Author Archive

Sustainable is Attainable

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U.S. Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter is pleased to introduce a new pilot program to our St. Louis region: Green & Efficient Buildings Are Better for St. Louis Neighborhoods! We have partnered with New Missionary Baptist Church, Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU), and St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO) to help make this program successful.

The program is made possible with funding, in part, by the Gateway Regional Environment Fund (GREF). This fund is managed by the St. Louis Community Foundation and seeks to fund projects in the St. Louis metro area that have an end goal of making the region more environmentally sustainable.  

With our specialty at USGBC-MGC being buildings, we proposed a program to focus on making building energy efficiency updates more equitable and accessible for congregations, non-profits, and small businesses. These building types are often overlooked for programs and funding that help increase the energy efficiency of the buildings they operate. We want to support these entities in leading the fight against energy waste, air pollution, and climate change. Additionally, we would like to help these organizations and businesses save money on energy bills. 

According to the City of St. Louis 2018 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Report, building energy use is responsible for 65% of the greenhouse gas emissions produced in the St. Louis region. The other major GHG contributors follow far behind, with transportation at 17% and industry at 15%. This energy percentage is higher than the overall average building energy use in the U.S., which is 40%. By reducing building energy use, we can drastically reduce emissions in our region.

Our goal for this pilot program is to assist congregations, non-profits, and small businesses in becoming heroes in the fight against climate change. We also want to secure savings on utility bills, so those savings can be allocated elsewhere to better support the mission, vision, and communities each organization serves. The program is slated to roll-out over the 2021 calendar year in three phases. 

Phase I: Current Phase

We are researching what has worked best for programs like this in other cities. This will be an ongoing effort. We are also holding information sessions and recruiting participants for the program. By the end of this phase, we hope to have roughly ten dedicated participants, each with a point person we can be in continual contact with for this program. 

Phase II: Mid-to-late Summer – Fall 2021

This phase begins in June or July, after we have confirmed the participating organizations. We will have a volunteer or intern working with each organization to gather historical utility information and begin the process of benchmarking. Benchmarking is essential in being able to track and assess energy usage. This will allow us to determine the most effective energy efficiency measures to focus on improving.  

Phase III: Fall 2021 – December 2021

The final phase of this pilot program will take place in the fall when we will focus on implementing energy efficiency measures that benchmarking has identified as the most effective. This will depend on the particular building. We will start with no and low-cost opportunities to save energy. And we will also research funding for larger-scale energy efficiency upgrades together, with the organizations’ point person and the volunteer or intern they were paired with in phase II.

If you are part of a congregation, non-profit, or small business in the St. Louis area, please fill out this interest form and we will be in contact with you. For more information, be sure to take a look at our info session slides: here

As our friends at MCU say, “sustainable is attainable.” We hope you’ll join us. 

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Environmental Injustice in STL

Click here to view list of attendees (PDF).

Click here for the link to the recording.

Environmental Injustice in STL, an evening educational program hosted in partnership by your local US Green Building Council (USGBC) – Missouri Gateway Chapter and National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) St. Louis Gateway Professionals.


The Environmental Racism in St. Louis report calls out environmental racism as—“the disproportionate impact of environmental hazards on people of color” —in St. Louis. While these disparities have been part of the long-standing discriminatory and profit-driven policies and practices known too well by black St. Louisans, the issue of environmental racism has rarely been addressed in the City (Environmental Racism in St. Louis report). At USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter we are here to change that and advocate for systemic changes to remedy these injustices and enhance public health with green building practices.

On Tuesday, March 9, 2021 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm we will be hosting a panel presentation on the overall effects racism has on community health with a focus on St. Louis. Each speaker will dive into specific sectors of our local environmental racism – air pollution, racism by design – the urban heat island effect, waste and illegal dumping, and other major environmental issues that have a disparate effect on the health of minorities and other disadvantaged community members.

SPEAKERS

Reverend Rodrick Burton, Pastor, New Northside Missionary Baptist Church, Ward 27 St. Louis
Karisa Gilman-Hernandez, Community Empowerment Organizer, Dutchtown South Community Corporation
Gwen Mizell, Vice President, Sustainability & Electrification, Ameren Corporation – Missouri 
Catherine Werner, Sustainability Director, City of St. Louis

MODERATOR

Nicole Adewale, LEED AP, Principal, Founder, Director of Business Development, ABNA Corporation, active USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Education Committee member, lifetime member of NSBE St. Louis Gateway Professionals.

CONTINUING EDUCATION
Approved for 1 LU | HSW credit credit
Eligible for 1 GBCI CE self-reported hour

WHEN
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
5:30 – 7:30 pm

WHERE
Virtual event via Zoom.
Registrants will receive login details prior to the event.

FEE
Free for USGBC-MGC Member
Free for NSBE Gateway Members
Free for Full-Time Students
$10.00 for Non-members

REGISTER
Click here to register online!

SHARE
Share this event using URL, bit.ly/envinjustice and tag us @usgbcmogateway or use the hashtag, #greenbuildingsarebetter.

QUESTIONS?
Contact USGBC-Missouri Gateway staff at fbrandt@mobot.org or (314) 577-0884.

CONNECT 




LEED Safety First Pilot Credits for Re-Entering, Cleaning, and Disinfecting Buildings

Click here to view list of attendees (PDF)

A USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Evening Program
LEED Safety First Pilot Credits for Re-Entering,
Cleaning, and Disinfecting Buildings

An Overview and a View to Date of the LEED Safety First Pilot Credits

LEED Safety First Pilot Credits are provided in direct response to COVID-19. The Safety First Pilot Credits focus on the safety of those working in the building as it is re-occupied. They are based on current, known information and may change as new science emerges about the virus and how it is transmitted.

COVID-19 has made us acutely aware of our workspaces, schools, stores, and that the places where we live, are three dimensional environments influenced by how we move through those spaces and by time. Together, we will take a look at re-entering and using our spaces, the air in our spaces, what we touch in our spaces and ask, “Are we doing enough?” “Where do we go from here?” and “How do we shape and form our post-COVID ecology?”

SPEAKER

QUESTIONS?
Contact USGBC-Missouri Gateway staff at fbrandt@mobot.org or (314) 577-0884.


Kenneth J. Filarski, FAIA, LEED FELLOW, LEED AP BD+C, SITES AP, AICP, CFM, SAP+AEER, NCARB
Ken is Principal and Founder of FILARSKI/ARCHITECTURE +PLANNING+RESEARCH, an integrated architecture and planning, ecology design studio and research workshop, recognized with national, regional, and state awards in multiple disciplines, in Rhode Island.

Ken is a founding faculty member of the Roger Williams University School of Architecture, Art, and Historic Preservation. Ken is the AIA Disaster Assistance Coordinator for the State of Rhode Island and the New England Region. He is a co-author of the AIA “Re-occupancy Assessment Tool V1.0, V2.0, V3.0” addressing COVID-19 and other COVID-19 response guidelines The “Tool” has been adopted by the USGBC as one of the initial Safety First Pilot LEED Credits.

Honored by Clean Water Action as their prestigious Environmental Advocate of the Year in 2018, the award marked the only time it was given to a person in the design or construction community. Founder and Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council RI, he co-authored the historic Rhode Island Green Buildings Act with RI being the first state incorporating LEED into public law. Ken then authored and was responsible for the historic amendments to the Green Buildings Act wherein LEED for Neighborhood Development, and SITES – The Sustainable Sites Initiative became public law, Rhode Island being the only State to do so.

CONTINUING EDUCATION
Approved for 1 LU | HSW credit credit
Eligible for 1 GBCI CE self-reported hour

WHEN
Tuesday, February 09, 2021
5:30 – 7:30 pm

WHERE
Virtual event via Zoom.
Registrants will receive login details prior to the event.

FEE
Free for USGBC-MGC Members
$10.00 for Non-members

REGISTER
Click here to register online!

SHARE
Share this event using URL, bit.ly/LEEDsafetyfirst and tag us @usgbcmogateway or use the hashtag, #greenbuildingsarebetter.

CONNECT 




Apply for Living Future 21 Conference Scholarships from USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter

Invest in Your Professional Development – Apply for a LF21 Scholarship

Learn new technical information and practical solutions while building relationships with other people and organizations in the green building and sustainability industry when you attend the Living Future 2021 Inclusion + Unity Conference April 20 – 23, 2021 online everywhere.

**Multiple scholarships are available!

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter believes everyone should have access to green buildings and green communities as well as green building education! Those eligible to apply for this scholarship include:

  • Individuals of diverse backgrounds and/or in under-represented socio-economic groups. 
  • Organizations or individuals that serve under-represented socio-economic groups and/or diverse communities. 
  • Emerging Professionals with an interest in the sustainability of our region. For the purpose of this scholarship, we will consider Emerging Professionals to be recent graduates or current students. 

Scholarship applications are due Monday, March 15, 2021 by 11:59 pm. A USGBC-MGC membership is not required.

**Multiple scholarships are available!

The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) has been at the forefront of attracting leading thinkers in sustainability, regenerative design, and the built environment hailing from industries ranging from architecture and manufacturing to government and nonprofits. Come together with the shared pursuit of a socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative Living Future, and apply for a Living Future 21 Scholarship today!

The Living Future 2021 Conference, hosted online by ILFI, April 20-23, 2021 provides you the opportunity to choose from over 40 sessions (with the ability to watch all recorded content), including case studies, tours, and networking meetups. View the current schedule here.

APPLY FOR A SCHOLARSHIP TO ATTEND LF21


View the April 7-8, 2021 EcoCareers Conference, Green Shadow Scholarship Opportunity>




A Unique Pandemic Opportunity – Taking our GREEN SHADOWS to the 2021 EcoCareers Conference

Attend the NWF’s EcoCareers Conference as a USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter GREEN SHADOW!

The National Wildlife Federation’s ECOLEADERS Community is hosting an EcoCareers Conference preparing students and emerging professionals for wildlife and sustainability careers by providing information on the latest trends from analysts and employers, clarifying career enhancing credentials and academic offerings, and formulating a better understanding of the competencies employers seek in the green sector.

“Really great insight about the soft skills and was inspirational as someone who is currently struggling to find an entry into the sustainability job field.”

Students, faculty, and staff from high schools, colleges and universities and emerging professionals are invited to sign-up for our Green Shadow program and we will fully fund your attendance to the EcoCareers Conference, April 7 – 8, 2021 11:00 – 5:00 pm each day.

2021 Green Shadow applications to attend the April EcoCareers Conference are due Friday, April 2, 2021 by 11:59 pm.

**Know someone who would benefit from this EcoCareers Conference? Encourage them to sign-up for the Green Shadow program to receive FREE attendance! Share this link, bit.ly/greenshadowecocareer


View the April 20-23, 2021 Living Future 21 Conference Scholarship Opportunities>




Brickline Greenway – Connecting People, Places, and Equitable Opportunities in St. Louis

A Green Buildings Are Better @usgbcmogateway
Coffee Break with Great Rivers Greenway

The Coffee Break Friday, February 5, 2021 featured Mark Vogl, Project Manager at Great Rivers Greenway District. Leading our Green Buildings Are Better community in discussion, Mark Vogl spoke on the development and projects of the Brickline Greenway. Formerly known as the Chouteau Greenway, Brickline will connect Forest Park to the Gateway Arch and provide connections to Fairground Park and Tower Grove Park, running between Boyle Avenue and Sarah Avenue within the City of St. Louis.

View the LIVE recording here!




Connect on the Quest

Connect on the Quest is a monthly virtual gathering for school leads and mentors participating in the Green Schools Quest. It is also open to educators who are not yet participating, but would like to learn about the program and sustainability projects taking place in area schools.

It is an opportunity to:

  • Share your Green Schools Quest journey with fellow participants!
  • Hear directly from others on how they engaged students in the previous month’s challenge.
  • Explore ideas for the current and upcoming challenge themes.
  • Seek suggestions and resources to advance your school’s sustainability efforts.
  • Provide general input on the program.

The gathering will kick off with short presentations by participating schools. Are you interested in presenting? Please submit a proposal!

Rainbow of Sustainability Primer

The 2020-21 Green Schools Quest draws upon the principles outlined in the Rainbow of Sustainability. With this in mind, we recommend that Connect on the Quest participants have some familiarity with the Rainbow of Sustainability prior to the event.

Any registrants who are not yet familiar are asked to please review this flyer which provides an overview of this year’s program format and view the pre-recorded presentation: Applying the Rainbow of Sustainability prior to the event.

Connect on the Quest Schedule

  • November 10, 2020
    4:30 – 5:30 pm via Zoom
    We’ll hear from several schools about their work over the past month to engage students in the Importance of Place. Then, we’ll break into small groups to discuss how these projects might also relate to additional Rainbow of Sustainability principles that form the upcoming months’ themes.
    Register >
    Submit a proposal to present (5 minutes) by Nov 1 >
  • December 8, 2020
    4:30 – 5:30 pm via Zoom
    We’ll hear from several schools about their work over the past month to engage students in the Interconnectedness. Then, we’ll break into small groups to discuss how these projects might also relate to additional Rainbow of Sustainability principles that form the upcoming months’ themes.
    Register >
    Submit a proposal to present (5 minutes) by Dec 1 >
  • January 14, 2021
    4:30 – 5:30 pm via Zoom
    We’ll hear from several schools about their work over the past month to engage students in the Respect for Limits. Then, we’ll break into small groups to discuss how these projects might also relate to additional Rainbow of Sustainability principles that form the upcoming months’ themes.
    Register >
    Submit a proposal to present (5 minutes) by Jan 5 >
  • February 16, 2021
    4:30 – 5:30 pm via Zoom
    We’ll hear from several schools about their work over the past month to engage students in the Systems Thinking & Cycles. Then, we’ll break into small groups to discuss how these projects might also relate to additional Rainbow of Sustainability principles that form the upcoming months’ themes.
    Register >
    Submit a proposal to present (5 minutes) by Feb 5 >
  • March 16, 2021
    4:30 – 5:30 pm via Zoom
    We’ll hear from several schools about their work over the past month to engage students in the Social Justice. Then, we’ll break into small groups to discuss how these projects might also relate to additional Rainbow of Sustainability principles that form the upcoming months’ themes.
    Register >
    Submit a proposal to present (5 minutes) by March 5 >



Sacred Heart Catholic School Shines Light on Benefits of Energy Efficiency Measures

Sacred Heart Catholic School, located in Florissant, is a K-8 school specializing in Roman Catholic Education. Last summer, an LED retrofit of the entire building was executed, which has saved the school just over $11,000 in energy costs, 113,000 kWh of energy, and 93 tons of CO2.

Read the full case study here. Or check out some of our other case studies!




Advancing Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy & Electric Vehicle Policy

We are excited to officially release Advancing Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy & Electric Vehicle Policy in the St. Louis Region – a toolkit to help advocate for action and policy in the built environment that will help reduce climate change. We know this toolkit doesn’t provide all of the answers, but it sure does focus on a few of the most impactful and accessible actions – some of which have already been implemented locally.

Cities around the world have stepped up to set aggressive climate goals. Over 289 cities and counties have signed on to We Are Still In, an effort to support climate action at the local level by reducing greenhouse gas emissions 28% by 2025 and 80% by 2050, relative to a 2005 baseline. Locally, the City of St. Louis, Maplewood, and University City are signatories to We Are Still In. In October 2019, the City of St. Louis adopted an even more aggressive commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 100% by 2050. But we still have a lot of work to do to meet these goals – so let’s get to work!

Advancing Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy & Electric Vehicle Policy in the St. Louis Region focuses on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Renewable Energy Strategies, and Electric Vehicle Infrastructure. The City of St. Louis is leading on many of the strategies outlined in this toolkit, thanks to support from programs like Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge and the City Energy Project. By compiling these resources, we hope to amplify the City’s work and the work of other local governments to encourage action for climate protection.

Download Advancing Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy & Electric Vehicle Policy in the St. Louis Region and help us work towards a healthier, more equitable, more sustainable and more resilient region for all of us who live, work, learn and play here.

A big THANK YOU to Washington University in St. Louis and Bloomberg Philanthropies for their support in developing this toolkit!




Check out our 2019 Annual Report!

We are on a mission . . .

for better, greener buildings that will tackle the challenge of climate change, while creating better places for living, working, and learning. From existing buildings to new construction, we know that buildings play a crucial role in meeting the urgent challenge of climate change.

Annual Report Cover

Download a PDF of our 2019 Annual Report to learn more!

We are so proud of our accomplishments towards a greener future for our community, which is generously supported by our sponsors, leaders (board of directors committees), members, volunteers, and donors. Thank you to all who made 2019 a success.