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.

Check out our 2014 Annual Report!

Posted: July 30th, 2015









We believe that everyone deserves to live, work and learn in a green and healthy building. Our volunteers and staff work to advance the quality of life in our region – educating about green building, advocating for healthier environments, and establishing partnerships to improve our built environment. Every year, we make progress towards the goal of transforming the built environment. And 2014 was no exception. We are excited to share our 2014 Annual Report with you!

Here are a few highlights from last year:

  • 180 volunteers contributed over 3,500 hours to our mission!
  • Wrapped up the inaugural Green Schools Quest. 24 school / mentor teams had nearly 3,000 staff & student participants and reached over 15,000 students, staff and community members! The second round of the Quest (2014-2015) paired 38 schools with 40 mentors.
  • Launched the 25 x 2o Voluntary Energy Benchmarking Campaign in partnership with the St. Louis Regional Chamber, the St. Louis High Performance Building Initiative, and Missouri Interfaith Power & Light.
  • 30 Chapter Volunteers completed our 2nd LEED Community Project, giving over 550 hours to the greening of the Dennis and Judith Jones Visitor & Education Center in Forest Park.
  • Awarded 10 complimentary energy audits for congregations in partnership with Missouri Interfaith Power & Light.

Thanks to our leadership, committees, volunteers, members, sponsors and donors for making 2014 a success!

You can view or download the entire 2014 Annual Report as a PDF or as an online magazine.

Green Building Experts – Katie Belisle-Iffrig

Posted: July 23rd, 2015

St. Louis biologist, botanist, author, and sustainability consultant, Dr. Katie Belisle-Iffrig is the co-chair of the USGBC- MGC’s Green Schools Committee. Katie’s newly released book Going Green for the GENIUS is an informative and engaging primer on environmental and sustainability issues ranging from climate change and urban farming to the personal choices we can all make to create a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

You can learn more about Going Green for the GENIUS on the publisher’s website or amazon.com. Learn more about Katie in her member profile.

Explore the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter’s online Member Directory to learn more about all our members. Visit the Green Building Experts page to learn more about members that have been recognized for their green building advocacy, promotion, and expertise.


Green Building Experts – Mary Ostafi

Posted: July 23rd, 2015

Mary Ostafi orig-croppedMary Ostafi, AIA, LEED® AP BD+C, left a position as Sustainability Program Manager, Washington University in St. Louis, to become Executive Director of Urban Harvest STL and Farm Manager of the FOOD ROOF, an enterprise she founded, which the New York Times and the Huffington Post featured on July 1. Four days later, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Mary’s downtown, rooftop farm, which exemplifies numerous green building tenets, including urban revitalization and local resources.

Links to these articles and more are on Urban Harvest’s website here. Learn more about Mary in her USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter member profile here.

Explore the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter member directory to learn about all of our members!

Nominations open for 2016 Board Members!

Posted: July 15th, 2015

USGBC-Missouri Gateway is seeking nominations for three (3) Board Members. Nominations are due by midnight on Monday, August 17, 2015.

This year we are changing our process. Nominations will be accepted through August 17, 2015. In place of elections, an open comment period will allow members to provide feedback on nominees. The Governance Committee will use feedback along with eligibility requirements and a matrix of leadership needs to determine a slate to present to the board.

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:

Above & Beyond Volunteer Recognition

Posted: July 1st, 2015

The USGBC-Missouri Gateway is committed to recognizing volunteers who have contributed significantly to the Chapter, devoting time and talents “above and beyond” on a particular project or program.  We are thrilled to recognize Hannah Roth of Washington University  for her leadership in the development of the Chapter’s first full-day Continuing Education Blitz titled Building Materials, LEED, and Health – Oh My! Braving the new world of building material selection.

Hannah’s passion for reducing barriers to developing and using tools for materials transparency is contagious. This, combined with her dedication to engaging diverse stakeholders and national sustainability leaders, as well as developing an interactive educational format, is paving the way for a phenomenally meaningful learning experience for all in attendance. Hannah is supported in this effort by Chapter volunteers JoAnn Brookes of Kromm, Rikimaru and Johansen, Natasha Dunwoody of Christner, Caryl Kinsey Fox, and staff member Hope Gribble. Thanks, Hannah, for all of your hard work and dedication surrounding this important and timely topic!

June Above & Beyond Volunteer Recognition

Posted: July 1st, 2015

Paul-Merrill_2-150x150The USGBC-Missouri Gateway is committed to recognizing volunteers who have contributed significantly to the Chapter, devoting time and talents “above and beyond” on a particular project or program. This month we are happy to recognize Paul Todd Merrill of Clayco for his work on the Chapter’s Membership Committee.

Paul was nominated by Gordon Schweitzer, 2015-2016 Chair of the Membership Committee, for his long history of leadership and service in pursuit of the Chapter’s mission. In his nomination, Gordon stated “Paul has been an outstanding membership committee chair, growing membership to over 500 during his two year term. He has also served on the Speakers Bureau, the Development Committee, and chaired the Board of Directors in 2011. He always goes out of his way to help the Chapter succeed!”

Many thanks to Paul for his dedication and leadership!

BUILDING THE HEARTLAND Discount for Chapter Members

Posted: June 22nd, 2015

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Now in its third year, BUILDING THE HEARTLAND (formerly BuildingChicago/Greening the Heartland) is the major conference and trade expo serving architects, engineers, contractors, property owners, real estate developers, government officials and community organizations in the Midwest. This year the conference will take place August 31 – September 2 at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza in Chicago, Illinois.

The conference will offer two keynote speakers and one keynote panel in addition to approximately 50 accredited learning sessions that will offer AIA CES or Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) learning units — and, in most cases, both. The program will feature four tracks: Technology, Owner/Developer/Occupant Panels, High-Performance Buildings, and Green Building Tools & Strategies.This unique, three-day event is sponsored by SGC Horizon’s Building Design+Construction magazine, AIA Chicago, and USGBC-Illinois.

Members of USGBC Chapters can register for $260 until August 1, discounted from $325. Members of the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter can contact Johanna Schweiss for the coupon code. Learn more and register here.


4th Annual Photo Contest!

Posted: June 19th, 2015



The USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter’s Marketing Committee invites you to participate in the 4th Annual Photo Contest! For the first time, photographers are invited to share images around a theme – from recycling to upcycling.

The contest is open to all residents of the Missouri Gateway Chapter territory (territory map). Submissions are due on August 15. 

First, Second and Third Prizes will include restaurant gift cards, prints of the winning photos, a free year of USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter membership, and more!

To submit your photo, check out the photo contest rules, then email it (in jpg form) to usgbcmogatewayphoto@gmail.com

LEED Project Profile – SIUE Art & Design Building Expansion

Posted: June 12th, 2015

SIUE Art and Design WestSouthern Illinois University’s Art & Design Building Expansion is the latest LEED project to be featured in a USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter LEED Project Profile.

The project earned 63 total points, earning Gold in LEED for New Construction and exceeding the University’s goal of earning LEED Silver. Learn more about the building’s sustainable strategies, the project team, and SIUE in the profile here, or visit our Local LEED Projects page explore more LEED profiles!

Green Building Expert Tara Pham’s CTY awarded grant

Posted: May 28th, 2015

TaraPham-Tara ProfilePic_pdx_large Pham is CEO and co-founder of CTY, a civic tech company that has been awarded a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Prototype Fund, which supports early-stage information projects. CTY’s product, Numina, encourages walking and biking through its plug-and-play devices that deliver real-time bicyclist and pedestrian counts and intuitive data visualizations. The City of St. Louis Department of Health will benefit from CTY’s innovation. Scroll to “Numina” in the list of grant winners here.

Learn more about Tara Pham in her Chapter member profile.

Explore the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter online directory to learn more about our members.