USGBC Growing Green Awards Honor Those Transforming the Community and Built Environment

By Katie Dieckhaus,
Growing Green Awards Committee Co-Chair

On March 27th the Missouri Gateway Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council held their sixth annual Growing Green Awards banquet at the Mad Art Gallery to announce and celebrate the 2014 winners. Attendees joined to celebrate the accomplishments of all the nominees. Winners and nominees are outstanding individuals and organizations that are active in transforming the built environment. They share a passion for making our region more sustainable.

The Community Champion award went to Deb Frank. Deb’s leadership sets a high standard for operative excellence. She has championed sustainable initiatives in St. Louis and Missouri – from her decades deep roots in energy efficient engineering design to her service as Chapter Coordinator during the formation of the USGBC Missouri Gateway Chapter. As the Vice President for Sustainability for the Missouri Botanical Garden, Deb leverages the influence of her institution to encourage sustainable thinking and practice throughout the region.

MICDS won the Education award. Over the last few years, MICDS faculty has worked to implement curriculum that is highly engaging and problem-based. The 86,000 square foot McDonnell Hall and Brauer Hall (under construction) will provide space for interdisciplinary learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It will contain laboratory space for work in plant science, robotics and ongoing bench research. The building will include a 100kW photovoltaic panel array, energy-efficient HVAC solar thermal systems, and a storm water filtration system.

Recognition for Innovation was awarded to Gary Steps of Butterfly Energy Works. Gary consistently pushes the envelope of building science and meticulously evaluates the energy usage of every project he works on. He consulted on a home in the Dogtown neighborhood which integrates advanced building materials, technologies, and techniques. The home is fully monitored for interior temperature/humidity levels, electricity and hot water production and usage, and circuit by circuit electrical usage.
Maryville University’s USGBC Student Group was awarded the Emerging Leader award. In the last two years the USGBC Student Group has proven to be tremendously dedicated to supporting environmentally friendly ideals by participating in and leading a number of green awareness projects in our community. Some of these events include “Don’t Be Trashy”, the Maryville University Involvement Fair, Maryville Reaches out “Honeysuckle Project”, and the Parkway School District “Recycling and Composting Awareness Project”.

The award for Operational Excellence went to the Saint Louis Zoo. The Zoo’s mission to protect wild things in wild places throughout the world is expressed in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of their 90+ acre Forest Park campus. In addition to their research and conservation work around the world, the organization has emerged as a sustainability leader in the region by reducing energy, water, and resource use. Each year, the Zoo diverts over 50% of their waste from the landfill and through energy efficiency initiatives have avoided over $1,608,112 in utilities and other expenditures.

Lastly, Green Street St. Louis won the Restoration category for distinguishing itself through the application of sustainable design in the adaptive reuse of infill locations. Green Street partners with its tenants, the community, and investors to share in this vision of property and neighborhood regeneration. Green Street is committed to contributing to the sustainable principles that exist in these neighborhoods such as walkability, transportation access, central proximity to quality labor, and irreplaceable architectural attributes. Since 2008, Green Street has produced 8 LEED certified projects – another 3 projects are in the documentation phase.

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter congratulates all of the 2014 Growing Green Award winners and nominees for their work to make the built environment a more environmentally friendly, prosperous and healthy place to live, work and learn.

Learn more about the winners and nominees at www.usgbc-mogateway.org.