by Jodi Summers
Technology is fun…This family took a hint from the Chevy Chase movie, Christmas Vacation – recreating the Griswold Family Christmas house for the technologically tricked-out, highly efficient holiday home in 2014…
Edited by Jodi Summers
What’s old is new again. The Expo line traces a historic route through Los Angeles. Although its tracks, signals, and power lines are all new, much of the light rail line’s right-of-way dates to 1875, when the first rail link between downtown L.A. and the Westside opened and gave birth to the city of Santa Monica.1875 drawing of Santa Monica. The Los Angeles and Independence Railroad’s western terminus was a wharf, which extended into the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the Santa Monica Arroyo.
In 1874, silver baron John P. Jones partnered with sheep rancher Robert S. Baker to develop a seaside resort town on Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica. Perched atop picturesque bluffs and cooled by an ocean breeze, the town was favorably located — except that it was a long stagecoach journey from the region’s population center in Los Angeles. To make the town marketable, Jones – Santa Monica’s first mayor – built a 16-mile rail line between the Santa Monica Bay waterfront and downtown Los Angeles. He named it the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad. It was only the second railroad built in Los Angeles; the first was the Los Angeles and San Pedro, which opened in 1869.In the 1890s, the Southern Pacific built a wharf into the Pacific Ocean near Santa Monica and attempted to build a commercial shipping harbor there. Freight traffic along the Los Angeles and Independence skyrocketed until the federal government chose San Pedro as the site of the region’s harbor in 1897.
The Expo Line is a light-rail line running between Downtown Los Angeles and Culver City, with service to Santa Monica (Phase 2) planned to begin in 2015. The line is named “Expo” as it follows Exposition Boulevard for most of its route.
The line is being built in two phases; the first phase comprises the 8.6-mile section between Downtown Los Angeles and Culver City began in early 2006 and most stations opened to the public on April 28, 2012. Design and construction on the 6.6-mile portion between Culver City and Santa Monica started in September 2011, with the opening of the City’s three stations anticipated in 2015.Southern Pacific excursion trains, shown here in a circa 1900 photo, regularly brought beachgoers and to Santa Monica.
The Expo LRT to Santa Monica was incorporated in the City’s Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE), and are part of an integrated citywide strategy to reduce greenhouse gases and achieve no net new evening peak trips. The Expo Line currently operates from approximately 5 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. on weekdays and until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. As of June 2013, trains run approximately every 12 minutes during the daytime, every 10 minutes during the evening, and every 20 minutes after midnight.Though Jones planned to extend the line to Inyo County, the Los Angeles and Independence was never extended past its downtown L.A. terminal at San Pedro and Fifth.
In the 1890s, the Southern Pacific built a wharf into the Pacific Ocean near Santa Monica and attempted to build a commercial shipping harbor there. Freight traffic along the Los Angeles and Independence skyrocketed until the federal government chose San Pedro as the site of the region’s harbor in 1897.Detail of a circa 1912 map of the Pacific Electric interurban rail system. The Santa Monica Air Line is highlighted in aqua.
At the mouth of the Santa Monica Arroyo, where Interstate 10 meets with Pacific Coast Highway today, a wharf — forerunner to today’s Santa Monica Municipal Pier — extended into the ocean. There, ships could dock and unload freight onto rail cars. Heading east, the railroad passed through the future communities of Palms and Culver City before crossing the marshy cienegas of the Ballona Creek plain and then turning north to its terminal at San Pedro and Fifth streets in downtown Los Angeles.A Santa Monica Air Line car travels eastbound on Exposition Boulevard in front of USC’s Mudd Hall.
The Los Angeles and Independence helped make Santa Monica palatable to real estate speculators and prospective residents, but Jones, who was politically well-connected as a U.S. senator from Nevada, had grander plans for the railroad. Intending to connect the line with the town of Independence in the Owens Valley, and from there to a silver mine he owned in the Panamint Mountains, Jones optimistically included “Independence” in his railroad’s name. Later, Jones hoped, he could extend the line still further east to Salt Lake City and create a transcontinental line to rival the Southern Pacific.A Santa Monica Air Line car travels west through Culver City at Venice and Robertson.
But luck did not favor the railroad — or Jones — in its early years. Workers had surveyed the entire route and begun grading a path through the Cajon Pass when Jones’ silver mine unexpectedly played out in 1876.A Red Car traveling on the Santa Monica Air Line crosses over Motor Avenue.
Meanwhile, excursion trains brought beach-going day-trippers, but Santa Monica’s population stagnated in the midst of an economic depression, and the town struggled to compete with San Pedro as a shipping center. In dire financial straits, Jones reluctantly sold the Los Angeles and Independence to Collis P. Huntington’s Southern Pacific Railroad on July 1, 1877 for $195,000. Decades later, Jones wrote to his wife: “If you only knew how my heart ached when I was obliged by stress of circumstance to part with the RR, which together with matters connected with it was the pet project of my life.”A barn served as the Los Angeles and Independence’s Santa Monica station in the railroad’s early years.
**Named after the Ivy Park housing development, the Ivy station stop along the Santa Monica Air Line served present-day Culver City.
“There are a lot of different types of energy efficiency that cargo container-based construction brings to the table,” shares Leslie Horn, CEO of Three Squares real estate development company. “With the U.S. new construction industry desperate for ways to cut costs without undermining quality, green home construction gaining significant momentum, and a growth rate from $49 billion to $140 billion forecasted over the next five years, shipping container-based construction is an extraordinarily well-positioned solution.”
Shipping container architecture has evolved as a form of architecture using steel intermodal containers (shipping containers) as structural element, because of their inherent strength, wide availability and relatively low expense. A container is often referred to as a TEU, or twenty-foot equivalent unit. A standard TEU is approximately 20 feet long and 8 feet wide. The most common height is 8 feet 6 inches, an ample ceiling height.
Currently, an estimated 21,000 shipping containers arrive in the United States every day. Retired shipping containers are abundant in the United States. Port authorities estimate that over 700,000 used shipping containers are stockpiled on prime waterfront real estate without a significant use, purpose, or typical method for disposal, making them ideal construction modules.
Cargo containers are a rather perfect sized box for building. Made of steel and wood, this product is stronger than conventional framing, stackable for creating levels and is readily available.
Shipping containers have been called an ideal building material as they are designed to carry heavy loads and to be stacked in high columns. They are also designed to resist harsh environments – such as on ocean-going vessels or sprayed with road salt while transported on roads. As all shipping containers are made to standard measurements and as such they provide modular elements that can be combined into larger structures. Construction involves very little labor. As they are already designed to interlock for ease of mobility during transportation, structural construction is as easy as stacking more containers. Containers can be stacked up to 12 high when empty. They also keep building costs way down. Containers may be purchased from major transport companies for as little as US $1,200 each. Even when purchased brand new they are seldom more than US $6000.
Many structures based on shipping containers have already been constructed, and their uses, sizes, locations and appearances vary widely. In 2000, the firm Urban Space Management completed the project called Container City I in the Trinity Buoy Wharf area of London. The London docklands development is composed of environmentally friendly work studios and live/work lofts stacked on top of each other to create a 5-story building.
Architect Nicholas Lacey and Buro Happold created a flexible design system that relies on component pieces instead of units. Instead of using a 1 container = 1 unit approach, their system relies on components in various permutations to create very livable, adaptable spaces. Aside from this Container City residential project, the system has been used in projects as diverse as classrooms, office spaces, residential units, retail spaces and even youth centers.
“Containers as architecture are just one of the ways in which we can look at objects and find new uses to them. The modular nature of the containers, their adaptability, and the fact that they can be found in industrial surplus make them an ideal prefab material,” noted Urban Space Management.
In 2006, Southern California Architect Peter DeMaria designed the first two story shipping container home in the U.S. as an approved structural system under the strict guidelines of the nationally recognized Uniform Building Code (UBC). This home was the Redondo Beach House and it inspired the creation of Logical Homes, a cargo container based pre-fabricated home company.
They also have a fine use for low income housing. As an MBA student, Brian McCarthy saw many poor neighborhoods in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. He has since developed prototypes of shipping container housing for typical maquiladora workers in Mexico. And now, people can buy homes for as low as $8,000.
Containers are also used in disaster relief. In 2011, an earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand devastated the city’s central business district. The Cashel Mall reopened in a series of shipping containers within months.
The use of rudimentary containers to ship cargo began in the late 17th century. By the 1950s, the U.S. military standardized their design, building strong, uniform, theft-resistant, stackable shipping containers that were easy to load and unload by truck, rail and ship, and easy to store. Now, containers are not just for shipping anymore. In the future, the cargo container will contribute to construction in a variety of ways.
We’re here to help you with your real estate needs. Please contact Jodi Summers and the SoCal Investment Real Estate Group @ Sotheby’s International Realty – firstname.lastname@example.org or 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.
Young people are interested in a different kind of lifestyle than earlier generations, thus
Americans are experiencing an urban renaissance of unanticipated proportions. ..and it’s making us greener. Realizing that now is the time for experience, college graduates are moving to cities, where they may eschew owning car and take to bicycling and mass transit. They live is smaller square footage with fluid common space and amenities nearby.
“Unlike their parents, who calculated their worth in terms of square feet…this generation is more interested in the amenities of the city itself: great public spaces, walkability, diverse people and activities with which they can participate,” observes Ellen Dunham-Jones, a professor of architecture and urban design at Georgia Tech.
Recently released census data shows that in 2014 metropolitan areas across the country grew at a faster rate than the rest of the country. And, as virtually all green studies have proven, city living is greener than suburban living – that’s why Manhattan is one of the greenest cities in the country.
Nielsen Research’s latest whitepaper on Gen Y and Millennials shares these key findings:
- Those aged 18 to 27 have a median income of $24,973; meanwhile, older Millennials (28 to 36) make closer to $48,000.
- Currently, 36% of Millennials rely on parents for financial support.
- 62% of Millennials prefer to live in mixed-use communities.
- Green is still in. A whopping 60% of Millennials are willing to pay more for a product if they think it’s good for the environment.
- Millennials are the most racially/ethnically diverse generation: 19% are Hispanic, 14% are African American, and 5% are Asian.
- Only 21% of Millennials are married.
For more information please contact Jodi Summers and the SoCal Investment Real Estate Group @ Sotheby’s International Realty – email@example.com or 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.
Shareware applications for real world situations…there is now a free online calculator you can use to compare the thermal performance and cost of a variety of roof, floor, and wall assemblies.
A home’s envelope components and mechanical equipment make up a large portion of construction costs – and a typical home has dozens of these components that can be assembled in hundreds of combinations. Each combination has a different impact on construction costs, energy efficiency and profitability.
The calculators, which offer a quick way of comparing different combinations of materials, are courtesy of Ekotrope. Using the application, if you hypothetically, “Change the type of insulation, from high-density polyurethane foam, let’s say, to cellulose and the calculator instantly reflects changes in R-value and cost per square foot.”
House performance is dictated by the way components interact with each other. That is why a whole system approach is the best way to make component design decisions. It analyzes the home as a complete system, rather than just looking at an individual component’s cost or energy performance.
When you look at a house as a complete system, you can make impactful cost/energy performance trade-offs that you just can’t make when you only look at a single component in isolation. With a stronger grasp of the big picture, you can more effectively control your bottom line.
These calculators are effective because they offer a series of drop down menus lets users adjust a variety of values, such as stud depth and spacing, and the type of sheathing and cladding.
Check it out. Analyze a wall assembly. Calculate a wall’s cost & R value.
The experts @ Ekotrope note that the calculator determines the effective R-values for conduction and convection, but does not take into account bulk air movement. As a result, the effects of air leaks in a wall or roof assembly can’t be factored in.
“Though somewhat limited, it is still useful in understanding the effects of thermal bridging and also for quickly comparing different materials from an insulation and cost basis,” compliments Nick Sisler, one of Ekotrope’s founders.
According to Sisler, the algorithm used in the calculator is based on the same method described by John Krigger in Residential Energy, supplemented with material from both ASHRAE (Formerly the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers) Fundamentals and RESNET (residential network) standards.
As to the estimated costs of various assemblies, he says information comes from Ekotrope’s internal research and from projects the company has worked on. Users can edit the values if local costs are different. The cost values are updated periodically but not on a regular basis.
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Building Envelopes Program also offers several online calculators, including one for estimating whole-wall R-values. They’re also available online for free.
They grew and greened our ports, and now everyone is bringing their business to Southern California. We have set an example in growing business through green and efficient building.
The Pacific Maritime Association’s website show that in the first quarter of 2014, the Southern California port complex increased its market share on the West Coast by 2 percentage points, to 72%. Oakland’s market share was flat and the Seattle-Tacoma gateway lost 2 percentage points to 16% market share.
Renters, including traditional retailers and e-commerce retailers, want large warehouses of 500,000 to more than 1 million square feet. Properties capable of accommodating large facilities simply aren’t available close to the coast, so almost all of the new construction in Southern California is occurring in the Inland Empire. Amazon has built out there, and of the 17 mega-warehouse properties under construction in the Inland Empire, seven of them have an e-commerce fulfillment component.
Compared to traditional warehouses, e-commerce facilities are far more efficient and functional. The buildings tend to be larger, with more height clearance and heavier flooring infrastructure to support higher stacking of goods and hanging conveyors.
E-commerce facilities are also more labor-intensive, generating one job per 1,000 square feet of space, while the traditional warehouse generates one job per 3,500 square feet of space, thus e-commerce fulfillment centers require many more employee parking spaces. The new style is more efficient.
Expect Casa Grande, Arizona to see strong development in the coming years.
East of the West – Chicago; northern and central New Jersey; eastern Pennsylvania; Dallas; Atlanta; and southern Florida and Texas are strong industrial markets.
As these industrial hubs continue to grow, they will set examples in energy efficiency – both in kilowatt usage and manpower.
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