member since 2014
Chair of the Higher Education & Emerging Professionals Committee

Sustainability passion: Green school design: as an educational planner and architect, I have the opportunity to create healthy and inspiring environments designed to be tools to teach sustainability to our next generation of learners. From early childhood through adults, green schools can be a hands-on method of incorporating important sustainability principles into the curriculum, in addition to being great spaces to learn.

Most meaningful experience with USGBC: As the chair of the Higher Education and Emerging Professionals committee, I’ve helped organize a lot of great events and volunteer opportunities, but my favorite are our recurring Community Garden Workdays at Fresh Starts Community Garden in the Jeff-Vander-Lou neighborhood. This month’s volunteer day will be our fourth workday there, and it will be great to see what’s growing in the beds we prepped in the spring. It’s always rewarding to get my hands dirty!

What will most impact the future of green building: I believe local cities and municipalities requiring improvements to the existing building stock will serve as a major push to reduce overall energy consumption and make our neighborhoods healthier places. It’s now easier than ever to design a new energy efficient building, but unless we make improvements to our existing buildings to make every building a green building, we won’t be able to make real strides. I’m so proud of our Chapter’s work in getting the City’s BEPS ordinance passed!

Favorite LEED Project: I helped design the tenant finish for 700 Market, the historic mid-century Philip Johnson building, now Spire’s headquarters, which was certified LEED Gold. It was my first ID+C project, and I found it very rewarding to revitalize a long-vacant building into a modern collaborative workspace, keeping a major employer in the urban core instead of building new office space outside of the city center.

As far as other LEED projects that I admire, the East End transformation of Washington University’s campus is a truly innovative re-envisioning of that iconic end of campus. As a graduate, I’m proud to say it exceeds every expectation I had for the transformation, and I expect it to set new standards for future campus improvements.

Favorite place in the St. Louis region: The Green Rock trail at Rockwood Reservation. Hiking trails are my happy place, and this is a favorite in the region – rocky, hilly, and so very green!




2021 USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Membership Survey

Posted: August 9th, 2021

2021 Membership Survey

We appreciate the time and consideration you will put in to enhance the growth and development of your USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter experience, needs, and programs. The 2021 Membership Survey should take about 15 minutes with thoughtful responses. Thank you!

During our annual joint Board and Committee Chair meeting in September 2021, we will review the results of the 2021 Membership Survey and how we can incorporate your opinions and suggestion into:

  • Fostering Green Building Leaders of the Future
    • Green Schools Quest
    • Missouri Green Schools
  • Advancing Buildings As Climate Solutions
    • Education
    • Advocacy
  • Maintaining Organizational Sustainability

We are excited to hear your feedback about being a member of USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter! Thank you for being part of this Green Buildings Are Better community. We could not do this without you.

When you complete this Membership Survey you will be entered into a drawing to WIN A YEAR-LONG CHAPTER MEMBERSHIP and fun Chapter swag (a baseball cap + pint glass). Three winners will be drawn at random after August 11, 2021.




July Member Spotlight – Lisa J. Reed

Posted: July 14th, 2021

July Member Spotlight

“Isn’t picking a favorite LEED project like picking a favorite child?”

Lisa J. Reed, PE, IALD, MIES, LEED BD+C, Founding Principal of Envision Lighting Design, LLC
USGBC-MGC Member since 2013
Active member of the Membership & Marketing Committee

Sustainability passion: My sustainability passion – same as my “everything” passion – is lighting! I look at everything through a lighting lens. Light creates clarity. It elevates the way we experience space. It gives life. Light also plays a significant role in sustainability, whether we conserve energy by using only the light that we need (don’t overlight spaces) or by being intentional about where we put light (eliminate light pollution) or by using lighting controls to only use light when we need it (turn ‘em off!) Additionally, I’m interested in equity and lighting equity issues. If it has anything to do with light, then it’s my passion!

Most meaningful experience with USGBC: Tough question – there have been many. This is an organization filled with sincere people who truly care about our planet and the people who inhabit it. Nearly every encounter with this organization, its members, leaders, and staff has been meaningful. One highlight has been participating in the Green Shadow Mentor program. I also want to mention the Membership and Marketing Committee. By volunteering on this committee, I have been able to get to know a small group of fantastic people.

What will most impact the future of green building: Communication. If we can rethink how we talk about green building and communicate the importance of it in an inclusive, non-partisan, apolitical way to get everyone rowing in the same direction, that will be pivotal. When people come together, we are unstoppable. As the mother of two young adults, I see the priorities of the next generation and I do have hope that the future is in good hands.

Favorite LEED Project: Isn’t picking a favorite LEED project like picking a favorite child? I don’t think I can do that! That said, the 4220 Duncan building in the Cortex District was special because that was the first time I was able to achieve the Light Pollution Reduction Credit, and the Envision Lighting Design team, alongside HOK and the HOK Lighting Group, worked really hard on the lighting selections, placements, and calculations to get it. Now we attempt and achieve Light Pollution Reduction regularly.

Favorite place in the St. Louis region: Have you seen The Awakening II near Chesterfield Central Park? This giant man (a 70’ aluminum sculpture) appears to be partially underground as he emerges from a long slumber. This has become my favorite outdoor meeting spot. The giant is whimsical and a little terrifying, and along with the Central Park Trail, it is a nice little nature/art combo that’s worth a visit. Tell the giant hello for me when you go. Better yet, let me know you’re going, and I’ll meet you there!




We’re Hiring – Building Energy Exchange St. Louis Director!

Posted: July 7th, 2021

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter seeks qualifications for an individual to serve as the Director of the Building Energy Exchange-St. Louis. The Director will lead the design, development and operation of the Building Energy Exchange – St. Louis (BEEx-STL, formerly referred to as the St. Louis Regional Energy Hub) in order to build a transformational entity to accelerate innovation, create jobs, strengthen the economy and lead an equitable transition to a clean energy future. The Director will work in partnership with the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter’s Executive Director, its board, the BEEx-STL advisory board, the City of St. Louis, partners, and the local building community to identify and overcome barriers that are holding back high performing buildings in the St. Louis region.

To apply, please submit your qualifications, including resume, cover letter and 2 references as a single, electronic PDF to Emily Andrews at emily.andrews@mobot.org by midnight on July 30, 2021.

View the full job description here.

View the Executive Summary of the BEEx-STL business plan here.

Support for BEEx-STL is generously provided by founding sponsors: Ameren Missouri, Washington University in St. Louis, the Leon Lowenstein Foundation and the Natural Resources Defense Council, and technical advisors: Institute for Market Transformation and Building Energy Exchange (New York).




Apply for Living Future 21 Conference Scholarships from USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter

Posted: February 10th, 2021

Invest in Your Professional Development – Apply for a LF21 Scholarship

Learn new technical information and practical solutions while building relationships with other people and organizations in the green building and sustainability industry when you attend the Living Future 2021 Inclusion + Unity Conference April 20 – 23, 2021 online everywhere.

**Multiple scholarships are available!

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter believes everyone should have access to green buildings and green communities as well as green building education! Those eligible to apply for this scholarship include:

  • Individuals of diverse backgrounds and/or in under-represented socio-economic groups. 
  • Organizations or individuals that serve under-represented socio-economic groups and/or diverse communities. 
  • Emerging Professionals with an interest in the sustainability of our region. For the purpose of this scholarship, we will consider Emerging Professionals to be recent graduates or current students. 

Scholarship applications are due Monday, March 15, 2021 by 11:59 pm. A USGBC-MGC membership is not required.

**Multiple scholarships are available!

The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) has been at the forefront of attracting leading thinkers in sustainability, regenerative design, and the built environment hailing from industries ranging from architecture and manufacturing to government and nonprofits. Come together with the shared pursuit of a socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative Living Future, and apply for a Living Future 21 Scholarship today!

The Living Future 2021 Conference, hosted online by ILFI, April 20-23, 2021 provides you the opportunity to choose from over 40 sessions (with the ability to watch all recorded content), including case studies, tours, and networking meetups. View the current schedule here.

APPLY FOR A SCHOLARSHIP TO ATTEND LF21


View the April 7-8, 2021 EcoCareers Conference, Green Shadow Scholarship Opportunity>




A Unique Pandemic Opportunity – Taking our GREEN SHADOWS to the 2021 EcoCareers Conference

Posted: February 10th, 2021

Attend the NWF’s EcoCareers Conference as a USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter GREEN SHADOW!

The National Wildlife Federation’s ECOLEADERS Community is hosting an EcoCareers Conference preparing students and emerging professionals for wildlife and sustainability careers by providing information on the latest trends from analysts and employers, clarifying career enhancing credentials and academic offerings, and formulating a better understanding of the competencies employers seek in the green sector.

“Really great insight about the soft skills and was inspirational as someone who is currently struggling to find an entry into the sustainability job field.”

Students, faculty, and staff from high schools, colleges and universities and emerging professionals are invited to sign-up for our Green Shadow program and we will fully fund your attendance to the EcoCareers Conference, April 7 – 8, 2021 11:00 – 5:00 pm each day.

2021 Green Shadow applications to attend the April EcoCareers Conference are due Friday, April 2, 2021 by 11:59 pm.

**Know someone who would benefit from this EcoCareers Conference? Encourage them to sign-up for the Green Shadow program to receive FREE attendance! Share this link, bit.ly/greenshadowecocareer


View the April 20-23, 2021 Living Future 21 Conference Scholarship Opportunities>




Brickline Greenway – Connecting People, Places, and Equitable Opportunities in St. Louis

Posted: February 10th, 2021

A Green Buildings Are Better @usgbcmogateway
Coffee Break with Great Rivers Greenway

The Coffee Break Friday, February 5, 2021 featured Mark Vogl, Project Manager at Great Rivers Greenway District. Leading our Green Buildings Are Better community in discussion, Mark Vogl spoke on the development and projects of the Brickline Greenway. Formerly known as the Chouteau Greenway, Brickline will connect Forest Park to the Gateway Arch and provide connections to Fairground Park and Tower Grove Park, running between Boyle Avenue and Sarah Avenue within the City of St. Louis.

View the LIVE recording here!




Benchmarking & Energy Efficiency Case Studies

Posted: August 3rd, 2020
We’re collecting benchmarking and energy efficiency case studies to showcase how our Existing Buildings can be Climate Heroes. Got a good energy efficiency success story to share? Contact us at usgbc-mogateway@mobot.org.

Sacred Heart Catholic School, located in Florissant, is a K-8 school specializing in Roman Catholic Education. Last summer, an LED retrofit of the entire building was executed, which has saved the school just over $11,000 in energy costs, 113,000 kWh of energy, and 93 tons of CO2.

Read the full case study.

Bauer Equity Partners is located an eighth of a mile from the I-70 and West Florissant Avenue interchange in the City of St. Louis. Previously a dairy bottling plant, the building has undergone numerous renovations in order to reduce energy consumption, improve access and reduce stormwater runoff. Since the solar panel and white roof installation, the building has realized a 66% reduction of electric consumption.
Read the full case study.

City of Clayton – Bonhomme and Brentwood Parking Garages have both undergone major renovations to reduce overall energy consumption. From lighting improvements to solar panels, these two buildings are seeing significant savings. The Bonhomme Garage saves $3,000 per month and the Brentwood Garage saves $22,000 a year. Read the full case study.

Parkway Schools’ portfolio consists of more than 34 buildings and 3.3 million square feet. In 2017, Parkway School District improved energy performance by 11% from a 2015 baseline, making progress towards a goal of 20% by 2025. Energy savings were achieved by implementing outdoor LED lighting retrofits and dimming controls across all properties. Learn more about their progress to date, implemented projects and more on the Better Buildings Challenge website.

600 Washington

600 Washington, is a 25-story office building. Formerly known as One City Center, it is a 375,000 square foot office building with a variety of tenants, including several large legal and accounting firms. Read the full case study

Clayco has been using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to benchmark their St. Louis office since 2007. Using this tool gave them a baseline, as well as the motivation to raise their score. As a result of energy saving strategies and building improvements that they have implemented since 2007, their ENERGY STAR score has more than doubled. Read the full case study

Unigroup

UniGroup is a $1.7 billion transportation and relocation services company with headquarters in suburban St. Louis. UniGroup has embraced sustainability as a smart way to achieve cost savings. The company’s Director of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability led the charge to monitor energy usage, enabling the company to identify issues and resolve them quickly. As a result, they achieved the coveted ENERGY STAR certification. The company took full advantage of utility rebate programs to maximize the return on investments in energy-related projects. Read the full case study.




Kickoff the Virtual St. Louis Earth Day Festival THIS SUNDAY, April 19th with the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter

Posted: April 16th, 2020

Kickoff the Virtual St. Louis Earth Day Festival THIS SUNDAY, April 19th with the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter

We, the U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter would like you, your family, your co-workers, neighbors, distant friends, and anyone you can forward this link to, to JOIN US in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day Worldwide! We will be hosting TWO virtual events this Sunday, April 19th, 2020. Come visit our “booth” at the St. Louis Earth Day Festival and learn about the Earth Day Ecochallenge or take a virtual green building tour.

Will You Join Us for a Brown Bag Lunch with our St. Louis Goes Green! Ecochallenge Team?

We are kicking off our renowned St. Louis Earth Day Festival, virtually, this Sunday, April 19th @ 12pm via earthday-365.org/coming-soon/

Join us for an Earth Day Ecochallenge – BROWN BAG LUNCH- with the St. Louis Goes Green! Team

WHEN: this Sunday, April 19th @ 12 pm CST 


WHERE: Online! Via Zoom
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJModOuspjMsG93ZgjaLhoLs7l0fI_LlMiyz
Meeting ID: 975-3248-8619
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Or simply visit earthday-365.org/coming-soon/ @ 11:40 AM and get access to our virtual Earth Day Ecochallenge – BROWN BAG LUNCH – with the St. Louis Goes Green! Team


WHAT: This Brown Bag Lunch is for anyone interested in learning more about the Earth Day Ecochallenge! We are inviting team members of the St. Louis Goes Green! team to join and continue to share challenges and successes with the Actions and Challenges they’ve committed to this April and how they’ve made progress in creating a better shared future. Let’s get together for lunch, meet one another, enjoy an eco-conversation, and encourage others to learn more and join our Ecochallenge team! We couldn’t be ranked 12th worldwide if it wasn’t for individuals like YOU interested and making a positive impact every day. Think we could be #1 by April 30th, 2020?? Let’s find out together. #stlouisgoesgreen

Join our St. Louis Goes Green! Ecochallenge Team TODAY!

Looking for Something More LEED Specific and Related to Your Green Building Industry?

Join us, virtually, as we kickoff the St. Louis Earth Day Festival this Sunday, April 19th @ 1:30 pm via earthday-365.org/coming-soon/

Join us for a Virtual Green Building Tour of Alberici Headquarters in St. Louis

WHEN: this Sunday, April 19th @ 12 pm CST 


WHERE: Online! Via Zoom
Join Zoom Meeting by clicking on the link below
https://zoom.us/j/93996903123?pwd=bnliVVJwMUQwNFh3bm9HaGlLWmxZdz09
Meeting ID: 939 9690 3123
Password: 202050


WHAT: Has the wind turbine and prairie landscape surrounding the Alberici building near I-170 and Page caught your eye? Take a virtual tour – through the building and through time – exploring the transformation of a structure that previously served as a manufacturing plant into an environmentally responsible, healthy and beautiful office building certified by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2005 as the highest rated LEED Platinum building in the world. Presented by: John C. Guenther, FAIA, LEED AP, Architect. John C. Guenther, FAIA, LEED AP, was a design principal and partner with Mackey Mitchell Architects when he designed the Alberici Corporate Headquarters. Since 2009 he has practiced independently as John C. Guenther Architect LLC. #greenbuildingsarebetter

Become a member of our U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter TODAY!

WILL YOU JOIN US? Tune in THIS Sunday, April 19th at 12 PM or 1:30 PM to help us kickoff the 2020 Virtual St. Louis Earth Day Festival. Go where the WiFi takes you and join us in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day Worldwide! Whether you get inspired to plant a tree on April 22, 2020 like the Nixon’s did in honor of the first Earth Day in 1970, or learn different solutions to reducing waste or more ways to get outside, or even that building the world’s highest rated LEED Platinum green building is possible, we appreciate you taking the time to celebrate Earth Day with us and contributing to the promotion of environmentally responsible, prosperous and healthy places to live, work, and learn. Thank you and happy Earth Day!




June Member Spotlight – Shane Healey

Posted: January 5th, 2022

June Member Spotlight – Shane Healey

“We teamed up with the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter to provide a pro bono energy audit for the Grace + Peace Fellowship congregation.”

Shane Healey, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, Associate Architect, Lawrence Group
USGBC-MGC Member since 2015

Sustainability passion: My interest for Sustainability began during a sustainable design undergrad course at SIU Carbondale in 2009. I really enjoy being able to help connect a building to the surrounding community, as well as connecting the building to the surrounding landscape and environment. Since becoming a LEED AP, I have worked on a LEED Gold, Silver, and Certified, as well as a half dozen pseudo-LEED certified Projects for the military.

Most meaningful experience with USGBC: In 2014 I was an Architectural Designer at Ross & Baruzzini. We teamed up with the USGBC Missouri Gateway Chapter to provide a pro bono energy audit for the Grace + Peace Fellowship congregation. The Ross & Baruzzini Committee assembled a multi-discipline team of volunteers to survey the mechanical and electrical systems, survey the building envelope, and completed a thermal imaging survey.

What will most impact the future of green building: I believe moving toward Net Zero buildings will have the greatest impact on the future of green building. The use of on-site renewable energy is possible with the many renewable energy technologies available today. However, the amount of technologies needed for Net-Zero are expensive, especially for existing buildings that require retrofitting. Our final report described the inefficiencies, how they could be corrected, and the associated costs.

Favorite LEED Project: My favorite LEED project would have to be the S.T.A.R Building located at John Burroughs School. I worked very closely with Todd Bunden on this LEED 2009 Gold Certified building. The building houses science labs, rooftop greenhouse, a library, research rooms, engineering labs, and a 3d printing area. The S.T.A.R Building was intended to fit contextually within the campus. The new building frames the central quad and minimally impacts the surrounding campus landscape.

Favorite place in the St. Louis region: My favorite place to be in the St. Louis area has to be Ballpark Village and Busch Stadium. Like so many people in this area, I have infinite memories from meeting Jason Isringhausen and Tony Twist, attending opening day, seeing the Clydesdales, spending time with family and friends, attending concerts, and the Winter Classic. Let’s just say I will be attending multiple Cardinal games in 2021.




Seeking interns for 2022!

Posted: December 7th, 2021

Do you care about climate protection and our natural resources? How about healthy places to live, work and learn? And also a healthy economy where everyone can thrive? We might have an internship fit for you!

USGBC-Missouri Gateway seeks an Education & Marketing Intern to assist with promoting educational events and programs. USGBC-MGC’s vision is to create and restore buildings and communities that will regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation.

Check out the job description! Or apply by e-mailing Emily Andrews your cover letter and resume.

Building Energy Exchange St. Louis (BE-Ex STL) seeks an intern to assist with the launch of BE-Ex STL in the new year. The mission of BE-Ex STL is to advance building energy performance by mobilizing the professional expertise, funding, and technical resources the real estate industry needs to address affordability, improve the health and comfort of residents, and position St. Louis as a resilient and carbon neutral region.

Check out the job description! Or apply by e-mailing Cara Spencer your cover letter and resume by December 31, 2021.

Both internships offer a monthly stipend.




Six Missouri Schools Honored in Missouri Green Schools’ Initial Awards Round

Posted: October 5th, 2021

Missouri Green Schools (MGS) just completed its inaugural year as a state level support and recognition program and selected its first round of honorees. Six Missouri schools have been awarded Sprout Level recognition for their commitment to improving health and wellness of students and staff, lowering their environmental impact, and providing place-based education. Schools that embark on the MGS journey are taking steps to make an impactful difference in the lives of their students, staff, and surrounding communities.

The following schools achieved Sprout Level by involving school administration, beginning to benchmark and track improvement, and setting goals towards further advancement of green and healthy practices:

  • Central High School, Springfield Public School District, Springfield
  • Central Primary School, Ferguson-Florissant School District, Ferguson
  • Forsyth School, Independent, St. Louis
  • Hixson Middle School, Webster Groves School District, Webster Groves
  • Patrick Henry Downtown Academy, St. Louis Public School District, St. Louis
  • St. Francis of Assisi School, Independent, St. Louis

Click here to read comments from each honoree on why they’ve committed to this journey.




2022 Call For Proposals

Posted: August 9th, 2021

2022 USGBC-MGC Educational Program Submission Application

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter is currently accepting proposals for 2022 educational programs.

While all topics related to green building and sustainable communities will be considered, preference will be given to:

Proposals that demand ambition and action TODAY to accelerate sustainable solutions that will create a resilient, prosperous, and equitable future.

Engaging, interactive approaches to enhance learning are also desired. If you are a business developer and can submit a proposal on a colleagues behalf, please do so.

Program Proposals are due by Thursday, September 30, 2021 at 11:59 PM CST. This is a final proposal submission form. Please have the below requirements and greater details complete before submission, thank you.

  • Program Title
  • Program Description
  • Learning Objectives
  • Presenter’s Expertise
  • Attendee Engagement
  • Program Format
    • Evening Program: 1 hour
    • In-Depth Workshop: 2 hours
    • Green Building Tour
    • Coffee Break: 10 minute presentation, 30 minutes
    • Case Study: 20-30 minute presentation
    • Out of the Box: Fresh, concise, inspiring, engaging and non-traditional.

If you have any questions regarding educational program specifics please email Fredericka Brandt at fbrandt@mobot.org. Thank you in advance for submitting your proposal and participating in this Green Buildings Are Better community.




August Member Spotlight – David Charles

Posted: August 9th, 2021

August Member Spotlight

“Collaboration amongst people from many demographics will hopefully shed light on these inequities”

David Charles, Resource Center Manager, American Institute of Architects.
USGBC-MGC Member since 2020
Active member of the Education Committee

Sustainability passion: My dual passion is infrastructure and the building materials used to execute it. Over the past couple years, I’ve really become interested in Green Building practices – including LEED and Passive House – that help improve quality of life for its users throughout the built environment. I’m equally fascinated by how rapidly new sustainable building products (for its envelope to interior finishes) enter the market every day! What I find inspirational about sustainability is a universal goal of improving how we interact with each other, our communities, and the greater planet.

Most meaningful experience with USGBC: While first acquainted years ago during my time at the Missouri History Museum, my most meaningful is as a current active member of the Education Committee. As now Resource Center Manager for AIA (American Institute of Architects) St. Louis, I am proud to exchange ideas and collaborate with dynamic people on educating the community on Green Building. Some meetings have gone past time due to our collaborative efforts – the knowledge I come away with is always worth the extra time!

What will most impact the future of green building: Accessibility (world-wide). While long-term global plans are in place, more consideration is needed for exactly where these changes will occur. New advances usually require ample research, technology, and (quite frankly) plenty of money. Most underserved demographics worldwide (some St. Louis neighborhoods included) benefit much later – if at all – from these life-improving advances. Collaboration amongst people from many demographics will hopefully shed light on these inequities and we can best improve the planet at once, realizing our responsibility to be global citizens.

Favorite LEED Project: What a hard choice – especially from the array in the St. Louis region. My top has to be the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum located in Downtown St. Louis. As part of the Missouri Historical Society’s long-term project to gain LEED status for each building (Missouri History Museum, Library & Research Center, & Soldiers Memorial), I was proud to see the MHS team (including Facilities & Sustainability Coordinator, Angela Moore) earn LEED Gold certification for Soldiers! shout-out to the architecture firm Mackey Mitchell for earning a 2019 AIA Design Distinguished Award on their work for Soldiers!

Favorite place in the St. Louis region: Forest Park! Without a doubt!! Especially in the last year, its vast space and beauty helped center me during an unsettling period. Prior, I worked in Forest Park almost half my life and allowed the unique opportunity to form my own special relationship with the gem! It was an honor to be profiled as a “Human of St. Louis”, in partnership with Forest Park Forever, to further share what it means to me. I advise you to click HERE because rewriting my whole story may take up more space than this profile allows.




K-12 School Registration Open for the 2021-22 Green Schools Quest and Missouri Green Schools

Posted: July 26th, 2021

Registration is now open for K-12 schools to participate in the 2021-22 Green Schools Quest and Missouri Green Schools

Green Schools Quest

The Green Schools Quest is an annual project-based challenge to schools to implement student-driven, no/low-cost sustainability projects with the help of a Green Mentor who assists with project ideas, implementation, and resources. In 2021-22, two program tracks are offered for schools to choose from: engage in one comprehensive six-month-long sustainability project, or participate in themed, monthly sustainability challenges October through March. In both tracks, teams document their work and submit their outcomes for a chance to win. Registration deadline is Sept 15 for Schools and Aug 31 for Mentors. Learn more at www.GreenSchoolsQuest.org

Missouri Green Schools

Missouri Green Schools is a new statewide recognition program which supports schools in taking a systems-based approach to improve student health, reduce environmental impact, and develop a culture of sustainability. It creates a pathway for state and national recognition, including serving as the conduit for the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools award, and provides a variety of one-on-one services to support under-resourced schools in achieving “green” goals and earning recognition. Learn more at www.MissouriGreenSchools.org

Learn More at Sept 8th Virtual Event

Join the U.S. Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter and the Missouri Environmental Education Association virtually on September 8, from 4:30-5:30 pm to learn more about both programs and how they can be leveraged together for greater impact. Whether your school is just getting started, already a green champion, or especially if you feel your school has been counted out – these programs are tailored to support your school in achieving green goals. 

Support Participating Schools

Community members interested in supporting schools participating in these programs may do so by serving as a Green Schools Quest Mentor or a Missouri Green Schools AmeriCorp VISTA! Click here to learn more about both opportunities as well as an Info Session for prospective GSQ Mentors on Aug 26th!