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Renew Missouri announces the Renew STL Solar Program

Renew Missouri is proud to announce the Renew STL Solar program, offering solar for commercial and non-residential customers! We are working with numerous partners from the St. Louis region to make this program a viable tool for revitalizing the region, expand the solar workforce, and help building owners create revenue and invest in their properties during the COVID crisis. 
 
This innovative new program design is the first of its kind. Like the GROW Solar STL program for residential customers, Renew STL Solar is a "group buy" program, meaning that installation prices improve when customers can pool their projects with other similarly-situated organizations. In addition, through our Customer Volume Discount, we are offering rebates greater financial benefits as more customers participate. Essentially, this program will allow building owners to install solar and begin saving money immediately, potentially with no upfront cost! 
 
Beyond the financial upside of solar, our program offers additional values and benefits: 1) Renew Missouri can educate building owners about solar in a way that simplifies the decision-making process and avoids the usual sales tactics; 2) customers can get a quality estimate from our installer partner StraightUp Solar, a successful local solar company that you can trust to be there for maintenance and troubleshooting for the life of customers' systems; 3) by taking advantage of the program's special financing, customers can avoid upfront costs and create immediate savings, freeing up revenue for their organizations to weather the COVID 19 crisis; 4) companies and organizations can enjoy PR exposure by being part of the inaugural cohort of this new program, alongside regional leaders in the commercial, industrial, healthcare, education, and municipal sectors; and 5) the program can help organizations meet their sustainability goals by getting some or all of their electricity from the sun, helping to protect the health of our people and our environment.
 
We hope to announce some of the early adopters of the program very soon. Please contact Andrew Linhares ([email protected]) to take the next steps today!
 
Program Audience: small businesses, large retail and industrial buildings, hospitals, schools and universities, and municipalities. 
Program Footprint: The Greater St. Louis Metro area, including: St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Madison County, Monroe County, and St. Clair County.
Program Timeline: Round 1 of this program will take place throughout 2020. Customers who begin installations before the end of the year will reserve their ability to take advantage of the 26% Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC).
 
Read more at www.renewstlsolar.org 

 

St. Louis Becomes Third City to Enact New Energy Standards for Commercial Buildings

St. Louis Becomes Third City to Enact New Energy Standards for Commercial Buildings
Move Meant to Help City Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 100% by 2050

By Cara Smith-Tenta
CoStar News

May 7, 2020 | 04:16 P.M.

St. Louis has become one of the first cities in the nation to enact a set of new energy efficiency requirements for commercial buildings in a move intended to bring the bulk of the city’s buildings to stronger energy efficiency standards and bring the city closer to its goal of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades.

Mayor Lyda Kewson signed into law the Building Energy Performance Standard, which creates legal energy requirements for building owners and establishes minimum energy usage metrics for building owners to meet in the coming years. St. Louis’ new energy requirements apply to all commercial buildings 50,000 square feet or larger, including office, multifamily, municipal, retail and industrial properties.

"The coronavirus has shown us how a crisis can disrupt the entire world," Alderwoman Heather Navarro, a bill sponsor and alderwoman of the city's 28th Ward, said in a statement. "The threat that was with us before COVID-19 and will be with us after is climate change."

St. Louis is only the third city to adopt a Building Energy Performance Standard, joining New York City and Washington, D.C., according to the Institute for Market Transformation, a D.C.-based nonprofit green buildings advocacy group. Building Energy Performance Standards, as opposed to general energy usage restrictions, tend to be more aggressive but give building owners more flexibility in the ways they meet those stricter standards.

Generally, a Building Energy Performance Standard establishes the amount of energy a building is allowed to use, giving building owners the freedom to reach that energy level through whatever method they deem most effective. That's different from a policy that outlines specific measures a building must take to reduce its energy output.

For example, under a Building Energy Performance Standard, building owners will be given short-term energy goals to meet over time, designed to ratchet up into a significant reduction in energy. And when a city enacts a Building Energy Performance Standard, it allows local leadership to send clear signals to the business and political community, as well as require "direct action with measurable results," according to the Institute for Market Transformation.

Greenhouse gas emissions from buildings account for 80% of St. Louis' greenhouse gas emissions, according to the city. The city is aiming to eliminate 100% of its emissions by 2050.

It’s a lofty goal and one that only a handful of U.S. cities have taken. St. Louis is the first Midwestern city to set such a goal, joining the ranks of New York City, Chicago, Atlanta and 34 other cities that have pledged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 80% or more by 2050, according to a report from the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, a global organization of local governments that have committed to promoting sustainable development.

[email protected]
@carasmithtenta

 

McCarthy's Erin Valentine Promoted to Vice President, Joins Central Region Leadership Team

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has promoted Erin Valentine to the position of Vice President of Business Development in the company’s 28-state Central Region.

In addition to joining the leadership team that guides McCarthy’s strategic business operations across the Central Region, Valentine will manage McCarthy’s St. Louis-based business development team that focuses on the company’s core buildings markets of Healthcare, Commercial, Education, and Advanced Technology & Manufacturing.

Since joining McCarthy in 2001, Valentine has helped position the company to secure numerous new projects while building valuable relationships with clients and industry partners. Her business development successes are visible throughout the St. Louis region, including the recently awarded Washington University School of Medicine Neuroscience research facility and a multiyear facilities contract with Parkway School District.

She was also instrumental in McCarthy’s national expansion into the federal government sector, helping to secure more than $3 billion in federal projects over a five-year period.

Valentine is a founding member of the McCarthy Partnership for Women employee resource group in the Central Region and has served on several national efforts, including McCarthy’s Business Development Leadership team. In addition, she has overseen several national McCarthy initiatives to strengthen the company’s client relationships, including the implementation of an enhanced customer relationship management (CRM) system and the rollout of a client feedback process to solicit ongoing feedback from project partners.

“In her 19-year McCarthy career, Erin has built a stellar track record of project wins and strategic business relationships while serving as a mentor and positive role model to other women in construction,” said John Buescher, president of McCarthy’s central region. “Her depth of experience and genuine passion for McCarthy make her a wonderful addition to our regional leadership team.”

A LEED Green Associate, Valentine earned a bachelor’s degree from Saint Louis University and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. She has been recognized as a “40 under 40” business leader by the St. Louis Business Journal, a “Top Young Professional” by Engineering News Record (ENR) – Midwest and a “Women in Construction” innovator by Constructech. She is a member of the St. Louis Forum and is a board member of the St. Louis chapters of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW).

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. With an unrelenting focus on safety and a comprehensive quality program that span all phases of every project, McCarthy utilizes industry-leading design phase and construction techniques combined with value-add technology to maximize outcomes. Repeatedly honored as a Best Place to Work and Healthiest Employer, McCarthy is ranked the 12th largest domestic building contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2019).

With approximately 3,700 salaried employees and craft professionals, the firm has offices in St. Louis, Atlanta; Collinsville, Ill.; Kansas City, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Dallas, Houston; and San Diego, Newport Beach, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned.

 

Protecting Your Building's Inside from the Outside

The old saying that “water finds its own level” may strike home with facility managers, especially when it creeps inside rather than staying outside a building’s exterior. When the weather does take its toll on the walls, carpet and more, the initial response is often to check the roof. However, it may take some real detective work to pinpoint the actual problem and the necessary solutions to keep that water outside.

Cale Prokopf, president of RoofTech Consulting Inc., knows that all too well. He detailed this in an informative program on Exterior Building Enclosures – A Case Study on What Goes Wrong. Nearly 60 members and guests attended Cale’s presentation on Feb. 19 at Woodard Cleaning and Restoration.

As part of its services, RoofTech provides third-party inspections, recommendations and scopes of work to protect exterior walls and waterproofing. Its experience in this field gives it a perspective on common problems and faulty repair efforts that affect a building’s exterior.

Cale demonstrated this by detailing a case study of improper wall repairs. Pinpointing the real issues required carefully reviewing the building’s design. RoofTech then found that repairs were limited to the building’s third floor only, and the repairs invited water into the space since it negated the original design.

Instead, RoofTech outlined repairs that dovetailed with the original design intent, reviewed and recommended additional work in several areas and then water-tested the repairs to ensure the problems were corrected.

Cale also outlined key ways for facility managers to protect their buildings:

  • Maintain accurate construction documents to understand the building’s design.
  • Get a clear picture of the building’s dynamics such as open vs. sealed, storefront vs. curtain wall.
  • Track the location and frequency of any water issues; don’t automatically think it’s the roof.
  • Use an expert that understands the design and functionality of your building. An annual inspection and assistance with any needed repairs go a long way in mitigating serious issues.
  • Make improvements to the design only when it fits the original design of the building’s system and properly addresses any issues.
  • Use professional testing – high-voltage leak detection, infrared thermography and water testing – before and after work. This is essential to developing the right course of action and then receiving assurance after the work is completed.


Many thanks to Cale and RoofTech for an excellent presentation and to Woodard for its generous hospitality.

 

Safety First Requires Action

Safety and the health of employees remain core tenets of facility management. As part of this responsibility, facility managers must ensure that their buildings and employees adhere to the standards enforced by OSHA. Nearly 60 members and guests learned more about OSHA’s mission, resources and regulations during the OSHA Updates program on Jan. 15 at L. Keeley Construction.

Bill McDonald, CSP, Area Director of the OSHA St. Louis Area Office, provided an in-depth overview of the agency’s outreach, training, compliance assistance and enforcement efforts. Besides updating attendees, Bill stressed the importance of safety prevention by establishing an action plan.

An action plan should look at several factors:

  • Identifying top problem areas.
  • Talking with employees to pinpoint improvements.
  • Taking action steps to address key areas.
  • Setting goals and using leading indicators to reach those goals.
  • Collecting and monitoring safety data.
  • And using leading indicators to improve overall safety.


OSHA also is working diligently to help companies comply with its rules. This includes an emphasis on making the agency’s materials more user friendly and in language understood by workers. OSHA also offers on-site consultation for free to provide guidance on improving safety and health within the workplace.

Other programs expand the agency’s focus on health and safety, including Voluntary Protection Programs, a Strategic Partnership Program, OSHA Challenge and specialized campaigns targeted at high-risk industries such as agriculture, construction and . Bill outlined several areas to help prevent suicide and workplace violence. The agency provides a wealth of resources as well, through its printed publications and on its website.

The program included a review of new regulations and several rules still in initial stages or the discussion stage.

Many thanks to L. Keeley Construction for hosting this informative program.

 

IFMA St. Louis Supports Heat Up St. Louis

St. Louis, MO – Dec. 17, 2019 – The St. Louis Chapter of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) provided some warmth to the region’s needy this winter.     

Representing facility managers and suppliers who maintain the region’s commercial buildings, IFMA St. Louis presented a check for $1,000 to Heat Up St. Louis. The nonprofit organization builds awareness and provides resources to help those in need, especially the elderly and disabled, and needy families with critically ill children, avoid illnesses and deaths during the area’s bitter winter season.

The Rev. Earl E. Nance Jr., Chair Emeritus and Treasurer, and Gentry Trotter, Executive Director, of Heat Up St. Louis, accepted the donation for the organization. IFMA St. Louis also funds the organization’s Cool Down St. Louis, which provides services and support to keep residents cool during the hot summer months. 

IFMA St. Louis has supported the weather-related assistance programs for the past six years. The nonprofit organization helps defray the cost of energy to heat and cool residences, serving more than 300,000 area residents since the programs’ inception in 2000.

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Members Ring in the Season With “Wild Lights”

Lions and tigers and bears oh my not to mention a million lights! That’s what members and guests found at this year’s Holiday Social.

Held at the Saint Louis Zoo on Dec. 11, the 81 members and guests celebrated the season, which included a stroll through the zoo’s holiday wonderland. A million lights and holiday decorations for the annual Wild Lights made for a festive walk through the zoo.

Of course, the social included a scrumptious buffet in the McDonnell Center at River Camp, along with beverages. Members and guests also enjoyed hot chocolate and cordials for dessert.

We did not forget the reason for the season, either, by helping others in need.

Chapter President Jeff Touchette presented a check for $1000 to Heat Up St. Louis. “Winter is the deadliest time of the year, as many house fires are caused by unsafe methods of heating homes,” Jeff noted during the presentation. “There will be an increase in some home energy sources this winter. In addition, many area seniors, the disabled, and households with small critically ill children in the St. Louis region have had high electric bills this past summer.”

The Rev. Earl E. Nance Jr., Chair Emeritus and Treasurer, and Gentry Trotter, Executive Director of Heat Up St. Louis accepted the donation for this great organization. This marks the sixth consecutive year for supporting this organization that helps our region’s less fortunate stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Many thanks to Kristie Gabel with Elite Cuisine and our Special Events Chair for organizing the festivities. It was the perfect setting and way to celebrate the season.

 

2019 World Workplace Builds Knowledge and Network

World Workplace Builds Knowledge and Network

World Workplace lived up to its “gold standard” as the place to be for knowledge, networking and career development. Jeff Touchette and Dave Gardin (CFM) were among the more than 30 chapter members who attended the 39th Annual World Workplace in Phoenix, AZ, from Oct. 16-18. And Jeff and Dave say the event lived up to its billing as the top conference and expo for the facility management industry.

“As a vendor, one of the things I enjoyed most at World Workplace was seeing everything offered to facility professionals by other vendors,” says Jeff, Chapter President and Sales Manager for Jarrell Mechanical Contractors. “Every time I attend a conference or event like this, it amazes me to see the new products and services available to our industry. And I also learned what products and services caught the interests of St. Louis facility managers who attended the expo.”

Learning from vendors on the exhibit floor and educational sessions support professionals, adds Dave, Chapter Treasurer and Facility Manager for KDG. “There are great vendors at World Workplace that have the solutions we need as we encounter issues and manage real estate. I brought back a wealth of information and product samples that will benefit our facility management team in the future.”

Networking with colleagues remains a key benefit, Jeff adds. “The connections I made at the show are already benefitting me personally and professionally.” While he met many new people, he found the time he spent with IFMA St. Louis members invaluable.

“We were lucky enough to have more than 30 people attend World Workplace this year,” he explains. “Quite a few of them are already customers of Jarrell. The time we spent in Phoenix just strengthened our existing relationship in ways that are difficult to replicate in normal day-to-day business interactions.”

Jeff also gained some insights on improving the chapter’s performance. He says it’s important to keep a 60 percent, 40 percent ratio of professional to associate members to ensure the chapter’s health. Professional members drive the organization. “If we keep the professional members engaged in our committees and programs, we underscore the value of membership while also naturally attracting the support of associates.”

Next year’s World Workplace takes place closer to home in Chicago from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. Jeff and Dave encourage all members to make plans.

“It’s such a great opportunity for professional members to network with their colleagues and to learn,” Dave says.

“There are many incentives,” Jeff notes. “Just being able to see and interact with vendors who serve our industry provide enough reason for professional members to attend. Every aspect of a facility manager’s job is represented in the vendor area.”

Attendance also elevates a facility manager’s standing. “It’s a great way for management to show a facility professional the importance of his or her position within an organization,” Jeff adds.

And whether a professional or associate member, the ability to network is immeasurable. “There are not many better ways to build a relationship with someone than to attend a conference and share a meal or two,” Jeff says.