Green Builder Coalition

The Torch – August 2016

The Torch Offical Publication of Green Builder Coalition


WERS Verifier Training to Return to Santa Fe

SFCC logoSanta Fe Community College (SFCC) will be the site of the 2nd WERS Verifier training class. Held October 11-13, the class will run from 9am to 5pm each day. There will be a mixture of classroom learning and field training, followed by a written exam and field exam. The class pre-requisites are highly recommended for all students.

“We incorporated feedback from the first class, and have made the second class even more interactive,” said EnergySmart Academy Director Amanda Hatherly. “Students really benefit from the hands-on, field-based sections of the training, where they can actively practice what they have been learning with immediate instructor feedback.”

If you are interested in attending the course at SFCC, please click here for more information, including a list of pre-requisites. For registration information, please e-mail Amanda Hatherly with SFCC.

About EnergySmart Academy

The EnergySmart Academy at Santa Fe Community College is a nationally recognized training center specializing in energy efficiency, green building and sustainable technology trainings. As well as offering Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) accredited clean energy programs, Building Performance Institute (BPI) and RESNET trainings, staff have been involved in the development of the WERS protocol and now are offering the first WERS training courses in the country. For more, visit

About Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS)
WERS is a predictive, performance-based approach to residential water efficiency and water resource management. The WERS is the culmination of calculations that consider the loading from principal plumbing fixtures, clothes washers, structural waste, and outdoor water management. Potential rainwater and greywater catchment are also calculated. Applicable for both new and existing single-family and multifamily residential properties, it uses a scoring scale of zero to 100, with zero being the most desirable and 100 representing the baseline home. For more information, please visit

Upcoming Events

wERS Sessions

The Coalition staff, or members of the WERS Development Group, will be presenting at the following conferences over the next 3+ months:

  • New Mexico Housing Summit – September 19th at 1:30pm in Albuquerque, NM
  • EEBA – September 28th at 10:30am and September 29th at 8:40am in Frisco, TX
  • WaterSmart Innovations – October 6th at 9:35am in Las Vegas, NV
  • National Ground Water Association – December 6th at 4:15pm in Las Vegas, NV
  • Irrigation Association – December 7th at 11:00am in Las Vegas, NV

WERS logo

If you plan to attend any of these events, please let us know. We’d love to say Hi!




As I Am…

Jody Hodge

Recently, we sat down with a green building professional to gain a personal insight into their motivations, inspirations and experiences. This issue, we feature Jody Hodge, Emergency Management Practitioner.

Jody HodgeThe Torch: What motivated you to enter the sustainability industry?

Jody Hodge: Like many people, I was passively aware of sustainability and tried to be responsible by recycling and donating items for reuse. While I was in graduate school for Emergency Management, many of my text books had sections or chapters on sustainability. They focused on the intersection of emergency management and sustainability, especially as it impacts the built environment.

Since then, I’ve had a desire to learn more. There’s a new graduate program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham called Sustainable Smart Cities. I’ve decided to take the plunge and go for another master’s degree. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this broadens my understanding of sustainability.

TT: Describe your first green project. Did you encounter any hurdles on that first project? (If yes, how did you overcome them?)

JH: As a newcomer in the profession, I haven’t worked on any green projects directly. As an emergency management practitioner, I have made it a point to see if there is a sustainable way to rebuild after a disaster.

I’ve worked with local municipalities, non-governmental agencies and long-term recovery committees to explore how to build back in a sustainable manner. Of course, my main focus in emergency management is how resilient we’re building back our communities. I don’t believe that sustainability and resiliency are mutually exclusive. In fact, I think they’re mutually beneficial.

TT: What building product or technique do you think will be the next “game changer”?

JH: I was really impressed to read about a new type of concrete that absorbs carbon dioxide from the air. I’m not an engineer, so I was shocked to learn about the emissions released in the manufacturing of cement. This new way to create concrete is not only less polluting, it actually draws CO2 out of the air.

As more and more people are moving into cities across the world, this new construction technique could be a quick way to make cities more sustainable. Not only that, but here in the U.S., as we repair and replace our roads, interstates and bridges, this process could create ways to reduce smog in our cities and help rural and tourist areas keep their air clean.

TT: Who inspires you the most?

JH: That’s a tough one. My parents were very hardworking people, so I admire their work ethic. I also have really good friends who inspire me to be better in all facets of my life.

TT: If you had it to do over again, what profession would you choose?

JH: If I had known about the emergency management profession sooner, I would have gone into the field much earlier. It’s been a very rewarding career for me.

TT: What do you enjoy the most when you’re not at work?

JH: I love to get outside. Birmingham has numerous parks. Railroad Park in downtown won an Urban Land Institute award in 2012. Also, Red Mountain Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country. I attempt to play golf, but I’m ashamed to share my scores with anyone.

I’m also a sci-fi fan and I love old movies. I have an Amazon Prime account, so I’ve spent many a weekend binging on all the Star Trek series and old films. As much as I love being outdoors, if I ever get Netflix and Hulu, I’m afraid I may never leave my house.

TT: What’s the most important piece of advice you’d like to pass along to others?

JH: I would like to tell everyone to enjoy their life. Enjoy every minute of it. Sure, there are trying times and difficult times, but they never last. Eat good, healthy food. Value your friends and value your family. Basically my advice is: have good friends, good family, good food and good wine!

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