November's Green News Roundup

GSA Seeks Sustainable Technologies to Test

The U.S. General Services Administration issued a Request for Information (RFI) online to gather input on new sustainable building technologies and practices in support of its Green Proving Ground program. The program is seeking information from industry, commercial organizations, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations on technologies that have the potential to improve economic and environmental performance in federal buildings.

The Green Proving Ground (GPG) program leverages GSA’s real estate portfolio as a test bed to evaluate the viability of emerging building technologies and practices to save energy and water and reduce operational costs. The RFI is inviting industry and stakeholders to submit information to the program, which will be used in the selection process for technologies to test as part of the GPG’s 2013 program. Technologies that are chosen for the program are tested in GSA’s federally-owned buildings. Results from these evaluations will continue to assist GSA in finding ways to make buildings more efficient and assist industry in deploying new technologies and practices into the broader market. GSA owns and leases 9,600 buildings across the country and has the real estate portfolio needed to evaluate these technologies.

GSA is seeking information on innovative building technologies and practices that can be donated or provided via testing agreements at no cost. The RFI will remain open until Friday, November 23 at 5:00 pm EST. Parties interested in submitting information should review the RFI here.

New Alternative Compliance Paths Available for International LEED Projects

A new set of Global Alternative Compliance Paths, or Global ACPs, are available for commercial projects pursuing LEED green building certification using the 2009 versions of the rating systems. Global ACPs offer a flexible method for projects around the world to demonstrate compliance with the LEED credits that are traditionally more challenging for projects outside of the U.S.

In 2012, LEED projects outside the U.S. pursuing LEED certification have made up over 50 percent of all floor area of all registrations. LEED is certifying 2,002,090 sq. ft. of commercial building space daily, which currently is comprising more than 49,100 LEED-certified and registered projects in 135 countries.

With a growing stock of existing buildings throughout Europe, members of the LEED International Roundtable—including Finland, France, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Turkey, led by Green Building Council Italia—are working to address the growing needs of this sector by developing LEED credit options that address geographic and regional issues. These specific Regional Alternative Compliance Paths are being developed for projects in Europe pursuing the 2009 version of LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance.

Shorenstein Properties Appoints Sustainability Program Manager

Shorenstein Properties LLC appointed Jaxon Love as sustainability program manager. He will be based in the company’s San Francisco office and will be responsible for running Shorenstein’s comprehensive in-house sustainability program, which includes its corporate operations and all properties under management.

Prior to joining Shorenstein, Love was a fellow of the Environmental Defense Fund’s climate corps program. Prior to that, he held positions at Pacific Gas and Electric Co., and EcoNorthwest, an economic consultancy. He holds an M.B.A. in Sustainable Business and a Masters in Accounting from the University of Oregon. He is a member of BOMA San Francisco’s Energy and Environment Committee and the U.S. Green Building Council’s Northern California chapter.

Tishman Speyer’s Chrysler Building and Lumière Paris, Certified LEED Gold

New York City’s Chrysler Building has been awarded the LEED Gold-EBOM (Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance) designation by the U.S.G.C. The designation is the most recent LEED or equivalent certifications received by major Tishman Speyer properties around the world. Over 5.7 million sq. ft. of Tishman Speyer office space in New York City now has earned LEED certification for new construction or existing buildings.

Tishman Speyer’s Lumière, the largest privately-owned office building in Paris, France, has received the HQE Exploitation Certification, the most sought-after property environmental award there. Lumiere has received the highest HQE ranking of any French office building in the largest size category, and Tishman Speyer now owns three of the top 10 ranked buildings in France.

Also, three Tishman Speyer office buildings in Washington, D.C. recently received LEED Silver-EBOM certifications, with another four to be certified by the end of 2012. Lumière is located in the Eastern business district of Paris, an established office market with excellent access to the center of the city. Built in 1992, the property consists of seven floors above the two-story lobby level, branched into two wings from an impressive atrium. In 2011, Tishman Speyer executed the largest lease transaction ever completed in the city of Paris, signing the French Ministry of the Interior to a 400,000-sq.-ft. lease at the property.

M1T Partners and Adoba Eco Hotel Finalize Funding for National Expansion of LEED-Certified Hotel Brand

M1T Partners LP finalized a preliminary round of funding of Adoba Eco Hotel, the first independent hotel chain to design, build and convert LEED-certified hotels. M1T’s $75 million investment represents the first round of financing of a five-year plan to accelerate Adoba’s national expansion plan.

M1T’s investment in the Adoba Eco Hotel Brand expansion is being conducted through the firm’s fund that seeks to achieve capital appreciation while minimizing risk of loss by investing in underfunded development projects, opportunistic projects and unique special situations. The fund’s strategy is to utilize M1T’s established network of contacts in financial sectors to finance both existing and future projects.

The Adoba new build design and conversions provide a competitive advantage to hotel owners balancing the desire to become more sustainable with the financial realities of their business. For developers or hotel owners, building or repositioning a property for maximum energy efficiency and sustainable long-term performance offers a transformational business model that eliminates traditional franchise fees in order to provide the greatest opportunities for maximum returns.

Sustainability Programs’ Evidence of Financial Value Mounts, Says Jones Lang LaSalle

As evidence mounts that energy and sustainability programs are good for business as well as the environment, the majority of commercial real estate owners have spent money on green strategies in the past year, but most have avoided making large capital investments requiring financing, according to the latest Global Sustainability Perspective report from Jones Lang LaSalle.

More capital is available for energy retrofits and renewable energy installations today than in recent years, but most owners have avoided financing options, focusing on self-financed projects that can demonstrate a direct financial payback, according to the Jones Lang LaSalle report.

In Jones Lang LaSalle’s Global Sustainability Perspective, an article entitled “Building Energy Retrofit: Owners Need Convincing, Not Just Financing” notes that most investment owners do not expect energy improvements to result in higher rent, but they do expect to attract more tenants, thus improving return on investment and building value. While owners have focused primarily on moderate cost improvements, those that analyse the cost and financial payback of a whole-building energy retrofit, and can take advantage of tax incentives, may find more extensive retrofits make financial sense as well.

Architectural Resources Cambridge Completes Design of Biomass Plant at Colby College in Maine

Architectural Resources Cambridge (ARC), an architectural, planning and interior design firm specializing in educational, science, sports and corporate facilities, has completed the design of a new $11 million, 13,000-sq.-ft. biomass plant at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

Laconia, N.H.-based Rist-Frost-Shumway Engineering PC invited ARC to work with Colby College to reduce its reliance on oil to heat the campus through creation of the Colby College Biomass Cogeneration Plant. The new plant burns forest waste and debris—treetops and bark that cannot be used by other pulp operations—instead of oil. The cost savings switching from oil to biomass is expected to pay for the building in six to 10 years. The fuel will come from sustainable forest operations within a 50-mile radius of the campus. The twin 400-horsepower, biomass-fueled boilers produce steam used for heat, hot water, cooking and cogeneration of heat and electricity. Colby College received a $750,000 grant from Efficiency Maine to assist with the project.

The new power plant provides thermal and partial electrical service to 30 campus buildings totaling 1.25 million sq. ft. of space. The new biomass power plant is expected to reduce Colby College’s carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 14,000 tons per year. The project also strengthens the region’s economy by bolstering the market for local biomass fuel. The project is targeting LEED Gold Certification.

Regency Centers Expands Energy Savings Initiatives with Networked Lighting Controls

Regency Centers, a national owner, operator and developer of grocery-anchored shopping centers, has reduced its energy consumption since 2010 by 3.4 million kWh. The installation of networked lighting controls at 48 shopping centers, combined with the use of LED lighting and more efficient HID lamps, accounts for the majority of these savings. The networked lighting controls currently generate about $400,000 in annual expense savings. In 2013 Regency is on track to increase these savings by 55 percent, reducing operating expenses by an additional $220,000.

Currently, Regency has networked lighting controls installed at 48 neighborhood and community centers in California (7), Colorado (3), Florida (16), Georgia (5), Oregon (2), Ohio (2), Tennessee (4) and Texas (9). Regency plans to add the lighting control systems to approximately 30 properties in the next 6 months to 12 months and will incrementally adopt the technology in its remaining portfolio where the investment makes sound financial sense.

San Francisco’s Moscone Center achieves LEED Gold Certification

San Francisco’s Moscone Center has received LEED Gold certification. It is San Francisco’s largest municipally-owned green building and the first convention center on the West Coast to attain the green building honor. The Moscone Center achieved LEED Gold for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

The renovation team including project managers Jones Lang LaSalle, architects HOK, general contractor Webcor Builders, project management team at Department of Public Works, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the San Francisco Department of Environment, convention center management SMG and the San Francisco Tourism Improvement District. The LEED Gold certification comes as the result of a $56 million renovation recently completed at the convention center. After an extensive study on building systems, over 250 corrective actions were employed.

EPA Honors Three Coalition for Responsible Transportation Members

Three Coalition for Responsible Transportation members—BestBuy, HP and Lowe’s—were honored by the EPA as recipients of the 2012 SmartWay Excellence Award.

SmartWay is the U.S. EPA’S flagship program for improving fuel efficiency and reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution from the transportation supply chain industry. EPA’s SmartWay Excellence Awards recognize high performers that are leading the freight industry to a clean, efficient and more sustainable future. The awards honor SmartWay partners that are helping set efficiency benchmarks for how shippers and their carriers are moving products and goods in the North American freight sector.

Best Buy earned the 2012 SmartWay Excellence Award through demonstrating top environmental performance by effectively hauling all freight with environmentally and energy efficient SmartWay carriers. In addition, Best Buy implemented several initiatives in an effort to reduce fuel consumption and lower carbon dioxide emissions, including increasing use of Clean Trucks for all drayage shipments from the ports in Los Angeles/Long Beach, the elimination of idle time at all Best Buy Distribution Centers and Stores and reducing empty miles by implementing backhaul programs that result in more efficient truck movements. To earn the 2012 SmartWay Excellence Award, Lowe’s implemented initiatives that resulted in reduced emissions and less overall highway congestion which led Lowe’s to become one of only two companies, and the only retailer ever to receive four consecutive EPA SmartWay awards.

LEED-Silver College for Valparaiso University Completed

Valparaiso University completed a new two-story, 51,500-sq.-ft. LEED Silver-certified addition to its College of Arts and Sciences on its campus in Valparaiso, Ind.

The LEED Silver facility’s new classroom and office addition for the College of Arts and Sciences was integrated into the campus’ Christopher Center Library. The construction of the building features a masonry, aluminum, precast and glass exterior that incorporates aluminum cladding; generous window lines and a dramatic entry featuring an intricate metal panel that provides both dimension and interest. The expansion includes a lobby space, offices, teacher’s lounge and flexible office and classroom areas that feature high-tech audio visual equipment. The contemporary interior finishes include acoustical tile, concrete floors and exposed steel elements offering a modern appeal that supports numerous sustainability aspects.

Sustainable elements featured in the new facility include an energy-efficient HVAC system, recycled and low-VOC materials and certified wood products, among others. During construction, McShane implemented a material waste recycling center on the job site to ensure that excess materials used during the construction process were broken down or reused. EHDD Architecture provided architectural services, McShane Construction Company provided building services and KJWW Engineering provided structural engineering and consulting services.

Deltec Homes Introduces The Solar Homestead

A centuries-old concept meets innovative home design in Deltec Homes’ new award-winning Solar Homestead. Inspired by the traditional homes of early mountain settlers, the Solar Homestead is a self-sustaining dwelling designed to produce as much energy as it consumes. The home’s fully panelized building kit can be shipped anywhere in the world. Its sleek and functional layout and leading-edge technology make it a perfect choice for homeowners who want to maximize energy savings and minimize their impact on the environment.

The Solar Homestead won the People’s Choice Award at the 2011 U.S. Solar Decathlon, a project of the U.S. Department of Energy to highlight the comfort and affordability of energy-efficient construction. It is the first time a Decathlon winner is being made available to the consumer.

Designed to be a “net-zero” home, the Homestead uses a highly efficient building enclosure and solar technology to produce its energy. Customizable options allow homeowners to adapt the design to meet their specific “net-zero” living goals. The Solar Homestead’s main house features two bedrooms and one bath in 1,032 sq. ft. of living space. An optional outbuilding module provides an additional 135 square feet for full or half-bath and a third bedroom or office. A grand porch and solar canopy connect the living spaces, and additional outbuildings can expand living and storage options even further into the outdoors. Features like super-insulated, double-stud-framed walls, triple-glazed windows and doors and innovative heating and cooling systems add to the efficiency of the home.

PREI Achieves LEED Platinum in N.J., LEED Gold in Atlanta

Prudential Real Estate Investors’ new global headquarters in New Jersey was awarded platinum certification. The company’s Atlanta office was also awarded gold certification, the second highest rating. PREI is the real estate investment and advisory business of Prudential Financial, Inc.

The firm’s new headquarters at 7 Giralda Farms in historic Morris County, N.J. opened last May, while the Atlanta office at Ten Peachtree Place, opened last January. Achieving LEED Certification fits in with the company’s socially responsible investment policy, adopted in 2011. Through its sustainable efforts, PREI has so far added $56.4 million to the value of its global portfolio through sustainable initiatives as well as opening the two new offices featuring numerous features that make them more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient.

Empire State Building Company Selects Lutron to Help Achieve Sustainability Goals

Energy-saving lighting control manufacturer Lutron Electronics was selected by the Empire State Building Company, LLC, owner of the Empire State Building, to provide sustainable lighting control solutions for pre-built tenant spaces throughout the iconic, 1930s, pre-war structure. The Lutron solution, developed in collaboration with Empire State Building project manager Jones Lang LaSalle, is expected to provide total lighting energy savings of up to 65 percent and a reduced installed payback period of 2.75 years (down from six years).

The Empire State Building, partnering with the Clinton Climate Initiative, Johnson Controls Inc., Jones Lang LaSalle and the Rocky Mountain Institute, is undergoing a building-wide retrofit to improve energy efficiency and financial performance to reduce the building’s energy use by 38 percent and energy bills by $4.4 million a year, while also preventing 105,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the next 15 years.

Glenwood Debuts Crystal Green, Sustainable Luxury Rental Property

Leasing has launched at Crystal Green the latest high-end rental property managed, owned and developed by Glenwood, in Manhattan’s Midtown West. The 25-story structure features Glenwood’s premium finishes and incomparable services and amenities, coupled with environmentally conscious elements that qualify the building for LEED certification.

Glenwood’s second sustainably-built rental, Crystal Green, located at 330 West 39th St., has played an integral role in the transformation of the Midtown West neighborhood, and follows the recent successfully swift leasing of Emerald Green. Crystal Green, which was designed by Stephen B. Jacobs Group, contains a total of 200 spacious apartments ranging from studio to two-bedroom layouts. Monthly rents for available homes begin at $2,795 for studios, $3,545 for one-bedrooms and $4,610 for two-bedroom homes.

Crystal Green is designed with a high percentage of recycled-content construction materials obtained from regional sources. Additional environmentally friendly features include a building-wide water filtration system; roof terraces with heat-reflective pavers; occupancy sensors for lighting in common areas and corridors; and eco-friendly cleaning supplies used throughout the building. Individual homes at Crystal Green have been meticulously designed with energy efficiency and sustainability in mind. All homes include sophisticated sustainable bamboo wood flooring, Energy Star-rated appliances and eco-friendly plumbing fixtures and faucets for water conservation.

Ryan Companies US, Inc. Receives 2012 Excellence in Energy Efficiency Award

Ryan Companies U.S. Inc. was selected by MidAmerican Energy to receive a 2012 Excellence in Energy Efficient Design Award for the Van Meter Inc. Industrial Office and Warehouse in Iowa City, Iowa. The award was presented on September 27, 2012 at an awards celebration during the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Iowa Convention. The award recognizes excellence in building design that creates significant and measurable energy savings through sustainable design practices.

The new Van Meter Inc. Industrial Office and Warehouse is a 22,840-sq.-ft., $3 million facility located on Ruppert Road in Iowa City. The building’s sustainable design includes 60 rooftop solar panels that produce 14 kW of power. Other energy-saving features include a geothermal HVAC system, daylight harvesting system, LED lighting in office spaces, a building power monitoring system, high R-value insulation and two electric vehicle charging stations. During the winter months, even the truck docks are heated with geothermal energy.

Wake Forest BioTech Place Earns LEED Gold Certification

Wake Forest BioTech Place has achieved LEED Gold certification. Cassidy Turley manages the property on behalf of owner Wexford Science +Technology. Cassidy Turley’s property management and sustainability services divisions worked with Baltimore-based Wexford and anchor tenant Wake Forest Health Sciences to bring the building to LEED Gold standards, among the highest in the world for sustainable development, construction and property operations.

Wake Forest BioTech Place, located at 575 N. Patterson Ave. in Winston-Salem, N.C., is a redeveloped tobacco warehouse and machine shop that was originally built in 1937. The 240,000-sq.-ft. structure includes state-of-the-art research and lab facilities, classroom space, a conference center and a business accelerator, all leased by Wake Forest Health Sciences. Sustainable features of the property’s redevelopment and operations include its adaptive reuse and recycled building content; use of local and low-emitting construction materials; sustainable janitorial, landscaping and water use policies; and available alternate transit options.

Cassidy Turley has led 2 million sq. ft. of LEED-certified projects. Currently, Wexford is redeveloping a building adjacent to Wake Forest BioTech Place. Cassidy Turley also has partnered with the developer on property management and sustainability measures at the Bio-Research & Development Growth Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, the University of Maryland BioPark in Baltimore and University BioPark at IIT in Chicago.

NAIOP Sustainable Development Award Honors Boston Properties for Atlantic Wharf Project

NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, selected Boston Properties as the recipient of its annual Sustainable Development Award. Boston Properties is being honored for the Atlantic Wharf project, a mixed-use building located in Boston, Mass. The award was presented during a special ceremony on Wednesday, October 24, at NAIOP’s Development ‘12: The Annual Meeting for Commercial Real Estate, in Washington, D.C.

The Atlantic Wharf project was selected for the innovative use of sustainable elements, including: a rain harvesting system that captures storm water and reuses it for both HVAC and irrigation; a green roof on the majority of the Waterfront building roof to reduce the non-roof heat island effect; re-use and integration of 41.8 percent of the existing historic structures that were on site; an improved thermal envelope, high efficiency glazing, high efficiency boiler and garage ventilation controls; an insulated glass curtain wall that maximizes natural day light while contributing to a thermally efficient envelope; 100 percent of the metal waste being recycled or re-used and a construction waste management plan that diverted more than 95 percent of the waste generated from the projects from landfills.

LEED-Certified Sofia Airport, Bulgaria, Opens

The official grand-opening of the first phase of Bulgaria’s Sofia Airport Center (SAC) has taken place, announced Tishman International Companies, the project developer, owner and manager. The event, which took place at 64 Christopher Columbus Boulevard, began with honoring dignitaries and corporate executives, including Republic of Bulgaria President Rosen Plevneliev, as well as U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria Marcie Ries; Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Bulgaria Catherine Barber; Tishman Managing Director Europe Julian Edwards and Tishman Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alan D. Levy.

Tishman International developed SAC, Bulgaria’s first LEED commercial development. The project consists of 1.8 million sq. ft. of class-A office space and 300,000 sq. ft. of logistics and warehouse space, which is 100 percent occupied. Logistics facilities, which are located in three separate structures, offer office space and feature state-of-the-art security and safety systems. Future plans call for a high-quality, 175-room hotel with recreational, dining and conference facilities, as well as additional logistics and office space.

Skanska USA and Grosvenor Americas Plan Mixed-Use Development in Washington, D.C.

Skanska USA Commercial Development Inc. and Grosvenor Americas are planning to develop a mixed-use complex of more than 650,000 sq. ft. in Washington, D.C’s Capitol Riverfront district. The mixed-use development will be located between M and N Streets, fronted by First Street, just steps from the new Washington Nationals Park and the Navy Yard station on Metrorail’s Green Line.

Skanska USA will be responsible for the development of an 11-story, 224,000-sq.-ft. office building with 11,000 sq. ft. of additional retail space on the ground floor. The building will feature a roof top terrace, green roof and below-grade parking garage with over 140 parking spaces.

Grosvenor Americas plans to develop the remainder of the block with a mix of uses including residential and retail space. Skanska USA Building will serve as the construction manager for the office building, which will be designed byGensler Architects and will aim for LEED Platinum certification. McCaffery Interests will oversee construction of the apartment, retail and hotel portion of the development on behalf of Grosvenor.

Miami Gets Its First LEED Hotel

Downtown Miami’s Hospitality Operations Inc.’s new 221-room Hampton Inn & Suites Miami Brickell-Downtown has been awarded LEED Silver certification and becomes the first LEED certified hotel within City of Miami limits. The hotel is also outperforming the market when it comes to guest satisfaction, rising to become the top-ranked hotel among 130 Miami-area properties on, the world’s largest travel website.

Less than one year after opening, there is evidence that the hotel’s green investments are paying off. Overall energy savings are 16 percent below the property’s initial budget and 20 percent below LEED baseline building performance requirements. Actual water consumption is 17 percent below budget thanks to low-flow water fixtures, efficient washing machines and a 35,000-gallon cistern that harvests rainwater for irrigation purposes. Natural gas costs are 49 percent below budget, the result of high-efficiency boilers and a laundry system that uses less hot water and reduces drying time. And electricity costs, the largest source of energy consumption for hotels, are 11 percent below budget.

Hill International Project Recognized with 2012 Federal Energy and Water Management Award

Hill International, a leader in managing construction risk, has been recognized with a 2012 Federal Energy and Water Management Award for NASA Langley Research Center Headquarters Building in Hampton, Va. The Federal Energy and Water Management Awards recognize individuals, groups, and agencies for their outstanding contributions in the areas of energy efficiency, water conservation and the use of advanced and renewable energy technologies at federal facilities.

The award was presented to Hill and other project participants by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Interagency Energy Management Task Force at their annual awards banquet held on October 4, 2012 at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. Hill was the construction manager on the project.

Bixby Land Company Project Awarded Best Reuse/Rehab Project in Silicon Valley

Bixby Land Company, a commercial real estate operator and investment manager based in Orange County, Calif., has been recognized for its innovative redevelopment of [email protected] in Santa Clara, Calif. The Silicon Valley Business Journal selected Bixby’s striking renovation of the 1980s-vintage office campus for its 2012 Structures Award as Best Reuse/Rehab Project in Silicon Valley.

Bixby acquired the 127,000-sq.-ft., two-building office campus with the vision of redeveloping the project into a modern corporate headquarters location to meet the growing demand for high-quality work environments by today’s companies. The redesign adjoined the existing buildings with a dramatic, two-story glass pavilion, entirely new drought tolerant landscaping and new “hardscape.” The highlight of the redesign is the signature Bixby Retreat, a contemporary exterior courtyard lounge area for tenants. The project was deemed a success when Santa Clara’s Infoblox signed a $25 million, eight-year lease for the entire building upon completion last June.

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