News and Notes

Spring into Membership: Join or Refer a Member to Win!

Date Posted: March 15th, 2017

Membership Contest Block Expanded 2

The USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter’s Membership & Marketing Committee is excited to announce a membership contest!

From March 14 to May 8, new members that join the Chapter will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Big Shark Bicycle Company gift card, a $50 gift card donated by GoGreenSolarLighting/ STLOUISLEDs, and a $50 gift card to Lulu’s Local Eatery, a Green Dining Alliance Certified restaurant.

If you’re a current member and you encourage a friend or colleague to join, you’ll also be entered into the raffle – once for each new member you refer. The member making the most referrals will win a Missouri Botanical Garden membership! Winners will be drawn on May 9 at the Green Building Showcase.

Membership makes the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter’s work to support buildings of all kinds to green their design and operations possible. Join to show your support of our efforts to green the places we all love!

And member benefits you as well; join to receive free or reduce entry to all of USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter’s educational events, access to opportunities to build relationships with our community of almost 500 members, and eligibility to serve on Chapter committees, community projects, and board of directors.

Review member benefits and levels online here, or head directly to the membership registration form!

Contest Details


How to Participate

  • Join the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter to be entered into a drawing for the prizes listed below. Join online here
  • Encourage a friend, colleague or contact to join! Current members that are listed in the “who/what encouraged you to join” field of the membership application will be entered into the drawing once for each member they refer.
  • The member making the most referrals will win a Missouri Botanical Garden membership.


  • Drawing Prizes
    • $50 Big Shark Bicycle Company Gift Card
    • $50 gift card donated by GoGreenSolarLighting/STLOUISLEDs
    • $50 gift card to Lulu’s Local Eatery, a Green Dining Alliance Certified restaurant
  • The member making the most referrals will win a Missouri Botanical Garden membership
Many thanks to the following  for their prize donations!
Missouri Botanical Garden
lulus-local-eateryGreen Dining Alliance
Lulu’s Local Eatery, a 5 star Green Dining Alliance certified restaurant. Your dining decisions matter! Choose one of the over 100 Green Dining Alliance certified sustainable restaurants for your next dining experience.








City of St. Louis Passes Building Energy Awareness Ordinance

Date Posted: March 9th, 2017


The City of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay recently signed the Building Energy Awareness bill, which requires buildings 50,000 square feet or larger to benchmark and report to the City their energy and water usage annually. The ordinance covers approximately 900 existing buildings. Benchmarking will allow building owners to see how their properties are using resources and will encourage owners to implement energy-efficiency measures.

With technical support and funding from the City Energy Project, the City of St. Louis is also now accepting applications for a new Technical Energy Advisor, who will assist building owners with their benchmarking efforts. Applications are due no later than 5:00 pm on March 24, 2017.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is an online, interactive energy management tool that allows building owners to measure and track energy and water consumption, identify investment priorities, and verify improvements over time. The USGBC-MGC will be holding a Benchmarking Jam on Wednesday, March 22, 4:00 – 6:00 pm. At this event, USGBC-MGC staff and volunteers will provide hands-on assistance using the free ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool.

Click here to learn more about the Benchmarking Jam, what items to bring, and to register!

“Living Building Challenge in Practice” USGBC-MGC’s Latest Online Course Offering

Date Posted: January 24th, 2017

As a USGBC Education Partner, USGBC-Missouri Gateway produces several online courses each year hosted on the Education@USGBC platform.

Our latest course, “The Living Building Challenge in Practice,” consists of a two-part podcast in which Ralph Bicknese, LEED Fellow and interviewer Jean Ponzi discuss the basic principles and criteria of the Living Building Challenge through an exploration of multiple Living Building case studies.

The course, which offers 1 GBCI CE Hour, is available within the Education@USGBC Subscription or for individual purchase.

Click here to learn more about The Living Building Challenge in Practice. Click on the links below to view our additional online courses.

Don’t Throw Out the Baby OR The Bathwater: Young children as a key piece of the sustainable building

Regenerative Landscape Design – Why & How

Resourceful Schools Project: We Are One Ocean

Date Posted: November 30th, 2016

By Margaret Lilly, Environmental Representative, St. Louis County Department of Public Healthstl-county-health-blog-post


The Saint Louis County Department of Public Health Resourceful Schools Project (RSP) is a free resource to schools located in St. Louis County seeking to contribute to a more sustainable world.   Our current favorite program is helping schools make the St. Louis connection to ocean pollution.

The RSP unit “Plastic Pollution” helps students learn about the Mississippi watershed and the journey of plastic washed into our rivers that ends up in the North Atlantic Ocean.  As the plastic breaks into tiny pieces called microplastics, the particles are eaten by zooplankton enter our food chain at the most basic level.

Hands-On Learning

Through a lab experiment, students in 6th -12th grade identify tiny pieces of plastic by their resin number and compare the results with containers they found at home.  Schools combine this lesson with a related service project in their neighborhood by:

  • Being a part of a stream cleanup.
  • Conducting a litter patrol.
  • Constructing a sculpture using the recyclables found and displaying it at school to boost the recycling program.
  • Participating in the MSD stormwater art education project and painting a stormwater inlet near the school. RSP can provide the paint and supplies for schools in St. Louis County.

Using refillable bottles and installing water bottle filling stations may seem like a small way to “Green a School”.  By providing related education on the problem of microplastic pollution, using a refillable water bottle demonstrates that sometimes even the smallest choices we make matter, and that is a big deal!

To learn more about the free recycling and waste reduction programs and support we can provide for your school (including grants for water bottle filling stations!) please contact Margaret Lilly at or visit

St Louis County Department of Public Health


A Look Back at 15 years of Green Building, a Look Forward to the Work Ahead

Date Posted: November 29th, 2016

By George Fujii, 2016 USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Board Chair

15 years ago, 15 dedicated volunteers came together to form an organization dedicated to green building education and advocacy, to making every building a green building, because they knew that Green Buildings Are Better.

In honor of this milestone, the U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter’s interactive Green Buildings Are Better display has been traveling throughout the region collecting your comments about how green buildings are better for living, working, learning, and playing. I thought I’d share a few highlights with you today.

Green buildings are better because “45% of U.S. emissions come from residential and commercial building operation – every green building counts!”

Green buildings use less energy, and consequently produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions and contribute less to global climate change. Nationally, energy used in buildings is responsible for almost half of our greenhouse gas emissions, and in the City of St. Louis commercial and residential buildings are the source of almost 70% of emissions (according to their 2010 greenhouse gas inventory). Buildings are an important piece of any effective climate action. Though reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings may seem like a challenge, in reality it is a huge opportunity!

Green buildings are better because “they cost less to operate”

All buildings, no matter how they were originally built, can become greener by pursuing energy efficiency strategies. The average building wastes 30% of the energy it consumes due to inefficiencies, according to the EPA, and many energy efficiency measures are possible through low and no cost operational improvements. Both Ameren Missouri and Laclede Gas offer financial incentives for energy efficiency measures, making improvements even more cost effective. No matter where you start, there are energy and cost savings to realize.

Green buildings are better for business and the bottom line beyond just their low operating costs. LEED buildings consistently demand competitive real estate prices, according to a 2014 peer-reviewed study published in Environmental Science and Technology.

And green construction creates jobs. A 2015 Green Building Economic Impact study prepared by Booz Allen Hamilton for the U.S. Green Building Council found that green construction in Missouri will account for more than 190,000 jobs and will generate over $11 billion in labor earnings by 2018.

Green buildings are better because “green buildings are healthy buildings”

As Americans, we spend 90% of our time indoors, and the indoor environmental quality of the buildings we inhabit has a big impact on our health. According to a recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health, people that work in green certified buildings have higher cognitive function scores, better quality sleep, and fewer health symptoms than workers in other buildings. They also reported a higher sense of satisfaction with their work environment. The greatest cognitive function differences were seen in crisis response, the ability to make decisions with overall goals in mind, the ability to focus on the situation at hand, and strategizing. Pretty important functions for all employees, no matter their industry.

Once you consider that 90% of the costs of operating a building are associated with the people inside of it, the benefit of pursuing the positive productivity impacts of green building start to make a lot of sense. Building owners are paying attention; a recent SmartMarket report by Dodge Data & Analytics revealed that 67% of building owners are interested in creating healthier buildings for people.

Green buildings are better because “They help build a sustainable future”

As we look forward to the next 15 years, I hope you join us as we strive to make every building a green building. For the sake of our economy, for the sake of our health, for the sake of our future, I encourage you to consider making a donation to support this important work this holiday season.

Donate Now

Wishing you the best,

George Fujii

2016 USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Board Chair

Nominate a Volunteer for Above + Beyond Recognition!

Date Posted: October 26th, 2016


The USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter 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 currently seeking Above + Beyond nominations for volunteers that have performed outstanding work over the past year!

Please complete this online form to nominate a current volunteer for Above + Beyond recognition. Nominations are due on December 31st by 11:59 pm.

Nominated volunteers will be recognized at the State of the Chapter and Social in January of 2017.

Announcing the winners of our 5th Annual Photo Contest

Date Posted: October 20th, 2016

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 USGBC-MGC Photo Contest! In honor of the Chapter’s 15 year anniversary, the theme of this year’s contest was Green Buildings Are Better.

The contest was open to all residents of the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter territory (Missouri & Southern Illinois). A panel of judges rated photos anonymously to award 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes. Attendees at our October 18 program Perennial Polycultures: Sustainable, Edible Landscapes had the opportunity to vote for the people’s choice award.

And the winners are (drumroll, please)….

Roxanne Nagel, 1st Place WinnerFor her first place winning photo, “A Safe Haven,” Roxanne won a complimentary home energy audit from SmartHouse Heating and Cooling and a print of her photo courtesy of NovaColor.
Peter Baechle, 2nd Place WinnerFor his second place winning photo of a Webster University rain garden, Peter wins one year of Missouri Botanical Garden membership, a retail gift card, and a print of his photo courtesy of NovaColor.
Steve O’Rourke, 3rd Place WinnerFor his third place winning photo, “Rain Garden,” Steve wins a free pass to a USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter In-Depth Educational Seminar, a retail gift card, and a print of his photo courtesy of NovaColor.
Roxanne Nagel, People’s Choice AwardRoxanne’s photo “Roof with a View” was selected for the People’s Choice Award by attendees of Perennial Polycultures: Sustainable, Edible Landscapes. Roxanne wins her choice of retail gift card, and a print of his photo courtesy of NovaColor.
Many thanks to the following establishments for their prize donations!
 SmartHouse Heating & Cooling

Hendel’s Restaurant
Cork Wine Bar


Large Scale Rainscaping Grants Program Deadline October 31,2016

Date Posted: October 3rd, 2016


Rainscaping is any combination of plantings, water features, catch basins, permeable pavement, and other activities that manage stormwater as close as possible to where it falls, rather than moving it someplace else. Below ground level, improved soils store and filter stormwater, allowing the surrounding area to slowly absorb it over time. Above ground level, native plants, basins, and water features create public green spaces that also help store water. Used effectively, rainscaping can reclaim stormwater naturally, reduce sewer overflows, and minimize basement backups.

The Rainscaping program of MSD Project Clear has announced  the fifth round of a rainscaping cost-sharing opportunity. MSD seeks to continue to build partnerships with municipalities, local government agencies, schools, community development organizations, and private developers through the Rainscaping Large Scale Grants Program.

Visit the Project Clear Website for the rules and requirements for partnering with MSD Project Clear, an application form, and a map showing the program area for the Rainscaping projects. Please note that the application deadline for the 2016 round of Rainscaping Large Scale Grants is 5:00pm on October 31, 2016.

Check out our 2015 Annual Report!

Date Posted: August 24th, 2016


We are excited to share our 2015 Annual Report with you! Each year, the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter makes progress towards our goal of transforming the built environment. 2015 was no exception, as we continued to provide high quality educational events, celebrated another successful Green Schools Quest, expanded our community offerings, and much more!

2015 Highlights

  • We provide opportunities for people who care about green building to connect and learn! In 2015, over 30 unique educational events, representing 100 hours of continuing education, reached over 1500 individuals.
  • WHERE WE LEARN MATTERS! Over 25% of Americans attend school every day. We are helping to make their spaces greener and healthier for learning and teaching through the Green Schools Quest. 4,000 Green Schools Quest participants in 38 School / Mentor teams impacted over 30,000 individuals with their sustainability projects during the 2014-15 school year!
  • We are ADVANCING green building through community projects like the Plan Builder Workshop held in partnership with Missouri Interfaith Power and Light. 15 multi-faith congregations attended and began creating a sustainable operations plan for their buildings. This work was featured nationally in USGBC+ Magazine! We also worked with Better Family Life on a neighborhood Plan Builder Workshop and provided an intern to the City of Creve Coeur to complete a phase 2 Greenhouse Gas inventory and Climate Action Plan.
  • The 25 x 20 Voluntary Energy Benchmarking Campaign saw an increase in participation and we hosted a “Benchmarking Jam” in October to celebrate ENERGY STAR Day.
  • Our Emerging Professionals gave back to the community in 2015 with two Community Service Projects. Volunteers built “Little Free Libraries” and held a book drive for Ford Elementary School, and participated in a home weatherization project with EnergyCare.
  • We love to celebrate green building success and do this with case studies, project profiles, Green Building Experts and especially our annual awards. In 2015, we looked back at 6 years of 40 awardees with the Growing Green Spotlight!
  • 2015 educational programming placed a special emphasis on building materials and specifically how that credit category is changing with LEEDv4. In September, we welcomed building material experts from around the country for a full day continuing education blitz on Braving the New World of Building Material Selection.
  • Throughout the year, our 150 Volunteers contributed 5,000 Hours to strategic planning and development, outreach to community partners, committees and projects like the Green Schools Quest.

Many thanks to the leaders, committees, volunteers, members, sponsors and donors for making 2015 a success!

You can view the report as an online magazine below, or download a pdf.

USGBC’s Annual School District Scholarship Applications Open Through August 19

Date Posted: August 9th, 2016

USGBC’s Center for Green Schools has opened the call for applicants for the 2016-2017 School District Scholarship.

The annual School District Scholarship provides support to a school district staff member who is currently undertaking sustainability work across the district’s schools. These staff receive targeted education and technical support from the Center and its partners for the entire school year, including

  • Travel, lodging and attendance at the Green Schools Conference and the pre-conference summit for School Sustainability Leaders.
  • Travel, lodging and attendance at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo.
  • $3,000 grant to assist in implementing a high-impact sustainability project.
  • Ongoing training through personal and small group coaching.
  • Limited complimentary year-long access to several school resources from USGBC, including Learning Lab, the Green Classroom Professional Certificate, and LEED Coach for school projects.

Applications are due August 19th. Click here to learn more and apply!