USGBC Montana Annual Summit | U.S. Green Building Council
Please upgrade your browser. This site requires a newer version to work correctly. Read more


USGBC Montana Annual Summit

Register for event
Starts On - February 8, 2017 - 1:00pm
Ends On - February 9, 2017 - 5:00pm
835 Great Northern Blvd.
Helena , MT 59601

Register today for the premier green building event in Montana.

Connect with other USGBC Montana members and supporters during building tours, education workshops and networking events at the 2017 Annual Summit, taking place Feb. 8-9 at the Great Northern Hotel in Helena.

Attendees can earn up to 10.5 AIA/GBCI continuing education credits. If you aren't already a USGBC member, be sure to sign up as a USGBC Montana member to save on your Summit registration.

Sustainability Awards — Celebrate USGBC Montana's successes in 2016 at the Sustainability Awards evening reception on Feb. 8. We'll honor sustainability leaders and projects that represent green building excellence and innovation in Montana.

Time Session
7-7:50 a.m. Breakfast at the Great Northern
7:50-8 a.m. Opening remarks
8-9 a.m. Alternative Financing Options for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
  • Panelists: Robyn Boyle, Ed Gulick, Molly McCabe
  • Moderator: Brett Rosenberg
9-9:15 a.m. Break
9:15-10:15 a.m. Smart Buildings in Montana - Innovative Policies for the Future by Zach Brown
10:15-10:45 a.m. Vendor networking break
10:45-11:45 a.m. Zero Energy Communities - A Playbook for Transformation of Neighborhoods, Campuses and Towns by John Whitcomb
11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Lunch & vendor networking
12:45-1:45 p.m. Living in the Urban Frontier House by Randy Hafer
1:45-2 p.m. Break
2-3 p.m. Solstice/Equinox: A Case Study by Colin Lane
3-4 p.m. Green Schools – Resilience Strategies for Communities, Facilities & Learners by Nick Salmon
4:15-5:15 p.m. Keynote Address: Lee Smit
Download the 2017 Program

Session descriptions

Alternative Financing Options for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Presenters: Robyn Boyle – Energy Efficiency Conservation and Financing Specialist, MDEQ; Ed Gulick – Architect, High Plains Architects; Molly McCabe MBA, LEED AP– President, HaydenTanner

This presentation will delve into the concept of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) what it is, where it exists, and its viability in the 2017 Montana legislative session. Panelists will describe PACE's history, its pros and cons, and next steps for PACE policy, should the state legislature expand its presence in Montana.

Smart Buildings in Montana - Innovative Policies for the Future
Presenter: Zach Brown – One Montana

This presentation will begin with a brief personal history of how Zach became passionate about sustainable building followed by a discussion the history of the Smart Buildings Initiative program concept, finishing with an in-depth explanation of the policy and how it is intended to be implemented throughout the State of Montana, both in the University System and within state agencies.

Zero Energy Communities - A Playbook for Transformation of Neighborhoods, Campuses and Towns
Presenter: John Whitcomb – President,

In this presentation people will learn to evaluate, plan and execute a ZEC plan. This included how to execute a Greenfield development or improve an existing district, and simplify the process of establishing the goals, defining roles, building teams and sharing resources.

Living in the Urban Frontier House
Presenter: Randy Hafer – Principal, High Plains Architects

Unique situations have been encountered while living in a house that was built to have no mechanical heating or cooling system, no gas utility, no city water or sewer service, nor well or septic system, and eventually no tie to the electrical grid. Randy will elaborate on those situations and further explain how the effort to create a comfortable, affordable, and low maintenance house that will be entirely self-sustaining has provided valuable insights on what it takes to live "zero".

Solstice/Equinox: A Case Study
Presenter: Colin Lane – Principal, MacArthur, Means & Wells Architects

Solstice/Equinox is a two phase affordable housing project constructed in Missoula. The design team made it a priority to focus on water quality and restoring the site along the banks of the Clark Fork River. The project reduced impermeable surfaces on the site from 80 to 30 percent. Rain gardens filter stormwater as it soaks into the ground. Solstice also has the state's first graywater system permitted for irrigation purposes. The presentation will describe the certification process that led to LEED Gold and review the projects' design challenges and post-occupancy successes.

Green Schools – Resilience Strategies for Communities, Facilities & Learners
Presenter: Nick Salmon – President, The Collaborative Learning Network

The resilient school of the future is likely to be a facility we already own, staffed with people we already employ, dramatically transformed with limited resources for teaching and learning in a dynamic century. This session will share resilience strategies at the scale of the community, facilities and learner demonstrating how learning environments can be resilient to changing communities, pedagogy and learning styles. The session will conclude with a team challenge testing existing schools for future flexibility

Keynote Address: From Students Up – Why a Green School?
Presenter: Lee Smit – Senior Program Manager, McKinstry

If you are thinking of building a new school, or upgrading/renovating an existing building, why go Green? Is it worth it? And how does it impact the students, staff, Facilities team and community?

This session will cover a variety of topics including:

  • The benefits of a Green School for the District Operations/Facilities team
  • The benefits of a Green school for the staff in the building
  • The benefits of a Green school for the community
  • Most importantly - the benefits of a Green school for the students

Heading down a “non-traditional path” to finally wind up in energy and sustainability Lee spent time working as an ambulance driver, police officer, tech salesman, retail manager, and a Disney Cast Member. Finally he found his passion for sustainability and energy management at Douglas County School District. During his eight years with the District, Lee built a student-led sustainability program that grew from eleven students to well over 7,000 in six years.

His students earned individual and team recognition, including hosting a Nobel Peace Prize Winner at their school! DCSD won the Inaugural Green Ribbon for District Sustainability from the Department of Education based on the tremendous work of the students and staff. Now with McKinstry, Lee has the opportunity to help many Districts find their path to Green.