Annual Meeting at Cascade Engineering

The US Green Building Council West Michigan Chapter held its annual meeting on November 4, 2014.  We had a lot to celebrate wrapping up a great year for our chapter and looking forward to big and exciting things in 2015!

Congratulations were handed out to Theresa Hoogerheide, Gavin Gardi and Joyce Lee for being named LEED Fellows signifying they have at least 10 years of professional green building experience and have each made significant contributions to advancing the green building movement.

We heard from Kristin Trovillion, newly appointed Green Schools Fellow at Grand Rapids Public Schools on the details of her fellowship and approach for accelerating sustainability at the district.  Kristin is one of five Green Fellows in the country!

We celebrated Cascade Engineering and Bazzani Building Company’s B Corporation Certifications. “Our designation as a Certified B Corporation is the beginning of the transition beyond my involvement as sole owner of Bazzani Building Company to a more inclusive business environment driven by the entire Bazzani team. This certification acts as a benchmark, allowing the firm’s leadership to evolve while maintaining our Triple Bottom Line approach to sustainable business practices.”  said Guy Bazzani.

The 2015 Board of Director candidates received an introduction and were available to meet and greet.  It’s going to be tough to make a decision with these candidates which include Daniel Martin of Permaloc, Renae Hesselink of Nichols and DeVon Miller of Western Michigan University.  If you are a chapter member be watching your email for your official ballot.

We wrapped things up with a tour of re-certified LEED EBO+M Cascade Engineering Learning Center by Sharon Darby of Cascade and Gavin Gardi, G2 Consulting, Inc.

Thank you to our host:  Sharon Darby, Cascade Engineering

Annual Meeting 2014

Annual Meeting 2014a






2014 Green Apple Day of Service – Muskegon, Michigan

Green_Apple_Day_of_Service_2014_-_Kids_with_applesIt all began on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at the Muskegon County Water Festival that was held at the USS Silversides Museum which resides on the south side of the Muskegon Channel near beautiful Lake Michigan. The water festival is in its 2nd year and is for all third graders in the Muskegon and surrounding areas. This year our USGBC West Michigan Chapter hosted a learning station and Kelly Rice of GEI Consultants shared her knowledge about native landscaping for the morning sessions and Erik Cronk and Jeremiah Johnson from AGR Green Architecture talked about green/vegetative roofs in the afternoon sessions. The sessions were 25 minutes long and there were eight total session with groups of 20-30 3rd graders coming through each session. This was a great learning experience for all (including the adult presenters!).   There was no lack of curiosity and questions from the kids. When something struck them you could see their faces light up and hands shoot up in the air to ask questions.

Green_Apple_Day_of_Service_2014_-_Farmers_MarketActivities continued on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at the new Muskegon Farmers Market through the Power of Produce Club for Kids where more than 150 kids participated. Here we celebrated Green Apple Day with educational opportunities through lessons about healthy eating and taste testing some vegetables and herbs that many kids may not have tried in the past (and yes we had some adults tasting things they have never tasted before either). Other activities included learning about marine life, green schools, farmers market bingo, and making vegetable bookmarks. State Senator Geoff Hansen and State Representative Collene Lamonte were on hand to present a Legislative Tribute to us for Green Apple Day that was signed by both of them as well as State Representative Marcia Hovey-Wright. We were glad they could celebrate with us and encourage all children and schools in Michigan to take part in Green Apple Day of Service. The West Michigan Symphony also brought this program to the kids with Click Clack Moosic, a children’s concert series using books by author Doreen Cronin. The program invites children (ages 3-7) and their families to a live musical-story time event. The weather was perfect and the energy was high!


Submitted by:
Renae Hesselink, CPIM, LEED AP BD+C
Vice President of Sustainability, Nichols
Green Apple Day of Service Chair, USGBC West Michigan



Stair Week 2014 Leadership Breakfast Event

On September 10, West Michigan community and business leaders gathered for a breakfast at the Grand Rapids Art Museum to celebrate Stair Week. The event also recognized 23 West Michigan CEOs who signed the pledge to be a part of a national campaign promoted by the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) to recognize exercise as an important driver of employee health and business performance. Stair Week is a collaborative effort including USGBC West Michigan, AIA Michigan, International Interior Design Association (IIDA), United Way and the Michigan Fitness Foundation.

CEO_Pledge_Certificate_Stair_Week_2014 Guests_Stair_Week_2014_-_1


Guests_Stair_Week_2014-2 Guests_Stair_Week_2014-3


Guests_Stair_Week_2014-6 Guests_Stair_Week_2014-7


Guests_Stair_Week_2014-12 Joyce_Lee_and_Cheri_Holman_Stair_Week_2014







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



April Battle of the Buildings Education Program: Green Revolving Funds

Green Revolving Fund Program at Clark Retirement Community

Green Revolving Fund Program at Clark Retirement Community

On April 18, the USGBC West Michigan hosted Dr. Heun for his presentation on Green Revolving Funds at Clark Retirement Community to over 50 attendees. This event was a part of the Battle of the Buildings monthly education program. Battle of the Buildings is an awards and recognition program for energy use reduction in the West Michigan area commercial & industrial buildings. Learn more here.

Mike Ignatoski, Director, Capital Projects and Facilities at Clark Retirement Community (a Battle of the Buildings participant) kicked off the program by sharing Clark’s recent energy efficiency project that included new a web based building management system, demand control ventilation strategies, air handler and pump adjustable speed drives, pipe insulation and a new energy efficient chiller. The project saves $131,000/year in energy costs. Ignatoski stressed the importance of forming a Green Team as well as engaging residents and staff at the ground level. Without their help these project would not have been as successful or embraced by the organization as a whole.

CERF Graphic

CERF Graphic

Dr. Matthew Kuperus Heun, Engineering Department, Calvin College followed with a presentation on Green Revolving Funds and they have been utilized at Calvin College. Dr. Heun explained the goal of a Green Revolving Fund is to take the savings from energy or other sustainability related projects and roll the savings back into a fund to finance the next energy or sustainability related project. He believes that behavior changes occur when we can demonstrate not only the environmental benefits but also the financial benefits of energy conservation. Dr. Heun shared Calvin’s Energy Recovery Fund (CERF) that is currently being used to internally finance campus energy projects. Students are involved in project analysis, providing opportunity for supplemental learning in energy stewardship and fiscal responsibility. Projects have included T12 fluorescent lighting retrofit, shower head replacement, and LED lighting retrofit at Calvin’s indoor tennis facility. To date, the program has saved $54,000 in energy costs.

Submitted by:
Senior Mechanical Engineer, Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc.



Stair Week Michigan coming September 8-14, 2014


Christman Company Headquarters

Christman Company Headquarters

In early April, USGBC’s President and CEO, Rick Fedrizzi, said, “The green building community has a historic opportunity to use medical science to create better buildings. Human health as a pillar of sustainability has long been reflected in LEED, and GBCI’s new role as the third-party certifier for the WELL Building Standard will enable us to take that commitment further while making it easier for LEED users to incorporate health and wellness more deeply into their work.”

In January of 2014, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) had released the AIA Health Action Plan and the AIA Energy Action Plan. “By promoting physical activity and saving electricity, Stair Week Michigan explores design and health at a unique angle with our communities. This coincides with AIA’s Design & Health Initiative and is currently a high priority,” said Jeffrey Ferweda, AIA Michigan President Elect, and Partner of Sedgewick & Ferweda Architects in Flint.

“Public health is increasingly focused on policies and designs that promote daily physical activity in schools, work sites and communities,” said Guy St. Germain, Western Upper Peninsula Health Officer. “Building designs that invite people to take the stairs, road designs that are safer for walking and cycling, and streetscapes with ample width for walking and bike parking promote healthy lifestyle habits that can reduce rates of chronic disease.”

In downtown Lansing, the quadruple LEED Platinum Christman Building, had included health considerations early on in its sustainability planning. The company has an in-house “BUILDwellness” program within its eight offices in five states. Angela Bailey, VP Marketing and Corporate Communications, Christman Company, described, “The great daylighting and ventilation in the building are just two of the creature comforts that our employees and guests alike enjoy about this building. Another feature is the central courtyard opening up from the 4th floor to the 6th. It floods the space with natural light while performing its envisioned role of encouraging constant interaction between employees.”




Climate and Sustainability: A Joint Meeting of USGBC WM and WMSBF

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and the U.S. Green Building Council West Michigan Chapter presented a luncheon program on March 10 entitled Climate and Sustainability outlining how sustainability and resiliency go together. Nicholas Occhipinti and Aaron Ferguson gave a briefing on the Grand Rapids Climate Resiliency Report. Then select forum members shared how climate change is impacting their operations as an introduction to the West Michigan Climate Resiliency Framework Initiative, a partnership between WMSBF, Michigan State University, Penn State University and the Rand Corp., among other collaborators.

Submitted by:
Sustainable Facility Coordinator, The Christman Company