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USGBC MA Chapter
August Newsletter
In This Issue
Boston - New Chief of Environment & Energy
Water and Energy Demand for Buildings
Water Conservation
Boston - Rising Tides
Green Apple Day of Service
EPMA Kick-Off Soiree
Chapter End of Summer Social
Castle Square Community Center

Become a Member 


Help us accelerate change and further our mission to advocate, educate and promote sustainable development in Massachusetts.


Join as a member today!


 Organizations that share our goal of a more sustainable built environment should consider becoming a USGBC national member or sponsor of USGBC MA.   

Learn more here


Looking for Volunteers 


The Chapter is looking for volunteers interested in getting involved.  Some of the areas we are looking for help in are: Chapter Website, Newsletter, Speakers Bureau, Membership Campaign, and Graphic Design.


If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Suzanne Abbott


Chapter   Committees   

Give Back.
Build Your Resume.
Become involved with a Committee!

Regional & Statewide Outreach









Special Events


Emerging Professionals (EPMA)

Green Schools

Residential Green Building

USGBC Across MA! 

Worcester Group


Western MA Branch  


Berkshire MA Group 


Cape & Islands Group


To find out more about the committees and how to get connected, go to our website or send an email to
Congrats to Our Chapter Leaders!

The Chapter Leader Superlative Awards were distributed at the Mid-Year Meeting and announced in Hot Topics and on Yammer.

 Suzanne Abbott won the Unsung Hero award.  
Andrea Love won the Rising Star award.

Sponsorship Benefits   

Is your company interested in being a  Sponsor of the USGBC Massachusetts Chapter?

Click here to find out the benefits you'll receive as a Chapter sponsor.
Donations are tax deductible and a great way to support our green building education, advocacy and outreach programming efforts in MA!

Our Chapter Sponsors  

National Grid.

Boston Properties; Sasaki; Hotel Marlowe; Turner.

Citizens Bank; TD Bank; SMMA; Nitsch Engineering; AHA Consulting Engineers; Viridian Energy & Environmental. 

Mark Richey Woodworking; Robinson & Cole; 
NSTAR; The Green Engineer, LLP; Structure Tone.

Chapter Newsletter & Website  

Interested in writing articles for the Massachusetts Chapter newsletter? 

Interested in contributing educational content or graphics for our website?

Please email Carrie at
Upcoming Committee Meetings 

Hope to see you at one of our upcoming committee meetings! 
Membership: Tuesday, September 18th 
Shawn Smith   

EPMA: Tuesday, September 11th 

Advocacy: Wednesday, September 12th 
Mike Stack

Green Schools: 
Thursday, September 13th 
Kathy Arthur Tyler

Residential Green Building: Monday, September 10th 
Bill Holland  

West Branch: Friday, September 14th 
Ludmilla Pavlova  
Please check out our Committee pages on the 
to learn about each committee and other committee meetings.

Community Corner

Check out these upcoming free events...

8/31, 7am - 9am, Jamaica Plain, MA

10/5, 8am -12:30pm, Chelmsford, MA

Massachusetts Green Careers Conference        10/4, 8am - 5pm, Marlborough, MA 
9/20, 6pm - 8pm, Boston East Pier 

The USGBC MA has in-person webinars every month, in cities all over the state. Check our
website to find an upcoming webinar near you. Webinars are free to Chapter members.

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August 2012



August is flying buy and fall is right around the corner. In our reflection on this summer's activities, we kept coming back to headlines and the dramatic stories about water. People across the country have been affected - whether by a severe shortage of rainfall in the mid west that has left farmers at a loss or hurricanes and flooding in Florida and now Bostonians who are learning about the future of climate change and potential flooding of our their city, water is a resource we need to be paying more attention to. We hope you will enjoy this newsletter dedicated to water management, conservation and adaptation topics.

We hope to see you this fall at some of our upcoming committee meetings or social events. Check out more in our newsletter below!


USGBC MA Summer Leadership Retreat

Every summer, USGBC MA Board and Committee leaders gather for a retreat to connect, share updates, plan initiatives and have a little fun. 


For the second year in a row we were able to host the retreat at the new LEED Platinum Atlantic Wharf building in downtown Boston (same space as the BSA offices). One highlight this year was that we got to share with each other why we LOVE THE USGBC. 


Tell us why you are involved with USGBC... 


Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook View our profile on LinkedIn 

Brian Swett Steps begins as City Of Boston's Chief of Environment & Energy

We are excited to share that Brian Swett, former Vice Chair
and founding member of USGBC MA, was appointed Chief of Environment and Energy with the City of Boston in July 
2012. Prior to his appointment, Brian was employed at Boston Properties overseeing LEED and sustainability initiatives and has been a dedicated member and leader with USGBC MA for the past three years. We wish Brian all the best in his new role! 
Jennifer Taranto, the past Chair of the Board & founding member of USGBC MA, has replaced Brian as Vice Chair. Jenn is a project manager at Structure Tone where she manages LEED projects as well as the sustainable 
initiative within Structure Tone to provide staff training, and conduct seminars to educate clients. 

Water and Energy Demand for Buildings


LEED Construction: Building a Brighter Future 
by Nicole Hirsch - Construction Management Resources 

When many people think about carbon emissions, they assume that cars and other motorized vehicles are the main culprits. However, building construction uses 30 percent of all raw materials consumed in this country and 12 percent of all available potable water - 15 trillion gallons each year. This level of water consumption is ultimately unsustainable, given that the United Nations World Water Development Report 3, issued in 2009, states that one-third of the world's population already lacks access to clean water. The report projects that at the present rate of consumption, two-thirds of the world's population will live in water-stressed conditions by 2025. 

Buildings continue to be environmentally demanding after construction has been completed. Buildings and the built environment account for 30 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and 30 percent of all waste products - some 136 million tons annually. As a major contributing factor to climate change, greenhouse gases have had a detrimental effect on the health of the planet, including rapid and perhaps irreversible melting of Arctic polar sea ice.

Water Conservation

Maximizing Values Via Water Conservation 
By Bill Butts, ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance 

Today, more than ever, smarter water management plans are required at properties across the Boston region. It's important to examine all aspects of a budget to find ways to maximize the value, yet still achieve the highest standards of operational performance. Water efficiency programs can help create value, improve the environment and produce impressive results for the bottom line. 

For many, water conservation is a fact of life. But for others, water may not be perceived as a precious resource simply because it seems to be plentiful in their area. Even though water is relatively inexpensive, it is a limited natural resource. As the population increases, the earth's available fresh water remains constant, thus as demand increases, so too will the price. Adopting a smart water management program now is a critical component to operate a property at peak efficiency at all times, not just when irrigation restrictions exist. 

Cutting costs through sustainable practices makes financial sense as well because landscape management can enhance the bottom line in a number of ways, including making the grounds more aesthetically pleasing and more sustainable.

Global Water Footprint

This poster was designed by US Infrastructure and shows a map with the water footprint of national consumption by country, based on data published in the book Globalization of Water by Hoekstra and Chapagain (2008). The poster also shows the dependency of some countries on external water resources and the water footprints of a few typical food items.  Learn more at

City of Boston - Rising Tides

Boston Plans For Risk of Rising Tides

Scientists and planners have been studying the potential effects that climate change could eventually have on the City of Boston. Scientists predict that climate change could lead to dramatic increases in sea level around the city, leaving parts of the city under water. 

Much of the City of Boston was built on marshes and mudflats that were filled in to allow for city expansion. Today, more than 50% of the downtown is filled tidelands. 

The city has created a comprehensive climate action plan that focuses on reducing green house gases and adapting to the potential of a warmer climate.  In addition, the city is asking developers along the waterfront to plan now for more frequent flooding. The projected sea level rise is from 2-6 feet by the end of the century, depending on how fast the polar ice melts. 

Green Apple Day of Service

Chapter Logo
On Sept. 29, 2012, the Center for Green Schools at USGBC will host the first ever Green Apple Day of Service. Advocates from around the world will come together in support of healthy, green schools by taking real action in their communities. Projects will include service activities such as garden cleanups, energy audits, mural painting, clutter clean-outs, recycling drives and much more.

USGBC MA is hoping to register more events than any other state, and we are looking to organize Green School Tours across MA so don't delay - apply to the Chapter  and let us know about your project or contact us to help with planning, accessing volunteers, and spreading the word.

Green Apple Contact: Michael Wolfson 

Peoples Bank Earns LEEDŽ Gold

PeoplesBank has been awarded LEEDŽ Gold at its newest  green office, in West Springfield. The building is the first of its kind in the town and is one of only two community banks in Massachusetts that have achieved LEED Gold status.

West Branch Chair, Ludmilla Pavlova is pictured here with People's Bank at the award ceremony.

"For years, PeoplesBank has been supporting the community in a variety of ways. That's what community banks do," stated Douglas A. Bowen, President and CEO of PeoplesBank, in announcing the award of LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. "We have taken that thought - supporting the community - and extended it to the environment. The green branch is an office that has been built in an environmentally responsible way."

Contact: Susan B. Wilson, Vice President of Marketing

EPMA Kick-off Soiree

September 12th

Come join the USGBC MA Emerging Professionals (EPMA) Chapter  for some light refreshments in an end of summer gathering and networking event and find out what the Emerging Professionals of the MA Chapter are up to this coming year.

Whether you are a college student, recent graduate, or professional new to the sustainability field, all are invited to attend!  EPMA members will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about what we do or becoming more involved with any USGBC groups and committees. We will also be taking suggestions on events or topics you would like to see EPMA focus on in the coming year!

Anyone who RSVPs and attends will be entered to win a free chapter membership (or chapter renewal if already a member). Must be present to win. Other door prizes are in the works!

When: September 12th, 2012, 6pm - 8pm
Location: 281 Summer St, 7th Floor, Boston, MA
RSVP: On the Chapter website
Cost: FREE

Chapter End of Summer Social

Chapter Networking Event - September 20th

Join the U.S Green Building Council's Massachusetts Chapter and event sponsors NSTAR and Vidaris for an end of summer networking reception on the waterside patio at The Daily Catch Seaport.

Enjoy an evening of networking, cocktails, and hors d'oeuvres among Massachusetts' best and brightest green building professionals, and learn more about how to become involved in the Chapter Committees.

When: September 20th from 5:30pm through 8:30pm
Location: The Daily Catch Seaport, 2 Northern Ave., Fan Pier, Boston, MA 02210
RSVP: On the Chapter website 
: Current Chapter Member rate- $15. Non Member Rate- $30.  Attendees who wish to join the Chapter at the event will be extended the Member Rate.

Please contact Rachel Zsembery, Special Events Chair, for more information.

Climate, Mind and Behavior Program           
Castle Square Community Center - Sept. 6th
What is the connection between occupant behavior, the built environment, and climate change? Consider yourself invited to the first presentation in Boston of the Garrison Institute's Climate, Mind and Behavior Program

The meeting will feature a brief presentation by environmental sociologist Karen Ehrhardt-Martinez, director of the Climate, Mind and Behavior Program who will share information about the scale of potential energy savings and the ways in which social science insights are being applied to reduce waste and achieve more sustainable resource use. Following the presentation, participants will have the opportunity to share information about their work and areas of interest.

This is a great opportunity to learn and share insights about how organizations, building managers, sustainability managers and other professionals are (and could be) applying social science insights to more effectively engage with employees, tenants, and residents in the Boston area and create new ways of saving energy, resources and money. 

When: September 6th, 2012, 5-7pm 
Location: Castle Square Community Center, 2nd floor "green roof terrace", 464 Tremont St, Boston
Refreshments will be provided. Castle Square has undergone an award-winning deep energy retrofit. Read more at

The UChapter LogoSGBC Massachusetts Chapter is a non-profit organization serving the sustainable design community throughout the Commonwealth by providing a wide range of green building education, networking and advocacy services. 

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