News & Updates

July 24, 2014

Practice What You Learn with Post-Training Coaching!


Are you a GPRO Operations & Maintenance Essentials certificate holder who wants to put your team’s skills into practice? We’re introducing GPRO O&M Post-Training Coaching as a recommended follow-up, at a special discount to GPRO O&M certificate holders. This one-year coaching process helps green O&M teams implement GPRO practices and continue improving the performance of their buildings.

Plus, thanks to a partnership with the City University of New York, participating teams will have access to an energy management consultant to help frame and execute an energy conservation plan.

Sign up here to find out more and jump-start your team’s green operations!



From tornadoes to oil spills, disasters too often claim homes and displace communities. To cope, cities around the world are experimenting with new forms of emergency housing. New York City’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) recently began a year-long testing of makeshift units installed in a public plaza. The prototype was created by Garrison Architects, a firm known for their modular, sustainable designs. If you’re in New York City, stop by Cadman Plaza in downtown Brooklyn to take a look at what may be the future of emergency housing.

Photo credit: © Andrew Rugge/archphoto



New York City builders and operators, time is running out to take advantage of this year’s 70% discount on GPRO coursesTell us your preferences to get a class organized for your group, or sign up for a public class this fall.



We’re looking for five motivated people to join the Urban Green team! Take a look at our openings and share with anyone who’s ready to jump into the green building industry.


June 26, 2014

Welcome To The Heat Island

It’s peak season for the urban heat island, where temperatures swell much higher than in rural areas under the summer sun.

Black asphalt and other hard surfaces absorb the sun’s energy all day and then radiate it back all night. Meanwhile, round-the-clock air conditioning works hard to keep the indoors freezing while exhausting the hot air outdoors.

As GPRO certificate holders know, buildings with reflective roofs and good insulation can keep the heat away and minimize the costs of cooling. The Chicago City Hall’s green roof is on average 30 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than surrounding roofs in the summer!

Summer heat not only amps up energy bills, it threatens the health and safety of many outdoor workers. Heat-related deaths could reach 150,000 by the end of the 21st century, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. OSHA’s Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness can help you make sure your workplace is safe and productive throughout the season.

Photo credit: JoeinSouthernCA, Flickr (CC)


Supreme Court decision on Monday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from big polluters – mainly fossil fuel power plants and refineries. This is another critical step towards a clean energy economy!


Going green can be hard work, so stay motivated by keeping up with the work of your peers! Urban Green Council celebrated the incredible accomplishments of operations teams from buildings all over the U.S. at the 3rd Annual EBie Awards earlier this month in New York City. Take a look at the winning project teams here.

June 5, 2014

GPRO in Toronto


New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) is teaming up with Related Companies and Oxford Properties to make the 28-acre Hudson Yards development in New York City the nation’s first “quantified community.” Data on air quality, energy use, recycling rates, and health will be constantly monitored, bringing Related’s practice of continuous commissioning to the next level.

Green training for Hudson Yards’ building workers will be critical to installing, maintaining, and responding effectively to the smart systems.

Photo credit: JessyeAnne, Flickr (CC)


Method, a leader in sustainable products, broke ground earlier this year for its aspiring LEED Platinum factory in the Pullman District of Chicago. The factory will be the first of its kind in the consumer packaged goods industry, featuring renewable energy, abundant daylight, and a green roof for growing fresh produce. This major soap maker will clean up a former lumberyard and bring 100 new manufacturing jobs to the local community.


We are happy to welcome the Greater Toronto chapter of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) as our first international delivery partner! Newly certified instructors are now ready to teach GPRO Construction Management and Operations & Maintenance Essentials to building trades all over Ontario. Get in touch with our friends at CaGBC-Greater Toronto to take GPRO and join their mission to make “every building greener”.

May 13, 2014

GPRO Hits 5,000 Trained!

We are happy to announce that the GPRO community is now over 5,000 strong! Since GPRO’s launch in 2010, thousands of building trades and contractors
have learned why and how to build green. We look forward to growing our network and continuing to lead the green building movement with you!  

If you are curious about climate change, but feel overwhelmed by too much data, the 2014 National Climate Assessment may be for you! This user-friendly web report was released this month by the US Global Change Research Program, a confederation of 13 federal agencies— including the Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, NASA and the EPA — dedicated to understanding and preparing the US for the risks of a changing global climate.

Photo credit: NASA Goddard, Flickr (CC)


Many thanks to Urban Future Lab for hosting the public GPRO Construction Management class! An amazing view of the New York City skyline underscores the impact that participants’ everyday work as building tradespeople and soon-to-be GPRO certificate holders has on the city.

Special thanks to Local Union 3 Electricians for sending a great instructor to teach GPRO Electrical Systems in upstate New York! International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) electricians from all over New York took advantage of the opportunity to become certified GPRO instructors and expand green building knowledge at their local unions.

NEW COUNCIL, GREENER CODESThe New York City Council recently passed four Green Codes targeting better health for building occupants and energy efficiency opportunities on construction sites. Read more about mold, stairs, lights, and pipes here!

April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day From GPRO

On today’s date 44 years ago, 20 million people joined in nationwide protests against uncontrolled pollution of our air and water. The largest demonstration in US history, the first Earth Day brought environmental protection onto the national agenda and sparked the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since 1970, the EPA’s initiatives – like the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts – have saved and improved countless lives, cutting pollution by half even as the economy has almost tripled in size.Today, people in 192 countries celebrate Earth Day worldwide.

Let’s celebrate our progress and your leadership through the work you do to protect our environment every day by building and operating green!


If you’re in the NYC area, join us next Tuesday the 29th for a free presentation on Designing for Resiliency and learn all about our city’s new building resiliency codes.

The latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that our actions in the next decade will determine whether we still have a chance to stabilize the climate – a key component is green building. According to the NY Times, the panel found that “it is increasingly clear that measures like tougher building codes…can save energy and reduce emissions.”

Your work in implementing these codes is critical to mitigate our impacts and prepare New York for the extreme risks of climate change.

Photo credit: Francesco Crippa, Flickr (CC)


Seats are still open for upcoming evening classes in New York City. For a limited time, most New York State residents can take GPRO courses at 70% off! Click the links below to find out more and sign up to become a GPRO Certificate Holder this spring!

Today is the last day to register for the Construction Management course starting next week. Registration for the Operations & Maintenance Essentials course will close on May 1st.

Want to set up a private class for your group? Let us know and we’ll get you started!


Projects with GPRO-trained team members can qualify for a point through LEED Pilot Credit 81. Stay tuned for stories from teams who are already taking advantage of this credit!

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