Sustainable Development Update - March 2017 #3

by Allen Matkins

Sustainable Development Focus

When it rains, Los Angeles sends billions of gallons of 'free liquid gold' down the drain

Los Angeles Times - Mar 8 As the Los Angeles region strives to cut its historic dependence on increasingly irregular imported water supplies, local officials have developed a new appreciation for stormwater. Instead of flushing it to the sea — as the L.A. Basin has done with studied efficiency ever since the catastrophic floods of the 1930s — cities are trying to figure out how to capture and use runoff to replenish local groundwater supplies. As matters now stand, hundreds of square miles of concrete and asphalt roads, freeways, parking lots, and storm drains turn the basin into a massive funnel whenever it rains. No single project can change that. But a multitude of small efforts could add sieve-like qualities to parts of the hardscape. A 2012 Los Angeles ordinance requires most new developments to collect the runoff from three-quarters of an inch of rainfall – and reuse it on site or let it percolate into the ground. The Wilshire Grand skyscraper downtown will have a 50,000-gallon cistern to collect stormwater and condensate from the building’s cooling system. USC’s new residential and retail complex, USC Village, is installing dry wells that will catch and filter nearly 200,000 gallons of runoff in a big storm, allowing the rainfall to soak into the earth instead of draining to the L.A. River and out to sea.

Macerich’s The Oaks property receives BREEAM USA in-use certification - Mar 8 Macerich announced that one of its shopping centers, The Oaks property in Thousand Oaks, has been named as the first Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) USA In-Use certified building in the U.S. BREEAM USA In-Use is a sustainability assessment method for existing non-residential  buildings that are not currently able to benchmark sustainability efforts using a scientifically based green building certification. BREEAM USA is a partnership between BRE Group and BuildingWise, a LEED certification consultancy.

Vegas arena scores in LEED ratings

Proud Green Building - Mar 10 T-Mobile Arena, a 20,000-seat sports and entertainment venue that will host the NHL expansion team, Las Vegas Golden Knights, already is proving to be a sustainability winner. The arena, developed as part of a joint venture between AEG and MGM Resorts International, has received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, according to a press release. MGM Resorts and AEG partnered to implement a comprehensive environmental sustainability program at the arena, taking into account all major aspects of the building's construction and operations.

Customer demand driving Aldi’s $1.6 billion green building remodel

Environmental Leader - Mar 10 Grocery chain Aldi plans to spend $1.6 billion to remodel and expand its stores, implementing green building features such as natural lighting, recycled materials, energy-saving refrigeration, and LED lighting. The company says it will also focus on adding more fresh items as well as removing added MSG, certified synthetic colors, and partially hydrogenated oils to its products. Aldi plans to upgrade more than 1,300 stores by 2020. Aldi CEO Jason Hart says customer demand is driving both the remodel and the ingredient changes in its products. Changes at Aldi also highlight two growing trends in the retail and food and beverage industry that are leading to increased sales and cost savings: healthier, “sustainable” products and facilities.

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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