Winter Newsletter 2017

A new year brims with opportunities to reflect and aspire. Green Building Services (GBS) celebrated a landmark year in 2016, and we’re moving into 2017 with great enthusiasm and new alliances. Last year brought exceptional achievements and our merger with RWDI, a specialty engineering consulting firm with a global reach. In teaming with RWDI, GBS combines innovative thinking and collaborative problem solving to expand the boundaries of the possible for our clients.

A New Era in Sustainable Innovation

GBS' Elaine Aye and RWDI's Michael Soligo

Our exciting merger combines RWDI’s building performance practice, powered by advanced engineering modeling and simulation expertise, with GBS’s field-leading sustainable-building consulting capabilities. The result is an unmatched team of scientists, engineers and consultants poised to help clients, and lead the way to a sustainable and resilient built environment.

Elaine Aye, Associate/Regional Manager of GBS, is thrilled at what the development offers clients. “Merging with RWDI represents an enormous opportunity to serve our clients on a larger scale, with an expanded roster of comprehensive services. In an increasingly complex world, GBS and RWDI have joined forces to bring our clients an unparalleled depth of technical expertise, and the latest innovations in green building.”

Michael Soligo, President and CEO of RWDI, added, “Welcoming GBS to the RWDI family is a natural step in meeting the scope and diversity of our clients’ changing needs. Our clients will benefit by our enhanced ability to serve as trusted advisors on a wide range of issues.”

As a consultancy within RWDI, GBS helps clients access their building’s greatest potential by thinking restoratively, changing behavior and pushing the bounds of building science – an exceptional way to begin 2017!

Synergy that Leverages the Capacities of Both Firms

RWDI helps clients tackle complex challenges in the built environment by combining innovative thinking, collaborative problem solving and a passion for expanding the boundaries of the possible. A specialized technical firm, RWDI offers a range of services in building performance, climate engineering and environmental engineering. RWDI is committed to upholding and strengthening all dimensions of sustainability—social, economic and environmental – in their work on behalf of clients and in its own operations. We invite you to visit RWDI’s website and check out their work on many projects that showcase their breadth of technical expertise such as: Burj Khalifa, Dubai; National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C.; Halley VI Research Station, Antarctica…and more!

As one of the premier sustainability consulting firms in the world, GBS maximizes the greatest potential of our clients’ buildings and operations through an array of consulting services and solutions, ranging from water and energy conservation to creating and engaging a sustainably-minded culture. Our experts work on projects around the globe, helping improve efficiency and sustainability, analyzing building function, flow, process, and the culture inside that brings it to life.

GBS Projects

Oregon Convention Center

GBS enjoys a 13-year relationship with the Oregon Convention Center (OCC) that continues to grow and develop. In 2016 we began providing a new service for this nearly 1 million-square-foot facility – ongoing commissioning — as well as embarking on recertification efforts for maintaining its two exceptional green rating system certifications.

The remarkable sustainability story behind OCC is one of unwavering focus and steady progress over many years. Originally constructed in 1990, with a major expansion completed in 2003, OCC is the Pacific Northwest’s largest convention, meeting and events center. From the beginning, OCC’s management team demonstrated commitment to environmental sustainability in its ongoing facility operations, internal staff training and outreach efforts with clients and the public. In 2004, after engaging consulting services from GBS, OCC became the first convention center in the United States to earn LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) certification. In 2008, OCC recertified at the Silver level, and in 2014 realized an even greater achievement by obtaining LEED-EB: O&M Platinum. Additionally, under GBS’ guidance, in 2014 OCC became the first convention center in the world to earn Level 4 ASTM/APEX Environmental Sustainable Event Standards for Meeting Venues. Today, GBS is actively engaged in the recertification process for both of these awards in addition to providing ongoing commissioning services.

Learn more about GBS’ services on this project here

Learn more about OCC’s commitment to sustainability here

"OCC has enjoyed its partnership with Green Building Services. Over the years, Elaine Aye and the GBS team have been instrumental in our long term success. The GBS team has worked alongside our team to achieve LEED Platinum and implement our ongoing commissioning efforts. They have challenged and supported us on our evolution to be one of the most sustainable convention centers."

- Matthew Uchtman, Director of Operations

Oregon Convention Center

Banfield Pet Hospital Corporate Campus

GBS extended a friendly paw (er, hand) to some of our favorite furry friends through our recent role as sustainability consultants to the new Banfield Pet Hospital Corporate Campus, located in Vancouver, Washington. Founded in Portland, Oregon in 1955, Banfield Pet Hospital is the largest general veterinary practice in the world. Today, as a member of the Mars, Inc. family of businesses, it boasts nearly 975 pet hospitals and employs 16,000 associates across the United States and Puerto Rico.

The new state-of-the-art Banfield Corporate Campus, situated within Vancouver’s Columbia Tech Center (CTC), covers more than 17.5 acres and features 206,000 square feet of offices and training facilities. In addition to hosting a variety of departments, including a customer care call center, operations, legal, medicine, and corporate affairs, it also houses the Banfield Foundation, the company’s nonprofit arm, that helped more than 145,000 pets in need in 2016 alone. The facility celebrated its official opening in June 2016, with nearly 175 approved and assessed dogs coming to work in the new building as well. In fact, to date, more than 220 dogs have been approved and assessed to come to work!

From project inception, the design team focused on sustainability issues, with GBS leading an eco-charrette to help the team identify and define green building goals. Under GBS’ guidance, this project received LEED Platinum certification for New Construction.

Learn more about the sustainability story behind this stellar project here

Hines’ LEED Volume Certification Program: 101 California & 550 Terry Francois

GBS is pleased to serve as a consultant to Hines, one of the largest and most respected real estate organizations in the world. Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment, development and management firm, founded in 1957, with a presence in 192 cities in 20 countries. Sustainability has been at the firm’s core since the beginning, viewed as an ongoing practice that fosters communities and cities around the world.

GBS is currently providing LEED recertification services for two landmark office properties in San Francisco, working under Hines’ LEED Volume Certification Program, based on LEED-EB: O&M v3.0. Hines’ Volume Program was created in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to provide customized benefits while pursuing certification and recertification for a portfolio of buildings.

Learn more about Hines’ and sustainability here

550 Terry Francois
101 California

USGBC Student-Driven Sustainability Curriculum for Post-Secondary Classrooms

Student interviews with our clients

A Platinum member of the USGBC, GBS is also part of the USGBC Education Partner program where our staff has delivered dynamic, best-in-class trainings. In 2016, we pioneered a pilot training program for use through Education@USGBC that recruited a team of higher-education students and recent graduates to help develop and produce curricular course materials by students, for students. Under GBS’ expert supervision and guidance, the unique, educational series uses new media and cutting-edge digital teaching tools that resonate with modern learners. The program consists of 11 individual subject modules with topics ranging from EcoDistricts and Net-Zero Energy Building Design to Maintaining Optimal Building Performance, Carbon Reduction and Water Concerns Today. The curriculum has met with great success.

USGBC ranked GBS "Among the Top Ten Education Partners for All of 2016"
“We all have a role to play in ensuring the next generation is prepared for the realities of the 21st-century workplace and to tackle the challenges we face in this world. The work that GBS did to engage a group of students in a professional project exemplifies what it means to equip students with the skills, expertise and professional competencies required to start their careers.”

- Jaime Van Mourik, Director, Higher Education, USGBC

GBS Continues to Evolve

Although GBS started primarily as a provider of LEED consulting services, we now embrace many different certifications : (WELL Building Standard, SITES, GRI, CSR, Passive House, Net Zero, Living Building Challenge, EcoDistricts), and have added disciplines over time including technical services, commissioning, and solar consulting – just to name a few. As green building trends continue to change, we nimbly respond to market demands and translate our experience into trainings and curriculum that educates and inspires the next generation of sustainability leaders.

Here are some of our upcoming training events. More information will be posted on the GBS Website Training page soon – and stay tuned for future mailings with registration information.


  • LEED Green Associate Exam Prep Series with WPL Publishing (8 hours over 4 weeks) Click Here to Register
  • Pioneering LEEDv4: The East Boise Library! At Bown Crossing (1 hour)


  • Portland, Oregon Think & Drink: EcoDistricts Panel Discussion

Living Our Values

During 2016, GBS was honored to give back to our community in ways that help the environment and promote social equity.

  • Four times last year, GBS employees prepared and served meals to the residents of The Clark Center, which provides housing to men who are transitioning from homelessness to being self-supporting and contributing again to society.
  • As a result of donations from GBS staff and a generous donation from RWDI, GBS “adopted” 12 children during the holidays from families living in affordable housing provided by Portland non-profit Central City Concern. We purchased gifts of toys and clothing for the children and gift cards for their families.
  • In our longstanding tradition to recognize Earth Day, members of the GBS team got their hands and clothes dirty by volunteering for Friends of Trees, an organization that improves our natural environment by planting trees and restoring sensitive natural areas. We dug and planted trees to enhance a Portland neighborhood.
  • GBS showed its support at the Dress for Success Oregon fund raising event. Dress for Success Oregon assists lower income women become successful in work and life by providing professional attire, counseling, and a network of support.

We look forward to continuing to serve our community and offer our clients a diverse array of capabilities, thanks to our merger with RWDI. If you’d like to know more about our joint service offerings, please contact:

Elaine Aye, Associate/Regional Manager at

Richard Manning, Technical Director, at

Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2017!

Green Building Services is a consultancy within RWDI. We help our clients access their buildings’ full potential by pushing the bounds of building science.

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