WMU Living Building Design Competition – Cash Prizes

WMU_Design_ChallengeThe Office for Sustainability at Western Michigan University is hosting a collaborative student, community, and industry design challenge for multidisciplinary teams across southwest Michigan. The goal of the challenge is to design a Living Building Challenge-inspired outdoor presentation space for the Gibbs House in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The design challenge is geared toward satisfying the Energy, Water, Materials, and Beauty petals of the Living Building Challenge standards 2.1, while also considering the recent 3.0 standards publication.

The pavilion-like structure is required to be a low-impact, beautiful, multi-purpose presentation space that can be constructed from sustainable materials; seamlessly integrated with a 6 kW photovoltaic awning array; engineered for rainwater harvesting techniques; and designed as an active learning environment through the use of a sustainability exhibit. Factors of affordability, feasibility, code compliance, and innovation in design weigh heavily on overall design scores. User imperatives of the space include occupancy levels of about 50 people with a roughly 1000 SF building footprint, a sustainable restroom solution, at least two walls and a roof to provide protection from the elements, and flexibility for a variety of functions such as lectures, educational activities, community events, and entertainment.

The winning team will earn a substantial cash prize and have the chance for its design to be implemented, all or in part, at the Gibbs House property. Those interested in participating are required to register online and submit a full design plan, as detailed in the Design Challenge Guidelines, by October 1, 2014. The winning team will be announced on National Campus Sustainability Day near the end of October.

An upcoming design panel event will take place on Monday, Sept 8 from 6-8 PM at the WMU Office for Sustainability. Distinguished panelists from Steelcase, ChemLink, and Solar Winds Power Systems are planned to discuss their knowledge and experience with topics such as responsible materials selection and allocation, LBC Red List compliance, solar photovoltaic system design, and other sustainable design practices related to the Design Challenge.

For more information, visit: https://www.wmich.edu/sustainability/projects/gibbs/design-challenge



CHEERS to the USGBC West Michigan Battle of the Buildings Competitors

BOB_Beer_Charge_3There’s nothing like a cold beer to celebrate energy savings. Or at least that’s what the Battle of the Buildings competitors, supporters and friends discovered earlier this month when they attended the Beer Charge. A big thank you to one of the competition’s title sponsors, Consumers Energy for hosting this event and to Brewery Vivant for the providing the space in their newly renovated Walloon Room.

Along with networking over a local brew and hard cider, Erin Wilson from Wealthy Theatre shared his hopes of becoming the first theatre in the country with all LED lighting.  Brooks Twist from Brewery Vivant shared that the Battle of the Buildings competition taught him how to benchmark his facility.  “Now we know where we started and we can easily track energy changes within the building over time”.

We couldn’t help but notice that the brewery proudly displays their LEED certification plaque in the window and boast that they are the First LEED certified micro brewery in the nation.

A big thank you to all who made it out!

Submitted by:
Rebecca Holman, Communication Intern
USGBC West Michigan




Green Apple Day of Service: Office Supply Donation Drive

Do you REALLY need 6 bags of rubber bands? How about that industrial-sized box of promotional items? And really, when was the last time you used those blank CDs? Does your computer even have a disc drive anymore?

On Friday, September 26, join us by participating in the USGBC National Green Apple Day of Service by partnering with Learning from Scratch to collect excess office supplies for use in art and education. Learning From Scratch is a local nonprofit who collects and redistributes supplies to school districts who express a need. Please do not purchase items for donation, rather collect unused items from your home or office to donate.

It’s time to do something you can feel good about, and get some prime office real estate back in the process.

To donate and/or volunteer to transport donated items, please sign up here.

Possible items for donation for area schools:
Office / Desk Supplies Arts / Crafts Supplies Kitchen Supplies Paper Supplies
plastic storage bins watercolors coffee cans w/lids Paper
pens paint – small bottles pre-packaged wet wipes - computer
pencils glue sticks pre-packaged coffee tea sugar sweetner etc. - color
dry erase markers glue paper napkins - graph
sharpie paste plastic silverware - tracing
regular markers for children matte board paper plates - tissue
colored pencils matte frames sponges - wrapping
mechanical pencils picture frames - writing
erasers ribbon or ornaments off packages greeting cards
scotch tape stickers
masking tape string
colored tape wire
staplers gift bags
staples pill bottles (no labels)
three whole punches paint brushes
paperclips – any size paper tubes
push pins cd's for use in art class
binder clips shoe laces
overhead projector sheets
sheet protectors
laminated pocket pages
presentation folders
tape measure
scissors  any size
3×5 or 4×6 or 5×7  index cards
dry erase boards
pencil sharpeners
file folders
small binder clips
binder rings
Promotional Items
Promotional T-shirts for children who need a immediate change of clothes at school
Promotional items like key chains, pens, pencils, hats,etc that children can win as prizes for a good day at school etc.

Misc. Supplies
safety glasses
travel size toiletries




Call for Green Apple Day of Service Projects and Volunteers

Green Apple Day of Service 2014 Banner
How can you assist?

Muskegon County Water Festival – September 23 & 24, 2014
USGBC West Michigan will be participating in a 2-day annual water festival for 3rd graders.  We are looking for one or two member companies that can help with a message about green buildings and water conservation and hope that you might have a staff member or 2 who would come and share an activity with local 3rd graders for a day! This year will take place on Sept. 23 and 24 at the USS Silversides Museum in Muskegon.

Last years Muskegon County Water Festival:

  • Sponsored in full by DTE Energy through the Cranbrook Institute for $10,000
  • A one day event held at USS Silversides Museum
  • Over 550 local 3rd graders attended from 5 different schools
  • 10 organizations and 2 upper level school groups were involved in planning and leading station activities
  • Students rotated through 4 learning stations for a total of 3 hours of water related activities

Muskegon County Water Festival article

Goals for this years event:

  • Expand to 2 days full of learning stations to meet the demand from teachers/schools and reach double the amount from last year
  • Bring at least 5 more organizations on board to lead learning stations
  • Secure funding from 3+ local organizations to go along with $3,500 from DTE Energy

The focus of the activities are in 4 categories:

  1. water quality
  2. water properties and cycle
  3. aquatic habitats
  4. human use

There were 3 rotations of 100 students moving through 4 stations going on at the same time. So, at 25 students for 40 minutes eight times throughout the day. This year we are expanding this rotation to 2 full days so we can potentially reach over 1200 students!  Please contact Renae Hesselink if you can help  renae.hesselink@enichols.com or (231) 799-2120

Power of Produce Club at the Muskegon Farmers Market – Saturday, September 27, 2014
Healthy eating and healthy life style activities will be offered to kids ages 5-12.  This program empowers kids to make healthy eating choices and it helps create future shoppers of the Farmers Market.  Do you or your organization have a program or activity that promotes a healthy lifestyle?  Contact Renae Hesselink, renae.hesselink@enichols.com or  (231) 799-2120

Reach out to the school district where you live and offer an idea.  There are many ideas on the My Green Apple website:  www.mygreenapple.org