Sustainable Development Update - October 2017

by Allen Matkins

Sustainable Development Focus

Green building rapidly becoming established part of home construction

Proud Green Building - Sep 28 Green construction is rapidly gaining traction among both single family and multifamily home builders, according to the latest in a series of studies conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics in partnership with the National Association of Home Builders. At least one third of single family and multifamily builders surveyed said green building is a significant portion of their overall activity (more than 60 percent of their portfolio). By 2022, this number should increase to nearly one half in both the single family and multifamily sectors, researchers found. Within this group, nearly 30 percent of multifamily builders fall into the category of “dedicated” green builders (more than 90 percent of their portfolio). On the single family side, the percentage of “dedicated” green builders is nearly 20 percent, but that share is expected to grow sizably by 2022.

Kilroy Realty garners Fitwel certification for 2.5M SF of office space

Bisnow - Sep 20 Eight of Kilroy Realty Corp.’s assets have received Fitwel certification from the Center for Active Design. The buildings total 2.5 million square feet and are located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the Seattle area. Features in these properties factored into the ratings were high walk scores with locations in transit-oriented and walkable areas, open stairwells, fitness centers, green cleaning and purchasing programs, availability of healthy food options, comprehensive emergency preparedness programs, access to water, and availability of daylight and views in tenant spaces. The Fitwel system, created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the General Services Administration, and public health and design experts, rates workplaces that promote positive health outcomes for occupants.

$40M to install solar-plus-storage systems at 12 S.F. sites for seismic resiliency

San Francisco Examiner - Sep 25 Equipping multiple community buildings at 12 sites with solar-plus-storage systems to provide power if a major earthquake knocks San Francisco off the grid would cost $40 million, a new city study shows. Whether the city will move forward with the plan is unclear. The sites selected are in each of the 11 districts of the Board of Supervisors, with an additional one in District 10, and include libraries, schools, churches, police stations, and recreation centers. Jessie Denver, energy program manager with the Department of the Environment, which is leading the effort in partnership with San Francisco-based energy consultant Arup, said the system sizes are scoped to provide “critical loads” for about three to five days, but not the electrical needs of the entire buildings. 

Miramar base to break ground on new energy facility

San Diego Union-Tribune - Sep 27 Marine Corps Air Station Miramar broke ground last Thursday afternoon on a new microgrid project that uses the power of the sun to provide backup energy to the sprawling base. A microgrid is a local energy source that can disconnect from the traditional system and operate autonomously, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Miramar’s microgrid will rely on naturally occurring gas from a San Diego city landfill, solar hot water systems, and solar photovoltaic generation. It will produce energy for the larger San Diego grid, too. Congress provided $20 million for the project but it is expected to save taxpayers by shaving the base’s electric bills. 

Monterey Regional Airport celebrates completion of its solar project

Monterey County Herald - Oct 19 A multi-million dollar solar array project at the Monterey Regional Airport was unveiled in September, flipping the switch on the energy needs of 95 percent of the facility. The array consists of single-axis tracking, ground-mount, solar photovoltaic panels, projected to produce 1.5 million kWh of clean energy annually, the equivalent of providing electricity to power 111 homes a year. But this is not the only facet of the airport’s sustainability program goal to save money, be more energy efficient, and move off the grid. The facility has been converting its lighting to LED, finding ways to replace potable water with non-potable water for uses on the property, and retiring four gas-powered vehicles to make room for three electric vehicles, according to Airport General Manager Mike LaPier. 

Introducing Irvine’s tallest office tower yet

Commercial Property Executive - Sep 18 Real estate developer and landlord Irvine Co. recently celebrated the grand opening of its newest office building in Irvine. The 21-story 400 Spectrum Center features a sleek, modern design by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, with floor-to-ceiling windows that allow 360-degree views over Orange County. 400 Spectrum Center is set to pursue LEED Gold certification and features Tesla’s advanced energy storage system. In August this year, Irvine Co. received an Energy Start recognition from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the 21-story high-rise, along with five, six-story buildings at Santa Clara Square in Silicon Valley. Together, the buildings offer more than 1.5 million square feet of newly developed, sustainable office space.


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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