News and Notes

Understanding the Living Building Challenge Materials Petal Workshop

Date Posted: November 9th, 2015

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Members receive $50 off of the registration fee!

The Living Building Challenge Materials Petal is intended to induce a successful materials economy that is non-toxic, transparent and socially equitable. In this workshop, participants will gain an understanding of how to meet the material-related Imperatives of the Living Building Challenge: I-10 Red List, I-11 Embodied Carbon Footprint, I-12 Responsible Industry, I-13 Living Economy Sourcing, and I-14 Net Positive Waste as well as introduce and explain the Declare Program.

This workshop is appropriate for anyone working in the building industry, participants should already have an understanding of the Living Building Challenge. They should be familiar with the Standard and the Imperatives and Petal structure of the Challenge. The workshop will highlight successful examples of innovative projects from around the globe, identifying innovative products and stories how projects have been successful in changing the materials marketplace.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the Imperatives within the Materials Petal and distinguish how these Imperatives support the Living Building Challenge mission
  • Understand the Declare label and what it defines
  • Identify 2 products that have gone through the process, now have a Declare label and how that has transformed their manufacturing standards
  • Ability to identify innovative products and stories where projects have been successful in changing the materials marketplace.

Thursday, December 10, 2015
1:00 – 5:00 pm

Workshop Overview:
1:00pm-2:00pm The Philosophy of the Living Building Challenge / Petal rationale + strategies: Materials
2:00-2:30pm Break
2:30pm-5:00pm Breaking down Barriers / Community + Tools / Full Group Discussion

HOK St. Louis
10 S Broadway Suite 200
St. Louis, MO 63102

Continuing Education:
This workshop has been approved for 4 GBCI CE hours, 4 AIA LU|HSW credits, and 4 Living Future Accreditation hours.

Instructor Background:
Kathleen Smith, LEED Fellow, Technical Director, Living Building Challenge

Kathleen Smith is an architect with more than 20 years of experience in green building, most recently with her own firm, Ecosmith Architecture & Consulting, LLC. She is a LEED Fellow and a LEED Faculty member.  Kathleen worked with Davis Langdon where she conducted LEED reviews and consulted on many pioneering sustainable projects in California. She is also the co-author of two books, The Northwest Green Home Primer and Rebuilding Community in America: Housing for Ecological Living, Personal Empowerment, and the New Extended Family. Kathleen has a Bachelor and Master of Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley in addition to a Permaculture Consultant’s Design Certificate from the Permaculture Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Early-bird registration (through 11/26/15):
$95 – USGBC-MGC Members (must contact USGBC-MGC staff at for promotional code)
$145 – Non-members

After 11/26/15:
$185 – USGBC-MGC Members (must contact USGBC-MGC staff at for promotional code)
$235 – Non-Members

Click here to register online

Congratulations to 4th Annual Photo Contest Winners!

Date Posted: October 19th, 2015

The winners of the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter’s 4th Annual Photo Contest have been announced! We received over 20 photos in response to the theme of “From Upcycling to Recycling.” The contest was open to all residents of the Missouri Gateway Chapter Territory, and winners were announced at the Water Energy Nexus on Tuesday, October 13th.

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Photo Contest Winners

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Timothy Farmer, first place winner
Tim won one year of complimentary Chapter membership, his choice of a Chapter pint glass, water bottle or hat, and got to select a gift card generously donated by a local business.

PTM entry1

Paul Todd Merrill, second place winner
Paul won a complimentary pass to one In-depth Educational Session,  his choice of a Chapter pint glass, water bottle or hat, and got to select a gift card generously donated by a local business.

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John Guenther, FAIA, LEED AP, third place and people’s choice award winner
John won his choice of a Chapter pint glass, water bottle or hat, and got to select a gift card generously donated by a local business.

Thank you to all who submitted photos to the 4th Annual Photo Contest!
Thank you to the local businesses that donated gift cards for our photo contest!
 Garden Heights Nursery logo

Emerging Professionals collecting Children’s Books for Little Free Libraries

Date Posted: October 15th, 2015

IMG_4191USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Emerging Professionals spent Green Apple Day of Service constructing 3 Little Free Libraries out of reclaimed material.

The Libraries are headed to the hallways of Ford Elementary, a St. Louis Public school in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood. Emerging Professionals are collecting children’s books to stock these libraries. Bring new or used children’s books to EP events or the Chapter office before November 13 help fill the libraries!

Book Drive












Above + Beyond Volunteers recognized by Heartland Regional Committee

Date Posted: September 30th, 2015

Above + Beyond HRC jpgAbove + Beyond volunteers Hannah Roth, Becky Finch, Carolyn Gaidis, Frank Eppert, and Paul Todd Merrill were recently recognized by the USGBC Heartland Region as Volunteer Superstars!

We were thrilled to recognize each of these volunteers through our Above + Beyond program, and are excited to see these volunteers recognized regionally as well. Many thanks to Becky, Carolyn, Frank, Hannah, and Paul for all of their work on behalf of the Chapter!

Frank Eppert, USGBC-MO Gateway Technical Committee, LEED Community Project and Green Schools Quest, AFRAM Corp.

Becky Finch, USGBC-MO Gateway Growing Green Awards Working Group, TriNet

Carolyn Gaidis, USGBC-MO Gateway Scholarship Working Group, LAND SYSTEMS

Paul Todd Merrill, USGBC-MO Gateway Membership Committee, Clayco

Hannah Roth, USGBC-MO Gateway Continuing Education Blitz, Washington University



Business Case for Energy Efficiency & Clean Energy Follow Up

Date Posted: September 23rd, 2015

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter was pleased to co-host “The Business Case for Energy Efficiency & Clean Energy” with E2-Environmental Entrepreneurs, Missouri Energy Initiative, the St. Louis High Performance Building Initiative & the St. Louis Regional Chamber. With nearly 80 people attending, we had a full house! Speakers included:

  • Josh Campbell with MEI and Gail Parson with E2 discussed their Clean Jobs Missouri survey results. Check out their presentation.
  • Ashok Gupta with the Natural Resources Defense Council talked about the importance of good policy as a driver to move the market and comply with the clean power plan while meeting environmental objectives and lowering customer costs. Specifically, Gupta drew on his experience with the City Energy Project, most recently in Kansas City, MO.
  • Warren Wood with Ameren Missouri described energy efficiency as the lowest cost resource in their portfolio, with every $1 investment generating $3 of benefit. He also discussed the benefits of their current and proposed energy efficiency incentive programs. Check out his presentation.
  • Doug Sitton of Sitton Energy Solutions wrapped up the panel with an overview of how his company & his customers have  benefited from energy efficiency. Not only are most customers typically seeing 25 – 25% energy reductions with 5 year paybacks, but Doug also anticipates that we have just begun to see the benefits of energy efficiency in this region.

Thanks to all who attended!

Call for Proposals: 2016 Educational Programs

Date Posted: August 5th, 2015

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter 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.

Call for Proposals Issued August 5, 2015.
Proposals due by Sunday, September 20, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST.
Selected Speakers notified by November 6, 2015.

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
  • 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!



Check out our 2014 Annual Report!

Date Posted: July 30th, 2015









We believe that everyone deserves to live, work and learn in a green and healthy building. Our volunteers and staff work to advance the quality of life in our region – educating about green building, advocating for healthier environments, and establishing partnerships to improve our built environment. Every year, we make progress towards the goal of transforming the built environment. And 2014 was no exception. We are excited to share our 2014 Annual Report with you!

Here are a few highlights from last year:

  • 180 volunteers contributed over 3,500 hours to our mission!
  • Wrapped up the inaugural Green Schools Quest. 24 school / mentor teams had nearly 3,000 staff & student participants and reached over 15,000 students, staff and community members! The second round of the Quest (2014-2015) paired 38 schools with 40 mentors.
  • Launched the 25 x 2o Voluntary Energy Benchmarking Campaign in partnership with the St. Louis Regional Chamber, the St. Louis High Performance Building Initiative, and Missouri Interfaith Power & Light.
  • 30 Chapter Volunteers completed our 2nd LEED Community Project, giving over 550 hours to the greening of the Dennis and Judith Jones Visitor & Education Center in Forest Park.
  • Awarded 10 complimentary energy audits for congregations in partnership with Missouri Interfaith Power & Light.

Thanks to our leadership, committees, volunteers, members, sponsors and donors for making 2014 a success!

You can view or download the entire 2014 Annual Report as a PDF or as an online magazine.

4th Annual Photo Contest submission deadline extended!

Date Posted: July 24th, 2015

2015 PHOTO CONTEST extendedThe USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter’s Marketing Committee invites you to participate in the 4th Annual Photo Contest! For the first time, photographers are invited to share images around a theme – from recycling to upcycling.

The contest is open to all residents of the Missouri Gateway Chapter territory (territory map). The deadline has been extended until September 30, 2015 at 11:59 pm. 

First, Second and Third Prizes will include restaurant gift cards, prints of the winning photos, a free year of USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter membership, and more!

To submit your photo, check out the photo contest rules, then email it (in jpg form) to

Nominations open for 2016 Board Members!

Date Posted: July 15th, 2015

USGBC-Missouri Gateway is seeking nominations for three (3) Board Members. Nominations are due by midnight on Monday, August 17, 2015.

This year we are changing our process. Nominations will be accepted through August 17, 2015. In place of elections, an open comment period will allow members to provide feedback on nominees. The Governance Committee will use feedback along with eligibility requirements and a matrix of leadership needs to determine a slate to present to the board.

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:

BUILDING THE HEARTLAND Discount for Chapter Members

Date Posted: June 22nd, 2015

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Now in its third year, BUILDING THE HEARTLAND (formerly BuildingChicago/Greening the Heartland) is the major conference and trade expo serving architects, engineers, contractors, property owners, real estate developers, government officials and community organizations in the Midwest. This year the conference will take place August 31 – September 2 at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza in Chicago, Illinois.

The conference will offer two keynote speakers and one keynote panel in addition to approximately 50 accredited learning sessions that will offer AIA CES or Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) learning units — and, in most cases, both. The program will feature four tracks: Technology, Owner/Developer/Occupant Panels, High-Performance Buildings, and Green Building Tools & Strategies.This unique, three-day event is sponsored by SGC Horizon’s Building Design+Construction magazine, AIA Chicago, and USGBC-Illinois.

Members of USGBC Chapters can register for $260 until August 1, discounted from $325. Members of the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter can contact Johanna Schweiss for the coupon code. Learn more and register here.