Green Building Update -- August 20, 2013

by Allen Matkins

Green Building Focus

REITs creating the Green Property Index

Real Estate Weekly - Jul 31

REITs and other large institutional owners are at the forefront of the movement toward green buildings. In an effort to quantify the impact of green buildings, NAREIT, the FTSE Group, and USGBC announced last November the joint development of a Green Property Index (GPI). The GPI will enable investment in REITs portfolios based on sustainability rankings.

Princeton Review recognizes Lewis & Clark as green school

Oregon Legal Journal - Aug 5

Lewis & Clark has been recognized as one of the greenest schools in the nation, according to the Princeton Review. It is among only 22 schools to make the publication’s 2014 Green Rating Honor Roll, which highlights sustainability-related practices, policies, and academic offerings.

BofA launches green office initiative

Green Biz News - Aug 5

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has launched a competition across the bank's U.K. operations designed to encourage staff to save energy and reduce paper usage. The competition will see 13 of the company's divisions ranked based on the extent to which they reduce their printing and whether or not monitors are switched off overnight, and in order to drive, improvement performance will be made public every week.

LEED-Platinum skyscraper is an 'energy hog'

Green Building Advisor - Aug 5

Opened in 2010, the Bank of America Tower in New York City was praised as a model of sustainability. But the LEED-Platinum building has proved to be anything but, according to an article by Sam Roudman in the New Republic. Roudman writes that while the building boasted green features such as waterless urinals and rainwater harvesting, it actually uses twice the energy per square foot as the Empire State Building, which is 80 years old.

Ohio State University has new efficient chilled water system

ArchDaily - Aug 1

The South Campus Central Chiller Plant will provide the Medical District of the Ohio State University a long term, efficient, and sustainable solution for chilled water production and distribution. The design incorporates sustainable principals and will be integrated with the planning of LEED certification of other District facilities.

Public comment for LEED for Homes now open

USGBC Official Blog - Aug 1

USGBC is addressing the changes made to energy codes over that last three years in the residential construction market sector with an update to the current version of LEED for Homes (2008). The first step in this process is a public comment period, open now through September 16, 2013, that presents all changes to the public for review and feedback.

Historic LEED-certified buildings

USGBC Official Blog - Aug 1

USGBC may be celebrating its 20th anniversary, but the buildings that have achieved LEED certification embody a history that stretches far deeper into the past than 1993. In fact, USGBC recently certified the oldest LEED buildings both in the United States (Fay House at Harvard University, built in 1807) and in the world (a Venetian Gothic palazzo from 1453). Other historic LEED-certified buildings include Pavilion IX at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia and the U.S. Treasury Building in Washington, DC.

California office park gets LEED makeover via PACE program

Sustainable Business General News - Aug 1

A four-building, 250,000-square-foot office park in Sacramento, California, will get the upgrades it needs to qualify for LEED status, thanks to a $3.16 million contract under a local commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. The arrangement is being touted by the backers as the nation's single largest PACE deal yet. The PACE financing model, authorized in 30 states, makes it easier for property owners to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in homes and businesses without prohibitive upfront costs. Instead, projects are paid back through an annual property tax assessment.

New green student housing at University of Washington

ArchDaily - Jul 31

A new 668,800-square-foot student housing project at the University of Washington includes 1,650 beds in three mixed-use residential halls (Elm, Poplar, and Alder) and a pair of apartment buildings (Cedar Apartments). Heat recovery ventilation was integrated into Poplar Hall, and an innovative heat exchange system in Alder Hall pumps heat from the grocery coolers to neighboring occupied spaces. Cedar Apartments received LEED certification at the Silver level, and Alder Hall, Elm Hall, and Poplar Hall each earned Gold ratings.

Green roofs for buses bring nature into the urban environment

The Green Optimistic - Jul 31

Landscape artist Marc Granen designed the ultimate solution to the lack of green areas in urban environments: green roofs for buses. If mounted on top of public transport vehicles, these roofs can contribute to the amount of air-purifying green spaces, while at the same time serving their purpose to the community. The moving garden is suitable for all shapes of buses. Instead of heavy soil, the design uses thin hydroponic foam, which is much lighter and much easier to modify into a desired shape without being broken or cracked. To keep the system irrigated, Granen decided to make use of the waste water from the air-conditioning system, which is collected and recycled.

ING leases 144,000 square feet at iconic 230 Park Avenue

Commercial Observer - Jul 31

US, Inc. has signed an 11-year lease extension for 144,000 square feet at the historic 1.4-million-square-foot 230 Park Avenue. The owners of the building, Monday Properties and Invesco Real Estate, have overseen over $100 million in capital improvements at the structure, making 230 Park Avenue the first Pre-War office building to achieve LEED Gold certification under the USGBC.

Green Building Projects

UNT Dallas building earns LEED Gold

ArchDaily - Aug 2

Founders Hall at the University of North Texas Dallas, a LEED Gold certified building, integrates natural and sustainable systems into the new campus core, including: water collection, daylighting, and photovoltaic solar electrical power.

MCIEAST Regional Brig earns LEED Gold

PR Newswire - Environment - Aug 1

The MCIEAST Regional Brig at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina has earned LEED Gold from the USGBC. The 75-bed pre-trial confinement facility continues the Navy's ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability through high-performance design and is distinguished as the military's first LEED Gold brig.

Houston apartments earn LEED Platinum Construction - Jul 31

The Millennium Uptown, a brand-new luxury apartment community in the Uptown Galleria area of Houston, received the city's first ever LEED for Homes Platinum certification for a multifamily midrise project.

Central Texas medical center earns LEED Platinum

USGBC Official Blog - Jul 31

It takes an extraordinary effort to become the world’s first LEED Platinum certified hospital. But it takes an extraordinarily dedicated team to do it twice. Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, a member of the Seton Healthcare Family, is now first in the world — twice — for LEED certification achievements. Its Third Bed Tower addition, now named the W.H. and Elaine McCarty South Tower, is the first LEED for Healthcare project to achieve Platinum certification. In 2008, the original hospital was the first hospital to achieve any LEED Platinum certification.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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