At this time of year, many of us are reflecting back on the year that was, and some – myself included – cannot imagine where 2017 went. That said, the USGBC Texas Chapter had a very busy and successful year working towards our Mission:
To transform the way buildings, homes and communities are designed, built, maintained and operated in Texas through outreach, education, advocacy and partnerships, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life in Texas.
To that end, more than 100 conferences, education sessions (offering more than 80 hours of continuing education) and networking events were coordinated across Texas in 2017 with more than 4,300 attendees. These events range from community building activities on school campuses, professional networking opportunities, and conferences and education sessions that covered many topics from daylighting and views, materials transparency, water conservation, and building energy reduction.
Using USGBC’s LEED rating systems as a measure of progress, we are making an impact with more than 185 commercial projects certified in 2017 totaling more than 38 million square feet. Our successes with these programs can be measured on a global scale, and if Texas were a country (again), we would rank 4th internationally in LEED Square footage behind the United States, China, and Canada!
With the Texas Legislature meeting earlier this year, a number of our volunteers spent countless hours at the state Capitol in Austin with our Advocacy efforts. This session one key focus for the Chapter was Green Schools and the creation of a bipartisan Green Schools Caucus. The Green Schools Caucus members, led by chair J.M. Lozano (R-Kingsville), helped to pass House Resolution 2090 recognizing the importance of Green Schools to the future of Texas. These efforts continue through interim charges from the Speaker of the House to several committees: public education, higher education and urban affairs. Read more about our current and past efforts via our Narrative of Priorities and the Legislative Agenda.
Advocacy team with Chairman Lozano of the Committee on Higher Education and Chair of the Green Schools Caucus, pictured in the House of Representatives after the reading of House Resolution 2090 in support of green schools on May 18, 2017.
As you can see, our Chapter is filled with members who are passionate about green buildings and changing the built environment through public advocacy, education, and engagement with decision-makers across Texas and our 5 Chapter Regions.
All of this is not possible without your support of the Chapter community’s activities. Your donations and membership dues support our efforts in Advocacy, Community Outreach and Industry Education along with the staffing and logistical support to deliver this programming. YOU make our Mission happen!
Being a Chapter member allows you to be part of this vibrant, driven group and build your knowledge, network, and community! Please update your Chapter profile here to make sure you don’t miss any of our upcoming opportunities.
Looking ahead, the Chapter is kicking off 2018 with the Mobile Experience Center at a STEM Expo with Dallas ISD. Other first quarter activities include tours of manufacturing and recycling facilities, training on the WELL rating system, in-depth exploration of approaches to meet LEED v4 requirements, and public outreach around infrastructure and resilience.
There are many ways to get involved in your community. Our Regional leaders would love to hear about your green building successes and how you want to get involved. Please feel free to contact your Regional leadership with the information below:
North Texas: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gulf Coast: email@example.com
Central Texas: firstname.lastname@example.org
South Texas: email@example.com
West Texas: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for being a member of the Texas Green Building community and for your support of USGBC Texas – both now and in the future.
Executive Director, USGBC Texas Chapter