by Jodi Summers
Corner offices and cubicles are so last century… The new millennium workspace is versatile and green, with options for focused, individual work, telecommuting and is fully equipped to support collaborative groups, team projects and social interaction.
NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, recently held an Office Building of the Future design competition. The winning designers identified several common themes that could drive changes in how we “office” in the future. The biggest driver for change is technology. Personal technology which has untethered workers from by providing the capability of completing service and information-based tasks from wherever they choose…no longer necessitating that they commute to an office. In our green future, an individual with a laptop can work from home, or at a wi-fi equipped location, or any variety of locations along the road.
Green gets brighter. The office building of the future will be more affordable to build and operate, thanks to advances and cost reductions in construction materials and systems. Sustainability will become financially viable. Net-zero buildings will meet the demands of tenants as well as the improved building performance sought by building owners and developers.
Diversity and flexibility is key. The company of the future doesn’t have one grand office rather they have several smaller hub locations, efficiently located closer to their workforce and rapid transit.
“Office design is changing rapidly and our industry needs to position itself ahead of the curve,” offers Thomas J. Bisacquino, NAIOP president and chief executive officer. “This unique competition opened the door to thinking about what an ‘office’ may look like in the very near future.”
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.
Have you gawked at the morning line of traffic waiting to get off the 10W freeway at Cloverfield? The jobs came to the beach before the mass transit. Think of how much easier the commute will be when the Bergamot Station stop on the Expo Line opens in 2015…
Nationally, more than three-quarters of all jobs in the 100 largest metropolitan areas are in neighborhoods with transit service.
Western metro areas like Los Angeles and Seattle exhibit the highest coverage rates. When combining bus and rail service, they exhibit near ubiquitous transit coverage rates and enable their jobs to access over half of their local labor pools. Los Angeles is better than average? Just imagine trying to take the bus to work in Arkansas….
Pundits say that the typical job is accessible to only about 27% of its metropolitan workforce by transit in 90 minutes or less. Labor access varies from the high of 64% in metropolitan Salt Lake City to a low of 6% in metropolitan Palm Bay, Florida. Studies conclude that city jobs are consistently accessible to larger shares of metropolitan labor pools than suburban jobs, reinforcing cities’ geographic advantage relative to transit routing.
Los Angeles’ industrial capabilities keep growing… the Port of Los Angeles will undergo a $196 million expansion. Known as the Marine Terminal Redevelopment Project, the two-year project to green and grow the container terminal operated by long-time tenant Eagle Marine Services Ltd. This project is expected to generate nearly 3,400 jobs during construction and add nearly 8,000 permanent direct and indirect jobs to the Southern California economy over the next 15 years.
The Los Angeles Harbor Commission recently certified the final Environmental Impact Report for the proposed expansion of the facility commonly known as “Pier 300.”
Redevelopment will begin by late 2012. The approved the project that will modernize container terminal Berths 302-306, which are under long-term lease to Eagle Marine Services Ltd., a subsidiary of ocean carrier APL.
“Our investment in green growth continues to pay huge economic and social dividends,” praises Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, in the prepared statement “This project ensures the Port has the world-class infrastructure to remain competitive in the global marketplace, and everyone benefits—our customers, our markets and our communities.”
Green innovations are in accordance with San Pedro Bay Clean Air Action Plan measures, and include equipping the entire terminal with Alternative Marine Power electrical infrastructure to eliminate emissions from ships at berth. When completed, the $196 million project at the Port’s second-largest terminal is expected maximize use of the property by allowing APL to handle nearly 58% more ship calls and accommodate more than 65% more cargo, while growing the terminal footprint less than 20%. Those statistics translate into up to 390 ship calls and the capacity to move more than 3.2 million TEUs annually by 2027 on a 347-acre terminal.
Much of the work on the Eagle Marine Services terminal will be at Berth 306, where the Port will add 1,250 feet of new wharf and 41 acres of backlands on existing fill. Eagle Marine Services will add eight gantry cranes that span the width of the largest container ships in the global fleet. The number of cranes throughout the terminal will double, bringing the total to 24.
According to Gene Seroka, APL’s regional president of the Americas, this project strengthens APL’s ability to “continue providing the level and quality of service to meet our customers’ needs into the future. It represents the progressive approach that the City and the Port of Los Angeles take to working with their business partners.”
Port executive director Geraldine Knatz, the Port of L.A. is investing approximately $1.2 billion over the next five years in capital improvement projects. “We’re making sure that we optimize our facilities, green our operations and build on the advantages that make us America’s No. 1 trade gateway.”
We evolve and we learn. When it comes to building efficiency, we are advancing at warp speed. The Department of Energy has revealed that buildings meeting the new 2010 energy efficiency standard will conserve 18.5% more energy than structures using the previous 2007 DOE standard. It’s like making the jump to hyperspace.
The DOE did some pretty serious study to come up with the new codes. For its findings, DOE simulated 16 representative building types in 15 U.S. climate locations. In addition, they analyzed the energy codes published by the American National Standards Institute/American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.
The evolved 2010 standard covers a wide spectrum of the energy-related components and systems in buildings ranging from simple storage units to complex energy usage locations like hospitals and laboratories. The size of the structures also ranged from under 1,000 square feet to the largest buildings in the world.
States are expected to review Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings and update their building code to meet or exceed the energy efficiency of the new standard within two years. Certification statements by the states are due October 18, 2013.
California requires our state-developed commercial code the 2008 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, comprising Title 24, Parts 1 and 6, of the California Code of Regulations.
The DOE boasts that the newer version of the standard contains 19 positive impacts on energy efficiency. Among the modifications are new requirements for daylighting controls under skylights; increased use of heat recovery; cool roofs in hot climates; skylights and daylighting in some building types; reduced ventilation energy; supply air temperature reset for non-peak conditions; efficiency requirements for data centers; control of exterior lighting; and occupancy sensors for many specific applications.
Over a 20-year span, green buildings can $53 to $71 per square foot back on investment. LEED and Energy Star certified buildings achieve significantly higher rents, sale prices and occupancy rates as well as lower capitalization rates potentially reflecting lower investment risk…and green buildings make the world a better place.
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