GREEN BUILDINGS ARE EARNING BIGGER GREEN $$$$

April 7, 2008 on 8:12 am | In For Your Purchasing Pleasure, Global Statistics, Green Building, Green Houses, U.S. Government, Uncategorized | 31 Comments

GREEN BUILDINGS ARE EARNING BIGGER GREEN $$$$ Studies and Awards are praising green commercial buildings for creating higher occupancy rates, stronger rents and higher sales prices. The study, performed by CoStar Group, concluded that sustainable “green” buildings consistently outperform their non-green peer assets in key areas such as occupancy, sale price and rental rates. The awards for energy efficiency were national honors handed out by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. epa.bmp     The sum total of the information reinforce the socially popular trend and the invest opportunity in green buildings.  According to the CoStar study, nationally, LEED buildings command rent premiums of $11.33 per square foot over their non-LEED peers and have 4.1% higher occupancy. Rental rates in Energy Star buildings represent a $2.40 per square foot premium over comparable non-Energy Star buildings and have 3.6% higher occupancy.  “The information we’ve discovered is very compelling. Like all good science, we discovered it by accident,” noted Andrew Florance, president and CEO of CoStar. “Green buildings are clearly achieving higher rents and higher occupancy, they have lower operating costs, and they’re achieving higher sale prices.”  leed-logo.gif Gary Jay Saulson, director of corporate real estate for PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh, discussed the company’s decision to incorporate green building techniques in the PNC Firstside Center, which has a silver LEED rating. The 647,000-square-foot building, completed in 2001, includes raised flooring that makes the workspace flexible to reconfigure. The carpet contains 72 percent recycled material, and the material for hard floor surfaces is 100 percent recycled, made from sawdust and soda bottles. The decision to build green entailed substantial material and design changes from the original plans, which were for conventional construction, but Saulson said he was “determined to figure out how to do it, not how not to do it.”  The daylit interiors afford 90 percent of the occupants with an outdoor view. The urban infill site is adjacent to a bike trail and a light rail transit stop and has helped to revitalize the downtown area. “Why put employees in a black box when you can put them in an environment where they want to go to work? At PNC, our sick days are down…The (building) environment has taken over for them and productivity is up,” Saulson said. “Going green has been a way for us to differentiate our office buildings from others.” The study also noted that Energy Star buildings are selling for an average of $61 per square foot more than traditional buildings, peers, while LEED buildings command a remarkable $171 more per square foot.  “We think of Energy Star and LEED in concert with each other,” says Bob Ratliffe, an executive vice president of portfolio management with Kennedy Associates Real Estate Counsel LP, which also features development operations. “LEED and Energy Star come up in every investment we make, they come up in the investment committee, they come up in asset management committee meetings. Both are part of our fabric.”  The trend is showing an increased desire of both property investors and tenants for buildings that have earned either LEEDR certification or the Energy StarR label. These numbers may light a fire under the investment strategies of institutional investors.  energy-efficient-roofing.jpg“This past winter, I replaced my roof with an energy efficient white roof. It’s supposed to bring my cooling costs down by 27%. The summer is coming, so we’ll see how well it works notes office building owner Elvin Moon of E.W. Moon Inc. “In the meantime, I’ve been offered 25% more for the building – and I’ve owned the building less than a year.” Florance conducted the study with Jay Spivey, CoStar’s director of analytics, and Dr. Norm Miller of the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate at the University of San Diego. The group analyzed more than 1,300 LEED and Energy Star buildings representing about 351 million square feet in CoStar’s commercial property database of roughly 44 billion square feet, and assessed those buildings against non-green properties with similar size, location, class, tenancy and year-built characteristics to generate the results.  “We wanted to take each and every one of these green buildings in our database and compare them to the buildings they directly compete with in the submarket,” Florance said at the seminar.  Note that green premiums appear to be constricted by the supply of green buildings, which account for just a fraction of the total U.S. building stock (less than 1 percent of space in CoStar’s database.)  energy-star.jpgThe study indicates that while the number of LEED-certified and Energy Star buildings continues to grow, the supply has not kept pace with demand.  LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, indicates a property’s overall sustainability by awarding points for just about any and all sustainable features, from bike racks and rainwater collection and reuse systems, to energy-efficient lighting and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Programs are tailored for new buildings, existing buildings and tenant build-outs, and awards different tiers of certification such as Silver, Gold or Platinum, the highest.  Mark Bennett, a senior attorney with law firm Miller Canfield who specializes in green building and climate change issues observes, “LEED certification is a component in the definition of a Class A office building…If you’re building today without LEED, you’re building in obsolescence.”  The EPA’s Energy Star program, is an energy-benchmarking tool and a flag for the nation’s most energy-efficient properties. The program targets simple, cost-effective strategies for improving energy efficiency in buildings – things like installing energy efficient windows, turning off computers at night and adding motion sensors to control lighting.  leed-logo.gifNOTEWORTHY FACTOID: Buildings that have earned the Energy Star label use an average of almost 40% less energy than average buildings, and emit 35% less carbon. energy-star.jpg According to EPA, as many as 500 buildings out of the approximately 4,100 commercial buildings that have earned Energy Star use a full 50% less energy than average buildings. Many of the efficiency practices – such as upgrading light bulbs or office equipment – pay for themselves in energy cost savings.  Couple with a minimum net outlay and the premium price a seller can command for an Energy Star building, are a clear demonstration of the overall impact of energy efficiency on property value, deduces Stuart Brodsky, national program manager for the Commercial Properties division of Energy Star.  “The business case for energy efficiency is indisputable,” Brodsky asserts. “The business case is so strong that the financial results can be applied to asset value, through increased NOI [net operating income], or leveraged to pursue other aspects of green buildings that do not show as strong of a financial rate of return.”  To date, almost 8 billion square feet of U.S. property has been benchmarked through Energy Star. department-of-energy.gif Expect the green trend to continue, as everyone is promoting it.

 Last week, the Department of Energy and the EPA released the “Profiles in Leadership, 2008 Energy Star Award Winners,” – awards went to 74 organizations across many sectors of the U.S. economy, including schools, hospitals, real estate, manufacturing, and chemicals, were honored for their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The winners were selected from more than 12,000 organizations that partner in the Energy Star program. Among real-estate related companies winning awards were Winton/Flair Custom Homes, which was recognized with the Excellence in Energy Star promotion award. This custom home builder focus in El Paso, Texas, and southern New Mexico and builds 100% of its homes to Energy Star standards. In 2007, the builder constructed 189 Energy Star-qualified homes, bringing the company total to nearly 600. The Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity was honored with the Award for Excellence in Energy Efficient Affordable Housing, having promoted the use of Energy Star products and building practices since 2006.  The Energy Star and LEED programs work well together. “They’re complementary,” offers Christian Gunter, a LEED-Accredited Professional, who points out that LEED-EB buildings must achieve a certain Energy Star score as a prerequisite for certification.  “In a recessionary environment there’s more than one way to cut costs, it’s not just cutting employees.” Ratliffe concludes. Look to energy and operational efficiencies emphasized under Energy Star and LEED-EB to cut costs in a transitional environment.costargroup112.gif Original articles: http://www.costar.com/News/Article.aspx?id=D968F1E0DCF73712B03A099E0E99C679&ref=100March 26, 2008  CoStar Study Finds Energy Star, LEED Bldgs. Outperform Peers Demand in Marketplace for Sustainability Creates Higher Occupancy Rates, Stronger Rents and Sale Prices in ‘Green’ BuildingsAndrew C. Burr   http://www.builderonline.com/green-building/energy-star-awards.aspxApril 4, 2008More Than 70 Organizations Honored by Energy StarRobb Crocker http://www.inman.com/news/2004/04/1/planners-push-green-real-estate-developmentPlanners push ‘green’ real estate developmentRoundtable hints at lower electricity costs, higher property valuesApril 26, 2004Inman News  More info on the property with the white roof can be found @ http://www.3619motorave.jodisummers.com/

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  1. Didya know that the building sector uses 76 percent of all the electricity generated annually by U.S. power plants and that residential and commercial buildings are responsible for almost half of all green house gases produced annually?

    Comment by Motor Man — April 7, 2008 #

  2. Isn’t it amazing that environmental consciousness is actually making capitalistic sense. It’s a great time in history….

    Comment by Plumb Lucky — April 8, 2008 #

  3. More info on the difference between LEED + EnergyStar, please.

    Comment by Mean Green Environmentally Sound Machine — April 8, 2008 #

  4. The green roof looks really refreshing.

    Comment by water logger — April 10, 2008 #

  5. Today’s Workplaces Are Power Hungry
    Office buildings consume operating budgets as voraciously as they consume energy. In fact, office building energy bills are the highest of any commercial building type. While heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and lighting are still the big power consumers, office equipment now accounts for almost 16% of an office building’s energy use.

    Reducing energy use and costs in the workplace can be challenging, particularly since workers and tenants are often unaware of facility expenses. For bottom-line savings, office building designers, owners, and operators are looking to energy-efficient building design and technologies.

    The Good News?
    Using energy-efficient design and technologies in constructing new office buildings can cut energy costs by as much as 50%. Energy-smart office buildings incorporate efficient lighting and daylighting systems, as well as advanced windows, roofing, insulation, and mechanical and ventilation systems. These high-performance building designs also consider the use of renewable energy systems, water conservation features, recycling and waste management systems, and environmentally-sensitive building products and systems.

    In addition to cutting operating costs, energy-smart office buildings can actually enhance the comfort and performance of workers and boost productivity. Many of the same measures that improve a building’s energy performance also make it a more comfortable place to work. Employees benefit from the use of daylighting and non-toxic chemicals, plus better temperature control, ventilation, and indoor air quality. With the high cost of labor, payback on energy features is shortened even further when savings from reduced absenteeism are combined with energy cost savings. Energy-efficient building features also help building owners attract and retain tenants.

    In existing buildings, renovations that replace older systems with more efficient technology can yield savings of up to 30%, with the same positive impact on building comfort. A quick way to realize savings of 10% or more—at little or no cost—is to effectively operate and maintain existing systems. Energy-smart behavior, such as turning off lights when leaving a room, helps reduce energy use. Automated controls like occupancy sensors and programmable thermostats ensure reduced energy use in unoccupied offices or infrequently used areas like conference rooms

    http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/info/office/index.html

    Comment by Energy Star — April 11, 2008 #

  6. Lighten my carbon footprint.

    Comment by Photovoltaic — April 14, 2008 #

  7. Green By Design, Not Gadgets
    A conservation-first approach to home building is just plain common sense, says one green guru
    by Jenny Sullivan

    From: BUILDER
    Related topics: business green building
    Renewable-energy appliances such as photovoltaic panels, solar hot water heaters, and geothermal pumps are often viewed as fundamentals of green building when in fact they really are just “the icing on the cake,” architect and building scientist Peter Pfeiffer told a packed room of home builders on Feb. 13 at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla.

    Urging attendees not to repeat the “toy” fixation that dominated the early green movement of the 1970s, Pfeiffer outlined a whole-house approach to sustainable building that advocates energy conservation as a necessary first step before energy production can even be considered.

    “In the end, it’s all about common sense,” said the principal and co-founder of Austin, Texas-based Barley & Pfeiffer Architects (www.barleypfeiffer.com). For example, if electricity generated by photovoltaic panels is immediately gobbled up by an HVAC system that must work extra hard to compensate for a leaky shell, the house is only working against itself.

    True sustainability begins with smart design, Pfeiffer contended. “Energy conservation strategies are the low-hanging fruit. They are the easiest to implement at the program/design phase,” he said. Efficiencies can be achieved, for instance, by properly orienting and massing a house to exploit or prevent heat gain; incorporating rainwater harvesting systems for irrigation; using deep overhangs and awnings to guard against water intrusion and mold; aggregating sleeping quarters into a single temperature zone that can be dialed up or down; depending on the time of day; and going the extra mile to ensure a tight building envelope.

    “Ninety percent of green happens in the first 10 percent of the project,” Pfeiffer said. Regional conditions should be a factor in the design. For example, vaulted ceilings are inadvisable in climates that rely heavily on mechanical air systems because they create extra volume space that must be conditioned, cooled, dehumidified, or heated. In hot zones, soffits painted a light, reflective color will produce the same ambient lighting effect as skylights, minus the heat gain.

    On the topic of indoor air quality, Pfeiffer recommended making detached garages a part of the site plan whenever possible. “People sit around and worry about whether or not their house has low VOC paints when the much bigger problem is that they are sleeping with their Suburban,” he said. Fumes from gasoline, pesticides, and other chemicals can easily seep into the home when the garage is attached to the main living structure.

    Investing a little extra money on a high-performance HVAC system is perhaps the best green investment a builder can make, Pfeiffer contended. “Duct leakage in a forced air system will negatively pressurize a house, in which case it will suck in more air from the outside, making the A/C work harder than it needs to. You can put $2,000 to $3,000 into a good metal ducting system that is blow tested, and it will yield a greater benefit than spending $20,000 on a geothermal heat pump. Why not spend less money and do more good?”

    Invoking a white paper known as the “R Value Myth,” he further asserted that high-performance products should not be expected to compensate for flaws in the building system. Superior insulation will not protect a house from the elements if installed without an effective vapor barrier, and “low-E windows are not a substitute for proper shading and solar control,” he said. “A building without weather protection is not green.”

    http://www.builderonline.com/business/green-by-design-not-gadgets.aspx

    Comment by Builder Online — April 16, 2008 #

  8. Studies Confirm Certified Buildings Outperform Peers in Energy Savings and Sale, Rental, and Occupancy Rates

    Two recently released studies, one by the New Buildings Institute and one by CoStar Group, have validated what USGBC members have been saying all along: third-party-certified buildings outperform their conventional counterparts across a wide variety of metrics.

    http://www.usgbc.org/Docs/News/NBI%20and%20CoStar%20Group%20Release%20040108.pdf

    Comment by USGBC — April 26, 2008 #

  9. EnviroPlumbing is a sales, installation and service company offering top quality eco-friendly solutions to home and business owners who want to reduce their energy and water use. We help you lower your utility bills while you help protect the environment.

    http://www.enviroplumbing.com

    Comment by Enviro Plumber — May 1, 2008 #

  10. Hello:

    The ReUse People is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to salvaging building materials from a variety of sources and distributing them for reuse at a fraction of the cost for new materials. On average their pricing is less than half as much as comparable materials at large retail outlets. The ReUse People have diverted over 260 000 thousand tons of building materials from landfills.

    The ReUse People of America have been offering economical and ecologically friendly services and products since 1993, long before the ‘green’ trend was even established. Growing exponentially The ReUse people now celebrate their latest expansion into Southern California with an open house and on-site tour of their new facilities in Pacoima on May 9-10, 2008. Friday (May 9th) is the Media Day/Dedication and Open House geared to trade-professionals in the architecture and construction communities; and Saturday (May 10th) is the general public Open House. YOU ARE INVITED TO EITHER DAY.:
    • MAY 9: 10a-12p
    • MAY 10: 10a-3p

    The ReUse People have also acted as pioneers in ‘greening’ the film industry as they, in conjunction with the City of Alameda, deconstructed the sets of the motion picture “The Matrix”. More than 37 tractor-trailer loads of lumber, 7,000 tons of concrete, 1,500 tons of steel and 100,000 cubic feet of EPS were diverted from landfill and reused.

    Scheduled lectures and workshops will be led by top professionals and leading advocates in the ‘green’ community. Things that will be discussed / presented:

    • What is Deconstruction
    • Learn how and why salvaging and reusing building materials is not only eco-friendly but economical efficient both by being cost-effective and creating jobs.
    • Learn about how donating your deconstructed building materials can giv e you tax credits. At Open House, we’ll have a ‘Tax-Deductible Donations for Used-Building Materials’ workshop for the public and the trade!

    Starting at 10:00a on Friday, we have these speakers for the Dedication, fyi:

    Ted Reiff, Founder of The ReUse People
    Councilmember Richard Alarcon
    CIWMB rep
    Prof. Charles Corbett, UCLA
    Steve John, US EPA
    City of Environmental Affairs, rep

    ??Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail

    This message may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you are not the addressee or authorized to receive this for the addressee, you must not use, copy, disclose, or take any action based on this message or any information herein. If you have received this message in error, please advise the sender immediately by reply e-mail and delete this message. Thank you for your cooperation.

    “Invest wisely in beauty; it will serve you all the days of your life.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

    Comment by REUSE PEOPLE — May 8, 2008 #

  11. While green buildings account for only about 2 percent of new commercial construction today…by 2010, that percentage could increase to as much as 10 percent of new construction.

    Comment by Mariwyn Evans — May 16, 2008 #

  12. Transit-Oriented Retail Takes Center Stage

    Leading off a discussion on transit-oriented development, or TOD, noted urbanist Chris Leinberger termed it “one of the most important trends of our time. It is a structural shift in development.”

    Specifically, it’s part of a larger trend that has seen retail development move away from the standard enclosed mall or community strip, and toward such things as lifestyle centers and mixed-uses. “It’s the biggest structural change since the 1950s,” said Leinberger, who is a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institute and a professor at the University of Michigan.

    More info @
    http://www.globest.com/news/1161_1161/gsrticket/170936-1.html

    Comment by Globe St. — May 24, 2008 #

  13. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the world’s third-largest pension fund, now uses a project’s sustainability as a criterion for all future investment.

    KB Home, the industry’s fifth-largest builder, claimed it’s the first major production builder to install Energy Star-rated appliances as standard in all new homes.

    Concordia Homes opened Sommerset Community, the first residential development in Nevada to feature solar panels as standard.

    Comment by ProSales Business Update — June 6, 2008 #

  14. Global Green was excited to present its 12th Annual Millennium Awards honoring leading innovators for their extraordinary environmental contributions on Saturday, June 14th at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. Hosted by Alfre Woodard with special guests Norman Lear, Arianna Huffington, Ed Begley Jr and Rhona Mitra, the event was a great success as we recognized those whose lives and livelihood embody Global Green’s mission of fostering a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure world. Over $540,000 was raised at the event to benefit our smart climate solutions, including the green rebuilding of New Orleans.

    “As our communities grapple with the global and local threats posed by climate change, it is exciting to be reminded of some of the extraordinary initiatives that individual, corporate and government leaders are pioneering to help create and implement solutions to global warming,” said Global Green USA President and CEO Matt Petersen. “These honorees demonstrate that smart solutions to global warming exist, are economically viable and provide invaluable health and environmental benefits to our communities.”

    Comment by Matt Petersen — July 7, 2008 #

  15. Water Less

    * Fix leaky faucets and toilets (A small leak from a faucet can waste 50 gallons of water a day and a leaky toilet can waste 260 gallons a day.)
    * Always wash full loads of clothes and dishes. (Washing machines use 30 to 60 gallons of water for the wash cycle)
    * Install high efficiency showerheads, faucets and toilets. (High efficiency showerheads, which cost about $15, can reduce water use by 50%. Water efficient toilets use 50 to 80% less water.)
    * Water lawns and gardens in the evening or early in the morning to avoid excessive evaporation. (On average, about 35% of household water goes to tending yards)
    * Replant your yard with native wildflowers, shrubs, grasses and groundcovers.(Native plants are less-water intensive especially in arid climates)
    * Use fertilizers and pesticides sparingly and carefully. (Residential use of pesticides accounts for about 8% of all pesticide applications. Urban runoff accounts for about 14% of common water pollution and just over half of that is due to residential use of fertilizers).

    Comment by Global Green — July 15, 2008 #

  16. we shouldn’t regard our cars — not to speak of the oil they run on — as the be-all and end-all of American society. We should also recognize that history has a way of casually demolishing institutions that seem impregnable, and the internal combustion automobile is surely one of these. Something better, simpler and kinder to the earth is no doubt on the way, assuming that we’re smart enough to welcome it.

    Comment by Arrol Gellner — August 29, 2008 #

  17. The General Services Administration, the largest commercial property tenant in Washington, D.C., is revising how energy efficiency factors into its leasing decisions. The government agency will require more of the buildings it leases to have an energy-star rating as determined by the federal government’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. It also will place greater emphasis on renewable energy when considering competing offers. The changes would enhance a GSA ruling late last year that requires most federally-leased space to have a lower level Silver rating from the environmental program.

    Comment by General Services Administration — September 4, 2008 #

  18. LEED for Homes

    The LEED for Homes Green Building Rating System is a third-party certification system that lets homebuilders to verify their green homes as truly green, covering important considerations like energy efficiency, water efficiency, materials and resources use, site selection and innovative design.

    A LEED home is environmentally friendly, good for your buyers’ health, and good for your bottom line. USGBC offers a host of resources to help you learn how to build the most-efficient, sustainable, healthy houses in the most cost-effective ways. Visit http://www.buildleedhomes.org.

    Comment by LEED for Homes — September 4, 2008 #

  19. With the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) expected approval of the National Green Building Standard (NGBS), work is underway to integrate the new standard into local and national green building programs, municipal versions of the International Building Codes, and the memory banks of building inspectors nationwide.

    Comment by National Green Building Standard — September 4, 2008 #

  20. Wind Power, has created an economic impact in Texas for example, estimated at $7,000,000,000 per year (seven Billion). This utilization of wind as a new and clean energy source, is the most important new “Productive” creation of jobs and industry, in the world, and in the USA, since the computer and I.T. revolution. In areas of West and South Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, California, Iowa, Canada, Europe (especially Holland), Islands in the Atlantic near England, and even in Africa, wind is making a huge contribution to the economy, production, and new capital.

    New technology for development of relatively clean “Natural Gas” through mining of Barnett and other Shale formations has created another contribution, estimated at over $8,000,000,000.00 per year, in North Texas alone.

    Comment by Ben B. Boothe Sr. — September 17, 2008 #

  21. If, as the two studies now show, green buildings have higher occupancy and lease rates, then imagine how much more valuable these green commercial buildings would be if they had high efficiency indoor air cleaners.

    After all, personal health is at least as potent a motivator as energy efficiency, especially considering that indoor air is usually more polluting than outdoors. The EPA ranks poor indoor air quality one of the top five public health risks. Related health problems include asthma, allergies, and other breathing difficulties, lung and heart disease, headaches and dizziness. We spend nearly 90% of our time indoors.

    Leveraging off these two green building-affirming studies it would make sense for building owners to install a high efficiency, best-of-class electronic air cleaner (EAC) such as AspenAir inside that can remove the tiniest, most dangerous polluting particles, the VOCs and RSPs.

    And, most of all, for homeowners to get a whole home EAC. After all, home is the only indoor air environment over which one does have control.

    Kare Anderson
    http://www.movingfrommetowe.com/

    Comment by kare anderson — September 19, 2008 #

  22. Good Morning, I am a buyer of Data Center Equipment and Generators; we also perform complete demo work for the removal of such equipment. Do you know of anyone who may have this type of real estate that we could get involved with?

    I appreciate you taking the time to read this and maybe we can do some business together. We have no problem paying fees to assist in these projects with us. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks, ED

    Ed Padaigas

    Director of Materials

    DSA Encore, LLC

    50 Pocono Rd.

    Brookfield, Ct. 06804

    Office:203-740-4237

    Fax:203-419-0131

    Mobile:203-994-5949

    Email:epadaigas@dsaencore.com

    Comment by DSA Encore, LLC — October 8, 2008 #

  23. Here are a couple of company’s that do eplacement energy efficient windows.
    I hope this helps.
    David
    * Cornerstone
    Windows
    & Doors – (310) 684-1814, 22221 Palos Verdes Blvd, Torrance, CA
    Get directions

    Windows Doors & Tex (818) 704-1211 7033 Canoga Ave Ste 10,
    Canoga Park, CA Get
    Directions
    http://www.absolutewindowsndoors.com/ “great
    Windows and Doors”

    (c) 2001
    KitchenKing.com phone: 800-870-7709 (So. Cal. Only) or 818-756-5040 * fax:
    818-756-5046 * 6955 Hayvenhurst Ave. Van Nuys, CA. 91406

    Comment by David Abernathy — October 13, 2008 #

  24. Factors such as value added wind production on
    real estate projects are creating additional value and appeal, making this “sub set” of the economy a prosperous and growing segment. In some cases, the placement of alternative energy on a real estate project, may save the project by creating additional income and appeal.

    Let us hear from you!

    Ben B. Boothe Sr.
    and the Team at BBAR Inc.

    Comment by Ben B.Boothe Sr. — October 23, 2008 #

  25. The Chevy Volt is a plug-in electric vehicle that will drive up to 40 miles without ever using a drop of gasoline — which, according to government data, would be enough to handle approximately two-thirds of American commuters’ daily drives. The first vehicle in GM’s “E-Flex” family, the Volt will be powered by an electric motor, which draws its energy from on-board batteries. The batteries, in turn, will be re-charged by a small internal combustion engine that will run on gas, diesel or ethanol. When not in use, the batteries will be re-charged by simply plugging the Volt into a standard electrical outlet.

    Comment by Gloria Huang — November 15, 2008 #

  26. Top 10 House Plans of 2008

    The 10 best-selling house plans of 2008 from Hanley Wood’s BUILDER House Plans clearly shows that this was the year of budget-conscious design.

    While many of the plans share common aesthetic features such as vaulted ceilings, appealing rooflines, and secluded main-level master bedroom suites, space and cost-efficiency were also recurring themes. Smaller square footage, adaptable bonus rooms, budget-friendly square configurations, open floor plans (eliminating nonstructural walls helps reduce construction costs), and compact yet flexible floor plans were prevalent design elements.

    A majority of the plans were less than 2,500 square feet, suggesting that the era of the McMansion may be ending, thanks to the current economic climate and conservation-minded consumers, designers, and builders.

    Check out the winners @ http://www.builderonline.com/design/top-10-house-plans-of-2008.aspx?cid=BLDR081223002

    Comment by Hanley Wood's BUILDER — December 23, 2008 #

  27. A blue-ribbon commission is calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to reduce its carbon footprint and expand its reach in the coming decades, offering about 100 recommendations for doing so. The commission’s report says the MTA should draw 80% of its operating energy from renewable sources by 2050 and accommodate the daily transit needs of two-thirds of the four million new residents projected for the New York metro area by 2030.

    Comment by Paul Bubny — January 15, 2009 #

  28. With a new administration in Washington comes a strong emphasis on renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions. In the January/February 2009 issue of SOLAR TODAY magazine, Denis Hayes, long-time ASES member, ASES Board of Trustees Chair and President of the Bullitt Foundation, authored Charting a Bold New Course, which takes a look at what the U.S. needs to get out of its carbon fuels-based sinkhole.

    Comment by Carolyn Beach — January 28, 2009 #

  29. When foreign investors were asked about best opportunity for asset appreciation, the U.S. was also named first with 37% of the votes. Brazil jumped 10 places into the #2 spot, replacing China, which dropped to #3, followed by the U.K. (up from 9th) and India (which fell from 3rd). Other key findings included that apartments were the preferred U.S. investment property, followed by office, industrial, retail and hotel, a shift from office being most preferred the past two years. Also, nearly 75% said a U.S. property’s “green” features influenced their purchase decision and were worth a rental premium. Survey respondents reported that finding attractive U.S. investment properties is becoming less difficult.

    Comment by NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS — February 14, 2009 #

  30. While many developers are working towards sustainable building practices, some are not seeking the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification because of the cost.

    John Zinner, a Santa Monica, California-based LEED project manager, told the Santa Monica Daily Press, that soft costs — the design process — of going for certification could range roughly from $40,000 to $200,000, depending on the size of the project.

    Comment by Environmental Leader — May 23, 2009 #

  31. Survey: ‘durability’ ranked first in green attributes

    According to a new survey commissioned by PPG Industries, durability is the most important green building attribute. Durability was followed by ENERGY STAR compliance, life-cycle assessment, no- or low-volatile organic compound content and the ability to source products regionally. Additionally, durability is the most important attribute among building products in general, ranking slightly ahead of price.

    Comment by Sustainable Business — June 3, 2009 #

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