USGBC Seeks Votes for Volunteer IMPACT! Award


The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Malcolm Lewis Volunteer IMPACT! Award recognizes a high-impact, volunteer-driven project or initiative. The award honors Malcolm Lewis, Ph.D., the founder of Constructive Technologies Group, who served on USGBC’s board and chaired its Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee. Drawn to high-performance buildings in the early 1970s, Malcolm spent the next 30 years making an impact in the green building movement.

This year there are 12 nominations for effective volunteer groups or individuals, all of which are posted to USGBC’s Facebook page. Vote by going to the USGBC Facebook page and “liking” the project that best captures the spirit of USGBC. The project receiving the most “likes” by 1:00 p.m. EST on Sept. 14 will be formally recognized at the Greenbuild 2016 Leadership Awards Luncheon.

And the nominees are:

Alicia Silva Villanueva: LEED Champion in Mexico: Alicia Silva Villanueva is unmatched in her commitment to USGBC’s mission and generosity with her volunteer time and expertise. How to quantify the impact of this work? Consider the following: her firm has served as owner or administrator for 15 LEED-certified projects in Mexico – nearly 7 percent of the country’s 218 LEED-certified projects to date and, as of August 2016, provided sustainability education to more than one quarter of the 566 LEED credential holders in Mexico. Alicia Silva Villanueva continues to create lasting change in the buildings industry and inspire others with her vision for a sustainable future.

Central New Mexico Community College USGBC Student Group: Central New Mexico Community College is located in Albuquerque and serves almost 26,000 students, making it the largest undergraduate institution in New Mexico. Minority students account for over 62 percent of enrollment. The college has built a number of LEED certified buildings on its campus in recent years. There was interest in starting a student group focused on sustainability, and USGBC NM’s Emerging Professionals + Students group got involved to help get a USGBC Students group started at CNM. Luis Campos, then the Executive Director of Physical Plant for CNM, agreed to be the faculty sponsor, and the group was formed in late 2015. Since that time, CNM USGBC Students have been quite active, participating in Recyclemania, Albuquerque’s Earth Day event, and giving LEED tours of campus buildings to schoolchildren.

Connect the Dots for Green Schools Challenge: The Connect the Dots for Green Schools program challenges schools across Virginia to develop a green project or initiative that promotes stewardship, community outreach and creativity while complementing curriculum. This program began in 2010 when the Virginia Chapters received grant funding from the USGBC. Now in its 6th year, the program continues through the efforts of the USGBC Greater Virginia Chapter. The Chapter connects interested schools with volunteer mentors from the building industry, who in turn help to bridge connections with state and local resources. This program has impacted over 50 schools across Virginia. Hundreds of volunteer hours have been put towards projects that include recycling programs, native landscaping, edible schoolyards, outdoor classrooms, energy audits, composting and more. Many of the schools also participate in the green apple day of service. At the end of each year, every school is recognized and awards are given to outstanding projects.

Dennis Creech: Leading Careers and Voluntary Service in Sustainability: As we continue to honor icons in the world of green building through the Malcolm Lewis IMPACT! Award, the Georgia community can think of no one better than Dennis Creech, co-founder and executive director of Southface Energy Institute, to embody that spirit. Dennis helped the USGBC in its formative years, serving as an incubator for what is now USGBC Georgia. Today, Southface’s daily work includes technical support of LEED programs ranging from LEED for Homes, to Core and Shell and the LEED Volume Program. Under Dennis’s leadership, Southface certified the first LEED home ever as well as the first LEED home in China. His volunteer-driven passion for green building has fostered practically unmeasurable impact in the southeast region, but two examples of his work are the Emerging Leaders Program and the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge.

Eco-Tech Makerspace: The 2016 Greenbuild Legacy Project, Eco-Tech Makerspace was created by, formerly known as Trash for Teaching. The Eco-Tech Makerspace program, based in manufacturing-heavy Gardena, will offer the community S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) curricula, hands-on problem solving, and environmental stewardship emanating from the reuse of discarded, safe manufacturing materials. The selection of this project by USGBC and USGBC-LA is intended to help reinforce the student pipeline from communities typically lacking access to these programs that can lead to S.T.E.A.M.-based careers of the future.

Focus Points: Colorado’s first ADVANCE project: USGBC Colorado was first introduced to Focus Points when a group met to review a donor package for building a 15,000 sq. ft. addition to the center. Fundraising for this type of project can take years, and at the end of the meeting, Tia Heneghan, a longtime USGBC volunteer from Zia for Buildings, and Patti Mason, Colorado Community Director, shared how ADVANCE could help establish and document best practices for managing the existing facility. With support from their senior leadership, Focus Points became Colorado’s pilot ADVANCE project in August 2015.

Green Assistance Program: USGBC San Diego provides environmental services to local community partners through its Green Assistance Program. The premise of the Green Assistance Program is a collaboration to achieve the highest level of environmental performance at partnering non-profit facilities, while providing career training for community members. Green Assistance Program provides a hands-on learning opportunity for individuals who seek a career in environmental and green building sectors. Participants learn ‘by doing’ energy efficiency audits, waste audits, installation of water saving technologies, and much more. Since 2010, more than 150 individuals have worked on seven non-profit facilities.

Greening Calvary Women’s Services: USGBC National Capital Region is proud to be partnered with Calvary Women’s Services in an effort to green their facility in Southeast Washington, D.C. Calvary is a non-profit that empowers homeless women by providing housing, healthcare, employment and education. Their facility serves as a transitional home for 40 women and provides a space for programming. To date, Emerging Professionals have dedicated more than two hundred volunteer hours and secured several thousand dollars of in-kind service and material donations.

Living Classroom at GHEMS Baltimore: The PTA at Garrett Heights Elementary Middle School was instrumental in the creation of an outdoor learning space at their Baltimore City Public School. Parents, school administration, teachers, students, USGBC Maryland, and community groups came together in support of a Living Classroom. The outdoor seating area was installed during the first service day in early December 2015. Students who were involved in the service day on a cold Saturday took pride in their work and shared their excitement with classmates who returned the following Monday to see the new feature on the school grounds. Teachers now have a safe outdoor space to use for outdoor learning. And the ideas for future improvements continue to grow. Collaboration has continued and the site will host another Green Apple Day of service in 2016 to provide maintenance and add additional features to the site.

McKinley Elementary Green Apple Day of Service: We had several edu-tainment stations/events including: Recycling/sorting races, Power of Wind (make and use a windmill), AppleCareRun and Draw EcoSigns. When the children completed all of the stations, each got a bag of little prizes.  The NDSU students competed around the circuit against each other. They always have such a great/rewarding time working with the youngsters. This is a volunteer opportunity we jump on every year and love doing it! Educating young (and old!) minds, and having fun in the process, is something we all encourage and promote every chance we get. The volunteers do it because they want to educate others and they are very passionate about our future and the future of the young children.

USGBC North Carolina: Block By Block: USGBC North Carolina and North Piedmont ASHRAE are sponsoring a 2016 weatherization project, “Block by Block,” along with many other partners. They are working with qualified, lower-income homeowners.

USGBC Utah Community: The USGBC Utah Community is pleased to recognize the outstanding volunteerism of the Green Homes Tour – Planning Team by nomination for the 2016 Malcolm Lewis Award. USGBC Utah was established in 2007 and operated by an all-volunteer board of directors and continues today with a part-time director and dedicated volunteers that donate countless hours of service in a structure of three “Challenge Teams”. The USGBC Utah Challenge Team guide the local work that aligns closely with the USGBC National Vision and Priorities in a manner that best fits the spirit of the Utah Community. The Green Homes Tour has been taken place in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 in Davis, Salt Lake and Summit Counties of Utah with more than 35 homes and more than 1000 attendees.

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