SIX Event Promo


For years USGBC Central Ohio has hosted many exciting networking and educational events, and 2017 will be no different. In addition to our Happy Hours, Green Apple Days of Service, and Holiday Party, we will also have our yearly DesignColumbus with co-host, Construction Specifications Institute, Columbus Chapter. Additionally, USGBC Central Ohio will have six LUNCHandLEADERS and three BUILDINGSinACTION tours in 2017. For those holding memberships in either AIA Columbus or USGBC Ohio, early-bird pricing for LUNCHandLEADERS is $20 and $15 for BUILDINGSinACTION. The SIX-Event Promo costs $80 and can be used for any combination of LUNCHandLEADERS or BUILDINGSinACTION tours in 2017. This is between a $105 and $120 value for $80! After you order your SIX-Event Promo, an individual promo code will be emailed to you for registration prior to the events. For more information, please contact Eric Porr. We look forward to seeing you in 2017! Purchase Promo Code

Ohio Consolidation

This fall will mark an important milestone for Central Ohio and our mission in Ohio.   As you may know, leaders from the four USGBC Ohio chapters (Central, Northeast, Northwest, and Southwest) have been meeting since late last year to consolidate our efforts into one state-wide entity: USGBC Ohio.  The benefits of combining our efforts are multifold and include: increased access by our members to programming and resources across the state, ability to replicate successful local programs and initiatives on a state-wide scale, more impact and influence related to state-wide advocacy and partnerships, and increased exposure for our supporters and sponsors across Ohio, to name just a few. While we will be consolidating our efforts, most things won’t change on a local scale.  Our local work will still occur as it does now through the work of our local boards and committees.   As we consolidate, USGBC Ohio will also be integrating our efforts officially with USGBC on a national scale.  This integration will provide full access to numerous resources, programs, benefits, and staff from USGBC while reducing operational redundancies.  Working together as a state-wide entity in full partnership with USGBC will allow us to go further, faster in realizing our vision of green buildings for all within this generation. We look forward to officially launching USGBC Ohio later this year and your continued engagement in helping us reach our shared vision.  Your participation will be more important than ever as we chart the future for green building and sustainability in Ohio together.  Later this fall you will receive an official email related to the consolidation where you will be asked to vote in its support.  If you have questions about the Ohio consolidation or integration with USGBC please contact our board members who can answer any questions you may have. It is an exciting time for the chapter and for green building and sustainability in Ohio.  We look forward to a bright and green future together!

2016 Event Package Questionnaire

USGBC Central Ohio Chapter is considering a discounted rate when purchasing tickets to six 2016 events at one time and we need your vote. Please tell us if this option would be desirable to you.

The current 2016 event schedule is:

  • Jan. 28th - LUNCHandLEADERS, - Central Ohio Chapter Update
  • Feb. 25th - LUNCHandLEADERS - Higher Education Panel discussion
  • March 10th - BUILDINGSinACTION Tour - Columbus Museum of Art
  • April 18th - DesignColumbus
  • May 26th - LUNCHandLEADERS - City Managers' Panel discussion
  • June - BUILDINGSinACTION Tour - Columbus Zoo
  • July 28th - LUNCHandLEADERS - Healthcare Panel discussion
  • August 25th - LUNCHandLEADERS - Energy Panel discussion with AEP, Columbia Gas
  • Sept. 22nd - LUNCHandLEADERS - Columbus Transportation Panel discussion
  • October - BUILDINGSinACTION Tour - Columbus Metropolitan Libraries
  • December - Holiday Event


Emerging Professional Jacqueline Langhals writes about her experience at Convergence 2015, USGBC Conference in San Diego.

On June 28, USGBC kicked off Convergence, its national conference, in San Diego, CA. USGBC Central Ohio had three representatives, (Lisa Laney, Leah Morgan, and myself) able to attend and network with other USGBC members from across the globe. This was my first time experiencing USGBC on a national level--and the experience was life-changing. Never before have I been surrounded by so many passionate, intelligent, and driven individuals all trying to better the world by making our built environment more sustainable. The four days were filled with business meetings, forums, presentations, awards, hands-on sustainability projects, and inspiring conversations. It was emphasized that USGBC is not just an organization, but a movement. I must say, if the world is filled with more people like I met at Convergence, this movement is only going to continue to grow. I attended Convergence as a member of the Emerging Professionals National Committee (EPNC) to learn about USGBC’s new product: ADVANCE. ADVANCE is a platform of products to help all communities and ADVANCE participants gain access to USGBC’s professional network and resources. Simply put, it connects skilled volunteers with community-based organizations in under-served areas in order to truly promote green building to all. It is USGBC’s vision that “buildings and communities will regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation.” ADVANCE is our way to continue working toward that goal of bringing green buildings to everyone. It provides opportunities for those new to the industry to gain experience and learn more about sustainable practices. For those that have been in the industry longer, it gives them a chance to give back to a cause that they care deeply about. For the community organizations (i.e. non-profits, community centers, faith-based organizations, etc.), it enables them to build and operate a sustainable building that they would not have had the resources to do before. There is a place for everyone with ADVANCE. advance-imageMy experience at Convergence has led me to be even more excited to help this movement. If you are interested in being a part of ADVANCE or know of a local project and/or person that could benefit from ADVANCE, please contact me at  

OFCC Recognized at April Commission Meeting for 200 LEED Certified Schools

Read Rick Fedrizzi's Thank You Letter. Read more about the recognition on the OFCC website.  On behalf of Rick Fedrizzi, the USGBC Central Ohio Chapter is happy to share a Thank You letter to all Ohioans that contributed to the 200+ LEED certified schools. Ohio leads the nation in public K-12 LEED schools and we should be proud of the advancements we are making for our children. It takes a community to make a successful high performing, healthy and environmentally friendly school where our children can go to safely learn every day. We would like to add our thanks to all parties that worked on the schools and who are moving to make Ohio a more healthy, prosperous and sustainable environment. Kind Regards, Lisa A. Laney, Chair USGBC Central Ohio  

L&L Review: Funding for Green Projects

On October 23rd, we heard very informative news from Project Funding at the Lunch and Leaders meeting. Patty Huddle, Vice President of Existing Business Services for Columbus 2020; and David Hull, Assistant Director for the City of Columbus Department of Development presented. Columbus 2020 is one of six organizations contracted by the State of Ohio for the purpose of facilitating funding for a developer or business working on a project in the central Ohio region. Their goal is to net 150,000 jobs and $8 billion dollars and increase per capita spending by 2020. They intend to do this by improving infrastructure, meeting the workforce challenge, and increasing the following: manufacturing competitiveness, high growth opportunities, global trade and investment. They are here at no expense to help business owners locate whatever funding might be available for their projects and to help obtain Jobs Ohio funding. Each county has different resources for LEED projects and different tools available. In Franklin County the Columbus- Franklin Finance Authority is managed by Jean C. Ryan. Other sources for funding include SWACO (Solid Waste Authority of Columbus); Clean Ohio programs, a Jobs Revitalization program for blighted projects that may provide Phase II DSA funding for vacant buildings; OEPA funding programs with assistance from Laura Stephenson of the Treasurer’s Office, City of Columbus and Re-Energize Ohio; and tax credits and green energy funds; to name just a few. To learn more about funding opportunities presented by Patty Huddle and Matt McCollister of Columbus 2020 as well as obtain assistance completing incentive letters to Jobs Ohio, contact Columbus 2020 at 614.225.6063 or visit their website at David Hull, Assistant Director of Development, City of Columbus provided an overview of The Green Columbus Fund, a reimbursement grant program for LEED projects started in 2011. It provides $1 million dollars annually to be distributed to private and non-profit developers building Brownfield and LEED projects. It will reimburse the grant winner for Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessment costs, asbestos surveys and abatements, and physical Phase II corrective actions. It builds on Clean Ohio and successive State of Ohio programs. In order to qualify for LEED dollars, the project must be LEED for New Construction, Core and Shell, Commercial Interiors, Existing Buildings, or Operation and Maintenance (EB; OEM). The program reimburses the application fee charged by GBCI (Green Building Certification Institute) and performance incentive boosts for LEED Gold (150%) and LEED Platinum (200%). In addition to this reimbursement application, applicants can increase their grant award through meeting the criteria set by the City of Columbus. .At the outset of the project it must be discussed with the City, submitted for review and approval by the Department of Development, and then submitted to the City Council for ordinance approval.

Sponsor Spotlight: Turner Construction Company

  1. How long has your firm been in business? Turner started in New York City in 1902, but we’re about to celebrate our 50th year in Columbus.
  2. Where are your offices located? Turner’s Columbus office is in the Arena District on Hanover Street, just south of Huntington Park. We have offices in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Toledo (The Lathrop Company). Turner also has offices throughout the U.S. and internationally.
  3. How many LEED AP work at your firm? Over 1500 LEED credentialed staff nationally, 40 in Columbus.
  4. What is the main reason you and your firm are involved in the USGBC Central Ohio Chapter? Turner was one of the founding members of the USGBC National organization, back in the late 90’s. Since that time, Turner has invested heavily in training and credentialing of our staff, so that we can support our clients’ goals for sustainability and/or LEED certification on all of our projects. We’ve also been actively involved in the local USGBC chapters throughout the U.S., as part of our ongoing commitment to USGBC and the Mission. When the opportunity to start a USGBC chapter in Central Ohio became a reality, we jumped in and became a leading supporter.
  5. What types of projects are you focusing on right now? OR What disciplines do you regularly need to partner with on your projects? We’re working on the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Vision 2020 program to build or renovate 10 branches, all scheduled to achieve LEED certification at varying levels. The Library’s commitments to sustainability, and improving the experience for the library users and their communities, are really inspiring. And we’re working with leading, local design firms to deliver outstanding projects – NBBJ, Jonathan Barnes, Design Group, Moody Nolan, Schooley Caldwell, Korda, Prater, Heapy, EMHT, etc.... – it’s been a great experience working with CML and these design firms on sustainable projects that benefit our communities.

Small Business Spotlight: Jonathan Meier, Rain Brothers co-owner:

An interview with Jonathan Meier, Rain Brothers co-owner: 1. How long has your firm been in business? Eight years. 2. How did you become interested in sustainable design/construction? I originally moved toward sustainable construction through working and living in an economically depressed neighborhood in Columbus. I wanted to do something in the neighborhood to create employment opportunities that provided fair wages, provided meaningful work, and demonstrated environmental stewardship. Our company started when I – along with my good friend Gordy Smith and five young men from the neighborhood – started constructing large- and small-scale rainwater harvesting systems in our backyard for urban farmers throughout Columbus. It grew into a passion from there. I also come from several generations of well drillers, so working with water is in the blood. Passion + Roots = Let’s Do This Thing! 3. What was your first job in the industry? We put in a large underground system at the Ohio Governor’s Residence early on in our business. Through the encouragement of Hope Taft (who was head of the native conservation efforts in the backyard of the Residence), we installed a 3,000-gallon catchment system with irrigation. Needless to say, it was a bit intimidating to go at an underground system in this high-profile setting. 4. What are a few projects your most proud of? We have done several large-scale rainwater systems for commercial applications – those are always rewarding from an ethical standpoint because they tend to have the biggest effect. But, honestly, the projects that I am most proud of are the ones where we’re given a tight budget and asked to design a thoughtful system. Challenges of this sort give me the most hope for change because it forces us to build out of necessity (instead of habit and comfort) and it pushes us to be more creative and more accessible with our work. I do not feel like we’re doing any justice to the greater good unless we can develop cost-effective, easily-implementable water solutions. The rainwater system we installed at The Ohio State University is an example of this type of system: The budget was derived from grant funding, and we were asked to develop a design-build package that would maximize system capacity and effect while minimizing cost. We also did a large-scale system for Franklin Park Conservatory that was quite enjoyable to design. 5. What is your vision for energy and environmental design in the next decade? My vision for energy and environmental design in the next decade involves having the green movement station itself amongst the poor. “Necessity is the mother of all innovation/invention.” None know that better than those who live day-to-day in a position of necessity. I have seen some amazingly innovative things constructed by people who are just trying to get by right here in Columbus (including several bike- and human-powered machines). Those who struggle have much to contribute and much to gain from environmental policies, so the marriage of the movement with struggling communities is natural. 6. What do you see as the greatest challenges for developing a sustainable built environment? Cost is certainly a large factor in the stalling of a transition into a green economy. But the speed at which things happen in construction is, I would argue, an obstruction to true progress. I am often both amazed and troubled by how quickly things happen. In our experience with Rain Brothers, often times, sustainable design is an afterthought or an addition instead of an approach. It is completely understandable that things happen so quickly (especially since few can afford to be slow and deliberate). Nonetheless, we have found that quickness generally impedes sustainability. 7. How does (or can) the USGBC-COH help you overcome these challenges? Perhaps by highlighting (through publications?) cost-effective, easily implementable green construction practices. And I’m not talking about screwing in an LED light bulb – but rather stories geared toward engineers, contractors, and architects from engineers, contractors, and architects about how to, say, simplify or modularize underground housing, or how to construct more healthy, naturally-aerated ponds that serve as natural swimming pools as well as irrigation sources (because, let’s face it, rainwater harvesting tanks are expensive), etc. 8. What types of projects are you focusing on right now? We are working on installing some pilot fire protection tanks (underground) in rural parts of Ohio. We are also getting ready to install a large-scale rainwater reuse system for Mitchell’s Ice Cream in Cleveland, and are working on a large-scale stormwater management system utilizing best management practices for a ranch north of Columbus. 9. Finish this statement: Early in my career, I wish someone had told me..... That growing a small business sucks. Few people will appreciate a job well done. Even fewer will recognize personal sacrifice for the business’ and/or customer’s sake. And hardly anyone will know when you’re working ridiculous hours and making very little. Realizing this is helpful, because it might make it easier to say “no” to jobs that don’t serve you, your ethic, and/or your business. 10. Finish this statement: I wish I had more time to... Farm, network, start other small businesses, cook

USGBC and the American Chemistry Council to Work Together to Advance LEED

WASHINGTON, DC - (August 27, 2014) - The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) today announced a new initiative designed to ensure the use of sustainable and environmentally protective products in buildings by applying technical and science-based approaches to the LEED green building program. This new initiative acknowledges USGBC’s success in leading the transformation of the built environment and sets up a pathway to take advantage of the materials science expertise of ACC and its members. “USGBC and ACC share the goal of advancing sustainability in the built environment, and we will work together to take advantage of our collective strength and experience,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “The looming impacts of climate change and the possibilities of improving human health and wellbeing favor collaboration and engagement as key strategies. The goal is forward progress.” ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley noted, “Modern energy efficiency gains, building safety advances and carbon footprint reductions would not be possible without the products of chemistry. From windows to insulation, adhesives to flooring, chemistry provides solutions that enable the energy efficient and sustainable buildings that consumers expect in today’s world. By combining USGBC, a leader of the green building movement, with the scientific know-how of ACC, we can develop a path to stronger, science-based standards that achieve measurable progress in sustainability.” LEED is regularly updated through a rigorous development process that includes public comments, technical review and balloting. USGBC and ACC will work within that framework to incorporate state-of-the-art safety, sustainability and life-cycle based approaches to LEED. LEED has facilitated advances in building technologies, integrated design and operating practices, as well as the tremendous growth of the green building sector, which supports or creates 7.9 million jobs across all 50 states and contributes $554 billion to the U.S. economy annually. The American business of chemistry employs nearly 800,000 Americans and supports nearly 25 percent of the U.S. GDP. Chemistry-based plastic building and construction materials saved 467.2 trillion BTUs of energy over alternative construction materials – enough energy saved over the course of a year to meet the average annual energy needs of 4.6 million U.S. households. Energy savings made possible by innovations in chemistry in homes in the U.S. prevented nearly 283 million tons of CO2 emissions in 2010—equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of 50 million passenger vehicles.