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Thanks to everyone who came out to our first annual Disc Golf Tournament fundraiser Sunday, April 30, which also marked the grand opening of the newly expanded beautiful 18-hole course at Lake Julian Park in Arden. We had perfect weather for the sell-out event with close to 80 players vying for hundreds of dollars of cash and dozens of prize giveaways. Thanks to the great turnout and overwhelming support of our generous sponsors, this first-time event was a fantastic fundraiser for our nonprofit. Photos courtesy of Petras Barcas Photos | See the full album!

WNC Green Building Council Newsletter | May 2017

Inside this issue:
  • Appalachian Offsets Update: Matching Grant Secured for Isaac Dickson Solar System
  • 2017 Green Building Directory: Ad Sales Ongoing Through July 1
  • Bringing Green Building to Schools: WNCGBC and Members Connect with Local Students
  • Welcoming Our New Board Members: Meet Jose Ruiz and Raymond Thompson
  • Advocacy Appeal: Continue to Voice Your Support for Energy Star Program
  • On The Blog: Low-Carbon Diet Groups Starting Soon
  • Member spotlight: RCJ Building Inc.

APPALACHIAN OFFSETS: Momentum Building in Fundraising for Isaac Dickson Solar System

As you may have heard, our local carbon-offsetting program, Appalachian Offsets has begun fundraising for its largest undertaking to date, a project to install a $1.1 million solar system on the roof of Isaac Dickson Elementary School.

Isaac Dickson PTO President Matt Menne talks to a family at the school in late April about fundraising efforts for the solar system.

The school was designed as one of the state’s first Net Zero Energy schools and has been awaiting the solar system since construction completed last year. Over its 30-year life, the system is expected to save $4.5 million in energy costs.

Private investors will cover the majority of up-front costs for the new solar system, and Appalachian Offsets is raising the remaining $220,000 needed to complete funding.

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, we have secured a matching grant of $110,000. With $6,000 in tax-deductible contributions toward the project in recent weeks, we have only $104,000 left to raise from the community.

Help our community reach its goal.
Offset your footprint and donate today!

Appalachian Offsets in the news:
Our community fundraising efforts made the news as Mountain Xpress featured the Isaac Dickson solar project with an article as part of its Sustainability Series last month.

Upcoming Isaac Dickson fundraisers:

Special gratitude to our business supporters!
Fundraising has been buoyed by the support of several local businesses including Mosaic Realty, VandeMusser Design and Samsel Architects, all of which have offset their carbon footprint by contributing to Appalachian Offsets.
For more information on how your business can offset its footprint and get involved, email

Don't Miss the Chance to Gain Exposure in the 2017
Green Building Directory

We are in the midst of planning our 2017 Green Building Directory. With 25,000 copies distributed at 100 spots throughout Western North Carolina, this directory is a great way to share your company's unique offerings in the broader community as well as position your brand for high visibility in a targeted demographic.

Beyond the directory listings automatically provided to all members at the business level and higher, there are several ways you can benefit from more visibility for your business in this year's directory.
  1. Contribute content. Our directory is enriched each year with article features and case studies written by our members and about their projects. The deadline for submitting articles for editorial consideration is June 1. Email this week with story ideas.
  2. Place an ad or enhance your listing. We sent ad details and a rate sheet in a newsletter last week. Email to place an ad.
  3. Become a member. Whether you're joining for the first time or renewing after a lapse, there's no better time to become a member of the WNCGBC.
Our annual directory is an impressive reflection of our membership and an invaluable resource for our community. We appreciate your participation in the process and presence in the finished product!

WNCGBC Members Talk Green Building with Middle Schoolers

Two of our amazing architect members and supporters, Emily Coleman-Wolf and Laurie Miller, visited two schools in the past month to discuss green building. On behalf of the WNCGBC, Emily and Laurie informed and energized middle-schoolers at Omega Middle School here in Asheville as well as Green Charter School in Greenville, SC.

The WNCGBC facilitated these programs as part of our mission to advance sustainability through community education. What better way than to connect with the next generation? We hope to expand outreach next school year by connecting with new classrooms and engaging more members to visit as representatives of various disciplines.

If you know a school or teacher whose students would value a visit by the WNCGBC, or you're a member who'd like to get involved in these efforts, email Community Engagement Director Cari Barcas at

Welcoming New Board Members: Jose Ruiz & Raymond Thompson
Last month's board meeting marked the first for two new members, Jose Ruiz and Raymond Thompson. Our organization is excited to benefit from having their perspectives on our Board of Directors.

A realtor at Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty here in Asheville, Jose Ruiz has traveled the world while working for organizations including the Peace Corps, the Navy Reserves, the North Carolina Outward Bound School, and Doctors Without Borders. With a degree in agricultural economics, he is passionate about being a good citizen and about the mountains of Western North Carolina. Despite all of his travels, Jose says he is happiest around a campfire and while exploring the mountains right here in Asheville.

The founder of Sure Foot Builders, Raymond Thompson describes his first passion as being home building, which is easily evidenced by the fact that he completed his first solo interior remodel at the ripe old age of 17. Holding his bachelor of arts in Latin American studies with a minor in biology, Raymond has also traveled extensively while pursuing some of his other passions including skiing, cycling, surfing and disc golf. In fact, our nonprofit's first annual disc golf tournament this spring was Raymond's brainchild.

Please join us in welcoming Jose and Raymond to the board, and thanking them in advance for the involvement and support!
WNCGBC and Members Among More than 1,000 Organizations Calling for Support of ENERGY STAR Program

More than 1,000 U.S. companies and organizations, including the WNC Green Building Council and several of its members, signed a letter to Congress and the administration calling for lawmakers to strengthen the ENERGY STAR program that was recently proposed for elimination under the Trump administration’s budget.

“ENERGY STAR is a model for successful collaboration between the public and private sectors,” said the letter, which was sent in late April by the Alliance to Save Energy. “It enjoys a long track record of success and should be strengthened, not weakened, to ensure it continues providing these important benefits to the public while helping us meet our energy and environmental goals.”

Less than a week after the letter was sent, Congress ultimately agreed upon a $1 trillion deal to fund the government through September, which preserved 99 percent of funding for the EPA. This represents much less than the 31 percent cut Trump has proposed for the next fiscal year, so the program may not be out of the woods yet.

Upcoming Events


Tuesday, May 16
4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Walk The Talk:
Strive Not To Drive
Location: 49 Coxe Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801
Cost: Free

Wednesday, May 17
2 to 3 p.m.
Webinar: Making ENERGY STAR Certified Homes EV-Ready
Location: Online
Cost: Free
Learn More

Tuesday, May 30
6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Movie Night Benefit:
"Wings of Life"
Location: The Collider, 1 Haywood St., Suite 401, Asheville, NC 28801
Cost: Free; all donations support Appalachian Offsets
Learn More

Wednesday, June 7
5 to 7 p.m.

Networking Event
Location: Olivette Riverside Agrihood, Asheville, NC 28804
Cost: Free
Learn More
Tuesday, June 13
8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Climate Wise Brownfields
Location: The Collider, 1 Haywood St., Suite 401, Asheville, NC 28801
Cost: $135
Learn More

Saturday, June 17
8 to 11 p.m.

Franklin's Kite Benefit Concert to Support 
Appalachian Offsets
Location: The Altamont Theatre, 18 Church Street, Asheville, NC 28801
Cost: $10

July 12 and 13
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

High Performance Buildings Conference
Location: Charlotte Convention Center, 501 South College Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
Cost: Starting at $150

Thursday, Aug. 17
5:30 to 8 p.m.

Annual Member Appreciation and Directory Release Party
Location: Highland Brewing, 12 Old Charlotte Highway, Asheville, NC 28803
Cost: Free

Saturday, Oct. 7
Fifth Annual CiderFest
Save the date and
stay tuned for details!
On The Blog:
Low Carbon Diet Groups Start Soon

One of our community members, Amy Musser of VandeMusser Design is working with other local energy coaches to offer free programs for people interested in exploring the Empowerment Institute's Low Carbon Diet Workbook in a group setting. These groups will meet four times in eight weeks to work through the workbook as a way of educating and engaging more community members in improving energy-efficiency habits.

In Amy's words, "The program IS really basic. You can do the program even if you don’t have much (or any) money to spend on energy upgrades. ... But the program is also really powerful. It was developed by The Empowerment Institute, an organization that studies how and why people change. They have found that the average participant decreases their carbon footprint by 25 percent."

Click here to read more on the WNCGBC blog!

The free groups are starting to meet later this month. For details, email Amy Musser or Beatrice Nathan.
Member Spotlight: 
RCJ Building Inc.

We are grateful to RCJ Building Inc. for recently renewing their platinum membership in WNCGBC.

Their custom home-building professionals pride themselves on having the knowledge and expertise to understand what goes into the building process, as well as what goes through the minds of future homeowners during the build.
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Western North Carolina Green Building Council

378 Haywood Road  •  Asheville, NC 28806

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