Archive for the ‘News and Notes’ Category

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

Invest in Your Professional Development – Apply for a LF21 Scholarship today!

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.


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 Tuesday, March 16, 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,

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!

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.

USGBC-MGC Seeks Nominations for 2021 Board of Directors

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 2021. Nominations are due by 5 pm Central Time on Friday, September 5, 2020.

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 2020 board meeting.

Call for Proposals: 2021 Educational Programs

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter is accepting proposals for 2021 educational programs.

While proposals on all topics related to green building and sustainable communities will be considered, preference will be given to those that address one or more of the following:

  • Climate Solutions: Action Beyond Commitments
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Equity & Inclusion

Engaging, interactive approaches to enhance learning are desired.


  • Call for Proposals Issued July 22, 2020.
  • Proposals due by Monday, September 14, 2020 at 11:59 PM CST.
  • Selected Speakers notified by December 4, 2020.


Missouri Green Schools is hiring support VISTAs!

Missouri Green Schools (MGS) is a program to help schools improve health, reduce environmental impact, and develop a culture of sustainability. Managed by the Missouri Environmental Education Association and the U.S. Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter, MGS 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.

Four AmeriCorp VISTAs are currently sought to help develop and launch the MGS program during the upcoming school year.

VISTAs will work in St. Louis but have the opportunity to interact with schools throughout the state. VISTA members’ service will revolve around:

  • providing one-on-one support for under-resourced schools to achieve green goals and
  • conducting outreach to schools and partners.

VISTAs will receive training to guide schools in using a systems approach to become a green school–a school that brings an environmental and equity lens to decision-making.

For more information, please contact Lesli Moylan at or visit the job posting on the My AmeriCorps website.

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

Winners of the 2019-20 Green Schools Quest

The Green Schools Quest is an annual project-based challenge to PreK-12 schools to implement creative, effective and low-cost sustainable practices at their schools with the help of a Green Mentor.

68 school and mentor teams participated during the 2019-20 school year, and 44 of these schools submitted materials detailing their work to be reviewed by a panel of impartial judges utilizing this scoring rubric.

While we were not able to join together for our annual culminating event, we’re excited to celebrate participants and projects virtually! New highlights and insights are being posted each day during the week of May 18.

Announcing the 2020-21 Focus of the Year: Health & Wellness

The actions of individuals, organizations, and communities affect not only the planet, but also human health. Green Schools can be powerful promoters of health and well-being. Improving health and wellness addresses physical, emotional, and social issues students and their communities may be facing.

In this video, we’ll introduce you to the 2020-21 focus of Health & Wellness along with project ideas and resources.

Hear from School Leads on Why They Engage

Each school is required to have one adult leader from within their school to sponsor their team – this could be a teacher, administrator, or parent.

School Leads facilitate student engagement, collaborate with the mentor and determine how to best plug him/her into the project, integrate the project into school curriculum and culture, and lead the behind the scenes coordination that supports the project’s success.

In this video, a handful of School Leads share why they feel participating in the Green Schools Quest is valuable for their schools and students . . .

Mentors Share Their Experience

Mentors play an important role in the Green Schools Quest, each contributing guidance and resources that address the unique needs of their school team and project.

In this video, you’ll hear directly from mentors on how they plugged into their schools’ projects and why they feel the mentorship role is such an important piece of the Green Schools Quest.

Student Interviews

In this video, students reflect upon their experience engaging in a Green Schools Quest project this year.

– What did you learn?
– What did you enjoy about your project?
– Who helped you?
– What are you going to do now?

Project Focus & Collective Impact

This video highlights the diverse range of projects that took place and their collective impact. Included are clips from digital presentations the school / mentor teams prepared. 

2019-20 Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019-20 Green Schools Quest! View this video to learn more about each of their projects.

Elementary School Category

1st Place:
A Green Wave of Change,
Crestwood Elementary (Lindbergh)

2nd Place:
Transportation Pollution Solution,
St. Margaret of Scotland

3rd Place:
Brown School Waste Warriors,
Brown Elementary (Hazelwood)

Middle School Category

1st Place:
RMS Earthletes Make Long-Lasting Change,
Rogers Middle School (Affton)

2nd Place:
Making a Difference in Our School,
The St. Michael School of Clayton

3rd Place:
Cafeteria Waste Reduction,
Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School

High School Category

1st Place:
Impact Challenge,
Principia Upper School

2nd Place:
‘Not I, but We’ Environmental Justice,
St. Joseph’s Academy

3rd Place:
Reintroducing Recycling: Students Reduce Cafeteria Waste,
Ladue Horton Watkins High School

Spotlight Awards

Rookie of the Year:
KIPP Victory Garden,
KIPP Victory Academy

Sustainability Champion:

Bye, Bye Bags,
W.W. Keysor Elementary (Kirkwood)

Focus of the Year – Environmental Justice:

SLPS Can’t Afford Styrofoam Anymore,
Bryan Hill Elementary & Columbia Elementary (St. Louis Public School District)

Judges’ Choice:

Green Team,
Truman Elementary (Meramec Valley R-III)


Going Beyond,
Sunrise R-IX Elementary

2019-20 Participants & Projects

Kudos to all of the participating schools and mentors. Each and every one has taken significant action towards creating greener, healthier learning environments and positively impacted their communities!

Help us celebrate the accomplishments of participants the week of May 18. Stay tuned for more information and insight to be release each day,  including a summary document highlighting all submissions received and digital messages that will be shared at 10am daily:

  • Project Focuses & Collective Impact – May 18
  • Student Interviews About Their Work – May 19
  • Mentors Share Their GSQ Experiences – May 20
  • Hear from School Leads on Why They Engage – May 21
  • Announcing the 2020-21 Focus of the Year – May 22

City of St. Louis Passes Building Performance Standard

Earlier this week, the City of St. Louis Board of Aldermen unanimously passed a Building Energy Performance Standard. USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter couldn’t be more proud of our City and the work of our staff and members in developing the policy, engaging stakeholders in the process, and getting this groundbreaking policy across the finish line on the very last day of the Board of Alderman’s 2019-2020 session at their first virtual meeting! This is a real accomplishment all around. St. Louis just the fourth jurisdiction – and the first in the Midwest – to pass such a policy. More importantly this policy means better, greener buildings; improved public health; increased environmental protection and climate change mitigation; and savings on energy bills for building owners and occupants.

In light of the current public health crisis, it is more important than ever to address air pollution and climate change – which are very closely connected. Most of the activities causing air pollution also contribute to climate change – like emissions from vehicles and power plants. Energy used in buildings is typically created through the combustion of fossil fuels at power plants and in buildings. In the United States, commercial and residential buildings are responsible for nearly 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. In the City of St. Louis, the percentage is even higher at 80% (residential, commercial and industrial).

Even though addressing climate change and air pollution may seem like insurmountable problems, we know that green and energy efficient buildings are a SOLUTION. Energy efficiency is a win-win solution because it reduces harmful pollution and saves money at the same time. It also creates job opportunities related to energy efficiency improvements. Policies like the City’s benchmarking requirements and now a Building Energy Performance Standard make St. Louis’ existing buildings heroes in the fight against air pollution and climate change.

But now you’re probably wondering – what exactly is a building performance standard and what does it mean for St. Louis? Plus, what buildings will have to comply? And what will they have to do to comply? I’m going to address a few of these questions along with others that have come across my virtual desk.

What Buildings Have to Comply? All commercial, institutional, multi-family and municipal buildings that are 50,000 square feet and above must comply. These are the same buildings that have to comply with the City’s benchmarking requirements under the Building Energy Awareness Ordinance.

What is an energy performance standard?  A building energy performance standard creates a legal requirement for building owners to ensure their buildings meet a minimum level of performance (the standard). The City’s standard will be reviewed and updated every four years to consistently drive improvements in the building stock.

What IS the standard? The standard isn’t actually set yet. Over the next year, the City will work with stakholders to set standards for the different building types based on benchmarking data. The performance metric will be site Energy Use Intensity (EUI) and the standard will be set no lower than the 65th percentile of site EUI for similar buildings in St. Louis. The standards will be set by May 4, 2021.

By when will buildings have to meet the standard? Most buildings will have four years to meet the standard (May 4, 2025). Qualified affordable housing buildings and houses of worship will have six years to meet the standard (May 4, 2027).

How will this be measured and tracked? Building owners will use the free, online ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool to document compliance with the BEPS as part of the existing annual benchmarking reporting process. Data verification will be required when compliance is due.

How will buildings comply? To put it simply, buildings will comply by meeting the target set for their building type. Many buildings may already be meeting the target or close to meeting it. They may just need to implement a few operational changes or updates. Other buildings may be a little further from the target and will need to upgrade heating and cooling systems or improve the building envelope. Every building will meet the standard in a different way.

What kind of specific improvements will a building have to make to comply? As mentioned above, every building will meet the standard differently – depending on the building type, the baseline performance of the building, and what kind of improvements have already been made. Some buildings will make simple operational changes, others will need to invest more on building updates to comply.

What if a building can’t meet the standard? In addition to creating a building energy performance standard, the recently passed legislation also calls for the creation of a Building Energy Improvement Board to oversee the implementation of the standard. One of the Board’s role will be to administer a process for buildings unable to meet the standard so that building owners can propose an alternative compliance method for board approval.

How can a building owner get help? If a building owner is interested in making improvements, the City has collected resources here. Ameren Missouri and Spire Energy offer incentives / rebates for energy efficiency improvements. And Set the PACE St. Louis offers Property Assessed Clean Energy financing for energy efficiency improvements. USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter continues to offer assistance with benchmarking and also connects building owners with energy solutions through this Energy Efficiency Checklist, GPRO Operations & Maintenance training and other educational programming. USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter, the City of St. Louis and other partners are currently working to create an Energy Resource Hub that can assist building owners in their efforts.

How can I be considered for the Building Energy Improvement Board? The legislation calls for the creation of a nine-person Building Energy Improvement Board with representation from the building industry, utilities, and building owners. The City will be soliciting nominations or you can submit your nomination here.

There’s still a lot of work to do in implementing this new policy, but we are excited about moving forward. I expect there will also be many more questions as well, so stay tuned for a more formal FAQ.

There are many people to thank for this green building win – including our partners in the City’s Building Division and Sustainability Office, the board bill sponsor Alderwoman Heather Navarro, national partners through the American Cities Climate Challenge (Bloomberg Philanthropies, Natural Resources Defense Council, Institute for Market Transformation, and the Energy Foundation), and the many stakeholders who participated in the process. The list is long, but you can check out a list of Building Energy Performance Standards Supporters here.

And be sure to read other articles about the City’s new standard from Alderwoman Heather Navarro, IMT, and NRDC.