Author Archive

September Member Spotlight – Julie Villa

September Member Spotlight – Julie Villa

“I believe local cities and municipalities requiring improvements to the existing building stock will serve as a major push to reduce overall energy consumption and make our neighborhoods healthier places.”

Julie Villa LEED AP BD+C, NCARB, Associate Architect, Ittner Architects
USGBC-MGC Member since 2014
Chair of the Higher Education & Emerging Professionals Committee

Sustainability passion: Green school design: as an educational planner and architect, I have the opportunity to create healthy and inspiring environments designed to be tools to teach sustainability to our next generation of learners. From early childhood through adults, green schools can be a hands-on method of incorporating important sustainability principles into the curriculum, in addition to being great spaces to learn.

Most meaningful experience with USGBC: As the chair of the Higher Education and Emerging Professionals committee, I’ve helped organize a lot of great events and volunteer opportunities, but my favorite are our recurring Community Garden Workdays at Fresh Starts Community Garden in the Jeff-Vander-Lou neighborhood. This month’s volunteer day will be our fourth workday there, and it will be great to see what’s growing in the beds we prepped in the spring. It’s always rewarding to get my hands dirty!

What will most impact the future of green building: I believe local cities and municipalities requiring improvements to the existing building stock will serve as a major push to reduce overall energy consumption and make our neighborhoods healthier places. It’s now easier than ever to design a new energy efficient building, but unless we make improvements to our existing buildings to make every building a green building, we won’t be able to make real strides. I’m so proud of our Chapter’s work in getting the City’s BEPS ordinance passed!

Favorite LEED Project: I helped design the tenant finish for 700 Market, the historic mid-century Philip Johnson building, now Spire’s headquarters, which was certified LEED Gold. It was my first ID+C project, and I found it very rewarding to revitalize a long-vacant building into a modern collaborative workspace, keeping a major employer in the urban core instead of building new office space outside of the city center.

As far as other LEED projects that I admire, the East End transformation of Washington University’s campus is a truly innovative re-envisioning of that iconic end of campus. As a graduate, I’m proud to say it exceeds every expectation I had for the transformation, and I expect it to set new standards for future campus improvements.

Favorite place in the St. Louis region: The Green Rock trail at Rockwood Reservation. Hiking trails are my happy place, and this is a favorite in the region – rocky, hilly, and so very green!




2021 USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Membership Survey

2021 Membership Survey

We appreciate the time and consideration you will put in to enhance the growth and development of your USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter experience, needs, and programs. The 2021 Membership Survey should take about 15 minutes with thoughtful responses. Thank you!

During our annual joint Board and Committee Chair meeting in September 2021, we will review the results of the 2021 Membership Survey and how we can incorporate your opinions and suggestion into:

  • Fostering Green Building Leaders of the Future
    • Green Schools Quest
    • Missouri Green Schools
  • Advancing Buildings As Climate Solutions
    • Education
    • Advocacy
  • Maintaining Organizational Sustainability

We are excited to hear your feedback about being a member of USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter! Thank you for being part of this Green Buildings Are Better community. We could not do this without you.

When you complete this Membership Survey you will be entered into a drawing to WIN A YEAR-LONG CHAPTER MEMBERSHIP and fun Chapter swag (a baseball cap + pint glass). Three winners will be drawn at random after August 11, 2021.




2022 Call For Proposals

2022 USGBC-MGC Educational Program Submission Application

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter is currently accepting proposals for 2022 educational programs.

While all topics related to green building and sustainable communities will be considered, preference will be given to:

Proposals that demand ambition and action TODAY to accelerate sustainable solutions that will create a resilient, prosperous, and equitable future.

Engaging, interactive approaches to enhance learning are also desired. If you are a business developer and can submit a proposal on a colleagues behalf, please do so.

Program Proposals are due by Thursday, September 30, 2021 at 11:59 PM CST. This is a final proposal submission form. Please have the below requirements and greater details complete before submission, thank you.

  • Program Title
  • Program Description
  • Learning Objectives
  • Presenter’s Expertise
  • Attendee Engagement
  • Program Format
    • Evening Program: 1 hour
    • In-Depth Workshop: 2 hours
    • Green Building Tour
    • Coffee Break: 10 minute presentation, 30 minutes
    • Case Study: 20-30 minute presentation
    • Out of the Box: Fresh, concise, inspiring, engaging and non-traditional.

If you have any questions regarding educational program specifics please email Fredericka Brandt at fbrandt@mobot.org. Thank you in advance for submitting your proposal and participating in this Green Buildings Are Better community.




August Member Spotlight – David Charles

August Member Spotlight

“Collaboration amongst people from many demographics will hopefully shed light on these inequities”

David Charles, Resource Center Manager, American Institute of Architects.
USGBC-MGC Member since 2020
Active member of the Education Committee

Sustainability passion: My dual passion is infrastructure and the building materials used to execute it. Over the past couple years, I’ve really become interested in Green Building practices – including LEED and Passive House – that help improve quality of life for its users throughout the built environment. I’m equally fascinated by how rapidly new sustainable building products (for its envelope to interior finishes) enter the market every day! What I find inspirational about sustainability is a universal goal of improving how we interact with each other, our communities, and the greater planet.

Most meaningful experience with USGBC: While first acquainted years ago during my time at the Missouri History Museum, my most meaningful is as a current active member of the Education Committee. As now Resource Center Manager for AIA (American Institute of Architects) St. Louis, I am proud to exchange ideas and collaborate with dynamic people on educating the community on Green Building. Some meetings have gone past time due to our collaborative efforts – the knowledge I come away with is always worth the extra time!

What will most impact the future of green building: Accessibility (world-wide). While long-term global plans are in place, more consideration is needed for exactly where these changes will occur. New advances usually require ample research, technology, and (quite frankly) plenty of money. Most underserved demographics worldwide (some St. Louis neighborhoods included) benefit much later – if at all – from these life-improving advances. Collaboration amongst people from many demographics will hopefully shed light on these inequities and we can best improve the planet at once, realizing our responsibility to be global citizens.

Favorite LEED Project: What a hard choice – especially from the array in the St. Louis region. My top has to be the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum located in Downtown St. Louis. As part of the Missouri Historical Society’s long-term project to gain LEED status for each building (Missouri History Museum, Library & Research Center, & Soldiers Memorial), I was proud to see the MHS team (including Facilities & Sustainability Coordinator, Angela Moore) earn LEED Gold certification for Soldiers! shout-out to the architecture firm Mackey Mitchell for earning a 2019 AIA Design Distinguished Award on their work for Soldiers!

Favorite place in the St. Louis region: Forest Park! Without a doubt!! Especially in the last year, its vast space and beauty helped center me during an unsettling period. Prior, I worked in Forest Park almost half my life and allowed the unique opportunity to form my own special relationship with the gem! It was an honor to be profiled as a “Human of St. Louis”, in partnership with Forest Park Forever, to further share what it means to me. I advise you to click HERE because rewriting my whole story may take up more space than this profile allows.




K-12 School Registration Open for the 2021-22 Green Schools Quest and Missouri Green Schools

Registration is now open for K-12 schools to participate in the 2021-22 Green Schools Quest and Missouri Green Schools

Green Schools Quest

The Green Schools Quest is an annual project-based challenge to schools to implement student-driven, no/low-cost sustainability projects with the help of a Green Mentor who assists with project ideas, implementation, and resources. In 2021-22, two program tracks are offered for schools to choose from: engage in one comprehensive six-month-long sustainability project, or participate in themed, monthly sustainability challenges October through March. In both tracks, teams document their work and submit their outcomes for a chance to win. Registration deadline is Sept 15 for Schools and Aug 31 for Mentors. Learn more at www.GreenSchoolsQuest.org

Missouri Green Schools

Missouri Green Schools is a new statewide recognition program which supports schools in taking a systems-based approach to improve student health, reduce environmental impact, and develop a culture of sustainability. It creates a pathway for state and national recognition, including serving as the conduit for the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools award, and provides a variety of one-on-one services to support under-resourced schools in achieving “green” goals and earning recognition. Learn more at www.MissouriGreenSchools.org

Learn More at Sept 8th Virtual Event

Join the U.S. Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter and the Missouri Environmental Education Association virtually on September 8, from 4:30-5:30 pm to learn more about both programs and how they can be leveraged together for greater impact. Whether your school is just getting started, already a green champion, or especially if you feel your school has been counted out – these programs are tailored to support your school in achieving green goals. 

Support Participating Schools

Community members interested in supporting schools participating in these programs may do so by serving as a Green Schools Quest Mentor or a Missouri Green Schools AmeriCorp VISTA! Click here to learn more about both opportunities as well as an Info Session for prospective GSQ Mentors on Aug 26th!




Help a Local School Go Green: Two Opportunities to Make a Difference This Year

U.S. Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter (USGBC-MGC) and Missouri Environmental Education Association (MEEA) are looking for passionate individuals to help schools improve their students’ health, reduce their environmental impact, and develop a culture of sustainability.

Make a difference in your community this school year by serving as a Green Schools Quest Mentor or a Missouri Green Schools AmeriCorp VISTA

BECOME A MENTOR IN THE GREEN SCHOOLS QUEST

  • The Program: The U.S Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter’s Green Schools Quest is an annual project-based challenge to K-12 schools to implement student-driven, no/low-cost sustainability projects with the help of a Green Mentor. Students document and share their impact, and awards are presented at elementary, middle, and high school levels. The challenge is open to all schools within the USGBC-MGC service area (majority of Missouri – excluding Kansas City area – as well as southern Illinois) and participating schools represent the wide range of geographic, economic, and racial diversity that is found within communities throughout this area.
  • Mentor Role: Green Mentors are community volunteers who assist schools with project ideas, implementation, and resources. Additionally, they serve as role models and community connectors who expand students’ awareness of the wide variety of careers that relate to sustainability.
  • Time Commitment: Roughly 4-6 hours per month between October 2021 and March 2022, plus a 2 hour training in September 2021. 
  • Support Provided: Mentors receive an orientation introducing them to the program and resources which include project idea lists, community resources, checklists and tips to guide them, and more. Mentors may reach out to the GSQ program manager at any time with questions and for support.
  • Learn More: Visit www.GreenSchoolsQuest.org. Prospective mentors are invited to attend a Mentor Info Session on August 26, from 12 – 1 pm via Zoom. All are welcome! 
  • Deadline: Mentor registration is due August 31. 

SUPPORT SCHOOLS AS A MISSOURI GREEN SCHOOLS AMERICORPS VISTA

  • The Program: Missouri Green Schools is a new statewide recognition program which supports schools in taking a systems-based approach to improve student health, reduce environmental impact, and develop a culture of sustainability. It creates a pathway for state and national recognition, and provides a variety of one-on-one services to support under-resourced schools in achieving “green” goals and earning recognition. The program is co-managed by the Missouri Environmental Education Association (MEEA) and the U.S. Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter (USGBC-MGC). 
  • AmeriCorps VISTA Role: VISTAs support low-income schools’ participation in Missouri Green Schools, ultimately helping students and communities to break free from the cycle of poverty. Five openings in the following positions are available:
    • Support VISTA – focus on providing one-on-one support to assist with action planning and progress tracking as well as outreach to expand program reach
    • Partner Network Coordinator VISTA – manage the development of a statewide network of organizations that desire to help schools lower their environmental impact, improve health, and shift to a culture of sustainability
    • Marketing and Communications VISTA – focus on raising awareness, participation and support of MGS throughout the state, and will develop skills in website and social media management
  • Time Commitment: Start October 25, 2021 for a one year term and work 30 hours per week, primarily remotely. VISTAs may also attend school or pursue outside employment during their term if desired.
  • Support Provided: Each VISTA receives a living allowance of $13,399, and will be provided with a laptop during the program service period. All MGS VISTAs will receive training in what it means to be a green school, a school that brings an environmental and equity lens to decision-making, as well as ongoing professional development and networking opportunities.
  • Learn More: Click on the position titles above to learn more about each. Contact Lesli Moylan at moylan@meea.org with any questions.
  • Deadline: Positions are open through September 2021, or until filled.



Seeking Nominations for 2022 Board Members!

Be a part of the green building movement & help us make every building a green building!

USGBC-Missouri Gateway is currently seeking nominations for At-Large board directors. All terms begin in 2022. Nominations are due by 5 pm Central Time on Monday, August 30, 2021.

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: 

In 2015, USGBC-Missouri Gateway shifted our board nomination and election process, and no longer hold general elections. Nominations are still accepted from the membership. The Governance Committee collects nominations and ensures eligibility of nominees. The committee then consults a matrix of leadership needs to determine a slate to present to the board for approval. The committee expects to present a slate to the board for discussion at the October 2021 board meeting.




July Member Spotlight – Lisa J. Reed

July Member Spotlight

“Isn’t picking a favorite LEED project like picking a favorite child?”

Lisa J. Reed, PE, IALD, MIES, LEED BD+C, Founding Principal of Envision Lighting Design, LLC
USGBC-MGC Member since 2013
Active member of the Membership & Marketing Committee

Sustainability passion: My sustainability passion – same as my “everything” passion – is lighting! I look at everything through a lighting lens. Light creates clarity. It elevates the way we experience space. It gives life. Light also plays a significant role in sustainability, whether we conserve energy by using only the light that we need (don’t overlight spaces) or by being intentional about where we put light (eliminate light pollution) or by using lighting controls to only use light when we need it (turn ‘em off!) Additionally, I’m interested in equity and lighting equity issues. If it has anything to do with light, then it’s my passion!

Most meaningful experience with USGBC: Tough question – there have been many. This is an organization filled with sincere people who truly care about our planet and the people who inhabit it. Nearly every encounter with this organization, its members, leaders, and staff has been meaningful. One highlight has been participating in the Green Shadow Mentor program. I also want to mention the Membership and Marketing Committee. By volunteering on this committee, I have been able to get to know a small group of fantastic people.

What will most impact the future of green building: Communication. If we can rethink how we talk about green building and communicate the importance of it in an inclusive, non-partisan, apolitical way to get everyone rowing in the same direction, that will be pivotal. When people come together, we are unstoppable. As the mother of two young adults, I see the priorities of the next generation and I do have hope that the future is in good hands.

Favorite LEED Project: Isn’t picking a favorite LEED project like picking a favorite child? I don’t think I can do that! That said, the 4220 Duncan building in the Cortex District was special because that was the first time I was able to achieve the Light Pollution Reduction Credit, and the Envision Lighting Design team, alongside HOK and the HOK Lighting Group, worked really hard on the lighting selections, placements, and calculations to get it. Now we attempt and achieve Light Pollution Reduction regularly.

Favorite place in the St. Louis region: Have you seen The Awakening II near Chesterfield Central Park? This giant man (a 70’ aluminum sculpture) appears to be partially underground as he emerges from a long slumber. This has become my favorite outdoor meeting spot. The giant is whimsical and a little terrifying, and along with the Central Park Trail, it is a nice little nature/art combo that’s worth a visit. Tell the giant hello for me when you go. Better yet, let me know you’re going, and I’ll meet you there!




We’re Hiring – Building Energy Exchange St. Louis Director!

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter seeks qualifications for an individual to serve as the Director of the Building Energy Exchange-St. Louis. The Director will lead the design, development and operation of the Building Energy Exchange – St. Louis (BEEx-STL, formerly referred to as the St. Louis Regional Energy Hub) in order to build a transformational entity to accelerate innovation, create jobs, strengthen the economy and lead an equitable transition to a clean energy future. The Director will work in partnership with the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter’s Executive Director, its board, the BEEx-STL advisory board, the City of St. Louis, partners, and the local building community to identify and overcome barriers that are holding back high performing buildings in the St. Louis region.

To apply, please submit your qualifications, including resume, cover letter and 2 references as a single, electronic PDF to Emily Andrews at emily.andrews@mobot.org by midnight on July 30, 2021.

View the full job description here.

View the Executive Summary of the BEEx-STL business plan here.

Support for BEEx-STL is generously provided by founding sponsors: Ameren Missouri, Washington University in St. Louis, the Leon Lowenstein Foundation and the Natural Resources Defense Council, and technical advisors: Institute for Market Transformation and Building Energy Exchange (New York).




Missouri Green Schools AmeriCorps VISTA positions now open for 2021-2022!

Missouri Green Schools is a statewide recognition program which focuses on supporting schools in taking a systems-based approach to identify and advance practices throughout their campuses, educational programming, and school culture that reduce environmental impact, improve health and wellness, and provide place-based education.

Additional support is provided for schools that have 60% or more of their students qualifying for free or reduced-priced lunch, including one-on-one support to set goals and track progress and small grant opportunities. Key to providing this support, are AmeriCorp VISTA members!

As we look ahead to the 2021-2022 school year, Missouri Green Schools is hiring AmeriCorps VISTAs to serve in each of the following roles – click on each link to learn more and apply!

Positions are open through Aug 1 or until filled. VISTAs begin August 30th for a one-year term. VISTAs work 30 hours per week and may attend school or pursue outside employment during their term if desired.

Missouri Green Schools is a joint program of the U.S. Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter and the Missouri Environmental Education Association. Learn more about the Missouri Green Schools program at www.MissouriGreenSchools.org

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