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March 29th, 2021

2020 Year in Review - BE+ Annual Report is Live

We hope that in the future we will all see 2020 as a significant year because it accelerated positive change, and that we also reflect and respect deeply the price paid for it. With all that happened this past year, we continued our mission and found increased motivation to do the work needed ahead.

Some 2020 Successes:

  • Toxic Flame Retardant Bill Passed.
  • Even while remote, we had more unique attendees to events then 2018.
  • +19 Million Sq Ft in New WELL Registration.
  • Massachusetts returns to #1 State for LEED.
  • 37% of LEED certifications were LEED Platinum, up from 11% in 2019.
  • Greatest growth in education was in Living Building Challenge.
  • 3 Workforce Training Grants were funded.
View the Report

Main Headlines

Gov. Baker Signs Landmark Climate Bill Into Law

The Massachusetts House and Senate have voted through the updated version of the Climate Bill sending it to the Governor's desk. A signing ceremony was held at 2:30pm on Friday!

The 2021 BE+ Board of Directors Executive Committee

Congratulations to our newly elected executive committee. We thank them for their leadership on behalf of the BE+ community. Check out our Board of Directors here.

Jana Silsby, Chair

K-12 Education Client Leader / Principal, DLR Group

Jenn Taranto, Vice Chair

Director of Sustainability, STO Building Group

Barbra Batshalom, Chair Emeritus

Sustainable Performance Institute, Founder

Kristen Fritsch, Secretary

Sustainability Coordinator, Elkus Manfredi Architects

Galen Nelson, Treasurer

Chief Program Officer, MassCEC

The Secret is Out, a Scavenger Hunt is Launching April 14th! Want to Sponsor?

Bring on spring 🌼 and get fired up 🔥 for some safe & friendly competition! Team up and start exploring sustainable practices in your neighborhood. 🏘🌳 Complete as many missions as you can for the chance to win prizes and awards! 🥇

We have been so excited to get this launched, and it's been a long time coming. Check out the webpage and save the dates! This page will be updated over the next few weeks, and expect registration to launch very soon.

Want to Sponsor?
Sponsoring the Scavenger Hunt helps BE+ in achieving our mission, and demonstrates your company's leadership in driving the sustainability of the built environment. Check out the great sponsorship opportunities at the bottom of the page, and get in contact if you would like to support in this community fun!
Sustainability Scavenger Hunt

Deep Dive into Net Zero Water Series was a Success! The third and final recording is live.

Deep Dive into Net Zero Water and the Water/Energy Nexus - Recording

Deep Dive into Net Zero Water and the Water/Energy Nexus explored how energy is involved with water by looking at the energy embodied in water infrastructure, and the energy available from water and how these can be utilized to contribute to an overall energy budget. The implications of embodied and operational carbon in the built environment water cycle will be addressed. Included is a case study of thermal extraction from reuse water in Manhattan.

Learn More

Consider adding value back into your BE+ community with a donation.
Donate Here

Breaking the Cost Barrier

Photo by Sarah Gudeman via BSA
Apr. 14th | 1:00pm - 3:00pm EST | $175 per person
Breaking the Cost Barrier?
Like it or not, money talks. In pursuing high performance, there are many potential financial pitfalls. The experts will guide you through these challenges, and approaches to deal with them, using real world experiences and case studies to showcase each scenario. 

Get Ready to Play!
But, beyond your typical training, this session directly engages the attendees in a game that simulates the design decisions encountered on actual projects.  In the game, teams compete to achieve high performance goals, while breaking the cost barrier.  You will be surprised at what you learn through this hands-on process, and how much fun you have doing it! 
Learn More & Register

Women in Green: "...remember the ladies..."

Mar. 31st | 12:00pm - 1:30pm EST | Virtual Event | $25
At this Women in Green event, to round out Women’s History Month, we will look to inspiring women leaders in history and the present day to inform our future. This event will be a combination of listening and active participation. Register

WELL Health-Safety Rating Intro: What's the Buzz?

Apr. 7th | 8:00am - 9:00am EST | Virtual Event | $10

In 2020 there were +19 Million Sq Ft registered under WELL, a dramatic 3x increase from 2019.

The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating focused on operational policies, maintenance protocols, emergency plans, and stakeholder education and engagement to address a post-COVID-19 environment now and broader health and safety-related issues into the future.

The presentation covers how the WELL Health-Safety Rating addresses the COVID-19 pandemic by describing interventions that can be made to help mitigate its spread, including the five topics covered in the rating: Cleaning and Sanitization Procedures, Emergency Preparedness Programs, Health Service Resources, Air and Water Quality Management, Stakeholder Engagement and Communication.

This event is FREE for Built Environment Plus members! Enter your promo code during checkout for 100% off.
Register to Join

Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts Meeting

Apr. 19th | 6:00pm - 7:30pm EST Virtual Event | Free
The Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts (EPMA) Committee is a community of ascending professionals across the green building industry and allied fields helping drive sustainable and regenerative design, construction, and operation of the built environment. Register

Clippership Wharf

Clippership Wharf - Photo by The Architectural Team
Clippership Wharf, a project that challenged the norms of planning for the sake of sustainability and climate resilience.

The 12-acre site sits along the Boston Inner Harbor near the Maverick MBTA Blue Line station, offering sweeping views of the Boston skyline from Charlestown to South Boston. Designed to achieve LEED Gold Certification, the master plan and resilient design include four buildings with a total of 478 residential units, 8,000 square feet of retail, 298 private and public underground parking spaces, and an extensive public waterfront realm. The first phase introduced 80 condominiums at Slip65 as well as 284 units at Clippership Apartments on the Wharf, the second phase brings 114 condominiums at Slip45. The public realm includes a 1,400-foot long Harborwalk, a dog park, public art, a floating dock for a kayak launch, and a living shoreline reintroducing natural flora and fauna to Boston Harbor.
- The Architectural Team
Beverly Middle School - Photo by Lockheed


Beverly Middle School, Beverly MA, a 231,509 sq ft school, received Silver Certification status on March 16th under LEED BD+C: Schoolsv4 - LEED v4
We want to better spotlight local projects, and you can help.
Join us in recognizing project accomplishments in the Commonwealth.
Notify us of any updates we should share.

50% Off for All First Time Sponsors!

This means our advocate level sponsorship is just $500 for this limited time.
One included perk is BE+ Membership for two individuals.
Become a Sponsor in this Community

Science and Engineering Complex Named One of the World’s Healthiest Lab Buildings

The Harvard Gazette

Photo by Brad Feinknopf via The Harvard Gazette

Harvard University’s Science and Engineering Complex (SEC) has been certified by two international building certification programs as one of the healthiest, most sustainable, and energy-efficient laboratories in the world.

Through its innovative architecture, use of advanced technology and building materials free of the most harmful chemicals, and connection to an efficient, flexible district energy system, the eight-story, 544,000-square-foot complex will help Harvard progress toward its Sustainability Plan and achieve its goals to be fossil fuel-neutral by 2026 and fossil fuel-free by 2050.

- The Harvard Gazette

Big wins:

  • Harvard used the construction of the SEC to evaluate and test the health safety of 6,033 building materials
  • The 1,700 resulting installed products comply with the Living Building Challenge Red List and meet the rigorous requirements of Harvard’s Healthier Building Academy, a partnership among faculty from SEAS, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard Office for Sustainability.
  • The SEC is the largest building and first wet laboratory building to achieve the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge Petal certification.
  • Earned LEED Platinum certification.

Congratulations to our community's own Turner Construction on the completion of this project! The Architect is Behnisch Architekten.
Read The Harvard Gazette Article

Hand Dryers are CDC Recommended and Also The More Sustainable Choice

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated handwashing guidelines, standardizing language and updating visuals. Though hand dryers have always been recommended by the organization, language around the topic of hand drying was inconsistent across industries and materials. Now, with the latest updates, the CDC’s stance is unequivocally clear: hand dryers are a supported hand drying solution.

The CDC’s updated guidelines provide peace of mind to facility managers and members of the public who will interact with hand dryers as these sites reopen.

When comparing paper hand towels to electric hand dryers, studies like those investigated by BuildingGreen, show that from an energy and water use perspective, hand dryers come out on top. This release from the CDC also verifies it's also a hygienic solution as well.

To review the CDC’s handwashing recommendations, visit To learn more about Excel Dryer’s hygienic hand drying solutions, visit:

Read Blog Post

We want to share your news here!

BE+ is working to evolve the newsletter to be more newsworthy.
contact us about submitting for a future newsletter.

BSA Client Conversation Series: Life Sciences & Sustainability: Exploring Opportunities with Alexandria Real Estate

Apr. 13th | 8:30am - 9:45am EST | Virtual Event | Pricing Varies. 
BE+ Members get discounted access

How will laboratory buildings achieve net zero emissions without putting the squeeze on this critical economic engine?Join the BSA's conversation with Rick Malmstrom, Executive Director of Sustainability Operations in Greater Boston for Alexandria Real Estate. Alexandria is often considered to be the gold standard for life science development. They are also setting the gold standard for ultra-low emissions laboratory buildings. Rick will be joined by Jacob Knowles, Director of Sustainable Design at BR+A Consulting Engineers. Learn More & Register.

Living Future 2021: Inclusion + Unity

Apr 20th - 23rd | Virtual Event | Pricing Varies.
The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) is once again bringing its flagship conference to screens around the world with Living Future 2021: Inclusion + Unity! At this crucial moment in our shared history, it is imperative that we come together in pursuit of justice for our people and our environment.

On April 20-23, 2021, we will gather virtually to examine ways to stop the drivers of climate change and address the structural inequities in the built environment. We hope you’ll join ILFI for this four day event filled with inspiring keynotes + plenaries, networking, interactive sessions, and the Living Product Expo. #LF21 Register.

NESEA BuildingEnergy Boston

May 5th - 7th | Virtual Event | Pricing Varies.
BuildingEnergy Boston is a conference designed by and for practitioners in the fields of high-performance building and design, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. It brings more than 1,000 industry leaders and emerging professionals together to learn from and share ideas with each other. Sessions are curated by a volunteer NESEA-Member content committee to ensure that conference sessions are genuinely useful to attendees. Register.

USGBC LIVE - Call for Proposals

June 8th - 10th | Virtual Event

Where the USGBC community convenes to shape the future of green building and LEED. USGBC Live combines the expertise of the largest community of green building leaders with the data, insights, stories and leadership from the thousands of LEED and green building projects around the globe to produce insightful and engaging conversations about the future of buildings, cities and communities. Exclusive events curated for the USGBC community, by the USGBC community. 

USGBC Live Call for Proposals is now open and invites you to showcase your leadership through a regional lens. Submit Here.


BE+ is seeking Summer 2021 Interns

This is a full-time paid internship through the MassCEC's Clean Energy Internship Program for a total of 400hrs. Do you want to help make buildings green buildings? Would you like to participate on the inside of the movement with us at Built Environment Plus? See if you meet the requirements and we would love to hear from you!

Learn More and Apply

Be a part of our Community!

Built Environment Plus is a member-based organization. Members are the force behind our initiatives. Membership dues help support our staff who are actively working to educate, advocate, perform research, and strengthen the community that drives the sustainability of the built environment.

Members get FREE/discounted admission to most of our events too!
Become a Member
Thank you to our Members and Sponsors who keep our community strong!
Participation in our programs, membership, and sponsorship helps support the efforts of our staff members, Vernette, Ethan, Ann, and myself, especially now as we navigate these difficult times. Please consider making a donation, sponsoring our organization, and becoming a member if you are not already. If you have any questions, please reach out to me at Thank you. - Meredith
Make a Donation
Organizational members get a discount on many of our events!
Benefits for all membership types include a 15% discount on most of our events. Please note membership with USGBC National is NOT membership with Built Environment Plus (formally USGBC MA).
Copyright © 2021 Built Environment Plus, Inc., All rights reserved.

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