Archive for the ‘USGBC Idaho’ Category

ADVANCE your building with support from USGBC Idaho

Friday, June 26th, 2015

The USGBC Idaho Chapter and the Central Addition LIV District invite building owners and managers in Boise’s Central Addition and Vista neighborhoods to participate in the ADVANCE program—a platform to help communities and organizations move along a path to more efficient and healthy places.

ADVANCE participants gain access to USGBC’s professional network and resources. Our volunteers guide you in setting goals and implementing strategies to improve the energy, resource and health performance of your building.

ADVANCE is a free service that was built for:

  • Community-service non-profits
  • Houses of worship and faith-based facilities
  • Educational and cultural institutions
  • Apartments, temporary housing, and affordable housing developments
  • Neighborhood and homeowner associations
  • Private building owners seeking cost effective ways to improve their building’s performance

With the support of well-trained volunteers and experts, local building owners are guided in the long term implementation of low-cost, high-impact strategies to improve their buildings. USGBC’s volunteer professionals serve as consultants that guide you in the implementation of no to low-cost strategies for a more efficient, healthy and resilient environment for your building and community.

ADVANCE events and direct assistance will help you:

  • Get started with simple actions in your building
  • Establish a comprehensive energy, resource and environmental health performance plan for the operation of your existing building
  • Focus in and implement simple strategies for increased energy, water and indoor environmental health performance
  • Track your performance as you achieve goals and advance toward various levels of leadership recognition

The ADVANCE program begins with a benchmarking process to identify your building’s utility usage. With this information in hand, building owners are position to dive deeper into their building systems to pinpoint improvement opportunities. Did you know that on average, buildings that undertake a benchmarking process save 5-8% on their utilities with no capital investments. The awareness alone changes behavior in the way the building is operated leading to utility savings.

Ready to get started your path towards lower utility bills and a healthier building? We are currently accepting applications from building owners and managers in Boise’s Central Addition and Vista neighborhoods. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis for the remainder of 2015. Contact to get enrolled.


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What’s up with ASHRAE 90.1-2010 & LEED v4?

Thursday, May 14th, 2015


Building standards continue to evolve, and so should you. But it’s generally a good idea to get the lay of the land from an expert before diving into technical reference manuals and working with a new standard – we’ve got you covered. USGBC Idaho is hosting a lunch and learn event to keep our members and the local design/build community current with the new ASHRAE and LEED standards. We are fortunate to have LEED fellow Scott Bowman in Boise at the end of May presenting his informative workshop – Code Dread – Keeping up with ASHRAE and LEED. 

The event is scheduled for May 28th @ 11:30 – 1 PM and will be hosted at the Integrated Design Lab on 6th and Front Street Boise. $5-10 suggested donation at the door. BYOBB (Bring Your Own Brown Bag). 1 LEED specific CEU self-reported. RSVP online.

Program: Code Dread – Keeping up with ASHRAE and LEED
Design firms will be in the best position to meet their clients’ need by understanding and preparing for ASHRAE 90.1-2010 and LEED v4, both of which have expanded from their earlier versions and will have a major impact on buildings.  This presentation will illustrate the effect of these changes by applying the new standards to an exiting LEED v2.2 Silver-certified project constructed by KJWW Engineering Consultants using ASHRAE 90.1-2004.
First, a new baseline using the ASHRAE 90.1-2007 standard will be applied to the project, which is the requirement under LEED v2009.  Next a baseline for the project using ASHRAE 90.1-2010 will be applied, which is required under LEED v4.  Both comparisons will show the decrease in energy savings, points awarded, and strategies and costs required to bring the project back to the original energy savings and certification level…if it can.
Speaker: Scott Bowman, PE LEED Fellow
Scott retired as Principal and Corporate Sustainability Leader with KJWW, a multi-discipline engineering consulting firm of over 500 people, in June of 2014.  He represents extensive experience in consulting engineering and the built environment. He was involved in most LEED projects (over 130 upon his retirement) for the firm and speaks regularly on sustainability at regional and national conferences and provides regular training on multiple subjects.
To further expand his voice in the built environment, Scott formed Integrated Design + Energy Advisors to assist owners and design teams to reach high levels of performance on their projects through many different methods and services.  In general, he intends to help projects Start Better; Reach Higher; Finish Strong.
You can learn more and see Scott’s resume at

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Advocacy Committee Sets 2015 Strategy

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

USGBC Idaho Advocacy Committee – 2015 Strategy, Notes From Committee Chair Steve Benner

We had the kick-off meeting for 2015 with the Advocacy Committee on January 20, 2015 at the USGBC Idaho Chapter office. Most of the core group that has been meeting for several years was in attendance, and we had a lively discussion of issues to tackle this year.

Steve Benner offered to chair the group and led a discussion of possible areas of focus, including:


  • Energy Codes
  • Net metering and other utility issues including renewable energy
  • Legislation on the state and local levels that can promote green building
  • Multifamily housing including sustainability criteria and utility incentives
  • Incentives for green design
  • Indoor Environmental Quality


Committee members were asked to rank these issues based on their individual interests for our next meeting.  Another topic we discussed was collaboration with other groups with similar interests and compatible missions, on issues of common concern.

At our February 17th meeting we asked those in attendance to identify their top three issues for 2015.  These issues were ranked: first – Energy Codes; second – Utility Issues; third, Legislation; fourth, Multifamily Housing.  These are all issues we have worked on in the past, but with this ranking, we have a new focus to direct our energies.

We discussed collaboration with other allied groups, and identified the following groups as having similar interests and compatible missions regarding the issues we have targeted.

  • Snake River Alliance – advocacy for renewable energy
  • Idaho Conservation League – protecting Idaho’s environment and working to influence conservation policy.
  • Idaho Smart Growth – helping planners, individuals and communities to use planning tools to create safe and healthy communities.

Issue alert:
In the past, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC), had a rule that alternative energy developers could sign a 20-year contract to sell their power to Idaho utilities. Idaho Power Company is asking the PUC to reduce the length of future solar contracts to two years. There is concern among many groups and individuals that this rule would “effectively stop future solar energy projects.”

This is a complex issue, but one that will have far reaching effects.  The PUC will consider this issue in the coming weeks.  The Advocacy Committee will keep abreast of this issue and provide information on how to submit input and comments to the PUC.

We meet at noon on the third Tuesday of each month.  The next meeting will be March 17, at the USGBC Idaho Chapter office. You are always welcome to attend and we encourage you to get involved in these issues.

Steve Benner, Advocacy Committee Chair


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