Sustainable Development Update - February 2017 #3

Allen Matkins

Sustainable Development Focus

Developers find benefits to building sustainable

Bisnow - Feb 15 Boston Properties vice president of engineering Danny Murtagh said the biggest trends in sustainable construction include lighting control and technologies, under-floor air distribution HVAC systems, and water efficiency and recycling. Code mandates and technological competence are among the main drivers in the push for more sustainable elements. New energy-efficiency standards via Title 24 went into effect at the start of the year and include higher standards for insulation within walls and attics, and lighting units must be high-efficiency. Boston Properties is already incorporating many sustainable features into its big Salesforce Tower project in San Francisco, a JV with Hines. The tower is pre-certified LEED Platinum and will feature an HVAC system distributing outdoor air on each floor. The under-floor air system circulates air directly to a tenant’s space and features individual control capacity. The system will provide enhanced indoor air quality and is designed to be 40 percent more energy efficient than a standard office building.

Buildings moving faster toward zero net energy status

Proud Green Building - Feb 17 In 2017, the U.S. Green Building Council is setting its expectations to zero — zero net energy. According to a report released last quarter by the New Buildings Institute (NBI), there are currently 332 buildings that have been either verified as or are on their way to achieving zero net energy (ZNE). That’s a 74 percent increase since the last count, a little more than a year before. Up from 33 projects in 2014, 53 projects have now been verified by NBI as having achieved ZNE for at least one full year. The undisputed ZNE leader is California. State policy nearly 10 years ago set goals for all new residential construction to be ZNE by 2020 and for all new commercial construction to achieve the same by 2030. L.A. County and USGBC Los Angeles are also working on a net zero water ordinance. In August 2016, NBI and California state agencies announced that there were more than 100 commercial buildings in California that were either ZNE verified or working toward that target.

Calculating the cost of excess parking in transit-oriented developments

Urban Land - Feb 14 New research shows that transit-oriented developments (TODs) may be saddled with a surplus of parking that is taking a big bite out of project costs. TODs have become a key economic development strategy for both urban and suburban communities that are trying to promote dense, walkable communities and reduce vehicle trip traffic. It may seem contrary to that goal, but developers still need to account for the parking needs of people who live, work, and shop in those mixed-use projects. A new TOD parking study suggests that developers and planners need to rethink the formulas they are using to calculate parking, especially as it relates to more urban projects. The report found that even some of the top TOD projects in the U.S. had built too much parking. The study focuses on five case studies to illustrate parking supply and demand, as well as highlight some strategies that TODs can use to reduce parking.

Benchmarking data for stadiums critical for big energy, water savings

Engineering News-Record - Feb 15 The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) is advising the owners of the nation’s estimated 1,500 professional, college, and community sports venues to join in a collective effort to reduce energy, water consumption, and utility bills, but a lack of building performance benchmarking data is getting in the way of progress. A successful sustainability strategy must incorporate current performance and set realistic goals for improvement, says the report. Toward this end, NIBS and the alliance are issuing a plea to facility owners to participate in a benchmarking survey on energy and water use. Though there is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star label that scores public-assembly buildings, there is no label specifically for sports venues.

HP pledges 25% emissions reduction by 2025

Environmental Leader - Feb 16 HP has set a target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its global operations by 25 percent by 2025, compared to 2015. The IT giant says it will reduce its climate impacts through a three-phase approach: first, optimizing energy efficiency in its operations and buildings. The other two phases focus on shifting toward less GHG-intensive energy sources, including increased use of on-site renewable power, and through acquired or generated off-site renewable power to offset brown power emissions. In conjunction with setting this new operations goal, HP renewed its commitment to World Wildlife Fund’s Climate Savers Program, a global program to engage business and industry on climate and energy.

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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