144 145 U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL - MARYLAND CHAPTER From day one, USGBC’s mission is to transform the way buildings and com- munities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life. RHIANNON JACOBSEN building industry. Our membership network represents a mosaic of industries and professionals united behind better buildings and their rewards for our future. “Membership is offered for organizations at four levels: Organiza- tional, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Local community membership, like that of our USGBC Maryland community, is offered for individuals. USGBC communities provide local leadership, networking, education, and volunteer opportunities for individuals. Membership in a USGBC community helps you expand your network through opportunities to connect with green building industry leaders at every career stage.” BVM: What is the size of the USGBC staff/presence in Maryland? What do they do? What are their main priorities? Are there any ma- jor changes planned for the near or long-term future? Jacobsen: “We have a number of dedicated volunteers and advi- sory board members who are steadfast in promoting green building in Maryland, and given the state’s proximity to our headquarters in Washington, D.C., several staff members that work on advancing the green building market in Maryland, myself included. “The main priorities of the USGBC Maryland community are to promote and encourage the use of sustainable building practices and advocate for sound policies that call for a more robust, healthy and resilient built environment for the state.With a mission to use education, advocacy and community outreach to support the devel- opment of sustainable buildings and communities, USGBC Maryland is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for the state of Maryland through cost efficient and energy saving green buildings.” BVM: What are some notable recent, current, and upcoming proj- ects in Maryland? Jacobsen: “There are more than 1,000 LEED-certified projects in Maryland, one of the most recent being the home of the Baltimore Orioles, and one of the oldest buildings in the country to earn certi- fication, Camden Yards, which earned LEED Gold for Existing Build- ings: Operations and Maintenance. “The new MGM National Harbor, a hotel and casino just outside D.C., achieved LEED Gold and is the largest project certified in Mary- land at more than 1.2 million square feet.