Archive for June, 2012

Green Building Tour: Embassy Suites St. Louis – Downtown & The Laurel Apartments

View a list of program attendees (PDF)

Join us for a tour of the LEED registered Embassy Suites St. Louis – Downtown and Laurel Apartments! The evening will begin with complimentary Pi pizza, followed by a brief overview of the project deliveredby developer Amos Harris, and conclude with tours of the building led by members of the project team.

Built in two phases in 1906 and 1919 as the Grand Leader Department Store, the building covers an entire city block along St. Louis’ Washington Avenue corridor.  After nearly a century of use as a major headquarters and retail destination, the building sat vacant for a decade before being completely renovated and converted into an urban mixed-use facility with 205 residential apartments and 212 hotel guestrooms.  Over 95% of the building’s walls, floors, and roof were incorporated into the renovation, including the courtyard and stairs installed in the 1980’s renovation as part of the St. Louis Center Mall.  However the renovation removed one key element of the mall conversion, the 3-story connector bridge over Washington Ave., restoring the prominence of the streetscape and urban corridor.  Being in the heart of downtown St. Louis, the building, renamed as The Laurel, is particularly well suited as a mixed-use renovation.  The adjacent MX development and the other development downtown creates a truly walkable neighborhood with access to employment, shopping, services, and entertainment, while the project provides public transportation access at nearly sixteen times the threshold set by LEED.  Other elements of a comprehensive transportation management plan include bicycle storage with access to bicycle route maps accessed through mobile devices, enhanced pedestrian elements in the streetscape, a car share program, and an on-site electric vehicle charging station.

The renovation of The Laurel has attempted to create a more sustainable building by improving the building envelope with additional insulation, new low-e insulated glazing, and a white roof to reduce the urban heat island effect.  Given the size and perimeter length of the building, the water loop serving individual heat pumps at each apartment or guestroom will efficiently transfer heat from areas requiring cooling to areas requiring heating.  Since the initial construction was at the turn of the last century, the renovation included extensive hazardous materials abatement through brownfield tax credits, and the new construction has attempted to keep this clean indoor environment with low-VOC paint and flooring systems, an exhaust system with pressurized corridors, and operable windows.  Hidden efforts to increase sustainability include high recycled content structural steel, light gauge metal framing and gypsum board systems, low-flow toilet and other plumbing fixtures, and refrigerant systems with low ozone depletion potential.

Submitted for approval of 1 GBCI CE Hour and 1 AIA/CES CEH

Tuesday, July 10, 2012
5:30–6:15pm – Registration & Networking
6:15–7:30pm – Brief Presentation & Tours

Embassy Suites St. Louis – Downtown
610 North 7th Street, St. Louis, MO  63101 map

Traveling via Metrolink is encouraged; the building is located near the Convention Center Metrolink Stop. If driving, parking will be available for a discounted rate of $2/car at the 7th & St. Charles St. Louis Parking garage (Entrance and exit is on the 7th street side.) Cash or credit card will be accepted; discount passes for parking will be available at the event registration table.

Free for USGBC-Missouri Gateway and Full-time Students;
$20 for Non-members.

Click here and then click on the “Register” button on the left side of that page.

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

Thanks to Our Event Sponsors!

Bell Electric

BSI Constructors, Inc.

Embassy Suites

Pi Pizzeria

Trivers Associates

St. Louis Regional Sustainable Communities–Round 2 Community Planning Area Meetings

We invite you to join East-West Gateway Council of Governments, FOCUS St. Louis, and 10 other regional partners in an effort to coordinate housing, transportation, environmental and economic development planning across the St. Louis Metropolitan Area. This effort will envision a better future for St. Louis that is sustainable, equitable, and livable.

Part of this regional planning process focuses on eleven Community Planning Areas (CPAs) selected as representative communities across our region. This is the second round of a year-long engagement process that includes four meetings in each CPA. Our success relies on robust citizen participation. We encourage residents, business owners, and public leaders in these communities to attend Round 2 to provide feedback and participate in discussions on the ideas that emerged from Round 1.

Click here for more information on meetings in your area.

Click here for more updates on the Regional Plan for Sustainable Development (RPSD).

Five Questions with Chapter Chair Marc Lopata

The St. Louis Post Dispatch caught up with president of Clayton-based Microgrid Energy and current chair of USGBC-Missouri Gateway, Marc Lopata, to discuss Microgrid’s work reducing water and energy use at Busch Stadium, USGBC-Missouri Gateway’s partnership with the Regional Chamber and Growth Association to increase the amount of office space in the St. Louis area that’s independently certified as energy- or water-efficient by 50 percent, and these five questions:

Why is it important for the St. Louis area to have office space that’s certified as energy- or water-efficient?

What’s the biggest challenge in achieving the goal that’s been laid out?

What some common types of projects undertaken to make office space more energy efficient?

How quick is payback for building owners?

Beside solar panels, what kind of work has Microgrid done at Busch Stadium to make it more efficient?

Click here to read the entire article.

A Night of Energy Modeling Featuring the Wizard of SD

Click here to view the presentation
Accompanying handout
View a list of attendees

In partnership with the St. Louis Chapter of the American Society of Heating, Cooling and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)

The design process for extraordinary green buildings starts in the pre-design and schematic design phases.  Basic elementary decisions in these phases of a project have a far greater capacity to contribute to the overall energy efficiency of a building than the active systems that are subsequently integrated.   Yet, many of today’s “green” buildings would be considered energy hogs if evaluated strictly from a “passive” perspective.   Unknowingly, many architects and designers continue to rely on the mechanical design to make their buildings energy efficient (instead of low energy intensity) and indirectly expect them to compensate for poor schematic design decisions. Does the proverbial phrase “lipstick on pig” come to mind?

This program is more than the routine PowerPoint and talking head presentation – it is a lively and interactive demonstration in the use of energy modeling software and how it can be used to influence early design decisions.  The program will begin with a demonstration of how to access and download this free public software and then a basic review of the eQuest Schematic Design Wizard component including its capabilities and limitations. Next, a case study demonstrates how the software is used to shape an actual case study building. The session concludes with interactive participation from the audience. This is where the improvising portion begins. Two teams are selected from the audience to participate in a friendly design competition for a new building demonstrating how this software can assist designers with building geometry, building orientation, daylighting, insulation, glazing, etc. and how the accrual of informed design decisions can lay the foundation for truly low energy intensity, high performance green buildings.

SPEAKER: Kim E Shinn, PE, LEED Fellow, CxA, BEMP
Kim Shinn is a registered professional mechanical engineer and a Principal and Senior Sustainability Consultant with TLC Engineering for Architecture. He has been actively involved in the design or commissioning of over eighty LEED registered and certified projects. Kim has helped create the Green Guide for Health Care (GGHC) and is on the LEED committees to draft application guides for laboratories, healthcare and campus combined heat/cooling/ power systems. Kim has led an active role with USGBC on both national and local levels, including co-founding the USGBC-Middle Tennessee Chapter and serving as a member of the national USGBC Board of Directors from 2006 through 2009.

Approved for 1 GBCI CE Hour and 1 AIA/CES CEH


Tuesday, August 14, 2012
5:30–6:15pm – Registration & Networking,
6:15–7:30pm – Formal Presentation

Sheet Metal Workers Local 36,
2319 Chouteau, Suite 200,
St. Louis, MO 63103 map

Free for USGBC-Missouri Gateway and ASHRAE-St. Louis Members as well as Full-time Students; $20 for Non-members.

REGISTERClick here to register online.

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

Thanks to our Event Sponsors!

CxE Group

Ross & Baruzzini


St. Louis Beacon Article on “DIY Sustainability” Event

Check out the St. Louis Beacon article about our DIY Sustainability event held on June 12th! The event was very successful with 6 unique presentations and over 120 attendees. Presenters talked about how individuals can  perform a home energy audit, install a green roof, convert any kind of car into an electric car, grow/harvest tilapia in their garage using aquaponics, resuse/upcycle old wood into wonderful furniture, and how to have the most fun and success when dumpster diving  in St. Louis!
Many thanks to our wonderful presenters, to Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. for sponsoring the event, as well as to St. Louis Green and St. Louis Earth Day for partnering with us for this event!

Green Homes & Great Health Festival Seeks Exhibitors, Sponsors, Presenters







11th Annual Green Homes & Great Health Festival
September 29th, 2012 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Garden

EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden is looking for green product and service providers to celebrate sustainable living with exhibits, presentations, local foods and beverages, and children’s activities, all designed to educate the public on the benefits of healthy and sustainable lifestyle choices.

CALL FOR CREATIVE PRESENTERS & PROPOSALS! At this year’s Festival, we are taking the PRESENTATIONS out of the classrooms and into the big tents TO THE PEOPLE! Proposals are due July 20, 2012. Learn more.

Know someone who might be a good Festival sponsor, exhibitor, vendor, or presenter? Have them contact or call (314) 577-9473 x6308 for details.



LEED 2012 Ballot Delayed until June 2013

In response to overwhelming feedback from USGBC members, core LEED users and engaged stakeholders, the LEED 2012 ballot will be delayed until June 1, 2013. Because of this date change LEED 2012 is being renamed LEED v4.

Why the change?

This change is 100% in response to helping stakeholders fully understand and embrace the next big step for LEED. USGBC plans to do everything they can to ensure that the market is ready for LEED v4 because it represents progress on both carbon reduction and human health improvements.

Important Dates

  • Oct. 2 – Dec. 10: LEED v4 Fifth Public Comment Period Open
  • Nov. 14 – 16: Greenbuild Conference & Expo
  • June 1, 2013: LEED v4 Ballot Period Open

For more information, read the letter from Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chairman of U.S. Green Building Council.