Building Briefs

US CAN SAVE $40 BILLION BY CUTTING COMMERCIAL ENERGY USE 20%
According to the Obama administration, if Americans cut their commerical energy loss 20% that would result in a $20 billion saving by 2020 (Earth Techling 4/30/2013)

CITIES CAN REDUCE CARBON GAS EMISSIONS BY 70%
A study from the University of Toronto shows that there are a number of steps cities could take, like encouraging the use of bicycles and electric cars, that would have a terrific impact on emissions. (San Diego Loves Green 2/19/2013)

CITIES EFFECT WEATHER PATTERN
According to scientists from  scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography; University of California, San Diego; Florida State University; and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, if you live within 1,000 miles of a city it could be effecting your weather patterns. The heat waste generated by buildings, cars, and other sources has been known to increase North American and Northern Asian temperatures by as much as 1 degree Celsius – and at the same time has changed atmospheric circulation so that parts of Europe actually experienced a 1 degree drops in temperature. (Science Daily 1/27/2013)

GEISEL LIBRARY RECEIVES 2012 HVAC DESIGN/RETROFIT  AWARD
Renovations to the UC San Diego’s Geisel Library were chosen for the 2012 Best Practices Awards from the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference. Around 1.4 million students and guests use the facility – which is named after  Theodore Suess Geisel (“Dr Suess”) – every year. The buildings excessive fan use made it an obvious choice for several improvements, including controls on 32 fans and setting them to run at 70% of maximum speed. The VFDs, which was done at 30% of the cost of a total retrofit. The project costs $1.1 million and will save the university $280,000 a year and eliminate 1.6 kWh. The project is part of UC San Diego’s campus wide commitment to save 12 million kWh in 2012 alone. (Green Buildings 2012)

AZTEC RECREATION CENTER RECEIVES 2012 HVAC/RETROFIT AWARD 
The Aztec Recreation Center, at San Diego State University, was one of the ten facilities to receive  2012 Best Practices Awards from the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference.  Around 750,000 students and visitors use the Aztec Recreation Center at  San Diego State University. The facility was able to cut  its annual energy use by 30% by introducing an intelligent wireless control system. The cost, before incentives, was $103,500 and will save the building $38,00 a year. (Green Buildings 2012)

Green Building Predictions for 2013 
Jerry Yudelson the so called “godfather of green building”, believes we will probabkly see the emphasis switch to Greening older buildings. There will be more performance disclosures, such is now legislated in New York City. He adds, I wish there would be more concentration on reducing demand through use of insulation and better design than increasing supply through green gizmos on the roof.” (Treehugger 1/4/2013)

It is believed that November’s 0.3% drop in construction spending is tied to the “Fiscal Cliff”. This falls on the heels of a 13.5% growth rate, from July to September and the highest number of October starts in four years. Most Builders are confident that the construction boom will continue.(Komo News 1/2/2012)

DETROIT APARTMENT BUILDING BUILT OF USED SHIPPING CONTAINERS
93 used shipping containers are being used to build the four story apartment building. The “Power of Green Housing Development will consist of 17 to 20 units, ranging between 960 and 1,920 square feet. Roughly 21,000 shipping containers arrive in the US every day and are usually then abandoned as it is cheaper to build new containers than reuse the old ones. (Earthtechling 12/31/2012)

NUMBER OF SAN DIEGO’S LEED CERTIFICATIONS INCREASING
More than 70 of San Diego’s commercial Building received LEED certifications in 2012,and 22 of these achieved LEED Platinum. That’s more than any other year. (San Diego Green Building Council)

RENOVATED BUILDINGS SURPRISINGLY EFFICIENT
Energy efficiency is in important topic in New York, where almost 80% of the CO2 emissions come from buildings and 45% of that is from skyscrapers. Some of the cities icons – like the Chrysler Building and Empire States Building – received higher marks than many of the more recent structures, after recent renovations. That is, in part, because of their thicker walls and smaller windows. (NY Times 12/24/2012)

LARGEST CARBON NEUTRAL BUILDING THE THE USA
the 13-story Hines building, currently under construction at La Jolla Commons, will be the nation’s largest carbon-neutral office building to date. It will do this through a combination of thigh-performance building design, directed biogas and on-site fuel cells that annually will generate more electricity than the building and tenant will use. (San Diego Source 12/12/2012)

SAN DIEGO & CHICAGO BASED
FIRMS PARTNER TO PRODUCE LOW EMISSIONS BUILDING MATERIAL  
San Diego based ChloroFill LLC has teamed up with Chromatin, Inc., of Chicago, to harvest Chromatin sorghum for the production of ChloroFill’s building products. Their gold is to to provide a formaldehyde-free, cost-competitive building panel that helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, deforestation, and health-risks associated with traditional building materials.” (Herald-online 12/12/2012)

SAN DIEGO RANKED #10 FOR MOST GREEN PROJECTS IN US
As of mid-2012, San Diego ranked 10th nationally on the U.S. Green Building Council list of cities with the most LEED projects. Roughly 44% of the commercial and institutional construction presently underway in the US is “green” and that number is expected to grow to 56% by 2016. (San Diego Business Journal 12/3/2012)

THE WEST COAST’S MOST EXPENSIVE OFFICE SPACE IS IN SAN FRANCISCO
However at $90 a square foot, it is third in the US (behind Manhattan and Washington DC) and 26th in the World. The most expensive places to have an office are Hong King ($246.30 sq ft), London’s West End ($219.81) & Tokyo’s Marunouchi Otemachi ($197.27). (SFGate 12/14/2012)

OVER 53% of SAN FRANCISCO’S CO2 EMISSIONS COME FROM BUILDINGS
Green labelled buildings charge 22% more for rent and command a 10% higher selling price.  More than 250 buildings, with 63 million square feet of office space, now carry a green label. (Search Office Space 12/4/2012)

SUBSTANTIAL CUTS IN BUILDING EMISSIONS POSSIBLE 
The emissions from new US buildings could be reduced by up to 90% and up to 70% of the emissions from most older homes could be cut. (Environment News Network 11/28/2012)

ARIZONA INCENTIVE PROGRAM COULD CUT 20% FROM TAXPAYER’S ENERGY BILLS
A report presented to Arizona energy officials, by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, claims the state’s households and businesses could save as much as 21% on their electricity bills if utilities ramp up energy-efficiency incentives. The author recommends the government spend $5.5 billion on 18 existing programs. “We’re suggesting by expanding those programs, investing more in energy efficiency and bringing in more participants, the net economic benefits from expanding programs out to 2020, would be over $7 billion.” (Earthtechling 11/23/2012)

SDG&E’s ENERGY INNOVATION CENTER AWARDED LEED PLATINUM CERTIFICATION BY  US GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL
Among the buildings features: Six sun-tracking solar “trees” in the parking lot provide shade which, combined with the solar panels on the roof, provide enough electricity to power 31 homes. A cool roof, which reduces the need for air conditioning and also catches rainwater. 85 percent of the original building’s materials were reused or recycled, including the carpet which is made from recycled tires. (Marketwatch 11/12/2012)

A SURVEY OF 7,100 LEED CERTIFIED BUILDINGS 
More than 200 states, cities and federal agencies now require LEED certification for new public buildings. A USA TODAY review of 7,100 LEED-certified commercial buildings shows that designers target the easiest and cheapest green points by trying to create pleasant and healthful office spaces; using common building materials; providing preferred parking for fuel-efficient cars, bike racks etc. 14% of buildings generate renewable energy and 12% include major water-reduction steps such as using waterless urinals or treating sewage on site. (USA Today 10/24/2012)

GREENING SAN DIEGO’S OLD BUILDINGS WOULD PRODUCE $2.5 BILLION IN ECONOMIC ACTIVITY 
If the city of San Diego we to retrofit just 3.5 percent of properties, over the next five years, that would create 14,000 new jobs, $2.5 billion in economic activity and bring in another by $100 million in taxes. That’s a tremendous boost, for a city whose property values fell  property values fell by $568 million from last year. (Voice of San Diego 9/18/2012)

SAN DIEGO’S GREEN BUILDINGS OUTPERFORM NON-GREEN IN VACANCY & RENTAL REATES
More than a quarter of San Diego’s office space – 18.3 million of the city’s 67.1 million square feet – is green. Though the lease rates ($2.42 per square foot per month, compared with $2.04 for nongreen), they have a lower vacancy rate  (11.7 percent vacant as compared to 15.7 percent for nongreen buildings).(UT San Diego 9/5/2012)

GREEN BUILDING BOOM
At a time when construction appears to be falling off, Green Building trades are booming. A third of America’s design and construction workforce – 650,000 jobs – are now “Green”.  This number is expected to ncrease to 50% by 2014. (US Green Building Council 5/17/2012)
GREEN REAL ESTATE SELLS FOR MORE IN CALIFORNIA
Since 2007, Green homes have been selling for roughly  9% more than conventional homes. This is especially true in neighbourhoods where there are higher numbers of hybrid autos and is similar to Europe, where Green Homes are 10% more expensive. (LA Times 7/22/2012)

GREEN BUIDING BOOM IN US
At a time when construction appears to be falling off, Green Building trades are booming. A third of America’s design and construction workforce – 650,000 jobs – are now “Green”. This number is expected to increase to 50% by 2014. (US Green Building Council 5/17/2012)

CALIFORNIA LEADS NATION IN AMOUNT OF LEED CERTIFIED OFFICE SPACE 
California led the nation in the total amount of LEED certified office space – 71.5 million square feet – during 2011. However when ranked by per capita, it falls the 9th place (1.92%). The per capita leaders are Washington DC (31.5%), Colorado (2.7%) and Illinois (2.69%) (Clean Technica 1/20/2012)

REDUCING THE CO2 EMISSIONS FROM YOUR HOME
The biggest source of CO2 emissions in America is buildings. Our homes consume 71% of domestic electric power, 55% of the nation’s natural gas and produce 43% of U.S. carbon emissions. There are a variety of energy efficient building practises – such as utilizing solar power, recycled materials and more energy efficient designs – that significantly lower our home’s emissions. (One of the cheapest may be  simply turning off lights and lower the thermostat settings when the power isn’t needed.) The US Department of Energy’s goal is to develop affordable, near zero  energy housing by 2020 and zero energy commercial buildings by 2025. (Oak Ridge National Laboratory Review)

Image Credit: Geisel Library at the University of California, San Diego.- Ben Lunsford, courtesy Wikipedia Commons

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