August's Green News Roundup

CBRE Joins Center for Climate and Energy Solution’s Council

CBRE Group Inc. has joined the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) Business Environmental Leadership Council, the largest U.S. –based association of corporations focused on addressing climate change issues. CBRE adoped a new environmental sustainability policy in July 2012, committing to measure and report its internal carbon footprint as well as supply chain emissions by 2013. The firm will also develop standards and policies to reduce and report on its energy and resource consumption and waste production. The company’s goal is to establish at least 70 percent of its corporate facilities over 20,000 sq. ft. in space or buildings with recognized green building standards by 2017. For areas under CBRE’s control, the company will also establish annual reduction targets and verify progress through development of environmental management programs.

MB Real Estate Launches New Sustainability Guides

MB Real Estate’s Asset Management Group has launched two sustainability initiatives designed to promote best environmental practices. The company currently manages more than 7 million sq. ft. of LEED-Certified and Energy Star-designated properties. MB Real Estate’s Best Environmental Practices Corporate Policy includes waste, energy and water conservation initiatives. This includes making use of digital documents rather than printing materials, utilizing occupancy sensors in private offices, installation of water filters to reduce consumption of bottled water and the use of green office supplies. MB Real Estate’s Eco-Guide for Tenants provides practical ideas and strategies for tenants that will save energy, minimize waste and reduce carbon footprints; the guide also provides a list of available resources and specific steps to implement sustainability programs.

PanTerra Energy Launches Unique Financing Option

PanTerra Energy, an alternative energy solutions provider, has been launched by two Denver-based construction industry veterans. Focusing on geothermal heat pumps, PanTerra designs, builds and installs systems in businesses, municipalities and residences. The company also offers a new model for financing options. Instead of the traditional model, in which HVAC contractors contract out the design of the system and drilling required, adding additional fees onto the system’s cost, PanTerra Energy handles all aspects of installation, lowering the overall project cost and offering financing assistance and help with securing federal tax credits.

Borrego Solar Creates $64.4M Fund to Finance Commercial Solar Projects

Borrego Solar Systems Inc., a San Diego-based designer, installer and financier of grid-tied solar photovoltaic systems, has closed a new $64.4 million fund to finance solar energy projects for corporate, education and municipal customers. Investors include Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank and Washington, D.C.-based National Cooperative Bank. The new fund is Borrego Solar’s largest since the company began offering cost-effective Power Purchase Agreements in 2009 and brings its total amount of capital raised to over $225 million. The fund will be used to building more than 18 megawatts of solar energy systems, totaling eight projects, including four municipal landfill installations and one school district.

HUB Group breaks Ground for Green HQ Outside Chicago

Hub Group, a $2.8 billion asset-light freight transportation management company, together with Morgan/Harbour Construction and Oak Brook Village, held a ceremonial groundbreaking of Hub Group’s new 130,000-sq.-ft. international headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., near Chicago. The four-story class-A office facility, which aims for LEED Gold certification, is the first new office building to be constructed in the village since 2000. The building promises to accommodate more than 800 employees, to be relocated from two other offices, and its green features include high-efficiency HVAC, energy-efficient lighting controls, storm water harvesting and natural habit landscaping and walking trails for employees.

LEED-Certified Building Stock Surpasses 2 Billion Sq. Ft., Says USGBC

A recent study by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has found that the total footprint of commercial projects certified under its LEED green building program surpassed 2 billion sq. ft. An additional 7 billion sq. ft. is currently in the pipeline as registered projects.

As the most widely recognized and utilized green building program, LEED certifies 2 million sq. ft. of commercial building space each day in more than 130 countries. Today, nearly 50,000 commercial projects are currently participating in LEED, comprising 9 billion sq. ft. of construction space. Since the start of July, over 300 projects have earned LEED certification in more than 20 countries worldwide.

Shorenstein Receives LEED Platinum, Gold Certification for Properties Across the U.S.

Shorenstein Properties LLC, based in San Francisco, has received LEED Platinum certification for the Cisco Tower, a 283,000-sq.-ft. office building Shorenstein owns and operates in Santa Clara, Calif. LEED Gold certification was awarded to three properties: Media Studios North, a 932,190-sq.-ft. five-building media and entertainment campus in Burbank, Calif.; 850 Third Avenue, a 613,000-sq.-ft. class-A office building in New York; and 1875 K Street, a 176,000-sq.-ft. class-A office building in Washington, D.C.

New $85M Genzyme Corp. Building Achieves LEED Gold

Genzyme Corp.’s new $85 million life sciences building, designed by ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge for Genzyme’s Framingham, Mass. campus, has received LEED Gold certification.

The 186,000-sq.-ft. six-story Biologics Support Center houses support for the adjacent Cell Culture Expansion building and other Genzyme manufacturing facilities. The building includes offices, conference and technical support space, a data center and a technical operations center. A central lecture hall, break-out spaces housed in a glass entrance tower and a café with roof terraces have been designed to foster interaction and collaboration between building users. The building was completed in July and is the second LEED Gold building on Genzyme’s campus. The first building, the 177,000-sq.-ft. Science Center, was completed in 2007.

Capital Gateway Earns LEED Platinum

Capital Gateway, located at 6700 Rockledge Drive in Bethesda, Md., has received LEED Platinum certification for Existing Buildings. The building is one of three commercial office buildings in the state of Maryland to receive such a designation. In addition, the building has an Energy Star score of 93. Sustainable building strategies include re-commissioning of all mechanical systems; energy-efficiency retrofit of lighting systems; water conservation retrofit of indoor plumbing fixtures; installation of high-efficiency air filters on HVAC equipment and audit of the waste stream to identify opportunities to reduce waste and increase recycling. As a result of its LEED Platinum certification, Capital Gateway has earned a sizable tax credit from Montgomery County, Md.

Verizon Wireless Stores Recognized for Green Building Design Leadership

Verizon Wireless’s green retail store design has achieved LEED pre-certification as part of the USGBC’s LEED Volume Program. As such, Verizon Wireless is one of only eight retailers in the U.S. and the only wireless company to achieve pre-certification from the USGBC.

Each LEED-certified Verizon Wireless Communications Store is expected to deliver, on average, 12,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year energy savings from lighting; 28,000 gallons per year of savings in water usage; 28 tons of construction waste diverted from landfills per year.

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