The purpose of the Long Island Chapter of the US Green Building Council is to mirror and advance the core purpose of the US Green Building Council locally; to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.
The USGBC-LI is committed to working with our fellow Long Islanders to improve our quality of life by improving the quality of the structures we build, and the environment in which we all live, work, and play. We are committed to leaving the world a little better than we found it so that future generations have an unfettered opportunity to do the same.
The United States Green Building Council - Long Island Chapter (USGBC-LI) is dedicated to encouraging and facilitating sustainable building practices on Long Island through advocacy, education and outreach efforts to local municipalities, residents, and building industry professionals.
Long Island’s economy has been driven by the real estate and building sectors. With these sectors at the core of the economic meltdown, the challenges for Long Island are particularly pronounced. The Presidential blueprint for addressing these challenges features energy efficiency in the built environment. Energy efficiency opportunities are abundant on Long Island. Both the interior and exterior atmosphere benefit as a result. Existing buildings account for 40% of U.S. energy use. A 25% improvement in efficiency would lower our carbon footprint by 10%, equivalent to the total output of the United Arab Emirates, the world’s third largest oil producer. To the list of efficiency benefits add energy independence and security.
Over the last decade, the U.S. Green Building Council has set the bar for the new built environment. USGBC national has marked 2009 as the year for expanding its influence with the theme for Greenbuild 2009 being “Main Street – Beginning the Conversation.” The Long Island chapter of the USGBC has already established itself at the forefront, with eleven out of thirteen municipalities requiring Energy Star standards plus a role in crafting one of the country’s most rigorous municipal LEED standards for new commercial construction. Now, having supported the development of Long Island Green Homes, the residential energy retrofit program, the chapter is poised to establish itself as a model for suburban Main Street and partnered with the Town of Babylon to launch The Babylon Project. This project was designed and positioned to take this Long Island Initiative nationally.
The members of the USGBC-Long Island have come together to change Long Island’s status from the “birthplace” of suburban sprawl into one of leadership in environmental stewardship, through the construction of environmentally sound, healthy, and profitable buildings.
History of Chapter
The Long Island Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council owes its foundation to the vision, and initiative of Catherine Shawn. Catherine Shawn was instrumental in assembling a group of like minded professionals and instilling in them the belief that together they could make a difference. It was her inspiration and driving force that propelled Peter Caradonna to believe that he could help start a local Long Island Chapter.
On August 9th, 2005 the Long Island Chapter Organizing Group held a successful Inaugural Event that helped begin the process of membership leading to the first official Board elections.
In November 2005, the first Board of Directors of the newly recognized Long Island Chapter of the USGBC was elected to a term beginning January 01, 2006.
The Board members were as follows;
- Chair - Peter Caradonna *
- Vice-Chair - Ron Vitori *
- Secretary - Gary Anzalone *
- Treasurer - Gene Stern *
Vince Capogna, Christine Caruso, Susan Costanza, Sidney ‘Mackey’ McCleary, Keith Samaroo *, Judy Schwartz, Jeff Stern
* Denotes original Organizing Group members
Many challenges face the Long Island community and must be responded to by the Long Island Chapter. Not only do we face the political and economic issues of the era, but how do we educate the community in the benefits of green construction and change the perception that green does not have to cost more.
The challenges for the chapter are both organizational and operational in responding to the community’s needs.
- Continuity in administrative staffing with integration of paid staff with our volunteer members
- Increased value to membership
- Change perception from “green costs” to “green saves” to address perceptions that green building is not cost effective and to make an effective case for green building to the financial community.
- Expand knowledge and education programs,
- Meet the demand for green building with regards to increasing the capacity and training of many sectors such as building trades, designers, developers, and code officials,
- Meet the educational needs through the address the education needs for building owners, operators, and occupants on how to manage, operate, and inhabit green buildings,
- Creating and maintaining consistent revenue streams to the chapter to maintain programs and operations,
- Expand membership base and community involvement.
- Developing meaningful and productive relationships with other Long Island not-for-profit organizations.
Promote triple bottom line by promoting and creating solutions that clarify and strengthen a healthy and dynamic balance between environmental, social and economic prosperity.
- USGBC-LI will strive for honesty, openness and transparency.
- Promote Design with nature - harmonizing human activities and natural systems.
- Support efforts to develop affordable LEED-certified housing (in conjunction with municipalities, LIHP, Sustainable Long Island, and Habitat for Humanity).
- Support efforts of other organizations in helping to expand ‘green’ residential development (such as LIBI, Neighborhood Network, Vision Long Island)
- Reconfigure workplaces, homes and communities in consonance with eco-systems to mitigate building impacts.
- Increase access of populations to the benefits of green building by educating building owners and occupants in mobilizing public and private capital for green building projects.
AGENDA: Goals and Objectives
Serve as the portal for USGBC national and the go-to organization for green building on Long Island.
- 1.1 Transform our web-site into a resource-rich, go-to destination for green searches from throughout the nation. Launch the national web-zine and blog-site, Green Burbs as a core attraction
- 1.2 Create Resource directory providing access to relative links and a directory of local providers.
- 1.3 Clearinghouse for policy makers and other advocates.
- 1.4 Develop relationships with media contacts at the local and regional level.
- 1.5 Develop replicable process for disseminating information to media contacts.
- 1.6 Build off the energy efficiency retrofit operations of Long Island Green Homes through directorship of The Babylon Project to promote Green Homes’ operations in other municipalities across Long Island and around the state.
Education - Increase the awareness and level of education to the general and professional communities on the benefits of green construction. Educate professionals and trades in green construction processes and techniques as well as occupants in green building operations and maintenance policies.
- 2.1 Provide education to building owners and users about the role of the built environment in climate change and resource depletion and the tools available to reduce carbon footprints and resource use associated with the built environment.
- 2.2 Promote the use of LEED programs, particularly Homes, Neighborhood Development, and Existing Buildings
- 2.3 Offer technical training for both professionals and tradespersons in the region, work to promote good sustainable practices in their day-to-day businesses, and provide materials and resources to designers and builders at all levels in support of LEED guidelines and process
- 2.4 Encourage the integration of relevant aspects of green building into the curricula of secondary, undergraduate, and graduate education.
Reach out to develop alliances with the building community, i.e. LIBI, AIA, etc.
- 3.1 Establish a steering committee of building stakeholders and NGOs who work in this area like Neighborhood Network, Sustainable Long Island, LIHP, Habitat for Humanity (provide not just a seat at the table, but entire table at the gala).
- 3.2 Partner with industry trade associations, professional societies, and other organizations. USGBC will continue to work with an ever‐widening range of public, private, and non‐profit organizations in pursuit of its strategic goals and objectives.
Organizational Stability and Growth
- 4.1 Develop consistent financial resources in order to provide capacity for growth in order to fully achieve our mission
- 4.2 Development of specific indicators and metrics to measure organizational growth with respect to; finances, LEED projects, program developments, membership perceived value, outreach and institutional involvement.
- 4.3 Develop a paid administrative staff.
- 4.4 Evolve the board of directors’ role, structure, and composition to provide the vision, high‐level strategic guidance, organizational direction, financial resource development, and diplomacy necessary to achieve USGBC-LI’s strategic priorities. Diversify the USGBC-LI board.
Expand the green building market
- 5.1: Analyze, aggregate and disseminate information that demonstrates the environmental, health, social, and economic benefits of green buildings.
- 5.2 Identify gaps in the green building delivery chain and build capacity to bridge them.
- 5.3 Analyze the market and identify key stakeholders by researching comparable markets, identifying and incorporating elements from other municipal initiatives.
Increase advocacy efforts for the voluntary inclusion of green building procedures in new construction, existing buildings, and major renovations
- 6.1 Assess City and County policies and resources and advocate for; Low impact development requirements, Preferential permitting for green buildings, Develop incentives for green building practices, and Reduce barriers to green building.
- 6.2 Develop "starter kit" for states/local governments including model guidelines, model legislative language, and common indicators, utilizing USGBC resources and tools.
- 6.3 Develop database of information on state/local successful initiatives.
- 6.4 Serve as a resource to local businesses of all sizes and functions on greening business operations, products and services.
- 6.5 Develop Speakers Bureau available to businesses and organizations interested in how to be more sustainable.
- 6.6 Assess and promote municipality integration of sustainable design principles into the core competency skill-set of the County/Town planners, architects, engineers, and project managers.
- 6.7 Survey stakeholders to identify most important information needs, gaps and sources; generate additional data from regional summits.
- 6.8 Develop media-oriented materials to expand visibility and impact with building industry and mainstream consumer press.
- 6.9 Maintain and strengthen working relationship with New York Chapters (Upstate and NYC) on statewide issues.
Transform the programs committee into the nerve center for all programs, salons, workshops and events where previously little coordination and logistical support existed. Develop a brand identity and consistency that positions the chapter as the experts in the field within our region through interesting topics and programs.
- 7.1 Create a committee structure with tools and procedures that were previously lacking.
- 7.2 Create Monthly Salons - Develop monthly salons that recur consistently throughout the year as opposed to ad hoc. Salons are an intimate classroom style atmosphere about 2 hours in length (45 minutes networking and 1 hour and 15 minutes for presentation and Q&A. Salons are usually topical and product and technology related.
- 7.3 Monthly Salons serving two regions - USGBC-LI membership is drawn from Nassau and Suffolk counties covering 1,200 square miles of some of the most populous and congested regions in the nation. USGBC-LI recognizes that travel considerations to salons during peak rush hour times would be difficult at best. Therefore, the chapter will host two salons, one serving Central/Western Long Island and the other serving Eastern Long Island. This strategy will maximize the ability for all members to enjoy the educational value of the chapter salons.
- 7.4 Create Salon 1 - Audience is generally Nassau County and Western Suffolk. Salons will be held the first Wednesday of every month.
- 7.5 Create Salon 2 - Second presentation for the east end membership comprising Central/Eastern Suffolk County including the North and South Forks. Salon 2 presentations are scheduled ad hoc.
- 7.6 Create Programs - Programs are major evening presentations often with a panel discussion and multimedia presentation. Programs are 3 hours in length (1 hour networking/dinner and 2 hours for presentation and Q&A.
- 7.7 Develop a sales package that excites and entices potential presenters that USGBC is the premiere organization to show their products, services and technologies.
- 7.8 Change the negative revenue structure into a profit center by charging appropriate fees to presenters and membership alike.
- 7.9 Recruit new committee members to support the stated goals and objectives.
- 7.10 Develop quarterly workshops in conjunction with USGBC National.
- 7.11 Organize tours of LEED Certified properties
- 7.12 Offer coordination and logistical support by serving as the conduit for other USGBC-LI committees’ program activities
IV: IMPLEMENTATION [years 1-3]
Develop action plan for operation to ensure sufficient income to meet or exceed financial plan.
- Recruit Chapter and Program Sponsors.
- Continue Annual Awards ceremony.
- Hire a full/part-time administrative assistant and Executive Director.
- Host regional summits and local programs to expand the local membership base, provide networking opportunities for existing and potential new members, address issues of national and regional interest, and heighten awareness and support for green building efforts at the regional level.
- Develop and distribute Annual member satisfaction survey that will provide dynamic feedback to the benefits of local Chapter membership.
- Spread energy efficiency retrofits for existing building retrofit operations to municipalities across Long Island and the state.