April 2017 Print

A Message from the Chairman

Brian Dwyer, Chairman

Impulse, im-pulse', noun

1. a sudden strong and unreflective urge or desire to act.
2. a driving or motivating force; an impetus.

Do you find yourself acting on an impulse to conserve? Conserve water, energy, resources, time, etc.?
We at CTGBC welcome the impulse to be active in our chapter as we work to harness the conservation impulse and create a positive change in our communities and the build environment.  In this first edition newsletter, see what we are doing to advance the thinking about what it means to be green; sharing best practices, networking, hearing from those that have delivered results, partnering with other like-minded organizations, advocating for the underserved and educating design professionals and trades people.

April 28th-29th we will host our inaugural Northeast Summit for a Sustainable Built Environment (NESSBE) to discuss how the built environment can promote health and well-being.  We are starting a conversation that reveals the inextricable connection of sustainable design with improving and supporting human health and well-being.  Come join us and participate!

Follow your impulse and reach out to us, come join the movement with CTGBC!

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Special Announcements

Announcing the Retirement of Judy Swann, Executive Director of the CTGBC

CTGBC Members,

It is with mixed emotions that we announce the retirement of CTGBC’s long-serving executive director, Judy Swan. We are happy for Judy that she will be starting a new chapter in her life on May 1, 2017, but at the same time saddened that after 10 great years we will be losing her dedication and talents as executive director of CTGBC. She’s had a profound effect on the chapter, helping to shape the organization into what it is today. Fortunately, we can look forward to her continuing involvement in our chapter as “pure” volunteer.

Wayne Cobleigh, CTGBC Vice Chair, is leading the search committee for a new Executive Director. We ask that you each think about those in your network that may have interest in the position and pass those leads along to Wayne (wayne.cobleigh@gza.com or mobile 860-250-6790). A job description for the Executive Director position is available on CTGBC website at www.ctgbc.org and the CT Green Building Council LinkedIn jobs page.

We’ve been fortunate to have had such a kind and powerful force directing our chapter for so many years. Although we can never completely replace all that Judy brings to the chapter, we can be inspired by her spirit, to continue to do great work for our communities.

Brian Dwyer

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Current Events

NESSBE Conference Price Reductions, Single Day Passes – Still Time to Register!

Thanks to our generous sponsors, we have been able to reduce the price of the full summit member pass.  For those who have already purchased the pass, you should receive a refund shortly if you haven’t already.  Due to popular demand, we are also offering Friday only and Saturday only passes.  We encourage you to attend the full summit because the keynote speakers are fantastic, the New Haven Lawn Club is a lovely venue, and Saturday is going to be out of this world.  However if you have already registered and can't attend both days, please let us know ASAP so we can limit our waste by accurately buying food and drink only for the total number of attendees.

New pricing for members is as follows:
Full Summit: $150
Friday only: $45
Saturday only: $125
Please be sure to thank our sponsors at the summit, and we'll see you there!

The 2017 Northeast Summit for a Sustainable Built Environment (NESSBE) will take place Friday, April 28th, 5pm-8pm, and Saturday, April 29, 8am-7pm, in New Haven, CT.  The theme is ‘Health of Place: Health and Wellbeing in the Built Environment’, and there will be high quality presentations from a variety of experts, including 3 keynote speakers, 50 presenters, and 17 education sessions.  Earn up to 7 AIA, GBCI and LFA CEUs, and show your solidarity by participating in our official sister march in conjunction with the People's Climate March.

Website: www.nessbe.net, twitter hashtag: #NESSBE


Strategic Plan 2017-2019 and Membership Survey Results

On March 20th, the CTGBC held its Strategic Planning session to initiate and evaluate organizational goals for 2017-2019.  The membership survey, which included opinions from 73 respondents, gave the CTGBC insights into how our message is being communicated, and what our value position is for our members.  Often cited was the desire for continued vocalization of the need for a more sustainably built environment.  Based on the results, we are creating new goals around outreach, events, improved communication, and professional development resources to incorporate into the Strategic Plan.  We thank those members who took the time to fill out the survey, and continue to solicit feedback.

777 Main Street Tower Redevelopment Project in Downtown Hartford

CTGBC Members partnered with the CoreNet Connecticut Westchester Chapter, and along with the Construction Institute, offered a presentation and tour of 777 Main Street in Hartford. The 777 Main Street project encompassed redevelopment of the vacant 26 story downtown office tower, which is highly accessible to transit and downtown amenities, into housing and retail in the urban core. The certified historic rehabilitation of the 387,000 SF vacant mid-century modern office building and adjacent retail and garage structure transformed it into a LEED Platinum mixed-use building. 

Bruce Becker, AIA, LEED AP and Michelle Lauterwasser, LEED AP of Becker + Becker, as well as LEED and Energy Modeling Consultant Karen Walkerman of Second Law, gave an in-depth presentation on the annual energy use of the building, including how energy savings.  The 777 Main Street project sources its energy from the first micro-grid in Connecticut, an on-site 400KW fuel cell and 115 KW solar array.  The presentation was followed by a tour of some of the apartments, networking, and cocktails.

 Bruce Becker and Michelle Lauterwasser

Bruce Becker and Michelle Lauterwasser explaining the Annual Energy Savings and Payback from On-Site Renewable Energy Sources.

 Karen Walkerman

Karen Walkerman of Second Law explains how the fuel cell works to provide energy for building operations.

 Composite 777 Main

CoreNet Connecticut Westchester Chapter’s Mark Nesbitt, Katie Symonds from CTGBC and Bruce Becker of Becker + Becker (Composite picture)

EPA New England Recognizes Energize CT Partnership for ENERGY STAR Award  

The U.S. EPA New England Regional Office honored 12 New England Organizations as 2017 ENERGY STAR Partner of the year Award.  Energize Connecticut, in partnership with Eversource, United Illuminating, Connecticut Natural Gas, and Southern Connecticut Gas, received the Partner of the Year – Energy Efficiency Program Deliver award.  Congratulations on your recognition for delivering energy efficient ideas and savings to Connecticut!

CT Resilience Financing Program Day at the Capitol

On March 28, 2017, the Connecticut Green Building Council’s Advocacy Committee hosted a breakfast at the Old Judiciary Room in the State House with experts from the State of Connecticut Agencies and the Connecticut Green Bank. The purpose was to help educate members of the legislature, municipal officials, architects, and engineers on the need for financing resiliency design and upgrades for buildings and infrastructure to mitigate carbon emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.  They proposed adoption of S.B. 973, whereby residents could receive financing for residential properties for retrofits and home improvements including: energy efficiency, clean energy, public health and safety and resilience to natural disasters such as floods and hurricane winds. For more information, see: http://circa.uconn.edu/2016/04/19/resilience-financing-options-in-connecticut-circa-releases-fact-sheet/

Resiliency Finance at the Capitol

Knowledge about Our Natural Resources

By Aris W. Stalis

The Connecticut Conference on Natural Resources (CCNR) was held March 13, 2017 at the University of Connecticut’s Storrs Campus. The Conference was also the unveiling of work by students that attended the Natural Resources Conservation Academy’s (NRCA) Conservation Ambassador Program. The Program represents a unique opportunity for high school students to learn about natural resources science and conservation biology from UConn professors, graduate students, and each other.

At NRCA’s one-week training experience, students stay in college dorms and eat in the dining halls. With the 2,100 acre UConn Forest as a classroom, students explore various components of the natural environment, as well as nearby lakes, streams, and wetlands. Following the one-week training, with help from local conservation leaders, students apply new knowledge and tools to complete a conservation project in their local community and obtain credit through their high school.

This author had the opportunity to work with Amanda Hernandez, a student at the Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture School. Her project examined the economic and ecological benefits of green infrastructure in urban settings. Amanda’s findings are not surprising. Green infrastructure (GI) can reduce costs for water treatment where municipalities have combined sewers. Additionally, GI improves water quality resulting in ecological benefits. Not only does the program (http://nrca.uconn.edu/students/index.htm) highlight the skills and intellect of our youth, but reveals the value of the work we perform as professionals.

Sustainability is a comprehensive approach to how we live together in our communities. Effective solutions create a more vibrant community that is healthier ecologically and economically. Working with youth is an investment in the future for children. A sustainable future creates a foundation of knowledge for innovative decision making. CCNR allows us to learn more about our environment and the strategies for solutions that exist. The NRCA allows us to invest our knowledge to create a stronger return on investment on what we know today. Consider a sustainable approach is not a greener solution today, but a smarter strategy for tomorrow.

Amanda Poster

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News from the Emerging Professionals

EP at Hog River

The CTGBC Emerging Professionals (EPs) committee is committed to providing new professionals in the green building and design, and sustainability fields with resources that expand their networks and help them grow professionally.  The committee hosts a diverse series of events from social, to professional development, to community service and are always happily seeking input and ideas for future events. 

As of this year we have hosted two meetings including one round table, formal meeting in February, and a happy hour at the Hog River Brewing Company in Hartford, Connecticut in late March.  Both had great turnout from a wide variety of industries including the utilities, solar developers, historic building restoration, sustainability consulting, residential architecture, Hartford Public Schools, and more.  In the coming months, we have a hard-hat tour of a highly efficient LEED housing development in Bridgeport, CT (Crescent Crossings, Viking Construction, Inc.) scheduled, as well as a Habitat for Humanity build in the Hartford area (more info to follow).

As we continue to grow, the committee is beginning to focus on building relationships with state universities to encourage student involvement and interest in green building and design.  This creates opportunities for mentorship programs and professional development, networking and more.  We look forward to keeping the Council updated on these developments and encourage members to share our event notifications with any young professionals or students in the green building industry they may know. 

Any questions, comments or ideas can be directed to the committee co-chairs:

Julia Dumaine
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Nick Jones
Eversource Energy

Or Contact us at:

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Green Schools

On March 22nd CTGBC Green Schools Committee hosted a presentation by John Balfe from the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) at Energize CT in North Haven.   NEEP is one of six regional energy efficiency organizations funded in-part by U.S. DOE to support state and local efficiency policies and programs.  NEEP’s goal is to assist the northeast & mid-Atlantic region in reducing total carbon emissions 80% by 2050.

The crowd of green building professionals included architects, sustainability consultants, state officials, school sustainability advocates, and green building suppliers.   Mr. Balfe emphasized the importance of operations and maintenance (O&M) in ensuring good indoor air quality in schools.   NEEP recently released an updated O&M resource guide which includes new information on lighting maintenance and retrofits, performance contracting, active power management, recycling and cafeteria best practices, and workforce development.

The NE Criteria for High Performance Schools (CHPS) (version 3.1) was discussed in comparison to the current Connecticut high performance standards as well as LEED.    Mr. Balfe stated CHPS places a greater priority on indoor air quality in schools than LEED for schools.  This is achieved through 41 prerequisites.  CHPS can be utilized for all schools from pre-K to community colleges.  Upfront costs are offset by energy efficiency operational savings.    Although CHPS is currently not recognized by the state of CT as a high performance alternative, attendees discussed how to improve existing CT high performance building standards as well as ways to promote CHPS to policy makers.   The presentation slides are available upon request; please email leon@ecothinkgroup.com.

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Green Tours

Join Connecticut Green Building Council Homes & Emerging Professionals Commttees for a free guided tour of Crescent Crossings, a new, highly efficient LEED housing development at 160 Church Street in Bridgeport on Thursday, April 20th, noon to 2:30pm.

Hard Hat Tour

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Volunteer Opportunities


CTGBC is looking for volunteers to join our ADVANCE team!  ADVANCE is a new initiative developed by the USGBC to bring sustainability to underserved communities through education and with the help of professional volunteers.  The ADVANCE campaign helps community-based organizations apply effective green building strategies to meet their goals by incorporating industry best practices and leadership standards to increase access to green business tools, resources, and expertise.
For more information, contact Katie Symonds ksymonds@centerbrook.com or visit: http://www.usgbc.org/articles/advance-framework-expand-access-green-building-all

Volunteer to be part of CTGBC’s Events Committee!

CTGBC is looking for volunteers to help coordinate events for our chapter.  We are looking for fresh ideas and ways to increase our outreach and engagement with members.  If you have suggestions for events or are interested in volunteering your time, please contact Katie Symonds ksymonds@centerbrook.com

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