Archive for August, 2011

Net-Zero Case Studies

View Presentations:
“Growing District, Growing Minds” School Facilities Program Planning and Designs for Warren County Public Schools
“Zero Carbon: To Zero and Beyond” HOK

view a list of the program attendees

Net-zero energy and net-zero emissions buildings are becoming more practical and increasingly sought after. Join us in a discussion to explore strategies to achieve as well as the impact of net-zero buildings from both a designer and building owner’s perspective.

Net-Zero Emissions Speculative Office Building
in Midtown St. Louis
Speaker:Tim Gaidis, Sustainable Design Practice Leader at HOK
To design affordable, carbon-neutral buildings, architects need to understand the market opportunities and barriers and develop new design processes. With these goals in mind, an integrated design team undertook a 10-month design charrette to determine whether they could design a market-rate, zero-emissions prototype for a Class-A commercial office building.  Carbon emissions being the single most important factor that must be addressed to mitigate climate change, the design team focused on net-zero emissions rather than net-zero energy. The goal was to develop new design processes that make zero carbon buildings widely achievable. This presentation will explore a net-zero prototype designed to fit comfortably onto a potentially developable midtown St Louis site.

The Nation’s First Net-Zero Energy Elementary School
Speaker: Joanie Hendricks, Public Relations Coordinator at Warren County Public Schools, joining us remotely
Warren County Public Schools in Bowling Green, KY is the home of the nation’s first Net Zero school building. The 77,000-square foot building operates at 18 kBTUs per square foot. Limited energy consumption coupled with revenue from solar panel production allows the elementary school to operate without cost. The Net Zero School milestone is just one of many accomplishments of WCPS that has also offset $6 million in energy costs since 2003 by changing behaviors and mindsets.


  • Explore the context of and importance of pursuing net zero facility development.
  • Define and examine differences of net zero energy and net zero emissions facilities.
  • Identify the benefits and challenges of net zero office development through a prototype design.
  • Describe how a school district honed its building designs to achieve a school capable of producing as much energy as it consumes to achieve the nation’s first Net Zero school building.
  • Discuss how a school district continues to seek new methods to enhance its massive energy-savings initiatives, buildings and programs.

CONTINUING EDUCATION: Submitted for approval of 1 GBCI CE Hour and 1 AIA/CES Learning Unit

WHEN: Tuesday, September 13, 2011
5:30 – 6:15 pm – Registration & Networking, 6:15 – 7:30 pm – Formal Presentation

WHERE: Alberici Headquarters, 8800 Page Ave, St. Louis MO 63114  map & parking instructions

FEE:  Free for USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Members and Full-time Students; $20 for Non-members

REGISTERClick here to visit our Event Registration page.  Scroll down and click the “Register” button under the Net Zero Case Studies event listing.

QUESTIONS? Contact USGBC-Missouri Gateway staff at or (314) 577-0225.

Thanks to our Program Sponsors!

French Gerleman

Microgrid Energy


Sustainability and the Built Environment of the St. Louis Region

USGBC-Missouri Gateway is excited to partner with the St. Louis Artists’ Guild on the upcoming exhibit, Sustainability and the Built Environment of the St. Louis Region.

Exhibit Opening is Friday, November 11 from 6 – 8 pm at the St. Louis Artists’ Guild (Two Oak Knoll Park in Clayton, MO – 63105). This is the Chapter’s monthly program for November and no RSVP is required! Please join us!

Sustainability and the Built Environment of the St. Louis Region is an all-encompassing, all-media exhibition exploring where we stand, as a culture of consumption, and where we may be headed in the future.  It is part of the Artists’ Guild Aggregate Exhibit Series, a group of six exhibitions in which artists, architects, and designers examine our culture of consumption and possible solutions for establishing long-term ecological balance.

Several different approaches to the themes of consumption, conservation, and sustainable living will be included in this exhibition, including Visual Art, Architecture and Design and Community Projects.

This exhibition is juried by Chris Jordan.

Friday, November 11, 2011 · 6-8 pm

November 11- January 6, 2012

Click here for more information!


“Sustainability 2011 Award” Will Honor Three Artists

The “Sustainability 2011 Award,” conceived by USGBC-Missouri Gateway for this premier exhibition, recognizes architecture as art and artists as champions of sustainability. Three participating artists will be honored with the “Sustainability 2011 Award,” based on their expression of sustainability in the following categories:

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy & Atmosphere
  • Materials & Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Innovation & Design
  • Regional Priority
  • Awareness & Education

These award criteria have been adapted from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification system developed in 2000 by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The “Sustainability 2011 Award” is not a commentary on the artistic or purely aesthetic value of the artwork. The focus, instead, is on the artwork as an expression of sustainability efforts and opportunities.

Chapter Executive Director Renews LEED Credential

Several years ago, I took the leap and registered for the LEED AP Exam. I took the LEED-NC exam. I’m not a building professional. I don’t design and construct buildings for a living, so passing the test required a lot of studying and memorization. I crammed all that information into my brain knowing the LEED reference guide could be my crutch after I passed the exam. And I did pass – by the skin of my teeth.

I took the LEED AP exam before things changed – before there was a LEED Green Associate credential and before you had to have experience on a LEED project to be eligible for a LEED AP exam. You can bet that I opted into to the Credential Maintenance Program two years ago when it kicked off. I may never be eligible for a LEED AP exam since I don’t work on LEED projects! Plus the Credential Maintenance program keeps me up-to-date on the LEED rating system and green building technologies.

If I ever do work on a LEED project, it will likely be an existing building project, so I opted into the LEED AP O+M specialty. In the last two years, I collected more than the 30 required hours – and more than the 6 required LEED specific credits! But I never sat down to submit them through GBCI’s online interface. I was procrastinating. First I planned to submit them before vacation. That quickly became after vacation. A week ago, I finally sat down and submitted the continuing education hours. It took much less time and was much less painful that I imagined. And I’d like to share a few tips from my experience:

  • Take some time to learn how GBCI’s Credential Maintenance Program (CMP) works. GBCI has a lot of great resources on their website, including a CMP Wizard. The USGBC-MO Gateway’s How to Earn CMP Continuing Ed Hours is also very useful. Plus, we won an award for this at the 2010 Greening the Heartland!
  • Organize your hours before you start submitting. Figure out what CE hours will work in which category. Once you upload your hours, you cannot make changes. You can only delete and re-enter. It’s a drag to re-enter!
  • Save everything. Save all your Certificates of Attendance, e-mails about events you attended, conference programs, etc. Having this documentation is invaluable. I went back to Greening the Heartland and Greenbuild programs from 2009 and 2010 to grab educational session descriptions – typed most of them verbatim. And all my CEs were approved. USGBC-MO Gateway sends out program evaluations within a week of our programs. I filed all these in a special Outlook folder because our Membership & Education Coordinator, Hope Breidenbach, provides excellent instructions in each evaluation on exactly how to submit your CE hours and even provides handy suggestions on what category the CE hours best fit. Take advantage of Hope’s hard work and keep these e-mails handy!
  • Attend USGBC-MO Gateway programs! We’ve been USGBC Education Provider since June 2010. This means that nearly all our monthly programs and other educational sessions starting in June 2010 can be submitted as Professional Development / Continuing Education CEs. And you and submit an unlimited number of these types of CEs! I earned over half of the 30 required CEs from attending Chapter programs, including my 6 LEED specific CEs from this summer’s LEED EB O+M Credit By Credit Review Lunch n’ LEED. Chapter members can attend monthly evening programs for FREE and other educational programs at a discount. It’s the deal of a lifetime! Can’t remember what Chapter programs you attended? No problem – we post a list of Program Attendees for all monthly evening programs. See this year’s Programs here. For 2009 and 2010, check our Program Archive.

Have questions about CMP reporting? Visit GBCI’s CMP Toolkit. Or contact USGBC-MO Gateway staff.

And if you’re looking for additional GBCI CE Hours before your reporting deadline (note that the reporting deadline is different depending on when you opted in), check out the following ideas.

  • Volunteer Committee Participation. You can earn up to 4 CE hours per reporting period for participating in a Chapter committee – .5 CE hours per meeting attendance or 2 CE hours for holding a leadership position. Learn more about USGBC-MO Gateway Committees here.
  • Upcoming Chapter Programs and Events. See what we have on our schedule – monthly programs, Lunch n’ LEED webinars, and in-depth program on LED lighting. See our event calendar for more information. And remember, Chapter members can attend for free or at a discounted rate.
  • Self-Study. Earn up to 5 hours per reporting period for independent review of material relevant to green building or LEED. Many building industry and green building publications offer CE hours through self-study. Many for free! Check out the Cascadia Green Building Council’s Trim Tab magazine as one example.It’s a free on-line magazine. Their summer issue includes an interview with Margaret Wheatley on the power of community, stories on child-centered cities, disconnecting from sewers, and the Hawai’i Preparatory Academy’s Living Building.
  • Live Presentations. Do you attend other building-related educational programs or lectures? They may qualify for GBCI CE’s, even if they aren’t produced by a USGBC Education Provider. You can earn up to 5 CE hours per reporting period for attending a one-time events where a presenter delivers green building or LEED content to an in-person audience, or through broadcast technology in real-time.
  • Environmental Building News offers on-line Continuing Education for free to EBN members and subscribers. You or your company may already subscribe to this leading green building publication. Learn more here.

Show colleagues, clients and others that you mean business when it comes to green building education! Get out there and earn your GBCI CEs and maintain your LEED Credential. If I can do it, you can too!

– Submitted by Emily Andrews, LEED AP O+M and USGBC-Missouri Gateway Executive Director

Chapter Volunteers Help Out in Joplin, MO

On July 23 – 24, under the solid leadership of Pat Justis, USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter members and volunteers headed Joplin, Missouri to assist in general clean-up efforts. Eleven of us arrived at the well organized volunteer center and were quickly put to work clearing debris and organizing clothing.

Chapter Volunteers before work started

The news coverage outside of Joplin has not conveyed the magnitude of the destruction that took place or the ongoing needs of the people of Joplin. Try to imagine neighborhoods about three times the size of Forest Park simply scraped off the ground. For blocks and blocks, nothing remains. Wind speeds exceeded 300 mph – some of the highest winds every recorded. Sewer pipes were lifted out of the soil. A concrete framed seven-story hospital shifted 6” off its vertical, severing every joint and connection in the structure.

Today, debris piles line streets waiting for FEMA-sponsored trucks. The highest pile I saw was over three stories tall; matchstick ruins of people’s homes and businesses. All told, over 8,000 structures were deconstructed in about 12 minutes, 170 people lost their lives, and upwards of 20,000 people were displaced. The need for volunteers will likely go on into next spring.

Our group was surprised the that loss of life was not greater given the scope of destruction. At the 200 unit apartment complex we worked at, every building’s roof and second story was simply pushed off the first and strewn in the adjacent yards. How did only 1 person die out of 200 families in buildings that simply blew apart? Stories of real miracles abounded and I for one have no idea how so many peopled simply walked away from that evening. Our efforts at removing and sorting debris at times seemed futile given the need. We recycled metal and construction debris, much of which was being reused to make small sheds and temporary shelters. Some of us collected personal items- toys, photos, and medical records of past occupants. The Red Cross was leading an effort to connect personal items with their owners, most of whom lost all of their belongings.

Chapter Volunteers after working all weekend –
way to lend a hand!

Larger questions remain. Clean up is far from over. What to do with the remaining land is in limbo. Property values are baseless after so many people have moved away and the City has no idea if it will be solvent in a year for lack of tax revenue. Brand new schools were destroyed. This fall, children will be attending high school in an abandoned big box shell.

All given, it was an eye opening and educational trip. We helped in the clean up effort but much remains to be done. Our neighbors in Joplin will need help for months to come.

– Submitted by Chris Manzo, Manzo Architects and USGBC-MO Gateway Advocacy Committee Member

***** *****

USGBC-MO Gateway will likely organize additional trips to Joplin to assist with clean up. Please contact if you’re interested in being notified about the next trip.