Mary Ann Dickinson to Keynote Final Day of Next Generation Water Summit

The Next Generation Water Summit is excited to have Mary Ann Dickinson of the Alliance for Water Efficiency as the keynote speaker for Tuesday, June 6th. She’ll be sharing information on their Net Blue Ordinance initiative. Net Blue is a collaborative initiative that developed a model ordinance that communities can tailor and customize to create a water demand offset approach meeting local needs.

Dickinson said, “I am delighted to be invited to address the Next Generation Water Summit, a gathering of green building professionals who make demonstrated progress in sustainable development practices.  This is the ideal audience for us to present our work on our new Net Blue initiative, which promotes water-neutral development in water-scarce regions that otherwise might not be able to grow.”

“Having Mary Ann speak about the Net Blue Ordinance is an ideal way to kick off Solutions Day at the Summit,” said Mike Collignon, Executive Director of the Green Builder® Coalition. “Then, our attendees’ ability to draw on her 40 years of experience in this field will be such a great benefit.”

The Summit will take place June 4-6, 2017 at the Santa Fe Convention Center in Santa Fe, NM. Through March 31st, attendees can register to attend the Summit for just $249. This will allow admittance to the keynote speakers, any educational session, and all meals. Just as important, attendees will be able to network with a broad spectrum of stakeholders while working towards solutions for their respective challenges.

Hosts of the event are the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce (lead host), Green Builder® Coalition, City of Santa Fe, and the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association. Santa Fe Community College is the official education sponsor, and Green Builder® Media is the national media partner.

City of Santa Fe to Require WERS Starting March 1

City of Santa FeBeginning on March 1, 2017, the City of Santa Fe will require all new single-family residential projects to provide a preliminary Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS)® of 70 or less when applying for a permit. The same project will then need to supply a final WERS of 70 or less in order to receive a certificate of occupancy.

“This is a landmark decision by the City of Santa Fe, as no other jurisdiction has ever adopted a performance-based water efficiency requirement”, stated Green Builder® Coalition Executive Director Mike Collignon. “With the support of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association, the Water Conservation Committee and others, the City was able to craft and implement a forward-thinking policy that preserves design freedom and product choice, while ensuring the City moves in a water-efficient direction.”

In order to help the City execute this initiative, local building analysts are stepping up. Steve Vollstedt of HERS-NM, LLC attended the inaugural WERS Verifier course in March 2016. After passing the written and field exams, and performing his probationary verifications, he became the first accredited WERS Verifier.

Vollstedt is no stranger to a jobsite. He has conducted hundreds of HERS ratings and has reviewed over 1,000 certification submissions on behalf of the Build Green New Mexico program. Vollstedt is also a National Green Building Standard-accredited Green Verifier. When the opportunity to add water analysis presented itself, he felt it was a service offering that would be vital to his community. “Water conservation and efficiency is arguably more critical to our environment than energy efficiency”, Vollstedt asserted. “We can create electrical energy with cost-effective, clean energy-producing systems, such as photovoltaics and wind generators. There is no practical or cost-effective way to produce or replace water resources that we are rapidly depleting and polluting.”

Vollstedt is the first in a line of WERS Verifiers ready to assist the City. In the coming weeks, we’ll feature more Santa Fe building professionals working to ensure the sustainability of their City.

Green Builder® Coalition Earns Service Mark for WERS from USPTO

The Green Builder® Coalition recently received the official service mark for the Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS)® from the United States Patent & Trademark Office. The process, which took 2 years to complete, was successful thanks to the diligent collaboration of Coalition staff and a national legal firm specializing in intellectual property.

Mike Collignon, Executive Director of the Green Builder® Coalition, said, “This milestone is just further validation of the WERS Program in the United States. What originated and is now established in New Mexico will spread to other areas of the U.S. When it does, the building industry will know they are using the leading residential water efficiency program.”

Next Generation Water Summit To Be Held In Santa Fe

Santa Fe will host the inaugural Next Generation Water Summit on June 4-6, 2017. This first-of-its-kind, national event will feature three educational tracks, two keynote speakers and an expo. The Summit will begin with the Green Expo, an exhibition presented by the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce. All events will take place at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center.

Water scarcity is emerging as a critical challenge to the western United States. The limits of water could halt construction in the west, bringing economic development to a standstill. This Summit will bring together a broad range of stakeholders to develop strategies that integrate a variety of interests and develop real solutions. “Making our communities sustainable in the long term given predicted drops in renewable surface water flows, and resilient to short term and long term impacts from the effects of climate change, are critical issues across the Southwestern United States, as well as many other regions around the world,” said City Councilor Peter Ives. “The City of Santa Fe is honored to host the Next Generation Water Summit, which is designed to continue the dialogue on how we can and must do more with less water.”

Three tracks will focus on emerging policy development, building design and construction, and water conservation tools and technologies, respectively. “The unique aspect of this event is the integration of field professionals into policy development and design,” said Green Builder® Coalition Executive Director Mike Collignon. “The Next Generation Water Summit aims to close the loop on water efficiency, so that those who create and manage water efficiency programs can network with the practitioners of those programs.”

Pre-Summit courses will include a Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS®) Verifier course, an ARCSA Rainwater Harvesting AP course, a 2-day Greywater course and a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) course. All will be held at nearby Santa Fe Community College. The Summit will be the first event to offer continuing education for those trained in either the WERS Program or WaterSense for Homes.

This event is being co-hosted by The City of Santa Fe, the Green Chamber of Commerce, the Green Builder® Coalition and the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association. Sponsorships, booths and attendee registration will be available in the coming weeks. For more information, please contact:

Glenn Schiffbauer
Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce
glenn@nmgreenchamber.com

Mike Collignon
Executive Director, Green Builder® Coalition
info@greenbuildercoalition.org

Green Builder Coalition Signs MOU with NGWA

NGWA logoThe Green Builder® Coalition has signed a 2-year agreement with the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) on the promotion of sustainable groundwater practices through the Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS) program.

NGWA’s mission is to advance groundwater knowledge and the success of their members through education and outreach; advocacy; cooperation and information exchange; and enhancement of professional practices.

Kevin McCray, CEO of the NGWA, said, “NGWA seeks partners to help us explain the importance of the resource and the things we each can do to use the resource wisely, including among our homes, our farms, and in industry. We are excited to partner with The Green Builder® Coalition to provide promotional assistance on the benefits of sustainable groundwater practices as a way to further water efficiency.”

“One of the big themes of the WERS Program is to utilize the water that falls on the site. For rural homeowners, this is vitally important,” said Coalition Executive Director Mike Collignon. “It makes a lot of sense for us to partner with NGWA, since both organizations have a message that is relevant to a variety of audiences, from individual well owners to municipal planners.”

The agreement calls for support of “Protect Your Groundwater Day”, as well as cross-promotion of NGWA and WERS events to members of NGWA and The Coalition. There will also be a session on WERS at National Groundwater Week, December 6-8, 2016 in Las Vegas.

Since February 2014, The Coalition has helped develop the WERS program for new and existing residential properties. It was first used in November 2015 to help a New Mexico homebuilder save significant time and money on his pursuit of a building permit. The first WERS Verifier training course was held in March 2016, with more coming throughout 2016.