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April Newsletter
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Upcoming Webinars
Energy Disclosure Laws- Nationally
Welcome Our New Green Schools Program Manager
Architecture 2030 Challenge - Discussion
Boston Building Energy Disclosure
NEREJ's 50th Anniversary
6th Annual Earth Day Event
Quincy Commons Project
Building Smarter Buildings Workshop

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 partner 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 &
Social Media,
Event production,
 Membership growth, and
 Graphic Design.


If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Grey Lee 


Did You Know?


The 2011 New York City Benchmarking Report contained energy disclosure information for 1.7 billion square feet of built space - equal to the built areas of Boston and San Francisco combined.


Come to VERGE!


Produced by GreenBiz  




Where Tech meets Sustainability


May 13-14 in the Seaport!


Come to the pre-eminent confab connecting energy, buildings and sustainability. 


More information here.

Chapter Members get a 10% discount using code: VBOSUSGBCMA


Register here!


Chapter Committees

Make a Difference.
Build Your Resume.
Become involved with a Committee!









Special Events


Emerging Professionals (EPMA)


Green Schools 


Residential Green Building


Regional & Statewide Outreach 

Central MA Group


Cape & Islands Group


Western MA Branch  


To find out more about the committees and how to get connected, go to our website or send an email to
Sponsoring Partnership

Is your company interested in being a  Sponsoring Partner with the USGBC Massachusetts Chapter?

Click here to find out the benefits you'll receive as a Chapter partner.

Sponsoring Partners gain access & exposure to our membership and subscriber base. 

You can show your stakeholders that you are directly involved with the heart of green building advocacy and professional development in Massachusetts!

Donations are tax deductible and a great way to support our green building education, advocacy and outreach programming efforts throughout the Commonwealth!

Our Chapter Sponsoring Partners

National Grid

Boston Properties

Citizens Bank; Nitsch Engineering; AHA Consulting Engineers; Vidaris; P&G Gilette

NStar; Mark Richey Woodworking; Robinson & Cole; 
The Green Engineer, Inc.; Structure Tone; SMMA; New Buildings Institute; Sterritt Lumber; Re-Stream Inc.

Upcoming Events 

Cape & Islands: 4/30/13 5-7pm -

Cape Light Compact will be presenting "Beyond Residential Home Energy Audits"

Metro Boston: 5/8/13 Architecture 2030 Discussion


Metro Boston: 5/9/13 Building Smarter Buildings


Committee Meetings in Boston (open to anyone):


5/9/13 Green Schools Meeting w/ Stephen Muzzy


with a presentation on a near-net-zero home
in Newton 

5/15/13 Emerging Professionals Meeting


5/16/13 Membership Meeting


5/23/13 Communications Meeting

Upcoming Webinars
Earn 1.5 GBCI credit hours
Boston: 5/15/13 4:30-6pm - LEED 251: Strategies for Success in LEED - Water Use Reduction (WWp1) (LEED-Specific BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Homes, ND)  
Boston: 5/21/13 12-1:30pm - LEGAL 201: Contract Strategies for LEED Projects: Managing Risk and Liability

Southborough: 5/23/13 6:15-8pm - ND 201 Series: LEED for Neighborhood Development: Sustainability Beyond Building 

Advocacy for Green Buildings:

The USGBC MA Chapter continues to endorse and support the proposed Building Energy Reporting & Disclosure Ordinance for the City of Boston. We have a lot of resources on our website, and Grey Lee wrote about his testimony on our blog. The City of Boston also has posted a lot of useful information.


City Council is expected to vote on the matter on May 8th. Please help us connect to City Councillors. If you are a resident of Boston, you can look up your councillor here. If you live elsewhere, please encourage friends and colleagues who are in Boston to support the measure


Energy disclosure will help buildings become more environmentally responsible. Thank you for your support of the Building Energy Reporting & Disclosure Ordinance in Boston.


Chapter Newsletter & Website  

Interested in writing an article for the Massachusetts Chapter newsletter? 

Interested in contributing educational content or graphics for our website?

Please email Carrie at      
Join Our List

April 2013



It has been an eventful Spring in Massachusetts. We've had award contests, a membership drive, conferences, and state & municipal public policy issues. And of course I can't take the soapbox here without mentioning the Marathon Bombings. We all express our heartfelt condolences to those affected. I have not heard of anyone in our community directly, significantly, affected, though many of us have friends and colleagues who were part of the situation - as victims, helpers, or otherwise.


Let me go out on a limb and point out the relevance of green buildings to reducing dramatic violence. We are part of the solution. Our work helps to ensure that our society takes responsibility for waste products resulting from buildings. Green buildings embody less violence: reduced deleterious health effects, diminished negative effects of materials procurement and manufacturing, and they reduce projected damage estimates from long-term repercussions on the environment. This includes the reduced toxicity of green buildings and their materials, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. 


Call me a peacenik or what you will, but I do believe the embodied negative effects of buildings are diminishing every time we "green" a building. This will have positive psychological implications for everyone. Certainly there wasn't much we could do about the events of 4/15, but over time, green buildings are norming a more peaceful society. Green buildings are better buildings - and we need to ensure strong codes not just for energy efficiency, but also to prevent loss of lives as seen in building failures in the Brazil club fire or more recently the Bangladesh garment factory collapse. I'm glad to be part of this community, all working for the good cause of better buildings.


Our community continues to grow and to make a difference in our industry. We recently achieved our goal of bringing on 100 new members before Earth Day - a quick drive at the beginning of the year which has grown our ranks significantly. Thank you to all the new Members, and thank you for participating in our efforts.


Our calendar is still full of many opportunities for networking, professional development, and service work.


Many of you have connected to us on facebook, through LinkedIn and tweeting @usgbcma - all great ways to get a steady feed of notes and news from USGBC MA. 


In the spirit of green innovation and in honor of our planet, with the flourish of springtime, thank you again for your support!


Grey Lee

Executive Director

USGBC MA Chapter


Energy Disclosure Laws Gaining National Popularity 

Photo credit:

by Chris Liston

As the debate continues over Boston's proposed energy disclosure ordinance it has understandably shifted attention to those cities and states that have already enacted similar legislation.

To date, energy disclosure laws have been approved by lawmakers in Austin, California, the District of Columbia, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington. Lawmakers in Boston, Boulder, Cambridge, Chicago and Portland have expressed interest in energy disclosure legislation but have not yet formalized their programs.

Three commonalities in these laws are 1) the use of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager as a benchmarking tool 2) a focus on large buildings and 3) mandatory reporting with fines and/or penalties for those buildings that fail to disclose their data. The definition of a "large" building differs by jurisdiction, but generally speaking the laws are focused on buildings with a minimum size of 10,000 SF to 50,000 SF.

Like the proposed Boston ordinance, most local energy disclosure laws have been phased in over a period of time. 
Welcome Stephen Muzzy to the USGBC MA Chapter as our new "Green Schools Program Manager"

As recently announced at our Earth Day Celebration, our advocacy work for green buildings has recently become amplified. The Chapter thanks the USGBC for supporting the position with a strategic investment grant. Stephen Muzzy will start in early May, focusing on three things:

  • Facilitating a Green School Buildings coalition 
  • Implementing LEED Study Groups 
  • Creating a LEED Project Assistance Matching Service 

Steve comes to the Chapter having served for 5 years as a program manger at Second Nature, a campus sustainability consulting organization. He most recently has managed the American Colleges & Universities Presidents' Climate Challenge program, helping campuses implement carbon mitigation strategies. He brings green campus experience, program design & delivery skills, and an extensive network at higher ed institutions in Massachusetts.


You are welcome to attend a Green Schools Committee meeting on 5/9/13 where we will be welcoming Steve and making introductions. We are looking forward to promoting green buildings on campuses throughout Massachusetts in the coming months and years!


Architecture 2030 Challenge: a networking gathering....

Have you heard of the 2030 challenge? Have you asked yourself what does the AIA 2030 commitment mean to me? Join us for an interactive discussion that will include an overview of the 2030 Challenge, and highlight specific reporting requirements, metrics, and case studies to help explain how this movement affects all of us in the building community. 


Please join the USGBC MA and the Young Professionals in Energy Boston Chapter as they co-host this exciting event with presenter Jim Stanislaski. As an architect with Gensler, Co-Chair of the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) Committee on the Environment, and participant on the National Architecture 2030 Advisory Board, Jim will be able to provide all attendees with insight into the 2030 challenge. 


Leigh Anne Mays with Guardian Industries, our sponsor for this event, will be present to speak about Guardian's focus on the Net Zero 2030 guidelines and initiatives by improving the energy performance of glazing products through new technologies like Electro Chromic glass, Photovoltaic glass, and other advanced glazing technologies. 


Refreshments will be provided for all attendees thanks to Guardian Industries. Following the presentations there will be opportunities for networking amongst all participants. For more information about the event and / or to RSVP go to our website.


Facts About the Proposed Boston Building Energy and Disclosure Ordinance 

As a component of the City of Boston's Climate Action Plan

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to meet the Mayor's greenhouse gas reduction goal of 25 percent by 2020, Mayor Thomas M. Menino filed the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance with the Boston City Council. This ordinance would require all large and medium sized buildings to report their annual energy and water use to the City of Boston.

Here are some facts about the proposed ordinance:
1. All large and medium buildings or groups of buildings would be required to report annual energy use, ENERGY STAR rating (if applicable), water use, and greenhouse gas emissions through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager or an equivalent mechanism.
2. The requirement would be phased in over 5 years and would ultimately apply to non-residential buildings 25,000 square feet or greater and residential buildings with 25 or more units.
3. Buildings with ENERGY STAR ratings below the 75th percentile and not meeting other exemption criteria (to be developed by the city, i.e. high performing buildings that do not qualify for any ENERGY STAR rating or that show continuous improvement) would be required to conduct energy audits or other evaluations every 5 years to identify opportunities for energy efficiency investment. Building owners would not be required to act on the audit.  


Community Partner Spotlight: NEREJ's 50th Anniversary


The largest weekly commercial/investment real estate newspaper in the Northeast, the New England Real Estate Journal, is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
The paper was founded by Roland Hopkins, George Cleveland and Herb Siegel and published the first paper in January 1963.

The New England Real Estate Journal (NEREJ) also publishes the New York Real Estate Journal twice a month, has two websites ( and and a weekly radio show on WBNW 1120AM.

The New England Real Estate Journal covers all six New England states including Finance, Construction, Design, Management, Retail, Office, Industrial, Appraisal, Consulting, Shopping Centers, Engineering, Green Building, and many other commercial real estate markets.


6th Annual Earth Day Event and Chapter Awards


The 6th Annual Earth Day Celebration of the Massachusetts
Chapter of the US Green Building Council was a resounding success! This year's event was located at Two International Place in downtown Boston - a venue that recently attained LEED EB O&M Silver Certification. Thank you to the owners, The Chiofaro Companies, for providing us the location. 


Our annual awards were announced at this event - we had two winners for our long-standing Innovation in Green Design award and a winner for this year's new award category - the Massachusetts Green Building of the Year Award. Please go to our website to see the amazing winning projects. Thank you to Mark Stafford wih National Grid for being our Award Sponsor.


Jurors for the 2013 awards were: Mark Webster, Susan Buchanan, and Holly Samuelson. Jessica Halvorson was our alternate, non-voting, juror. The jury brought considerable knowledge and experience from different industries to the awards process - Thank you.


And a special thanks to everyone who made this event possible, especially Rachel Zsembery of Bergmeyer (our Special Events Committee Chair) and to all those who attended and supported our Chapter.


Building Spotlight: Quincy Commons Project


Vertec Corp. breaks ground on $9 million new LEED Gold HUD 202 project 

Dorchester, MA Vertec Corp. breaks ground on the construction of a new 40-Unit Elderly Housing Development. The project consists of a 48,695 s/f, four-
Photo credit:
story wood frame, mixed-use development providing 5,576 s/f of street-level retail, and 40, one-bedroom, affordable senior rental units. 
Vertec broke ground in January and construction will be complete by February of 2014 
The project is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) 202 program. The HUD 202 program helps expand the supply of affordable housing with supportive services for the elderly. It provides very low-income elderly with options that allow them to live independently but in an environment that provides support activities such as cleaning, cooking, transportation, etc. 
The project is currently designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, however, it's just a few points away from achieving LEED Platinum, according to William Faradie, III of Vertec Corp. 

Come to our Intense Workshop on May 9th: Building Smarter Buildings  

Landlords have little incentive to invest in above-code approaches to maintenance, energy, water and health improvements when the payback is reaped solely by tenants. Most commercial-building leases written today are based on language that has changed little over the years. Our blog has more info about the program.


Come to learn about new lease structures, management practices, and incentive programs that can link and align benefits across the board. Read more about green leasing practices and principles here.


Special thanks to National Grid for being the lead sponsor for this event!


This exciting program will feature:
  • 8:00 Keynote: Brian Swett, City of Boston, Chief of Environment and Energy
  • 9:00 - 11:30 "Green Lease" Forum Panel,  (followed by Q&A)
  • 11:30 - 12:00 Bruce Percelay, Mount Vernon
  • 12:00 - 1:00 Lunch and "Green Lease" Case Studies/Testimonials moderated by Jonathan Keefe of Cassidy Turley and the BU Real Estate Program
  • 1:00 - 1:30 PACE Keynote: Derek Brown, CleanFund 
  • 1:30 - 2:00 PACE Breakout Sessions
For more information, or to register to attend, click here

We are local media sponsors for VERGE!


V E R G E - B O S T O N --- May 13-14 at the Renaissance Waterfront in the Seaport

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