June 2017 Print

Special Announcements

Judy, Retirement Party, May 2017
A Fond Farewell to Executive Director, Judy Swann
After 10 years of relentless dedication and effort, Judy Swann's retirement party at Eli in Orange on May 1st was as much about remembering her hard work as it was a joyful send off to the next chapter of her life.  Some 30 people attended the event, and there are a few additional pictures added to the online photo gallery.  We look forward to having Judy return as a volunteer, and hope she continues to offer the chapter guidance as the CTGBC enters its next phase, led by a new Executive Director. 

New Executive Director Announced in next Newsletter
After weeks of searching, a new Executive Director has been elected by the Board of Directors.  The next newsletter will include a bio and letter to members from the incoming Executive Director, including an overview of how they will implement their strategies and goals.

Keep an Eye Out for Awards Ceremony Updates!
Due to changes in leadership, the 2017 Awards Ceremony will be postponed from September to a later date.  Please keep an eye out for updates!

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Meet the Board

The S/L/A/M Collaborative Secretary, Chair of Advocacy Committee, CTGBC Ross Spiegel, FAIA, FCSI, CCS, CCCA, LEED® AP BD+C, is the Specifications Coordinator with the Connecticut based architectural firm The S/L/A/M Collaborative. Ross is responsible for leading the firm’s specification process including maintaining and improving firm wide specification procedures and resources, scheduling of specifications staff and preparation of architectural specifications for various project types. In addition, Ross serves as a technical resource to the firm and project teams by researching and maintaining an awareness of products, industry standards and technologies.

Ross has been a member of The Connecticut Green Building Council (CTGBC) since 2005 and has served on the Board of Directors for the past five years. During that time, he chaired the Advocacy Committee, and was recently elected as Secretary for a two-year term. Ross has also served on the U.S. Green Building Council’s Board of Directors, the LEED Steering Committee, chaired the Council’s Nominating Subcommittee, several other USGBC committees and task teams, and was the founding Chair and member of the Steering Committee for the Council’s Greenbuild International Green Building Conference & Expo for over nine years. In addition, Ross chaired the Green Building Certification Institute’s (GBCI) Credentialing Steering Committee for four years, which is responsible for monitoring, reviewing, and overseeing the development, implementation, and evaluation of existing and future LEED credentialing programs under GBCI.

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Current Events

The NESSBE Conference, held on April 28th-29th, was a huge success!  There were 3 Keynote Contributors, 46 Speakers, 16 Educational Sessions, 147 Attendees (including 8 Student Scholarship Recipients and 3 Volunteers), 11 Sponsors, 1 Climate Rally, and lots of great conversations!  Make sure to check out NESSBE.net for pictures, recordings of the presentations, and more!  A gigantic thank you to Melissa Kops for making this anagural conference such a success, and we all hope for an encore!

US Out of Paris Accord
On June 1st, Mahesh Ramanujam of the USGBC wrote an article entitled, "Staying committed after the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement".  The article emphasizes the need to for Americans to stay committed to the precepts of the Paris Climate Accord, even and in spite of the current Administration.  Read the full article HERE

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Updates from the Advocacy Committee

The CTGBC Advocacy Committee focuses on the interplay of energy and environmental issues at the state level and the mission of the CTGBC to promote a more sustainably built environment. Here are some of the most current topics:

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC):
The IREC released the 2017 National Shared Renewables Scorecard. CT received a "C" Grade. Access the Scorecard here: https://sharedrenewablesscorecard.org/

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE):
The ACEEE released the 2017 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard Rankings. Connecticut came in No. 5 in the rankings. Here is the link: http://database.aceee.org/state/connecticut

CTGBC Signs Letter Protecting Clean Energy Funds
The CTGBC was approached by the CT Fund for the Environment and the Save the Sound program to comment on legislative budget drafts that would reallocate funding away from clean energy.  The following was written and signed by the CTGBC, opposing such legislation: The Connecticut Green Building Council, in its role as the hub of sustainable building practices in Connecticut, supports energy efficiency programs and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Cuts to these programs would harm efforts throughout the state to reduce air pollution and be costly to the state's businesses and residents.  CTGBC opposes the raiding of the clean energy funds.

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News from the Emerging Professionals

Crescent Crossings – Hard Hat Tour
On Thursday April 20, members of the CTGBC hosted a hard hat tour for members of the CTGBC Emerging Professional’s (EP) and Home’s Committees. The hard hat tour was led by Tony Rowan of ATR Construction Services at Crescent Crossings, a mixed-use housing development on the East side of Bridgeport, CT. The development company for the project, JHM Financial Group, has a reputation for working with municipalities in successfully redeveloping housing stock into livable, walkable, and desirable places to live.

The vision of Crescent Crossings is ultimately to transform an abandoned site with a less than desirable history into a vibrant community, centered on the concepts of green building practices, sustainable community living, affordable and equitable housing, and transit-oriented development. The project itself will reestablish Church Street as a desirable location for transit-oriented living, as it is located within a 1 block radius of the future Barnum Avenue train station in East Bridgeport. This will help residents move more freely, with less reliance on personal forms of transportation.

Carmel Pratt, of Steven Winter Associates, led the group through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) components of the project. This portion of the tour focused on strategies implemented throughout the site like stormwater management and high-density development, as well as specific energy efficiency measures that improve the buildings’ thermal envelopes, reducing the sizing of mechanical systems with lower heating and cooling loads and increasing occupant health and comfort.

 Hard Hat Tour Picture I
Phase 1 of the Crescent Crossing project included 93 units of mixed-use housing. These 93 units are now fully constructed and are already fully occupied. Phase 2 of the project will include an additional 84 mixed-use housing units, and is set to complete this year. An additional Phase 3 is now currently in the planning stage.

The CTGBC Emerging Professionals and Homes Committee are committed to transforming the way that our buildings are designed, constructed and operated, by implementing LEED strategies aimed at creating more sustainable, equitable, and efficient built environments. Both committees would like to extend a special thank you to Tony Rowan as well as Viking Construction, ATR Construction Services, JHM Financial Group, and the rest of the development team for their continued hard work and collaboration.

Hard Hat Tour Picture II

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Green Tours

 Hotchkiss Tour I
On May 10th, CTGBC Green Schools Committee organized a tour of the Hotchkiss School LEED Certified Biomass Facility and Music building. The school prides itself on its environmental sustainability programs and has established a goal of carbon neutrality by 2020.  35% of the electricity is derived from wind power, and 95% of the heat and hot water comes from a wood chip-powered central heating facility, which equals about 40% of the overall carbon footprint.

The tour was led by Josh Hahn, the Environmental Sustainability Director at Hotchkiss and Alan Paradis from Centerbrook Architects.  The tour began at the bays where wood chips are delivered to the biomass facility, and the biomass facility manager was on hand to answer operations and maintenance questions.  The approximately 20 participants who attended the event discussed the energy needs of the school, and also their decision to transition from #2/#4 fuel oil to wood chips.  Participants, many who work on school projects, asked questions about available energy options including renewable energy such as solar and wind.  Mr. Hahn stated that the ROI of the biomass facility could be as little as several years depending on temperatures, heating needs and fuel costs.  The woodchips are a waste product sourced mostly from local furniture manufacturers located within 30 to 40 miles. Emissions are captured by an electrostatic precipitator. The biomass facility houses an educational center for students learning sustainable architecture, energy, and sustainable development.

Hotchkiss Tour II
The tour included viewing the green roof with plants that absorb more than 50% of the rainwater.  The surrounding landscaping is designed to control, channel, filter, and absorb access rainwater from the roof and the side before returning to the aquifer or nearby wetlands.  On way to the music building a number of LEED certified dormitories where pointed out, constructed about 12 years ago to match the existing colonial style buildings from the early 1900s.   

Tour participants were impressed with the design of music building (addition) and the spectacular views.  The concert hall successfully brings the outside in through a multitude of windows and provides amazing views of the lake and rolling hills. The concert hall is also used for school dances and special events.  The participants found the tour very informative especially hearing from the school planning side, the design and architectural perspective and the operations and maintenance personnel.  School tours recognize successful green school projects and highlight unique project features and designs.  CTGBC members can utilize and build upon these ideas for their future projects. 

Hotchkiss Tour III

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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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