Thursday, April 11, 2013

Celebrating Earth Day and Innovation in Green Design

Stunning! Fabulous! Classy!

We held a very impressive Earth Day celebration on the night of Wednesday April 10th. Over 120 guests attended from a wide swath of the green building industry. We had six table sponsors: Vidaris, NStar, The Green Engineer, Robinson & Cole, Bergmeyer and National Grid.

The program started with a bit of networking. One of the great things about the USGBC is it connects people from all parts of the real estate industry - from architects & engineers to facility managers and product manufacturers. Energy modelers, sustainability consultants, even lawyers! It's always a great mix and you never know who you might run in to!

Special thanks to Rachel Zsembery and the Special Events Committee for putting it all together. Much applause to Rachel (below, with Carlos Alonso-Neimeyer) and the entire Committee! GE sponsored our table settings: a mix between spring flowers and LED lightbulbs (guests could take home!) More photos are available through our media sponsor, New England Real Estate Journal NEREJ's facebook page.

We were very thankful to our venue sponsor, the Chiofaro Companies, for letting us hold the event on the main floor of Two International Place in downtown Boston. We heard from Don Chiofaro, Jr., as the owner, and from Bob Andrews, of AHA Consulting Engineers, one of our Chapter Sponsoring Partners, who discussed how the building had recently achieved LEED EB O&M Silver - a real achievement for a building that was designed and constructed in the go-go 80's.

A few of the members of the Chapter spoke, including myself, to give an overview of where we are as an organization.  People were in a good mood. I got the crowd to shout out "GREEN BUILDINGS!" whenever they heard something good from the stage. 

I'm happy to report we did indeed attain the goal of our membership drive: to bring in 100 new members by Earth Day. We have 108 new since the beginning of the year. GREEN BUILDINGS!

I also announced that we have hired a new staffer: Stephen Muzzy will start on May 6th as our Green Schools Program Manager, to faciliate green building project creation and completion at campuses across Massachusetts. GREEN BUILDINGS!

Dinner was a really good time - here we have the Green Engineer table (above) and the NStar table (below). Though many people found themselves not at the tables they were assigned to! 

Later, during the dessert, we convened the Awards Committee to present our Massachusetts Green Building of the Year award and our Innovation in Green Design awards. National Grid served as the Award Sponsor with Mark Stafford presiding. The awards were organized by Paul Brown, Carrie Havey, and Chris Liston (not pictured below). The judges were: Holly Wasilowski Samuelson of Harvard GSD, Mark Webster of SGH and Susan Buchanan of VFA. Jess Halvorson of Bank of America served as an alternate.

And the winners included: Homeowners Rehab, Inc. for the Massachusetts Green Building of the Year: their 95-97 Pine Street, Cambridge, LEED Platinum project. The judges saw this as an important model for other affordable housing projects.

Bergmeyer Associates also won for an Innovation in Green Design Award in the Building Category for their work on the Hosteling International Building on Stuart St. in Boston.

Other winners inlcuded:

Special Recognition:

Sherman Fairchild Laboratory Renovation for Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University

Submitted by Payette. Notes: This project is an example of stellar energy performance in a lab.

Special Recognition:

One Boston Place

Submitted by CBRE.  Notes: The judges praised this project for its enthusiastic spirit of the approach to recertification under EB O&M.

Award Winning Entries – Innovation in Green Design

Winner - Product, System or Technology Category

Shady Hill School in Cambridge, MA

Submitted by Richard Burck Associates, Inc. Notes: This project skillfully handled water absorption and discharge to the aquifer.

It was a fun evening full of GREEN BUILDINGS!

-Grey Lee

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