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.

2018 – 19 Benchmarking Training and Help Sessions Announced

Posted: June 27th, 2018

The USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter, the City of St. Louis, and partners announce multiple opportunities to learn about energy benchmarking and get hands-on assistance with the free, online tool ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

What is Benchmarking?

Benchmarking is the process of tracking your building’s energy and/or water use and comparing your performance to similar buildings and to past performance. Benchmarking is the first step in determining how to conserve resources, reduce operating costs, and reduce environmental impacts.

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is a free and secure online tool that tracks energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Any building can use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to understand their energy, water, and waste performance – schools, governments, congregations, businesses and retail stores.


Event Descriptions

All events are free, but space is limited and registration is required via the links below.

Drop-in Benchmarking Help Sessions

Hands-on Help Session

Stop by our office during a drop-in session to receive hands-on help with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Attendees should bring a laptop and all information needed for benchmarking (list available via event links below).

Benchmarking Jam

Brief presentation followed by hands-on help session

Following  a brief overview of energy and water benchmarking, volunteers will provide hands-on assistance with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Attendees should bring a laptop and all information needed for benchmarking (list available via event links below).

Benchmarking 101

Presentation with Q&A

Benchmarking 101 will provide an overview of the City of St. Louis’s Building Energy Awareness Ordinance with step-by-step instructions on data collection, benchmarking in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, and reporting data to the City of St. Louis. Lunch is provided.


Training Schedule

All events will take place at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Commerce Bank Center for Science Education, located at 4651 Shaw Blvd, 63110. Register using the links below.

Wednesday, July 18, 3-5 pm
Drop-in Benchmarking Help Session

Wednesday, August 8, 3 – 5 pm
Drop-in Benchmarking Help Session

Thursday, August 23, 4 – 6 pm
Benchmarking Jam

Wednesday, September 12, 9 – 11 am
Drop-in Benchmarking Help Session

Thursday, November 29, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Benchmarking 101

Tuesday, February 5, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Benchmarking 101

Wednesday, February 20, 3 – 5 pm
Drop-in Benchmarking Help Session

Tuesday, March 19, 9 – 11 am
Drop-in Benchmarking Help Session

Thursday, April 18, 9 – 11 am
Drop-in Benchmarking Help Session


About the City of St. Louis’s Building Energy Awareness Ordinance

On January 27, 2017, the City of St. Louis Board of Aldermen unanimously passed an energy benchmarking ordinance that requires municipal, institutional, commercial and multifamily residential buildings whose square footage is equal to or greater than 50,000 to track and report their energy and water usage annually to the City’s Building Division.

Privately owned buildings are required to benchmark and submit data by April 1 of each year using the free, online tool ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Full details about the Building Energy Awareness Ordinance are available at www.stlbenchmarking.com.

About the Better Buildings Through Benchmarking Campaign

The Better Buildings Through Benchmarking Campaign recognizes and supports buildings of all types and sizes to benchmark their energy use, a building management best practice. Over 80 businesses, organizations and institutions have voluntarily pledged to benchmark, the first step to reduce operating costs and environmental impacts. Learn more and join the campaign at www.BetterBuildingsStl.org. 


 

Partner logos

 




Explore the Built Environment’s Impact on Human Health at Two Upcoming Events

Posted: June 7th, 2018

The way in which our environment is constructed determines how we interact with it. Some features have obvious impacts. If our workspace is designed for primarily sedentary work, opportunities for movement will be limited. Health risks reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) associated with a sedentary lifestyle include obesity, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes among others.

Other building features impact our health less obviously. Often we take the air we breathe and the water we drink for granted. Pollution can affect air quality outdoors and indoors, and having access to clean water is a world public health issue. Poor air quality indoors can lead to respiratory illnesses and sick building syndrome (SBS), where poor building quality has an accumulative negative impact on human health. Access to high quality water is essential for human health and functioning as it transports nutrients throughout the body and regulates homeostasis. Creating an environment that promotes healthy food options and does not make poor quality foods available is also important for physical and mental health. Moreover, proper lighting is essential for preventing headaches and promoting natural body patterns of wakefulness.

The USGBC-MGC is hosting two upcoming events centered on human health and the built environment. On June 28th Monica Miller, ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s Sustainable Design Manager, will educate participants about the WELL Building Standard, a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring key features of the built environment’s effect on the health of those inside. This course will prepare attendees for the WELL Accredited Professional Exam to earn the WELL AP credential. This credential signifies a comprehensive understanding of human health in relation to the built environment and of the WELL Building Standard. Click here to register online!

The second event, hosted on July 10th, will feature speaker Josh Jacobs, the Director of Environmental Codes & Standards for UL Environment. The event will analysis wellness criteria in programs such as LEED and Fitwel, and provide tips on how to incorporate wellness into green building projects. Click here to register online!

When designing workspaces it is crucial to consider the individuals living, working, and learning inside in order to create a comfortable, productive atmosphere. Sustainable planning considers environmental impact and human equity. Join the USGBC Missouri Gateway Chapter to gain practical knowledge on the built environment’s impact on human and organizational health.

WELL AP Exam Prep

WHEN
Thursday, June 28, 2018

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

WHERE
Professional Office Environments, Inc. (POE)
222 Millwell Drive, St. Louis, MO 63043

REQUIRED TEXT

WELL AP Exam Preparation Guide, 2nd Edition, International WELL Building Institute, available for purchase here.

FEE
$200 for USGBC-MGC Members
$250 for Non-members

Fee does not include required texts or exam fees.
Fee includes continental breakfast and lunch.

REGISTER
Click here to register online!

 

Health and Wellbeing in Green Building

WHEN
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
5:30-6:15 pm – Registration & Networking
6:15-7:30 pm – Formal Presentation

Please note, the speaker will present a seminar on SPOT, UL’s Sustainable Product Database, immediately prior to the evening program. More details on the SPOT seminar available here.

WHERE
Alberici Headquarters
8800 Page Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63114

FEE
Free for USGBC-MGC Members & Full-Time Students
$20 for Non-Members

CONTINUING EDUCATION
1 LEED Specific (BD+C, O+M) GBCI CE Hour
1 WELL CE Hour
1 AIA LU
1 IDCEC CE Hour

REGISTER
Click here to register online!

 




USGBC-MGC home to International Living Future Institute-St. Louis Collaborative

Posted: June 6th, 2018

ILFI logoWe are excited to announce that USGBC-MGC will now house the St. Louis Region Collaborative of the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). We hope you’ll join us at the ILFI- St. Louis Launch Event on August 2nd and get involved with our new ILFI committee!

The International Living Future Institute, based out of the Pacific Northwest, is the creator of a number of forward-thinking certifications and initiatives related to the built environment – including the Living Building Challenge, Declare Label, and JUST program.  All of these programs are rooted in ILFI’s mission to lead the transformation toward a civilization that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative.

The August 2nd launch event will take place from 4 to 6 pm at the Jan Phillips Learning Center (JPLC), a living example of the ILFI’s programs. The JPLC, owned by The College School and located in Pacific, MO, is currently seeking the Living Building Challenge Certification. The learning center features semi-permeable pavers, wind and solar energy, 360-degree views and a strong commitment to hands on learning for students. The launch event will follow a seminar on the Living Building Challenge, highlighting features within the JPLC that make it a truly living building.

By combining resources, USGBC-MGC and ILFI will collaborate to continue promoting green building design, construction and operations – and to fortify consideration for not just our buildings, but also the people inside them and the surrounding communities.

Click here information on the JPLC  Living Building Seminar and ILFI-St. Louis Launch Event. If you’re interested in getting involved with our new ILFI committee, please contact hope.gribble@mobot.org.




Now Accepting Proposals for 2019 Educational Programs

Posted: May 24th, 2018

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter is accepting proposals for educational programs to be offered in 2019.

USGBC-MGC strives to offer a diverse selection of educational programs to educate our members and community on current green building principles and practices and to expand the opportunities for LEED Professionals to gain continuing education hours.

We are particularly seeking in-depth workshops – extended consideration of topics to build upon green building professionals’ existing knowledge.

Timeline
Call for Proposals Issued May 24, 2018.
Proposals due by Friday, July 27, 2018 at 11:59 PM CST.
Selected Speakers notified by October 8, 2018.

Preferred topics include:

  • Buildings & Human Health
  • Innovations in Green Building Technology
  • Restorative & Regenerative Buildings
  • Building Performance: Benchmarking & Ongoing Operational Performance
  • Owner & Occupant Experiences with Green Buildings
  • Community & Cultural Context
  • LEED v4
  • WELL, SITES, PEER, Edge, GRESB, Parksmart
  • International Living Future Institute (Living Building Challenge, JUST, Living Products, Zero Energy Certification, etc.)
  • Water
  • Energy & Atmosphere
  • Materials & Resources
  • Sustainable Sites
  • Transportation
  • Utility Infrastructure
  • Costs & Benefits

Think outside of the box, and support USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter’s efforts to offer a diverse selection of programs to educate our members and community on current green building principles and practices!

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL TO USGBC-MGC!




2018 Green Ribbon Schools Honorees Announced

Posted: May 16th, 2018

The U.S. Department of Education has announced the names of the 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Awardees, including four schools in the state of Missouri:

  • Bellerive Elementary School, Creve Coeur, MO
  • Green Trails Elementary School, Chesterfield, MO
  • W.W. Keysor Elementary School, Kirkwood, MO
  • St. Louis University High School, St. Louis, MO

Across the country, 46 schools, six districts, and six postsecondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.

The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here. A report with highlights on the 58 honorees can be found here. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to move toward the three Pillars can be found here.

Congratulations to the 2018 Honorees!




Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School Wins International “Best of Green Schools” Award

Posted: May 9th, 2018

MRH MS GSQ award

MRH MS Students Best of Green Schools

MRH MS Best of Green Schools Award

Congratulations to Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School – Winner of the “Best of Green Schools” class of 2018 – an award presented by the Center for Green Schools and the Green Schools National Network.

Recipients are chosen by a jury of green school leaders and advocates from around the country, and selected based on their demonstration of real change in our schools.

In the words of Jennifer Seydel, head of the Green Schools National Network, “Every movement needs leaders, and this year’s Best of Green Schools honorees reflect the transformative leadership that is needed to move the green schools movement from niche to mainstream.”

MRHMS believes that sustainable schools provide all community members with the greatest opportunities for success. It has integrated sustainability and green practices into its curriculum, including lessons in gardening, aquaponics, urban chickens, beehives, composting and rain gardens.

Maplewood Richmond Heights was also recognized as 2nd Place Winner in the 2017-18 Green Schools Quest Middle School Category!  This is the third time that MRH middle school has been acknowledged as a winner during the five years of the Green Schools Quest – clearly demonstrating leadership and creativity in response to the challenge to imagine and implement a new sustainability project for their school.

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Education and Green Schools Manager Hope Gribble attended a MRH Middle School Town Hall on Tuesday, May 8th to present students with both awards. At the ceremony, she stated “It’s not only what you learn, but also where you learn that matters! You have contributed to making where you learn an institution that represents the best environmental efforts in schools across the country. You truly are national leaders and innovators in school sustainability!”

Learn more on Maplewood Richmond Heights School District Website.




Drop-in Benchmarking Help Sessions – New Dates Announced!

Posted: April 19th, 2018

The USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter and the City of St. Louis are holding several drop-in Benchmarking Help Sessions. Attendees will receive hands-on help to benchmark their energy and water use in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and report data to the City of St. Louis.

These events are free to all, but registration is requested. Attendees may drop in at any point during the help session. Attendees should bring a laptop and needed building information

All help sessions will take place at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Commerce Bank Center for Science Education, at the Northeast Corner of Shaw & Kingshighway across from O’Connell’s Pub, 4651 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63110.

Tuesday, May 8th 2018, 9 – 11 am 

Wednesday, May 16th, 3-5pm

Tuesday, May 22nd, 9 – 11am

Wednesday, May 30th, 3-5pm

Wednesday, June 6th, 3-5pm




Green Schools Quest Winners Announced

Posted: April 12th, 2018

Please join us in celebrating the 2017-18 Green Schools Quest winners and participants!

2017-18 WINNERS

Elementary Category
1st Place – East Elementary School (Alton, IL)
2nd Place – Carver Elementary School
3rd Place -Ritenour Center for Gifted Education

Middle School Category
1st Place – North Kirkwood Middle School
2nd Place TIE -Forsyth School
2nd Place TIE – Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School
3rd Place – Premier Charter School

High School Category
1st Place – Kirkwood High School
2nd Place– St. Joseph’s Academy
3rd Place – Hazelwood West High School

Rookie of the Year – Bourbon High School

Sustainability Champion – W.W. Keysor Elementary

Focus of the Year: Community Engagement – Kirkwood High School

Judge’s Choice – Mann Elementary

Innovation – St. Louis University High School

Click here to view the final documentation from the 2017-18 winning submissions!

Playlists of past videos submitted through YouTube are available here.

Thanks to all 57 school/mentor teams that participated in the 2017-18 Green Schools Quest! Click here to view a list of participants.

More details about the Green Schools Quest available here.




Take action with the Drawdown EcoChallenge

Posted: March 20th, 2018

Drawdown EcoChallenge Media Kit

Join the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter’s team in the Drawdown EcoChallenge to take action on the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming!

Join the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Drawdown EcoChallenge Team

Paul Hawken’s Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming  mapped, measured, and modeled 80 research-based actions that, if deployed collectively on a global scale over the next 30 years, offer humans the means to transform our climate crisis into just, livable world conditions. Project Drawdown’s research shows that rather than stopping global warming at 1.5-2 degrees Celsius, we can actually begin to reverse global warming by 2050, using technologies and practices that already exist and are scaling today.

That is why Project Drawdown and EcoChallenge are coming together to offer the Drawdown EcoChallenge from April 4 – April 25, 2018 (you can join at any point during the challenge.) Drawdown EcoChallenge is focused on carbon reduction and is a fun and social way to learn about and take action on the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming.

Check out a quick video to learn how to play!

video tutorial

 

St. Louis is lucky that the Northwest Earth Institute collected an extensive list of resources specific to our region!

 




USGBC-MGC Seeks Benchmarking Intern

Posted: March 5th, 2018

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter seeks a Benchmarking Intern to assist with our regional voluntary energy benchmarking efforts.

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE by midnight on Sunday, March 18. Please e-mail a cover letter and resume to emily.andrews@mobot.org. Include contact information for two references with resume.

The Benchmarking Intern will assist USGBC-Missouri Gateway Staff and Advocacy Committee volunteers with outreach to local municipalities and other building owners to encourage participation in the Chapter’s voluntary benchmarking campaign. Work will primarily focus on assisting building owners with the process of benchmarking buildings in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

Please review the full Benchmarking Intern Job Description here.

To learn more about USGBC-Missouri Gateway’s benchmarking work, please visit: www.usgbc-mogateway.org/benchmarking.