CTGBC Newsletter: Spring 2018
Happy 4th of July week!
The Connecticut Green Building Council has had a busy Spring 2018, hosting and partnering on events, reaching out to the next generation of Green Building Professionals, and advocating for improved energy and climate change policies statewide. We've voiced our concerns and encouragement toward how energy is used and incentivized throughout the state, and in better promoting green building and its contributions for mitigating climate change and fostering resilience.
This summer, we will do our best to enjoy the warm weather and long evenings with the ocassional happy hour, including the one on July 26th in New Haven. Check out our events calendar here to see what else we have planned this summer.
Going into the third quarter of 2018, we will be preparing for an autumn full of events (culiminating in our Awards Ceremony on October 4th!), hosting social and educational events, and paying attention to governmental decision makers.
We wish everyone a fun and safe 4th of July!
Marketing and Communications Chair
Save the date! The 2018 CTGBC Green Building Awards will be held on Thursday, October 4th at Stony Creek Brewery in Branford, CT. View the Call for Entries here! Entries are due by 5:00 pm on Monday, July 30th.
Fall Paid Internship Opportunity!
Do you know a student who is looking for a Fall 2018 PAID internship to show off their social media and marketing skills? Students interested in the building trades, design, architecture, sustainability, environmental nonprofits, and communications are encouraged to apply (but all fields may apply). Applications due August 17th! Click here for more information!
Green Apple Day of Service
On April 6th, green professionals from around the state took time out of their hectic schedules to inspire the next generation at Common Grounds High School in New Haven. Architects, designers, engineers, and other green building professionals answered questions posed by the students, and gave examples of how and where a green career can take the students in their futures.
CTGBC at the Capitol
On April 23, Eversource and The United Illuminating Company hosted a panel of business and municipal customers to discuss how Energize CT programs and services have impacted their energy use strategies and helped them stay competitive.
Two weeks later, on Cinco de Mayo, the Connecticut Fund for the Environment co-hosted another event at the Capitol with the CTGBC and other organizations. This event was to embolden the State to approve Senate Bills 9 and 7, and to also identify concerns and recommendations within the bills. SB 9 requires CT utilities to purchase double the current renewable energy quota, to 40% by 2030, while SB 7 concerns climate change planning and resiliency. Representatives Jonathan Steinberg, Devin Carney, David Arconti, and Joe Gresko (pictured below) indicated their optimism for the bills, which were later approved.
Climate and Resiliency at UCONN
On May 11th, the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA), UCONN School of Law’s Center for Energy & Environmental Law (CEEL), and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) hosted an event at the UConn School of Law in Hartford, CT. Presenters included James O’Donnell of CIRCA and Harriet Tregoning (Keynote Speaker), as well as UCONN Professors and municipal researchers.
Green Tax Incentives Review
On May 24th, the CTGBC hosted Jerome Garciano of Robinson & Cole at their beautiful downtown Hartford office. Mr. Garciano presented his Green Tax Incentive Compendium, a comprehensive review of state and national green tax incentive, which included recent changes from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Among the attendees were CTGBC Board members, energy efficiency experts, and other green building professionals.
Living Building Challenge Partnership
In celebration of our new partnership with the Living Building Challenge, the CTGBC hosted three events in March, May, and June in both New Haven and Hartford. Each of the events featured an in-depth introduction to the philosophy and components of the Living Building Challenge and certification program of the International Living Future Institute. Melissa Kops of Pirie Associates (and current CTGBC Board Member) and Adam Yarnell of Steven Winter Associates were the presenters.
AIA, GBCI and LFA credits are available for those who participated. We also want to remind everyone that as a partner of ILFI, all CTGBC members will receive a complimentary basic membership. Email James Albis at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to obtain your complimentary ILFI membership, or to join the CTGBC.
Dimeo Silver Annual Sponsorship
On April 3rd, the CTGBC announced that Dimeo Construction Company became a new, Silver Level Annual Sponsor. Dimeo fully embraces and is an engaged participant in the effort to support and build sustainable buildings. As builders and construction managers, they understand the importance of sustainable construction and its critical impact on creating cleaner, healthier, more energy efficient, environmentally conscious environments in which to live, work and learn. Dimeo regularly works under several rating certification systems including LEED, Energy Star, Green Globes, SITES and NE-CHPS.
Updates from the Advocacy Committee
The CTGBC continues to extend its sphere of expertise by participating in surveys, meetings, and letters of interest regarding energy efficiency, climate change, and resiliency, especially in our coastal communities.
One such action was to provide solicited feedback to prioritize the types of activities and services that a Resilience Hub in Bridgeport could offer to benefit the communities, especially during major storm events.
Another example of the CTGBC sharing the expertise of its members was during a meeting about Long Warf’s development in New Haven in the face of climate change. The CTGBC benefited that discussion by asking educated feasibility questions that highlighted gaps in the current strategy.
Additionally, the CTGBC’s Advocacy Committee frequently holds conversation with DEEP and other CT Departments to better understand the conversations occurring at the state and local levels regarding sustainability, climate change, and the built environment.
Just last month, CTGBC submitted comments to the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority’s (CHFA) Draft updates Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) for dispersing tax credits for affordable housing projects. The draft update included a reduction in the number of points awarded for sustainable design and reduced the quality of those points. CTGBC, along with organizations like CT Passive House and other concerned citizens, voiced concern with this shortsighted proposal. In the end, CHFA heeded our advice and actually increased the number of points offered for sustainability.
This is a great example of how advocacy works to ensure that we are not working in silos. Affordable housing and green building should go hand-in-hand.
News from the Emerging Professionals
On June 13th, the CTGBC Emerging Professionals joined with HYPE at a Young Professionals Council (Construction Institute) networking event held at Hog River Brewery in Hartford.
The CTGBC Emerging Professionals will continue to hold happy hours, presentations, and other events throughout the summer, so check out their calendar here.