February EPMA Meeting

February EPMA Meeting

EPMA Member Haley gave us an inside look at how implementing LEED looks from the construction management side with her work on Boston College’s new stadium.

The facility is being built above a high-pressure water main which supplies water to Boston. The construction includes 212 pressure injected footings for the foundation, a storm trap system under the turf and 16 steel trusses roughly 200 feet tall. The steel erection lasted about 6 months and had a steep learning curve, the first truss erection taking significantly more time than the final erection. Water control is one of the most important factors because it is in a watershed area and the water main provides water to the city of Boston. There cannot be any heavy equipment running over the main and vibrations of construction must be monitored.

Embodied energy is a concern to Haley. The steel coming from Wisconsin and the precast panels coming from Toronto, the question of “how much energy and gas did we burn getting this stuff here?” is a legitimate one. A building’s embodied energy is typically very high.

A large part of ensuring that LEED standards are met on the construction site include making sure waste and recycling are properly managed and disposed of. This requires the CM to make sure the subs are doing things properly.

QAQC is important to ensure the building is airtight and the mechanical systems are able to create a comfortable environment for the end users. Passive house emphasizes the importance of a tight envelope. It is also important to supervise the construction to make sure the right materials are being installed correctly. EPD memos (that prove that a manufacturer’s goods are coming where they are said to) are a difficult document to obtain.

January 22nd EPMA Meeting

January 22nd EPMA Meeting

The Emerging Professionals Committee’s first meeting of 2018 set us up for a great year! We were joined by the new USGBC-MA Executive Director Meredith Elbaum, a representative from the Boston Area Sustainability Group, and decided our new USGBC-MA Board Liaison, EMPA Co-Chair Jenna Dancewicz.

Starting with an empty calendar, our membership and leadership team came together and brainstormed loads of new events to support young professionals and grow our community. Look forward to more building tours, skill shares, and the return of favorite events like the annual bike tour this year!

Coming up in the next few weeks are the USGBC Annual General Meeting on January 31st, and the Invite to Ignite event being put on by the Boston Area Sustainability Group on February 8th. Later in February please join us at the Emerging Professionals Winter Warmer, hosted by the Boston Society of Architects on February 22nd as well as the Mentor Close Out/Green Building Leadership Institute Kick Off on the 27th.

Our presentation this week was given by our Social Media Manager Julie Salvatoriello, founder and CEO of soil remediation company Equiterra. Julie shared her expertise on grassroots soil remediation topics and their application to brownfield sites. Brownfields are properties whose development may be impacted due to hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants. In cases where soil is contaminated, the standard procedure is to dig up and truck out several feet of dirt, an expensive and greenhouse-gas intensive procedure. We learned how three types of soil remediation could be applied to brownfields, bioremediation (microbial), phytoremediation (plant), and mycoremediation (fungi). By using natural processes in order to mediate nutrient load and draw pollutants out of the ground, these techniques can provide a non-invasive and attractive alternative to removing and replacing brownfield soil.

Equiterra was started as a resource for grassroots soil remediation products and education with a focus on mycoremediation. Turns out, fungi have some pretty impressive abilities to break down toxic materials. In addition to their usefulness as major decomposers, certain types of mushroom can remove a wide range of environmental and industrial pollutants, even DDT and petroleum! In order to empower individuals and local groups to perform their own soil remediation projects, Equiterra is developing products and educational materials that can be applied to urban brownfield sites.

Join us at the next USGBC EMPA Monthly Meeting on February 26th at 6:00 PM at 50 Milk Street.

Welcome our new sponsor NRGTree!

We would like to welcome our newest Green Sponsor NRGTree. NRGTree provides a platform that helps lending institutions provide loans for solar by streamlining the financing and installation online. USGBC MA believes their product offerings are in line with our goal of a net-positive future in Massachusetts.

Their products include the Own My Solar private label platform, which enables the customers of lending institutions to own their solar system and end their electric bill. With this product, lending institutions are provided their own private brand online platform that will educate their customers about solar energy and their solar loan products. Own My Solar allows lending institutions to drive solar loan business while educating customers on the benefits of solar system ownership with interesting and environmentally friendly messages.

We are thrilled to welcome NRGTree to join our community of passionate green building practitioners as a sponsor of USGBC MA. If you would like to learn more about NRGTree, you can visit their website at www.nrgtree.com.

Press Release – ReVision Energy Opening Its N. Andover, MA Facility for Volunteer Effort to Help Puerto Rico PRIMARY TABS

North Andover, MA:  Local solar installer ReVision Energy is welcoming a group of volunteers this weekend to its 7,000 s.f. facility in N. Andover to build portable emergency power and water purification units for devastated communities in Puerto Rico. Each unit is comprised of a trailer with solar electric panels, battery storage, water purification, lights and charging ports for small electronics.

The “Power On Puerto Rico” relief project is being led by a partnership between the global disaster relief organization Amurtel and the nationwide solar co-op Amicus Solar (ReVision Energy is a founding member of Amicus). The goal is to provide storm-ravaged communities with access to power, clean drinking water and lighting.

“We are excited to finally put our shoulders to the task of building the portable emergency units, which we are calling ‘Solar Outreach Systems’ or SOS units,” said ReVision Energy co-founder Phil Coupe. The goal for this weekend is to completely outfit the first three trailers and get them on their way to Puerto Rico where Amurtel has staff on the ground that has identified the first communities that will receive the donated SOS units. The longer term goal is to build and deliver 100 units.

“More than 30% of Puerto Ricans are still without power and clean drinking water, so we know the need for these portable emergency units is still very high despite it being five months since Hurricane Maria caused immense damage to the island,” said Coupe.

The Puerto Rico-based solar company Aireko, an Amicus member, has already donated the shipping to get the finished trailers delivered to San Juan, PR and Aireko will help transport the SOS units to recipient communities identified by Amurtel.

More Than 24,000 Attendees and 700 Exhibitors Convened for Greenbuild and ABX 2017

 Informa Exhibitions U.S. on 11/17/2017

Today, Informa Exhibitions, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Boston Society of Architects/AIA announced the results of the 2017 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo and the Architecture Boston Expo, held last week at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston, Massachusetts. The week-long events included an overall attendance of 24,731 and 703 exhibiting companies participating in 169,000 square feet of exhibit and display space on the trade show floor.

The Greenbuild-ABX education programs cumulatively featured more than 300 sessions, tours, summits and workshops in the robust education program and throughout the week, with nearly 100 sold out sessions. Attendees of each show were eligible to attend education sessions at both events.

“This year, we celebrated ‘Together in Boston’ to aptly describe the communal spirit of the week and the co-location between Greenbuild and ABX that formed the mega-event last week. We are so grateful to our community of attendees, exhibitors, sponsors and partners who brought such energy, excitement, and momentum to this year’s event,” said Lindsay Roberts, Greenbuild group director, Informa Exhibitions. “It was an incredibly successful week celebrating the entire building and design community as well as the green building movement in the beautiful, historic setting of Boston.”

Greenbuild-ABX 2017 featured several key events, such as:

  • Plenary, which featured the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton
  • Celebration, held at the Boston Museum of Science, with a special concert by The Revivalists
  • Closing Plenary, which concluded the week with American astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • Combined Summit Closing Plenary with Bill McDonough, who spoke on advancing sustainable communities through the Cradle to Cradle© mission
  • Master speakers Scot Horst, CEO of Arc Skoru; Dr. John Warner, President and Chief Technology Officer of Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry; and Stephanie Meeks, CEO, National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • USGBC Leadership Awards Luncheon, which annually recognizes outstanding efforts to advance green building design and construction
  • Communities & Affordable Homes Summit, WaterBuild Summit and International Summit
  • Women in Green Power Breakfast, which celebrated the strength of our democracy and women’s role in shaping change
  • Women in Design Symposium, a day-long event that encourages success and leadership for women in the design community
  • Greenbuild Legacy Project, the creation of a Green Building Tech Program at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School in Boston
  • Eleven alumni events hosted by area universities and associations
  • Happy Hour in the Hall, which provided a lively atmosphere for networking

“The theme for this year’s Greenbuild was “All In,” which encompasses the breadth of the sustainability and green building movement and the commitment we feel to our community, to our mission, and to our world,” said Kate Hurst, senior vice president, Conferences & Events, USGBC. “With Greenbuild’s platform expanding to India and China in addition to Boston in 2017, we are growing our green building knowledge and shared expertise across continents—while scaling the breadth and reach of global market transformation for the built environment.”

Attendees also spent significant time discovering and enjoying the historical city of Boston. The USGBC Massachusetts community led the official host committee of Greenbuild 2017 with 30 tours throughout the week, exploring sustainable sites, prominent local universities, commercial buildings and the seaport.

The expo hall again showcased the leading products and services available to professionals within the sustainable building industry and had several notable areas, including:

  • World’s only Net Zero Zone, a 9,000 square foot pavilion powered by alternative power collected on-site at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
  • Five new content-specific Applied Learning Areas which featured extended Q&A from sessions in the education program, exhibitor-led lunch & learns and whitepaper discussions
  • Seven sponsored Education Labs with CE accredited education on the show floor
  • 212 exhibitors who scored a 75 or higher on the Greenbuild Mandatory Exhibitor Greening Guidelines Survey, including overall winners
  • Design Technology Throwdown, where teams of 4 competed against each other to design the best solution to a mutual design problem
  • Immersive Visualization, an interactive A/R and V/R display that featured over 10 companies
  • Learning Stage which featured free presentations every hour
  • The Quad, an annual social space exhibition area
  • Open Architecture Collaborative, which featured images and models of projects from the Boston chapter and hosted 2 interactive sessions on the show floor
  • MakeTank demonstration pavilion
  • Central Park landscape pavilion, which featured a charging pelaton and allowed attendees to charge their phone by riding stationary bicycles
  • Braindate lounge that allowed all participants to connect and meet face to face on specific topics of their choice

Josiah Stevenson FAIA, principal at Leers Weinzapfel Associates and 2017 BSA President noted:

“Every year during ABX, the BSA/AIA looks forward to learning the unexpected from interesting seminars, speaking face to face with product reps and running into seldom seen old friends. This year ABX was especially exciting because we co-located with Greenbuild. We were delighted to share the quest for design excellence and the power of knowledge with our Greenbuild colleagues during our time ‘Together in Boston’.”

Greenbuild 2018 is scheduled for Nov. 14-16 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. More information can be found at greenbuildexpo.com. The Call for Proposals and Reviewers for Greenbuild 2017 is now open and the deadline to submit a proposal is Jan. 5, 2018.

ABX 2018 is scheduled for Nov. 28-29 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in Boston, MA. More information can be found at abexpo.com. The Call for Proposals for ABX 2018 will open Dec. 1 and the deadline to submit a proposal is Mar. 31, 2018.

A Message from USGBCMA:

I attended Greenbuild for the first time ever this past week and was amazed by the seeming ease and professionalism an event hosting 25,000 people could operate with. But it is important to remember that behind the success of Greenbuild is a small army of people whom throughout months of preparation are able to pull together a seamless integration of volunteers, outreach, sustainability, tours, and even the fostering of the future generation of green building practitioners. Their efforts underpin the success of the event and even the success of the green building industry in Boston.

We owe special thanks to Judy Nitsch of Nitsch Engineering, who was recognized for her efforts at our Local Chapter Welcome Party and lead the host committee efforts.

Jessie Miller of Opterra and Andrew Breiter-Wu of Breiter Planet spearheaded the volunteer’s effort, gathering roughly 350 student volunteers from the local community and abroad.

Todd Isherwood of the Green Project Manager and Christina McPike of Winn Development lead the Greening of Greenbuild project, which aimed to promote sustainability through all aspects of the conference. The Greening Committee also aimed to educate Greenbuild 2017 attendees on recycling and waste management by equipping student volunteers with the appropriate background knowledge and expertise.

Kate Bubriski of Arrowstreet and Mike Browne of Advanced Building Analysis lead the Local Partners and Regional Outreach Committee. The goal of Local Partners & Regional Outreach Committee is to create and strengthen relationships with local and regional governments, educational and cultural institutions and nonprofit organizations to ensure Greenbuild 2017 is an amazing and lasting experience for all.

Jenn Taranto of Structure Tone and Cynthia Curtis of JLL lead the Ambassadors Committee, which ensured that USGBC (National) and USGBC MA were connected to the region’s sustainability VIPs, cultivates relationships, and delivered sponsorships for Greenbuild and Chapter-related Greenbuild activities.

Beyond the expo hall at Greenbuild, many tours occurred in the background of the entire event, showcasing Boston to the international audience. The arrangement of tours was managed by Jana Silsby of Perkins Eastman and Jeremy Caron of DCAMM, whom we owe a debt of gratitude.

Before Greenbuild we also hosted a Local Chapter Welcome Party, and all proceeds from this event went to our Legacy Project. The Legacy Project to foster growth in the green building sector by providing internships to the students of the Madison Park Technical Vocational High School in green building relevant jobs. Paul Gusmini of the Federal Reserve Bank and Kristen Fritsch of Elkus Manfredi Architects made this possible through the constant commitment to the program and fostering the next generation of students.

Lastly, we would like to thank Co-Chair Bryan Koop of Boston Properties and Co-Chair Agent Ben Myers of Boston Properties for their support and work within the Greenbuild Host Committee.

Undoubtedly there are many others that have contributed to making Greenbuild possible that we may not have mentioned, and we recognize that with an event so impactful to Boston, many people worked tirelessly to make this happen. The experience was incredible to all of us at USGBC MA, and we are eager to help continue to foster the momentum and passion we saw at Greenbuild.

All in: A Recap of Greenbuild 2017 in Boston

All in: A Recap of Greenbuild 2017 in Boston

By Jim Stanislaski, AIA, LEED BD+C Senior Associate, Gensler

I witnessed a lot of hugging. In my career, I’ve been to varied conferences – serious meetings of people presenting projects from behind the security of that black hotel tablecloth fabric and fake woodgrain podium. Suits and polished shoes trying to get that pesky embedded video to play. While these are the reliable immutables at every conference, Greenbuild always feels different to me.

In November, more than 20,000 people came to Boston to attend Greenbuild and Architecture Boston Expo (ABX). It had the feel of a family reunion, seeing past and present friends and collaborators and meeting new family members. It’s a tribe in the most convivial and life-passion sense, hence the rampant hugging. With dangling conference lanyards akimbo, we catch-up and scheme about our little piece of The Mission.

The theme this year was “ALL IN” − which is meant to reinforce the commitment and optimism needed to confront climate change head-on. The global green movement is literally saving lives and is unstoppable. This commitment means every project, every day, starting with you and me.

My conference highlight was hearing President Bill Clinton’s plenary along those same themes. It was a sincere pep talk of sorts, from a man with decades of global environmental and political perspective. He underscored how we are the lucky ones, to be “present at the creation” of a whole new green economy. Playing to the local crowd, he referenced Harvard professor and legendary environmentalist, naturalist, biologist and author E.O. Wilson. Echoing Wilson’s work, President Clinton cited that the most successful organisms on earth that collaborate are honeybees, termites, ants, and humans. While there is a lot of work to do, we need to celebrate the fact that millions of people are cooperating to solve global problems. Scientists, entrepreneurs, teachers, and designers are sharing and collaborating like never before.

The leadership force of women was also evident throughout the conference. While there were sessions like the Women in Design Symposium highlighting the specific achievements of women, it was more organic than that. At the risk of singling out one of the several deserving USGBC Leadership Award winners, please google Dorothy Stoneman. As the poverty-cycle busting founder of YouthBuild, she is my new personal hero. Judy Nitsch is a well-known local advocate for women in the engineering professions and was a tireless organizer for Boston support of a successful Greenbuild. Mary Ann Lazarus (Chair of National AIA Committee on the Environment) and Dr. S. Atyia Martin (City of Boston Chief Resilience Officer) and Gensler’s own Kirsten Richie were other women leading by example at Greenbuild−and too many others to list here. In their keynotes, Bill Clinton and the perpetually-smiling USGBC President and CEO Mahesh Ramanujam cited the debt we owe to women leaders. In the recent best-selling book Drawdown, Paul Hawken notes that “climate change is not gender neutral”. Educating and empowering women and girls around the world is among the top imperatives that will have the most impact on the climate crisis.

Gensler had a strong showing at Greenbuild again this year, with David Briefel presenting healthy materials and biophilia lessons from the Living Building Challenge petal certification of Etsy’s Headquarters in Brooklyn. Len Sciarra outlined important changes to ASHRAE 90.1, and Kirsten Richie reviewed how to guide healthy and safe building material decisions. Amanda Langweil was a behind the scenes volunteer helping to select speakers and review session topics. I was particularly proud of our Boston based team of young designers who won the “Quad” competition to create a Sustainable Social space. Gensler took first place among 60 competition entries with an inventive wood structure built on the ABX floor.

I attended Greenbuild when it was in Boston in 2008, and it is interesting to see how far we have come in those nine years. Among the most notable aspects of many of the sessions was the evolving role technology and big data (of course) within the broader green building movement. The number of websites, databases, and online tools have exploded, and each is trying for the tri-partite holy grail of reliability, scalability, and user-friendliness. Smart cities, health and wellness, materials transparency, and transportation are being transformed by easy access to free data.

Another recognizable thread in the conference was Net Zero energy, water, and waste. Nine years ago we heard Net Zero goals and intentions. Now we are seeing the built projects and the data, still with some nagging asterisks that will hopefully disappear as the data fidelity and transparency improves. It left me wondering what the landscape will be in another nine years as machine learning and artificial intelligence help us solve the world’s most complex problems.

Noted astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson closed the conference with a predictable cosmic view. He talked about light hitting the earth in various ways, from the urban heat island effect on city roofs to sunsets in the canyons of New York City and the arches of Stonehenge. Dr. Tyson noted our “atmosphere thickness is to earth, as the skin is to an apple” and our everyday actions matter. He ended with the photograph of earth from the Cassini spacecraft as a “pale blue dot,” noting that the entirety of human existence as we know it – all the generations, wars, elections and triumphs occurred wholly on this spec in the universe.

This left me encouraged in our future, reminding me that despite the noise and political disagreements, there are millions of people who are ALL IN, like me. It’s personal and it’s real. We need to collaborate more than ever before and even if you’re not a hugger or aren’t sure where to start- that’s OK- there’s room for everyone in this movement and on this pale blue dot.