Welcome to the Chihuahuan Desert Chapter!
Since our formation, the chapter has been positioned as the resource for green building information in the Paso Del Norte Region. Over the years, as local entities push forward with sustainability efforts, the chapter has often if not always been invited to participate early in the conversation. We recently aided the City of El Paso in amending their Green Building Grant program by providing data on the sustainable building capacity of our market in the form of the two hypothetical case studies focused on energy saving and LEED Certification potential. Additionally, chapter leaders participated in a comparison of LEED versus Green Globes for municipal buildings. Most recently, the Chihuahuan Desert Chapter has been involved in a task force intended to emphasize the tenets of smart growth for a new public use facilities ordinance.
A second facet to our role as the green building resource in the region has been our ongoing program for professional continuing education. You may have noticed a change in the way we offer continuing education. In an effort to create greater accessibility to education opportunities, the chapter facilitates bi-weekly webinar series available to chapter members for free! Instead of rushing out to a luncheon presentation, enjoy your continuing education from the comfort of your own computer or mobile device. Topics vary widely from big picture environmental science to LEED impact category specific sessions.
We haven’t however forgotten the value of face-to-face interaction + networking! The chapter continues to host quarterly special event style presentations focused on the issues facing our community today. Additionally, we strive to participate in and support large-scale conferences in the area. This year, the Chihuahuan Desert Chapter participated in the annual Eco El Paso Conference, the AIA New Mexico State Convention and in collaboration with our sister Texas Chapters, the upcoming 2013 CATEE conference in San Antonio.
Stepping in a new direction…
Since it’s inception in 2006, the chapter has been intensely focused on building industry trade professionals, with little emphasis outside of those circles. At some point, we realized that we have been preaching to the choir. The majority of industry professionals are well aware of the impact buildings have on the global environmental situation. It was sometime in late 2011 that chapter leaders decided it was time to stop talking to ourselves + start talking to everyone else! That means community outreach, citizen engagement and grass roots organizing! It also means a shift from our roots as a trade organization into a new role as a mission based community organization. Our professional members are still the heart and soul of the chapter. They continue to push us in ever more sustainable directions. Now it’s time to reach out beyond our professional boundaries and support widespread implementation of sustainable living + building practices.
Our latest outreach campaign, Green Means Go…What are you waiting for!? is focused on catalyzing a larger community movement rooted in the strength of our current membership. Visit our Take Action page to find out how you can get involved. The future of the communities we live in is in our hands…. join us in making the vision to create buildings + communities that will regenerate the health + vitality of all life within a generation a reality.