by Jodi Summers
Research and statistics show that Energy Star and LEED-certified buildings can attract higher rents and generate increased demand from tenants < and that a green property can garner a better lease rates and higher sales price. But the bottom line has been so shaky lately, that green hasn’t really gotten very far in industrial real estate.
Going forward we will see change. New projects follow CalGreen codes, but spec development is basically being built to an absolute minimum and then individual owners grow it from there.
Prologis is leading one of the more proactive environmentally friendly construction campaigns. The logistics company has embraced LEED—not just building to the standard, but having LEED-certified construction managers who know how to work the paperwork a little more efficiently.
“Calgreen holds you to that standard anyway, “so a few extra bucks thrown at it will get you the certification,” shares a Prologis southwest region president.
With the older, Class-B buildings, it’s tough to go LEED without the tenants’ cooperation because tenant improvement are put toward more specific needs. LEED cert is near the bottom of the hierarchy of true needs but definitely on the radar screens, but most tenants are not willing to pay more to get it @ this point in time.
LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design) is the benchmark international certification system which offers bronze, silver, gold, and platinum certification levels. Statewide we have the CalGreen Code, which is more like everytown’s way of going green.
California is an example of green construction. In 2008, state energy regulators adopted a long-term plan that called for having all new residential buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2020 and having all commercial buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2030. The provisions also reduce water use by 20% and divert 50% of construction waste from landfills.
L.A. is on track to reduce the city’s carbon emissions 35% below 1990 levels by 2030. Our goal is the greatest reduction target of any large US city. It takes the state’s stringent CalGreen building codes a step further.
So going forward, we’re good, but we’re still dealing with an existing building stock, and some antiquated customs and equipment all the way around. Restructuring a structure’s infrastructure (say that 3x fast) is not an overnight process. We are sprinting toward net zero construction, yet large parts of the old-style building infrastructure will still dominate the landscape for the next century.
Any improvements and renovations made to your properties can impact the environment. Be conscious of your choices in paint and floor coverings. Anything you upgrade on your properties can be done with green in mind heating, plumbing, and electric all offer green fixes that can save the business money on the long term, and increase profitability on resale.
But some things are a slow fix…we may be building green buildings, but the machinery used to construct the property may not be. You’ve seen those backhoes and cranes bellowing black diesel carbon fumes. Around the shop, some old power tools use 3x the needed energy.
Construction equipment companies are catching on. JCB is aware of their duty to make their plant machinery more environmentally sound. For example, the Scot JCB Digger has numerous variations including the brand new 3CX-ECO with increased fuel efficiency in all aspects of its functionality.
Construction companies – particularly in Southern California – are up to speed on CalGreen construction, ICC codes, and other modern methods. Our fair county is an example of sound building, with cities like West Hollywood, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica offering some of the strictest green construction codes in the country, if not the world. And we’re setting an example for going forward. Today’s green apprentice may someday become the foremen of their own company, selling jobs and their bids.
Green building goes beyond the edifice, it includes the source of the raw materials, and the distance they travelled, the equipment that goes into the building and that goes into building the building. Society is progressing forward at warp speed, and we’re along for the ride. Let’s do our best to contribute to the greater good for now and for generations to come.
edited by Jodi Summers
Here’s a cool chart predicting the growth in production of machine stress-rated (MSR). MSR wood is used mainly for trusses and I-joists, so when new construction rises, so will production. Second, design values for visually graded Southern yellow pine–another wood type used in trusses and joists–were reduced. That makes MSR of all types more desirable. The Forest Economic Advisers (FEA) predicts a boost in production of Southern pine MSR as production in Canada slows due to the mountain pine beetle’s destruction in the west and reduced harvests in the east.
Imagine getting a credit from SoCal Edison instead of a bill. Net-zero homeowners rely on power from utilities at night but get credit for the energy they produce during the day that they don’t consume. If you live in a smart home with solar power and get involved with California’s net meter programs, your energy credits for the power you create and do not use. Shine sun shine.
Net metering allows homeowners to get credit for the power they produce at a retail rate rather than a wholesale rate…nice incentive, yes? There is currently a cap on net metering programs, but experts say the cap won’t be hit any time soon.
“The energy that I don’t use Edison buys from me,” notes green home owner Steve Rosen. “It looks like I may not have an electric bill next year, because the electricity, all of it is going to keep on adding to that credit. I still have to pay delivery and handling charges, but that is just a couple of bucks a month.”
Environmentalists began pushing for California to mandate that new homes come with renewable energy systems in the early 2000s, as the technology became more scalable and available. Now there’s no other way.
In 2008, California energy regulators adopted a long-term plan that called for having all new residential buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2020 and having all commercial buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2030. And…it looks like we just might get there.
Sunny day? Let it shine…and let it make you money.
by Jodi Summers
To our health. You gotta love that California has been pushing policies for green development all millennium. Now that we’re climbing out of the recession, expect new homes to be those space-age models of energy efficiency that we have previously only imagined. As the economy gains momentum, so is the green building revolution.
New green homes by major developers are light years ahead of where they were before the recession. Motivated by government initiatives like New Solar Homes Partnership.
KB Home has made solar systems standard on new houses in Southern California. Lennar, Pardee Homes and Pulte Homes offer solar home projects. ABC Green Home of Newport Beach is will be building a net-zero home to showcase green technology for consumers. Clarum Homes in Palo Alto is a custom builder that has gained praise for incorporating energy efficiency and passive solar features into homes with modernist flourishes.
The New Solar Homes Partnership adopts a long-term plan that called for having all new residential buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2020 and having all commercial buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2030.
Beyond solar, green new home efficiency benefits include tankless hot water heaters, adjustable thermostats, LED lighting and Energy Star appliances, as well as other economical perks. Live efficiently and your electricity bill from Southern California Edison Co. can be close to zero.
Designs like the ZeroHouse model by Los Angeles builder KB Home exemplify the housing industry’s attempt to move beyond the one-off LEED vanity project and make subdivision building a green practice. New net-zero homes are so green they produce at least as much juice as they consume.
Environmentalists began pushing for California to mandate that new homes come with renewable energy systems in the early 2000s, as the technology became more scalable and available. Our CalGreen construction codes have influenced the world…now perhaps our homes will as well.
by Jodi Summers
Environmentalists began pushing for our Golden State to mandate that new homes come with renewable energy systems in the early part of this millennium.
The effort to get builders to build green grew into state law SB-1. SB-1 created the Million Solar Roofs Initiative, calling for the creation of 3,000 megawatts of new, solar-generated electricity by 2016. Always one for a good challenge, Gov. Jerry Brown upped the ante, and quadrupled the solar energy goal to 12,000 megawatts, or roughly the equivalent of 12 nuclear power plants. As an FYI, A thousand megawatts of solar energy could power about 250,000 homes. 12,000 megawatts = 3,000,000 homes.
All that power gets rolled into the California Solar Initiative, which uses rebates to promote renewable energy use in previously owned homes, as well as commercial, agricultural, government and nonprofit buildings. You can read all 193 pages here:
Okay, now that you’re up to speed, are you able to power your property at a profit?
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