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Dalian Wanda Group, Shougang Group Co., Ltd. and Mr. Cai Fangming to Receive Leadership Awards at Greenbuild China

October 13, 2017
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Award recipients recognized for being at the forefront of green building in China

Shanghai—(October 13, 2017)—USGBC, the creators of the LEED green building program, announced Dalian Wanda Group, Shougang Group Co., Ltd. and Mr. Cai Fangming as the 2017 Greenbuild Leadership Award recipients. The awards will be presented for the first time in China as part of the inaugural Greenbuild China conference and exposition. The awards ceremony will take place at the conference in Shanghai on October 18.

Read the full press release

WaterBuild: The many facets of water resilience

October 13, 2017
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With the extreme weather events of the past month—hurricanes, floods, drought and wildfires—it may indeed be time to more urgently think about water resilience and water risk mitigation. How are you and your community incorporating water resilience and water sustainability in planning and design? When water quality hangs in the balance, and we have too much or too little water, what is the downstream effect?

Join us at Greenbuild Boston, as we dive deep into water resilience at the WaterBuild Summit. Industry experts are convening for a full day of programs and discussion that you won’t want to miss.

Here are just a few considerations at the nexus of water and resilience that we’ll be exploring at WaterBuild.

Water resilience and technology

We know that our communications and energy infrastructure can be crippled by a severe storm, but how can technology help us predict and model our design shortcomings? Technology can help us track performance of our infrastructure, including rainwater quantity and quality, potable water quality, wastewater processing and water access. We can use an emerging set of tools to adapt to the "new normal” of our severe weather cycles. At this year’s WaterBuild Summit, we will be talking about and applying some of the emerging technologies, as well as revisiting some of the existing technologies that might help us plan better and adapt better in the long term.

Water resilience and equity

Many residents displaced by flood events do not have the available resources to rebuild new homes, restore their old homes or return to live in recovering communities. When the water rises or spoils, it does so indiscriminately. Its impacts are rarely felt equally. How we plan for those often predictable impacts, and how we provide support services doesn’t have to be indiscriminate; it can be done with intention. This year’s WaterBuild program will build on the 2016 summit and deepen discussion on this important topic, giving consideration to how water can negatively impact a community and how to design with greater equity in mind.

Water resilience and grey/green infrastructure

We have developed amazing feats of engineering to manage and mitigate risks to water quantity and quality. When deployed effectively, these can complement nature’s many tools in its toolbox. Engaging communities and design teams in dialogue about how to apply both grey and green infrastructure to have the greatest impact on adaptation is essential to developing solutions that will last. There are many dimensions to infrastructure development. Considering the greatest multiple outcomes of a solution set will set the standard of gaining the greatest return on investment. 

Join us at WaterBuild to discuss all these important aspects of water resilience.

Register for Greenbuild

Clean power, with or without the Clean Power Plan

October 12, 2017
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The fate of the Clean Power Plan, the federal regulation of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel electric power plants, has taken a turn for the worse this month. The EPA has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking, beginning the process to repeal the rule.

The proposal would change the EPA’s interpretation of the Clean Air Act and reflects the position of the current administration that the Clean Power Plan exceeded EPA’s authority. Litigation over this action is certain, and it will feature a debate over the legal limits on EPA regulatory power balanced against the legal mandate for EPA to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant endangering public welfare, as found by the Supreme Court in 2009.

Market shifts away from fossil fuels

Whatever the fate of the plan, the U.S. power sector is already shifting toward less carbon-intensive energy sources. The 2017 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook reported that since 2005, the power sector has shrunk its carbon footprint by 24 percent. A new analysis suggests that the sector’s emissions are already on track to meet the Clean Power Plan’s target of 32 percent by 2030, with a projected 27 to 35 percent reduction below 2005 levels.

This decarbonization is all without the Clean Power Plan having come into effect—but how? The power sector has been influenced by state policies and shifts in relative costs among energy sources, including cheaper natural gas, which has a significantly lower carbon impact than coal. From 2005 to 2016, according to the Factbook, the U.S. added 78GW of wind, 39GW of solar and 104GW of natural gas, while retiring 49GW of coal-fired power plants.

In the void—whether temporary or permanent—left by the federal Clean Power Plan regulation, we will continue to see market forces pushing decarbonization of power generation. Some states will move ahead with steps to accelerate that transition and to use power more efficiently, with approaches ranging from California’s cap and trade program, to a diverse set of states, including Ohio and Illinois, leveraging renewable portfolio standards. Some utilities will continue to increase their investments and transition to lower carbon generation.

States left without a critical mechanism for efficiency

Under a Clean Power Plan repeal, we will be missing a key, if imperfect, tool to incentivize robust energy efficiency programs in every state. The rule would have allowed states to leverage energy efficiency for credit by avoiding the need for electricity generation and the associated emissions, with special emphasis on low-income communities.

Although leading states have adopted policies to push efficiency and its financial benefits to various sectors, other states have lagged, especially those in the Southeast and Midwest. (See, for example, ACEEE scorecards ranking energy efficiency policies in states and major utilities.) Without state and utility structures supporting efficiency, business and residential customers will continue to spend more money on electricity than they need to, and miss out on co-benefits to health and comfort. USGBC is concerned in particular about the disproportionate impact of energy costs on low-income households.

The Clean Power Plan story is not over yet, but with or without the plan, we will continue to advocate for strong, effective state and utility policies and programs to drive improvements in energy efficiency that supports jobs, businesses and families.

To learn more about how you can support low income efficiency, contact the Advocacy and Policy staff at USGBC.

Arc is coming to a Greenbuild near you

October 12, 2017
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The world’s largest green building conference and expo is now global. Greenbuild is not only bringing world-renowned thinkers and innovators together in Boston, but for the first time, the show is also being hosted in China and India. The Arc platform will be a hot topic at each of the Greenbuild events.

Arc is helping buildings and communities around the world connect actions to create a higher quality of life. Not only is Arc the first platform to benchmark activity using a holistic performance score, but it also enables buildings and communities to use that score to achieve LEED certification.

Learn how to make Arc a part of your sustainability journey by registering for a Greenbuild session near you.

Greenbuild China

LEED v4: A Deep Dive into the Rating System, Performance and the New Arc Platform: Mon., October 16, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. LEED is changing the way we think about how buildings and communities are planned and designed. Explore how Arc is helping projects benchmark and track performance and pursue LEED certification.

Connecting the Dots in Parkview Green: Performance, People and Planet: Wed., October 18, 9–10 a.m. Join the Arc and Parkview Green teams for a real-world case study highlighting how a project that has already achieved LEED Platinum is using Arc to go beyond.

Greenbuild India

LEED v4 Workshop: A Deep Dive into the Rating System, Performance and the New Arc Platform: Wed., November 1, 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m. LEED v4 is the newest version of LEED. Attend this workshop to learn how Arc is helping buildings pursuing LEED v4 benchmark and track performance.

Improving the Quality of Spaces—Sustainable Development Stories from Rural, Urban and Historic India: Thurs., November 2 – Participate in the global dialogue on market transformation and consider regional and local solutions currently under way in India.

Greenbuild Boston

LEED v4 O+M: Arc Performance Score and Credit Pathways to Certification for Existing Buildings: Mon., November 6, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Learn how buildings can pursue LEED v4 O+M and recertification for all LEED-certified buildings using Arc and how the Arc performance score puts the built environment on the path to continuous improvement.

International Summit: Tues., November 7, 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Join Arc CEO Scot Horst as he reveals how data is defining the next era of green building performance and what technologies and resources are just around the corner to help further connect actions and improve performance.

Master Series: Wed., November 8, 2–3 p.m. The "Powering Performance: How Connecting Actions is Accelerating Global Market Transformation" session will explain why data is today’s connector, driving us to do better. Arc CEO Scot Horst will bring together market leaders to tell their Arc story and share real-world examples of how benchmarking and tracking data using the digital platform is creating change.

All Buildings and Places In: Data, Performance, LEED and the Ever-evolving Built Environment: Wed., November 8, 4–6 p.m. Understand how data-driven certification using Arc and building performance technology is helping advance market transformation. Explore the relationship between LEED, Arc and the other GBCI rating systems.

Arc Is All In: How Performance Scoring is Improving the Quality of Spaces Globally: Thurs., November 9, 11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m. Join this "Connect and Learn" to hear from commercial real estate companies, public school districts and others about how scoring helps buildings and portfolios compare progress and drive improvement.

Strategies, Data, and Performance for Sustainable Communities: Thurs., November 9, 10:30–11:30 a.m. This "Connect and Learn" session will show you how to take your community efforts to the next level with the Arc platform, LEED for Cities and the STAR Community Rating System.

Sessions will also be available to learn about the LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities programs implemented through Arc.

Attendees who have Arc-related questions during Greenbuild can stop by the USGBC booth and the GBCI Certification Work Zone, where team members will be available. Contact the Arc team to register your project and learn how data can help you achieve a higher level of performance.

Explore Arc

4 chances to learn about LEED for Cities at Greenbuild Boston

October 12, 2017
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Greenbuild is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. Join the Arc team in Boston for two days of interactive workshops and three days of renowned speakers, industry-leading educational sessions, an extensive exhibit hall and valuable networking.

Featured at this year's Greenbuild are LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities, certifications focused on sustainability and quality of life in communities around the world. This LEED certification benchmarks places of all sizes—from neighborhoods or districts to towns, counties and cities—using a performance score based on data from a global set of communities.

LEED for Cities and Communities are available exclusively on the Arc platform, and are most applicable to existing places. LEED and Arc enable local governments and private entities to gauge progress, identify areas for improvement and communicate their achievements.

Learn about LEED for Cities and the Arc platform at Greenbuild:

Arc, LEED, and Measuring Performance at the City Scale: Tues., November 7, 1–5 p.m. This workshop will help attendees understand the LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities standard, as well as how to use the Arc platform to track data, score community performance and navigate the certification process.

Master Series: Wed., November 8, 2–3 p.m.. The "Powering Performance: How Connecting Actions is Accelerating Global Market Transformation" session will explain why data is today’s connector, driving us to do better. Arc CEO Scot Horst will bring together market leaders to tell their Arc story and share real-world examples of how benchmarking and tracking data using the digital platform is creating change.

Strategies, Data, and Performance for Sustainable Communities: Thurs., November 9, 10:30–11:30 a.m. This "Connect and Learn" session will show you how to take your community efforts to the next level with the Arc platform, LEED for Cities and the STAR Community Rating System.

GBCI Certification Work Zone: November 8–9, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. The GBCI booth on the expo floor will have LEED subject matter experts on hand throughout the conference to answer all your questions about Arc, LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities.

Register for Greenbuild

3 courses to help you tackle LEED v4

October 11, 2017
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At the beginning of each quarter, USGBC releases the latest LEED Addenda. This update includes important interpretations, corrections and pilot credit updates, providing guidance and clarification. Check out this selection of three courses to grow your LEED, green building and sustainability knowledge.

This month we are featuring three LEED-specific courses by USGBC Education Partner Green Building Education Services (GBES). These courses are ideal for anyone working on a LEED project or working to meet their credential maintenance requirements through continuing education hours.

  1. LEED v4 MR Credits: EPDs vs HPDs—What You Need to Know: This course can help you successfully meet the Materials and Resources: Product Disclosure and Optimization credit requirements related to Environmental Product Declarations, Health Product Declarations, and cradle to cradle. Explore the specific thresholds that LEED requires and review strategies employed by early adopters.
  2. Vegetated Green Roofs for LEED Projects: This course begins with the basic definition of a vegetated green roof and moves on to a discussion of green roofing policies in various jurisdictions, with a focus on U.S. cities. This is an ideal tutorial for implementing the Sustainable Sites: Heat Island Reduction and Sustainable Credit.
  3. Arc and the LEED Performance Path, A Look Inside: Get familiar with the performance pathways and review tips for navigating the Arc platform to achieve LEED certification. This course is a great introduction for all LEED Operations and Maintenance projects, as well as Building Design and Construction projects planning for ongoing performance monitoring.

Looking for more great courses about the LEED rating system? Check out the LEED v4 Updates Playlist.

Each course on Education @USGBC is available for individual purchase at $45. You can also access the courses through the Education @USGBC subscription.

Subscribe to Education @USGBC

Visit USGBC and GBCI on the Greenbuild expo floor

October 11, 2017
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After two days of exciting Greenbuild Boston workshops, summits and tours, the main education sessions start and the Expo Hall opens. In the rush of activity, if you've got green building questions, USGBC and GBCI have the answers. We will be on hand Wednesday and Thursday in the Expo Hall for whatever you need.

USGBC and GBCI in the Expo Hall

November 8–9 from 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

USGBC booth: Visit booth #1438 to learn from USGBC staff about LEED, LEED professional credentials, USGBC membership, educational offerings, Green Apple Day of Service, Project Haiti and advocacy.

Stop by for a chat, meet the team and pick up the latest copy of USGBC+. Check out the Arc platform, where you can learn more about collecting, managing and benchmarking project data to improve sustainability performance across the built environment, from buildings to cities. We'll also be offering discounts on USGBC publications and merchandise.

GBCI booth: Visit GBCI's booth #1238 to learn more about project certifications and professional credentials and certificates for LEED, WELL, PEER, SITES, Parksmart, EDGE, GRESB, TRUE Zero Waste certification and the Investor Confidence Project.

USGBC Greenbuild booth

GBCI Certification Work Zone

For the first time, the GBCI Certification Work Zone will be located in the GBCI booth (#1238). It will be even easier for you to get questions answered about the certification process or something you heard during Greenbuild sessions. The Certification Work Zone is the place for you to discover new tools and resources that can help your project deliver economic, environmental and social benefits.

The GBCI Certification Work Zone will be hosted in the expo hall, during regular expo hours. Stop by to talk with GBCI staff, reviewers and assessors and discuss questions about specific projects or rating system requirements. Support is available for GBCI’s full suite of certification and credentialing offerings.

Register for Greenbuild

International Summit spotlight: Urban design for health

October 10, 2017
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Feature image: Rendering by Sasaki, courtesy of Inmobiliaria Las Salinas.

The International Summit at Greenbuild kicks off the world’s biggest conference on green building with new research and new ideas. Bold experiments in driving sustainability are revealed, and the teams behind exemplary new projects share their stories.

In Boston this year, International Summit attendees will have a chance to hear directly from a project team from Chile that is dedicated to sustainably strengthening the fabric of their city. Inmobiliaria Las Salinas is seeking to certify to LEED for Neighborhood Development standards under LEED v4—a first for their country and community.

Join us on November 7 for the summit breakout Las Salinas Neighborhood: Urban Design for a Healthier City and learn how the project sought to transform the community by addressing whole-city and ecosystem health in the design stage and integrating communities, businesses and activist groups around common purpose and meaning.

The methodology that informed the urban design process for building a new neighborhood in a former brownfield site challenged tradition by building relationships with the environment and being open to permanent evolution. Learn how to apply this methodology to your own projects and how this approach can be carried through to certification achievement.

Professionals in building, infrastructure, design, manufacturing, policy and finance are creating a more sustainable world within their fields and beyond, and rating systems like LEED are helping to advance their work. Join USGBC and Inmobilaria Las Salinas for this vital conversation.

International Summit: Local Leaders, Global Gain: Pursuing Sustainability at Every Level

Tues., November 7, 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

The one-day summit convenes multi-disciplinary leaders for dialogue, knowledge sharing and problem solving to address issues related to sustainable development and collaboration on a global scale. Scot Horst and John Mandyck will present the opening plenary before an array of breakout sessions.

Register for Greenbuild Boston

Rhode Island adds SITES and LEED ND to its Green Buildings Act

October 10, 2017
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The Ocean State has taken a big step toward embracing sustainable development and landscapes. Building on the state’s eight-year legacy of green public buildings policy, the Rhode Island legislature has passed a bill to expand its coverage to include public lands.

The Senate passed S-0952A/H-5427A, amending the state’s Green Buildings Act, to apply to any “public real property site” in addition to public buildings, and specifying the Sustainable SITES Initiative (SITES) and LEED for Neighborhood Development as applicable rating systems for certification. This move makes Rhode Island the first state in the nation to reference the SITES rating system in public policy.

Since 2010, the state has been applying LEED in its newly constructed state-funded facilities, but starting immediately, state and local governments working on new projects that address the space between buildings through public parks or landscapes will also consider applying SITES and LEED ND to sites adjacent to public facilities. LEED and SITES are complementary and can be used independently or in tandem, earning credits that count toward both rating systems.

SITES is based on the understanding that land is a crucial component of the built environment, and the rating system can be applied to development projects with or without buildings—ranging from national parks to corporate campuses, from streetscapes to homes.

LEED ND incorporates the principles of smart growth, New Urbanism, and green building into a global standard for green neighborhood planning and design. The voluntary leadership standard for neighborhood development helps guide development projects in terms of where they’re located, how they’re designed and how they perform.

By using these rating systems for public projects, Rhode Island is creating healthier, more sustainable and more resilient places for its residents. In addition, the state is also being a good fiscal steward of the public’s funds while signaling to the private market the state’s support for sustainability in the built environment. Green infrastructure and built landscapes protect people and buildings, as well as mitigating the impact of natural disasters.

USGBC thanks the bill sponsors in the House, Rep. Blazejewski, Rep. Edwards IV, Rep. Marshall, Rep. Marszalkowski and Rep. Walsh, as well as the Senate, Sen. DiPalma, Sen. Coyne, Sen. Miller, Sen. Seveney, and Sen. Sosnowski.  Additionally, we would like to recognize Kenneth J. Filarski, Chair of USGBC Rhode Island chapter, for his tireless work and persistence in getting this legislation passed.

Teach environmental literacy with Green Apple Day of Service

October 10, 2017
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Youth who are educated about sustainability and the environment help move us toward a society that considers the environmental impact of its everyday actions. Additionally, today’s younger generations must be literate in sustainability to compete in the growing green job market. Green Apple Day of Service is a great way to start implementing sustainability education in a school.

See our tips on how to educate for environmental and sustainability literacy as a Green Apple project.

Take a look at how these inspiring 2016 projects in Mexico implemented their ideas:

Green building education at Instituto Mater

Bioconstrucción, a green construction company in Mexico, dedicated a day to educating students and staff of Instituto Mater in Nuevo León about sustainability. The company was invited by the school to offer instruction on sustainable practices, such as identifying efficient A/C systems, insulating around windows to maintain the building temperature and using building orientation to maximize natural light and water collection. Using these tips, the school crafted a plan to remodel their buildings to be more sustainable.

Green Apple Day of Service with Bioconstruccion

Afterward, Bioconstrucción invited the students, ages 4 to 15, and staff to tour the company’s LEED Platinum building to learn what sustainable construction and green practices looked like in action. They provided advice for the school staff to promote and practice sustainability and provided information on the Green Classroom Professional certificate program available through USGBC.

As a result of the Green Apple Day of Service project, Instituto Mater has made a commitment to creating a more sustainable environment for their students, including incorporating sustainability into their educational program. The school also enhanced this commitment by enrolling teachers in Learning Lab, an online platform for teachers to find and use sustainability and STEM-based lessons.

Creative competitions with Escuela Promesa

As part of their 2016 Green Apple Day of Service program, Escuela Promesa, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching students about environmental education, challenged 90 schools (and their 61,490 students!) to participate in a “Google and SUMe” competition. SUMe is a partner organization dedicated to green building in Mexico. Two competitions were presented to schools, each based on age group, which challenged students to think about sustainability and the actions they could take to make a positive impact.

Green Apple Day of Service with Escuela Promesa

In the elementary schools, students created a story that that described the changes they could make in their own homes to make them more sustainable. Middle and high school students made videos explaining their vision of a sustainable city and the practices that their own cities would need to enact to reach that vision. Eight schools were recognized for their level of participation in the competition, and the winners were given certificates, plants for their school and (for the older students) a tour of the LEED Gold Google Mexico office.

These two projects in Mexico reflect how Green Apple projects can prepare students worldwide, through education, to face future environmental challenges.

Register a Green Apple Day of Service project


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