Customize your virtual meeting room with USGBC-themed background images

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Customize your virtual meeting room with USGBC-themed background images

Feature image: the LEED Gold TCF Center.

Show your support for greener, healthier buildings, homes and communities in your next virtual meetup. Our brand-new collection of virtual backgrounds will make your weekly (or daily!) teleconference more inspiring. Choose from an assortment of colorful USGBC-themed graphics, or replicate your real or imagined workspace by selecting a snapshot featuring one of these gorgeous LEED-certified spaces:

LEED Platinum 10th Street Flats

All backgrounds are sized for use on Zoom and Microsoft Teams, as well as many other virtual conference platforms.

Learn more about USGBC imagery

Sourcing sustainable merchandise and vendors

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Sourcing sustainable merchandise and vendors

When collaborating with vendors to produce merchandise for USGBC’s online store and for giveaways at various in-person events throughout the year, like our annual Greenbuild show, we always prioritize quality products over volume quantity discounts, and try to partner with vendors with a like-minded ethos.

  • Our popular USGBC-branded custom insulated bottles are produced by Kleen Kanteen, a certified B Corporation working to reduce single-use containers.
  • TS Designs produces many of our favorite T-shirt designs, including our LEED ampersand shirts, our award-winning screen-printed tees, and the tiniest tees of all—”My Crib is LEED Certified” baby onesies. Most of these shirts are printed on Cotton of the Carolinas, a T-shirt brand that keeps all of its operations to a 600-mile radius. Each t-shirt can be tracked “from dirt to shirt” by locating the unique color threads found on the inside of each shirt or by visiting the TS Designs website.
  • Our Pela iPhone cases, laser-engraved with the USGBC logo, have become a fan favorite. Pela claims that its phone case, fabricated out of a material called Flaxstic, is durable and shock-absorbing, while also being biodegradable.

Any vendors missing from our list? Let us know in the comments.

Learn more about how we choose sustainable vendors

Sharing the legacy of LEED in ad campaigns

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Sharing the legacy of LEED in ad campaigns

You’ve probably seen USGBC’s LEED print ad campaigns, which have been running in trade publications since fall 2016.

The iconic #FindyourLEED campaign has become a fan favorite, capturing the interest of LEED projects across the globe. Focused on helping to elevate the LEED green building rating system brand while simultaneously building brand awareness, this campaign communicates LEED’s flexibility, showcasing sustainability in both the classroom and home environment.

We’ve enjoyed seeing all the project teams who have proudly shared photos of their favorite LEED-certified schools, buildings, homes and neighborhoods on social media. At Greenbuild 2016, we distributed cutouts of the iconic leaves, and were amazed to see so much pink on our social media feeds (we also made printable leaves available for those who weren’t able to attend the show).

Because of its eye-catching design, the #FindyourLEED campaign has transitioned easily into display advertising, which has been running in tandem with our print ads.

LEED legacy ads

Also in circulation since 2016 is our LEED legacy campaign. Aimed at green building professionals, consultants and building/property owners, this campaign features professionals on the job, encouraging them to leave their own legacy.

Check out our campaigns and share your feedback!

See more about our print ads

Designing the Arc brochure

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Designing the Arc brochure

You might find it unusual that an organization so focused on the environment would design printed marketing collateral. In this “print to digital” day and age, why would you rely on paper to promote your message?

While curbing wasteful printing has always been a priority for our USGBC marketing and communications team, sometimes paper speaks louder than a screen. In fact, science shows that paper can be more effective and memorable than digital.

When we sat down to strategize our marketing for Arc, a digital platform designed to help building projects collect, manage and benchmark their performance data, we knew we needed to supplement our heavily digital-centric marketing with a standout print brochure.

Arc brochure design

The goal was to create an impactful leave-behind to complement the team’s sales efforts. The brochure would be used in meetings and presentations and distributed at various events. The team got started on the design, aiming to have the brochure ready for distribution at Greenbuild Europe, which took place in April in Berlin, Germany.

The trifold design brochure conveys Arc’s innovative and data-centric functionality, with simplicity and ease of use. Its compact size (5.66 by 16.98 inches) is portable, but large enough to accommodate the perfect amount of information, so it’s useful to our customers. The die cuts add dimension and make the brochure eye-catching and modern.

Arc brochure

Per our printing guidelines, the brochure was printed on Mohawk Options paper stock, using soy-based inks by a local FSC Certified printer.

See more of our recent design work

USGBC wins AIGA 50 award

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USGBC wins AIGA 50 award

Feature image: Photo by Amanda Gann, courtesy of AIGA DC.

I’m so excited to finally share the news! Our TRUE Zero Waste Certification System branding package, designed by USGBC’s senior graphic designer, Nia Lindsey, was recognized by AIGA DC as one of the 50 best created in Washington, D.C., over the past two years. AIGA 50 honors design that makes an impact, and over 400 entries were submitted for the 2018 competition.

Many from our team were able to accept the award in person at the 15th biennial AIGA 50 Gala, where we rubbed shoulders with some of the top creatives in the area. View all the winning work from 2018.

TRUE Zero Waste is a program for businesses to define, pursue and achieve their zero waste goals, thereby reducing their impact on the natural environment and our collective health. With that in mind, the goal was to create a logo and brand that was innately simple and minimal, while at the same time flexible and adaptable. The final logo embodies a nontraditional, continuous cycle using bold, clean lines.

Read about other award-winning design work at USGBC

Award-winning designs at USGBC

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Award-winning designs at USGBC

High on my list of goals for the year was to take more time to recognize—and celebrate—our amazing creative services and marketing team at USGBC. If you’ve spent any time on USGBC Studio, you’ll have seen the caliber of talent stockpiled within the team, and you’ll understand why gratitude topped my to-do list.

My plan? Submit some of our favorite creative work from the past year into industry competitions. (Usually we’re too busy doing the work to take time to applaud the work).

I’m pleased to announce that our team took home a number of prestigious awards, including two American Inhouse Design Awards from Graphic Design USA and a Hermes Creative Award.

SITES advertising creative piece

  • Winner of 2017 American Inhouse Design Award

Screen-printed USGBC T-shirt

This limited-edition tee for Greenbuild 2016 honored industry champion Rick Fedrizzi and was featured previously on Studio

  • Winner of 2017 American Inhouse Design Award
  • Winner of 2017 Hermes Creative Award

See more of our USGBC design work

Greenbuild flashback

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Greenbuild flashback

In celebration of the upcoming 2016 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Los Angeles, here’s a look back at how we brought the USGBC® experience to life in New Orleans in 2014. And be sure to visit us in booth #1425 at Greenbuild 2016, “Iconic Green,” in Los Angeles.

What are you waiting for? Register today.

Read “The USGBC experience”

USGBC Studio: The USGBC experience

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USGBC Studio: The USGBC experience

If you were to develop an experience for your brand, what would it be like? How would customers engage with it? How would it look? Sound? Feel?

These were some of the questions our team grappled with when developing the on-site experience for USGBC at our annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo.

It was 2014, and we were headed to New Orleans. We’d been given a brand-new swath of space on the expo hall floor, and needed to develop a memorable customer experience within the 100 x 30-foot spread. We had an opportunity to design an experience that could function dually as a place for visitors to get their pressing questions answered and to learn more about our core products—such as LEED, membership and education—and also to serve as a lounge space for networking and exchanging ideas. We knew that we wanted the space to complement our personality and feel distinctly “USGBC.”

The concept we selected was titled “Folded Square,” and literally that’s what it was. The focal point of the booth design was the appropriately named folded square, which served as a convening space to display presentations, showcase the LEED Dynamic Plaque, and share some key stats and figures specific to LEED and green building. The concept was bold, colorful and memorable.

We felt the brunt of our work was completed and did not realize that there would be other challenges ahead. Because of Greenbuild’s Mandatory Exhibition Green Guidelines, or GMEGG, booth fabrication materials needed to be carefully and purposefully selected. The booth structure needed to be fabricated using 100 percent recyclable materials containing a minimum of 25 percent recycled content and using low- or zero-VOC paints, sealants, coatings and adhesives. Luckily, our event partner Freeman was up for the challenge, and the final result was jaw-dropping.

This past year, we reused our Folded Square design, but added a few bells and whistles to make sure the USGBC booth was an experience not to miss. Our team brainstormed ways to further improve the booth experience, and create a playful, inviting environment to not only learn more about our offerings, but to kick back and get creative.

  • Our Greenbuild PHHHOTO™ booth encouraged attendees to make and share a digital memory at the booth.
  • Casually placed Legos in the seating area of the booth weren’t overlooked! Some of our visitors even shared their creations through social media.

Were you able to stop by our booth in Washington, D.C.? Do you think we met all of our goals? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

The Greenbuild 2015 Dining Guide

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The Greenbuild 2015 Dining Guide

So you’re signed up to attend Greenbuild! Amazing news! Besides being able to take advantage of the award-winning events, education and programming that Greenbuild has to offer, you’ll also get to spend time in USGBC’s own hometown of Washington, DC.

If you’ve never been to Washington, DC before, you’re in for a treat! Not only does DC have a jaw-dropping number of free museums and monuments, it also has quite a food scene. In fact, it was named one of the most exciting restaurant cities on the East Coast by Travel + Leisure, with a slew of eateries specializing in every type of cuisine imaginable!

And with all of those long hours of expo hall and convention center walking, you’ll be pleased to know that you don’t have to go far to find good food. Most of our favorites are a few blocks from the convention center. Here are a few:

  1. Founding Farmers: We can’t make a list of top restaurants to visit while in DC attending Greenbuild without mentioning the obvious pick: Founding Farmers! Not only is this downtown restaurant LEED Gold, it also has some truly delicious food and drinks. Our pick: the grilled cheese and tomato soup!
  2. Anything owned by Jose Andres: There’s no shortage of restaurants in this category, and luckily, most of his famous establishments are a stone’s throw from the Greenbuild home base. Chose from any of his award-winning restaurants—Zatinya, Oyamel, China Chilcano or Jaleo—you can’t go wrong.
  3. Table: Just steps from the convention center, in the historic Shaw neighborhood, Table specializes in serving up seasonal and locally sourced ingredients in a notably shoebox-sized setting.
  4. Daikaya: A unique two-in-one eatery featuring ramen on the first floor and an izakaya upstairs. The quick-service ramen shop serves Sapporo-style ramen, while Japanese comfort food is served upstairs in a full service setting. Be prepared: Daikaya’s ramen is addicting!
  5. Restaurant Nora: The quintessential farm-to-table restaurant, this Dupont Circle landmark has been serving organic dishes since 1979. As America’s first certified organic restaurant (they earned this distinction in 1999), 95 percent of the products used at Restaurant Nora are from certified organic suppliers.

Bon appétit everyone!

Any of your favorites missing from the list? Let us know in the comments.


Making the green choice when creating collateral

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Making the green choice when creating collateral

It’s a nasty habit we’re all trying to break. The paper habit, that is. We’re all looking to trim our consumption, both at home, and on the job.

But in the marketing and communications world, sometimes it’s not that easy. We build websites and e-books, but sometimes the takeaway that makes the biggest impression is the one that comes printed on paper.

USGBC has worked diligently to curb its use of paper, moving to digital distribution (like our web-based reference guide), our email subscriptions and e-books. But when we do need to go the paper route, we follow some simple guidelines for making smarter decisions. Not only do these tweaks save trees, they also save money.

Paper specifications

We always select paper that’s 100% recycled, 100% post-consumer, and FSC-certified. Some paper products we’ve used for our favorite collateral pieces includes Enviro100 (Rolland), Mohawk Options (Mohawk), New Leaf Imagination 100, New Leaf Everest (New Leaf Paper), Environment PC 100 (Neenah Paper), 
Evergreen 100 PC (Fox River Paper Company), and Monadnock Astrolite PC 100 (Monadnock).

When project require heavier paper stock, we look for the highest available percentage of recycled post-consumer waste paper.

Ink specifications 

Don’t forget about the ink! Our standard ink must be at least 90% vegetable oil based with only trace amounts of metal content (2% or lower).

Printer specifications

When it comes to sourcing a print vendor, we go for those who are certified! We look for printers with FSC chain-of-custody certification, or SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) certification. Vendors that operate off of the grid, like on wind power, and those that participate in a carbon offset program are always a top pick.

How is your organization being smart about paper usage? Let us know in the comments.

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