Archive for the ‘News and Notes – old’ Category

Response to St. Louis Business Journal: LEED Gets It Right

Emily 1Nick Bristow-headshotEmily Andrews, Executive Director of the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter, and Nick Bristow, Senior Associate and Sustainability Manager at Forum Studio and Board Chair of the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter, responded to the St. Louis Business Journal’s August 18 cover story on the LEED green building rating system in a commentary piece titled LEED gets it right. Read on for their full response. 


The Aug. 18 cover story on the LEED green building rating system missed the bigger picture. Green building rates in the St. Louis region may not measure up to the top five LEED national markets, but as your article points out, we are keeping pace with and even outpacing cities of similar size and demographics. By looking at just a single year of data, however, you are discrediting previous years of successful LEED projects in our region. More importantly, you missed the opportunity to recognize the local architects, engineers, contractors, consultants, owners and occupants who have championed buildings that conserve natural resources and support the health of humans and the planet. The St. Louis region has seen a consistent number of LEED certified projects annually between 2011 and 2016, even as the rating system has become more rigorous. Since 2000, 190 commercial and institutional buildings have achieved LEED certification. Our mission is to accelerate the implementation of green building principles for all. While every building cannot be a LEED building, these 190 buildings have provided a real-life, local case study and framework for our community to follow. And really, when it comes down to it, we are not out to compete with other cities, but to work within our own community to improve our buildings.


LEED continues to be the international benchmark in green building, designed to incorporate continuous improvement, evolve and raise the bar as building technology improves. According to a 2017 Department of Energy study, LEED- and Energy Star-certified buildings improve net operating income by 28.8 percent and reduce operating costs by 17.6 percent. We cannot be content to merely track levels of certification or the numbers of certified buildings – we want better, higher performing buildings.


The average American spends 90 percent of their time indoors – at work, at home and at school. Additionally, buildings in the United States consume about 40 percent of the country’s total energy consumption and represent 45 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. We all deserve better buildings. Tools like LEED, Energy Star and others are available to help us work towards better buildings – we should utilize them to improve the long-term health of St. Louisans, our region and the planet on which we reside.

U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter considers the benefits of green buildings to far outweigh any costs. We also believe in a future where everyone has access to work, live and learn in a green building. We invite our region to be a part of this future. And we challenge each of you to pursue greener operations, maintenance, design and construction for every building in our region every step of the way.

Congrats to 2011 Growing Green Award Nominees!

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter is proud to recognize the organizations and people who are transforming the built environment at our third Annual Growing Green Awards on March 30, 2011.

This year’s event will also mark the Chapter’s 10-Year Anniversary. We’re celebrating 10 Green Years & Still Building. We welcome USGBC President & CEO, Rick Fedrizzi, who will help us celebrate as the keynote speaker. Tickets are now on sale ($90 before March 25; $100 beginning March 26). Purchase tickets at

Congratulations to the following nominees – winners will be announced at the March 30 Growing Green Awards Celebration!


  • Joseph Abernathy, St. Louis Cardinals
  • Clayco, Inc.
  • Green Street Development Group, LLC
  • Tony Ruebsam, S.M. Wilson & Co.
  • St. Louis RCGA – St. Louis Green Business Challenge
  • Wells Fargo Advisors LLC


  • Paul Todd Merrill, Adjunct Professor of Construction Management at Washington U-School of Engineering & Applied Science
  • St. Louis Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Training Program Green Practices Committee
  • St. Louis Community College
  • Wydown Middle School, Clayton School District


  • City of St. Louis, MO
  • City of University City, MO
  • Madison County Transit
  • Rep. Margo McNeil and Rep. Shane Schoeller, Missouri House of Representatives


  • Blue Brick Renovation + Construction, LLC
  • Habitat for Humanity – St. Louis
  • Patty Maher, Tiger Lily Development, LLC
  • Trumpet Builders, LLC
  • Woods Basement Systems, Inc.


  • Clayco, Inc.
  • Hellmuth + Bicknese Architects
  • HOK
  • SWT Design
  • Tork Design


  • FOCUS St. Louis
  • Green Construction Corps of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • SSM Health Care

Download a list of nominees.

“Above & Beyond” USGBC-STL Volunteer Recognition – May

USGBC-STL is committed to recognizing volunteers who have contributed significantly to the Chapter, devoting time and talents “above and beyond” on a particular project or program! This month, we are happy to recognize Marjorie Melton, M3 Engineering Group, USGBC-STL Advocacy Committee and Scholarship Task Force.

Marjorie Melton is recognized for her great (and speedy) work coordinating the Greening the Heartland scholarship application, review and selection process!

Thanks, Marjorie, for your commitment and hard work!

Previous Recognitions

April 2010
Richard Schuessler, Huntleigh McGehee and USGBC-STL Government Advocacy Subcommittee
Cristina Spicer, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C., USGBC-STL Growing Green Awards Task Force and Emerging Green Builders
Becky Finch, Missouri Lawyers Weekly and USGBC-STL Growing Green Awards Task Force

March 2010
Helene Mathis, USGBC-STL Program Committee & Growing Green Awards Task Force

February 2010
Vicki Woodside, CI Select, USGBC-STL Marketing Committee
Christy Cunningham-Saylor, Vertegy, USGBC-STL Program Committee & Education Task Force

Chapter Members in the News

USGBC-STL Member Mary Francois Deweese is highlighted in the April 27, 2010 edition of the Suburban Journals.  The article, Green Quest, discusses the Deweeses’ two-year quest to create a greener, more sustainable suburban lifestyle.

“What the heck is going on in that Forrester Drive front yard?

That’s the question Manchester homeowners Dan and Mary Deweese get from lots of their Glan Tai subdivision neighbors, who are astonished to see a backhoe digging up the front yard.

What’s going on is the installation of a geothermal heating and air conditioning system . . .”   Read the entire article


If you are or see a USGBC-STL member who appears in the news, please let us know!  Send a link to the article to

Inaugural Open Streets Event in St. Louis City on May 1

Want to know what it feels like to get rid of cars from streets? Then check out the City of St. Louis’ inaugural Open Streets 2010 event on Saturday, May 1st from 8 am – 1 pm. The event will open about five miles of City streets to cyclists, skaters, pedestrians, joggers, residents, and tourists. Free lessons and activities along the way include health & safety demonstrations, yoga, tai chi, spinning, and an historical architecture walking tour.

For more information visit

Green Buildings & Greenhouse Gas Emissions Webinar

USGBC is holding a new webinar on Thursday, April 29 on Green House Gases and Green Buildings, focusing on understanding and achieving key reduction goals.

Speakers include:

  • Matt Gray, Analyst, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Department of Energy
  • Chris Pyke, Director of Research, USGBC
  • Seth Schultz, Director, Climate Positive Program, USGBC
  • Moderated by Melissa Gallagher-Rogers, Director, Government Sector, USGBC.

WHEN: Thursday, April 29, noon – 1:30 pm CST
WHERE: Your Computer!
COST: $60 for USGBC national members, $75 for non-members, includes 1.5 hours of AIA/CES and GBCI continuing education credits.

Click here for more information or to register.

Green Building Legislation Moves Forward in Missouri!

Check out our new blog post about House Bill 1871 which requires LEED Silver Certification for state funded, owned and leased buildings!

Chapter Members in the News

USGBC-STL members Matt Malten, Merrilee Hertlein, Lori Thompson, and Punit Jain are featured in Green construction takes root on local campuses which appears in the April 16-22, 2010 edition of the St. Louis Business Journal.

“Call it what you will – green building, sustainable construction, living environments – but the goal is the same: reduce the overall environmental impact of buildings and create more healthful surroundings in which to live and work.

The movement has found ideal, innovative advocates in St. Louis’ universities and colleges and is having a strong influence on the way they view their real estate portfolios.

‘College campuses were not the first to get on board, but once we did, we probably became some of the most vocal supporters of green construction,’ said Matt Malten, assistant vice chancellor for sustainability at Washington University.

Merrilee Hertlein, a senior associate with Mackey Mitchell, said the push for sustainability often comes from students as much as administrators. Eighty five percent of the work at St. Louis-based Mackey Mitchell Architects comes from campus-related projects, all of which are designed with sustainable elements. . . ”

*The electronic version of the full article is only accessible to subscribers of the St. Louis Business Journal.

Volunteer at USGBC-STL’s Earth Day Booth!

Calling all those who are passionate about green building!

USGBC-STL could use a few volunteers to help staff our booth at the annual St. Louis Earth Day Festival in Forest Park on Sunday, April 25. The Festival is held on the Muny Grounds from 11 am – 6 pm.

If you’re knowledgeable about green building practices, like to talk with strangers about green building and like to hang out in Forest Park, this is the job for you! We need volunteers for two shifts: 10:30 am – 2:30 pm and 2:30 pm – 6:30 pm. Contact USGBC-STL at or 314-577-0854 if you’d like to volunteer!

More Rigorous than LEED Platinum: the Living Building Challenge

Check out the new blog post on the Living Building Challenge submitted by Jan Neihaus, USGBC-STL Marketing Committee Chair.