USGBC - Northern California Chapter

The power of ventilation

It’s no controversy: People like fresh air. But to what extent does good ventilation enhance occupant moods in office and retail environments?

New research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) addresses just that.

At a March 13 exclusive Building Health Initiative partner event, the U.S. Green Building Council – Northern California Chapter welcomed researcher Wanyu R. Chan, Ph.D., to its offices to provide summary findings on ongoing indoor environmental quality (IEQ) research from LBNL's Indoor Environment Group.

LBNL’s Healthy Zero Energy Buildings (HZEB) program generates information for the California Energy Commission to develop ventilation standards that provide for occupant needs while avoiding over-ventilation. Chan presented summary findings from a series of field studies, laboratory experiments and model simulations on indoor air quality, building ventilation and occupant outcomes. Time was then allotted for Q&A and discussion with Building Health Initiative partners.

Building Health Initiative partners expressed interest in learning more about what Chan referred to as DALYs, or “disability-adjusted life years.” Click here to download DALY research from the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Photo by Tom Oliver.


Water Conservation Showcase Highlights

By Sonya Ringer, Intern, USGBC-NCC

USGBC-NCC teamed up with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD) on March 20th to host the 9th Annual Water Conservation Showcase at the PG&E Pacific Energy Center in San Francisco. The all-day event proved itself a success, attracting 650 attendees and participants who came together to address one of the largest concerns of Californians: water.

ImageThis year’s showcase featured eight lectures by water resource experts. Audiences packed into each of these lectures, leaving standing room only in many cases. The presentations covered a range of water conservation topics and perspectives. Lectures included information directed at both the private and public sectors, as well as information for private citizens seeking to reduce residential water consumption. This year’s presentation topics included: Corporate Water Management, National Trends in the Water-Energy Connection, Case Studies in Water Conservation, New Strategies for Achieving Sustainable Water Use in the Business Sector, Systematic Solutions for Big Water Savings, Launching a Residential Greywater Program for Outdoor Irrigation, and California Water Management.

The showcase also included an expo space of industry, government, and non-profit exhibitors bringing game-changing solutions to the market. They demonstrated a variety of water-saving products and services to the attendees that can be easily integrated into our built environment.

ImageIf you were unable to attend, or missed any of the lectures, you can watch video from each of the 2012 Water Conservation Showcase lectures here.

Thank you to all of our volunteers, speakers, attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, partners, and donors! The event was a huge success, and we couldn’t have done it without your involvement. We look forward to continuing the conversation and convening again next year for the 10th anniversary of the Showcase!


Hines' 101 California Earns LEED Platinum Certification

Scores #1 out of 7,307 LEED EB Projects Worldwide



(SAN FRANCISCO) – The San Francisco office of Hines, the international real estate firm, along with partner NLI Properties West, Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Nippon Life Insurance Company), announced that 101 California has been certified at the Platinum level under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance Rating System. With a score of 94 LEED credits, this architectural landmark, designed by Philip Johnson, has earned the highest score ever awarded in the Existing Building (EB) category throughout the world, an extraordinary milestone for a 30-year-old building, for the city of San Francisco and for the state of California.

This announcement was formalized at a festive outdoor ceremony on the building’s plaza during which Rick Fedrizzi, founder, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) will spoke about this achievement and presented 101 California with a plaque commemorating the milestone. Fedrizzi comments, “Green building makes an immediate and measurable impact on the environmental health of the planet and we have an especially large opportunity in the existing building sector. Hines’ certification of 101 California is a remarkable achievement. Their leadership is helping to change the way we build and operate our buildings and serves as a model for others."

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee added, “Congratulations to Hines and NLI Properties West, Inc. for earning LEED Platinum certification at 101 California, and the highest number of LEED points ever awarded to any building in its category. It is in large part due to the strong support of our business leaders that San Francisco is at the forefront of the clean energy economy."

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Building a Green Future for the Golden State: Green California Summit

By Maggie Hartley, Director of Marketing, Gen7

Join local and state government leaders, school officials, businesses, architects, builders and green technology innovators at the 2012 Green California Summit and Exposition. The state’s largest annual conference addressing California’s environmental policies and the technologies that support them will take place April 26-27 at the Sacramento Convention Center. 5,000 attendees are expected from the public and private sectors.

Now in its sixth year, the Expo will offer hands-on exposure to 150 companies offering green products and services, including a Green Schools Pavilion and a Green Auto Mall. The Summit will also include keynote presentations, educational sessions addressing policy, funding and implementation issues, expanded offerings for school administrators, educators, and networking opportunities. The Green California Leadership Awards, acknowledging accomplishments by state and local government, will be presented at a special awards ceremony on April 26.

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Saint-Gobain and USGBC-NCC Announce NOVA Innovation Competition 2012 at Cleantech Forum

Entrepreneurs are invited to submit proposals by June 30 for chance to win $85,000 in capital

ImageSan Francisco, CA - March 28, 2012, CleanTech Forum - Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company, has announced a partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council – Northern California Chapter (USGBC-NCC) to co-present the company’s NOVA Innovation Competition. Organized by Saint-Gobain’s NOVA External Venturing team, the competition rewards start-up businesses around the world offering innovations in sustainable products, advanced materials, high-efficiency building solutions, clean technology and renewable energy sources with cash prizes and access to partnership opportunities with Saint-Gobain.

The deadline to submit an entry is June 30; finalists will win the chance to pitch their innovative business to the senior leadership team of Saint-Gobain in a live speed-dating format at the 2012 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in San Francisco on November 15.

“We are investing in innovation across our family of companies to improve the way we construct, sustain and live within the built environment and we anticipate exceptional entries to the 2012 NOVA Innovation Competition as we co-host it alongside USGBC-NCC – a partner that shares our passion for innovation,” said John Crowe, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain Corporation and its largest North American subsidiary, CertainTeed Corporation. “We believe we have a responsibility to nurture start-up companies that otherwise would not have had the access to bring their innovation, be it sustainable building solutions or renewable energy technologies, to the commercial market.”

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U.S. Green Building Council -
North California Chapter

560 Mission St. Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: (415) 659-9404