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December Newsletter  
In This Issue
Annual Meeting
Green Schools Update
EcoDistricts Summit Recap
Grid-Bits of News & Action
Cape & Islands
Cutting Edge Technology
Green Giants!

West Branch Awards Program a success!  

The Green Giants Award Program was created by the West Branch of our Chapter to honor the work of trades people, educators, and owners/program directors who help build, teach about, envision and fund the green buildings in Hampshire, Hampden, Franklin, and Berkshire counties. This program is intentionally distinct from other building design awards in its attempt to look at and honor a wider range of participants behind the sustainable building movement in our region.


Green Giants - Trades 
Sean Jeffords, Beyond Green Construction and Western MA Green Consortium

Honorable Mention - Trades 
Michael Broad, Construction Supervisor

Honorable Mention - Trades 
Tom Rossmassler, President and CEO of Energia in Holyoke

Green Giant - Education 
Teresa Jones, Greenfield Community College 
for her work in developing the Sustainable Practices in Construction curriculum at GCC

Honorable Mention - Education 
Westover Job Corps Center, Chicopee 
and Gregory Briggs, Carpentry Instructor


For Private Owner 
Riverstone Development for Two Pond Farm Land Co-op and Sustainable Neighborhood.

For Institutional Owner  
Bement School for two dormitory projects


Read more about the program and the award ceremony held in conjunction with WMAIA in our blog.

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


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.

Our Chapter Sponsoring Partners

National Grid

Boston Properties

Nitsch Engineering 

Blu Homes

Citizens Bank 

The Green Engineer, Inc.

Chapter Committees

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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
Join Our List

Upcoming Events with the Chapter!  

1/13/14 9am
Board of Directors Election begins (on-line portion)

1/13/14 5:54pm
Residential Green Building Committee: "Energy Performance Score (EPS) for Homes" Presentation in Boston

1/14/14 6pm
Cape & Islands Interest Group "Green Materials" Presentation & Dinner in Hyannis

1/15/14 4:30pm
Education Committee: LEED v4 in-person webinar (1.5h LEED-specific GBCI credits) in Boston

1/15/14 6:15pm
Emerging Professionals (EPMA) Meeting in Boston

1/21/14 6pm
Education Committee: Introduction to the Living Building Challenge in Cambridge

1/29/14 5:30pm
Annual Meeting, Volunteer Recognition & Greenbuild in Boston 

December 2013



I hope all is well with you and yours during this holiday season. We certainly have a lot to be grateful for. Our movement is growing stronger, every week we see more successful projects.


Our Showcase in October still resonates. And now, at last, the videos are in: please take a look at our new USGBC MA YouTube channel! I'm sure you'll like the stories there.


There's one good overview video that everyone has to watch. "Green buildings are better buildings, they're better assets, and they make a more sustainable world for everyone" - that was my closing statement at the LEED Project Showcase. It wasn't a "scripted moment" but I think it sounded pretty good.


What are we going to do to really grow to scale to attain our mission? We want every building to be a green building within a generation. We want health and opportunity for all. What would a new 30-year plan look like? What is the trailmap to the regenerative, vibrant, just & sustainable future we want? I am convening a strategic visioning and planning group to articulate this for our community. Let me know if you want to help out. We'll need a lot of input, and a lot of finesse, to create an exciting, and engaging implementable plan.


Meanwhile, our organization continues to grow. In 2013 so far, we've seen 225 new members124 buildings were LEED certified in Massachusetts this year, of a total of 812 overall. 89 of our members attended Greenbuild 2013 (the photo above was just some of the contingent) - and I hope to see even more going to New Orleans in 2014. Thank you all for your continued investment in our movement and your continued participation in the USGBC MA Chapter. We are making a better world possible.


Thank you to our many sponsors - seen in the left column here (below) - and to our many volunteers. We will be hosting our annual Volunteer Recognition event during our Annual Meeting (read more below) on January 29th in Boston. I look forward to seeing many of you there!


Stay in touch, chime-in, and follow us on facebook & twitter. Are you keeping up with the discussions on Linkedin? We have a lot going on with our advocacy work and our events.


Thank you again for your work to make Massachusetts a better place for all.


Grey Lee

Executive Director

USGBC MA Chapter


Annual Meeting 1/29/14 in Boston
Our annual meeting will be full of activity. We will start at 5:30 with our Volunteer Recognition Program - to honor and thank the many people who have participated in our programs or otherwise demonstrated leadership with one of our campaigns or committees. 
A Captivating Program!


We will also be holding our Board of Directors elections. More info on the elections can be found here.


The second portion of the evening, starting at 6:30, will be a series of short presentations from all-star green building heroes who presented at Greenbuild in Philadelphia in November. We are bringing them onto the stage here in Massachusetts so more of our colleagues can benefit from their expertise. 


When: January 29th, 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Location: EnerNOC HQ, 1 Marina Park Drive, Boston, MA
Cost: Free for Members (join now!)
Please register for the USGBC MA 2014 Annual Meeting using this link.



Green Schools Update
by Steve Muzzy


The Green Schools Committee is wrapping up a successful 2013 campaign. We had 50 schools across the State

participate in  Green Apple Day of Service (GADOS), we celebrated the 2013 MA Green Ribbon Award winners and got the word out for more schools to apply in 2014, and we toured and promoted LEED schools. We are excited to continue and expand these efforts in 2014. Planning has begun to develop more resources for GADOS promotion and execution, and to deliver more data and case studies on green buildings for school administrators, teachers, and parents. Thanks to all of our volunteers for advancing healthy, sustainable schools. 


Below are some terrific opportunities and resources to continue this work. Please share with your school networks.  


The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has launched Energy Manager Grant Program to support municipal energy manager positions throughout the Commonwealth. The program is open to all Massachusetts municipalities, as well as regional school districts, that do not already employ a local energy manager for more than 15 hours per week. Applications are due February 14, 2014


NSTAR Challenge 2014The NSTAR Challenge is a program for grades K-12 that promotes energy efficiency and sustainable living. Visit the NSTAR Challenge webpage for more information, including eligibility, requirements, and prizes. Registration forms are due January 13, 2014.

Report by Kate Crosby
Crosby, examines five public schools from around the U.S. that have reduced their electricity use by an astonishing 20 to 37 percent through successful behavior-based strategies. The strategies they have employed are synthesized into a "how-to" toolkit for schools everywhere to implement their own behavior based, energy reduction programs.


LEED-ND and EcoDistricts Summit 2013


by Bob Weiss



Working with a select city-wide host committee, Chapter members participated in a successful and dynamic EcoDistricts Summit held last month at the Boston Convention Center.  This was the fourth Summit held by EcoDistricts and the first to be held on the east coast.  EcoDistricts supports and promotes a model of neighborhood development as a means of achieving sustainable communities beyond buildings.  The conference was held for four days in November and brought together professionals from every field related to neighborhood development.  USGBC, an ongoing Summit sponsor, used the event as a platform to advance LEED-ND and other models.  There was considerable spirit around the neighborhood development concept, as LEED and other district-based development concepts were referenced throughout the tours, education sessions and plenary gatherings. 


The success and spirit of the Boston Summit will carry on throughout the new year to the 2014 Summit next fall in Washington DC. The Chapter's Residential Green Building Committee is launching a Neighborhood Development sub-committee and USGBC MA members have an opportunity to join in and plan the Chapter's direction. A Chapter event is in the works for the late spring as part of a continuing effort to awaken the region's communities to the possibilities of neighborhood development through LEED-ND, Ecodistricts, and other programs. This is an opportunity to work with national, global and local organizations in advancing the best practices of developing sustainable communities. For further information on the Neighborhood Development sub-committee contact Bob Weiss,


You can read more about the Ecodistricts Summit at our blog (thank you Jim Newman!)


Introduction to the Living Building Challenge


What is the Living Building Challenge? How will it transform architecture? How can our community embrace this tool to achieve better buildings for our stakeholders?


The Living Building Challenge is a philosophy, advocacy tool, and certification program that addresses development at all scales.  This one hour introduction will review the seven performance areas, the certification process, and will review project examples.  What if every single act of design and construction made the world a better place?  Come learn how.

When: Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014
Location: 5 Cambridge Center, 7th Fl. Cambridge MA
Cost: Free for Members, $10 otherwise.

Cape & Islands: Year in Review 


by Adam Prince


The USGBC MA Cape & Islands Interest Group had a very successful year with events every other month. These included a site visit to a LEED registered project under construction, a presentation on the importance of residential ventilation in tight homes & buildings, an architect led tour of a certified Passive House, a presentation covering energy improvements beyond simple audits, and a tour of a LEED certified office building. Event co-hosts have included the BSA Cape Architects Network, Green Drinks Cape Cod, Sotheby's Realty, and Cape & Islands Self Reliance. We look forward to an exciting 2014! 


Up next, on January 14th at 6PM is a presentation on cost effective green materials co-hosted with the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Cape Cod. 


Rebuilding Without Relocating or Displacing 


by Ryan Montoni


It is known that most aging buildings are poorly performing, compared to current standards, and are in need of a renovation. The problem with renovating existing buildings is that it is very expensive, time consuming, and it traditionally requires occupants to vacate the building while in construction. 


Building Green hosted an educational session at Greenbuild 2013 titled 'Top 10 Green Products of the Year'. A product that I truly believe has great potential in the marketplace is Schuco's ERC 50 Modernization Facade and others alike. This facade is used for re-skinning existing buildings. It is installed like a rain screen and contains high performance glazing, is thermally broken and can integrate PV. The new fašade is installed on the outside of the existing fašade and then the existing fašade can be demolished from the interior. This technique has proven to be cost-effective and it allows the occupants to remain in the building while the building undergoes construction. 


If this product, and others alike, can be utilized on a large scale, I have no doubt that it will have a significant impact on the overall energy consumption of our existing buildings. 



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