Archive for the ‘Building Carbon Footprints’ Category

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!

Benchmarking & Energy Efficiency Case Studies

We’re collecting benchmarking and energy efficiency case studies to showcase how our Existing Buildings can be Climate Heroes. Got a good energy efficiency success story to share? Contact us at

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.

Bauer Equity Partners is located an eighth of a mile from the I-70 and West Florissant Avenue interchange in the City of St. Louis. Previously a dairy bottling plant, the building has undergone numerous renovations in order to reduce energy consumption, improve access and reduce stormwater runoff. Since the solar panel and white roof installation, the building has realized a 66% reduction of electric consumption.
Read the full case study.

City of Clayton – Bonhomme and Brentwood Parking Garages have both undergone major renovations to reduce overall energy consumption. From lighting improvements to solar panels, these two buildings are seeing significant savings. The Bonhomme Garage saves $3,000 per month and the Brentwood Garage saves $22,000 a year. Read the full case study.

Parkway Schools’ portfolio consists of more than 34 buildings and 3.3 million square feet. In 2017, Parkway School District improved energy performance by 11% from a 2015 baseline, making progress towards a goal of 20% by 2025. Energy savings were achieved by implementing outdoor LED lighting retrofits and dimming controls across all properties. Learn more about their progress to date, implemented projects and more on the Better Buildings Challenge website.

600 Washington

600 Washington, is a 25-story office building. Formerly known as One City Center, it is a 375,000 square foot office building with a variety of tenants, including several large legal and accounting firms. Read the full case study

Clayco has been using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to benchmark their St. Louis office since 2007. Using this tool gave them a baseline, as well as the motivation to raise their score. As a result of energy saving strategies and building improvements that they have implemented since 2007, their ENERGY STAR score has more than doubled. Read the full case study


UniGroup is a $1.7 billion transportation and relocation services company with headquarters in suburban St. Louis. UniGroup has embraced sustainability as a smart way to achieve cost savings. The company’s Director of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability led the charge to monitor energy usage, enabling the company to identify issues and resolve them quickly. As a result, they achieved the coveted ENERGY STAR certification. The company took full advantage of utility rebate programs to maximize the return on investments in energy-related projects. Read the full case study.

RFQ for Energy Resource Hub Business Plan

USGBC-MGC seeks qualifications for a Regional Energy Resource Hub business plan.

For the past several years, we have been working closely with the City of St. Louis to advance policies that help the City meet its climate goals, focusing on policies that drive energy efficiency in our largest buildings. In 2017, the City passed a Building Energy Awareness policy requiring buildings that are 50,000 square feet and greater to report their energy and water use to the City annually. More recently, the City passed a Building Energy Performance Standard, which requires large buildings to make improvements to meet an energy performance target by 2025. The City’s work has been a catalyst for greater energy efficiency in the built environment for the City and the entire region.

As building owners begin working to comply with the City’s proposed performance standard, we anticipate they will need support. To assist building owners comply with the City’s Building Energy Performance Policy and to assist other buildings throughout our region make energy efficiency and renewable energy investments in their buildings, USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter would like to launch a Regional Energy Resource Hub.

Qualifications are due July 17 at 5 pm.

Read the full RFQ here.

FAQs as of July 1, 2020

Take action with the Drawdown EcoChallenge

Drawdown EcoChallenge Media Kit

Join the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter’s team in the Drawdown EcoChallenge to take action on the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming!

Join the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Drawdown EcoChallenge Team

Paul Hawken’s Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming  mapped, measured, and modeled 80 research-based actions that, if deployed collectively on a global scale over the next 30 years, offer humans the means to transform our climate crisis into just, livable world conditions. Project Drawdown’s research shows that rather than stopping global warming at 1.5-2 degrees Celsius, we can actually begin to reverse global warming by 2050, using technologies and practices that already exist and are scaling today.

That is why Project Drawdown and EcoChallenge are coming together to offer the Drawdown EcoChallenge from April 4 – April 25, 2018 (you can join at any point during the challenge.) Drawdown EcoChallenge is focused on carbon reduction and is a fun and social way to learn about and take action on the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming.

Check out a quick video to learn how to play!

video tutorial


St. Louis is lucky that the Northwest Earth Institute collected an extensive list of resources specific to our region!


USGBC-MGC Seeks Benchmarking Intern

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter seeks a Benchmarking Intern to assist with our regional voluntary energy benchmarking efforts.

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE by midnight on Sunday, March 18. Please e-mail a cover letter and resume to Include contact information for two references with resume.

The Benchmarking Intern will assist USGBC-Missouri Gateway Staff and Advocacy Committee volunteers with outreach to local municipalities and other building owners to encourage participation in the Chapter’s voluntary benchmarking campaign. Work will primarily focus on assisting building owners with the process of benchmarking buildings in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

Please review the full Benchmarking Intern Job Description here.

To learn more about USGBC-Missouri Gateway’s benchmarking work, please visit:

Phil Valko describes “An Architectural Twin Study,” which he co-led, in Archinect

WashingtPhil Valko photo_3on University’s Phil Valko, assistant vice chancellor for sustainability, and Don Koster, senior lecturer in architecture, have led an innovative multi-disciplinary applied research project called the Green Rehab Experiment. The project centered on the renovation and subsequent energy monitoring of two university-owned, 100-year-old apartment buildings. In the article, Valko discusses the goal of charting a path towards net-zero energy performance within market constraints, which meant finding low-cost technologies.

Read the article “An Architectural Twin Study” here, and learn more about Phil in his Chapter Member Profile.

Explore the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter online directory to learn about other Chapter members!

Visit the Green Building Experts page to learn more about members who have been recognized for their green building advocacy, promotion, and expertise.

USGBC-MO Gateway Seeking Climate Action Intern

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter is currently seeking one full-time intern for fall 2013 to work with one municipality on the Greenhouse Gas Inventory Module of the Regional Environmental Internship Program (REIP) – Climate Action Internship.

This is a paid internship. The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory Module involves conducting a GHG inventory and estimating future GHG emission trends. It is primarily a technical internship. It involves studying energy use in the major sectors of the local government’s operations and the major sectors of the community as a whole. Using this data, the intern is able to construct an estimate of the amount of energy used, its cost, and the amount of GHG emitted. In addition, using estimates of future economic, population, and energy intensity trends, the intern is able to construct an estimate of future energy use, energy costs, and GHG emissions. Interns will work directly with municipalities to develop an inventory.

Intern applications are due electronically on Friday, August 9, 2013. For more information, download the job description or contact Emily Andrews at 314-577-0854.

REIP Climate Action Internship was internship was developed by the FOCUS St. Louis Environmental Sustainability Implementation Committee, which was tasked with implementing the Environmental Sustainability Roadmap: A Toolkit for Local Governments published by Focus St. Louis in 2009. For more information about the Environmental Sustainability Roadmap: A Toolkit for Local Governments, see the full report here.

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.


New Rooftop Solar Array Demonstrates Ongoing Efforts Toward Sustainability

CEO of Express Scripts, George Paz, recently described the Missouri Botanical Garden as “a world leader in the green movement” and “one of the region’s finest civic institutions.” Quite a title to live up to, wouldn’t you say? Well Express Scripts sure does believes in the Garden, because they have partnered with Missouri Botanical Garden by providing the initial investment for 110 solar panels atop the Commerce Bank Center for Science Education (CBEC). CBEC is the new home of both the Earth Ways Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden and the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter.

Here are the facts on the new solar array:

– Each panel is 40in wide, 65in long, and 40lbs
– In total the array covers an area of 3,000 square-feet
– The array works to convert the sun’s direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (or AC, the type used to power lights, appliances and other electronics) right on the spot
– It will produce an annual 32,000 kilowatt hours of energy (870,000 in its lifetime), amounting to about 5% of the buildings total electrical needs and saving $180,000 in electricity costs over its lifetime
– The cost of the solar panels will be paid back over the next 5 years (leveraging a rebate from Ameren Missouri & federal tax credits)

which means the solar array will…

– Save enough energy to power 4 to 6 homes
– Displace 800 tons of carbon dioxide
– Eliminate 2,500 gallons of gas burned in cars per year
– Preserve 29 acres of hardwood forest

Now doesn’t all that seem worth the initial investment?!

Not only was this new project a great investment, it also serves as an excellent opportunity for education within the community. Deb Frank, Vice President of Sustainability for the Missouri Botanical Garden stated, “We hope that our action will inspire others to seek out ways to increase energy efficiency and utilize solar energy in their own homes and businesses.”

mbgsolarpanelFrom Left: Bill Barbieri, Ameren Missouri, Marc Lopata, Microgrid Energy, Larry Zarin, Express Scripts,
Deborah Frank, MBG, Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson, MBG


Clayton Green Power Community Challenge

Leading municipalities across the nation are partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to become a Green Power Community (GPC). Green Power Communities are cities in which the local government, businesses, and residents collectively buy green power in amounts that meet targets set by the EPA.

In April, Clayton’s Board of Alderman committed to pursuing the GPC designation by unanimously passing a resolution to embark on an GPC Challenge via a joint effort of the City of Clayton, AmerenUE Pure Power and Clayton-based, Microgrid Energy.

The Green Power Community Challenge focuses on encouraging local businesses, residents, and non-profit organizations to support new sources of renewable energy and reduce the City of Clayton’s carbon footprint. In addition, Challenge events and activities will include a focused renewable energy education effort for Clayton residents and businesses, and in particular, the students in the Clayton School District.

The City of Clayton officially kicked off the Challenge on June 3rd with a luncheon at the Clayton Fire Station. Mayor Linda Goldstein (see photo below) shared several reasons why Clayton elected to participate in the Challenge, joining leading municipalities around the country in becoming an EPA Green Power Community:

Clayton EPA Green Power Community Challenge Kick-off 024

“In Clayton, we know today that renewable energy is here, in Missouri, and that it is working. We also know that increasing the amount of renewable energy in the Missouri power pool through the purchase of RECs or installation of onsite solar will reduce carbon emissions and promote local economic development.”

There are two ways that Clayton residents and businesses can help the City achieve the Green Power Community Challenge goal of 670 Megawatt Hours per month:

  • Enroll in AmerenUE Pure Power or any other Green-e certified voluntary green power program. Each Renewable Energy Credit represents 1 megawatt hour of renewable electricity generated and delivered to the grid, which means one less megawatt hour of conventional power. Each Renewable Energy Credit also represents the environmental benefit of displacing pollution from traditional energy generation with fossil fuels. And specifically, Pure Power Renewable Energy Credits support Missouri wind farms, which keeps environmental benefits working at home.


  • Install an onsite green power system. GPC Challenge partner Microgrid Energy is a Clayton-based business offering a 10% discount to any Clayton business or resident who installs during the Challenge (before April 22, 2011). Each kilowatt-hour of power generated from a Clayton based solar electric system will count toward the Challenge goal.

The good news is that either option supports more local and renewable energy sources. The even better news is that opting for one or even both will help the City of Clayton achieve its Green Power Community Challenge goal.

To learn more about supporting the Clayton Green Power Community Challenge or to find out how your community can get involved – see the City of Clayton’s press release or Ecology webpage or visit the  EPA’s Green Power Community Challenge website.

– Submitted by Cindy Bambini, an employee of 3Degrees and a USGBC-STL Green Schools Subcommittee member, and Rick Hunter, an employee of Microgrid Energy and a member of the USGBC-STL Advocacy Committee.