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USGBC West Michigan Chapter
March 2012

In This Issue
Volunteer Opportunities
Living Building Challenge
EBie Awards
Great Lakes High Performance Building Conference
Michigan Energy Conference
National Bike to Work Month
Letter from the Chair
Featured LEED Building

Accident Fund National Headquarters - Ottawa Street Power Station

Accident Fund National Headquarters
Photo courtesy of: Justin Maconochie Photography and The Christman Company


Click here to submit a project

Getting Green Radio Show:

February 27, 2012

Quick Links

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USGBC West Michigan

PO Box 6332
Grand Rapids, MI 49516

T: 616.301.6688




To transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built, and operated in a way that improves the quality of life in West Michigan.


USGBC West Michigan is looking for committee volunteers.
  • MEMBERSHIP - Board liaisons Dennis Bekken and David Rinard are actively working on seeking, engaging, and retaining members. They are looking for individuals interested in reaching out to prospective sustainability professionals and brainstorming ways to better engage our current membership. Your input is needed. To inquire about this committee please contact Dennis Bekken at     
  • PROGRAM - Ever wondered how our Chapter submits programs for CEUs? Been longing for an event or program topic you haven't been able to find? Please consider joining our program committee. Co-chairs Renae Hesselink and Deb Sypien are anxious for your ideas. Please contact for program opportunities.   
  • EMERGING PROFESSIONALS - New to the USGBC professional world? Please join our emerging professionals group meeting monthly to network and discuss USGBC initiatives affecting the emerging sustainability professional. Contact Matt VanSweden at for more information, or like us on Facebook.   



The purpose of the Living Building Challenge is straightforward - it defines the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today and acts to diminish the gap between current limits and ideal solutions. Living Building Challenge provides a framework for design, construction, and the symbiotic relationship between people and all aspects of the built environment.

A small group of passionate individuals has met several times to
discuss launching such a project in the Grand Rapids area. If you are interested in participating and want to add your name to the e-mail list send a message to: 

Read More Here 

Ebie Logo

EBIE Awards

EBie Entries due March 31, 2012

The EBie Awards™ are a new nationwide juried competition created by Urban Green Council, USGBC New York, that celebrates performance improvements in Existing Buildings (hence the EBies), and the people who made them happen.   


As an EBie Partner, USGBC West Michigan hopes our Chapter will have many EBie entries as well as winners. The EBie submission period comes to a close at midnight on March 31, 2012 - please take a look at the submission criteria as soon as possible to get your entry materials in order. We know the West Michigan has many projects worthy of recognition! Complete EBie details are here 

Great Lakes High Performance Building Conference 
April 5, 2012
The Great Lakes High Performance Building Conference at Michigan State University includes presentations by design professionals and academics on the most advanced High Performance Building practices in Energy Efficiency, Lifecycle, Occupant Productivity, and Operations to Great Lakes building industry professionals including architects, engineers, construction managers, contractors, and facilities managers.
The one day conference includes eight presentations and a keynote speaker.  Each presentation emphasizes the four tenants of high performance building including; energy efficiency, lifecycle, occupant productivity, operations.
GBCI & AIA Continuing Education Approved!


The 5th Annual Michigan Energy Conference will be held on Thursday, April 12, 2012 at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.

Speakers include:
  • Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell
  • Presidents Panel including: President Haas of Grand Valley State University, President Ender of Grand Rapids Community College, and President Eisler of Ferris State University
  • Keynote speaker: Valerie Brader, Senior Energy Policy Advisor to Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan 
The afternoon will consist of breakout sessions. Several sessions will offer CEU credits.

  for more information and to register for this event.

May is National Bike to Work Month!

The League of American Bicyclists is the national sponsor of Bike Month. This year Bike to Work Week is May 14-18, and Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 18.

Click here for more information 


Welcome to our new and renewing members!
  • Richard Edwards
  • Andy Northey, R&A Lawn Maintenance and Landscaping
  • Karl Grundemann, Michigan Cat
  • Sara Cornell, Enviro-Clean Services
  • James Dirkes II, Building Performance Team
  • Aron Bazen, Bazen Electric
  • Becky Brimley, Mid-Michigan MCA
  • Christopher Predko, Warner Norcross & Judd LPP
  • Hans Wangeman, Colwell Wangeman Construction 

 Letter from the Chair

The LEED 2012 Third Public Comment Period will be ending on March 27, 2012. Please take time to review the draft of LEED 2012 at  The next review step is for national members in good standing to opt-in during the period of April 2, 2012 - May 1, 2012.  For those opting in, the voting period will start on June 1, 2012 and run through June 30, 2012.  This is an opportunity to voice our comments on the proposed changes affecting our region.

We need your help! Matt VanSweden is heading up our new Emerging Professionals group.   We're looking for the interested young professionals in the region to join this group. Matt's email address is  Please share this information with someone you know who would bring value to this group.

Kris Ford, LEED AP BD+C
Owen-Ames-Kimball, Chai