USGBC community to converge in San Diego and experience ADVANCE

Cindy Zork
Published on: 
Monday, June 8, 2015

A few weeks ago, we published we announced the launch of ADVANCE—a framework to help communities and organizations move along a path of sustainability leadership to more efficient, healthy and vibrant places. As we approach USGBC’s annual community meeting, Convergence, we’re excited to engage volunteer leaders and partners to experience ADVANCE firsthand in San Diego.

At Convergence, volunteers will be mobilized in support of eight Community Sustainability Projects. Using the ADVANCE framework, volunteers and representatives from local organizations will collaborate in pursuit of healthy, environmentally sound goals for their facilities and the communities they serve.

Community Sustainability Projects include:

  • The Sierra del Mar Division of the Salvation ArmyPacific Beach Library, and Joe and Vi Jacobs Center will all participate in PLAN Builder events. PLAN Builder convenes green building experts to work directly with organizations’ leadership to establish green building goals and a plan to implement low-cost, high-impact strategies that improve the health, energy, and environmental performance of their spaces.
  • The San Diego Museum of Man will participate in a LEED Hack-a-thon in pursuit of LEED Building Operations & Maintenance. This experiential learning event leverages volunteer green building professionals to jumpstart the documentation of LEED credits for their project.
  • Other volunteers will participate in a strategic planning session for Tree San Diego, service projects to clean up the San Diego River and package unused hotel toiletries for donation to area homeless shelters, and a WELL feasibility study for a San Diego area school. The feasibility study, led by USGBC San Diego Green Schools volunteer Barbara Fanning, will pilot support for organizations attempting other certification systems beyond LEED through the ADVANCE framework.

The reach of the Community Sustainability Projects extends beyond the four hours of engagement during Convergence. Last year in Detroit, 230 volunteers mobilized to support the needs of 21 local organizations. This engagement was just the beginning of deeper, longer-lasting community relationships. For example, USGBC Detroit Emerging Professionals have continued to support Rev. Joan Ross and the North End Woodward Community Coalition’s solar streetlight program.  

This year, the USGBC San Diego Chapter is matching local leaders with each project to foster a long-term relationship with the participating organizations. This partnership will continue to support these organizations as they move towards greater sustainability leadership, using tools available through ADVANCE and the chapter’s own Green Assistance Program.

In recent years, USGBC’s volunteer community has been seeking ways to more deeply engage with the local communities where they live, work and play. ADVANCE provides a model for that engagement, and we are thrilled to have so many participants contributing to ADVANCE projects in San Diego. In addition to leaving a lasting legacy with the San Diego community, their experiences will allow them to develop knowledge of tools and strategies that they can take back to their own communities. USGBC looks forward to a productive week in San Diego with our passionate volunteers!