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.

Celebrating LEED Gold Certifications with Soldiers Memorial and Gateway Arch Visitor Center & Museum

Posted: August 13th, 2019

USGBC-Missouri Gateway was thrilled to help two iconic and historic St. Louis buildings historic buildings celebrate their LEED Gold Certifications! On August 7, USGBC’s President and CEO, Mahesh Ramanujam, visited St. Louis to award LEED Gold Plaques to Soldiers Memorial Military Museum and the Visitor Center & Museum at the Gateway Arch.

Congratulations to the owners and project teams of these fantastic projects! We are so proud to see St. Louis’ institutions leading the way towards a healthier, more sustainable future.

Visitor Center & Museum at the Gateway Arch Plaque Presentation

ArchwPosterFrom left to right: Richard Schuessler, USGBC-MGC Board chair; Ryan McClure, Executive Director of Gateway Arch Park Foundation; Phillip Lawrence, Project Manager, National Park Service; Mike Ward, Superintendent, Gateway Arch National Park; Mahesh Ramanujam, USGBC President & CEO; Ralph Bicknese, Hellmuth+Bicknese Architects; Anna Leavey, Director of Construction, Gateway Arch Park Foundation; Emily Andrews, Executive Director, USGBC-MGC.

To learn more about the Visitors Center and Museum at the Gateway Arch, visit the Gateway Arch Park Foundation’s website.

Soldiers Memorial Military Museum Plaque Presentation

Soliders_Mahesh+Karen3 Karen Goering, Missouri Historical Society Managing Director of Administration and Operations and Mahesh Ramanujam,, USGBC President and CEO.

To learn more about Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, visit the Missouri Historical Society’s website.

And stay tuned for LEED Projects Profiles coming soon – or visit the museums yourself!

USGBC-MGC and City of St. Louis Release Energy Efficiency Checklist

Posted: July 30th, 2019

Energy Efficiency Checklist 7.26.19_Page_1Together, the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter and the City of St. Louis have partnered to release an Energy Efficiency Checklist.

The checklist outlines numerous opportunities to save energy, including no-cost operational changes, low-cost improvements, medium cost measures, measures to consider at replacement or renovation, and trainings and certification opportunities for building staff. The checklist also outlines resources to use when searching for a contractor, funding resources, and opportunities for recognition.

Download the Energy Efficiency Checklist here (pdf).


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 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 USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter

USGBC-Missouri Gateway aims to make every building a green building because everyone deserves to live, work, and learn in healthy spaces. Through education and outreach, we engage community leaders in sustainable projects that provide environmental, health and economic benefits in the region. Contact USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter to share your benchmarking and energy efficiency success story in a case study or at an upcoming event.


Seeking Nominations for 2020 Board

Posted: July 19th, 2019

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 2020. Nominations are due by 5 pm Central Time on Monday, August 19, 2020. 

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, USGBC-Missouri Gateway 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 2019 board meeting.

NEW Benchmarking Trainings Announced

Posted: July 9th, 2019

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.

2019 Benchmarking Training Flyer 7.1.19

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.


Drop-in Benchmarking Help Sessions -NEW DATES ANNOUNCED

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). This event is free, but registration is requested.

Wednesday, August 28, 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Tuesday, September 24, 9:00 – 11:00 am
Tuesday, October 29, 9:00 – 11:00 am
Thursday, November 7, 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Thursday, December 17, 9:00 – 11:00 am


GPRO Operations & Maintenance Essentials

Two day in-depth training

Efficient operations and smart maintenance in buildings not only reduce operating costs by 20-50%, but increase occupancy rates and tenant satisfaction. Taught by industry experts, the two day GPRO Operations & Maintenance Essentials Course provides building professionals with the critical tools to transition from conventional to sustainable operations.

Thursday, August 8 – Friday, August 9, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Thursday, November 14 – Friday, November 15, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm both days


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 May 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. 

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Dive into LEED v4.1- The LEED We’ve Been Waiting For!

Posted: June 26th, 2019

Take advantage of multiple opportunities to learn about the next evolution of LEED and earn LEED Specific CE Hours this August!


August 7, 2019 | 10 am – 2 pm 
Interactive Workshop on LEED v4.1

3 LEED Specific BD+C, ID+C, & O+M GBCI CE Hours & 3 AIA LU

During this half-day workshop, USGBC’s technical staff will walk participants through LEED v4.1 BD+C and ID+C credits including a restructured Materials and Resources section, the addition of a greenhouse gas emissions metric and updated thresholds. The workshop will also touch on the full life cycle of the building, by reviewing LEED Operations and Maintenance and recertification options available to projects and how BD+C and ID+C credits are structured to support ongoing performance.

Presenter: Stephanie Young, Vice President, Technical Solutions, U.S. Green Building Council

August 14, 2019 | 8:00-10:00 am
LEED Zero and 4.1: The LEED We’ve Been Waiting For

Submitted for approval of 2 LEED Specific (BD+C) GBCI CE Hours & 2 AIA LU

With the release of the LEED Zero suite of certifications (Zero Energy, Carbon, Water, and Waste), and evolution of LEED v4.1, we have a series of rating systems that provide market-driving direction to lead the sustainability industry. This session will review LEED v4.1 (BD+C) and the newly released LEED Zero suite from a practitioner’s perspective, including an overview of the changes, an introduction to the new tools and metrics, and a look at applicability to various project types. It will wrap up with a discussion and reflection of how well these rating systems capture the current need in the market or whether we should anticipate further changes in the years to come.

Presenter:  Joshua Radoff, LEED Fellow, Senior Vice President; Director, Built Ecology, WSP


Call for Proposals: 2020 Educational Programs

Posted: June 13th, 2019

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter is accepting proposals for 2020 educational programs.

While proposals on all topics related to green building and sustainable communities will be considered, preference will be given to those that address one or more of the following:

  • Climate Solutions: Addressing Urgency & Taking Action
  • Resilience & Innovative Recovery
  • Social Equity

Engaging, interactive approaches to enhance learning are desired.


  • Call for Proposals Issued June 17, 2019.
  • Proposals due by Friday, August 2, 2019 at 11:59 PM CST.
  • Selected Speakers notified by November 8, 2019.



Winners of the 2018 -19 Green Schools Quest

Posted: April 4th, 2019

We cannot say enough about the accomplishments and impact of our 2018-19 Green Schools Quest schools. According to the numbers reported in participating schools’ final reports, over 3,000 students and 180 faculty and staff were directly involved in this year’s Green Schools Quest projects. And over 33,000 additional individuals were impacted through the projects this year!

We are thrilled to share the winners of the 2018 -19 Green Schools Quest!

Elementary Category
1st – Kirkwood Early Childhood Center
2nd – Highcroft Ridge Elementary (Parkway)
3rd – Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School

Middle School Category
1st – Forsyth School
2nd TIE –Nipher Middle School (Kirkwood)
2nd TIE – North Kirkwood Middle School
3rd – Grand Center Arts Academy (Confluence)

High School Category
1st – Kirkwood High School
2nd – Herculaneum High School
3rd – Jennings Senior High

Rookie of the Year (TIE) – Hazelwood West Middle School & McKinley Classical Leadership Academy (St. Louis Public)

Sustainability Champion – Little Flower Catholic School

Focus of the Year (Energy) – Crossroads Elementary (Wentzville)

Judges Choice – Brown Elementary (Hazelwood)

Innovation – St. Margaret of Scotland

Click here to view final documentation from 2018-19 winning submissions.

Interview with Harvard’s Gregory Norris on ‘Handprints’

Posted: March 7th, 2019

KDHX Earthworms gets in touch with Handprints: Dr. Gregory Norris shares this powerfully encouraging idea with host Jean Ponzi.

A lot of enviro-info dis-credits our human species for the impacts of our “footprints” on Earth’s systems, and on beings other than ourselves.

Scientist and public health advocate Greg Norris was inspired, while working with Life Cycle Analyses, to look up from Footprints and focus on the human part that can collaborate, create and restore. “Handprinting” has become a vehicle to encourage and measure our capacity to be a benefit on Earth.

Beneficial actions – and the ripples of influence they create – can now be measured through a key piece of Norris’ work-in-progress, the app Handprinter.org.

This tool and idea aim to ensure that Earth is better off because of human beings, than without us.

Gregory Norris will present “Handprints and Footprints” in St. Louis on Tuesday evening, March 12 for the U.S. Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter

Read more at http://earthworms.kdhxtra.org/handprints-gregory-norris-retouches-human-impacts#XdpXPlhEB7cS9ikw.99



Turn Inspiration into Action

Posted: February 21st, 2019

I've Got Sunshine

Join the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter this spring to be inspired by those making a difference locally, regionally and globally. Gain momentum and inspiration while accessing tools and programs that you can use to drive positive change.

March 12 – Handprints and Footprints

Visionary Gregory Norris will share his concept of “handprints,” an optimistic philosophy for addressing the challenge of sustainability. The approach aims to engage people not only in reducing their footprints (negative environmental impacts), but also in creating a net-positive impact on the environment through their handprints.

Norris is co-director of the Sustainability and Health Initiative for Net-Positive Enterprise (SHINE) at the Harvard School for Public Health, and chief scientist at the International Living Future Institute. His concept of ‘Handprints’ was featured on the front page of Time Magazine in 2012.

April 3 – Annual Green Schools Event

Join us at the 12th Annual Green Schools Event to celebrate student-driven sustainability projects in local schools!

This free event, which is open to the public, is the culmination of the 2018-19 Green Schools Quest – a project-based challenge to K-12 schools to implement a sustainability project over 6 months with the help of a USGBC-MGC Green Mentor. 59 school/mentor teams in the St. Louis region are participating this school year.

Winners will be announced at the event and participating schools will display posters detailing their projects. Several winning schools will take the stage to tell the fun and inspiring stories of their experiences. Attendees will find out how they can participate in the 2019-20 Green Schools Quest, as schools or mentors.

April 3 – April 24: Project Drawdown EcoChallenge

Drawdown EcoChallenge, offered by EcoChallenge.org and Project Drawdown, is a fun and social way to take measurable action on the top solutions to global warming. Join the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter team to see how three weeks of action add up to a lifetime of change for you and the planet.

The challenge takes place from April 3 – April 24, and is free and open to the public, and registration is open now. Join the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter team here.

May 14 – Regional Green Building Challenges and Successes – How can we improve?

A panel of design, construction, development and business ownership professionals will discuss national and regional green building progress to date, regional success stories and challenges, as well as opportunities to build momentum.

Audience members will be engaged in actively examining how we can learn from today’s successes and challenges to better guide clients towards pursuing best practices in sustainable design and construction.


May 21 – Supporting Global Goals Locally through Green Buildings

The United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted in 2015 to “promote prosperity while protecting the planet.” The 17 Goals are wide-ranging, challenging humanity to decouple economic growth from climate change, poverty, and inequality.

Green building supports many of the Sustainable Development Goals by reducing waste and contributing to healthier physical environments, but also by educating, creating jobs, reducing inequalities, and strengthening communities. At this in-depth session, learn more about the UN Sustainable Development Goals, their relevance to the St. Louis-area green building industry, and how to use them to better communicate and advance partnerships.


2019 GPRO Operations + Maintenance Essentials Training

Posted: February 7th, 2019

2019 GPRO O+M Training FlyerEfficient operations and smart maintenance in buildings not only reduce operating costs by 20-50%, but increase occupancy rates and tenant satisfaction. Green Professional Building Skills Training (GPRO) Operations + Maintenance Essentials is a two day course that provides building professionals with strategies to improve efficiency, comfort, and health in our existing buildings. Participants leave with at least three immediately actionable measures and the next steps needed to achieve them.

This course is ideal for property managers and building staff in multifamily residential and commercial buildings, including: building superintendents, operators, facility and property managers, operating engineers and stationary engineers.

USGBC-MGC is the local delivery partner for this Green Building Professional Skills (GPRO) Training in partnership with Urban Green (NYC Chapter) who developed the training in partnership with the local building trades.

Continuing Education Hours: 12 GBCI CE Hours and 12 AIA/CES LU

Cost: $300 for USGBC-Missouri Gateway Members / $350 for non-members – includes course materials, breakfast & lunch both days, and certificate exam

Scholarships may be available. Please contact Emily Andrews at 314-577-0854 to inquire.

What Students Learn: 

Part 1: Fundamentals of Building Green (4 hours)

  • Economic and health benefits from green buildings
  • Causes and impacts of a changing climate
  • Transitioning to sustainable operations
  • Complying with green codes and standards
  • Understanding LEED
  • Overview of green building strategies
  • The importance of commissioning

Part 2: Operations & Maintenance Essentials (8 hours)

  • Using building metrics to improve performance
  • Improving the building envelope for a healthier building
  • Reducing water use
  • Employing strategies for efficient and cost-effective heating and cooling systems
  • Managing lighting to minimize energy use while maintaining lighting quality
  • Maintaining indoor air quality for tenant comfort
  • Reducing waste
Learn more and register using the links below: