By Grey Lee

On Monday April 14th, the USGBC MA Chapter convened a reinvigorated Advocacy Committee. Ben Myers of Boston Properties hosted the small but dedicated group, which included a couple of dial-in conferees.

You are welcome to join us in this effort towards green building and sustainability advocacy!

This committee now consists of Norm Lamonde of Turner Construction, Mihir Parikh of A Better City, John Dimodica of Noresco, and Ben Myers. Grey Lee is an ex-oficio member.

The Chapter is already engaged on a number of important advocacy campaigns, including:

  • Updating the MA Building Code – Stretch Code
  • Building Energy Reporting & Disclosure Ordinance – BERDO in Boston
  • LEED for Schools
  • LEED for Federal, State and Municipal portfolios
  • Greening the Multiple Listing Service(s)
Most of these campaigns align with what USGBC is working on at the national level. However, Massachusetts has the privilege of a very sympathetic political arena. We must make advances on our advocacy efforts while the climate is still receptive – as we know, anything could happen with any election. We certainly hope not to find ourselves in a situation like Mississippi, Ohio or even Maine – where state politicians are openly opposed to green buildings. Some have outlawed the use of LEED, for instance, like the case with Maine for their state-owned buildings.
We also are forming campaigns around:
  • Property-Assessed Clean Energy + Resiliency (PACE+R)
  • Climate Action Plan Update for Boston
  • Net Zero Task Force in Cambridge
You can find information about these campaigns (some yet forthcoming) at our Advocacy webpage.
The group explored how we have selected and to what level can we endorse a campaign. Norm Lamonde has held the torch and provided structure to our efforts by creating an advocacy issue template. We discussed how advocacy and education overlap considerably and looked at how to coordinate our calls to action – some more acute around legislation, some more about sharing knowledge. We are also establishing a system so multiple issues could be introduced, be graded in importance, and added to our mix of active, passive, and related advocacy issues.

Please contact us if you would be willing to help out with our Advocacy efforts –
Thank you!
PS: Also, our meeting gave us a chance to experience the Boston Properties Headquarters in the Prudential Tower.
Far in the distance, one can actually see the airport past the seaport…not quite in this picture, sorry to say.
But here you can make out Spectacle Island with its signature “pile of Big Dig dirt” at its northern tip (on the left in the picture).
One of the great things about Boston Properties (a Gold Chapter Sponsor) is their total commitment to excellence in real estate development. This means active participation in the LEED system and nothing says “We're in” like a pile of LEED plaques awaiting installation in someone's office. Nice work Boston Properties!
Here's a sneak peek at a big upcoming project for Boston Properties.  Yes, that is North Station people! Get ready for awesome LEED certified high-rises!
Thank you Ben Myers for hosting the Advocacy Committee meeting at Boston Properties. We have a lot of work to do, but with committed and dedicated folks on the team, we will continue to make more green buildings in Massachusetts!
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