Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Green Schools Update from Steve Muzzy

Green Apple Day of Service is almost here. The Green Schools Committee has compiled a list of registered projects to help volunteers engage with events in their communities. Use the RSVP link in the compiled list to learn more about the event and to register and lend your support. Remember, it's not too late to organize an event. Green Apple Day of Service projects don't need to happen on September 28th – there is flexibility in choosing a day. With the new school year set to begin, now is the time to coordinate a Green Apple project, please contact me for support. To help with funding, you may be interested in the Center for Green Schools Visa gift card give away to support Green Apple activities through their Green Apple Day of Service Facebook Contest.

On July 30th a number of Green School Committee members participated in the Department of Education's ‘Education Built to Last’ Facilities Best Practice Tour of Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School and Quincy High School, two MA Green Ribbon Award winners. For an overview of the tours and to learn more about these amazing green schools, head over to the USGBC MA blog. Green Ribbon Schools has teamed up with Green Apple Day of Service to outline a potential day of service project. Use the following link to learn more.

New Resource: U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools and the American Association of Community Colleges’ Sustainability Education and Economic Development (SEED) Center have released a new resource, Campus as a Living Lab: Using the Built Environment to Revitalize College Education. This guide is designed to help colleges that have greened their campuses, or are thinking about greening their campuses, to use those facilities as real-world teaching tools for students across an array of academic and technical programs.

Opportunity: Free USGBC membership for PreK-12 schools & districts. For a limited time, USGBC is offering schools and districts first time, one year free organizational membership. By becoming a USGBC member, schools and districts have the ability to connect to other member organizations and access a wide variety of resources and benefits.

Monday, August 26, 2013

EPMA Committee hosts USGBC MA's 6th Annual Sustainable Buildings Bike Tour

(Guest Post by Javier Burgos)

On Saturday August 17th, the USGBC chapter gathered for the 6th annual Sustainable Buildings Bike Tour, organized by the EPMA (Emerging Professionals) committee.  It was a gorgeous day for a bike ride.  The ride was a great success, as nearly 30 bike riders traveled along the streets of Cambridge and stopped at different buildings to learn how each one incorporated sustainable building practices.  Several of our riders used the 'Hubway' bike-sharing system with great results! 

The bike tour gathered in Kendall Square and all sorts of bikes were there.

The bike tour started in Kendall Square, went up towards Harvard, and came back towards MIT before ending up at Kendall Square again.  The bike tour included stops and descriptions of:

Attendees stop along the Esplanade to learn about Harvard's sustainability initiatives. 

In addition, we were fortunate enough to have a representative from the Cambridge Public Library (CPL) speak to us and provide a quick tour, as well as a representative from Harvard's Green Building Services group.  Mike Craig of the CPL provided a great description of the libraries green features, while Joel Mckellar of Harvard rode with the group and provided a long description of all of Harvard building and emissions goals.  A big thank you to both of them!

Joel McKellar of Harvard's Green Building Services group talks about the green buildings on campus as Kristin Malyak (EPMA Bike Tour organizer) listens in.

Javier Burgos (EPMA Bike Tour Organizer) talks about MIT's sustainable building goals and initiatives.

At the end of the tour, a group of riders headed towards a local bar to continue our green building conversations.  We are already looking forward to next years event!

Map of the bike route

List of green buildings visited

Friday, August 23, 2013

Members: We're looking for projects for our upcoming Massachusetts LEED Project Showcase!

The Massachusetts LEED Project Showcase 2013 is coming!

When: Thursday, October 17, 2013; 6:00 - 8:00PM
Where: Google's LEED Gold space at 3 Cambridge Center in Kendall Sq.  
What to expect: Short presentations, networking, learning, light appetizers and beverages.
Cost: $25 USGBC MA members, $40 for non-members, sponsorship opportunities available

Here is our invitation letter to our members (you too could become a member!) - and please take a look at the links to see the event page and consider registering a project for the Showcase!

Dear Colleagues in Green Building,

Thank you also for being a dedicated Member of the USGBC MA Chapter. As I went through this list, I am amazed at all the great LEED projects I can connect to a name. I want more of these projects to be better known.

Your work has helped move the Commonwealth to the forefront of sustainable planning, design, construction and operation of buildings and communities. We want to celebrate your efforts, and those of your teams, by having your LEED certified projects showcased at an exciting event to be hosted at Google’s facility in Cambridge on Oct. 17th, 2013.

The USGBC MA Chapter is hosting this inaugural LEED Project Showcase as a way of gathering our community of practitioners, raising the profile of our LEED buildings, and sharing information about innovative practices in design and construction.

I hope you will consider joining us. There are many ways to participate. We are seeking basic information about each of your projects so we can highlight these stories on our website and create opportunities for team building among the many disciplines involved in projects. We want the story of these projects whether located in Massachusetts or designed/created by you or your firm outside of the state. There are also several sponsorship opportunities to allow for better exposure, including event boards and tie-ins with our media partner, the New England Real Estate Journal. We are also seeking sponsors that want to present information about their projects live at the event. If you would like to sponsor multiple projects that you've been involved in, please let me know.

We anticipate an enjoyable and informative gathering and hope that you and members of your project team will submit your projects' narratives and attend the event.

I'm hoping this may be a way to connect with more of the people who have supported our mission to make every building a green building, through your daily work. 

Thank you for your efforts in promoting the design, construction, and operation of sustainable buildings and communities in Massachusetts! I look forward to hearing from you.

Grey Lee

Monday, August 19, 2013

MA LEED Project Showcase

Are you ready?!

October 17, 2013, live, at Google, it's:

The Massachusetts LEED Project Showcase!

We are celebrating the achievements of LEED certifications - every project team should come. We want to see and hear about these green buildings. At this inaugural episode, we'll be reaching back to the beginning of 2012 - almost 200 projects have attained certification since then. Let's highlight them all!

If you know of a project, and know a project team member or person otherwise central to the project, please let us know so we can reach out. Each project has the opportunity share their story with the community and to create a board to display at the Showcase. For those that are interested there are a variety of sponsorship packages to connect with the event.

When: Thursday, October 17, 2013; 6:00 - 8:00PM
Where: Google's LEED Gold space at 3 Cambridge Center in Kendall Sq.  
What to expect: Food, drinks, short presentations, mingling, learning
Cost: $25 USGBC MA members, $40 for non-members, sponsorship opportunities available 

We look forward to seeing you at the Massachusetts LEED Project Showcase in October!

Monday, August 5, 2013

USGBCMA on the radio!

Grey Lee spoke with Rick Kaplan and Eric Wilson of the New England Real Estate Journal about the state of the green building industry and the USGBC on their recent NEREJ Radio Program. Take a listen starting at 31:05 - it's about a 14-minute interview.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Congratulations to New USGBC National Member Firms!

Since the beginning of 2013, a number of firms based in Massachusetts have become members of the USGBC. We appreciate the support and the growth of our community, and we want to invite these firms to become more involved with the local Chapter (us!) through our various events and programs.

Of the 415 current national member firms, 306 have already renewed this year! We will be highlighting many of those throughout the year, since, after all, we're part of one big happy green building family!

Thank you to the following new members! Take a look at all the cool work they are doing throughout Massachusetts and beyond:

UrbanMeritage, LLC

Stanmar, Inc.

Gateway Development International

Stone Soup Concrete, Inc

FM Global

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Wheelock College

Clean Production Action

Ryan Construction, Inc.

Malsky Hardwood Flooring

GreenEffects Building & Design

BHI Energy - Bartlett Nuclear

L/R Construction, Inc.

Umaco, Inc.

Botticelli and Pohl, PC

Second Law Engineers Inc. d/b/a DMI

Murray Brothers Construction, Inc.

Stay tuned for more green building news from these firms!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Department of Education Visits Two Schools in Massachusetts for Their ‘Education Built to Last’ Facilities Best Practice Tour

Special Advisor to the Secretary Donald Yu and U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Director Andrea Falken visited U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools in Massachusetts on Tuesday, July 30th, to see and discuss the ways school facilities can enhance the conditions for learning.  

A large group of government and state officials, community members, green building professionals, students, teachers, and green school advocates attended tours at Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School and Quincy High School to see how they are incorporating sustainability into the built environment and the educational experience of their school communities. More information about the Green Ribbon Awardees is found below. 

Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School

Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School, a Collaborative for High Performance Schools building, constructed with recycled materials and energy-efficient design principles, is home to a 650 gallon rainwater collection tank and over 100 donated plants and trees.  The school achieved a 90 percent reduction in waste through the installation of a state of the art Lucidomatic waste sorting system and the implementation of a printing limits program through PaperCut software.  Manchester Essex, which has reduced its heating per square foot by nearly 58 percent over three years, meets 5 percent of its energy needs through on-site solar panels.  The edible schoolyard is a community-building and educational tool that offers students and parents the opportunity to work with the garden during the summer to raise awareness about local food and organic gardening.

Manchester Essex Regional School Green Scholars and their mentor Eric Magers

At Quincy High School, a career and technical school, the building’s design allows for collaboration among AP biology and environmental science students and their peers who are pursuing Nursing or Applied Medical Technology specialties.  Quincy collaborated with the city’s planning department to participate in the USGBC Center for Green Schools Green Apple Day of Service, which provided real-world instruction about the importance of energy reduction and implemented a National Wildlife Federation Cool Schools Energy Audit.  The school’s STEM wing is home to a greenhouse, where students are actively involved in learning how to grow their own food.  Culinary students are responsible for front- and back-of-house service at the wildly popular President’s CafĂ©, where student-grown herbs are used in recipes.  The school was certified by the Massachusetts Collaborative for High Performing Schools in 2009 and EPA ENERGY STAR in 2008.  The school has continued its efforts by retro-commissioning the building to ensure that it performs as intended. Quincy High School was designed by USGBC MA Chapter sponsor SMMA.

QHS's 66Kw Solar Array