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.
Posted: April 21st, 2016
The USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter works to transform the built environment, because Green Buildings Are Better! Below, Education Committee member Annie Smith, Green Schools Committee member Katie Belisle-Iffrig, and USGBC-MGC Board Members Linda Goldstein and Richard Schuessler share the reasons they believe Green Buildings Are Better. They’re better because they conserve limited natural resources, better because they protect human health and wellness, better because they are key to healthy and vibrant communities.
The knowledge that green buildings are better drives the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter in all that we do! We are much more than a member group or a professional organization. Along with providing valuable education and networking opportunities, we provide a wide range of community projects, like our Green Schools Quest and our work to provide faith-based communities and nonprofits with access to green building expertise and resources.
On May 3rd, the St. Louis Community Foundation is once again joining hundreds of community foundations across the country for the biggest day of giving in history. This year, consider supporting the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter.
Make a donation to support our important work of providing everyone with access to green buildings and green communities, make a donation in honor of our 15 year anniversary, or make a donation simply because Green Buildings Are Better!
Can’t wait until May 3rd? Click here to donate now.
Posted: April 18th, 2016
The USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Emerging Professionals are recent graduates, young professionals and those new to the green building industry. EPs get together each month to network, share experiences and give back to the community.
Sign up to receive EP emails online here, and plan to join the Emerging Professionals at an upcoming event!
2016 Emerging Professional Events
Networking & Happy Hour at Arcturis
May 16th @ 5:00 pm
RSVP online here
Chapter Program: Danforth Plant Science Center Tour
June 14 @ 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Learn more & RSVP Online here
Networking & Happy Hour at Venture Cafe
July 21 @ 5:30 pm
Earthdance Farms Service Project
Green Apple Day of Service
September 24 @ TBD
Chapter Program: Prarie Polycultures
Tuesday, October 18 @ 5:30 – 7:30 pm
America Recycles Day Networking & Happy Hour
November 15 @ 5:30 pm
Anheuser Busch Biergarten
EnergyCare Service Project
Posted: April 7th, 2016
Last Thursday, USGBC-Missouri Gateway hosted the 8th Annual Growing Green Awards – this is our way of recognizing the accomplishments and hard work of the organizations and individuals that are transforming our built environment into greener and healthier places to live, work, learn, and play.
The 2016 Awardees are:
- Restoration Champion: Western Specialty Contractors
- Operational Excellence: Lewis and Clark Community College
- Community Innovator: Gary Steps – Butterfly Energy Works
- Emerging Leader: City of Maplewood
- Community Champion: Forest Park Forever
Check out a short presentation about the winners here.
Thanks to everyone who made the event such a success, especially our sponsors:
- OAK: Electrical Connection
- SAPLING: Caesarstone, Paric, Sheet Metal Workers Local 36
- ACORN: Advanced Green Consulting, Hellmuth & Bicknese Architects, KONE, Rosemann and Associates, Thompson and Coburn
- MEDIA: The Healthy Planet
Posted: March 28th, 2016
Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School’s LEED Platinum McDonnell Hall & Brauer Hall is the latest LEED project to be featured in a USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter LEED Project Profile.
The project earned 84 points and received Platinum certification in LEED for Schools v2009 in May of 2015. The new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) educational facility serves as a teaching tool and is filled with design elements featuring concepts taught in the curriculum. The design of the new facility was created for improved energy and water efficiency, and includes a rainwater harvesting system, a solar thermal system, a rooftop photovoltaic array, a high-efficiency HVAC system, and more! And over 90% of the building demolition and construction debris was donated or recycled.
Learn more about the building’s sustainable strategies, the project team, and MICDS in the project profile. Visit our Local LEED Projects page to learn more about LEED buildings in our Chapter territory, or browse all of the project profiles below.
McDonnell Hall & Brauer Hall hosted the 2014 Green Schools Event. Be sure to join us on April 12 to celebrate green schools at the 2016 Green Schools Event!
Posted: March 3rd, 2016
Nick Bristow, Senior Project Engineer with FORUM STUDIO / CLAYCO and the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Chair Elect, together with the Chapter’s Executive Director Emily Andrews, joined Jean Ponzi, host of the KDHX Earthworms radio program, for a panel discussion of “Green Buildings Are Better,” the Chapter’s 15-year anniversary campaign. They explained how green buildings are better for living, working, learning, and playing and discussed the Chapter’s accomplishments over 15 years plus all that is planned for this milestone year. Listen to the recorded program here. Learn more about Nick in his Chapter member profile.
Explore the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter online directory to learn more about 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.
Posted: February 26th, 2016
The USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter and Missouri Interfaith Power & Light are pleased to announce that a limited number of complimentary energy audits are once again available for congregations. This effort is part of the 25 x 20 Voluntary Energy Benchmarking Campaign.
Applications will be accepted through March 18 at 5:00 pm CST and are available online here.
In 2014, a grant from the national USGBC funded 10 complimentary energy audits for houses of worship. Energy auditors from Microgrid Energy and Ross and Baruzzini conducted the audits.
Auditor Annie Smith wrote about her experience on Ross and Baruzzini’s blog and the national EdenKeeper Blog posted a three part series of stories about St. John’s Episcopal Church’s experience with their energy audit, written by local blogger and congregation member Jeff McIntire-Strassburg. You can read their stories here.
The 25 x 20 Energy Benchmarking Campaign was launched by the St. Louis Regional High Performance Building Initiative which is coordinated by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter, and supported by 19 building stakeholder organizations. The campaign challenges buildings to benchmark their energy use, aiming for a 25% reduction in regional building energy consumption by the year 2020. Learn more and take the 25×20 pledge online here.
The 25×20 Campaign encourages the use of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, 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 manage energy and water use – schools, governments, congregations, businesses and retail stores.
Posted: February 1st, 2016
The 25×20 Voluntary Energy Benchmarking Campaign challenges buildings in the St. Louis Region to benchmark their energy use. Energy benchmarking is the key to unlocking potential energy and cost savings. Since the campaign was launched, businesses, local governments, houses of worship, schools, and institutions have pledged to benchmark their energy use!
25×20 participants include UniGroup, now featured in a benchmarking case study. UniGroup is a $1.7 billion transportation and relocation services company with headquarters in suburban St. Louis. In addition to household goods carriers United Van Lines and Mayflower Transit, logistics company UniGroup Logistics and international relocation providers UniGroup Relocation and Sterling, UniGroup owns other subsidiaries that provide goods and services to professional movers.
The headquarters for UniGroup has grown dramatically since the original building was built in 1968. The facility has been expanded over the years, resulting in more than 450,000 ft2of office space. There is also an on-site cafeteria (a 5-star member of the St. Louis Green Dining Alliance), an employee fitness center and a credit union.
UniGroup has embraced sustainability as a smart way to achieve cost savings. The company’s Director of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Rebecca Peterson 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. They installed a 100 kW solar array, which included new pulse electric meters that provide dynamic reporting of energy usage to identify anomalies. Routine thermographic scans on electrical panels identify additional safety and efficiency issues. The maintenance staff installed more efficient interior lighting with electronic ballasts, and induction lighting on the parking lot reduced energy usage by 60%. Boilers were enhanced to improve burner efficiency and an energy management system was installed to better automate the HVAC system. They also installed variable frequency drives on two centrifugal chillers. Peterson attributes much of their success to the resources available to participants of the St. Louis Green Business Challenge.
You can view the full case study online here. Visit the 25×20 website to see a list of all participants or take the pledge. Contact Chapter staff at firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in a benchmarking case study!
Posted: January 25th, 2016
15 years ago, 15 committed volunteers came together to form one of the first six USGBC Chapters in the country – because they believed that green buildings are better.
In honor of our 15 year anniversary, the interactive Green Buildings Are Better display is traveling throughout the region. Follow the link below sign up to host the display for a week at your office, house of worship, school, city hall, and more. If you see the display out and about, be sure to add a comment about why green buildings are better and share photos with us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook using #greenbuildingsarebetter and #green15.
Sign up to host the Green Buildings Are Better Display
Explore why Green Buildings Are Better for living, working, learning, and playing.
Posted: January 20th, 2016
We are thrilled to announce our lineup of educational programs and events for 2016 – our 15 year anniversary!
Click here for a complete listing of monthly evening programs, in-depth seminars, our Continuing Education Blitz, LEED Exam Prep, and more!
Visit our events calendar to learn more & register for upcoming events.
We look forward to seeing YOU at upcoming programs and events!