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

By Becky Finch, Growing Green
Award Committee Chair

On March 31st, partners and friends of the Missouri Gateway Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council gathered for the annual Growing Green Awards celebration at the MOTO Museum. Guests spent the evening reflecting on the organization’s 15 year anniversary and celebrating the nominees and winners of the 2016 awards. All the nominees and winners were recognized for their contributions to a greener and healthier community – because Green Buildings Are Better! 2016 winners are outstanding individuals and organizations that are actively transforming the built environment and we applaud their efforts.

The Community Champion award went to Forest Park Forever. Over the past 30 years, Forest Park Forever has led the dramatic restoration and maintenance of the region’s greatest civic treasure, Forest Park. The Forest Park Forever team has partnered with the City of St. Louis’ Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry on a range of sustainability-minded initiatives, including developing and maintaining 170 acres of Nature Reserve, planting thousands of trees each year, and educating students and teachers about conservation and sustainability.

The City of Maplewood was recognized with the Emerging Leader award. Since the establishment of the City of Maplewood Sustainability Commission, great strides have been made in establishing city-wide sustainability practices that can serve as models for other communities. Maplewood is home to the nation’s first Green Dining District, and exceeded the EPA Green Power Community’s green power goal by double. The City has proven that collaboration is the key to implementing successful sustainability practices.
Gary Steps of Butterfly Energy Works won the Community Innovator award. Gary has worked with scientists and engineers across the country to introduce physics based energy modeling, independent product testing, and new building technologies into his projects. With the first Zero Net Energy Plus building in the state, Gary led the first modern off-grid and 2nd ZNE+ home in the state and the design of the 3rd ZNE+ home.

The award for Operational Excellence went to Lewis & Clark Community College. In addition to the Godfrey campus, the college founded the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center. The LEED Gold Field Station in Alton is a model of green construction. The building’s sustainable features include 54 kilowatts of solar PV, a solar hot water system, wetland filtration and recycling of on- site wastewater, incorporation of river water in laboratories, and an award winning green roof.

Lastly, Western Specialty Contractors won the Restoration Champion award. Western Specialty Contractors restored the facade and parking garage of a structure into the LEED Platinum Clayton Police Headquarters and Municipal Facility. The overall goal of the restoration project was to preserve the building’s historic character. The project is one of eight LEED certified municipally-owned facilities in Missouri and is Missouri’s first LEED Platinum law enforcement facility.

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter congratulates the 2016 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.