Great turnout for a great presentation by Paul A. Torcellini, Ph.D., Principal Engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. USGBC SC Lowcountry Branch teamed up with Building Enclosure Council of Charleston to host this event.
September 29, 2012
A quarter of all Americans walk through the doors of a school every day. Yet instead of walking into places of opportunity, millions enter buildings where the air they breathe is filled with toxins and mold, where classrooms are poorly lit and overcrowded, and where resources are limited and outdated. Too many of our children are learning in buildings that are compromising their health and ability to succeed.
Our kids deserve better. Where they learn matters.
Green Apple is an initiative of the Center for Green schools at USGBC to put all children in schools where they have clean and healthy air to breath, where energy and resources are conserved, and where they can be inspired to dream of a brighter future. We know how to create high performing schools that save hundreds of thousands of dollars and provide safer learning environments for our children. But we can’t do it alone.
The first annual Green Apple Day of Service took place on Sept. 29, 2012. For one day, advocates from around the world, including students, teachers, parents, elected officials, organizations, companies and more, came together in support of healthy, sustainable schools by taking action in their communities.
The USGBC Midlands Branch met on Sept. 29th at Langford Elementary School in Blythewood, South Carolina.
September 19, 2012 – USGBC hosted a tour of the new Whole Foods complex, which appears to be on track to transform an outdated retail corridor and to demonstrate best “green” practices as it does so. While the focus of the tour was on lighting and stormwater management, the group also got insights into how one retail decision can transform an entire neighborhood.
Midlands Branch is working with Habitat for Humanity and USC on their upcoming “Green House on Greene St.” The concept is to a build LEED for Homes on Greene Street then transport the house to its final destination. The Sustainability Institute was gracious to take us on a tour of their award winning facility, touted as one of the greenest offices in the region, serving both as the headquarters of The Sustainability Institute’s Energy Conservation Corps program, as well as a public center for learning about cutting-edge, sustainable materials and technologies for energy efficiency. This residential facility showcase the designs and products from industry leading companies and local artisans in the Charleston area.
On May 2, 2012 the USGBC South Carolina Chapter held its third annual Green Schools Summit. This year’s summit theme was Common Ground. The concept of Common Ground was to host a bi-partisan event where both sides could come to the table to realize that a net zero school, like the one built in Kentucky, could also be built here in South Carolina. The event was held on the USC Columbia Campus at the Thomas Cooper Library. Sponsors for the event included the SC Energy Office, xpedx, Environment & Sustainability Program at USC and GEES. Community partners for the event included; Senator Phil Leventis, AIA SC Chapter, Center for Green Schools, Green Steps, The Riley Institute at Furman, CEFPI, Edens and the Conservation Voters of South Carolina.
The Summit featured four tracks that were designed to showcase the success of the green schools and sustainable communities movement in SC and beyond. The first session focused on the innovation in building and constructing the Thomas Cooper Library, Special Collections wing, followed by a presentation from Nate Allen, Green Schools Advocacy Lead and Matt Pearce, Campaign Specialist – US Green Building Council, focusing on South Carolina and national accomplishments in the field of Green Schools. Senator Phil Leventis, who gave a personal perspective on green schools and why he is so invested in the SC Green Schools caucus, hosted the working lunch. The first afternoon session was presented by xpedx on green cleaning solutions for your business and school. The second afternoon session was presented by the SC Energy office and focused on energy savings. The wrap up session focused on where do we go from here. The sixty-one attendees have made a pledge to help host four separate events for the upcoming Green Apple Day of Service to be held on September 29th through out the state. For more information or to help please contact Melissa Le Roy at 843-329-3131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Green Schools Common Ground Summit ended the day with a hands-on tour of the Special Collections wing of the Thomas Cooper Library before everyone headed to the reception that was held at Edens overlooking the State house and grounds.
US Green Building Council, South Carolina Chapter and the Veterans Affairs have teamed up to develop Energy Efficient Homes for Heroes program. This program identifies Veterans who are in need of lowering their homes energy cost. Energy Efficient Homes for Heroes has been funded through grants from the US Green Building Council, Chapter Innovation Grant and Wells Fargo so all work and materials are provided with no cost to the resident. We would like to extend a special thank you to Habitat for Humanity, Home Depot, Sustainability Institute, Efficiency First, EarthFare and TRANE for their time and contributions. US Green Building Council, South Carolina Chapter Energy Efficient Homes for Heroes is committed to saving resident’s money, improving the health and air quality of the home, and providing a lasting product that will have long term savings. The South Carolina Chapter, with representatives from numerous educational, governmental and private industries, strives to uphold and disseminate the goals of the U.S. Green Building Council, while working on a local level to educate the citizens of South Carolina about the benefits of green building and sustainable communities.
On June 2, 2012 the Midlands Branch of the US Green Building Council South Carolina Chapter with a group of eight volunteers spent their Saturday afternoon weatherizing James Whites home of off Faraway Drive. Mr. White was identified through the application process of the Energy Efficient Homes for Heroes program. Members of Efficiency First, LLC, a local home performance contractor, conducted a home energy audit prior to the volunteers coordinating and found several common household issues that were contributing to Mr. White’s high energy costs and comfort issues. Mr. White’s issues included HVAC duct work that was leaking air, substantial drafts often referred to as “air leakage” in addition to low and often times missing insulation in both his crawlspace and attic.
Matt Ryan, a building technician for Efficiency First remarked, “Mr. White had a classic case of issues we see in existing homes that have high utility bills and poor comfort. Ducts that were leaking and pulling air from a crawlspace, fallen insulation in the crawlspace, and attic fan that had no cover (which happened to be by the thermostat) in addition to very little attic insulation”. He went on further by adding, “It’s always interesting to me how quickly some volunteers adapt to weatherization work as they begin to see the problems come to life. It’s not glamorous work at times, but we’re talking about a group of volunteers that cut the leakage in the duct work by 30%, reduced air leakage by 10%, added and replaced missing insulation, and draft stopped the entire house in a day. It was pretty cool to see a group volunteers who just came to work and had almost everything done by lunchtime.” Mr. White’s appreciation was clearest as the group stood around to take a picture. In a time when veterans affairs is such a hot topic in our country its great to know that something as simple as chipping in on a neighbor’s home can make a lasting impact on someone’s life. Melissa Leroy, Executive Director of the USGBC SC, added “We are fortunate to have great sponsors that allow us to give back to our veterans who gave so much to secure our freedom.” For more information about this program and how you can help, please call 843-329-3131 or email: email@example.com.
Quick Facts about the White Residence:
- Reduced leakage in ducts by 30%. Adding about a quarter of a ton of air back into the HVAC system
- Complete maintenance check-up.
- Added R-19 insulation to bring attic up to R-30
- Material Costs less than $500.
Greening Historic District: Midlands Progressive Tour
The Midlands Branch May meeting began at 1316 Washington Street - offices of Watson Tate Savory Liollio – known for Columbia’s first LEED historic retrofit. While there we viewed slides of other historic retrofits and heard from Dennis Knight, an expert in how to include energy efficiency in the retrofit of historic buildings. Mr. John Sherrer from the Historic Columbia Foundation started the tour at the Barringer Building and ended at the Brennen Building on Main Street. The event wrapped at another great historic renovation, The Sheraton Vault.
A&E Sustainable Design Strategies for the Lowcountry
We enjoyed a great program with with special guest speakers Jane Frederick, AIA, LEED AP – F&F Architects and Jon Rembold, PM – Ward Edwards and a wonderful evening of Live Music, Frogmore Stew, and Networking at the Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club. Thanks to everyone that helped make this evening possible: NetOps, HSA Engineers and Scientists, Frederick & Frederick Architects, and Carolina Air. Not to mention the terrific Branch Steering Committee Members!