The U.S. Green Building Council-Inland Empire Chapter is transforming our built environment because where you learn, work and live matters.
Who We Are
The U.S. Green Building Council-Inland Empire Chapter (USGBC-IE) is an environmental organization committed to greening all buildings in our region within a generation because we believe that where you learn, work, and live matters. We are concerned citizens, architects, contractors, engineers, builders, government officials, developers, environmental and other nonprofit members, emerging professionals, and students committed to a prosperous and sustainable future that USGBC advocates for through cost-efficient and energy-saving buildings. Traditional buildings are one of the largest contributors to climate change, both through their construction and through their greenhouse gas emissions caused by the enormous amounts of energy they consume, particularly in the United States. Buildings account for 40% of U.S energy use, 70% of electricity consumption and 12% of potable water use.
Our chapter seeks to accomplish such an ambitious goal though innovative programs and educational efforts. We hold quarterly networking events targeted at residents of the Inland Empire region, including architects, contractors, engineers, builders, municipalities, developers, environmental and other nonprofit organizations, emerging professionals, and students.
Under programs, our signature event is our Green Building and Business Expo which attracts over 200 people and over 25 exhibitors annually. The event provides a forum to showcase the latest in environmental products, green business success stories, and municipal programs supporting green business development efforts. We plan to hold additional events in the next year focused on the following themes: green building tours, green schools, and green municipalities.
Under educational efforts, we have developed a Sustainable and Healthy Communities Initiative which is providing community classes to educate residents on becoming more sustainable through energy efficiency, water conservation, and other practices. The initiative establishes Green Development Zones throughout the Inland Empire by creating partnerships that leverage existing expertise, programs and resources. The key component of the zone is the partnership between the USGBC-IE chapter and public or private entities such as cities and utilities. These partnerships allow the coordination of sustainability education and project planning across a geographic area, and the special targeting of low income neighborhoods for such a Green Development Zone. This program serves a particularly important function at present in California with the demise of redevelopment agencies.
Our Greatest Need
The greatest need of our organization is to raise the additional funds needed to expand in our effort to green all buildings in our region in a generation. One example of how our organization is making an impact on buildings in our community is through our Sustainable and Healthy Communities Initiative, which is working to build the sustainable infrastructure to connect local governments and companies with specific energy efficiency, green building, water efficiency and general job needs to the workers trained and ready for work on those required tasks and job opportunities. Our initiative is supporting unemployed workers to gain project experience and be better positioned as the economy rebounds to obtain full-time job opportunities such as Energy Auditors and Retrofitters, Home Energy Raters, and Resource Conservation/Energy Efficiency Managers. The low-income homeowners who get involved with our initiative will be able to achieve the long-term cost benefits of clean energy and sustainability measures provided to their home at no cost. Energy efficiency upgrades add major benefits to low-income households since low incomes coupled with low energy efficiency means that these resident’s energy bills are a higher percentage of their family’s net income throughout the county.
Our initiative also helps prove that changing housing or neighborhood conditions in the Inland Empire can improve health and improve costs, particularly for those living in circumstances where healthy living is extremely difficult. Within the Green Development Zones, community education about the financial, health and environmental benefits of the selected projects is made available to community members through workshops, informational materials, social media, websites, and energy fairs.
Additional funding will enable our chapter to expand this initiative and other exciting educational efforts and programs to teach professionals and homeowners in our region about green building and sustainability actions in general and improve our built environment.