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  • 07/15/2021 1:13 PM | Laura Gromis (Administrator)


    The American Institute of Architects, California (AIACA) announces the launch of the tenth annual Architecture at Zero competition focused on decarbonization, equity and resilience in building design. The annual competition is open for entries from students and professionals worldwide.

    This year, AIACA will partner with Self Help Enterprises in Visalia, CA, to develop a design challenge to create affordable housing for farmworkers in California’s Central Valley. Up to $25,000 in prize money, is awarded by a jury of international experts.

    “The American Institute of Architects, California is excited to collaborate on this important initiative that affirms the role of architects in leading efforts to use design to curtail climate change,” said Brett Dougherty, AIA, AIACA President. The competition strives to generate new, innovative, decarbonization building design ideas that respond to equity and resilience and help achieve California’s ambitious energy goals.

    “Self Help Enterprises is delighted to participate in the 2021-22 Architecture at Zero competition and receive fresh ideas, thoughts and concepts that can be applied in Visalia and the surrounding San Joaquin Valley,” said Betsy McGovern, Program Director of Real Estate Development. “There continues to be a huge demand for housing for farmworkers, and this is a unique opportunity to integrate decarbonization and climate resiliency through an equity lens.”

    Competition entries will be juried by international experts including: Paul Torcellini, Principal Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Allison Williams, FAIA; AGWms_studio; Lance Collins, AIA, Director at Partner Energy; and Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA, Cameron MacAllister Group.

    To learn more, visit www.architectureatzero.com.

    This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by Southern California Edison under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. Cosponsors include: Pacific Gas and Electric Company; San Diego Gas & Electric Company and Southern California Gas Company. Other sponsors include: the California Energy Commission, US Green Building Council Central California and the International Building Performance Simulation Association.


  • 06/04/2021 1:40 PM | Anonymous

    Roosevelt High School took on the Transportation Challenge set up by Fresno State and USGBC Central California this Spring and worked on the question: How can we get more students to bike to school? As students, we noticed that only a very small percentage of our staff and students ride their bike to school. While we set out to answer a larger, solution-based question, we realized we first needed to identify the barriers that prevent more people from cycling. 

    We used our knowledge of Roosevelt’s surrounding geography and student body population to make predictions about what would impede students from biking to school. We thought about how traffic heavy the intersection at our school was, our own  hesitations with the safety of our neighborhoods and the safety of parked bikes at school. Some of our own members know first hand that people’s distance from school is a factor that stops many from biking to school; especially because a lot of us choose to come to Roosevelt because of the School of the Arts magnet program. Another one of our members shared that he didn’t know how to ride a bike; we hadn’t even discussed the most basic of obstacles: access to a bike itself and knowing how to ride in the first place. 

    We brainstormed some solutions like working with local bike shops to pass out bikes and helmets, giving out alarms and locks for students that park their bikes at school, and calling on city government to expand bike lanes in our area. We recognized that while our solutions looked great, they were pretty big projects to take on. 

    We needed to engage with our Roosevelt community. We figured the best way to start the conversation was with a survey. We sent it out to students and teachers, and the results gave us insight into what Roosevelt students' relationship is with biking.

    The results of the survey indicated that almost half of the population has never ridden a bike, and almost 75% had never ridden a bike to school before. People pointed to distance, lack of protected space, and lack of access to bikes as the most common reasons for their lack of riding. 

    Seeing as it was already the end of April, we knew as a group we didn’t have the time to solve these big-scale, long-term problems, but rather we needed to come up with something we could do now.

    After some back-and-forth we came up with the idea of an after school Bike to School event for the Bike to School month of May where we would bike from the neighborhood across the way all the way to City Hall and we would integrate some of our previous solutions ideas like bike alarms, locks, lights, and helmets as give-aways. We got helmets donated from BPAC to give out to those in need of one, and lights from Rubbersole. 

    On the day of the Bike to School event, we set up a helmet decorating and light attachment station. A crowd of teachers, students, and community members much larger than we expected formed and our teacher called us onstage to speak. After some nervous shifting and awkward silence due to stage fright, our members spoke on the theme “Why We Ride.” They mentioned the nostalgia biking holds as it was something they did to bond with family members or how good it feels to ride freely with the wind blowing through your hair.

    Finally, the time to ride came. We jumped on our bikes and started on route to the neighborhood across from our school. We listened to the music playing from my teacher’s speaker and we finally got to have conversations with people we only ever saw through a Zoom screen.

    We continued the route into busier streets, and even got to use a new protected bike lane on our way to city hall. As a vulnerable cyclist, you are highly aware of the spaces around you, and we noticed when cars felt a little too close to us or when barricades between the streets and bike lanes made us feel so much safer. 

    This experience taught us how valuable time outdoors is and how valuable it is to create events (and streets!) that bring people together. This is why bike riding proved to not only be impactful as a mode of climate action, but as a source of happiness and communal peace. 



  • 04/07/2021 2:59 PM | Laura Gromis (Administrator)


    Thanks to our members, we work in our community to advance green buildings. With your support, we are able to advance green buildings and communities through advocacy, education, networking and soon, a hands-on green building project. 

    We believe in transforming the built environment and that green buildings and communities should be for all, including communities in Central California. Because everybody deserves a built environment that is good for our health, creates healthy places, reduces the impact on our natural resources and is part of the solution to address climate change.

    Join us to show the support for green buildings in our region and help increase the capacities of our local chapter. We strive to make membership affordable. For $75 or the cost of a nice night in or out, general members show their leadership in the green building world and support our programming all year long. We offer reduced rates for students ($25) and emerging professionals ($35), and supporting memberships for those that want to increase their support for our chapter at $150.

    Thanks to our newest member Alyssa from Gd.Stwrd, all new members that sign up until Earth Day will receive 25% OFF when shopping at her local zero waste store, www.gdstwrd.com.


    Sign up today to BECOME A MEMBER


    Interested to join as company to demonstrate your support and expertise? Check out our partnership opportunities 


  • 03/01/2021 12:28 PM | Laura Gromis (Administrator)


    PRESS RELEASE


    Fresno, CA March 1, 2021 — The US Green Building Council Central California (USGBC-CC) has received a grant from the San Joaquin River Conservancy (Conservancy)to start the planning and design process to enable public access and create an Indigenous and Environmental Resource Center at the Circle V property located at the San Joaquin River, just outside of Fresno in Madera County. USGBC-CC received final approval for this grant funding as part of the California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Fund (Proposition 40) and the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Fund of 2006 (Proposition 84) from the Wildlife Conservation Board, which manages the Conservancy’s grant funds.

    USGBC-CC in collaboration with the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival (AICLS), will be leading the public outreach process to adaptively reuse two buildings that are connected to a beautiful riparian and oak woodland along the river. AICLS will reach out to local tribes as tribal liaison for the project. 

    This project will include educational opportunities for local Fresno State students by integrating different student learning opportunities and classes including Engineering, Construction Management, Interactive Multimedia and Business. The goal is to achieve LEED certification and create an innovative demonstration project for green buildings in our region. 

    “Since 2007, our organization has been working to bring together professionals to learn from and inspire each other to build green buildings. We are excited to start the process to develop a green building to help provide hands-on learning opportunities and educate the wider community on the details and benefits of green buildings’, says Laura Gromis, Executive Director of USGBC-CC. “Working with the local tribes, we are excited to connect the ancient values of sustainability of indigenous cultures with modern ways to create a sustainable built environment”, she adds.

    “This is a unique opportunity to provide indigenous language education resources while creating a center reflective of the local tribal stakeholders and increasing awareness of the indigenous languages and cultures along the river,” says Carly Tex, Executive Director of AICLS, “We are looking forward to working with USGBC-CC and to further our mission to support California Indigenous languages and cultures through this education project.”

    John Shelton, Executive Director of the San Joaquin River Conservancy adds: “We are extremely excited to work with USGBC-CC, AICLS, and Fresno State on this project.  The San Joaquin River Parkway is a great resource that has significant value to all the communities of our region. In acknowledgment of the San Joaquin River’s importance to our region’s Native Americans, this project provides what I hope is the first of many opportunities for indigenous voices to be part of the team from the envisioning to the operations.”

    About USGBC Central California

    The US Green Building Council Central California is a 501c3 nonprofit organization located in Fresno, CA with the mission to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built, and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life. USGBC-CC is focused on education, networking, and advocacy to advance its mission and is a partner of the City of Fresno in its Transform Fresno project focused on creating transformative climate communities.

    About Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival

    The Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival is an all-Native run and led non-profit organization with the mission to foster the restoration and revival of indigenous California languages so they may be retained as a permanent part of the living cultures of native California.  We do this through advocacy, education, and training of speakers and learning, identifying and using indigenous languages resource materials, implementation of linguistic information and tools, creating learning program models and language restoration materials, maintaining master and apprentice language teams and using modern technology for language documentation and restoration.

    About San Joaquin River Conservancy

    The San Joaquin River Conservancy was created by the California Legislature in 1992 to develop and manage the San Joaquin River Parkway, a planned 22-mile natural area and wildlife corridor extending from Friant Dam to State Route 99, with interconnected trails, recreation, and outdoor education features. The Conservancy is committed to protecting the river’s environmental, wildlife, cultural, scientific, agricultural, educational, recreational, scenic, and flood conveyance resources, which are of regional and statewide significance.

    ……


  • 02/23/2021 10:57 AM | Laura Gromis (Administrator)

    As it moves toward a 100% electric fleet, the Fresno County Rural Transit Agency is conducting an electrical grid study to examine possible grid enhancements to meet the needs of rural Fresno County.  Potential benefits go far beyond increased access to reliable transportation services and include reliability of the electric grid, economic development, and carbon emission and air pollution reductions.

    Want to learn more about the Electrical Grid Study, the trend toward electrification and what it could mean to rural Fresno County?

    Check out the FCRTA virtual GRID study room

    Virtually explore and learn about the grid, electric vehicles and how electrification can impact rural Fresno County.


  • 09/08/2020 3:48 PM | Laura Gromis (Administrator)

    USGBC Central California is now soliciting nominations for election to the Board of Directors.  This position provides the opportunity to help advance green buildings and communities in Central California and become part of the leadership team of a growing organization.  The Chapter is seeking Directors who are committed to increasing sustainability in our built environment, passionate about making an impact in our community, experienced in leading volunteer organizations, and willing to commit leadership to helping the Chapter serve our community.  Find out more about board membership in our election fact sheet.

    ELECTION SCHEDULE

              

    Filing Period:                                               September 9 – November 19, 2020

    Deadline to Submit Application*:              November 19, 2020

    Candidate Notification:                             November 20, 2020

    Elections:                                                    November 30 – December 18, 2020  

    New Board Members Seated:                   January 1, 2021

    Who can Vote:                                           All current paid Chapter members*

     *To join the Chapter and be eligible to apply and vote, click here: www.usgbccc.org/Become-A-Member and follow instructions on Registering for a Chapter Membership link below. 

    TERMS & MEETINGS

    The term of office is for two years from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2022.  Terms of board members are staggered so that half the Board changes each year.  Board meetings occur on a monthly basis, generally in person but currently virtually due to COVID19.

                 

    QUALIFICATIONS

    Given the Chapter’s expanding scope of programs and local influence, a number of qualifications are particularly important.  The Board seeks diversity and leadership qualities to assure strong and dynamic local leadership. 

    ·        Candidates will be selected to provide a mix of expertise, potential contributions, leadership, business experience, diversity, and continuity. 

    ·        Candidate must sign the USGBC-CC Board of Directors commitment form.

    ·        Candidates are expected to be USGBC-CC members, new member applicants are accepted.

    ·        We are currently looking for candidates from the following fields: architecture, banking, law, construction, real estate development, engineering, government, interior design, landscaping, transportation, marketing.

    GENERAL INFORMATION                         

    ·        Nominations will be accepted for seven (7) board seats.

    ·        You may nominate yourself by completing the application form or nominate another member by asking them to do so.

    ·        Bios and applications will be sent out with the ballots.  Voting instructions will be sent to all members prior to commencement of voting. 

    ·        Submit the completed Board of Director Application by the deadline above.  Submission of the Board of Director Commitment implies agreement. 

    ·        Direct all questions to connect@usgbccc.org


    Officers

    Sheila Hakimipour

    Interim President

    Vacant

    Vice President

    Mayuko Russell

    Treasurer

    Glenn Terpstra

    Secretary


    Directors

    Andres Jauregui

    Charlie Harris

    David Brenner

    Laura Huisinga

    Executive Director

    Laura Gromis


    US Green Building Council Central California

    Water, Energy and Technology Center

    2911 E. Barstow Ave., M/S OF 144

    Fresno, CA 93740

    www.usgbccc.org


  • 06/10/2020 12:05 PM | Laura Gromis (Administrator)

    The 2020 Green Apple Video Competition was all about active transportation e.g. walking and biking and we did not get disappointed by the great submissions!

    Congratulations to this years' Green Apple Video Competition winners! Their videos capture the fun, relief, transportation and joy active transportation provides. Great work!


    Professional Category

    1st place: Sammy Gonzales, Team Ro Productions: Let's Go!


    2nd place: Shira D. Gordon, She Rocks Science: Ride Your Bike



    Student Category

    1st place college category: Arianna Gonzales, Fresno State: G.A.V.C. 2020


    1st place K-12: Lillian Gromis, 1st grade: Bike Riding Safely is Fun


  • 03/27/2020 11:41 AM | Laura Gromis (Administrator)

    40% of California's Greenhouse gas emissions is coming from the transportation sector. One way we can all reduce emissions is by reducing Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT), the distance traveled in combustion engine cars. What better way to reduce car usage than using active transportation, e.g. biking and walking? Biking and walking improves air quality, increases health, boosts immunity, reduces weight, and connects you to your community.

    Take the time to reflect on active transportation in your community and your life and share your perspective by participating in the Green Apple Video Competition! The deadline for the competition is extended until May 29, 2020. Check out more including detailed participation guidelines at www.usgbccc.org/greenapple.


  • 10/29/2019 2:46 PM | Laura Gromis (Administrator)

    USGBC Central California is now soliciting nominations for election to the Board of Directors.  This is a great way to contribute to help advance green buildings and communities in Central California, while creating lasting business relationships.  The Chapter is seeking Directors who are committed to increasing sustainability in our built environment, passionate about making an impact in our community, experienced in leading volunteer organizations, and willing to commit leadership to helping the Chapter serve our community.  Find out more about board membership in our election fact sheet.


    ELECTION SCHEDULE


    Filing Period:  October 29- November 25, 2019

    Deadline to Submit Application:  November 25, 2019

    Candidate Notification:  November 27

    Election: November 28 - December 8, 2019

    New Board Member Seated:  January 1, 2020

    Who can Vote:                                           All current paid Chapter members*


     *To join the Chapter and be eligible to vote, click here: www.usgbccc.org/Become-A-Member and follow instructions on Registering for a Chapter Membership link below. 


    TERMS & MEETINGS


    The term of office is for two years from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021.  Terms of board members are staggered so that half the Board changes each year.  Face to face board meetings occur on an every other month basis.   


    QUALIFICATIONS


     Given the Chapter’s expanding scope of programs and local influence, a number of qualifications are particularly important.  The Board seeks diversity and leadership qualities needed to assure strong and dynamic local leadership. 


    ·        Candidates will be selected to provide a mix of expertise, potential contributions, leadership, business experience, diversity, and continuity. 

    ·        Candidate must sign the USGBC CC Board of Directors commitment form.

    ·        We are looking for candidates from the following fields: architecture, banking, construction, development, engineering, government, interior design, landscaping, transportation, marketing, community development


    GENERAL INFORMATION                         


    ·        Nominations will be accepted for six (6) board seats.

    ·        You may nominate yourself by completing the application form or nominate another member by asking them to do so. 

    ·       Bios and applications will be posted on Chapter website.  Voting instructions will be sent to all members prior to commencement of voting. 

    ·        Submit the completed Board of Director Application and signed Board of Director Commitment by email to info@usgbccc.org by the deadline above.  Submission of the Board of Director Commitment implies agreement. 

    ·        Direct all questions to info@usgbccc.org



  • 04/29/2019 2:06 PM | Laura Gromis (Administrator)


    We are excited to announce our Green Apple Video Competition 2019 winners!

    First Place for Cinematography

    "Using Creativity to Inspire"

    Santiago Garcia, Director, Sebastian Martinez, Writer, Sergio Espinoza, Producer and Edwin Plascencia, Key Cast, Central High School


    First Place for Content

    "GAVC Environmental"

    Arianna Gonzalez, Roosevelt High School


    Thank you to our program partners

            

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