November 14, 2014 on 10:05 pm | In all, Curious, Green Cities, Green Houses, Snapshot, Solutions, Statistics, Trends, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

by Jodi Summers

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 – or 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.



October 28, 2014 on 5:28 pm | In all, Green Building, Net Zero, Statistics, Trends, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Edited by Jodi Summers

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.



October 13, 2014 on 5:13 pm | In Act Locally, all, Green Building, Green Workplace, Snapshot, Solutions, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

by Jodi Summers

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.

Port growth indicates more distribution center development will be needed. New construction is designed with maximum efficiency in mind.

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.

As the Inland Empire grows, look for the rise of Inland ports. Ferris and Poway have lead the way in green warehouse construction, and now both markets are going strong.

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.



September 26, 2014 on 8:34 am | In Curious, Green Building, Green Workplace, Greenhouse Gas, Snapshot, Solutions, Uncategorized, Water | 1 Comment

from Jodi Summers

The Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach is a through arch bridge that carries four lanes from the end of Interstate 710 across the Cerritos Channel to Terminal Island. The bridge is named after Gerald Desmond, a civic leader and former city attorney for the City of Long Beach.

Built in the 1960s (with Bethlehem Steel), the Gerald Desmond Bridge was not designed to handle today’s supertankers and traffic volumes and it has been deteriorating, so it is being replaced.

The new bridge, due for completion in 2016, will allow access to the port for even the tallest container ships. It will be the first long-span cable-stayed bridge in California. (A cable-stayed bridge has one or more towers (or pylons), from which cables support the bridge deck.)

Time-lapse video featuring new footage of the SB I-710 Freeway connector demolition work that took place from May 23 – June 22, 2014. The connector to WB Ocean Blvd. was demolished to make room for the new bridge foundations.

In order for the bridge to be so tall, long approaches will be required to allow heavy trucks to cross the structure. A joint venture of Parsons Transportation Group and HNTB performed preliminary engineering for the main span and the approaches.

The current bridge proved to be obsolete in March 2012, when the 155-foot (47 m) vertical clearance of the bridge was not enough to allow the Fabiola to enter the Port of Long Beach. At 12,562 TEUs, the Fabiola was, to date, the largest container ship to date to enter the Port of Long Beach. The height restriction prevented the ship from docking at the Mediterranean Shipping Company dock; it docked at the Hanjin terminal instead.

The Gerald Desmond Bridge will continue to be a vital link in the nation’s trade system and a major commuter corridor.



September 12, 2014 on 6:40 pm | In Act Locally, Uncategorized, Water | No Comments

by Jodi Summers

Water? Water? Where did it go? Last winter was one of the warmest winter on record in California. Paleoclimatologists believe it is exacerbating what could well be the region’s worst drought in 500 years…nearly all of the state’s 191 reservoirs are below normal levels.

If things don’t improve, some small communities may run out of drinking water. Farmers may need to idle 500,000 acres of farmland, resulting in billions of dollars in economic damage. The last time the water supply was as low, in the 1960s, California’s population was just less than 20m. Today, the same amount of water must accommodate twice as many people.

The chart shows reservoir storage records from California’s Department of Water Resources for all 191 reservoirs starting in 1960. Each color represents a different reservoir (though only the nine biggest are identified). The largest aren’t even in California: Lake Mead sits in Nevada and Lake Powell straddles the borders of Utah and Arizona.


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