by Jodi Summers
The Port of Long Beach is blue and green. The water is blue. The port is green, as they have implemented an exemplary green port policy to try and maintain the environment while they are shipping freight around the world.
The Green Port Policy is an aggressive, comprehensive and coordinated approach to reduce the negative impacts of Port operations. Founded in 1911, the 3,200-acre Port of Long Beach is a premier gateway for trade between the United States and Asia. More than $140 billion worth of cargo moves through the Port every year – everything from clothing and furniture to machinery and petroleum. They try to be green while going through this process.
- Protect the community from harmful environmental impacts of Port operations.
- Distinguish the Port as a leader in environmental stewardship and compliance.
- Promote sustainability.
- Employ best available technology to avoid or reduce environmental impacts.
- Engage and educate the community.
The Green Port Policy directs the Port to integrate sustainable plans practices into Port development and operations by actively promoting an organizational culture of environmental enhancement, fiscal responsibility, and community integrity. Current areas of focus are outlined below…
California passed landmark greenhouse gas legislation, The Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), in 2006. Although the state has yet to formalize greenhouse gas regulations for the port sector, the Port of Long Beach has already begun quantifying greenhouse gas emissions and formulating a plan for reductions. The Board of Harbor Engineers adopted a formal resolution establishing a framework for conducting business while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They have assembled a multi-divisional Renewable Energy Working Group that is currently evaluating Port lands for solar- and wind-power opportunities.
The Clean Air Action Plan and Sustainability
The Clean Air Action Plan, adopted by the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports in 2006, is guided by the three components of sustainability:
1. Environmental Responsibility
· Air quality improvements
· Energy/fuel efficiency improvements
· Advances new technologies
· Creates model for regulators and politicians
· Ecological health side benefits
· Equitable distribution of financial burden
· Helps the Port maintain its “license to operate”
3. Social responsibility
· Human health risk reductions
· Includes stakeholders in decision making
· Creates jobs
· Process is transparent
· Protects integrity of workers
The Green Port Integrating Committee’s working group has the task of integrating the Green Port Policy, including sustainability, into all operations.
The Engineering Bureau is in its second year of implementing an American Association of Port Authorities-guided Environmental Management System (EMS), which establishes sustainable storm water practices during construction projects.
The waste paper and container recycling program is conducted in partnership with the Conservation Corps Long Beach, a non-profit organization that educates and trains at-risk youth.
The pilot solar car port has been up and running for almost a year. This is the first step in the process that will maximize renewable energy through the Harbor District.
Green Building principles are incorporated into new building design through the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program.
Environmentally-preferable purchasing, for everything from pens to fleet vehicles, informs the way we buy. In the future, we’ll be paying even more attention to carbon footprints, especially with regard to building materials.
The Port of Long Beach is an incredible complex, moving around 115,000 TEUs – Twenty-foot equivalent unit) each month. It’s totally worth checking, if you get the chance.
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.
Kudos to the Port of Long Beach which is growing and greening in a big way. The Port has landed the largest deal of its kind for any U.S. seaport The Port of L.B. has inked a 40-year, $4.6-billion lease with Orient Overseas Container Line for the Middle Harbor property. Hooray for the SoCal economy > the Middle Harbor terminal is projected to generate more than 14,000 new, permanent jobs throughout Southern California by 2020.
And bravo to the Port of L.B. for investing $1.2-billion to develop the new 300-acre-plus Middle Harbor terminal. The lease would secure a tenant for the Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project, which combines Pier F and E into one state-of-the-art container terminal.
According to Long Beach Harbor Commission president Susan E. Anderson Wise, “This proposed agreement will enable the Port of Long Beach to maintain its competitive edge while bringing many benefits to the community.”
The Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project will combine two aging shipping terminals into one modern terminal which doubles the existing capacity. The project will utilize the most advanced cargo-handling technology in the world. The nine-year, $1.2 billion project will upgrade wharfs, water access and storage area; as well as add a greatly expanded on-dock rail yard.
“It will also be the greenest terminal in North America, cutting air pollution in half through the use of more on-dock rail, electrified cargo handling equipment and shore power, which allows vessels to draw electricity from a landside utility when docked rather than diesel-powered auxiliary engines,” affirms Anderson Wise.
And in signs of an economic comeback, long-term tenants, OOCL and LBCT will invest approximately $500 million in the latest cargo-handling equipment. FYI, LBCT ~ a.k.a. Long Beach Container Terminal Inc. ~ is a marine terminal full service container facility that has occupied Pier F since 1986.
OOCL is an ideal client. Their goal is, “To be the best and most innovative international container transport and logistics service provider; providing a Vital Link to world trade and creating value for our customers, employees, shareholders and partners.”
OOCL ships have a near 100% participation in the Port’s Green Flag Program, which provides rebates to vessel operators that slow down in and near the Port to cut down on air pollution.
The Port of L.B. Green Flag Program is a voluntary vessel speed reduction initiative that rewards vessel operators for slowing down to 12 knots or less within 40 nautical miles (nm) of Point Fermin (near the entrance to the Harbor).
Ships emit less when they travel more slowly > thus the program has been highly successful in reducing smog-forming emissions and diesel particulates from ships. In 2009, more than 90% of vessels participated in the program, slowing their ships in the 20 nautical mile zone. Even more impressive, more than 70% of incoming vessels to the POLB have decelerated within the 40 nm zone.
In return for their participation vessel operators can earn dockage rate reductions during most of the calendar year The Port will award about $2.5 million in dockage savings in 2010; and anticipates that 2011 awards will total in the $4 million range.
Cut the expenses on your commercial property. Building performance tracking promises continuous improvement for every building. Even a building constructed to the most exacting environmental standards needs to be operated and maintained properly to perform as designed. By employing a strategy to monitor and improve the energy and system operation of commercial buildings, building performance tracking is the first step in seeing operating costs fall, asset values grow, and market differentiation improve.
“The Building Performance Tracking Handbook” was developed by the California Commissioning Collaborative with funding from the state’s Energy Commission and can be applied to commercial buildings throughout the country. It allows operators to understand how their buildings are running and improve standard operating procedures and energy usage for a building.
“The Building Performance Handbook” outlines the steps needed to continually manage building performance, demystifies the complex array of building performance tracking tools available, and provides guidance on selecting the most appropriate tracking strategy.
There are four elements to performance tracking:
• Collect data and track the performance of the HVAC and lighting systems, plus energy use data.
• Identify performance problems.
• Diagnose problems and identify solutions.
• Fix problems and verify results.
To help facility managers build a business case, the handbook identifies a range of benefits from performance tracking, including enhanced occupant satisfaction, reduced energy costs and increased property values.
Building Owners, managers, and engineers will find this handbook valuable, whether they are just embarking on a formal performance tracking approach, or are looking to take their existing strategies to the next level.
The Handbook, endorsed by BOMA California’s Energy Committee, is the outcome of research funded by the California Energy Commission, under a project managed by the non-profit California Commissioning Collaborative. The handbook was written by PECI, a non-profit organization devoted to energy efficiency.
Download a copy of the manual @ http://cacx.org/PIER/documents/bpt-handbook.pdf.
by Jodi Summers
It’s a first for the U.S. > a national green building code. In development for more than two years, the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) applies to all new and renovated commercial buildings and residential buildings over three stories high.
“It represents a change in the standard of construction,” says Jessyca Henderson Director of Sustainability Advocacy at the American Institute of Architects. “It will affect everyone that touches buildings…it will be a big leap.”
To develop the code, the International Code Council collaborated with the American Institute of Architects, US Green Building Council, and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), among other appropriate agencies.
The new code creates a mandatory “floor” – enforceable minimum standards on every aspect of building design and construction that now must be reached. These new minimum standards apply to all aspects of building design and construction, including energy and water efficiency, site impacts, building waste, and materials.
Here are some of the new rules of property development as set forth by the new ICC green building code:
Site Development, Land Use: In a big move toward environmental preservation, development on Greenfields (undeveloped land) is no longer acceptable, although there are exceptions based on existing infrastructure. There are new guidelines for site disturbance, irrigation, erosion control, transportation, heat island mitigation, graywater systems, habitat protection, and site restoration…so you too can help save the Round-tailed Ground Squirrel.
Materials: As with California codes, the ICC code requires a minimum of 50% of construction waste must be diverted from landfills, and at least 55% of building materials must be salvaged, recycled-content, recyclable, biobased, or indigenous. Buildings must be designed for at least 60 years of life, and must have a service plan that justifies that. If 600 years ago they built properties that have lasted 600 years, using modern technology for new construction to last 1/10th that time should be easy.
Energy Efficiency: total efficiency must be “51% of the energy allowable in the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code” (IECC), and building envelope performance must exceed that by 10%. It sets minimum standards for lighting and mechanical systems, and requires certain levels of submetering and demand-response automation.
Water Efficiency: The ICC code establishes maximum consumption of fixtures and appliances and sets standards for rainwater storage and graywater systems.
Indoor Air Quality: As you would expect, the new code addresses radon, asbestos, VOCs, sound transmission, and daylight.
Here’s a cute perk…every project is also required to choose an additional “elective,” which pushes the envelope for the developer further. There’s a sexy menu of elective choices, like whole-building life-cycle assessment to more stringent recycled-content.
Local governments and states have the choice of adopting the code – many California cities like West Hollywood, Santa Monica and Berkeley have already implemented their own codes. But, once a city chooses the ICC codes – which require no additional budget – it’s enforceable…but does allow for flexibility within the rules depending upon location and size of building. Also, it’s customizable. Municipalities can add their own requirements on top of the code that address local concerns such as stormwater management or lighting pollution control.
No information was shared on how these new rules will affect cost…we await that information with bated checkbooks. Expect the final code to reach the public late in 1Q 2012.
The City of Santa Monica has figured out how to monetizing their beautiful weather to meet their solar objectives. Solar Santa Monica has a set target to establish 500 kilowatts (kW) of solar for Fiscal Year 2011-12. That’s a generous leap from the 209 kW of solar was installed throughout Santa Monica for 2010. The objective is to become a Net Zero city by 2020.
The term “Net Zero” describes an energy consumption model that result in the City having no net gas or electricity purchases annually.
“Integrating the installation of energy efficiency, solar, and clean distributed generation throughout Santa Monica over the next 15-20 years can result in the onsite generation of enough power to meet the net annual electricity requirements of the city and may even allow the community to become a net exporter of electricity,” observes Energy and Green Building Programs Administrator Susan Munves. “Thus, Santa Monica would become a Net Zero energy city.”
Since 2006, about 2.5 megawatts (MW) of solar electric systems have been installed on more than 300 rooftops in Santa Monica, generating about 4 million kilowatt hours (kWh) annually (or 2.5 percent of Santa Monica’s total annual electricity use). 34 households went solar in 2008, more than 47 households took the solar challenge in 2009, and numbers will obviously continue to grow.
Reaching solar projections will be aided by a new 1-3-year contract with EcoMotion, a company that has been working closely with Santa Monica since 2006. It began when EcoMotion was awarded a contract for more than $532,000 to develop Phase 1 of the Community Energy Independence Initiative, a program aimed at installing energy efficiency measures and solar electric or solar thermal systems throughout Santa Monica.
• $17,000,000+ in consumer savings
• Up to 29 green jobs
• 829 tons of greenhouse gas reductions annually
Now Santa Monica has entered into a contract with EcoMotion to develop and implement the “Solar Santa Monica” program.
“EcoMotion would … facilitate and coordinate the City’s efforts to establish a Community Solar Fund whose goal will be to provide solar financing options to commercial, City facilities, residential, affordable housing, and non-property owners,” confirms Munves.
On EcoMotion’s agenda with Solar Santa Monica is a public awareness program, integrating energy efficiency initiatives for single family homes, continuing its focus on commercial and institutional sectors, and, seeking new funding avenues.
Thus far, Santa Monica has set up a rebate program to subsidize the purchase of solar thermal systems (hot water) for both residential and commercial sites. Solar Santa Monica introduced the program via its newsletter and through joint marketing with its preferred solar thermal contractors. We have yet to set up anything like the Berkeley FIRST solar partnership that allows property owners to pay for energy efficiency improvements and solar system installation as a voluntary long-term assessment on their individual property tax bill.
Santa Monica has big projections from the Solar Santa Monica ramp-up. With an additional 3,530 kW in the queue, the City will likely more than double its capacity continuing up the path necessary to fulfill the 103 MW solar potential projected for Net Zero.
In addition to motivating residents, the City is doing its part. The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) recently entered into a solar power agreement to install 516 kW of solar at six elementary schools in Santa Monica during the next summer vacation.
Santa Monica is known for 200+ days a year of sun…might as well make the most of it.
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