We mixed advocacy and socializing at our Summer BBQ!
USGBC MA Chapter, August Newsletter
In This Issue
Day of Service
Green Schools
GreenFest in Boston
Electric Vehicles
Bike Tour
Chapter Event Recap
Committee Recap
Quick Links
Upcoming Webinars
Committee Meetings
Join Our List

August 2015

With summer in full swing, I can't help but wonder how many of you are reading this on a mobile device at a beach somewhere far away. I hope you've been able to make the most of the "slow" season and taken time with family and friends to relax & recharge.

Our work continues. This morning, we were able to place an Op-Ed in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette regarding green building and economic development. It's all connected!

The Massachusetts Legislature is not going to be too active for the next few weeks, but that gives us a chance to reposition some of our priority issues. Take a look at the extensive resources we have on our website. The net metering issue got a boost when Senator Ben Downing introduced an amendment to lift the caps on the state's solar net metering mechanism, and the Senate approved it. We'll have to work with the House to take it the distance it needs. 

Other priorities include reaching out to more prospective users of PACE financing and exploring how to really operationalize a net zero building code. Stay tuned for more on those issues. 

Will you come to the Biomimicry & Living Buildings 3-hour workshop next Wednesday 8/12/15? How about our Green Schools Committee gathering later that day (see below)? Can you help us at GreenFest in Boston? There are a lot of ways your enthusiasm and engagement with our mission can help us achieve success - thank you for participating and volunteering with us. 

We are here to help you become a better proponent of green buildings - we can help with education, credential maintenance, networking, and of course, advocacy.  

Thank you for your devotion to our mission and your ongoing support. Each month we are becoming more effective at growing the sustainability agenda through the greening of buildings.

I look forward to connecting with you soon,

Biomimicry & Living Buildings with Eric Corey Freed

Join us next Wednesday morning for a workshop from the always entertaining and heartily enlightening Organic Architect!

We will explore how biomimicry can connect your business to new opportunities.

Also, you will learn how the living building system can help you engage with new markets and create more powerful projects.

This hilarious talk will leave you with strained cheek muscles and some level of incredulity. But you will be more empowered than ever to take your practice to the next level and connect with this community that is the future of design.

Wednesday, August 12
9am - 12pm
50 Milk Street, Boston

Sign up here for this important workshop. 23% discount for Chapter Members.

3h credit both AIA and GBCI - automatically reported!

You can help out on a service project!


Check out our new Handy Guide to help people with plug-n-play (forgive the analogy) programs to run at your place of learning this fall. This makes it easy to sign up and organize!

Green Apple Day of Service

During the Chapter's largest service event of the year, we welcome sponsors and participants interested in helping schools move forward on greening their buildings. Get involved as a participant, or as a sponsor, we welcome your assistance!



Thank you to Phoebe Beierle and Debbie Shepard for organizing the program this year!


What is Cognitive Architecture? Come find out!


Ann Sussman, AIA, will present at our Green Breakfast meeting of August, at our HQ in Boston.


The 21st Century has already been labeled "The Age of Biology" where new findings in the life sciences are reframing our understanding of how we function and came to be. Research also offers insight into our behavior in the built environment, from why we head down some streets and avoid others, to how older cities maintain their charm. This talk reviews recent scientific findings relevant to our behavior in and around buildings.


The most successful green buildings, the author maintains, will use this new science to good advantage; for the more we build buildings people like to look at and 'attach to' - the more likely the new constructions wilI last.


This counts for 1h GBCI credit - automatic reporting!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

8:00 - 9:30am

50 Milk St, Boston


Sign up here!



Our Green Schools Committee is hosting a meeting next week at our Boston HQ, to convene and plan for the coming year.

If you are into green schools, please join us for a great meeting (including dinner!) where we will rejuvenate our intentions and connect once again to this important dimension of the built environment.

School buildings are inherently part of the pedagogy: let's make sure they are supporting the future of sustainability.

Wednesday, August 12th
5:30 - 7:30pm
50 Milk St, Boston

Contact Celis Brisbin, Programs Manager, if you would like to attend. A call-in option will be available, as well.

We want you to come out and join us for the festival. We will be displaying and helping people tune in to the benefits of green buildings. We think it will be a sympathetic audience.

Contact Adrian or Jessie at our Outreach Committee to sign up to help out at our booth. It will be a ton of fun.

You can sign up to take a 2-hr shift on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Boston GreenFest
August 21, 22, & 23
Boston City Hall Plaza

It's important that we connect with the public-at-large and help them see how the benefits of green buildings connect to related issues that matter to them.


Join our colleagues in green building at One Beacon - last year's "Green Building of the Year" - for a special presentation about electric vehicles and their advantages for sustainability goals for your next building project.

Hosts CBRE New England and presenters from SemaConnect are convening a great tour throughout the US this summer - and this event will be great for green building pros like you. 

Qualifies for 1h GBCI credit.

Thursday, August 27th
11:45am - 1:15pm
One Beacon St, Boston

Join the crew on Saturday, Sept. 12 for a multi-phase bike tour of green buildings through Boston, Cambridge and Somerville.

Bring a friend or a colleague to connect with other green building proponents and advocates. This is a great free event which is always a lot of fun!

Saturday, 9/12/15
10am - 2pm
Muster at Inman Square, Cambridge

Sign up here
Thank you to Steven Burke for organizing this event with the crew from the Emerging Professionals (EPMA)!
Chapter Event Recap
Connecting people through events is one of our major strategies. Here's some of our recent activities recapped on our blog:
  • Our "Fun in the Sun" Summer BBQ was a big hit in Cambridge. Dozens of people came out to enjoy a fine summer evening by the Charles River

  • In case you missed it - check out the entry about June 30th, when we were at the State House for an Energy Efficiency Hearing of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy


Together with our allies and members, USGBC MA has successfully advocated on behalf of PACE (S.1774), energy efficiency education (H.2857) and home energy assessment (S.1761) and net-zero energy bills (S.1771). As always, bookmark the blog for more information about any of our events.


Committee Recap

Even through the summer, our volunteers are still rockin' it! Thanks to the many who still make time to move forward with our mission.


Big thanks go to our Emerging Professionals who organized our recent breakfast and our upcoming bike tour. They are a great group to connect to if you are new to the industry.


And more accolades to the Advocacy Committee for their collective work most recently presented at the July Green Breakfast meeting.


The Events Committee are getting to the details of the Green Building Showcase: the awards process is moving forward and please stay tuned for a date & venue selection later this week!


Our Outreach Committee has a broad portfolio. The group will be hosting a USGBC MA table at the Boston GreenFest, August 21-23. They're also working to connect people to USGBC MA as members. We know you want to help out - so get in touch with us, here!


Finally, our Residential Green Building Committee continues to convene a large monthly group. Recently, they heard from Galen Nelson of the Mass. Clean Energy Center. Their next meeting will focus on solar power deployment.


Our organization is thriving because our volunteers are focused and energized to make a difference. Thank you to all! You can learn more here.


Happy Trails as you travel this summer!

...I hope you find good paths and good compadres on your journeys! 


The USGBC 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.  

For more information visit: usgbcma.org