Archive for June, 2011

July Program Speaker on KDHX Earthworms

July Program speaker Dan Chiras was interviewed on the June 27 broadcast of KDHX’s Earthworms.  The broadcast begins with a focus on the benefits of supporting local business with Build St. Louis and closes with a discussion on natural building materials with Dan Chiras.  Listen to the archived show by clicking here.  And be sure to attend the July 12 “Success with Natural Building Materials” program where, as Earthworms’ host Jean Ponzi says, you’ll find terrific expertise, great visual presentations, and intriguing subject!

Local Action: Richmond Heights Partners with Focus

By Jane Allen Jones

For the last five weeks, Teresa Robinson has been hard at work creating the first Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Inventory in RichmondHeights’ history.  She represents a first for Focus St. Louis, too – the first paid intern in the Focus Environmental Internship Program.  The goal of the internship program is to provide resources to local municipalities that have committed to completing a GHG emissions inventory for their community and using that information to draft a plan to reduce those emissions, a Climate Action Plan.

I sat down with intern Teresa, Assistant City Manager Bola Akande and City Public Relations Coordinator Irene Johnson to hear more about the process underway in the city.  Bola stated that sustainability seeds have been germinating in the community for a number of years.  In 2008, the City Council passed an ordinance creating  The Friends of the City of Richmond Heights, a non-profit citizens group committed to promoting sustainable practices and cultural enrichment in the community. With a strong partnership between that group and city leadership, many good things have happened.

The goals of the partnership have been to find ways to improve efficiency of the local government, improve quality of life for citizens and reduce the environmental impact of city operations by implementing sustainable practices.  In Bola’s view, it is all about being good stewards of the city’s tax dollars and resources.  With these goals in mind, Richmond Heights was one of the first communities to introduce single stream recycling (reducing land fill costs), have partnered with five other communities to buy recycled printer paper (saving procurement costs), and have partnered with 14 other communities in a grant-funded project that will allow them to install more energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems (saving operating expenses).

Completion of the GHG inventory will help pinpoint where they have the greatest opportunities to further reduce energy expenses while reducing emissions from the air.  The results of the GHG analysis will then allow them to draft a multi-year plan for attaining those savings.  Bola said that without the Focus Environmental Internship Program, this effort would not have been possible this year. Budgetary and staffing constraints would have prevented it. But with the internship program, Richmond Heights was able to proceed.

Over the next eight weeks, intern Teresa will continue her work with all of the Richmond Heights departments to complete the GHG inventory.  She stated that the process has gone very smoothly so far, thanks to a great communications effort headed by City Manager Amy Hamilton and the city’s public relations coordinator.  The communications support ensured that all department managers understand the importance of the work Teresa is undertaking.  Cooperation has been terrific as a result.  Following the completion of the GHG inventory, their sites are set on developing the Climate Action Plan by year end.  At that point, Richmond Heights will be on their way to continuing their work to be good stewards of the environment and their financial resources by implementing the Climate Action Plan, step by step.


Solar for Residential Architects & Builders – Free Seminar

Homebuilders are increasingly incorporating green elements into their homes, in response to customer demand, and as a marketing differentiator. Solar is one of the least understood of the green elements that can be utilized. This seminar will focus on Solar PV and Thermal for homes, including design requirements, incentives, cost/financing options, benefits, and technology options.

When – Tuesday, June 28, 2011
4:00 – 6:00 PM (Networking at 4pm; presentation at 4:30)

Where – Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest Ave., 63143

Who should attend? – Architects and Builders with a residential focus

Fee – Free!

Click here to RSVP

Creating a 21st Century Communications Economy: A Path Forward to Low-Carbon Economic Growth – June 28

The Carbon Disclosure Project is an independent not-for-profit organization with the largest database of primary corporate climate change and water information in the world.  Attend this free lecture by a lecture by Paul Dickinson, Chairman of The Carbon Disclosure Project, and learn how businesses and organizations are working to improve performance and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to increase their economic growth.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 28 from 7:30 – 9:00 AM

WHERE: RCGA Regional Collaboration Center
211 N. Broadway—Suite 1300 (63102)
St. Louis, MO 63102

RSVP: Sherri Bailey at or (314) 444-1134

This event is presented by AT&T, St. Louis RCGA and the Missouri Botanical Garden.

For more information, click here.

Passive Home Building

Passive Home Building is cutting edge in the US, proven in Europe, and a necessary innovation in home construction as we look to a future without reliance on fossil fuels. In this presentation, attendees will be introduced to the Passive House Building Standard, covering the key topics below.


  • Describe the history of Passive Home Building which began in Germany in the 90’s
  • Explain the Passive House Standards, which include all aspects of the building construction
  • Explore important insights, including the building science behind the standards
  • Examine Case Studies of Passive Homes already in use in Europe and the US

2 GBCI CE Hours


Gary Steps, Founder and President, Butterfly Energy Works
Gary founded Butterfly Energy Works in 2004. Over the last six years, he has become recognized as a green leader in the St. Louis area, both as consultant to green building projects and as a test pilot for emerging green technologies.  He has completed the intensive Passive House Consultant Training and attended the National Passive House in Portland. Gary is a member the Passive House Alliance and founder of the Heartland Passive House Alliance Chapter.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Room 129 at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Commerce Bank Center for Science Education, 4651 Shaw Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63110.  map
*Park and enter from the WEST side of the building.

$30 for USGBC-Missouri Gateway Members
$50 for Non-members

Click here to visit our Event Registration page.  Scroll down and click the “Register” button under the Passive Home Building event listing.

QUESTIONS? Contact USGBC-Missouri Gateway staff by email or phone (314) 577-0225.


LEED Green Associate Exam Prep Course

Distinguish yourself with a LEED Green Associate credential!

Passing the Green Associate exam will allow you to market your knowledge of the preeminent standards in the green building industry, and is the first step in becoming a LEED Professional.

The LEED Green Associate credential is designed for professionals who want to demonstrate green building expertise in non-technical fields of practice. This credential attests to basic knowledge of green design, construction, and operations.

USGBC-Missouri Gateway’s two full-day (16 hours total) LEED Green Associate Exam Prep course is designed to prepare participants for the LEED Green Associate exam.  Skilled instructors will provide an introduction to LEED, discuss methods of sustainable project delivery and green building principals, and offer test taking tips.

Subject areas covered include:

  • Introduction and Core Concepts
  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Materials and Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Test Taking Tips
  • Practice Exam

Friday, August 5 and Monday, August 8, 2011
8:30am-5pm both days
Please arrive and check in between 8:00-8:30am

Masonry Institute of St. Louis
1429 S. Big Bend Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63117

$200.00 for USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Members
$250.00 for Non-members
*Textbooks costs are NOT included in course fee
*Course fee includes continental breakfast and lunch


1) Green Building and LEED Core Concepts, USGBC
2) USGBC LEED Green Associate Study Guide, USGBC
Both of which may be purchased on the USGBC Publicationspage of the USGBC website. The price is reduced if purchased as a set ($100 for employees of national USGBC member companies; $120 for non-members). Please plan for shipping time. A limited number of textbooks will be available for purchase from USGBC-Missouri Gateway at the registration desk on the first day of class for $100/set; to purchase these sets interested participants MUST reserve copies by contacting USGBC-Missouri Gateway staff and receive confirmation from USGBC-Missouri Gatewaystaff that the texts have been reserved for them.
3) LEED Green Associate Candidate Handbook (free download) and references outlined on page 12 of the handbook.

Students must read and understand the steps needed to enroll for and take the exam, including meeting exam eligibility requirements.  The instructors will only address this as a broad overview.  Students will receive a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the course which may be submitted to meet eligibility requirements for the LEED Green Associate exam.

Class size is limited and pre-registration is required.
Click here
to visit our Event Registration page, then click the“Register” button under the LEED Green Associate Exam Prep Course – Summer.

Jaime Kelley, LEED AP is an environmental engineer with 15 years of experience in sustainable urban planning and project management. She is a strategic, innovative thinker who brings sustainable development and design expertise to the implementation and management of both small and large projects. Jaime offers experience in energy efficiency and renewable energy applications through her past leadership on several LEED-registered buildings.

Lois Sechrist
, LEED AP ID+C is a sustainability consultant with 25 years of experience in interior architecture and project management.  Lois was the project manager for two LEED-certified projects, has served on the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Green Schools Subcommittee and is an active member of the University City Green Practices Committee.

This exam prep course does not guarantee students will pass the LEED Green Associate exam.  Additional time outside of class will be required for reading the required textbooks.  Registering and taking the LEED Green Associate exam, and any associated costs, are not included in this course.

This course prepares participants for the Green Associate credentialing exam as well as the first part of the LEED AP Specialty credential. The LEED AP Specialty exams are comprised of two parts: Green Associate & the Specialty portion.

QUESTIONS? Contact USGBC-Missouri Gateway staff by email or phone (314) 577-0225.

Thank You to our Event Sponsor!


Want to Help Joplin?

Do you want to use your hands and feet and make a physical contribution to help with tornado recovery efforts in Joplin? Then join us!

Often natural disasters hit half way across the world or even halfway across the country. But Joplin is within the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter’s territory. We can and should reach out to help! Join USGBC peers and friends and head to Joplin to pitch in for a couple of days over an upcoming weekend. There’s room for plenty of volunteers through the United Way’s Missouri 211 website. Volunteer duties can vary from making sandwiches to clearing debris.

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter board members Pat Justis (St. Louis) and Buck Van Hooser (Ozarks Branch based in Springfield, MO) are working together to coordinate a group of volunteers. While dates have not yet been determined, the intent is to travel to Joplin on a Saturday morning, volunteer all afternoon and the next morning, and return Sunday afternoon.

UPDATE 6/17/11 – Chapter volunteers will travel to Joplin on July 23 – 24. Work will likely focus on debris removal.

If you or your friends would like to be a part of this effort, please contact Pat Justis by Friday, June 24 at or 314-554-4301.

2011 ECORIDE to Benefit USGBC-Missouri Gateway Scholarship Fund

Pump up your tires, grab your helmet, and join the fun at the Second Annual ECORIDE on Saturday, October 22, 2011!  Proceeds from the bike ride will benefit the Chapter’s scholarship fund. The Chapter has given out scholarships to green building & sustainability trainings over the years to support our goal of transforming every building into a green buildings.

The purpose of the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter scholarship program is to provide green building & sustainability education and training for those who normally would not have access or could not afford it.

The scholarships will help people from Missouri and Southern Illinois attend:

  • Regional Sustainability Conferences such as Greening the Heartland
  • Local professional development and continuing education
  • LEED Exam Preparation Courses offered by the Chapter

Saturday, October 22, 2011
9 am – noon (rain or shine)

The bike ride will be on the Riverfront Trail and will begin at the William A Kerr Foundation at 21 O’Fallon Street, St. Louis, MO 63102. There will be a 10 and a 25 mile route.

The William A. Kerr Foundation is located 4 blocks east of N. Broadway, and 7 blocks north of the Eads Bridge in Downtown St. Louis. The building is on the corner of O’Fallon St. and Lewis St. (Please note that N. Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd. becomes Lewis St. as it crosses Biddle St.)

Riverfront Trail Details
Map of the William A. Kerr Foundation


  • REGISTRATION: $25 per person or $60 per family
  • Or join us as a Century Rider for $100 and help our scholarship fund go further!

Registration fee includes continental breakfast, an event water bottle and lunch afterwards!

Can’t make the ride, but want to support the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Scholarship Program? Join us as a Virtual Rider!

Click here to visit our Event Registration page, then scroll down and click on the “Register” button under the ECORIDE to benefit USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Scholarship Fund event listing.

Thanks to our 2011 ECORIDE SPONSORS:

Aegis Metal Framing
Big Shark Bicycle Co.
Great Rivers Greenway
M3 Engineering
Novus International
Treanor Architects
William A. Kerr Foundation
Whole Foods 

Sponsorship Opportunities for the ECORIDE are still available. Contact Emily Andrews at 314-577-0854 for more information!


LEED APs: Obtain a Specialty Before Your Enrollment Window Closes

LEED APs without specialty, the end of your enrollment window is rapidly approaching: now is the time to add a specialty to your LEED AP credential. Enrollment is a free, voluntary, one-time process through which you can either test or complete prescriptive credential maintenance to earn the LEED AP with specialty. The staggered enrollment windows begin closing in August.

View your enrollment window by logging into your My Credentials account.

Click here for MORE INFORMATION on prescriptive CMP requirements and options.

Above & Beyond Chapter Volunteer Recognition – June

USGBC-Missouri Gateway 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. This month, we are happy to recognize Jon McGinnis, an architect at AAIC, Inc, who has served on the Chapter’s Advocacy Committee for several years!

Jon began volunteering for the Chapter by staffing our booth at a Green Homes Festival. Shortly after that he joined the Advocacy Committee. Jon has taken on a number of projects over the years. Including the following:

  • Sits on the Chapter’s Technical Committee and serves as a liaison between the Technical and Advocacy committees. As a member of the Technical Committee, Jon is developing a frame work for a web based Technical Research Network that will include resources on green building research, best practices regarding codes & standards and access to field experts.
  • Developed and distributed a survey on the Perceived Barriers of Implementing LEED. The idea for this survey came from the Green Building Marketplace area of the Chapter’s strategic plan and fell under the responsibility of the Advocacy Committee. Results of this survey will help the Chapter better serve our community by informing education, outreach and advocacy efforts. Take the survey here
  • Took on the recent task of getting the Chapter’s LEED Regionalism Task Force up and running. This task force will determine the LEED Regional Priority Credits within the Chapter territory for the next update of LEED coming in 2012. In this role, Jon has been communicating regularly with national USGBC staff and recruiting members of the task force.

Thanks Jon for your continued efforts to move green building and LEED forward in our community!

See previous Above and Beyond honorees here.