News and Notes

USGBC-MGC Seeks Education & Communications Intern

Date Posted: December 7th, 2017

The U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter seeks an energetic and skilled part-time intern with a wide range of administrative, organizational, and technical skills to assist with general Chapter operations. The internship position will report to the Education & Green Schools Manager and support the activities of the Chapter’s volunteer-led committees.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Assist Chapter staff with various duties related to the development of marketing and outreach materials, such as event flyers and promotional materials for Chapter events
  • Maintain posts and updates regarding green building news and program announcements on Chapter website and social networking accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)
  • Engage in short term research projects to identify local green-building and sustainability resources
  • Update and print necessary literature and signage for events
  • Work with Chapter volunteers and staff on day-of program logistics, including event set-up/break-down, registration, nametags, food/beverage (average of one day/month)
  • Compile final attendance list for events; edit and post on website
  • Maintain database of event statistics for Chapter programs and events
  • Assist Chapter staff with additional duties related to educational programming
  • Work with volunteers of the Chapter’s Marketing Committee on the creation of LEED Project Profiles
  • Perform general clerical work including letter writing, filing, copying, etc. (spreadsheets)
  • Answer email and return messages as appropriate

A job description and internship details are available online here. Interested applicants should email a cover letter and resume, with references to: Hope Gribble, Education and Green Schools Manager

We’re On A Mission – for Better, Greener Buildings that will Tackle the Challenge of Climate Change!

Date Posted: November 28th, 2017

By Nick Bristow
Chair, USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Board of Directors

From existing buildings to new construction, we know that buildings play a crucial role in meeting the urgent challenge of climate change. According to the Energy Information Administration, buildings in the United States are responsible for over 40% of national greenhouse gas emissions. The City of St. Louis’s 2015 greenhouse gas inventory revealed that local impacts are much higher; residential and commercial buildings are responsible for over 60% of greenhouse gas emissions.

The critical time for climate action is now, and now more than ever, it’s critical that we change the way we build and operate our buildings. We must focus on wellness for building occupants and the planet, addressing existing and new buildings, inside and out.

It was with this imperative in mind that the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter’s Board of Directors drafted our 2018-2020 Strategic Directions. We plan to build on our 2017 momentum and move forward with three focus areas: foster green building leaders of the future, lead green building professional education, and advance green building through advocacy and community outreach.

I want to share some of our 2017 accomplishments today, and invite you to join us in the work ahead.

SigningWe continue to push for Better Buildings with Benchmarking. You know the saying, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure!” Energy and water benchmarking is the first step toward improved performance, cost savings, and reduced environmental impacts.

We significantly expanded our benchmarking work this year by helping the City of St. Louis with the passage and implementation of their Building Energy Awareness Ordinance. This work received recognition just last week with an Outstanding Local Government Achievement Award from East-West Gateway Council of Governments in the public-non-profit partnership category.

IMG_7145We were thrilled to assist Bethel Lutheran Church become the First House of Worship to earn ENERGY STAR Certification in Missouri! With an ENERGY STAR score of 81, Bethel Lutheran outperforms 81 percent of worship facilities nationwide. Their energy achievements are due to many years of dedicated work by the church’s Green Team. Our Advocacy Committee volunteers verified Bethel Lutheran’s ENERGY STAR application, confirming that energy and building data was correct and that the building meets EPA’s Indoor Environmental Quality and Thermal Comfort standards.

GSQ registrationOnce again we were blown away by the creativity and passion of students participating in our Green Schools Quest. Our Green Schools Quest paired 47 school-mentor teams for the 2016-2017 school year. Over 5,500 students and staff participated in sustainability projects, reaching an additional 20,000 community members. Projects ranged from energy audits & window weatherization to waste audits, material reuse & cafeteria composting! Participation in the 2017-18 school year is our highest levels yet; 57 school and mentor teams are participating in the fifth year of the Green Schools Quest!

ce-blitz-copyAnd we continue to provide excellent educational opportunities. From inspirational to in-depth, we covered a lot of topics this year – materials transparency, sustainability in construction administration, landscape performance, project delivery mapping, historic preservation & sustainability, lighting controls and much more!

We are on a mission – a mission to make every building a green building – and we cannot get there without your help. For over 15 years, we have been part of your community; advocating and educating for better, greener buildings. Support this important work by making a donation today!

Donate Now

Thank you,

Nick Bristow

Nick Bristow
2017 Chair, USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Board of Directors

Interview with ‘Water Justice’ Keynote Presenter

Date Posted: October 11th, 2017

EarthWorms host Jean Ponzi recently interviewed Water Justice CEU Blitz keynote presenter, Alexandra Ferrari-Campbell.

Campbell-Ferrari is the Executive Director of the Washington D.C.-based non-profit Center for Water Security and Cooperation.

Her organization was started to use the law as a tool for building long-term solutions to our greatest water challenges and to drive legal innovation and partnership.

This conversation dives provocatively into water issues. In the words of Jean Ponzi, “Tap into it – and consider how water security could be more cooperatively handled!”

Click here to listen to the podcast interview!

Check Out Our 2016 Annual Report!

Date Posted: September 14th, 2017

We are excited to share our 2016 Annual Report with you! Each year, the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter makes progress towards our goal of transforming the built environment. We are so proud of our accomplishments towards a greener future for our community, which is generously supported by our sponsors, leaders (board of directors & committees), members, volunteers, and donors. Thank you to all who made 2016 a success!

In 2016, we celebrated our 15 year anniversary as an organization dedicated to making every building a green building because we know that GREEN BUILDINGS ARE BETTER . . . better for people, better for the environment, and better for the bottom line.

Download a PDF of our 2016 Annual Report and learn about our work to make every building a green building! 

2016-USGBC-MGC_AnnualReport_Page_1

2017 Benchmarking Training

Date Posted: September 7th, 2017

Presented in partnership with the City of St. Louis, BOMA St Louis, Downtown STL, Inc., and IFMA St. Louis Chapter. 

Benchmarking Training Flyer
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, 2018 using the free, online tool ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

The USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter, the City of St. Louis, and partners are co-hosting three opportunities to learn how to comply.

The events below are free to all, but space is limited. Registration is required.

Benchmarking 101

An overview of the 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.

Wednesday, October 25, 12:00—1:30 pm
Missouri Botanical Garden’s Commerce Bank Center for Science Education
4651 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63110
Register Online Here

Thursday, November 30, 12:00—1:30 pm
Metropolitan Square, 9th Floor Conference Room
211 North Broadway, Suite 990, St. Louis MO 63102
Register Online Here

Benchmarking Jam

Get hands-on assistance with energy and water benchmarking in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Visit event page for full list of needed information. 

Tuesday, November 14, 4:00—6:00 pm
Missouri Botanical Garden’s Commerce Bank Center for Science Education
4651 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63110
Register Online Here

Partner logos

 

Response to St. Louis Business Journal: LEED Gets It Right

Date Posted: September 7th, 2017

Emily 1Nick Bristow-headshotEmily Andrews, Executive Director of the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter, and Nick Bristow, Senior Associate and Sustainability Manager at Forum Studio and Board Chair of the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter, responded to the St. Louis Business Journal’s August 18 cover story on the LEED green building rating system in a commentary piece titled LEED gets it right. Read on for their full response. 

 

The Aug. 18 cover story on the LEED green building rating system missed the bigger picture. Green building rates in the St. Louis region may not measure up to the top five LEED national markets, but as your article points out, we are keeping pace with and even outpacing cities of similar size and demographics. By looking at just a single year of data, however, you are discrediting previous years of successful LEED projects in our region. More importantly, you missed the opportunity to recognize the local architects, engineers, contractors, consultants, owners and occupants who have championed buildings that conserve natural resources and support the health of humans and the planet. The St. Louis region has seen a consistent number of LEED certified projects annually between 2011 and 2016, even as the rating system has become more rigorous. Since 2000, 190 commercial and institutional buildings have achieved LEED certification. Our mission is to accelerate the implementation of green building principles for all. While every building cannot be a LEED building, these 190 buildings have provided a real-life, local case study and framework for our community to follow. And really, when it comes down to it, we are not out to compete with other cities, but to work within our own community to improve our buildings.

 

LEED continues to be the international benchmark in green building, designed to incorporate continuous improvement, evolve and raise the bar as building technology improves. According to a 2017 Department of Energy study, LEED- and Energy Star-certified buildings improve net operating income by 28.8 percent and reduce operating costs by 17.6 percent. We cannot be content to merely track levels of certification or the numbers of certified buildings – we want better, higher performing buildings.

 

The average American spends 90 percent of their time indoors – at work, at home and at school. Additionally, buildings in the United States consume about 40 percent of the country’s total energy consumption and represent 45 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. We all deserve better buildings. Tools like LEED, Energy Star and others are available to help us work towards better buildings – we should utilize them to improve the long-term health of St. Louisans, our region and the planet on which we reside.

U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter considers the benefits of green buildings to far outweigh any costs. We also believe in a future where everyone has access to work, live and learn in a green building. We invite our region to be a part of this future. And we challenge each of you to pursue greener operations, maintenance, design and construction for every building in our region every step of the way.

Seeking Nominations for 2018 Board!

Date Posted: July 17th, 2017

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 2018. Nominations are due by 5 pm Central Time on Friday, August 18, 2017. 

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, we 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 2017 board meeting.

Now Accepting Proposals for 2018 Educational Programs

Date Posted: June 28th, 2017

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter is accepting proposals for educational programs to be offered in 2018.

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 June 28, 2017.
Proposals due by Friday, August 25, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST.
Selected Speakers notified by November 8, 2017.

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
  • 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!

Save the Date: Water Justice Continuing Education Blitz on October 17

Date Posted: June 12th, 2017

From the Philosophical to the Spigot: A forum discussing water policies, use, access, and quality in the Mississippi River Basin.

Who owns water in the United States? Who determines its use? Who protects it? The answers to these questions are in some ways both everyone and no one.

And yet in a time of increased demand and growing climate instability, not just in the United States, but around the world, the answers–and the questions–are more important all the time.

On October 17, 2017, join us for a full day of presentations about what’s happening in the Mississippi River Basin, from the headwaters to the delta, as we discuss water from a global to a local perspective –trying, along the way, to determine a better future for our most valuable resource.

Click here for more details!

Urgency & Resolve In the Face of the US Exit from the Paris Agreement

Date Posted: June 5th, 2017

The USGBC-Missouri Gateway is deeply disappointed in the administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

This decision makes our regional green building work even more urgent. For over 15 years, we’ve been educating on the importance of climate action and greenhouse gas emissions reduction, supporting building designers, building operators, and local governments to reduce their environmental impacts. We’ve been advocating for green building policies that conserve natural resources, reduce costs, and improve human health.

Our Regional Environmental Internship Program has supported six local governments to complete greenhouse gas inventories and climate action plans. Our 25×20 Voluntary Energy Benchmarking Campaign has engaged over 80 building owners and operators to commit to benchmark their building energy use, the first step toward energy and emissions reduction. And our leadership were instrumental in the passage of the City of St. Louis’ Building Energy Awareness Ordinance.

With urgency and resolve, we will continue this important work. As the national USGBC says in their statement, “Today, our efforts continue unabated and with commitment and hope that’s stronger than ever.” We hope you join us in our work to transform the built environment and speed our transition to a low carbon economy. Become a member, sign on to the 25×20 Energy Benchmarking Campaign, and start making a difference!