U.S. government creates new programs for data center efficiency and research
Bisnow – January 10
The $2.3 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act approved last month, which included $900 billion for coronavirus relief, included several provisions to establish a “data center energy practitioner program,” a certification program for experts in data center efficiency. In addition, the federal bill calls for new research on data center energy usage, accounting for “the impact of the combination of cloud platforms, mobile devices, social media, and big data on data center energy usage.”
Climate change causes one-third of flood damages in United States, Stanford study finds
San Francisco Chronicle – January 12
Increasingly strong storms are responsible for more than a third of the nation’s flood costs, swelling the tab by billions of dollars a year as climate change continues to fuel more extreme weather, according to new research at Stanford University. The research, which is among the first to put a price tag on heavier rainfall, found that changing weather and more concentrated rain periods are responsible for $75 billion of the cumulative $199 billion of U.S. flood damage between 1998 and 2017. Many of the losses over that period were in California. This month, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Association of State Floodplain Managers petitioned the Federal Emergency Management Agency to update its flood maps to better address climate risk and limit the potential for damage.
More than half of Orange County cities appeal to have lower housing allocations, and some argue Santa Ana should have more
Orange County Register – January 9
As the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) finalizes housing allocations for the next eight years, half of O.C. cities appeal to have lower allocations, and four cities, including Irvine and Newport Beach, argue that Santa Ana should bear more of the county’s burden by taking a bigger number. In their appeals, which will be heard by SCAG over three days starting January 15, city officials argue that their goals are unachievable for a variety of reasons, including lack of developable land and constraints imposed by fire and earthquake danger zones. The SCAG board will likely take up the numbers in February for the final decision, and cities have until October to draft housing plans that factor in their allocations and submit them to the state.
L.A. City Councilman Kevin De Leon calls for 25,000 units for L.A.’s homeless by 2025
Los Angeles Daily News – January 12
L.A. City Councilman Kevin De Leon unveiled a plan this Tuesday, aimed at creating 25,000 dwelling units by 2025 for people experiencing homelessness. An estimated 41,000 people were homeless in the city, as of last January. De Leon introduced nine motions at Tuesday’s council meeting that would create a plan, which he calls “A Way Home,” that would help in reaching the 25,000-unit goal. He said the plan will include “a comprehensive overhaul of outdated, cumbersome city polices and regulations that impede our ability to construct the thousands of safe and affordable housing units we need for our unhoused neighbors living on our streets today.”
Facebook submits new plans for its 59-acre, mixed-use Willow Village development
Palo Alto News – January 12
Last Friday, Facebook and Signature Development Group submitted plans to the City of Menlo Park laying out more details for their new Willow Village development, which will include 1,729 dwelling units, 1.25 million square feet of office, and additional commercial uses. The plan includes mass timber construction technique that is considered far more sustainable than more traditional methods involving concrete and steel. This method is expected to reduce embodied carbon emissions — the amount of carbon used to produce materials — by 52% and save about 27,800 megatons of carbon dioxide emissions. Other environmental efforts include adhering to LEED Gold standards.
Cal State Dominguez Hills earns $1.18 million for greenhouse gas reduction
Daily Breeze – January 6
Cal State Dominguez Hills has received more than $1.18 million in performance payments for its successful efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The payments come from the Clean Energy Optimization Pilot, a four-year, $20 million effort administered by Southern California Edison. Cal Poly Pomona and five UC campuses and medical centers are also participating in the program. In 2019, CSUDH upgraded its natural gas absorption chillers with electric chillers, and one large natural gas boiler with eight small condensing staged boilers. The data showed a substantial reduction in natural gas usage of 57 percent, and the cooling tower water savings from the reduced thermal load resulted in a drop of 2.8 million gallons in water usage in one year.