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Sustainable Development Update
November 3, 2017
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Sustainable Development Focus

Elizabeth Clark in memoriam

Allen Matkins - Nov 1 Elizabeth Clark, our colleague and fellow editor of the Sustainable Development Update, passed away on October 30, 2017. Elizabeth, who was Real Estate Senior Counsel in our San Francisco office, was a collaborative, supportive, and energetic colleague who put her time into the things she was passionate about: her clients, the legal community, her East Bay community, and environmental issues. Elizabeth will be sorely missed.


New study finds buildings with poor energy efficiency default at higher rate

Urban Land - Oct 23 A recent study has added a new value proposition for energy efficiency in commercial buildings: efficient buildings are less likely to default on their mortgages than their more energy-intensive peers. The study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, reviewed mortgage default rates and energy performance in six major metro areas from 2000 to 2012. It found that commercial buildings with higher energy consumption or higher energy costs had a higher default rate than more energy-efficient buildings. The study also found that the higher a building’s Energy Star score (i.e., the more energy efficient the building), the lower the likelihood that the building would default on its mortgage. While the energy expenses for a building are typically up to 30 percent of its operating cost, energy intensity and cost have not historically been included in the building appraisal or pro forma. As a result, mortgage underwriters have not generally included this information in the underwriting process.

Military microgrid spending could top $1B annually by 2026, Navigant finds

Utility Dive - Nov 2 The United States military uses more petroleum than any other entity in the world, but over the next 10 years it plans to ramp up its microgrid spending in an effort to reduce fossil fuel dependence, according to a new report from Navigant Research. According to the report, annual microgrid implementation spending is expected to reach $453 million this year, increasing to $1.4 billion in 2026. In the last five years, the U.S. has added more renewables and efficiency into the military fuel mix to improve its effectiveness. Over the summer, Go Electric won a $1.7 million contract from Perini Management Services to provide a 1-megawatt battery storage system to a U.S. Army depot in Tooele, Utah.

Using LEED in transportation projects can lead to savings

Construction Dive - Oct 20 Using LEED strategies in transportation facilities can help save project stakeholders significantly and lead to a higher return on investment, according to the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED in Motion: Transportation report. The operating costs of green buildings, according to a 2012 study from McGraw Hill Construction, dropped 13.6 percent for new construction and 8.5 percent for existing projects. LEED-certified buildings saw a 19 percent decrease in overall operating costs compared with similar, non-certified buildings. In 2010, the transportation industry accounted for 14 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, making it the fourth highest contributor. In the U.S., transportation took the number two slot for greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 27 percent in 2015.

Water Authority’s garden displays sustainable landscapes

San Diego Union-Tribune - Oct 25 Tucked between the corporate offices and condos of Kearny Mesa, a new model of next-generation landscape practices has sprouted at the headquarters of the San Diego County Water Authority — an oasis brimming with graffiti star clusters, Dallas red lantana, Santa Barbara daisies, and dozens of other plant varieties arranged artfully between pavers, mulch, and stone. As part of its efforts to promote water-use efficiency no matter the weather, the Water Authority recently installed the showcase garden to feature four core principles of sustainable landscapes — healthy soils, climate-appropriate plants, high-efficiency irrigation, and using rainwater as a resource.

New Palm Springs enclave to become an ‘agri-hood’

Orange County Register - Oct 22 The developer of a new residential enclave in Palm Springs is swapping out an 18-hole golf course for dozens of acres of olive groves. The 300-acre sustainable community, named Miralon, is planned as one of the nation’s largest agricultural neighborhoods, or “agri-hoods,” where new homes crop up around community farms. There are about 150 so-called farm-to-fork neighborhoods around the U.S., says Ed McMahon, a senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute. While the golf course at Miralon was part of a stalled project by a different developer, the transformation to a farm is part of a larger trend. McMahon said more than 100 golf courses have closed around the U.S. in the past five years. In addition to the 70 acres of olive trees envisioned for Miralon, former tee boxes and greens will become smaller groves.

Hawaii’s PUC expands rooftop solar and energy storage offerings

PV-Tech - Oct 22 The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has approved two new programs expanding its customers’ abilities to install rooftop PV and energy storage systems. The new ‘Smart Export’ program for customers exploring solar-plus-storage options allows customers to receive credits for power sent back to the grid during night time hours. PUC is also replacing the Customer Grid Supply (CGS) program with an updated CGS+, to allow customers to supply power just from PV systems to the grid, but with special equipment allowing the utility to reduce the system output in order to maintain grid stability.

© 2017 Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP. All rights reserved. This email is intended for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. This email was sent by: Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP, 865 S. Figueroa Street, Suite 2800, Los Angeles, California 90017. To stop receiving this publication, click on the "unsubscribe" button.

Perry Patrick A Patrick A. Perry
Partner
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Renée Louise Robin Renée Louise Robin
Senior Counsel
Environmental & Natural Resources | Land Use & Development
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