Although the U.S. Green Building Council has a nationwide presence; the group has 80 local chapters in cities across the nation. Each year, the USGBC chooses several chapters to receive an Annual Chapter Award of Excellence. Awards are presented in the following categories: Advocacy & Influence, Community, Education, and Organizational Excellence.
The Cincinnati Regional Chapter received recognition from the USGBC in the Advocacy & Influence category. The chapter was chosen due to the strong ties that it has created with the Mayor of Cincinnati. Through these ties, Cincinnati has now joined the Mayors’ Alliance for Green Schools. The Cincinnati chapter is also working with state legislators to mandate LEED Silver certification for any building project that receives state funding.
Two chapters were chosen to receive this year’s Award of Excellence in the Community category: Chicago (large chapter) and the Vermont Green Building Network (small chapter). The Chicago USGBC chapter was chosen for its work in the East Garfield Park area. Chapter members worked alongside community members, local high school students, and volunteers to create the Urban Open/New Horizons Community Garden project. The Vermont Green Building Network’s work on a website for the Vermont Green Home Alliance earned the group the small chapter award in the Community category.
Two chapters were also chosen to receive Awards of Excellence in the Education category: the James River Green Building Council (large chapter) and the South Carolina Chapter (small chapter). Located in central Virginia, the James River Green Building Council has worked on several community education projects including Green Spaces and Eco-Building Tours.
The community education projects created by the South Carolina Chapter are used at each of that chapter’s four regional branches, allowing the organization to have a greater impact on the communities that it serves.
The final Award of Excellence category, Organizational Excellence, is reserved for chapters that have shown an exemplary leadership record. The Delaware Valley Green Building Council was recognized by the USGBC in the large chapter category and the Georgia Chapter received the Organizational Excellence award in the small chapter category.