Thursday, December 27, 2012

Member Profile: Carolyn Day

Key Details:
Associate AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Sustainable Design Specialist at SMMA 
Market sector: Architecture and Design

Contact information:
Phone: 617.520.9416
Twitter: @PracticeEcology
Personal Blog:

During this busy holiday season Carolyn Day, who serves on the membership committee, took some time to share who she is and why she's is a part of the Massachusetts Chapter of the USGBC.

When did you first become interested in sustainability?
That's difficult to say. I think I've always cared. As a kid I remember being taken in by the LitterBug campaign. Does that count? In all seriousness, its been a part of my phylosophy as a designer from the start. I became an architect to make the built environment a better place, and to me sustainable design is a huge part of that.

How are you an environmental steward?
In my position at work I ensure that project teams make the most sustainable choices for our projects. Much of my time is spent educating and encouraging the other architects and engineers in the office. In my personal life I've been using reusable bags since before anyone else in my neighborhood, confusing some baggers, and I choose to live in multi-family housing in a dense urban area. I gave up my car over a year ago and don't miss it - especially since I've always used public transportation to get to work, even when I lived in Worcester.

Why are you a member of the chapter?
It energizes me to be around others who have the same passions that I do. Just being a part makes me better able to do the work required to make our buildings more environmentally sound. It also is a huge lift to attend a gathering when I've been pushed into pessimism and cynisism by the world at large.

If I wanted to find you on a Saturday afternoon, where would you be?
If I'm not at the MFA or cooking, I can usually be found with friends playing board games like Cosmic Encounter or Pandemic. In the summer, you might even find me at a drum corps show.

We are looking to highlight our diverse and talented members. If you would like to be a future member profie, use the Contact Us form.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Appreciating Members!

We had a great event on Tuesday night. The photos are forthcoming (thanks Carlos!!!)

And the winners of our various Member Awards were:

Most Likely to Send an Email at 3AM - Carrie Havey

Most Likely to Take Recycling Home from the Office - Dee Spiro

Most Likely to Be Completely Off the Grid in a Year - Laura Fitch

Advocate of the Year - Kathleen Arthur

Educator of the Year - Chris Schaffner

Mentor of the Year - Jim Newman

EPMA Rising Star – Laurel Kruke and Javier Burgos

AND, we had a special mention to our awesome previous Chapter Operations Manager, Suzanne Abbott, now at Vidaris. She showed up in style and managed to score the biggest contribution of the night - a $1000 sponsorship from Jack Mackin at Sterrit Lumber - Thanks you Suzanne, and thank you Jack!

It really was a great time had by all. Many of the old familiar faces, but also a whole slew of new folks. Thanks to all of those who signed up to become members due to the event. We are ambitiously kicking off a membership drive in the new year, so it's nice to see that our messaging and outreach is already starting to pay off. Thanks, once again, to all the members for joining the Chapter.

Thanks must also go to Rachel Zsembery and her team on the Special Events committee - Dee, Katya, Keith, Krista, Suzanne and Carlos. You all know how to make it happen, with style. Thanks again for all your hard work.

The night also meant the community had a chance to give back - our philanthropic beneficiaries this year have been the Jowney Elementary School in Brockton - combined, we brought in $667 for the kids for school supplies. We have partnered with the school as they have been working on greening the facility and engaging the students very well, and we want to continue to support their efforts.

Thanks again, everyone, I'm proud of this Green Building Community.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

LEEDv4 - Better and Smaller!

Last night we hosted a great program on the intricacies and details of LEEDv4 - the latest version of LEED which will be operational in June 2013 (we expect). Currently, the process to approve the new version is still open to comments (until 12/10/12) from any relevant party - such as any member of the MA Green Building Council or LEED professional in general. Here's a link to more info, and the slides from the presentation, on our site:

Chris Schaffner, from The Green Engineer (really, he is The Green Engineer), came and presented. Chris is a former board member of the Chapter and a LEED Fellow - one of a few dozen in the country recognized as outstanding leaders in our industry. He is also on the Technical Advisory Group for the new version of LEED and knows a lot of the ins and outs, having worked on streamlining the credits on this new version.

We went through a great slideshow describing how the various credits in each subsection of LEED have morphed into the new line-up. Some have disappeared, others are brand new. He described how the USGBC is trying to balance market adoption (make the system easy) with environmental impact (really make a difference for the planet), and how this version is a little more aggressive on sustainability.

The market has taken up LEED and now we can use it to drive real change in environmental impact. Of course, the entire industries that have grown up around LEED are a little bent out of shape with the change of the status quo - and resistance is significant. There are also the complicated logistics of getting the whole system finished in the next six months! That's going to be tricky, eh!

Chris asked us to please submit comments - especially if you think any of the new changes are good - so that the USGBC has the valuable feedback it needs to continue the evolution of LEED so that it can be the best tool we have to change the real estate industry. Here's a link to USGBC's comment site:

It was a great evening with about 30 chapter members in the audience. A few mentioned to me that they are interested in getting more involved! That is great!
[Above: Grey Lee, Andrea Love, Chris Schaffner, & Bob Kohn]
Kudos to Bob Kohn, Chair of the Education Committee, for organizing the program, and to Andrea Love (on our board) for providing the space and facility logistics at Payette (290 Congress St - a LEED Platinum Building!) Thanks to Chris Schaffner for providing his expertise and facilitation skill. I am sure we can look forward to more valuable programs in the future. Thanks again, everyone!