Arc: Helping Buildings Become More Waste-Wise

The following is a guest blog from All About Waste, an A/G Sustainability Consultant.

What is USGBC’s Arc Platform?
Arc, formerly known as Dynamic Plaque, is the U.S. Green Building Council’s new building rating system that relies on annual, performance-based data. It serves as an effective measurement tool to track a building’s incremental performance progress. It’s new and exciting because it can apply to LEED certified buildings and non-certified buildings alike. Non-certified buildings can use Arc as a pathway towards LEED certification, while buildings that are already certified can use Arc to further improve or make recertification even easier. Unlike conventional LEED recertification, which involves a major recertification effort every 5 years, Arc requires annual USGBC reviews and active assessment of building performance. USGBC claims Arc to be the future of the building certification market. There are 5 different categories that Arc focuses on: Energy, Water, Waste, Transportation and Human Experience. There is also a final, static category that is worth 10 points and based upon credits that were earned in the building’s initial LEED certification.

Figure 1: Arc Plaque Example

Source:     USGBC

Source: USGBC

Figure 2: Solid Waste Landfill

Source:     PlanetAid

Source: PlanetAid

How is Arc helping buildings become waste-wise?
The U.S. is one of the world’s leading waste producers. Waste that is sent to landfills negatively impacts our health, economy, and surrounding environment via greenhouse emissions, disposal costs, and other factors. Waste has become one of the most prevalent societal issues within green building systems. LEED v4 took a major step in addressing this issue by requiring waste audits for existing buildings, audits at similar locations for new retail construction, and waste generation estimates for Core and Shell projects. Arc takes this another step further by requiring waste audits annually for any buildings using the platform, both LEED certified and noncertified buildings. In the past, waste audits played an important role in learning about a building’s total waste stream and how much waste was being diverted from landfills and incinerators, although audits were not required. Annual waste audits are an excellent way to gain consistent, thorough feedback on a building’s waste management strategies and their success after implementation.

Figure 3: Waste Audit Streams

Source:     All About Waste

What does a waste audit entail?
After planning and coordination with the building’s janitorial team, all of the waste in the building is organized in one location to be collected and then sorted into specific waste streams (recyclables, non-recyclables, organics, e-waste, fluorescent bulbs, etc.) by the audit team. After sorting, the materials from each waste stream will be measured and recorded to determine the building’s total waste output, and also to provide a breakdown of each individual waste stream. With all of this waste information, the success of the building’s waste management strategies can be accurately assessed. All About Waste is a sustainability consulting firm that has extensive experience not only performing waste audits, but also providing expert advice on waste management strategies. Improving waste management practices can not only lead to increased waste diversion and recycling rates, but can also help achieve LEED building credits. For more information on the Arc Platform Waste category and its requirements, you can visit the Arc website or ask more specific questions about waste to the All About Waste team!

All About Waste is a sustainability consulting firm that has extensive experience not only performing waste audits, but also providing expert advice on waste management strategies. Improving waste management practices can not only lead to increased waste diversion and recycling rates, but can also help achieve LEED building credits. For more information on the Arc Platform Waste category and its requirements, you can visit the Arc website or ask more specific questions about waste to the All About Waste team!

 

U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles Chapter Wins LA County Green Leadership Award for “Road to Greenbuild” Campaign

Media Contact:  Julie Du Brow, USGBC-LA

Julie@dubroworks.com, 310-922-1301

EcoMap, Eco-Tech Makerspace, Tours & Greening Businesses Demonstrate Useful, Replicable, Teachable & Community-Driven Projects

USGBC-LA's Dominique Smith and Argento/Graham's Annie Argento accept the award from LA County Supervisor, Mark Ridley-Thomas.

USGBC-LA's Dominique Smith and Argento/Graham's Annie Argento accept the award from LA County Supervisor, Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Members of the Greenbuild Host Committee gather for a group photo after receiving the award.

Members of the Greenbuild Host Committee gather for a group photo after receiving the award.

LOS ANGELES (April 12, 2017)  The U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles chapter (USGBC-LA) has received the Los Angeles County Green Leadership Award for a nonprofit agency for its 2016 campaign “Road to Greenbuild”. The campaign was prepared over months to showcase sustainable built environments and initiatives across LA County to over 18,000 people attending an international green building conference here over 72 hours. The annual awards—recognizing outstanding efforts by individuals and organizations in fulfilling innovative strategies to improve our environmental sustainability—were presented yesterday by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Chairman, during the weekly Board of Supervisors meeting.  

We are honored to be among the awardees selected by the committee for this year's Green Leadership Award. This is a win for all of the USGBC-LA members and our partner organizations who keep working to make every day Earth Day in L.A.,” states USGBC-LA Executive Director Dominique Hargreaves. 

In October 2016, the USGBC-LA chapter hosted the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, for the first time.  The conference traditionally draws tens of thousands of visitors, and it was no different this year. USGBC-LA and its army of volunteers—led by Hargreaves and L.A. Greenbuild co-chairs Annie Argento and Randy Britt—spent the majority of 2016 preparing how to showcase, and then present, a sustainable built Los Angeles environment to those who attended. 

Tools, projects, and events/tours were created, planned and employed to meet this goal:

  • The launch of Eco-Tech Makerspace at T4T.org in Gardena, where young people are able to explore sustainability challenges and learn how to solve problems using technology and other STEM learning. This “Legacy” project was a gift to Los Angeles for hosting Greenbuild. Through collaborative efforts, USGBC-LA was able to install a hi-tech design workspace at T4T, as well as help cool the building with green screens (walls of plants) so the tech and the children can innovate on-site more comfortably. This project is replicable and a second one is in the works.
  • Going door-to-door, USGBC-LA engaged 100 businesses, providing them with giveaways and toolkits on how to green their operations, and then encouraged Greenbuild attendees to patronize these businesses. Toolkit included sustainable tips and guidance to specific incentives through the LADWP.
  • Creation of EcoMapLA, an online, real-time, interactive and searchable tool for all things sustainable in L.A.—from transportation hubs to local green places, spaces and businesses, as well as iconic landmarks. Enabled Greenbuild attendees (as well as all future visitors and locals) to take self-guided tours, click on the building/place they are at, and learn its sustainability story, and more. Already quite comprehensive, the map continues to add more places, information and features.
  • Eighty (80) tours, over three days, of green buildings, transportation hubs and routes, and outdoor facilities, showed off L.A.’s greening efforts across a region that was the most geographically expansive of any prior Greenbuild host city.
  • Connecting and developing 600 local women leaders in sustainability throughout the year and leading up to participation in Greenbuild. Women were inspired by such leaders as Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board and Anna Guerrero, Chief of Staff for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, among many others.
  • The BuildSMART Trailer brought knowledge and resources about sustainable building materials, new technologies and utility incentives to over 4,000 L.A. area residents. This mobile learning tool offered a one-on-one, tactile learning opportunity directly to various communities (schools, parks, etc.) throughout 2016.
  • On-the-job energy and water conservation training and certification for 400 janitorial workers across the County, who are now certified Green Janitors. Through this program, janitors earn a seat at the sustainability table alongside building owners and managers, empowering them to actively participate in the goals of the LEED Rating System, with emphasis on energy efficiency and building health. Janitors also take their knowledge home to their families and neighbors, spreading sustainability across local communities. The program continues to grow, locally and across California.

Los Angeles’ Greenbuild co-chairs Annie Argento of Argento/Graham and Randy Britt of Vanir Construction Management state, ”The Road to Greenbuild offered us an amazing opportunity to engage hundreds of volunteers in this highly effective outreach initiative, and we’re so proud and grateful to them and to the Board of Supervisors. We’re especially pleased that almost all these programs are ongoing and growing, well past Greenbuild, leaving a tangible legacy for all Angelenos.”

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About U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles

USGBC-LA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to creating a prosperous and sustainable future within one generation. Our mission promotes sustainability in LA County's built environment by delivering access to knowledge, resources, recognition and networking. (www.usgbc-la.org)

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Greenbuild 2015: Monumental Green, Washington DC

The Argento/Graham team had some amazing experiences this year at Greenbuild 2015: Monumental Green in Washington, DC! We attended valuable educational sessions, caught up with old friends, and made great new connections.

With the new LEED version 4 rating system mandatory implementation less than a year away, many educational sessions took a closer look at the new requirements, particularly with respect to sustainable materials and healthy indoor environmental quality strategies. For example, the session LEEDv4: Market Transformation in Action examined how new materials transparency standards are impacting materials manufacturers, and how LEED requirements can have a wide range of effects on different international markets.

As always, one of the top highlights of Greenbuild was this year’s Women in Green Power Breakfast. The fourth annual Women in Green event, The Challenge with Mentorship, featured an inspiring panel of women in sustainability who shared their gratitude for the people who supported and motivated their careers, and on what it means to them be a mentor. During the breakfast, USGBC unveiled its Bringing Up Girls initiative and challenged the attendees to make a commitment to mentorship in their own lives.

A/G stayed involved outside of educational sessions as well. A/G co-sponsored the highly anticipated Monumental Party reviewer’s party at Town Danceboutique, and Annie Argento helped run the Los Angeles Greenbuild host committee booth.

Greenbuild may be over this year, but we’re already looking ahead to Greenbuild 2016: Iconic Green in Los Angeles! As co-chair of the host committee, Annie Argento is working with USGBC LA to make next year’s event the best one yet. We can’t wait to see you there!