September 20, 2013 on 7:11 pm | In Act Locally, all, Curious, Green Cities, Uncategorized, Water | 3 Comments

by Jodi Summers

They’ve controlled smoking, now on to controlling water use…soon the City may be monitoring every time you take a shower, flush the toilet, and water the lawn. In 2010, the last time that Santa Monica participated in the Urban Water Management Plan required by the state, SM city officials saddled themselves with a stringent goal committing the city to consume only 123 gallons per person, per day by 2020.

Come 2013, even in the face of major improvements to both public and private facilities, our town of 90,000 residents and upwards of 200,000 workers and visitors goes through 134 gallons per person per day. Getting down to the 123 figure is more than daunting — it may very well be impossible without making life uncomfortable for residents and businesses alike, said Gil Borboa, water resources manager for Santa Monica City Hall.



September 2, 2013 on 6:57 pm | In Act Locally, Curious, Green Cities, Net Zero, Solutions, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

edited by Jodi Summers

The City of Santa Monica is conducting a Zero Waste Survey and would like your input. The City has indicated that there are three different surveys and has provided the following instructions:
We have three different surveys; a Commercial survey, a Single family (house) survey and a Multifamily (apartment/ condo dwellers) survey.  For us to gather the most relevant information, we ask that participants take the appropriate survey as relates to their situation.  For example if someone lives in an apartment and is a business owner, we encourage them to take both the Multifamily and the Commercial surveys. Thank you very much for assisting us with this project.

Here are the links the City has provided, and participants may even be entered to win prizes such as a free kitchen compost pail, a pressure washing service or a bulky item collection service.  Please pass this email to other Santa Monica residents.  The City’s hope is to have surveys completed by September 30th.   A few minutes of your time now can help improve our City.

Single Family Zero Waste Survey

Multi Family Zero Waste Survey

Commercial Zero Waste Survey

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August 3, 2013 on 5:37 pm | In all, Curious, Green Building, Green Workplace, Solutions, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

by Jodi Summers

Don’t you just hate driving around downtown Santa Monica looking for parking? A new automated garage, the kind of the future, is now being tried in Santa Monica. It allows you to park a lot more cars in a lot less space because no driving is involved. The “West Coast’s first automated parking garage” is moving cars around the UCLA Santa Monica Outpatient Surgery Center. Drivers can leave their cars at six bays, where a movable platform takes the car to a crane. The 8,000-pound crane then lowers the car onto one of six levels. Employees swipe their driver’s license or a badge to retrieve their cars, while the public will use a credit or debit card (the garage will open to the public when all the kinks are worked out). Usually the cars can be retrieved in two minutes and people seem happy with the system. “It breaks down sometimes, but when it’s working it’s really great,” according to one nurse.

One of the best aspects of the robot garages, other than never losing your vehicle or dealing with break-ins, is they hold more cars than a typical garage and can be built smaller. West Hollywood and Chinatown both have automated parking garages in the works.



June 26, 2013 on 7:42 pm | In all, Curious, For Your Purchasing Pleasure, Green Workplace, LEED, Uncategorized | No Comments

by Jodi Summers

You can buy the National Office Portfolio = six significant office assets have attained a level of LEED certification and the portfolio is available free and clear of existing debt.

Spread across the country in such desirable cities as Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Washington, D.C., and West Palm Beach, FL. all totaled, nearly 2 million square feet of office space.

Here’s what’s included in the deal:

• Los Angeles – 500 North Brand Ave.  Located in the heart of Glendale’s Central Business District, this 22-story, 413,274-square-foot office building provides tenants with one of the area’s most exceptional office space alternatives. This premier high-rise is conveniently located adjacent to numerous retail, restaurants, and hotel amenities, including the Glendale Galleria, the to-be built Americana at Brand, and the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport (Bob Hope Airport).


• Washington, D.C – One Washingtonian Center, a Class A, LEED, 14-story, 315,929-square-foot office building in the Gaithersburg submarket of Washington, D.C. that recently renewed a lease with Sodexo Inc. to keep its headquarters in the building. Sodexo, is on Fortune’s list of The World’s Most Admired Companies, has the ambition is to become the premier expert in Quality of Daily Life service solutions.

• Palm Beach – Esperante Corporate Center, a 20-story, 256,151-square-foot, and LEED Gold landmark located at the gateway to Palm Beach – Esperante Corporate Center commands spectacular views of the Atlantic, the Intracoastal Waterway and Downtown. Having recently completed a $4.5 million renovation, achieving status, this Class A asset offers WiFi-enabled common areas, a 24/7 lobby attendant, valet parking and a six-story atrium ideal for corporate events. Tenants automatically become members of 5-Star Worldwide, an exclusive program of tenant services that adds value to every square foot.

• Houston – 2603 Augusta, a 16-story, 243,348-square-foot office building located in the West Loop/Galleria area, described as “Houston’s premier submarket.” 2603 Augusta offers Class A, boutique office space and all the amenities of the Galleria at your doorstep.

• Dallas – Preston Commons, 8111-8117 Preston Rd., Dallas 75225 – an office complex totaling 427,800 square feet that includes a pair of eight-story buildings located in the Preston Center submarket of Dallas. The building description boasts, “A revolution in tenant service, 5-Star Worldwide is an uncommonly smart choice for tenants who need a wide array of business and personal amenities to include conference facilities, technical support, a cafe and 5-Star Worldwide personal attention.”

• Dallas – Sterling Plaza, a 302,747-square-foot building asset at 5949 Sherry Lane in the Preston Center submarket of Dallas. Sterling Plaza has one prime objective: To become North Dallas’s premiere office destination offering VALUE, SERVICE, and a fabulous package of AMENITIES. Here, tenants enjoy a one-of-a-kind 5-Star Worldwide amenities program featuring executive conference facilities and concierge services. Come see why Sterling Plaza is “Where Business Shines.”

Interested? Contact us. 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 – or 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.



March 17, 2013 on 7:26 pm | In all, Curious, Green Building, Trends, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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.


February 16, 2013 on 12:35 pm | In all, Curious, Green Building, Green Houses, Money, Net Zero, Solar, Solutions, Trends, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

by Jodi Summers

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.


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