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September Newsletter  
In This Issue
Green Schools Update
BERDO - Moving Forward
The New Energy Star Portfolio Manager
Boston Green Academy Green Apple Day of Service
Cambridge Rindge and Latin School - LEED Gold
Building Types in Boston
EcoDistricts Summit
Greenbuild 2013

Upcoming Events 


Thurs, October 3, 

5:45 - 7:30pm

LEED Study Group - study sessions begin in Boston



Tues, October 8, 

5:00 - 6:00pm 




Thurs, October 17 

6:00 - 8:00pm 

Massachusetts LEED Project Showcase at Google in Cambridge



Thurs, October 24

6:00 - 8:00

Combined Committees Meeting in Boston



See our website for a full list of upcoming events.


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 &
Event production,
 Membership growth, and
 Graphic Design


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


Chapter Committees

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






Emerging Professionals (EPMA)


Green Schools 


Residential Green Building

The Chapter has groups meeting throughout the Massachusetts:

Central MA Group (Worcester-based)


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 


P&G Gilette


Mark Richey Woodworking

Robinson & Cole

The Green Engineer, Inc.

Structure Tone


New Buildings Institute

Sterritt Lumber

Re-Stream Inc.


Blu Homes
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

September 2013



Hello Autumn! It's time to start shutting the windows at night and thinking about putting the heat on (if you're not in a passivhaus already). The change of the seasons always gets me thinking about the practical side of building systems.  

It's time to buy your tickets to our inaugural Massachusetts LEED Project Showcase on 10/17/13


This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to connect with the strongest proponents of high-performance buildings in Massachusetts, and a great way for teams and owners to be recognized for all they've accomplished. Almost 200 building projects have earned LEED certification since the beginning of 2012. Each of these is a significant accomplishment and we want to celebrate the effort of all the green building professionals and other involved parties. 


We continue reaching out to every project team that has attained certification in the past year and a half to submit the story of their project on our website. I know you will enjoy the event at Google's offices in Cambridge.

Not a day goes by that I don't have to stop to contemplate the amazing contributions from our volunteers. I am continuously heartened - but it only makes sense. We are mission-based organization making a difference for our community. Thank you again!

Please take a look at our blog to read about our progress and follow us on facebook & twitter. Are you keeping up with the discussions on LinkedIn?

Thank you again for staying tuned in, and for making more green buildings happen throughout Massachusetts and beyond! 


Grey Lee

Executive Director

USGBC MA Chapter


Green Schools Update
by Steve Muzzy


greenschGreen Apple Day of Service is here! After a slow start,

The Manning School: Therapeutic Walking Path (Ribbon Cutting)
The Manning School: Therapeutic Walking Path (Ribbon Cutting)

MA has come on strong. We have nearly hit our goal of 50 projects, with 46 registered as of today. Check out the current list of registered projects. A number of events have already been held, including the unveiling of the Manning School's therapeutic walking path, a tour of Plymouth North High School (seeking LEED Gold Certification), and Boston Green Academy's Green Apple Week. More projects are scheduled throughout October. Manchester Essex Regional School is seeking volunteers, this Saturday, for a full day of community service projects. The following link provides more detail and information for volunteering. Thank you to everyone that coordinated and/or participated in this year's Green Apple Day of Service. 


Moving on to other news. Last week, MA held its  Green Ribbon Award Conference at Mount Wachusett Community College. Participants heard from last year's MA Green Ribbon Awardees and learned about the application process. This is a terrific program that provides a comprehensive assessment of your schools environmental impact and curriculum offerings. To learn more about Green Ribbon Schools, participate in a FREE webinar being held October 3rd. 


To close, I want to share the following from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). NTNU seeks applications for three Ph.D. and one Post-Doctoral research fellowship positions within the Research Centre on Zero Emission Buildings. "The primary objective is to develop solutions for existing and new buildings, both residential and commercial, in order to bring about a breakthrough for buildings with zero greenhouse-gas emissions associated with their construction, operation and demolition."


City's Building Energy and Reporting Ordinance Moving Forward 


By Carrie Havey 

I'm sure most of you are aware by now of the City of Boston's Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO), which was passed on May 8, 2013. BERDO will require all buildings or groups of buildings greater than 35,000 square feet to report on annual energy and water use along with greenhouse gas emissions through the US EPA's Energy Star Portfolio Manager. The requirement will be phased in over 5 years and will first apply to non-residential buildings 50,000 square feet or greater in 2014 and residential buildings with 50 or more units in 2015. Ultimately, the requirement will apply to non-residential buildings 35,000 square feet or greater and residential buildings with 35 or more units. 
While many organizations have been involved with BERDO's public process over the past year, A Better City (ABC) a Boston based business organization has taken an active role in ensuring thorough input from the commercial real estate sector. ABC has worked to educate owners on the ordinance, and is soliciting feedback from the business community to help shape the final regulations. Through the course of the summer, ABC assisted building owners throughout the City on how to use Energy Star Portfolio Manager.  

"Turbo-Charged" New ENERGY STAR Finds Some Rough Road 


By Chris Liston

Two months after ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager received an ambitious upgrade, users are still struggling through programming glitches in what the EPA has described as a "turbo-charged" new tool. 

ENERGY STAR is a free tool administered by the EPA, which reports more than 40,000 individual accounts for more than 250,000 commercial buildings. ENERGY STAR is frequently used by LEED project owners to report whole-building energy and water data to the USGBC and the tool plays a key prerequisite role within the LEED EB rating system. 

The June upgrade was intended to modernize a database architecture that was first introduced in 2000. The new site was promised to be faster, more intuitive and more user-friendly - with data entry "wizards" and easier-to-generate reports. User data would be seamlessly transitioned to the new tool and there would be no changes to the algorithm used to calculate the actual ratings. 

A Brief Summary of Changes to LEED EBOM 


by Paul Brown


A great summary of changes can be found here, on the National USGBC site.


A few of the changes include:

  • Under Sustainable Sites, the Credit for LEED Certified Design and Construction has been removed.
  • Under Water Efficiency, there is a new Prerequisite to install (permanently) a whole-building water meter which reports data directly to USGBC.
  • Within Energy and Atmosphere, the Prerequisite previously called "Minimum Energy Efficiency Performance" is now called "Minimum Energy Performance", and the baseline for compliance with the Prerequisite has been raised from an Energy Star Rating of 69 to 75 (in Option 1).
  • Also in Energy and Atmosphere, a new Prerequisite has been created for whole-building energy meters, and for sharing of data with USGBC.
  • The Materials and Resources Category has been substantially revised, with re-organization of credits (moving to other categories) and revising of Prerequisites.
  • Under Indoor Environmental Quality, the hospitality residential option exception for the Environmental Tobacco Smoke Control Prerequisite has been eliminated, and the former Green Cleaning Credit, has become a Prerequisite called "Green Cleaning Policy".

Those are just a few of many changes; please consult the official documents of USGBC for further important information.


Boston Green Academy's Green Apple Day of Service


By Chamberlain Segrest, Director of Green Programming at Boston Green Academy

Boston Green Academy (BGA), a high school located in
Image Credit: by Phoebe Beierle
South Boston, celebrated 2013 Green Apple with an entire week of programming! BGA opened two years ago as an in-district Horace Mann Charter School with the mission to graduate all students prepared for college and the 21st century green economy. Administrators and teachers strive to integrate concepts of sustainability into classroom curriculum, but students are also provided great opportunities to learn and explore outside the classroom walls. This past summer, one of BGA's students held a summer green job as a Youth Energy Auditor. She took her newly acquired knowledge about energy conservation and renewable energy technologies back to BGA and helped organize Boston Green Academy's Green Apple WEEK of Service event. 

During this week of service, staff and students spent their daily advisory period educating themselves about the simple things occupants can do to reduce energy use and cut down on utility bills. Even in a building built ca. 1901, there are opportunities for energy savings! 

Cambridge Rindge and Latin School renovation achieves LEED Gold certification 


Cambridge, MA. According to the City of Cambridge and
Image Credit: NEREJ
HMFH Architects, Inc., the comprehensive renovation of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) has earned LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. HMFH's design for the 400,000 s/f high school fulfills the city's ambitious sustainability goals through substantial reductions in energy consumption and water use, and significant increases in indoor environmental quality, natural ventilation and daylighting.

The sustainable design strategy for the three-building complex, which was originally constructed in 1932 and expanded in 1978, includes a chilled beam HVAC system - well-suited for incorporation in existing concrete frame buildings-and a rooftop photovoltaic array. These retrofits, coupled with high-efficiency lighting fixtures and daylighting contribute to the school's net energy savings, lowering the operating costs by more than $335,000 annually, and reducing energy use by more than 1.3 million KWh of electricity and nearly 44,000 therms of natural gas.

Read more at NEREJ


Building Types of Boston


by Jim Newman
What resources do we put where, to make the City more resilient? Boston is an old city. Over 50% of Boston's housing units were built before 1940 (MAPC, 2008, p. 3), with the highest proportion of pre-WWII housing among the major cities in the U.S. (Cox, 2013). Commercial buildings, on the other hand, saw a major surge of new construction after 1960, with over 25 million square feet added between 1960 and 1998
The majority of buildings within the city are small-scale residential buildings. Large commercial and residential buildings are mostly clustered downtown, with mid-rise buildings distributed in neighborhood centers around the city.  



Attend the EcoDistricts Summit - Nov. 12-14


Experience EcoDistricts Summit, the premier conference dedicated to promote sustainable neighborhood development.

Each year the EcoDistricts Summit convenes leading municipal policymakers, developers, business leaders, planners, and community leaders - people with decision-making power - to share best practices and shape the growing EcoDistricts marketplace. Take a look behind development and neighborhood revitalization - for this can't-miss event for leaders who are shaping and building the cities and urban neighborhoods of the future.


Boston Convention and Expo Center

November 12-14


You'll find more than 30 carefully curated plenary sessions and panel discussions to introduce conference participants to cutting-edge projects and thought leadership in green buildings, smart infrastructure, and community action. 


Learn more here.

Come with us to Greenbuild in Philly, Nov 20-22, 2013


We hope you will join us for Greenbuild 2013, which will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from November 20-22 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the Keynote Speaker this year.

Greenbuild attracts professionals from all aspects of the building industry. Architects, building owners, code officials, contractors, developers, educators, engineers, facility managers, financial service providers, government agencies, green power providers, home builders, interior designers, landscape architects, nonprofit organizations, product manufacturers, schools, universities, students, and urban planners will all be at the conference to share ideas and promote greener building.

Greenbuild wiil include over 100 educational sessions featuring world renowned speakers, LEED workshops, off-site educational sessions, and Green Building tours of local sites. The exhibit hall will be open on November 20th and 21st. 

Check out our October newsletter to learn more about what to see and do at Greenbuild.

To learn more or register, go to the Greenbuild website.

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