EPMA Meeting Recap: Resilience Through Public Art and Placemaking

EPMA Meeting Recap: Resilience Through Public Art and Placemaking

Written by Aliza Vaida
Every month at the USGBC Emerging professional meeting a member presents on a topic of choice. They are always diverse and fascinating. This week was no different.
Aliza Vaida did the short presentation:  Resilience Through Public Art and Placemaking. Her main focus was on the importance of collaboration throughout a community placemaking strategy. She revealed with case studies and statistics how public art and placemaking can be agents of change. And through community engagement, the benefits are significantly more lasting and impactful.
Aliza has put her passion for art and sustainable design to work through the non-profit NeighborwaysAliza is working with the City of Everett on street calming strategies. Neighborways works closely with the community to pick streets that will become part of a pedestrian and cycle-friendly network. An exciting piece of the Everett strategy will be a collaborative street calming mural.
As the presentation at the EPMA meeting came to a close the maps, pads of paper, markers, pens and color pencils came out. Aliza had the attendees break into two groups. First, they had to look at the map of Everett and draw out a network of streets they felt best-connected schools and the Northern Strand Bike Path. Once that was agreed upon they had to collaborate on a street mural. It was great to see all those creative juices flowing. Aliza suggested designing the mural in a way that avoided car tread as much as possible. Each group created a few designs and then brought them together into one master mural. Ocean themes reigned supreme! It was a fun night of learning and coloring!
Join us next month at our EPMA Committee Meeting on June 18, 2018 to hear about our upcoming events and volunteering opportunities, and hear from Ailsha Pegan about Renew Boston!
Building Tech Forum Sneak Peek #2

Building Tech Forum Sneak Peek #2

Presented by Joe O’Brien of View Inc.

View Dynamic Glass is a revolutionary building product that enhances the occupant experience of commercial buildings. View manufactures glass technology automatically tints through various shades, depending on the sun’s position and intensity. Tint 1 being the clearest state, Tint 4 being the darkest state. The glass works automatically to optimize natural light, but can also has an override feature that is controlled from a phone app or wall switch.

Occupants that sit and live behind View Dynamic Glass report reductions in headaches, drowsiness, and eyestrain, resulting in increased productivity. The technology is used in Office buildings, Hospitals, Airports, Higher Education, Multifamily, and other commercial buildings.

Presented by Malcom Sonnet of ReVision Energy

Fossil fuel independence is no longer a luxury for builders and homeowners with larger budgets. As Massachusetts continues to incentivize solar energy production, whether via community solar farms or a power plant on your roof, producing your own electricity is becoming more cost-effective each year. ReVision Energy is more than just a solar company, they are a “clean energy transition” company. ReVision can help not only reduce your electricity bill through solar, but also make your heating, cooling, hot water, transportation, and emergency power requirements energy efficient and renewable. In this presentation, the whole-home approach will be examined through the 15 years of experience and 7,000+ systems that ReVision has installed all throughout the Northeast, from projects like Dartmouth College’s 8 solar producing buildings to the many single family homes like the Hasselbeck’s in Rowley.

Presented by Beverly Craig of MassCEC

This presentation provides an overview of MassCEC programs as they relate to net positive buildings. We break down the Deployment and Innovation aspects of our mission to increase accessibility to clean energy and support the clean energy sector in Massachusetts. In this presentation, we will also touch on various rebate programs, including air source heat pumps, solar loan programs, solar hot water, and ground source heat pumps. Another program covered in this presentation will be MassCEC’s funding opportunities for clean energy startup companies.
Charles River Cleanup

Charles River Cleanup

This Earth Day the EPMA Committee organized an event with the Waltham Land Trust to help with the Charles River Cleanup between Moody and Prospect Streets in Waltham. The event was part of the comprehensive annual cleanup of the Charles River that extends into The Esplanade, with the help of other organizations and groups in the various regions touched by the river bank.

The cleanup began at 9am with the meetup location at the Carter St. train station in Waltham, as our energetic volunteers showed up ready to go bright and early! It was a wonderful day, with nice sunshine and cool weather. We handed out the supplies; gloves, t-shirts, trash bags and started our route at Moody Street along the path up to Prospect Street. We encountered a couple other groups on our journey, as we picked up plastic bottles, aluminum cans, foam plates, and other debris left along the way. The level pathway was easy to walk around and allowed for easy pickup of trash, plenty of benches allowed for key points to leave our trash bags once full for the Waltham DCR truck to pick them up. It was all a good collaboration between everyone involved, and the further up the path we walked we came across less debris to pick up, so once we hit Prospect Street we doubled back to make sure we didn’t miss anything we could get rid of.

After our work was done we met up with the event coordinators at the nearby Shaw’s parking lot, here we returned the supplies we didn’t use and then headed towards the picnic area to enjoy some great pizza and snacks, well deserved after a nice day’s work! Here we met up with volunteers from other groups and enjoyed the nice gathering for a good cause. Thanks to everyone who took the time on such a nice day and thanks to the Waltham Land Trust for locating our group within their region and for all their support / organizing the event!

Building Tech Forum Presentation Sneak Peek

Building Tech Forum Presentation Sneak Peek

Our Building Tech Forum is coming soon! In order to gear up, we will be publishing sneak peeks for presentations from our amazing group of sponsoring companies. Stay tuned for more, this week enjoy a peek from The Green Engineer, Zehnder America, and Auburndale Builders. To register for our Building Tech Forum, visit usgbcma.org/btf18. We hope to see you on May 24th!


Chris Schaffner, The Green Engineer Inc.

In our current political climate, businesses struggle to address sustainability. Some advocate for government regulation, while others believe the free market can be counted on to devise solutions. But there is a third way that has the possibility of advancing real change while growing the economy – the Benefit Corporation. A Benefit Corporation is a for-profit company that also has a mission and responsibility to the community beyond profit. In Massachusetts, the Benefit Corporation is a legal structure (like Inc or LLC). These businesses typically also certify as B Corps, a certification that is administered by B Lab, a global nonprofit organization. In this presentation, Chris Schaffner of The Green Engineer, Inc., a certified B Corp and Massachusetts Benefit Corporation, will present how B Corps might be one answer to sustainability goals in Massachusetts. He’ll highlight the B Corps community’s ongoing Inclusive Economy Challenge, which includes a specific response to climate change and its threat to underserved populations.



John Rockwell, Zehnder America

Net positive energy buildings often feature air tightness and advanced insulation. Because of this, these buildings may need advanced heat recovery and mechanical ventilation systems. The ventilation system within a net positive energy building may be one of the few points of air and heat exchange, making a system efficient enough to capture 80-90% of the heat recovery essential for cooling and heating. During this presentation, John Rockwell of Zehnder America will focus on the concepts and engineering of ultra-efficient mechanical ventilation systems and how they are a necessary part of any net positive energy building project.




Nick Falkoff, Auburndale Builders

In 2017, Auburndale Builders introduced an innovative education space, the Studio for High-Performance Design and Construction. As the green building industry continues to gain market share, there is a significant need for workforce training on the latest and greatest in building technology. To help serve this need, the Studio for High-Performance Design and Construction will be an open community learning space for green companies to host trainings. The space is retrofitted for Passive House, and also hosts an array of solar panels, making it an ideal space for teaching the standards and practices of green building technology. For more information, please visit www.studiohpdc.com.


More presenters are joining every day – become a sponsor

LEED, WELL & FitWell Packed into One Office: A Tour of Jacobs

LEED, WELL & FitWell Packed into One Office: A Tour of Jacobs

Written by Julie Salvatoriello

After having to reschedule several times due to inclement weather, USGBC finally got its tour of the amazing new workspace of Jacobs’ Boston Office. Thank you to LAM Partners as well for sponsoring the event.

After being gathered in Jacob’s break space that had an amazing view of Copley Plaza (the window viewing a section of the Hancock Tower), we got a break down of the efforts Jacobs has put into renovating the space to suit not only LEED, WELL & FitWell building standards, but also the merging of their multiple office environments and locations. Thank you to Jacob’s Paul Tsang (Director of Engineering), Andrea Alaownis (Interior Designer), and Carolyn Auclair (Design Architect) for your presentations, as well as Glenn Heinmiller from LAM.

Biyin (Betty) Liu (Mechanical Engineer), EPMA member extraordinaire, was one of the tour guides for the evening, giving us a first-hand account of the inner workings of Jacobs. The space was designed with A LOT of high tech conference rooms to accommodate those staff that had come from a Jacobs office with a more closed floor plan. The tour included aspects in accordance with LEED, WELL & FitWell, such as standing desks, material and lighting choices, lots of daylighting and views, showers and cubbies for active lifestyles, and beautiful and diverse meeting and break spaces. Even the ingredients of the coffee machine had to be considered.

Jacobs was a generous host. Thank you so much for giving USGBC MA a closer look at the WELL & FitWell program and how it influenced the reality that is your amazing office space!