The Latest, and The Greenest!

By Johanna Schweiss,
Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator,
USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter

Each January, the Missouri Gateway Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council announces our annual educational catalog. We strive to provide high quality educational opportunities that provide practical knowledge and inspiration, focusing on hot topics in sustainability and green building. I’m excited to highlight a few of our offerings!
Sustainable SITES

Land is a crucial component of our built environment and can be planned, designed, developed and maintained to protect and enhance the benefits we derive from healthy, functioning landscapes. Sustainable SITES is a set of guidelines and performance-based metrics that align land development and management with innovative sustainable design and maintenance strategies. Just like a building can earn LEED certification for being green, a landscape (with or without a building) can earn Sustainable SITES certification. We’ll take a deep dive into the Sustainable SITES rating system at a full day workshop on February 22. The workshop will cover the basics of the rating system, followed by an interactive session where attendees apply SITES strategies to active projects.

One of the most pressing issues of our time is climate change, a challenge that can at times feel overwhelming and insurmountable. Paul Hawken’s book Project Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming is true to its title, and is a solace to all in need of hope! The team behind Project Drawdown identified the 100 most substantive, existing solutions to address climate change, showing that a path forward to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is possible and achievable. Our March 13th monthly evening program, presented in partnership with the Missouri Botanical Garden and BiodiverseCity St. Louis, will explore the mission and metrics behind Project Drawdown and highlight practical, local solutions to climate change in action.

High Performance Buildings In Person!
2018 holds a number of opportunities for you to walk through some of the region’s greenest buildings!

The LEED rating system is designed to continuously improve, guiding the market towards more environmental sustainable strategies and decisions, and responding to continuous advances in technology. We’ll be touring one of the first buildings in our region to pursue the latest version of LEED – LEED version 4 – the Maplewood Fire Station. Join us on June 12 to learn how the project team maintained strict sustainability standards throughout the design and construction of this mission – critical headquarters.

On August 2nd, we’ll be visiting The College School’s Jan Phillips Learning Center, pursuing Living Building Challenge certification. Living Building Challenge projects are self-sufficient, remaining within the resource limits of their site, and create positive impacts on the human and natural systems around them. When certified it will be one of only 11 such structures in the world. Attendees will experience how the Center connects people with nature through hands-on, inquiry-based learning; pairing deep sustainability with The College School’s long held values of conservation.

I encourage you to visit www.usgbc-mogateway.org to review our full catalog and plan to join us at an educational event soon!