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  • Sunday, November 04, 2018 9:01 PM | Anonymous

    GSC Architects ( has generously hosted the USGBC Central Texas office for eight years. This October the firm celebrated their 40th anniversary. Established in 1978 as Graeber, Simmons & Cowan, GSC has always been a committed member of the Central Texas community. The firm is particularly known for work on high-tech and education projects, with a definite emphasis on designing and sustainable buildingUSGBC Texas chair Scott Gerhardt, Board member Jane Baxter Lynn, and Central Texas region co-chair Lisa Storer attended the party, which was held at 410 Congress. Originally the Southwestern Telephone and Telegraph building, 410 Congress was completely redesigned in a creative way.

    Check out the celebration for yourself!

  • Sunday, November 04, 2018 8:08 PM | Anonymous

    Author: Laura McDonald Stewart, RID, FASID, IIDA, LEED AP - METROCON Show Manager

    If you were not at Dallas Market Hall on August 9 & 10, then you missed out on an amazing opportunity to learn from and connect with 2,200+ members of the built environment representing 1,065 companies.

    The event, which is the largest not-for-profit, self-produced, volunteer-driven, design specification-focused regional expo and conference in the USA, celebrated 16 years of industry collaboration and attracted 55 event sponsors, more than any other year in the event’s history.

    For the second year in a row, the USGBC Texas Chapter joined forces with four other associations to plan and execute a more expansive event for members and beyond: (in alphabetical order) ASID Texas Chapter, ASID Texas Gulf Coast Chapter, CSI Dallas Chapter, and NEWH Dallas Chapter.

    METROCON18 showcased 160 Exhibitors representing 211 manufacturers, service providers, and organizations representing all practice areas and market segments, and it attracted interior designers, architects, specifiers, facility managers, students, and a myriad of other essential design industry members from Texas, Oklahoma, and 22 other states across the USA. 


    METROCON18 brought together interior designers, architects, facility managers, students, and a myriad of other essential design industry members representing 1,065 companies.


    This year’s conference delivered 51 hours of premium programming on timely topics presented by 62 industry experts. Offerings included two Seminars, two Student Programs, five tours, a Keynote that doubled as a CEU, and 40 other continuing education courses. All CEUs were IDCEC-approved and qualified as CEPHs to meet requirements for Registered Interior Designers and Architects for the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners, and many also were approved by AIA, EDAC, and GBCI.

    Keynote Address: Sustainability champion Steve Glenn delivered the keynote address. An über entrepreneur, he is the Founder & Managing Director of LivingHomes and the CEO of Plant Prefab, companies that work together to design and develop modern, prefabricated homes that combine world-class architecture with an unparalleled commitment to healthy and sustainable construction. Glenn discussed the opportunities and challenges of prefabrication and the strategies he uses to create LEED Platinum level homes for all strata of society.

    Keynote Speaker Steve Glenn of LivingHomes and Plant Prefab spoke about his commitment to healthy and sustainable construction.

    Continuing Education: Although many CEUs received rave reviews, two courses that proved popular with this year’s audience were:

    • “Dare to Strive for Market Transformation: The Future of Material Health & Transparency” presented by Mary Dickinson, RID, Assoc. AIA, LEED BD+C, a Regional Sustainable Design Leader and Co-Director of the Perkins+Will Material Performance Lab.
    • “2018 IBC: Important Changes to Come!” presented by Warren Bonisch, P.E., an Associate Principal of Fire Protection w/ WJE Fire Protection.


    The planning Committee wholeheartedly thanks Landmark Sponsor Dallas Market Center, Media Sponsor Modern Luxury Interiors Texas, and the 53 other METROCON18 Sponsors, as well as all of this year’s Exhibitors, for their incredible support. Some Exhibitors stood out among the rest. Congratulations to the recipients of the 2018 Pegasus Exhibitor Awards!

    • Best of the Best Award – WAC Lighting / Modern Forms
    • Lean & Green Award – Urban Woods Company
    • Allstar Award – TreeHouse / Dunn Edwards
    • Sizzle Award – Empressive GeoDesigns
    • Instagram-Worthy Award – LDF Silk
    • Mission Award – ASID Texas / ASID Texas Gulf Coast Chapters

    Keynote Speaker Steve Glenn of LivingHomes and Plant Prefab spoke about his commitment to healthy and sustainable construction.


    From a more open trade show floor plan with expanded visibility to an altered show schedule to benefit both attendees and exhibitors, METROCON implemented many new ideas based on last year’s post-show survey feedback.

    Design Charrette: We hosted our first charrette at this year’s event. We reached out to regional interior design and architecture programs, asking them to nominate up to four students to participate in this invitation-only opportunity. Three teams were recognized, with each member of the 1st Place team receiving a $250 Gift Card for school supplies. Congratulations to the winning team [Team 4] made up of the following students:

    • Allison Ray – El Centro College
    • Beatriz Perez – Texas State University
    • Shane Smith – University of North Texas

    Team 4 representing El Centro College, Texas State University, and the University of North Texas won 1st Place in METROCON’s inaugural Design Charrette.

    Community Involvement: As this is the Year of the Dog, it inspired us to work with non-profit organization Straydog, a no-kill dog shelter and sanctuary in the Dallas area. Their primary mission was to raise awareness about the important work they do and encourage the adoption of dogs looking for safe and loving homes. However, we were happy to help them with their second mission: seeking resources to construct a new building to serve dogs in need. (This new collaboration got the attention of Dallas television channel The CW33, who joined us the first day of the show and ran a short segment on their 9:00 PM news hour that evening.) If you are interested in donating services, time, products and/or money to help Straydog’s cause, contact them directly through their website,


    Mark your calendar now: METROCON19 Expo & Conference will take place in Dallas on August 8 & 9, 2019. Visit to find links to view photos and statistics from this year’s show and to sign up to receive notifications to stay informed about attending, presenting, sponsoring, and exhibiting at next year’s event!

  • Friday, June 01, 2018 3:05 PM | Jonathan Kraatz (Administrator)

    METROCON18 Registration Open

    USGBC Texas is again partnering with ASID Texas, ASID Texas Gulf Coast, CSI Dallas, and NEWH Dallas Chapters to bring our region’s built environment community together for education, collaboration, resources and networking.

    This year’s event offers 41 HSW CE Courses, all of which are IDCEC approved, with 10 EDAC approved, 13 GBCI approved, and 17 AIA approved. Topics include “The Energy & WELLness Nexus” presented by Michael Brown, E.I.T., C.E.M., LEED AP BD+C, “The 10-Year Journey of a Sustainable Home from Dreams to Reality” presented by Alfred Vidaurri Jr., FAIA, NCARB, AICP, LEED BD+C, and “Incorporating Health and Wellness Into Our Design Projects” presented by Chris Mundell, LEED Fellow, AIA, CSI, CDT, LEED AP BD+C & Denise Bates, RID, IIDA, CDT, LEED AP BD+C.

    Don’t miss the Keynote Address “High Design, Low Impact: Building LivingHomes” presented by Steve Glenn, the CEO of Plant Prefab, Inc. and the Founder & Managing Director of LivingHomes, a designer and developer of modern, prefabricated homes that combine world-class architecture with an unparalleled commitment to healthy and sustainable construction. The first LivingHome, designed by Ray Kappe, FAIA, was installed in eight hours. It became the first residence ever to receive a LEED for Homes Platinum rating.

    Attendee registration is now open, and USGBC Members may take an unlimited amount of continuing education for only $75, adding the Keynote for just $20. Anyone may attend the trade show at no cost as long as they register online by August 3rd.

    Exhibit booths are still available for purchase.

    Find out more about attending, exhibiting, and registering at

  • Monday, April 09, 2018 12:35 PM | Jonathan Kraatz (Administrator)

    EARTHx 2018
    FRIDAY, APRIL 20-22, 2018
    Fair Park, 1121 First Ave, Dallas, Texas

    About EARTHx
    This three-day free event is held in April to celebrate progress, hope, and innovation and is the largest event in the world of its kind. EARTHx, formerly Earth Day Texas, brings together environmental organizations, businesses, academic institutions, government agencies, speakers, interactive programming, and subject matter experts along with live music and sustainable beer and food pavilions. EARTHx creates a fun and engaging atmosphere for thought and experiential learning while encouraging attendees to be the change they wish to see in the world. 

    USGBC Texas is searching for several volunteers to help us staff the Mobile Experience Center and assist attendees through the walkthrough, answer any questions, and collect information. The event shifts are 3 hours long beginning at 9:30 AM - 6:30 PM, with the goal of having 4 volunteers per shift. This is a great opportunity for students to receive an introduction into green building, our members to give back to the Chapter, or anyone looking to get involved this Earth Day. We want to inspire, educate, activate, connect, and create demand and jobs for green building and sustainable living.  By providing clear,  concise, and objective information to the community, we hope to convey the many benefits of building, retrofitting, operating, and living sustainably. From easy, no cost steps for making your home healthier and high performing to full blown net zero and learning about green infrastructure throughout Texas, there is something for everyone!

    Volunteer HERE.

  • Wednesday, March 28, 2018 3:48 PM | Anonymous

    Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI), presented USGBC and GBCI's global vision and the future of the green building industry on March 27th in Austin, TX. Texas is one of the frontrunners in LEED throughout the world, with a current LEED total of 960 million square feet. Ramanujam challenges Texas to be the first state to reach a square footage of 1 billion, saying, “Green building in general and certifications like LEED are proving to be an economic driver that delivers environmental value.” LEED certified buildings are proven to consume 25% less energy and 11% less waste, while having 34% lower carbon dioxide emissions and diverting over 80 million tons of waste from landfills. With the idea that “partnership is the new leadership,” Ramanujam spoke about the next step for LEED: version 4.1. He presents LEED v4.1 as a set of upgrades that will enhance our standards, promote leadership, and make LEED more user-friendly, more accessible, and more collaborative. Ramanujam points out that the focus for LEED v4.1 is on existing buildings operations and maintenance. USGBC Texas is proud to have such a passionate leader!

  • Friday, January 05, 2018 8:00 AM | Deleted user

    What’s in a Healthy Building?
    By Tricia Loe

    Have you ever thought about how you could make your workplace healthier? 

    Several DFW businesses are actively trying to create a workplace that supports their employees’ health by pursuing the WELL Building Standard. The WELL Building Standard is a rating system for the health and well-being of the human beings who occupy the building. 

    WELL includes some features that are part of the building design, like healthy air and water quality, light levels, and natural light. Comfort is another part of the WELL building standard, encouraging desks that change heights to encourage more movement, and ergonomic seating.  

    The WELL Building Standard helps architects, engineers, and owners create a healthy workspace. But the WELL Building Standard goes beyond the building and into the way the building is used. It encourages exercise, healthy food and beverages, and peace of mind at the work place. 

    For the WELL projects that I’m working on, the way these things are implemented can vary greatly with different types of businesses. At one downtown office, employees can workout for free at the building’s fitness center. On the other hand, GoodWork coworking space encourages fitness by offering regular classes like yoga or Zumba. Both workplaces have shower and dressing facilities for when it’s time to get back to work. 

    There are many more ways that your office can encourage a healthy lifestyle, like limiting the hours emails can be sent, and healthy travel policies.

    The statistics say that humans spend 90% of our time indoors, which that means buildings are our habitat. We all need a healthy habitat! So think about it – what would it take to make your workplace healthier? 

    And if you want to know how the WELL Building Standard could make your workplace healthier, check out the rating system at 


  • Friday, December 22, 2017 10:00 AM | Deleted user

    At this time of year, many of us are reflecting back on the year that was, and some – myself included – cannot imagine where 2017 went.  That said, the USGBC Texas Chapter had a very busy and successful year working towards our Mission:

    To transform the way buildings, homes and communities are designed, built, maintained and operated in Texas through outreach, education, advocacy and partnerships, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life in Texas.

    To that end, more than 100 conferences, education sessions (offering more than 80 hours of continuing education) and networking events were coordinated across Texas in 2017 with more than 4,300 attendees.  These events range from community building activities on school campuses, professional networking opportunities, and conferences and education sessions that covered many topics from daylighting and views, materials transparency, water conservation, and building energy reduction. 

    Using USGBC’s LEED rating systems as a measure of progress, we are making an impact with more than 185 commercial projects certified in 2017 totaling more than 38 million square feet.  Our successes with these programs can be measured on a global scale, and if Texas were a country (again), we would rank 4th internationally in LEED Square footage behind the United States, China, and Canada!

    With the Texas Legislature meeting earlier this year, a number of our volunteers spent countless hours at the state Capitol in Austin with our Advocacy efforts.  This session one key focus for the Chapter was Green Schools and the creation of a bipartisan Green Schools Caucus.  The Green Schools Caucus members, led by chair J.M. Lozano (R-Kingsville), helped to pass House Resolution 2090 recognizing the importance of Green Schools to the future of Texas. These efforts continue through interim charges from the Speaker of the House to several committees: public education, higher education and urban affairs. Read more about our current and past efforts via our Narrative of Priorities and the Legislative Agenda

    Advocacy team with Chairman Lozano of the Committee on Higher Education and Chair of the Green Schools Caucus, pictured in the House of Representatives after the reading of House Resolution 2090 in support of green schools on May 18, 2017.

    As you can see, our Chapter is filled with members who are passionate about green buildings and changing the built environment through public advocacy, education, and engagement with decision-makers across Texas and our 5 Chapter Regions. 

    All of this is not possible without your support of the Chapter community’s activities. Your donations and membership dues support our efforts in Advocacy, Community Outreach and Industry Education along with the staffing and logistical support to deliver this programming. YOU make our Mission happen!

    Make a Contribution

    Being a Chapter member allows you to be part of this vibrant, driven group and build your knowledge, network, and community! Please update your Chapter profile here to make sure you don’t miss any of our upcoming opportunities.

    Looking ahead, the Chapter is kicking off 2018 with the Mobile Experience Center at a STEM Expo with Dallas ISD. Other first quarter activities include tours of manufacturing and recycling facilities, training on the WELL rating system, in-depth exploration of approaches to meet LEED v4 requirements, and public outreach around infrastructure and resilience.  

    There are many ways to get involved in your community. Our Regional leaders would love to hear about your green building successes and how you want to get involved. Please feel free to contact your Regional leadership with the information below:

    North Texas:
    Gulf Coast:
    Central Texas:
    South Texas:
    West Texas:

    Thank you for being a member of the Texas Green Building community and for your support of USGBC Texas – both now and in the future.

    Best Regards,


    Jonathan Kraatz
    Executive Director, USGBC Texas Chapter

  • Wednesday, December 06, 2017 8:00 AM | Deleted user

    DFW Business Leaders to Congress: Act on Climate
    By Ann Drumm and Larry Howe

    Citizens’ Climate Lobby 

    North Texas business leaders, seeing the economic risks that climate change poses to our region, are pressing Congress for action. They want a price on CO2: a market signal that will create economic opportunities, reduce pollution, improve health, and strengthen security. This step is critical to mitigating climate risks and preserving our vibrant regional economy. 

    While many businesses have taken measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, long payback periods reduce the incentive to make some important investments. The existing market signal is driving progress, but not at the pace required to drive down the emissions curve fast enough. We need a stronger market signal.

    Many North Texas business leaders agree that a price on CO2 is the right policy response, and they are communicating that support to Congress through a campaign coordinated by Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL). Your support can help persuade Congress to Act on Climate!

    CCL’s market-based proposal has three elements: (1) a gradually rising, predictable, national fee on oil, gas and coal, based on their relative CO2 content; (2) return of the revenue generated by the fee to U.S. households on a per capita basis; and (3) a border adjustment to protect U.S. businesses and motivate other countries to price CO2.

    Pricing CO2 serves sustainability goals, which is good for business. According to Garrett Boone, Container Store co-founder, the businesses that chart a pathway to sustainability will be the competitive winners in the years ahead. “Ray Anderson, CEO and founder of Interface, proved that a company's wholehearted commitment to sustainability - eliminating waste by maximizing efficiency, using renewable energy, recycling products, eliminating toxic materials, and employing design and technology based upon nature - is a prescription for business success, greater profitability and market share, improved employee morale, shareholder enthusiasm, and customer loyalty.”

    By implementing this revenue-neutral fee, Congress can strengthen the incentive for businesses to take these steps. Pricing CO2 will create jobs for North Texans, increase GDP, improve our health and strengthen our national security. 

    Members of Congress need to hear that acting on climate is important to their constituents, so CCL’s North Texas volunteers are coordinating a Leaders’ Letter campaign and a Business Roundtable event next spring. The Roundtable will be a forum for private sector leaders to talk about the progress they have made toward sustainability in their operations, the importance of it to their business cultures, and the steps they are ready to take when the right market signal is in place.

    The Leaders’ Letter to Congress asks North Texas members of the U.S. House to take specific actions on climate: (1) become a co-sponsor of H.Res.195, “Expressing the commitment of the House of Representatives to conservative environmental stewardship” (which currently has 23 Republican sponsors); (2) join the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus (currently at 31 Republicans and 31 Democrats); and (3) help advance a bill to price greenhouse gas emissions.

    Learn how your business can support this effort! Contact us at

    Larry Howe and Ann Drumm are volunteers in Plano and Dallas for CCL, a nonpartisan grassroots organization with over 440 chapters.

  • Friday, November 03, 2017 8:00 AM | Deleted user

    USGBC Texas Celebrates Two New LEED Fellows 

    LEED Fellows are best-in-class for green building design, engineering and development

    GBCI has announced its 2017 class of LEED Fellows, an annual recognition of outstanding LEED professionals. This year’s 23 LEED Fellows exemplify a diverse array of achievements and contributions to the green building community and LEED, the world’s most widely used green building rating system.

    “LEED would not have grown from an idea to a movement that spans the globe without the leadership and innovative thinking of the dynamic professionals that make up this class of LEED Fellows,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of GBCI and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). “The contributions, work and ideas of these individuals plays a significant role in propelling the green building movement forward while helping to continue to advance our mission of green buildings for all within this generation.”

    USGBC Texas is proud to recognize two of our very own Chapter leaders who have joined the ranks of this prestigious group, Chris Mundell and Heather Holdridge.

    Chris Mundell, North Texas

    “We are honored and proud to have Chris Mundell as one of this year’s LEED Fellows,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of GBCI and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). “Chris has shown superb leadership as a green building advocate and has continued to help shift the norm of how the industry plans and builds sustainably. His work and credibility in the industry has been proven time and time again by his outstanding leadership in the green building movement, and motivates all of us to continue the charge forward in creating sustainable, healthy and connected communities through the built environment.”

    About Chris Mundell
    Chris has been involved in a variety of architecture projects for the past 20 years, ranging from healthcare, commercial, educational and multifamily residential clients. Currently at Gensler, he wears multiple hats including being a Senior Project Manager, a Community-Flex Studio Operations Leader and a South Central Region Design Resilience Leader.  He has also managed the sustainability services for 12 LEED certified projects, including two platinum certified for the UNT Apogee Stadium and HKS Headquarters.  

    He is also actively involved in the local chapters of AIA, CSI, and USGBC. Chris is the past Chair of the USGBC Texas North Region Council, serves on the 2030 Dallas District Leadership Council and a past-president for the CSI Dallas Chapter.

    Heather Holdridge, South Texas

    About Heather Holdridge
    Heather is the Sustainability Director at Lake|Flato Architects. Leveraging her mechanical engineering backround, she directs all Lake|Flato teams in establishing and achieving sustainbility goals by devising strategies and systems under programs such as LEED, the 2030 Challenge, and the Living Building Challenge. Heather works closely with teams to evaluate passive systems and performs energy modeling throughout the design process. 

    As an active Board Member for USGBC, Heather has been instrumental in establishing LEED standards and is Co-Chair of the San Antonio AIA Committee on the Environment.


    The LEED Fellow program was established in 2011 to honor LEED professionals who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in key mastery elements of LEED certification and significant contributions in teaching, mentoring or research with other industry professionals. LEED Fellows also have a strong history of highly impactful commitment, service and advocacy for green building and sustainability.

    LEED Fellows are nominated by their peers and must have at least 10 years of exceptional impact in the green building industry and hold a LEED AP with specialty credential, among other requirements. The evaluation process includes extensive portfolio review and is carried out by the LEED Fellow Evaluation Committee and supported by GBCI.

    The recipients will be honored at the 2017 USGBC Leadership Awards Luncheon at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo taking place Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 in Boston. The nomination period for the 2018 LEED Fellows class will open in February 2018. For more information about the LEED Fellow program and LEED credentialing, visit

  • Friday, October 06, 2017 8:00 AM | Deleted user

    Recap: High Performance Schools Summit
    by Caroline Kostak

    The High Performance Schools Summit was held on Thursday, September 28 to gather together stakeholders interested in developing high performance schools in Texas. In light of recent events, the summit also addressed the incorporation of resiliency strategies into school buildings to allow them to perform as community resources in the event of emergencies, as well as being important community hubs during non-emergency times.  

    The event kicked off with a Keynote from the City of Houston Education Director, Juliet Stipeche, who shared her recent experience of school buildings as "Shelters of Last Resort," as seen during Hurricane Harvey when districts all over Houston opened up their facilities to support their community members in need.  She also discussed the importance of school buildings to the success of students and how healthy, inspiring buildings can play a key role in providing social equality to economically disadvantaged students.

    Following Ms. Stipeche was Mike Dieterich, an environmental scientist with extensive experience working with DC Public Schools to turn their school buildings around from some of the worst in the country to some of the best, all while saving millions of dollars in operating costs.  We also heard from a panel of architects at Gensler, Kirksey, and Rogers who reviewed case studies of projects that have saved taxpayer dollars while providing inspiring and healthy community resources in which students can thrive.

    The event wrapped up with a Keynote from Anisa Heming, the Director for the Center for Green Schools.  Ms. Heming first began working with the USGBC in New Orleans after Katrina, tasked with coordinating the LEED efforts of the Recovery School District. Her experience working with multiple stakeholders and a wide array of projects to incorporate green building and resiliency strategies into rebuilding efforts were timely and inspiring. 

    In all, the Summit provided a venue for interested parties to come together around common goals, network, and learn more about high performance schools.  The conversation will continue through the Green Schools Leadership Coalition being developed.  The first meeting of the coalition will be on October 31, from 11-12:30 at a TBD location. The meeting will also be webcast.  Please visit for up-to-date information and to join the Leadership Coalition.  We are seeking membership from many stakeholders: school district administration and school boards, educators, curriculum developers, architects, engineers, energy managers, legislators, associations (A4LE, TEMA, ASHRAE, TASA, TASB, etc) and more.  Please contact with any questions. 

USGBC Texas Chapter is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 1801 Royal Lane, Suite 400, Dallas, TX 75229

Contact us at or at 214-571-9244

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