May 2009, Volume 1 Issue 2

U.S. Green Building Council

                          SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA CHAPTER
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more information...
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To be eligib...
(Letter from Chair continued from page 2)

1. How do we decide what we do?
DG provides a proven, innovative process by whi...
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  1. 1. May 2009, Volume 1 Issue 2 U.S. Green Building Council SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA CHAPTER NEWSLETTER SPRING 2009 INSIDE THIS ISSUE: History of the U.S. Green Building Council Letter from the Chair Letter from the Editor 2 2 Southwest Virginia Chapter SERC - Busy Year 3 - By Nell Boyle and Sharlyn Underwood pursue creating a local chapter of the U.S. Green Beer; Green Links 3 Green Building Council. Chapter Functions 4 In early 2003, several members of a Roa- In December 2003, the group announced an America’s New Energy 6 noke, Virginia, architecture and engineering introductory program and a membership firm worked with USGBC on a LEED- drive for the proposed chapter to be held at LEED Reference Guide 6 registered project and at the same time pre- Member Accomplishments 7 Roanoke College. The announcement pared to take the LEED AP exam. The stated, “The intent is to encompass the ar- group discussed the concept of forming a Board Elects Vice Chair 7 eas surrounding Lynchburg, Roanoke, Sa- Welcome New Members 7 local chapter of USGBC. In the spring of lem, Floyd, Christiansburg, Blacksburg, and 2003 at a coffee shop in Salem, the discus- Radford. The meeting locations will be Home Performance Analysis 8 sions expanded to include other area design Save The Date 10 moved throughout the region to spotlight and construction professionals, who held resources of each area.” several meetings to determine whether creat- Connecting the Dots 11 ing a USGBC chapter was the best way to Meetings proceeded monthly according to Green Building Blocks 12 promote environmentally-friendly building this plan. During the business portions of design. Several follow-up organizational the meetings, attendees discussed items re- meetings transpired. The group began hold- quired by the USGBC for chapter forma- ing more formal programs concerning green tion, including mission design while at the same time continuing to (continued on page 5) Upcoming Chapter Events Date Time Location What Contact May 16 2:00pm—4:00pm Spring Hollow Cool Cities 2009 Affiliates Mark McClain Treatment Plant Conference (RSVP required; affiliates only to May 19 5:30 pm Bonsack Marvin Fiberglass Colin Arnold (confirmed) windows plant tour June 16 5:30 pm Blacksburg Michael Ermann for Colin Arnold (confirmed) LEED ‘economics’ July 21 5:30 pm Roanoke Roanoke Greenways— Colin Arnold (tentative) the present & future August 18 5:30 pm Blacksburg Blue Ridge Forest Colin Arnold (tentative) Cooperative
  2. 2. Page 2 U.S. Green Building Council LETTER FROM THE CHAIR Greetings from the Chapter many methodologies that have been developed to an- Chair. swer these questions for different types of organizations. DG is one of them. The national USGBC currently offers for its chapters leaders a Rather than “reinventing the wheel,” DG combines best free eight-hour program in what practices from several existing approaches to decision- is called Dynamic Govern- making and organizational structure. It attempts, in a ance (DG) training. The officers systematic way, to dovetail: and most of the Board of Directors recently attended such a session and we found it to be an extremely useful tool that The speed and discipline of traditional hierarchy will enable us to effectively manage and grow our young Chapter most efficiently. Subsequently, at the following The creativity unleashed by anarchic or play situations Board meeting, we officially adopted DG as our form of governance and are in process of infusing the technique The individual empowerment of inclusive decision- throughout our organization. OK, so what is DG? making EVERY GROUP YOU HAVE WORKED FOR, WITH, OR AGAINST The intentionality and consciousness of rational de- HAS HAD TO ANSWER TWO ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS IN ORDER liberation TO FUNCTION: The tactical and strategic advantages of continuous 1. How do we decide what to do? improvement 2. Who does what when we’re doing it (and how)? That kind of organizational excellence may seem like a Broadly, you could say that the answer to the first question tall order, and it is. However, like so many powerful inno- determines the process of decision-making, and the second vations that solve complex problems, DG is simple. determines the structure of collective action. There are (continued on page 14) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR pm every March 28th and movement at a conference the US Environmental Pro- over 4,000 cities and towns in Seattle, Washington. tection Agency (EPA) was around the world are turn- Soon after, our first Earth formed and the Clean Air ing off unnecessary lights Day was held in the spring Act signed into law. These for one hour to reduce of 1970, almost four dec- laws (and subsequent greenhouse gas emissions. ades ago. This was a regulations) were hall- More importantly, Earth grassroots effort that mobi- marks in environmental Hour creates awareness lized over 20 million people protection and could be Dear Members, about climate change. This nationwide. Today Earth considered Act I of our year is the second annual Day is organized by the Save Our Earth play. It’s 8:40 pm and I just now Earth Hour and you can Earth Day Network in over am sitting down to write learn more about this event 175 countries worldwide. Today our focus is on cli- this letter to the at Over 500 million people mate change, clean en- darkness. Well, not total participated in events in ergy, energy efficiency, darkness, I do have my We also celebrate Earth 2007. and greenhouse gases. small LED flashlight and a Day on April 22nd. In Sep- New legislation in these few candles to assist me. It tember of 1969 Senator The impact of the first areas are on the horizon. I is Earth Hour. Earth Hour Gaylord Nelson announced Earth Day is still felt today. guess you could say we is held from 8:30 to 9:30 a new environmental In its immediate aftermath are in (continued on page 14)
  3. 3. May 2009, Volume 1 Issue 2 Page 3 Southeast Regional Council (SERC) Ready for Another Busy Year -by Nick Safay sentative, Nick Safay, chairs this committee and hopes the resource they have created will be an effective tool of posi- USGBC Southeast Regional Council (SERC) met this past tive social change and ensure everybody, no matter what February in Birmingham, AL for its initial 2009 planning socio-economic strata, will have the awareness and oppor- meetings. The SERC is comprised of two regional represen- tunity to reap the benefits of green building and sustain- tatives from each chapter in the USGBC designated south- able design. Community outreach and partnering with east region, which includes the chapters in NC, SC, GA, AL, other community development organizations will be a MS, AR, TN, KY and the southwest VA chapter. Other Vir- strong component of the success of this initiative. A pilot ginia Chapters (Hampton Roads and James River) fall within program is scheduled to launch sometime this spring with USGBC northeast corridor region. a few participating chapters in the southeast region. At the beginning of each year now, SERC members brain- Other goals from 2008 included a task force developing storm and discuss areas of needed improvement within their member only benefits package, a program sharing data- chapters. The topics that come up the most and of greater base on the Chapter Leader Extranet, which included a significance to the successful development of the chapters are survey of all the Southeast Region’s chapters’ past meeting then set as the goals of the year. This year, SERC has five topics, their speakers and contact info. Another task force working committees for creating useful resources that will be developed the guidelines for chapters hiring paid staff. disseminated to the chapters. The working committees for These guidelines were then adopted by national for all this year are (1) Board Management & Structure – create a USGBC chapters to use. best management tool for transitional phases into highly ef- fective organization; (2) Volunteer Engagement – to assist SERC meets on a quarterly basis and the 2009 schedule is: chapters in recruiting and training emerging leaders; (3) Little Rock, AR in May; Greensboro, NC in August; and Fundraising – resources for enhanced fundraising and reve- Phoenix, AZ in November (the Monday before Green- nue streams for chapters; (4) State Advocacy – template ad- build). The SWVA Chapter is very excited to welcome vocacy toolkit for chapter advocacy work in their states; (5) 2008 Chair Nell Boyle as its newly elected regional rep- Diversity & Social Equity – create resource for chapters to resentative! Nell is the Director of Sustainable Practices use to effectively increase diversity and social equity in the for Breakell Inc. in Roanoke. Nick Safay, also a SWVA green building movement. Chapter regional representative, is the Marketing Manager for Appalachian Sustainable Development Sustainable The Diversity & Social Equity Committee is a continuation Woods program in Abingdon. from 2008 goals. Southwest Virginia Chapter regional repre- GREEN BEER: A Colorado Brewery Gives New Earth Day Network Meaning to “Drinking Responsibly” Grist - by Mark Garland GREEN Jeff Lebesch, founder of New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado, began homebrewing in his basement in 1989 with a kit he fabricated from used dairy equipment. After garnering LINKS much praise and encouragement from friends and neighbors, Jeff took his basement brewery commercial in 1991 with the help and support of his wife and present day New Belgium CEO, Kim Jordan. Before selling their first beer, Kim and Jeff agreed to establish a business centered on their core values, including producing world class beer, promoting responsible enjoyment of beer, kindling social, environmental, and cultural change, environmental stewardship, and having fun! Since 1991, New Belgium Brewery has grown from a two-person basement business to over 320 em- Earth Hour ployees in a state-of-the-art facility with distribution of beer in over 20 states. In addition, New Belgium is an employee owned company: On their one-year anniversary of Earth Day employment employees not only receive part ownership in the company, (continued on page 4)
  4. 4. Page 4 U.S. Green Building Council (Green Beer continued from page 3) they also receive a custom cruiser bicycle. cility, but they also create and collect methane to heat the brewery and supply up to 15% of their electrical demand. New Belgium Brewery continues to lead the industry through • In 1999, New Belgium became the largest private con- innovation and environmental stewardship and has been sumer of wind powered energy and the first wind powered named as one of the top companies to work for by both the brewery. Since then, 100% of New Belgium’s purchased Wall Street Journal and Outside Maga- electricity has been created by wind tur- zine. Provided below is a list of a number bines. of the innovations and initiatives created • Nearly all interior wood in their pack- by New Belgium. For more information, aging hall is of pine that was killed by visit their website at mountain pine beetles, giving a second life to fallen trees. • 1% of all revenue is donated to envi- New Belgium creates an annual sustain- ronmental non-profits. ability report and has completed a life- cycle analysis of a 6-pack of the signature New Belgium is the creator and main “Fat Tire” ale. Benchmarking has permit- sponsor of “Tour de Fat”, an annual trav- ted them to monitor their progress and elling festival to celebrate bicycles. All drastically improve their efficiency. Since proceeds go to environmental and bicycle beginning benchmarking New Belgium charities. New Belgium also sponsors has: “Urban Assault Ride,” an annual bicycle scavenger hunt, “Team Wonderbike,” an • Reduced its carbon footprint by 25%. open club vowed to ride bicycles, and “Bike-In Cinema,” a • Reduced water usage by 10%. summer-time drive-in movie for bicycles. • Increased non-brewery waste landfill diversion to 95%. • The brew kettle, second of its kind in the US, stores heat Currently, New Belgium Brewery beer is not distributed to from steam to preheat the next batch to create a significant Virginia. Reduce your carbon footprint and support the energy savings. local economy by buying beverages from nearby breweries. For a nearly complete list of breweries in Virginia, see • By treating their wastewater onsite, New Belgium not only reduced the load on the local wastewater treatment fa- 9&rgn=10000 CHAPTER FUNCTIONS AND MEMBERSHIP - by Dick Pennock there is no cost to attend. Generally, though, a number of attendees will go to a nearby restaurant after the The Southwest Virginia Chapter typically meets on the third meeting to continue our discussions and have dinner. Tuesday of each month. Our meetings involve a program having to do with sustainable design practices or products. It is not necessary to be a Chapter member to attend We try to locate the meeting in a place associated with the our meetings. We encourage membership, though, program topic, and we try to move them around the Chap- because the dues helps the Chapter fund its programs ter area from month to month. Many of our meetings are and educational efforts. There are two types of mem- in the Roanoke or New River valleys, but we have had other bership: meetings at Lynchburg, Smith Mountain Lake, and Floyd County. National Membership Companies and institutions can become national mem- Our meetings begin with some social time at 5:30 followed bers. All employees of member institutions then re- by the program at 6. These are not dinner meetings, so ceive benefits of membership such (continued on page 10)
  5. 5. May 2009, Volume 1 Issue 2 Page 5 (History continued from page 1) and vision statements and bylaws. In August 2004, the who served as Chapter Chair until mid 2007 when she left group formed an organizing committee that would address to accept a position of USGBC’s Southeast Region Chapter issues concerning Chapter formation separately from the pro- Growth Consultant, where she continued to serve as a liai- gram meetings. Most people involved in the organization of son between the Chapter and the national USGBC. In No- the Chapter were affiliated with a national USGBC member vember 2007, the Chapter held its first official on-line an- nual election for the Board of Directors and that Board was seated in January 2008. The organizing committee named the chapter the U.S. Green Building Council Southwest Virginia Chapter and worked to develop mission and vision statements, goals, budget, and a The monthly program meetings continue to provide indus- strategic plan for the Chapter. After these items were submit- try-related educational material, tours of local LEED build- ted to and reviewed by USGBC Chapter Coordinator, the ings, speakers, and other relevant learning opportunities. By Southwest Virginia Chapter became an Organizing Group in January 2009 the Chapter had grown its local membership October 2004. The group was represented at Greenbuild ’04 to approximately 70 members and 9 board members. The in Portland on Chapter Day. The Southwest Virginia Orga- Chapter has also participated annually in the Energy Expo, nizing Group petitioned to become a full and nationally rec- Sustainable Blacksburg, and other environmental events ognized chapter in the spring of 2005. throughout the region. Members from the Chapter have regularly attended Greenbuild, the USGBC annual confer- ence, since its beginnings in 2002. On May 8, 2007, the Internal Revenue Service awarded the Southwest Virginia Chapter its 501(c)(3) non-profit status. The Southwest Virginia Chapter continues to grow and On May 23, 2007, the USGBC accepted the signed Chapter thrive, enthusiastically demonstrating to the community the Charter granting the Southwest Virginia Chapter full chapter benefits of green building. As our Chapter grows, new com- status. At that time the founding members of the board were seated. The founding members of the board were Sharlyn mittees are formed to expand our outreach programs, pro- Underwood, Colin Arnold, Jennifer Rainey, Dick Pennock, vide more workshops, and develop support for LEED pro- John Shirley, Billy Weitzenfeld, and Reggie Walker. Sharlyn ject teams and LEED Accredited Professionals. Underwood is recognized as the founding Chapter Chair, Map of USGBC chapters in Virginia.
  6. 6. Page 6 U.S. Green Building Council America’s New Energy: The Mount Vernon Forum on Climate Change and Leadership -by Monica Rokicki-Guajardo in the IPCC modeling. We can expect at fective performance of our armed forces least 1.2 meters of sea level rise within the both at home and abroad. This was fol- On the first day of Spring I took a trip to next century and 2 degrees Celsius rise lowed by a fantastic panel discussion about Washington, DC, to attend a conference due to emissions already “in the pipe”; the international climate network with Em- on Climate Change sponsored by the Pew ocean acidification is beginning to seri- bassy Representatives from Brazil, China, Environmental Group and Mount Vernon. ously affect sea life; and land habitats are India, and Indonesia. The Honorable John Warner, The Honor- also experiencing a range of adverse ef- able Jim Moran and Steve Walz from Gov- fects, with new and more virulent diseases Lest we become discouraged by all of the ernor Kaine’s office supported this event in the human population on the rise. bad news, here is something from Tom with their presence, encouragement, and Friedman’s Hot, Flat and Crowded: we are leadership. The conclusions were serious: We have encountering “great opportunities disguised 10 years to mitigate the worst effects as insoluble problems.” The innovative at- The speaker list was impressive, with sci- through a combination of efficiency, clean mosphere and brainpower of the confer- entists from NASA Goddard, the Earth energy production, and strong environ- ence was a privilege to behold and exem- Science Division and Langley, the Virginia mental policies. This conclusion was bol- plified what the Pew Foundation stated on Institute of Marine Science, the American stered by Sherri Goodman of the Center their agenda: “a new beginning…of a new Public Health Association, and Dr. Tho- for Naval Analyses, who described the history.” The market transformation goals of mas Lovejoy of the Heinz Center (and mandates of the Military Advisory Board the USGBC are an important part of this PBS’s “Nature”). The emerging message where she serves as Executive Director: critical and exciting time. I am personally from the scientists was that climate Climate disruption presents a very serious thrilled to serve our Southwest Virginia change is occurring more rapidly than the challenge to the US Military. Displace- Chapter as we unmask great opportunities upper range scenarios given by the Inter- ments of large populations around the for our own region. governmental Panel on Climate Change’s world will destabilize many countries; sea (IPCC) most recent report due to positive level rise will affect ports (such as Norfolk) For more information from the National feedback from ice melt, glacier retreat, dramatically; efficiency and access to Academy of Sciences, see and other causes largely unaccounted for clean energy is an imperative for the ef- New LEED 2009 Reference Guides The new LEED reference guides are restructured as follows and are New Pricing: now available. New e-book purchasing option is available for these Member Non-member reference guides along with the current hard copy purchasing option. Hard Copy $150 $185 E-book $140 $175 All customers (both e-book and hard copy) will receive a 30-day access LEED for Homes $100 $125 period to download and save a personalized PDF copy of the guide. Reference Guide Hard Hard copy purchases will receive a NON-printable personalized PDF Copy version and a hard copy while E-book purchases will receive only a printable personalized PDF version. Guide Restructuring: USGBC will not authorize additional downloads outside the initial 30-day window, so save your copy in a secure location. Green Building & Construction includes New Construction, Core & Shell, and Schools USGBC LEED Workshop attendees will continue to receive a dis- count on one printed guide that corresponds to their course. Green Building Operations & Maintenance includes Existing Buildings 300 level workshop participants also receive a free 30-day access pe- riod to download and save a NON–printable personalized PDF copy Green Interior Design & Construction includes Commercial of the guide. Interiors
  7. 7. May 2009, Volume 1 Issue 2 Page 7 USGBC Member Accomplishments The Boxley Roanoke concrete plant was recently awarded the Na- tional Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) Green-Star Certi- fication status. This is the first ready mix plant in Virginia to achieve Unofficial Earth Day flag, by this status and the 11th in the USA. This is quite an accomplish- John McConnell: the Blue Marble on a blue field ment. There are over 5,000 concrete plants in the U.S. The NRMCA’s Green-Star program is a plant-specific certification that utilizes an Environmental Management System (EMS) based on a model of continual improvement. Boxley is in the process of working towards obtaining these certifications at all of their locations by the end of 2009. For more information go to CONGRATULATIONS to one of our Chapter Members!! Board Elects Vice Chair Senator Gaylord Nelson On March 3, 2009, the SWVA Chapter of USGBC unanimously elected Monica Rokicki, as their new Vice Chair. Monica is the SWVA Chapter’s Residential Green Building Advo- cate and a Member of the Outreach Committee. She has served as Project Manager, De- signer and LEED AP at Balzer & Associates, Inc. since 2001. Ms. Rokicki holds a Bache- lor of Architecture and a BA in Philosophy from the University of Houston and has won prizes in three international design competitions. From 1996-2001 she was Executive Di- rector of the International Center for the Solution of Environmental Problems (ICSEP) in Houston, a non-profit scientific and educational organization with 43 statured scientist af- filiates worldwide. While at ICSEP, she helped found the Citizen’s League for Environ- Earth Day Symbol mental Action Now (CLEAN) and organized a “Bucket Brigade,” which provided equip- ment, methodology, and management for neighborhood air-monitoring coordinated with several other non-profit organizations and the EPA. Monica currently is a Director for the Blue Ridge Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction and is Co- Founder of the Vesper Club. Her appreciation for clear argument, a scientific basis for practical knowledge and respect for the environment inform her passion for “architecture that listens.” Ecology Flag with theta Welcome New Members to SWVA USGBC!! The following people have joined the chapter since January 1, 2009: Mike Halliday, Charlottesville * Joshua Galloway, Christiansburg * Joy Whitt, Roanoke * Marc Raskin, Pamplin * Charles Wallace, Blacksburg * Joseph Annarino, Roanoke * Adam Cohen, Roanoke *Mark Howard, Fincastle * Margurit Michelle Cleverdon, Hardy * William Hart, Roanoke * Mark Hughes, Salem * Steven Adkins, Ringgold * Nick Safay, Abingdon * Jennifer Watson, Bettendorf, Iowa * Gary Drewry, Deerfield
  8. 8. Page 8 U.S. Green Building Council Home Performance Analysis - by Monica Rokicki-Guajardo Josh Holloway of Community Housing Partners conducted a “Home Performance Audit” demonstra- tion at 1211 4th Street, Roanoke, for the SWVA USGBC Chapter April meeting. This 105 year old mercantile building served as Roanoke’s first Department of Motor Vehicles 100 years ago. Today, it is my home. Renovating an existing building instead of building new is one of the easiest and most sustainable building actions. Bringing it up to date for energy efficiency requires first establishing a baseline and then selecting the most effective measures to sensitively and economically improve performance. With over 95% of our building stock over ten years old, this work is imperative to address car- bon footprints, enhance market value and save money for homeowners and neighborhoods. This is the type of market transformation that the USGBC is all about. As our Chapter’s Residential Green Building Advocate, I am thrilled to see per- formance audits available to homeowners. This type of action exemplifies ways to connect our in- tellect with our convictions to make our buildings greener. Each time an audit is completed, it strengthens individual understanding of how our homes perform – and why. 1 Some key insights in this first step in the audit at my home include the following: Buildings are dynamic systems. For this reason, no attribute or test re- sult can be thought of in isolation. The blower door test verified that this building is a lot like Swiss cheese. Even though there is 18” of cel- lulose insulation above the ceiling, without an air barrier it acts more like a filter. The old method of siding over studs without exterior sheathing makes for some very leaky walls. This was also shown on the infrared camera scan. Newer buildings require sheathing and an air barrier on all six sides of the insulation. The duct blaster test indicated that there are leaks in the ductwork. These should be some very easy repairs. Most energy lost occurs at the top of the building because of positive pres- sure at that location. This pulls air from below, especially from the vented crawlspace. 2 Josh also completed a preliminary model on a computer program called “Rem/Rate”. The next step is to complete the assessment with
  9. 9. May 2009, Volume 1 Issue 2 Page 9 more information about the appliances and HVAC equipment and calibrate the results. Then we can create a plan for improving the envelope and systems performance. Because each building is differ- ent, the solutions for 1211 4th Street will be unique. 3 Knowing where the home stands in terms of quantifi- able test data, how it performs, and how strategies for improving it impact the Rem/Rate model gives us all very powerful tools to improve the building perform- ance in the short term, while preserving market value for present and future owners. We can share the ex- perience with clients and colleagues. We can also measure future performance once the strategies are implemented. I will definitely be calling on Josh to do a follow-up audit in the future and perhaps also arrange a post-improvement demonstration for the Chapter. I’m looking forward to an impressive “before and after”! 4 1. 1211 4th Street Roanoke, photo by Monica Rokicki. 2. Blower door test, photo by Monica Rokicki. 3. Josh Holloway shows use of thermal camera, photo by Monica Rokicki. 4. Josh Holloway performs Rem/Rate modeling, photo by Monica Rokicki. 5. Josh Holloway explains instrumentation for blower door test, photo by Kim Hardy. 5
  10. 10. Page 10 U.S. Green Building Council (Chapter Functions continued from page 4) as reduced costs for workshops and educational materials ship,” look for Southwest Virginia Chapter, and follow and reduced cost to attend Greenbuild, the US Green Build- the instructions from there. ing Council’s annual convention. To enroll your company, go to the US Green Building Council web site In addition to our meetings, our Chapter sponsors sev- (, click on the “Join” button at the top right eral educational workshops each year, most frequently of the home page, select “USGBC National Membership,” involving preparing for the LEED AP exam. The Chapter and follow the instructions from there. also participates in the annual Green Building and Energy Expo, which is held in Roanoke each November. Individual Membership Individuals may join local chapters. Chapter dues are $50 We are in the process of creating a Chapter web site that per year for employees of national member companies, $25 will keep you up to date on the whole range of national for students, and $65 for others. If you would like to be- and Chapter activities. An announcement will be sent come a member, go to the US Green Building Council web when it becomes operational. If you have any questions site (, click on the “Join” button at the top about chapter membership, please contact Membership right of the home page, select “Individual Chapter Member- Chair Dick Pennock at Save The Date! More Green Activities in Your Area! Lexington City: Boxerwood Gardens will hold The EarthArt Challenge, Saturday, May 2nd, from 1 to 5 p.m. Artists will cre- ate works on site using natural materials; there will be live woodland music. $5 per vehicle. Lynchburg City: May 30th and August 22nd Free workshops on Permaculture and Organic Gardening will be held (near the Maier Museum of Art) by Randolph College summer interns. Learn about a variety of organic gardening practices, including composting, crop rotation and combination, chemical-free pest control and fertilizer, chicken husbandry, and much more. Participation is free but requires pre-registration. E-mail for more information or to register for a workshop. Roanoke County/City: Residents of Roanoke and Roanoke County can sign up for the next collection day on May 3rd to take leftover bleach, oil-based paint, kerosene, burned out fluorescent lights and other hazardous wastes to the Roanoke Valley Re- source Authority Transfer Station at 1020 Hollins Road. Call 540-387-6225 to get a 30-minute window between noon and 3 p.m. for the May 3rd collec- tion. Special hazardous materials collection days will soon be held on the third Saturday of each month starting in July. Hollins University’s Wyndam Robertson Library is presenting an exhibition of jewelry and accessories created by Catherine Smith thru May 22nd. Smith has produced a line of hand bags, scarves and jewelry from trash. She calls her work “Trash Fashion” or “Trashion”. For more information call 540-363- 7465 or visit
  11. 11. May 2009, Volume 1 Issue 2 Page 11 Connecting the Dots: A Stimulating Seminar The Outreach Committee is making steady progress toward our upcoming program, “Connecting the Dots: A Stimulating Seminar”. The seminar seeks to communicate the opportunities for local market transformation with the need for energy efficiency and other sustainable goals for existing and new homes. We recognize that successful, cost effective enhanced home performance projects can be facilitated by making connections with the people and resources needed to achieve them. A series of short presentations will give each attendee a roadmap to articulate their own unique objectives, gather the appropriate expertise, strategize the process and reach the most favorable outcome. In a town-hall-styled meeting for about 125 attendees at a prominent Roanoke cultural venue this summer, the event will be targeted directly to homeowners. They’ll hear from a HERS rater and, of course, the SWVA USGBC. But the present- ers won’t be just the usual ‘green’ suspects. We also have enthusiastic commitment from the City of Roanoke, account- ants and bankers. Additionally, the seminar will reach beyond its four-hour timeframe to the greater Southwest Virginia Region through an evolving, dynamic web page that will include video clips of event highlights, important links and an online forum to answer questions. This strategy minimizes the event’s carbon-footprint while offering exciting, useful and timely information to anyone with web access. Topics include: • Financial strategies, how to access Federal, State and Local incentives. • Importance of integrated design–construction–maintenance process and early articulation of performance goals • Third-party verification and its relationship to performance and market value • Regional guidelines and rating system resources (LEED-Homes, ReGreen, Energy Star, EarthCraft) • Market perspective, illustrating the transformation already in progress across the country. Final information about our headliner availability is pending. As soon as we have a date we will issue a press release. Look for more exciting details at the end of May. Learn More about saving the Environment at: Earthday Tips
  12. 12. Page 12 U.S. Green Building Council Discovering the “Green” Building Blocks of Success - by Trina Mastran About a year ago, Lexington developer, Bruce Schweizer, and USGBC Member, architect and LEED AP, Heidi Schweizer decided to begin the process of planning a green community on a par- cel called Thompsons Knoll. This parcel, located within walking distance of downtown Lexington, a local school and Virginia Military Institute, offered the Schweizers a springboard to invite the local community to have an open dialog regarding affordable green development as opposed to tradi- tional development. The parcel already had a plat which would allow the development of 10 lots and the extension of an existing dead-end road. The Schweizers wanted to understand connections such as pedestrian paths, habitat and history which currently exist at this site with the goal of incorporating these connections into the project plan along with greening concepts. In addition, the City of Lexington has little affordable housing. According to Bill Blatter, Lexington’s Planning Director, the median 2007 sales price of a house in Lexington was $244,000. The median household income in Lexington was $38,000 for the same year. Mr. Blatter went on to explain that individuals with this level of income could only afford a house which costs up to $170,000. People working in the City who are police officers, clerical staff and laborers can not afford to live there. Thus affordable housing was an important goal of this de- velopment. Heidi Schweizer researched available funding opportunities which support green affordable housing efforts. She found the Enterprise Green Communities Fund. Green Commu- nities, launched in 2004 by Enterprise, is the first national green building program focused entirely on affordable housing and is a provider of capital used to pioneer development through public-private partner- ships. Green Communities purposefully has devel- oped criteria to align wit h US G B C’s LEED’s rating sys- tem for homes. Affordable Green
  13. 13. May 2009, Volume 1 Issue 2 Page 13 To be eligible for Green Communities grants, loans and tax credit equity through Enterprise certain criteria must be met including minimum housing density requirements and maximum income levels for a percentage of occupants. The Schweizers wrote a grant for $5,000 to pay for a charette to explore green and affordable hous- ing for the Thompson Knoll project. As a criteria to receive the grant the Schweizers formed a pub- lic-private partnership with Threshold, Lexington’s housing commission. Mr. Blatter planned the charette, which took place over three days at the Lylburn Downing Middle School. The grant al- lowed an honorarium for local architects to participate and paid for a green communities facilitator. The expected outcomes of the charette were 1) provide a forum for discussion and input from local community, and 2) develop a viable plan to move forward with a green and affordable housing pro- ject. The local community, both from the Thompson Knoll neighborhood and surrounding area, met for three nights. The first night the facilitator, Richard Price, provided an overview of green and sustain- able development. This provided an important public education component. Charette attendees then divided into groups with a designated facilitator who was a local architect responsible for lead- ing the workgroups. The first task was to review the existing site and topo and develop an under- standing of the actual site location, topography, pedestrian trails and habitat. The attendees from the neighborhood had great discussion regarding access to the development from the street. This appeared to be of great concern. The second night the charette teams presented their design alter- natives after breaking into their respective groups with facilitator. The last night was provided to pre- sent the plans developed through the charette process. After the charette was completed the Schweizers had what they considered two viable plans for Thompsons Knoll. The site plans allowed for some passive solar houses, no curb and gutter, nar- rower streets, rain gardens, pedestrian walkways, smaller lots, green space, and a variety of hous- ing types. There would be 22 units due to the topography of the site. This plan would not fulfill Green Communities density criteria unless an exemption was granted to subtract out topography and sink holes. Heidi Schweizer was satisfied with the housing density as she believes it felt appro- priate because it blended in with the existing urban fabric and the neighborhood inhabitants were also satisfied. Lessons learned from the charette process included the revelation that the stakeholders did not un- derstand “affordable” housing as “workforce” housing. The attendees believed that “affordable” meant low-income and this provided a negative backdrop for the entire charette process. Both the Schweizers and Bill Blatter agreed that more public education needed to be done as part of the charette to educate the community regarding the “workforce housing” component of the project. A secondary lesson was that there also needed to be more education focused on what green and sustainable development is prior to discussing specifics of a site plan. The Schweizers and Bill Blatter plan to take a step back from their charette experience and use it as a building block for success. They plan on taking what they learned from the Green Communities charette and refocus on the process to achieve their goals for a green community which provides workforce housing.
  14. 14. (Letter from Chair continued from page 2) 1. How do we decide what we do? DG provides a proven, innovative process by which groups make, measure, and improve decisions by which they elect optimal leaders. 2. Who does what when we’re doing it (and how)? DG offers participants a robust structure by which to communicate decisions and rapidly put them into action. Recognizing the potential of this comprehensive methodology, the national office of USGBC began a pilot program in which it introduced DG to chapters and regional groups in 2007. This program is chapter-friendly in that it encourages all chapters to consider DG, but does not oblige a chapter to adopt the methodology until you decide it’s right for your chap- ter. Since its introduction, USGBC chapters that have adopted DG report: Fewer, faster meetings, increased productivity, increased engagement of chapter members, an increased sense of indi- vidual and group empowerment and a culture that nurtures creativity and leadership over the long-term. By employing DG, our Chapter will function efficiently and effectively and should sustain its objectives well into the fu- ture. Best Regards, Steve Sunderman (Letter from Editor continued from page 2) the midst of writing Act II. When I think about how far we have come I know that we can continue to do more to protect our environment. In Act II we are in a grassroots tidal wave to stop global warming- - -whether through reduce, reuse and recycling; green building; or developing alternative energy sources. We have reached that tipping point where true action is occurring through efforts by the masses. I am hopeful that when we reach the end of Act II our efforts will yield a better tomorrow. Sincerely, Trina Mastran Newsletter Schedule Thinking about writing for our newsletter? We hope so. If you would like to submit an article and/or photo to our newsletter please contact Trina Mastran at Below is our schedule for future newsletters. Issue Submittal Deadline Publish Date Fall 2009 August 1st September 1st Winter 2009 November 1st December 1st Spring 2010 February 1st March 1st Summer 2010 May 1st June 1st