News and Notes

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.

More details to come!

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!

Membership Contest: Build Your Knowledge. Build Your Network. Build Your Community

Date Posted: May 10th, 2017

Membership Contest

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

From May 9 to June 12, new and renewing members will be entered into a drawing for:

  • $50 gift card to Three Kings Public House, a Green Dining Alliance Certified restaurant
  • $50 American Express gift card donated by St. Louis Lighting Group
  • A free tour for 12 of EarthDance Farms.

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 Saint Louis Zoo membership!

Winners will be drawn on June 13 at the Monthly Evening Program.

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 membership benefits you as well; join to receive free or reduced 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. Build your knowledge, build your network, and build your community by becoming a USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter member!

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

Contest Details

Timeframe:

  • Drawing Open:  March 9, 2017 @ 12:00 am- June 12, 2017 @ 11:59 pm
  • Winners Drawn: June 13, 2017 at Monthly Evening Program

How to Participate

  • Join the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter or renew your membership to be entered into a drawing for the prizes listed below.
  • 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 1 year of Saint Louis Zoo Membership

Prizes 

  • Drawing Prizes
    • $50 gift card to Three Kings Public House, a Green Dining Alliance Certified restaurant
    • $50 American Express gift card donated by St. Louis Lighting Group
    • A free tour for 12 of EarthDance Farms.
  • The member making the most referrals will win 1 year of Saint Louis Zoo membership

 

Many thanks to the following  for their prize donations!
St Louis Zoo
Saint Louis Zoo
three-kings-public-houseGreen Dining Alliance
Three Kings Public House, a 4 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.
logo
Saint Louis Lighting Group
 EarthDance
EarthDance Farms sustainably grows food, farmers and community, one small farm at a time, through hands-on education and delicious experiences.

 

 

 

 

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Explore the WELL Building Standard with the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter

Date Posted: April 14th, 2017

 

WELL BUILDING 3

Developed in partnership with leading physicians, scientists, and industry professionals, The WELL Building Standard® (WELL) is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact the health and well-being of the people who live, work, and learn in these buildings.

Join the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter at two upcoming events to explore this hot sustainability topic! 


 

Tuesday, May 9
Growing Green: A Green Building Showcase

The 2017 Green Building Showcase will feature buildings from several different green building rating systems.

We will get the inside story on the following projects:
HOK will share insight from a gap analysis they have recently performed on their St. Louis office space, currently pursuing LEED v4 for Commercial Interiors.  The analysis details measures needed to take the building from where it currently stands to achieve the preconditions and optimizations needed for WELL Building Certification.
UNIGROUP will detail the progress they have made throughout their participation in the 25×20 Energy Benchmarking Challenge, including an exploration of how their building earned Energy Star Certification.
Attendees will learn about the progress being made on a major renovation for the LEED certification of The Armory District.

CONTINUING EDUCATION
Submitted for approval of 1 GBCI CE Hour and 1 AIA LU/HSW

WHEN
Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
5:30-6:15 pm –Registration & Networking
6:15-7:30 pm – Formal Presentation

WHERE
Sheet Metal Workers Local 36, 2319 Chouteau, Suite 200 (63103)

FEE
Free for USGBC-MGC Members and Students
Free for Green Business Challenge Participants 
$20 for Non-members

REGISTER
Click here to register online


 

Tuesday, May 23
WELL Accredited Professional Exam Prep Course

The WELL Accredited Professional (WELL AP) credential signifies knowledge in human health and wellness in the built environment, and specialization in the WELL Building Standard. To become a WELL AP, candidates must pass the WELL AP exam. This course, designed to prepare attendees for the WELL AP exam, will provide attendees with a comprehensive understanding of WELL, including the seven concepts that provide the framework for the building standard: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Comfort and Mind.

Developed in partnership with leading physicians, scientists, and industry professionals, WELL is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact the health and well-being of the people who live, work, and learn in these buildings.

The WELL Accredited Professional (WELL AP) credential signifies knowledge in human health and wellness in the built environment, and specialization in the WELL Building Standard. To become a WELL AP, candidates must pass the WELL AP exam.

INSTRUCTOR

Monica Miller, WELL AP, LEED AP BD+C, LEED AP O+M, Sustainable Design Manager, ThyssenKrupp Elevator

monica-34-b-2-bwMonica Miller is ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s Sustainable Design Manager and serves ThyssenKrupp as a resource for all LEED project requests for information. Monica is also a licensed landscape architect. Her previous experience as a project manager for design and construction projects both internationally and in the United States, allows her to fully understand the construction and design process. She has participated on LEED project teams and led ThyssenKrupp’s manufacturing facility to achieve LEED Gold in 2015. Monica is also a Living Building Challenge Ambassador advocating for the growth of the Living Building Challenge.

WHEN
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
9:00 – 5:00 pm 

WHERE
Professional Office Environments (POE)
222 Millwell Drive
Maryland Heights, MO, 63043

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

REQUIRED TEXT
WELL AP Exam Preparation Guide, International WELL Building Institute, available for purchase here.

REGISTER
Click here to register online

Advocacy Alert: #DefendClimate and Sign USGBC’s Letter to Preserve EPA Programs, including ENERGY STAR

Date Posted: March 29th, 2017

The United States Office of Management and Budget released its plan for the proposed 2018 budget, which includes elimination of or deep cuts to vital programs.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy StarWaterSense and Safer Choice programs are all in jeopardy.

USGBC and many others in the building industry rely on these tools from EPA to create and sustain high performing green buildings! Our 20 x 20 Voluntary Energy Benchmarking Campaign uses ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to help building owners track and improve their energy performance. Portfolio Manager is also the basis for earning energy performance credits in LEED Building Operations + Maintenance. It is free tool with a proven track record that helps reduce energy use, lower energy costs, and protect the health of humans and the environment. Win-win-win!

SIGN USGBC’s LETTER NOW to ensure that the Energy Star, WaterSense and Safer Choice programs at EPA continue. 

Want to do more? Contact your elected official directly and let your support for these programs be heard. Below are a few talking points about ENERGY STAR that might be helpful.

  • ENERGY STAR is the most widely recognized symbol for energy efficiency, with a brand awareness of about 90%.
  • In 2015 alone, American consumers and businesses saved over $34 billion with the help of ENERGY STAR.
  • Since 1992, ENERGY STAR has assisted companies and consumers save $430 billion on utility bills.
    Approximately 45% of the commercial building floor space in the U.S. has been benchmarked for tracking and analyzing energy consumption using ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager.
  • Since 1999, ENERGY STAR has certified more than 28,000 buildings and more than 5 billion square feet of space.
  • ENERGY STAR has more than 3,100 home builder partners who constructed almost 1.8 million certified new homes since 1995. Many of these properties also pursue additional private sector certifications like LEED.

Additionally, President Trump recently signed an executive order rolling back the Clean Power Plan. This threatens our ability to limit and deal with climate change. We encourage you to contact your elected officials to express your support of the need to #DefendClimate. A few talking points below:

  • Climate change threatens human health and our ability to continue doing business. Secretary of Defense James Mattis recently asserted that climate change is real and a threat to American national security.
  • In a recent poll, 59% of voters oppose a repeal of climate change regulations.
  • Climate action is necessary to protect our future.

Find your elected officials contact information below:

USGBC will continue to monitor the budget situation and keep membership updated, but please feel free to be in touch with USGBC-Missouri Gateway staff or leadership if you want to get more involved!

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

Date Posted: March 15th, 2017

Membership Contest Block Expanded 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This contest is now closed.

Congratulations to our winners!

  • Drawing Winner: Spencer Ruggles
  • Most Referrals: Amy Hargis

 

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 membership benefits you as well; join to receive free or reduced 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

Timeframe:

  • Drawing Open:  March 14, 2017 @ 12:00 am- May 8, 2017 @ 11:59 pm
  • Winners Drawn: May 9, 2017 at Green Building Showcase

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.

Prizes 

  • 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!
mobot-logo
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.
GoGreenSolarLighting
GoGreenSolarLighting/STLOUISLEDs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City of St. Louis Passes Building Energy Awareness Ordinance

Date Posted: March 9th, 2017

Signing

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.

Join the USGBC-MGC for one of our Benchmarking Jams to get hands-on assistance using the free ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool. Find an upcoming event on our events calendar here.

“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 mlilly@stlouisco.com or visit www.resourcefulschools.org

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