by Liz Kindelan

14-1154-0_2600The Women in Green Scholarship is now open! Apply today to join the conversation examining current barriers and challenges standing in the way of meaningful mentorships. Applications close on Wednesday, October 7. Notifications of acceptance will go out by Friday, October 15. Below, Liz Kindelan, a previous Women in Green Scholarship winner, gives you an insider’s look on why you should apply.

In August 2014, I sat at my desk in a sea of cubicles refreshing my e-mail five times a minute in anticipation of the Greenbuild Scholarship awards. I had applied a few weeks earlier and I could hardly stand the waiting process. I remember sitting in my sorority house in 2013 live streaming Hillary Clinton’s speech at the opening plenary in Pittsburgh. I was supposed to be going to a social function, but no one could pull me away. I swore to myself during her speech that if I had to walk to New Orleans, I would make it to Greenbuild in 2014. To my pleasant surprise, I was in fact awarded a full ride scholarship.

As I started filling out my acceptance survey, booking my flight and hotel, I stumbled upon the Women in Green Power breakfast. As a young woman in the construction industry, it seemed like a no brainer that I wanted to attend this event, so I applied for a scholarship through USGBC that made it possible.

Walking into the conference hall on Thursday morning of Greenbuild, I was beyond excited for the Women in Green Power Breakfast. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was blown away by the experience. The combination of intimate table conversations and large scale panel discussion left me in awe of the incredible women I was surrounded by. I received encouraging words from young women who were just starting out as well as seasoned veterans with a plethora of advice. Having the chance to hear women from all walks of life discuss their challenges and successes in their respective industry really rounded out my Greenbuild experience. I can’t express enough how thankful I am that I was given the opportunity to participate in this event. In fact, it was the first event I signed up for at Greenbuild 2015.

Just a few weeks after attending Greenbuild 2014, I graduated from Purdue University and took a job the construction industry. I had been volunteering with USGBC Students for a few years at this point and started the chapter at Purdue where we planned the 2nd Regional Midwestern Conference.  After graduation, I became more involved in Emerging Professionals and I currently serve as a National ADVANCE Ambassador for the South Central Region, the Indiana Regional Chair for USGBC Students, and I work with the Conference and Events Advisory group 2 to help with student conferences. I have been granted a multitude of opportunities with USGBC and I have met so many inspiring people that have helped shape my sustainable career.  I currently work as a Project Engineer for Barton Malow in northern Indiana. I have been getting my toes wet with LEED tracking, but I would like to get deeper into LEED Consulting in the future.

Session Spotlight: Green Apple – Green Renovation – Green Research


Erik Ring, Principal / Director of Engineering at LPA, Inc. Irvine, California

For the 2012 Green Apple Day of Service, volunteers with the USGBC Orange County chapter provided a renovation of a 4th grade public school classroom at Davis Magnet School in Costa Mesa, California.  The renovation included new daylighting and electric lighting systems, new displacement ventilation HVAC systems, and all new green finishes.  The team also installed energy monitors as well as CO2 and temperature sensors in both the renovated classroom and an adjacent (control) classroom that was not renovated. Since 2012 the team has been evaluating the data and discussing the success of the renovation with teachers and staff at the school.  Session A10: Green Apple – Green Renovation – Green Research will highlight some of the surprises and interesting findings from this on-gong project.


Erik Ring, a presenter for Greenbuild session, has strong interest in this topic because “design of high performance and green K12 school facilities is a key market for my company, LPA, an integrated design firm with offices in California and Texas.  For 8 years I have lead LPA’s MEP engineering team, working closely with architects, interior designers, landscape architects, and other engineers to optimize the performance of new and renovated school projects.”  Ring is a member of the LEED Indoor Environmental Quality Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and a former member of the Energy and Atmosphere TAG; he is continuously in search of design approaches that balance and optimize energy efficiency and indoor quality.


Dustin Davis, AIA, LEED AP Project Architect/Sustainability Coordinator/Associate, Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects

Dustin Davis, AIA, LEED AP
Project Architect/Sustainability Coordinator/Associate, Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects

According to Greenbuild Program Working Group member Dustin Davis, “No matter where we work and live, schools are a big part of our communities.  We have all spent time in a school for one reason or another and I think it should be the first place we try to make more sustainable.” Davis says that the side-by-side comparison data collected from this project makes this particular session even more interesting. “Attendees will be able to see an apples to apples comparison between an existing classroom and one updated with LEED features.”


Ring says that there is not nearly enough information available about how school classrooms perform in terms of energy and indoor quality. “As a school facility designer, I am constantly seeking any research and information that will help me to design better schools. Our session focuses on a small project and three years’ worth of energy and IEQ data.”


When you attend this session you will be shown a powerful example of volunteerism within the USGBC community.  With the Davis Magnet School green classroom renovation, USGBC-OC volunteers impacted change in one classroom in one school within a community, but with broader ripple impacts to the larger green building community.


A10 Presenters:

Wendy Rogers

Principal at LPA, Inc.

Irvine, California


Erik Ring

Principal / Director of Engineering at LPA, Inc.

Irvine, California

GloballyNicolette Mueller


The green building community is growing bigger, stronger, and more global each year.  Thanks to the leadership of our sister green building councils, member organizations, industry leaders, policy makers, and sustainability champions, green building has become a global movement.


The green building community and LEED share some impressive global statistics:

  • Over 200,500 LEED professionals around the world
  • LEED is used in over 150 countries
  • The 2015 Greenbuild Conference & Expo has attracted attendees from over 70 countries to date
  • 43% of gross square footage of space pursuing LEED certification is outside the USA
  • The World GBC community now has over 105 councils and prospective groups championing industry-led market transformation


The Greenbuild International Conference & Expo is our biggest and best chance all year to connect in person.  But with the show predicted to bring in over 25,000 attendees and 600 exhibiting companies to Washington, DC, it can feel like a very, very big world.


International delegations make it possible for professionals and practitioners from around the world to make the most of the Greenbuild experience.  Delegations of 15 or more attendees can take advantage of special member rates, a meeting room, and the ability to connect with USGBC staff and other delegations.  Best of all, you can stay connected to other professionals from your country or region, and together bring the best of Greenbuild home with you.


Many of our sister green building councils are organizing delegations, and attendees can apply to be a part of the delegation even if you have already registered for the conference. Reach out to your national council today.  You can participate as a delegate by purchasing a pass to any one of the following events: International Summit, the Greenbuild Expo, or a full Conference Pass.  The deadline for delegations is October 5.


For more information about the Greenbuild delegation program, visit

sustainable-homeEach year at Greenbuild, we raise the bar on our sustainability efforts. We are 4-time winners of the IMEX Green Meetings Award and last year the USGBC Conference and Events team earned certification under ISO 20121: 2012, a new standard signifying excellence in sustainable event planning and management.

Our Greenbuild sustainability efforts are based around the following seven objectives:

  • Move toward a zero waste event
  • Increase stakeholder education and engagement
  • Improve sustainable sourcing
  • Improve performance tracking
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Positively impact communities
  • Catalyze the advancement of green building initiatives and sustainable operations within the hospitality industry

In 2014, we partnered with the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCCNO) to take their waste diversion rate from a baseline of 11% to 78% during the week of Greenbuild. This 67% increase was made possible through the work of the dedicated team at MCCNO, the hand-sorting of waste in back of house areas, and key partners including Freeman and Compost Network. Check out the full 2014 Greenbuild Sustainability Report here.


Planning is already underway for Greenbuild 2015 in Washington, DC. Here are a few key focus areas for us this year:

  • For several years, we have been searching for a tabletop covering material that does not contain vinyl. Through our partnership with Freeman, we tested a new vinyl-free material at the 2014 show and plan to use this new material in 2015.
  • The Greenbuild Legacy Project is an urban food studio at the Capital Area Food Bank, designed to be a hands-on food growing and teaching experience for the community.
  • Greenbuild offers a variety of volunteer and scholarship programs to bring new and emerging audiences into the sustainability conversation.
  • Greenbuild implements an exhibitor donation program that collects leftover materials from exhibitors and brings these resources to local non-profit organizations.


We hope to see you at Greenbuild 2015 in Washington, DC!

NMakhijaniby Nishant Makhijani

TalentFX is returning to Greenbuild 2015 taking place in Washington, DC. This cutting edge program features a direct line to master speakers in an intimate setting, offers amazing opportunities to connect with your peers and leaders in the greenbuilding industry, and access to invaluable career advice! We could brag about how awesome TalentFX 2015 is going to be all day long, but why take our word for it? Below, Nishant Makhijani, a past TalentFX and Greenbuild attendee, shares his story on how his experience changed his life for the better.

It was October 2012, and I still remember the hectic traveling I had to go through to make it to the Moscone Center in San Francisco for my first ever Greenbuild International Conference and Expo.

The USGBC Students group at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (UIUC) had successfully executed the Green Fun Fair at the Jefferson Middle School in Champaign, IL as part of the Green Apple Bus Tour. I had missed the opportunity to participate in the bus tour to take a midterm but luckily I was able make it to San Francisco in time to meet my fellow Greenbuild Scholarship winners.

When I arrived, I was surrounded by a group of young, motivated students, emerging professionals and industry leaders who wanted to make an impact in the world through the Green Schools movement. As a scholarship winner, I had the chance to experience Greenbuild through a different lens. In addition to the amazing Greenbuild programming, scholarship winners attended special sessions with keynote speakers and LEED Fellows that helped us all get a better understanding of what it means to be a member of the USGBC family. It gave us the opportunity to meet and interact with change makers who were transforming their communities through sustainable practices and fighting the fight to create positive social change.

I often think of how LEED Fellow Holley Henderson’s session on networking and job search transformed my take on meeting new people and utilizing relationships for good. I made a great connection with Holley after her session and there has been no looking back. She quickly became a mentor for me and has advised mentored me with my career search and is one of my closest allies in the USGBC family. Master Speaker Kevin Caroll, an author and agent for social change also met with us before his talk. Kevin inspires businesses, organizations and individuals to embrace their spirit of play and creativity to maximize human potential and sustain more meaningful business and personal growth. Kevin, like most master series speakers, wasn’t affiliated with the green building industry but his story encouraged us all to do our part to create change in the world.

The four day conference was a celebration of what USGBC had achieved since its inception and a reminder that “We Are Right” to demand to live our lives in sustainable and healthy communities. I left San Francisco energized, inspired and excited to make a difference in my community and reconnect with the passionate people I met during the conference.

After being inspired in San Francisco, I attended the inaugural year of TalentFX at the 2013 Greenbuild in Philadelphia where I presented a session with David Gottfried, Co-Founder of USGBC and Stephen Ritz, CEO of Green Bronx Machine. I was representing the USGBC students movement in a discussion about the meaning of being a member of the USGBC Community. Yet again, I connected with another change maker, Stephen, throughout the planning process of the session. I was so inspired by his work in the Bronx that I decided to raise funds for his non-profit through an indiegogo campaign.

As I transitioned out of my USGBC Students experience, I got involved with the Emerging Professionals (EP) community. I met young professionals from around the nation during my subsequent Greenbuild and Convergence (formerly known as Midyear Meeting)  experiences.  These EPs were impacting their communities through their leadership and they became my home away from home. Earlier this year, I decided to take up a leadership role, as a Regional ADVANCE Ambassador to lead on social and environmental justice for Central Illinois.

Looking back, going to Greenbuild every year was one of the best decisions I made in my college career. Today, I work as the Sustainability Engagement Specialist at the University of Illinois, and I am still connected to the inspiring individuals from around the nation. Even though I am not a typical green building professional, I am able to create a big impact in my community using the resources and relationships I have cultivated throughout my Greenbuild and TalentFX experiences.

W. Wells

Walker Wells, Vice President at Global Green and Ukulele Player

Walker Wells and Gregg Woodruff

Instilling a positive, forward-looking perspective is a major challenge when working in disadvantage communities. But how is this achieved when so much is needed to overcome a long-standing narrative of neglect and victimhood in neighborhoods such as Watts?

During session A03: Watts ReImagined, attendees will hear how an undeserved area is slowly being brought back to life through the foundation of sustainable design.

According to session presenter Walker Wells, certified planner and LEED AP, a collaborative approach among local stakeholders and leading urban sustainability organizations are creating new energy in Watts, as a way to create positive energy and forward progress during the 50 year commemoration of the Watts Civil Rights Uprising.

G. Woodruff

Gregg Woodruff, Senior Project Manager, Langan Engineering & Environmental Services and father of 3 precocious boys

Gregg Woodruff, Greenbuild Program Working Group member, believes this session is a must see at Greenbuild because “Underserved communities struggle to find catalyzing moments for revitalization.  It is exciting to believe that sustainability, especially on a community scale, can offer that catalyzing impetus.”

Woodruff also believes that urban revitalization and redevelopment is very economically viable in already recovered neighborhoods.  Underserved communities can potentially offer a source of significantly more sustainable redevelopment techniques if they can focus on these issues and leverage available economic tools available to them, such as grants, tax credits, or other mechanisms.

Even though tasks like these aren’t easy, the Watts project offers hope to many that it is possible for these communities to become healthy, resilient and sustainable in the future.

Session Presenters:

Walker Wells 
Vice President at Global Green

Jessica Millman
Green Neighborhoods Advisor at NRDC

Chris Jordan
Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director at Grant Housing and Economic Development Corp (GHEDC)

Krista Frank
Green Urbanism Program Assistant at Global Green USA

GB15_EduWe are taking education to the next level at Greenbuild, and it is sure to be monumental. As a city at the epicenter of change, Washington, D.C. makes a fitting venue to inspire a Greenbuild education program packed with forward-thinking content and pioneering speakers. Think you’ve seen it all? Check out these facts you might not know about the Greenbuild education program.


  • Did you know… we’re honored to welcome Jake Wood to the master series stage! As the Cofounder and President of Team Rubicon, he helped bring aid to thousands of patients in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake at sites deemed “too dangerous” by other aid organizations. While helping the victims of disaster relief, Team Rubicon also bridges the gap between military and civilian life. Find out more about the master series session here.
  • Did you know… USGBC Chief Product Officer Scot Horst and Chief Operating Officer Mahesh Ramanujam will take the master speaker stage to present a vision of an integrated platform of tools based on performance. Join us to hear where USGBC and GBCI are heading, along with a little something about Aristotle. Learn more about the session here.
  • Did you know… the International Summit is back! The 8th annual International Summit will feature global leaders who are shaping the future of our built environm­ent. Join us in Washington, D.C. on November 17 to network with all the right players! For more information, visit:
  • Did you know… this will be the third and final year of the Greenbuild Materials and Human Health Summit? Through the summit program, we have hoped to get more people talking about transparency, prove the business case and push the conversation to the next level. Don’t get left behind – join us for the last installment of the Materials and Human Health Summit!
  • Did you know… the Communities & Affordable Homes Summit returns for a second year! Network and problem-solve with community and sustainability leaders advancing the economic, social, and ecological health and vitality of all communities. Watch the 2014 recap video and find out more.




USGBC is excited to provide scholarship opportunities to attend Greenbuild 2015. Scholarships aim to increase access to the Greenbuild conference and serve as a point of entry for people new to the green movement. Scholarships are competitive, and preference is given to individuals from under-represented audiences and who demonstrate a need for scholarship. These scholarships allow USGBC to invest in individuals who share our vision and want to be champions for the movement.

Apply by 11:59pm ET on Sunday, August 30, 2015

Three types of scholarships are available:

1. Greenbuild + Communities & Affordable Homes Summit Scholarship: includes Greenbuild full conference registration + Communities & Affordable Homes Summit registration + 1 year subscription with unlimited access to Education @USGBC

2. Greenbuild + Communities & Affordable Homes Summit + Travel & Lodging Scholarship: includes Greenbuild full conference registration + 1 year subscription with unlimited access to Education@USGBC + travel arrangements (up to $500) + 4 nights shared hotel lodging (Monday, November 16 – Friday, November 20).

3. International Female Superstar Scholarship: includes Greenbuild full conference registration + Communities & Affordable Homes Summit registration + 1 year subscription with unlimited access to Education@USGBC + travel arrangements (up to $1,500) + 5 nights shared hotel lodging (Sunday, November 15 – Friday, November 20). This scholarship is specifically reserved for female nationals from low-income and lower-middle income countries as defined by the World Bank.

4. Communities & Affordable Homes Summit Scholarship: includes Communities & Affordable Homes Summit registration and invitation to special Shades of Green reception. This scholarship is specifically reserved for minority professionals working in community development.

Applicants should:

  •  Be 18 years or older as of August 30, 2015.
  • Have not attended Greenbuild conference in the past.
  • Not be USGBC staff, USGBC Chapters staff, or hold a USGBC volunteer leadership position (i.e. Board of Directors, committees).
  • Demonstrate a valid and reasonable need for the scholarship as evidenced by the inability to attend Greenbuild without one, due to financial, location, and/or professional constraints.
  • Should demonstrate how his or her background merits receipt of a scholarship.
  • Should demonstrate a strong commitment to advancing the green building mission within local communities

Applicants may only apply for ONE of the scholarships offered. Individuals who are under 25 years old or are enrolled as full time students are eligible for full conference registration through the Greenbuild volunteer program.


Hear from a scholarship recipient or (Read stories from the Greenbuild 2014 scholarship recipients below) to get an insider’s look on how you can benefit from a scholarship.


TalentFX at Greenbuild 2015: Your time to speak | U.S. Green Building Council

This year, we’ve opened up six dynamic speaking opportunities as part of TalentFX at Greenbuild; TalentFx USGBC’s platform for emerging sustainability leaders. You, and your fellow winners, will have 25 minutes each to share your ideas, thoughts, and stories with students and professionals from around the globe.

Session types

We’ll consider three types of sessions:

  • Share (a story): It’s the buzzword that might actually get you a job—if you’re good at it. And, if you are, TalentFX is the perfect place to show off your skills! What’s your story? How’d you get to where you are? Did you ever “fail fast” or “totally crush it?” Walk us through lessons you’ve learned, with an orchestral accompaniment or a stool & a microphone, and captivate us with your tale.
  • Inspire: Do you stand up for what you believe? Need a stump to stand on? Got an idea that could use some traction? Tell us what makes your perspective unique, how you’ve shown grit, and why we should follow.
  • Engage: Have a skill to share with peers? Ever patted yourself on the back and wanted to pay it forward? Share your skills with us! (We want them). Networking, communication, marketing, interpersonal soft skills or just plain share-worthy skills. Give us the tools to leave the room more capable than when we walked in.


  • All proposals must be submitted online; faxed or mailed proposals will not be accepted.
  • Speakers are responsible for all costs associated with Greenbuild attendance. All sessions will take place from 10 am-1 pm on Wednesday, Nov. 18, or Thursday, Nov. 19.


  • Aug. 12: application deadline
  • Late August: Speakers notified
  • Early September: Speakers confirmed

Ana Hallerthnfilm

The U.S. Green Building Council is pleased to announce this call to filmmakers for the Ninth Annual Greenbuild International Film Festival. The Film Festival will be held Wednesday, Nov. 18 – Thursday, Nov. 19, during the 2015 Greenbuild International Conference & Expo. In keeping with this year’s conference theme, Monumental Green, Greenbuild is seeking submissions including documentaries, films, and informational videos that promote innovative green building practices and address social, environmental, and health topics related to the built environment. This is a great opportunity for filmmakers passionate about the environment to join in on the conversation of sustainability that takes place every year at Greenbuild!

Greenbuild is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. Thousands of building professionals from all over the world come together for three days of outstanding educational sessions, renowned speakers, green building tours, special seminars, and networking events. If you would like to see your film shown at Greenbuild 2015, USGBC is taking submissions until Thursday, July 30th.

To qualify for consideration, films must have been released since June 1, 2014, and should feature information that promotes sustainable practices. The total run time of the submission cannot exceed 120 minutes, and must be at least 30 minutes long. Any submissions in a language other than English must have English subtitles. If you have a film that meets our criteria and would like to see it at Greenbuild Film Festival, please consider submitting your film for review!

For more information on the festival and how to apply, please visit Greenbuild’s Film Festival page.