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LEED Link: LEED sessions at Greenbuild

October 31, 2017
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Greenbuild Boston, with workshops, summits and education sessions running from November 6–10, is rapidly approaching. Here a just a few of the opportunities to learn about LEED:

Register for Greenbuild

Leaders share their expertise at Greenbuild China

October 27, 2017
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Just last week, the Greenbuild Conference made history by holding its first Greenbuild in Asia.

Greenbuild is the place where those who are connected to the green building movement, from architects to developers to product manufacturers, come together to discuss what is new, what is needed and what is on the horizon. Greenbuild China 2017 followed in this tradition, yet provided a new forum for the award-winning event, convening hundreds of green building professionals and stakeholders in Shanghai at the W Hotel for three days of workshops, education, networking and inspiration.

Greenbuild China

China’s sustainability journey has been one marked with incredible achievements. China currently stands as the one of the top markets in the world for LEED, second only to the United States. Additionally, over 3,000 LEED-credentialed professionals work or live in China. The exponential growth of LEED in China provides critical help in mitigating the effects of climate change and positively affects the health and well-being of millions of people. There are over 1,100 certified LEED commercial projects in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao. And this is just the beginning.

During his keynote address, Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO of USGBC and GBCI, reflected on the incredible speed and growth of green building in China, remarking that this is a product of the values that are so key in Chinese culture – warmth, caring and human connections.

Mahesh Ramanujam at Greenbuild China

Greenbuild China was an incredible experience that brought together speakers and guests to share ideas.

The Opening Plenary featured remarks from some of China’s distinguished leaders, including:

  • Mr. Liu Qian Wei, Chief Engineer Shanghai Municipal Commission of Housing, Urban—Rural Development and Management
  • Mr. Luo Bo Ming, Chairman, Beijing New Aerotropolis Group
  • United States Consul General Sean Stein

The plenary keynote address was delivered by Rick Fedrizzi, Chairman and CEO, International WELL Building Institute, and was followed by an acknowledgment of some of Greater China’s newest and most notable green building projects: those certified in 2017 as LEED Platinum, and those certified under other green building rating systems, including WELL, EDGE and Parksmart.

Rick Fedrizzi at Greenbuild China

The Greenbuild China Leadership Luncheon featured a keynote address delivered by Mahesh Ramanujam. Sam Xie, Head of Research, CBRE China, presented findings from the 2017 China Green Building White Paper. This event also included a dialogue featuring the unique perspective of the region’s top developers, including:

  • Dr Raymond Yau, General Manager, Technical Services and Sustainable Development, SWIRE Properties
  • Mr. Charlie Peng, Managing Director, Asset Services, Limetree Capital
  • Mr. Alan To, Senior Director, Property Management, Tishman Speyer
  • Ms. Cheng Ming, General Manager, Product Design and Development Center, CapitaLand China
  • Nellie Cheng, Managing Director, China, USGBC (moderator)

The Women in Green Power Breakfast is an event that inspires, uplifts and challenges the women of the green building movement. Since the first Women in Green event in San Francisco (2012), it has become a mainstay at Greenbuilds around the world. Speakers for the event in China included:

  • Linda Hu CEO, Shanghai GreenCity Architectural Co. Ltd.
  • Lucy Lei Vice President and General Manager, Asia, Interface
  • Professor Xu Jihuan Chairman, Shanghai Pacific Energy Center
  • Nellie Cheng, managing Director, China, USGBC (moderator)

The Awards Ceremony and Luncheon that closed Greenbuild China was a celebration of some of China’s most influential leaders, who have contributed in a very meaningful way to the green built environment with the 2017 Greenbuild China Leadership Awards. The recipients of this prestigious honor were:

  • The Dalian Wanda Group
  • Mr. Cai Fangming
  • Shougang Group Co. Limited

This was also a time to thank and acknowledge the organizations and professionals with LEED or WELL credentialls working every day to make green building a reality in China.

If you missed Greenbuild China, you still have two more opportunities to attend Greenbuild in 2017. Join us at one of the remaining events in Boston and India.

Greenbuild China

Greater China: Excellence in green building

2017 LEED Platinum projects

  • Beijing Ideal Plaza
  • CaSO Sky
  • CECEP Jiangxi Low Carbon Pavilion
  • CIFI BJ ZeroCarbon Sustainable Demo Building
  • Citi Hong Kong OBE East Tower
  • CITIC Dicastal Innovation Center
  • CMB Tower
  • Corporate Avenue 1 and 2
  • Delta Electronics Shanghai Headquarters
  • Goldin Financial Global Centre
  • Hefei Unilever Distribution Center–1A
  • Hefei Unilever Distribution Center–1B
  • Hefei Unilever Distribution Center–2A
  • Hefei Unilever Distribution Center–2B
  • Hefei Unilever Distribution Center–Admin
  • HK Electric–IT Operations Centre at EC
  • JiGuang Green Building Center
  • Junson International Center
  • Metropole Head Office
  • New World International Trade Tower I/II
  • NTT Communications Hong Kong FDC2
  • OCG International Center
  • Parkview Green
  • Peking University HBSC Business School
  • Pfizer 120D Aseptic Facility
  • Positec China HQ Office Building
  • Suzhou Wyeth–A01 Head Block Building
  • Swarovski Beijing Indigo
  • TaiKoo Hui Guangzhou Mall
  • TaiKoo Hui Guangzhou Office Tower 1
  • TaiKoo Hui Guangzhou Office Tower 2
  • The Center–Re
  • Wuhan New World Centre Office A-B
  • Yanlord Lankmark
  • Zhuhai Singyes R/D Building

LEED Platinum and EDGE-certified

JCI HQ Asia PacificLinkong 11-3. BLK. 9

LEED- and WELL-certified

Haworth Kerry Center Organic Showroom


GTB Shanghai


West Village

LEED service providers

  • Arup
  • Atkins Consultants (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. Shanghai Branch
  • BEEs–Bisagni Environmental Enterprise
  • Bureau Veritas
  • CABR Shanghai Branch
  • CBRE
  • Das Daring Energy Technology Co., Ltd.
  • EMSI-Environmental Market Solutions, Inc.
  • Enertek Sustainable Design & Technology
  • I.DEA Ecological Solutions
  • Shanghai Pacific Energy Center
  • SRIBS–Shanghai Research Institute of Building Sciences
  • THUPDI-Beijing Tsinghua Tongheng Urban Planning & Design Institute

Report shows tax provision could expand funding for public buildings

October 27, 2017
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A new report from the Beacon Hill Institute for Public Policy shows how the tax reform legislation currently being negotiated in Congress could be used to spur increased private-sector funding for public building projects.

A key provision would expand the use of Private Activity Bonds to authorize public buildings as an allowable use. These private activity bonds are a form of public-private partnership (also known as a P3) whereby a public entity and a private entity work together to build and maintain a public infrastructure project, allowing state and local to combine tax-exempt financing with private, taxable financing, lowering overall costs to taxpayers.

According to the press release, at a time when hundreds of billions of dollars will be needed to rebuild Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida and Texas, the expansion of this form of bond to public buildings could provide a critical financing tool to speed the recovery effort while minimizing cost overruns and guaranteeing long-term performance without deferred maintenance. According to the Houston Independent School District, 22 of its 245 schools had extensive damage that will keep them closed for months, and about 53 have “major” damage, according to school officials.

The pending tax reform legislation could be an opportunity to pass these expansion provisions, which were previously proposed in the Public Buildings Renewal Act (PBRA). The report details the economic benefits of the expansion, under several scenarios. If Congress were to make Private Activity Bonds readily available (without a $5 billion cap), the cost savings and economic effects would soar,  generating $2.796 billion worth of new buildings, increase real GDP by $8.285 billion and create 43,200 jobs in the first year. 

Please contact your representative and senator, and encourage them to support the PBRA.

USGBC Central Pennsylvania Leadership Awards recipients unveiled

October 27, 2017
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Each year, leaders in the green building industry gather together for the Forever Green ceremony and dinner. Some are there to receive awards; others are there to network with the award-winning project teams and acknowledge their achievements. It is a wonderful evening of community, farm-to-table cuisine and recognition. The awards given at Forever Green are called the USGBC Central Pennsylvania Leader Awards, and they are given to people and projects in our region that are advancing sustainable buildings.

Our keynote speaker for this year’s ceremony will be Claire Maulhardt, PLA, the City Beautiful H2O Program Manager for Capital Region Water in Harrisburg. Claire is a licensed landscape architect in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and received her bachelors' degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon. She will share both background and future plans for the City of Harrisburg's green infrastructure.

Our 2017 Forever Green ceremony and dinner will be held on Thurs., November 30 from 6–9 p.m. at Historic Acres of Hershey. We invite anyone and everyone who is interested in sustainability to join us for this momentous annual affair. Registration closes on November 23.

Learn more and register.

A special thanks to our Gold Sponsor, Woda Group, Inc.

2017 Leader Award winners

  • LEED Project of the Year will be awarded to Kreider Commons in Lebanon, affordable senior living apartments featuring adaptive reuse and LEED Platinum certification. The project was submitted by Sol Design + Consulting, was designed by Marks Thomas, and was developed by Woda Group, Inc.
  • For its LEED Silver Renovation to Daniel C. Roberts Hall, a building constructed in the 1850s, Bucknell University will receive our Rise to the Challenge award. NELSON submitted and designed this project.
  • For its energy and resource-efficient upgrade to a dry cleaning establishment in Carlisle, Classic Drycleaners and Laundromats will receive our Small Business Project of the Year award. Warren Energy Engineering submitted this project and served as the Energy Auditor.

  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center will be receiving two awards: our Climate Champion award for an energy-efficient overhaul of its chilled water plant and our Innovative Project, New Construction award for their LEED v4 University Technology Center.
  • For the third year in a row, our Improving the Acceptance of Green award will be given to a Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) project, the Kinzua Bridge State Park Visitor Center and Park Office, for DCNR’s continued efforts in designing and constructing LEED buildings that are used as teaching tools for the general public.
  • Green School of the Year will go to Hallowell Elementary in Hatboro-Horsham School District, which is aiming for LEED Gold certification and was designed by USGBC Central Pennsylvania annual sponsor EI Associates.
  • An Honorable Mention–Green Schools will be awarded to Lewisburg Area High School, which is aiming for LEED Gold certification and was designed by USGBC Central Pennsylvania annual sponsor Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates Architects.
  • An Honorable Mention–Senior Living will be given to Jackson Tower Senior Housing, which is a green renovation of a multifamily senior living high-rise owned by Harrisburg Housing Authority and designed by KD3 Design Studio.
  • Volunteer of the Year is bestowed upon individuals for their exemplary leadership and dedication to our organization:
    • Todd Buzard, Vice President of Preconstruction Services at Reynolds, was incredibly instrumental in ensuring the success of our Icehouse initiative by securing a major sponsor, purchasing building materials and leading the construction and delivery of the structures.
    • Rachel Stahlman, an emerging professional, has donated the most time to USGBC Central Pennsylvania in the past year, initially as an intern for Director Heidi Kunka, and now as an office volunteer.
  • The Community Changemaker award will be given to the following organizations/companies for their substantial efforts in planning and implementing a first-of-its-kind initiative for USGBC Central Pennsylvania, Icehouse Demonstration Day: Unfreeze Pennsylvania Energy Codes: Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Reynolds, 7group, Steven Winter Associates, Ciesco and Intertek.
  • The Six Years of Service award will be given to Steve Deasy, President/Owner of Sustainable Resources Consulting, and Elaine Mottilla, Senior Vice President, IPM Lead of Jones Lang LaSalle, for their tenure on the USGBC Central Pennsylvania Board.

Register for the event

BASF teams up with USGBC Minnesota for Green Apple Day of Service

October 26, 2017
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Looking for a way for your organization to support sustainable education and green schools? Ten BASF employees had the opportunity to give back to the community and have fun at the same time, when they volunteered with USGBC Minnesota on a Green Apple Day of Service project.

At the new outdoor classroom at Washburn Elementary School in Bloomington, USGBC Minnesota kicked off their Green Apple Day season with approximately 470 students throughout the one-day event. Students learned about compost, collected insect and pollinator dat, and studied trees.

Washburn Elementary School

BASF volunteers helped usher kids from one station to the next and assisted mentor teachers with materials and supplies. When BASF’s science education department heard about the event, they enthusiastically donated 470 BASF Kids’ Lab backpacks and aprons for the students’ outdoor adventure.

Washburn Elementary School

Creating chemistry for a sustainable future is BASF’s corporate strategy, and BASF has been a member of USGBC since 2003. BASF’s construction systems business, based in Shakopee, Minnesota, inhabits a LEED Silver office. The team of 10 from Shakopee split up into two three-hour-long shifts. Seeing so many children learning about sustainability in an outdoor setting was truly exciting for the participants.

The final impact stats for the day are impressive, and the BASF team is looking forward to the next event.

Register your own Green Apple project

3 lessons on reducing waste for K–12 students

October 26, 2017
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Waste management is a critical aspect of supporting a sustainable world, and changing the culture of a wasteful society starts with educating children. Help your students learn how to rethink and reduce their waste by building waste management activities into your curriculum.

Learning Lab has more than 80 lessons across grades K–12, and multiple subjects in English and Spanish, to support teaching about food. Check out this month's selection and envision how to incorporate them into your classroom plans this fall:

All these lessons are available as part of the Learning Lab subscription, which is available for purchase for $40—less for bulk purchases.

Explore Learning Lab

USGBC Announces 2017 Leadership Award Recipients

October 26, 2017
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Award recipients represent diverse expertise from across the green building industry,
will be celebrated at Greenbuild Boston 2017

Washington, D.C.—(October 26, 2017)—Today, USGBC announced the recipients of its 2017 Leadership Awards, an annual recognition of the outstanding individuals and organizations at the forefront of the green building movement. The recipients will be honored at the USGBC Leadership Awards Luncheon at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Boston, Mass.

“USGBC’s Leadership Awards recognize some of the most innovative leaders in the green building movement. These people and companies are upending the status quo and pushing their respective industries to create a more sustainable future for generations to come,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO of USGBC. “Each of these leaders is passionate about their work and about the environmental, health, economic and social benefits of green building.”

Read the full press release

USGBC Iowa partners with CYC on creating a healthy space

October 25, 2017
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Community Youth Concepts (CYC) and the Market Leadership Advisory Board for USGBC Iowa have completed the state’s first ADVANCE project, to help make the CYC building a healthier space.

USGBC's ADVANCE program aims to enhance equity in sustainability and is designed to meet organizations and communities wherever they are on the path and to assist them further along it.

CYC provides volunteer service opportunities and career-based mentoring to Iowa youth to improve their future success as students, professionals and active community members. With the help of volunteers from McClure Engineering Company, Recycle Me Iowa, the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, IMEG Corp, and Confluence, USGBC and CYC officials used qualitative and quantitative data to develop a series of recommendations to make CYC’s building a more energy-efficient, healthy space.

As a next step, USGBC officials and community volunteers will assist CYC in implementing the recommendations. Two items, window replacement and solar panel roof installation, will be complete before the first snow.

“Sustainability has been a top priority for CYC since we launched in 2008. The opportunity to leverage USGBC Iowa’s expertise has allowed us to see new opportunities and to position our organization to save money and support better health outcomes for our students,” said CYC co-founder and executive director Amy Croll.

To find out more or to participate in the ADVANCE program, please contact the USGBC Iowa Market Leadership Advisory Board. To learn more about CYC, please contact Amy Croll.

Portland Community College integrates sustainability into campus and community [video]

October 25, 2017
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For this year’s Climate Leadership Awards, USGBC and Second Nature chose winners who contributed to the environment through extensive sustainability efforts. As the winner in the 2-Year Institution category, Oregon’s Portland Community College (PCC) was recognized for its unique integration and promotion of sustainability into the university.

Going green through education, buildings and nature

PCC incorporates sustainability everywhere, from operations to academics to student life. As part of the college’s dedication to reducing its carbon footprint, PCC requires new buildings to achieve LEED Silver standards at a minimum. Currently, there are nine LEED-certified buildings, as well as three solar decks, across PCC’s four campuses. As a result of its green building and energy efficiency efforts, PCC has reduced energy consumption by more than 50 percent.

One of PCC’s more unique designations is from Bee Campus USA, which certified the college to promote habitats for pollinators, provide apiary education opportunities and support an on-campus apiary with nine hives. The bees at PCC help pollinate the four on-campus learning gardens where students grow food for their cafeterias.

Portland Community College

The college is also a founding member of the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network that works toward implementing UN sustainable development goals. Mark Mitsui, PCC president, says that the college's efforts in the community complement academic offerings, which include more than 100 sustainability-related courses and faculty training opportunities.

Through the college’s Green Initiative Fund, students can receive grants for projects with a sustainability focus, such as purchasing reusable to-go containers, creating learning gardens and waste education centers, composting at the office and eliminating water bottles on campus. PCC also provides students with access to two STEAM labs that offer equipment and technology such as PVC cells, 3D printers and laser cutters.

Portland Community College

Sustainability in their own words

Briar Schoon, PCC’s sustainability manager, elaborates on the school’s unique sustainability efforts:

What do you consider to be your best example of campus sustainability

At our Rock Creek campus lies a four-acre learning garden. It provides hands-on education to 600+ students annually. The garden is also part of our closed-loop system, where over 10,000 pounds of fruit and vegetables are grown. Bees from our apiary pollinate the crops and provide students [with] a means to learn about responsible beekeeping. Keeping food production and organic waste management hyperlocal reduces our emissions while educating students and promoting food security on campus.

Over the course of implementing your school’s sustainability initiatives, is there anything that has surprised you?

I have discovered that building strong relationships is absolutely foundational in this work. People tend to be resistant to change, so if you can rely on a personal relationship or if people know they benefit in other ways from partnering with your program, it’s much easier to get things accomplished.

What would you say to a peer who considers sustainability a “nice to have,” but not something that they can seriously implement on a campus?

Sustainability positively adds to the student and staff experience. Our own surveys have found that more than 75 percent of respondents, both staff and students, think it is important or very important for the college to reduce its environmental footprint.

Can you describe how the many layers of the campus sustainability plan work together to deliver a holistic education experience?

PCC is currently working on its first Sustainability Plan, as part of the college’s integrated planning process. The college has a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 2006 levels by 2050. We monitor a number of key performance indicators to identify success and we have currently bypassed, or are on track to meet, nearly all of our Climate Action Plan goals and objectives. 

PCC sustainability stats

  • 9 LEED-certified buildings, including a Path to Net Zero LEED Platinum center, and three solar installments totaling over 700 KW are on campus.
  • 65 percent reduction in energy consumption per square foot has been made since 2006, through efficiency and conservation projects.
  • 100+ courses have been taught covering sustainability topics.
  • 10,000+ pounds of fruit and vegetables grown on campus support a weekly campus market, offers hands-on education, and conserve resources.

Learn more about LEED certification for campuses

Deliver bankable energy efficiency with the Investor Confidence Project at Greenbuild

October 24, 2017
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Greenbuild is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. It is the go-to place for the industry to convene and shape the future of the green building and sustainability movement.

This year, the Investor Confidence Project (ICP) and Investor Ready Energy Efficiency (IREE) certification will be featured throughout the conference. ICP is a global underwriting standard for developing and measuring energy efficiency retrofits and is administered through GBCI. Subject matter experts will be on hand and at the GBCI Certification Work Zone (booth #1238) for technical help and to answer questions about IREE certification and training. Register to attend one of the exciting sessions on energy efficiency financing:

  • Driving Investment in Energy Efficiency (Thurs., November 9, 10:30–11:30 a.m.): Whether you’re a firm looking for more financing options, an investor looking for quality, pre-certified projects or a program administrator looking to attract high-quality contractors, private investors and projects, ICP’s nearly $5 billion Investor Network is seeking projects to invest in. Hear about IREE certification and how it can help businesses and programs, and learn how ICP can help differentiate projects as leaders in the energy efficiency field.

Register for Greenbuild


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