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Sustainable Development Update
November 30, 2017
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Sustainable Development Focus

Greenprint report shows real estate industry continues to reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions, and water use

Urban Land - Nov 20 A new report from the ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance shows that several of the world’s leading commercial real estate owners and managers are making significant progress in reducing energy consumption, carbon emissions, and water use in their buildings. Greenprint Performance Report™, Volume 8, which tracks, benchmarks, and analyzes the performance of nearly 8,700 properties owned by Greenprint members, demonstrates a 3.4 percent reduction in energy consumption, a 3.3 percent reduction in carbon emissions, and a 4.3 percent reduction in water use between 2015 and 2016. Since Greenprint started tracking building performance in 2009, the energy consumed by members’ properties has dropped 13.9 percent, carbon emissions have decreased 17.9 percent, and water use has dropped by 12.1 percent. The reductions occurred even as building occupancy rose, suggesting that greater space use does not necessarily cause a decline in building performance. 


California bill would require purchase of low-carbon construction products

Building Design and Construction - Nov 14 A new California bill would tackle carbon emissions in a new way—by requiring the use of lower-carbon construction products. Assembly Bill 262, the Buy Clean Act, would require all state departments and the University of California and California State University systems to buy steel, rebar, flat glass, and mineral wool board insulation for its infrastructure projects from low-carbon producers. This would be a drastic change from the current lowest-cost purchasing strategy. The latter allows contractors to buy materials from anywhere—including China—where materials are more likely to be produced with less energy efficient methods. The bill would require the state to determine the average greenhouse gas emissions per unit from the manufacture of the four infrastructure products.

L.A. weighs a plan to allow denser developments near Expo Line stations

Los Angeles Times - Nov 26 Ridership on the $2-billion Expo Line has doubled since service began to the Westside 18 months ago, but the route would be an even better public investment if more Angelenos lived and worked near Metro stations, Los Angeles officials say. A plan slowly moving through City Hall aims to address that goal by allowing denser commercial and residential buildings within a half-mile of five Expo Line stations between Culver City and Santa Monica. The proposal could add 14,300 jobs, 6,000 new apartments and condos, and more pedestrian-friendly blocks along major corridors, city analysts say. Access to a rapid transit line, the thinking goes, would help residents run errands and get to work without getting behind the wheel. 

Planned community in Boston will be laboratory for sustainable cities

Clean Technica - Nov 12 An abandoned naval air station south of Boston is the site of an experiment, known as Union Point, in how to build the sustainable cities of the future. LStar Ventures is the developer, creating a new city from the ground up with help from global engineering and design firm Arup. All commercial structures will meet LEED Gold or Platinum standards. Internet of things technology will be included to monitor and control all mechanical and electrical systems for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment. The buildings themselves will be networked together to minimize the total electrical needs of the commercial part of the city. By focusing on sustainability, Union Point hopes to become a magnet for businesses looking for new home for new corporate homes — a place where their employees can live and work in a healthy environment. Rooftop solar will be installed on most of Union Point’s downtown buildings and a solar farm will be constructed nearby. Grid-scale battery storage technology will be utilized as the costs decrease over time.

Gavilan College taps SunPower for solar and storage project

Solar Industry Magazine - Nov 17 Gavilan College recently selected SunPower to deploy a fully integrated solar and storage project at its campus in Gilroy, California. A SunPower Helix Carport system totaling about 1.4 megawatts will be installed across two of the college’s largest parking lots, enhanced by a 250-kilowatt energy storage solution from Stem Inc. to help deliver significant demand charge savings. System construction is currently underway, with completion expected before the end of 2017.

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Perry Patrick A Patrick A. Perry
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Renée Louise Robin Renée Louise Robin
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