This Issue

2015 July-August

Gateway to Sustainability – video test

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Gateway to Sustainability [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] A St. Louis community has faith-based response to climate change.   By Jeff Harder[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text]The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Missouri Gateway chapter and Missouri Interfaith Power and Light are both based in St. Louis, and the common ground doesn’t stop there. A national organization with chapters all across the country, Interfaith Power and Light (IPL) advances energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy in congregations and religious communities as a faith-based response to climate change. “The congregations that support Missouri IPL have a specific interest in reducing their carbon footprint and their buildings’ energy use,” says Emily Andrews, executive director of the Missouri Gateway chapter. Last year, thanks to a USGBC Impact Grant, the Missouri chapters partnered to provide energy audits for 10 congregations around St. Louis.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="10"][vc_column_text] [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="10"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="20248" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="10"][vc_column_text]Missouri Interfaith Power and Light has environmental stewardship in their ministry’s mission. Photo: Kari R. Frey, FREYtography. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=".vc_custom_1424119896533{margin-top: 25px !important;}" row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="15"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] // // ]]> “That energy audit was a good starting point. Then the thought became: ‘We have this energy audit—what’s next?...

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Q&A with Mark Ginsberg

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="50"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="20293" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text] Illustration by Melissa McGill [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_single_image image="20296" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1437073949913{margin-top: 20px !important;}"]Mark Ginsberg founded Ginsberg Green Strategies in January 2012 to consult on Eco-Cities, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. In Fall 2012, the U.S. Green Building Council designated Ginsberg as the first USGBC senior fellow, where he serves as a senior policy advisor and Ambassador. Prior to that, he served as a senior executive at the U.S. Department of Energy for 20 years and the Arizona Energy Office for 10 years. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]Q.What is most remarkable about LEED’s trajectory? It still stuns me to see how far and wide LEED has grown in so little time. When Rob Watson first came to me with the idea for a green building rating system–and the hopeful promise of a full turnkey effort for just $100,000!– I could never have envisioned it being used in 150 countries with over 13 billion square feet of space rated. From a few early federal buildings and industry leaders, it amazes me to see iconic buildings like the Empire State Building, Shanghai Tower, TAIPEI 101 and Carpe Diem in Paris all LEED rated. The 2002 Olympic Oval Building...

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Product Innovation

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="18627" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="30" padding_bottom="30"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text] Whole Trees Architecture & Structures WholeTrees uses whole diameter tree trunks and unwanted branched timbers that would otherwise be removed from routine forest thinning (such as fallen or diseased trees) to create structural building solutions. What results is round-timber: a sustainable, cost-effective alternative to steel, concrete and heavy timber products. Round-timber uses less than one-fifth of the energy required to make conventional lumber. It’s 50 percent stronger in bending strength than comparably sized squared timbers and typically costs less to install than other materials and is more light weight, reducing the need for foundation capacity. Round-timber helps earn points in green building rating systems, including up to 10 LEED points (v 4.0), and comply with international and state building codes. For more information on using WholeTrees products, visit www.wholetrees.com or call 608/310-5282. Whole Trees LLC www.wholetrees.com [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text] Solarban® z75 Solarban® z75 glass provides a steel-blue/gray appearance with an exceptional 0.24 SHGC in a standard one-inch IGU. Similar in appearance to Solarban z50 glass, the coating on Solarban z75 glass provides an added level of solar performance, giving architects two options for neutral cool-gray glass that is optimized to...

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The New Capital of Energy Conservation

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] The New Capital of Energy Conservation [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="25"][vc_column_text] How Atlanta is leading the south in energy efficiency policy.   By Cecilia Shutters[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="25"][vc_column_text]From the baking heat and humidity of an Atlanta summer, stepping into the cool, climate-controlled, reprieve of one of its large downtown buildings offers instant relief. Once a largely unchecked box for potential savings and even job growth, Atlanta’s commercial building stock is now at the center of the city’s newest, boldest energy policy, the Commercial Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance. The city projects “a 20 percent reduction in commercial energy consumption by the year 2030,” which will “spur the creation of more than 1,000 jobs a year in the first few years, and reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent from 2013 levels by 2030.” The unanimous passage of the ordinance by the City Council in April of this year makes it the first city in the southeast, and the 12th city in the United States, to pass a version of what is known as benchmarking and disclosure (also known as transparency) policies. Atlanta’s announcement precedes Portland, Oregon’s and Kansas City, Missouri’s recent announcements of similar polices, bringing the total number of cities...

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Gateway to Sustainability

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Gateway to Sustainability [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] A St. Louis community has faith-based response to climate change.   By Jeff Harder[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text]The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Missouri Gateway chapter and Missouri Interfaith Power and Light are both based in St. Louis, and the common ground doesn’t stop there. A national organization with chapters all across the country, Interfaith Power and Light (IPL) advances energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy in congregations and religious communities as a faith-based response to climate change. “The congregations that support Missouri IPL have a specific interest in reducing their carbon footprint and their buildings’ energy use,” says Emily Andrews, executive director of the Missouri Gateway chapter. Last year, thanks to a USGBC Impact Grant, the Missouri chapters partnered to provide energy audits for 10 congregations around St. Louis.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="10"][vc_column_text] [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="10"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="20248" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="10"][vc_column_text]Missouri Interfaith Power and Light has environmental stewardship in their ministry’s mission. Photo: Kari R. Frey, FREYtography. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=".vc_custom_1424119896533{margin-top: 25px !important;}" row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="15"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] // // ]]> “That energy audit was a good starting point. Then the thought became: ‘We have this energy audit—what’s next?...

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Rewriting History

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="18578" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="20148" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text] By Alex Wright [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] [caption id="attachment_20150" align="alignright" width="731"] The Great Pyramids of Giza - the pyramid of Menkaure 215 feet; the great pyramid of Khufu, 481 feet; the Pyramid of Khafre 448 feet. [/caption] How the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids matters to climate change.   Spoiler alert: We may be wrong about how the ancient Egyptians built the Great Pyramids. Decades of schoolchildren are taught the prevailing theory: The pyramids were constructed from enormous blocks of solid stone, cut by hand from far away quarries, and hauled across the searing desert sands. We imagine—thanks in large part to Cecil B. DeMille—thousands of shirtless, sweating slaves harnessed to thick hemp ropes, dragging enormous square blocks of stone up steep ramps. The feat seems so incredible that some wonder whether the Egyptians had help from other planets. Always a rational voice in the room, Neil deGrasse Tyson counters, “Just because you can’t figure out how ancient civilizations built stuff, doesn’t mean they got help from aliens.” Figuring out how the pyramids were built has interesting applications beyond Egyptology. Today’s building materials do not have an expected lifespan anywhere near 4,000 years. And...

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Reducing Impact

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="18059" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="20133" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text] By Mary Grauerholz [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] [caption id="attachment_20134" align="alignright" width="650"] Ramé Hemstreet, Kaiser Permanente’s chief energy officer. Photo: Emily Hagopian[/caption] Kaiser Permanente turns to renewable energy to create a healthier environment.   To witness the profound effects of climate change, look no further than California’s Central Valley, where a record drought has left an eerily parched, dust-blown landscape. Scientists in California, the home state of healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente, are sounding dire warnings that unless greenhouse gases are vastly reduced, conditions are expected to worsen. The effects of climate change, such as those found in the Central Valley, have the potential for great harm to human health, both directly and indirectly. Kaiser Permanente, headquartered in Oakland, California, has a long history of linking the environment to human health. Now the healthcare provider and not-for-profit health plan, already a leader in green energy, will take another major step forward and purchase enough renewable energy to meet half of its electricity consumption in California. Between two separate deals with NextEra Energy Resources and NRG Energy, solar and wind power will replace much of Kaiser Permanente’s need for fossil fuels, significantly reducing greenhouse gases, a known...

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Commitment to Quality

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="18094" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="20098" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text] By Kiley Jacques [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] [caption id="attachment_20103" align="alignright" width="500"] Georgina Cruz, teacher at the Instituto Thomas Jefferson’s Zona Esmeralda campus helps a young student water a schoolyard garden.[/caption] Mexico City’s Instituto Thomas Jefferson looks for ways to make its sustainability efforts as impactful as possible.   For 37 years, the Instituto Thomas Jefferson (ITJ) has been a forerunner for social emotional learning, project-based education, and student-powered innovation. Today, its mission is campus-wide sustainability on all fronts—from LEED-certified buildings to Green Apple Day of Service projects to the environmentally focused K-12 curricula. ITJ—a network of schools based in Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Queretaro—is committed to “whole school sustainability,” which is built on a framework that looks at organizational culture, physical place, and educational programming. “ITJ is not a common school,” notes Organizational Culture Leader Monica Bleiberg, whose role it is to connect the ITJ community through initiatives that build a sustainability culture. “We enrich our educational model with innovative projects all the time so our teachers and students are used to new challenges,” she explains. “When we decided to embrace the whole school sustainability framework, Green Apple Day of Service became the perfect...

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Holistic Approach

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17531" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="20195" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Jeff Harder 100 Resilient Cities program helps urban areas around the globe meet 21st-century challenges. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Travel just about as far west as you can along Interstate 10 in Texas and you’ll find El Paso, a city of 675,000 hugging the U.S.-Mexico border. Like other urban areas around the world, El Paso strives to provide its citizens with access to healthcare and social services among its most vulnerable residents, replace aging stormwater and electrical infrastructure, plan for drought and flood, create stable, high-quality jobs, and conserve water through alternative sources. Ensuring that El Paso can thrive in the future and bounce back from whatever misfortune comes its way means solving problems that resonate beyond its city limits. “It doesn’t matter where we draw the line on the map,” says Nicole Ferrini, chief resilience officer for the city of El Paso and a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Chihuahuan Desert Chapter. “We have to deal with these things as a regional community.” [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2" css=".vc_custom_1437066654155{margin-top: 15px !important;}"][vc_single_image image="20201" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1437066357819{margin-top: 10px !important;}"]Nicole Ferrini is the chief resilience officer for the...

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Inspiration and Motivation

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="20094" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/4"][vc_single_image image="20092" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Brendan Owens chief of engineering, USGBC [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="3/4"][vc_column_text] [dropcaps type='normal' color='' background_color='' border_color='']A[/dropcaps] few years ago I was chatting with a new USGBC employee who had just joined us in a senior leadership position. We had just wrapped up a meeting about something or other and this new leader was explaining how excited they were to be working at USGBC. I get to hear that a fair amount— people like to work here and we do inspiring, important work with really fun, smart people. But the next statement they made blindsided me. It was something to the effect of “and I’m so happy to be at this place in such early days—this organization has so much potential.” I didn’t know what to say. Had they missed the memo that LEED had fundamentally changed the construction industry? In less than a decade! In 150 countries! And 10+ billion square feet! Sometimes the prideful, automatic reaction is the exact wrong one. The hard truth of it is that we’ve got a long, long, long way to go. In the face of the causal role that the buildings industry...

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