Happy New Year!
A recap of 2015 with the Chapter:
Happy New Year Everyone!

Thank you for being a part of what we do to advance the cause of Green Buildings in Massachusetts. Look at everything we have going on below. Look at the highlights to some of the best stories from 2015 just down this page. Thank you especially to our members!

Because of your efforts, we are leading the nation in many aspects of green building. I am confident that we will continue to serve as a beacon of inspiration to our colleagues throughout the land in 2016.

Many of you reading this have yet to join up: please do. It's easy to connect with us and wear our badge. As a committed member, you help us grow our ranks and grow our influence in policy arenas, in the market transformation process and in our communities in general.

Just take a look at some of the wonderful things we did last year:

The Year of 2015 in Review:


Isn't that fun to see? Which events did you make it out to? Maybe we'll see you more often in 2016!

Thank you again for your ongoing support and engagement with our important mission. Look at what else we have in store below:

If you haven't clicked to our blog, our twitter feed and Facebook, take a look. There's content for you. Inside scoop. Hearsay of the grapevine. Etc.

Annual Meeting

It's that time of they year: recognizing our volunteers, vote in new board members, review our progress and plan the year ahead!

Let's celebrate all that we have achieved as a community of green building practitioners. 

Come on down to our headquarters in Boston for some food and positive energy with colleagues.

Nominations are Open:

Nominate yourself or a colleague to run for our Board of Directors. There are seven seats available (of 18 director positions) for the 2016 election.

Review the nomination & election process here. It is often most appropriate to have the nominee fill in the form to ensure it is accurate and the nominee does indeed want to run!

This year we have designated certain seats to represent certain industries. Each of these sectors has a single seat reserved. Thus we especially encourage individuals from the following sectors to run:
  • Corporate Sustainability
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Planning
  • Finance & Banking
Other sectors which are currently represented, and other types of employment or representation, can run for either of the two open seats.

The nominations begin today, the election will commence at 5pm on 1/18/16 and run until 6:30 during our Annual General Meeting.
Workshop with Eric Corey Freed 

In this workshop, you'll learn how to rally your project team to achieve net zero energy on your projects.  You'll discover ways to sell your clients on being committed to never having to pay a utility bill ever again.  Using specific case studies and stories from the field, you'll develop an arsenal of ideas you can apply to your current projects right now.  

You won't want to miss this workshop by a pioneer in regenerative buildings.  Follow our 20 step process to getting to net zero in your buildings and learn about the Living Building Challenge from this expert. 
BONUS:  Includes a never before seen discussion of Seattle's Bullitt Center, called the "greenest office building in the world" and how they achieved net zero with an EUI of 10!

Tuesday - 1/12/16 - 8:30am - Boston
International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL)  Winter Mixer

Come out with the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) for a evening of spirited networking. Here we will learn about I2SL and their commitment and developments in green laboratory design. Please RSVP if you plan on joining us. We know half of you (it seems like) are part of both USGBC and I2SL - now you don't have to choose which event to go or not go to.

The International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) is devoted to the principles of sustainable laboratories and related high-technology facilities, from design to engineering to operation. Through worldwide partnerships and the exchange of technical expertise, I2SL will encourage the development of high-tech facilities that address the rapid pace of science, medicine, research, and development in an ever-changing and dynamic environment.

Green Breakfast: Net Zero with Cambridge

Join us for our Green Breakfast series with Susanne Rasmussen, Director of Transportation and Environmental Planning for the City of Cambridge, as she speaks to the USGBC Massachusetts about Cambridge's Net Zero Action Plan. 

Cambridge is a national leader in addressing climate change. Let's work with them to help other communities embrace existing policy levers to transform our communities and the Commonwealth.

This Advocacy Breakfast will be on morning, 1/28 from 8:30-10am in Boston. RSVP HERE to attend. 

LEED Green Associate Exam Prep Class

If you or a colleague need to take the exam to build up your resume and get up to speed with LEED, join us for this all-day exam prep course. After this session, you will be ready to jam on the exam!

This is a great course to take and an excellent, condensed way to get on top of the material. Practice questions and test-taking strategies are shared and you'll walk away with confidence!

Advocacy Update:

Thank you as always to our Advocacy Committee, for their efforts to support our Chapter priorities. We are gearing up to advocate for our issues as Beacon Hill gets back to work in the coming weeks.
  • PACE
    • Commercial PACE Financing is expected to move through the Senate in the coming weeks via Bill S. 1774. To move the bill through when it gets to the House, our staff and Advocacy Committee members are meeting with House legislators and building a coalition to raise their awareness of this simple solution to clean energy finance.
    • Learn more about this energy-efficiency financing tool for commercial buildings.
  • Net-Zero
    • After considering the challenges of many small communities to meet Net-Zero building codes, our Advocacy Committee is creating a "guidebook" for these communities to follow, so they can reach their energy efficiency goals. 
    • Learn about one organization that proposes solutions to climate change through changes to the built-environment on our website.
  • Net-Metering
    • Although the House did vote on a weak net-metering bill in late November, the Senate kept their standards high and a compromise was not reached. Check out the recent updates about this issue on our site. 
    • We will be pushing for a distributed-renewables-friendly bill in January. 
  • Ongoing tracked issues: 
    • Energy Efficiency Education
    • Home Energy Efficiency Assessment Requirements (Home Sellers)
    • Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax
    • Healthy Materials & Toxins
    • Local LEED Ordinances

Webinar: Erosion Control

This course covers the basics about erosion, sedimentation and their respective control measures, relating how LEED v4 acts as a tool to encourage the implementation of an erosion and sedimentation control plan before starting earthwork of a project. Causes of erosion and subsequent problems for humans and the environment are explained, highlighting the need for preliminary studies and analysis of active and passive forces of the site before designing solutions. Monday - 1/18/16 - 6pm - Worcester
Webinar: Understanding and Improving Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) - VOC eating drywall (Webinar)

The course focuses on airborne pollutants and chemicals associated with adverse health effects. Participants who complete this course will be able to identify common contaminants and design appropriate remediation strategies, as well as identify emerging product capture technologies. 
Wednesday - 1/20/16 - 4:30pm - Boston
Webinar: Certified Wood and Green Building

Certified wood and forest certification have long been lightning rods in the green building advocacy arena. In this webinar, we will examine the big picture of forestry and timber production and provide an overview of forest certification, examining the history of and the key differences between the main competitors in forest certification, FSC and SFI. We will explore how each of these certifications is considered within various certification programs, including the Living Building Challenge, LEED and Green Globes. This webinar will also discuss the potential impact of burgeoning interest in cross-laminated timber production with a particular emphasis on the Cascadia bioregion. 
Tuesday - 1/26/16 - 12:00pm - Boston
Webinar: You Are What You Breathe: Taking Action on Chemicals of Concern

One of the most important trends in green building in recent years has been growing market demand for transparency and avoidance of toxic chemicals in building materials. This webinar will provide a primer on chemicals of concern in the built environment, an overview of the tools that are driving the development of healthier building materials and will contrast the approaches of Living Building Challenge, LEED and Green Globes to this important issue. We will also explore how webinar participants can play a role in inspiring increased uptake of healthy materials through specification, contracts and other advocacy tools. 
Thursday- 1/28/16 - 12:00pm - Boston
Thanks for reading our news!

We are really looking forward to a big 2016. You will see:
  • More great education - for general knowledge, GBCI & AIA credential maintenance and deep technical dives
  • Strong advocacy for green-building-friendly policies in Massachusetts and beyond
  • Powerful networking within our community, and connecting to other organizations
  • Innovation in industry mentoring and sustainability know-how
  • Fabulous celebratory events to mix and mingle
  • and lots and lots of sharing of the stories of our community
We can't wait to get going. See you soon. Make sure you sign up for our Annual General Meeting on 1/21/16 in Boston.

Thank you for your support, and see you soon!

-Grey and the team at USGBC MA HQ: Celis & Maria

Thank you to our generous Sponsoring Partners:
USGBC MA Chapter | usgbcma.org