December 7, 2013 on 5:39 pm | In Curious, Green Building, Green Cities, Green Houses, LEED, U.S. Government, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

edited by Jodi Summers

U.S. Political Royalty Hillary Rodham Clinton was the keynote speaker at Greenbuild 2013. Held at Temple University in Philadelphia Clinton was interviewed by U.S. Green Building Council president and CEO Rick Fedrizzi,

She knows A practitioner of minimizing the carbon footprint, Secretary of State Clinton told the audience that being 15% of carbon emissions and 1/3 of energy worldwide, our buildings need to be more sustainable for security and our future. She summarized the USGBC’s  impact over the past 20 years as offered highlights of her personal efforts to  promote sustainability.

In 1993 as a new First Lady, she and Bill Clinton took on a  “greening of the White House” project which involved replacing windows and other building retrofits to save energy and water.

More recently, as Secretary of State she emphasized that that all future U.S. embassies will build to a minimum LEED Silver standard. “I decided we would call that Greening Diplomacy as part of an initiative we started at the State Department both to conserve resources, and to send a message to the world about America’s priorities and values,”

“We know this works. And over the past 20 years you have seen slow, steady progress. But …we’re at a new level. The work has proven itself, we know what to do. We just have to be better organized and focused…to do more.”

On several subjects, Clinton and the USGBC were of similar mind.

“By 2015, the non-residential market for green construction is estimated to grow between $120 and 145 billion,” she said. “The Council is committed to bringing green buildings to every community. I’d like that even speeded up—maybe half a generation.”

(Some pundits loosely interpreted these words as a campaign promise.)

The former First Lady and U.S. Secretary of State encouraged the audience of some 10,000 people to “take what you know works and explain it to anyone who will listen to you…The hope is … that you will be a force for change in the broader world, not just in the green buildings world.”

Some of the highlights of Hill’s speech, in video form:

Hillary Rodham Clinton served as the 67th U.S. Secretary of State from 2009 until 2013, after nearly four decades in public service. Her “smart power” approach to foreign policy repositioned American diplomacy and development for the 21st century. Clinton played a central role in restoring America’s standing in the world, reasserting the United States as a Pacific power, imposing crippling sanctions on Iran and North Korea, responding to the Arab Awakening and negotiating a ceasefire in the Middle East.

Clinton is officially undeclared for the next presidential election.















October 18, 2013 on 5:48 pm | In Global Statistics, Green Building, LEED, Statistics, Trends, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

By Jodi Summers

Woohoo! The U.S. has more green LEED certified building space than anyone else in the world. Curiously, although we have the most, and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system was conceived in the United States, LEED space is measured in meters…so for record, 1 square meter = 1.196 square yards = 10.764 square feet.


Now that you have the power, be proud. North America leads the world with 611.6 gross square meters (GSM) LEED certified or registered (1,000,000 sq.ft. +/-) as part of some 44,998 projects, according to the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Rapidly developing East Asia had the second highest amount of building space certified or registered under LEED, with 107.3 GSM from1, 995 projects. Latin America and the Caribbean had the least, with 39.5 GSM and 1,704 projects.

Here are the top 10 countries with the most LEED certified or registered space as of April 2013:

United States (44,270 certified or registered projects)

China (1,156)

United Arab Emirates (808)

Brazil (638)

India (405)

Canada (383)

Mexico (322)

Germany (299)

Turkey (194)

Republic of Korea (188)

As the LEED rating system was founded in the U.S. one benefit we do get is a jump on the game…but watch China grow. Pundits predict that by 2015, half of the world’s new construction will be in China. It is also the leader for the world’s greenhouse gas emissions (Beijing already has significant air quality issues), which makes it the perfect candidate for green building.

It is also not surprising that India made the list, largely due to decreasing premiums for building green and high energy costs.












August 18, 2013 on 9:18 pm | In Green Building, Green Workplace, LEED, Solutions, Trends, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

by Jodi Summers

Nestlé Waters North America is making its first big renewable energy project a good one. The company installed two 1.6-megawatt wind turbines –industrial-size spinners – at its Cabazon, Calif., bottling plant. The cost -> $7.4 million construction with $2.15 million in permanent loans.

NWNA Cabazon’s location in the San Gorgonio Pass (aka, Banning Pass) is a wickedly windy place. Situated in a gap through the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains that connects the Inland Empire to the desert cities of the Coachella Valley, it’s home to one of the earliest and still biggest wind power developments in the country. Perfect place to make clean electricity from wind.

The two 1.6 megawatt GE wind turbines along the I-10 corridor will produce an average of 12,900,000 kilowatt hours annually, powering the equivalent of 1,100 U.S. homes. The project will also save 7,320 tons of CO2 emissions, offsetting the equivalent emissions from 20,687 oil barrels and saving the equivalent of 1,897 acres of trees.

NWNA partnered with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and Foundation Windpower to site and host and commission the wind turbines. Foundation Windpower installs, operates and owns the wind turbines, and its associated environmental attributes. NWNA purchases the power produced directly and receives renewable energy credits from Foundation Windpower, reducing the company’s power needs from the Southern California power grid.

“We’re pleased to partner with Nestle Waters North America to help advance renewable energy efforts in Cabazon,” said Matt Wilson , chief executive officer of Foundation Windpower. “Nestle Waters’ leadership in sustainability is an important example of how corporations can make a sizable difference in managing natural resources and creating job growth in the green sector.”

The installation of the wind turbines in Cabazon is part of NWNA’s long-term renewable energy plan. NWNA was the first beverage manufacturer in the country to build U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED) certified plants. In 2004, the Cabazon plant earned a LEED Silver Rating. Today, the company has 10 LEED-certified facilities, covering 3.7 million square feet and diverting 22,000 tons of waste material from landfills.

“Hosting wind turbines at our bottling plants is a critical step for Nestlé Waters to support the increased use of renewable energy,” Michael Washburn, vice president of sustainability for the company. “This latest effort in conjunction with our partnership with Foundation Windpower is consistent with our practices to reduce our environmental footprint.”

Nestlé figures the two GE turbines will meet about 30% of the plant’s power needs, churning out around 12,900 megawatt-hours of power per year.

The developer, Foundation Windpower, is the go-to company in California for commercial enterprises looking to power up with big wind, with 11 projects done and more in the works. Incentives at both the state and federal level allow the company to offer attractive power purchase agreements to clients. There’s the California State Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), pays $1.25 per watt of installed capacity, half up front and the rest over the first five years of operation, assuming a 25% capacity factor is achieved (no problem there). Then there’s the federal production tax credit that pays 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour of wind energy produced.

While this is Nestlé’s first wind energy project anywhere in the world, the company does flash other green credentials: The Cabazon plant got a LEED Silver rating in 2004, one of 10 LEED-level facilities for the company. The company also boasts that it “produces 98 percent of its single-serve PET plastic bottles on-site at company bottling facilities, saving 6.6 million gallons of fuel per year through reduced transportation requirements.”









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 – jodi@jodisummers.com or 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.











May 5, 2013 on 12:02 am | In all, Green Building, LEED, Trends, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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.









April 6, 2013 on 9:22 am | In Act Locally, all, Green Building, Green Workplace, Greenhouse Gas, LEED, Solutions, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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.

The Green Port Policy, adopted in 2005, serves as a guide for decision making and established a framework for environmentally friendly Port operations. The policy’s five guiding principles are:

  1. Protect the community from harmful environmental impacts of Port operations.
  2. Distinguish the Port as a leader in environmental stewardship and compliance.
  3. Promote sustainability.
  4. Employ best available technology to avoid or reduce environmental impacts.
  5. 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…

Greenhouse Gases

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.

Plans include:

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

2. Fiscal Responsibility

· 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

Examples of Sustainable Practices

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.

Landscaping projects are conducted in accordance with the Port’s Sustainable Landscape Palette which describes appropriate native and draught-tolerant species for our locale.

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.










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