USGBC Utah has concluded a week of events celebrating the theme that it’s “Good to be Green.” Volunteers pulled off several events between August 18 and 24 with a goal to celebrate, educate and update the broader community on the value of sustainable building, as well as to share the latest strategies to save money and to conserve energy while working in green buildings and living in healthy homes.
Leading in green building
The week began with a leadership briefing, where USGBC Utah director Daniel Pacheco and Market Leadership Advisory Board co-chair Amir Haskic welcomed local building professionals at the Salt Lake City-based Arch Nexus Architecture LEED Platinum office building. They gave an overview of the latest programs and services of USGBC, including highlights of Arc, SITES, WELL and PEER.
The overview of USGBC’s programs was presented by USGBC’s Northern Rockies director Charlie Woodruff to a room full of architects, designers and builders, as well as a recently announced congressional candidate that attended to learn more about the goals of the local USGBC community.
At the end of the briefing, Haskic passionately explained how, six years ago, when he as a professional realtor began volunteering, he saw the need to help the Utah community educate fellow realtors and residents on the value of building and retrofitting homes to green building levels. His talk concluded with highlights of the USGBC Utah Green Homes Tour and announcement of the home addresses for the next day’s tour. Following the leadership briefing were building tours led by employees of Arch Nexus.
Green Homes Tour
The fifth annual Green Homes Tour was free to the public and took place on August 19. Homes on the tour were located in the Salt Lake Valley and ranged from older homes that have implemented basic energy efficiency improvements to newer, LEED-certified, passive homes or homes known as net zero.
Homeowners, builders, designers, energy-efficient suppliers and volunteers were on site at each stop on the tour to answer questions about the systems and explain the strategies in each home. The Green Homes Tour concluded at the site of Utah’s first net zero community, Living Zenith. An estimated 300 individuals participated in the tour of 13 locations. Since its inception, over 80 homes have been featured on the Green Homes Tour.
Street festival networking
The “Good to be Green” series wrapped up with another street festival at Living Zenith, co-hosted by Salt Lake Green Drinks and USGBC Utah on August 24. The evening event saw an estimated 50 business professionals and concerned citizens, representatives of city and nonprofit organizations and event sponsors socializing and networking.
During the event, representatives of Living Zenith gave tours of the development's homes. USGBC Utah promoted “Good to be Green” with materials related to consumer education, green homes and past events from the community.