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Sustainable Development Update
March 1, 2017

Sustainable Development Focus

California city mandates solar or mitigation fee for all new-builds

PV-Tech - Feb 22 Lancaster, a charter city in northern Los Angeles, has passed an ordinance that requires new-build homes to hit net energy standards by having rooftop arrays or paying a mitigation fee. Lancaster initially began requiring solar panels on the roofs of new houses in 2014, with San Francisco following suit last year. This new Zero Net Energy (ZNE) ordinance that was passed last week mandates any rooftop array on new-builds to contain 2 watts per square foot of the property, beginning this year.

Apple to open $5B Silicon Valley campus in spring

Commercial Property Executive - Feb 24 The doors of Apple Park, Apple Inc.’s $5 billion campus project in Cupertino, California, will open to employees for the first time in April. Envisioned by late CEO Steve Jobs, the 2.8 million-square-foot development will ultimately be home to 12,000 workers. In addition to office and R&D accommodations, the campus will feature a visitors center with an Apple Store and a public café; a 100,000-square-foot fitness center; and the 1,000-seat Steve Jobs Theater. The property will also feature a vast 17-megawatt rooftop solar array, and it will hold the distinction of being the largest naturally ventilated building in the world.

How San Diego’s smart city tech is reducing traffic, saving energy

Urban Land - Feb 27 San Diego is rolling out the largest city-based Internet of Things (IoT) network in the world, with the deployment of 3,200 smart sensors to upgrade the city’s infrastructure and enhance the quality of life for residents. The city is partnering with GE and will deploy its digital engine for intelligent environments called “Current” and replace 14,000 streetlights with energy-efficient LED versions, reducing the cost for energy by 60 percent, light pollution, and overall greenhouse gas emissions. A portion of the city’s traffic-light system, 3,200 lights, will have sensors connected to a digital network that can optimize parking and traffic, enhance public safety, and track air quality. This digital streetlight network may be doubled in the future, according to David Graham, deputy chief operating officer for the city’s Office of Neighborhood Services.

How beverage giants drive water efficiency gains

Environmental Leader - Feb 27 The beverage industry continued to improve its water management last year, according to the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable’s 2016 Water and Energy Use Benchmarking Study. Nineteen companies participated in this study, providing information about nearly 1,500 global facilities’ water and energy use. Although the study doesn’t name the 19 companies, beverage giants including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Diageo, Miller Coors, AB InBev, New Belgium Brewing, and Fetzer Vineyards, are all BEIR member companies. The 2016 benchmarking study includes water and energy data from 2011, 2013, and 2015. Of the facilities that provided all three years of data, 71 percent achieved an improvement in water-use ratio, and 64 percent reduced their energy use by improving the efficiency of their processes and equipment used, the report says.

Falcons stadium on track for top sustainability rating

Proud Green Building - Feb 24 Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Atlanta Falcon’s new home, is seeking LEED platinum certification — and is “on target” to achieve this highest level of the green building rating from the U.S. Green Building Council, Falcons president and CEO Rich McKay said. Once construction is completed this summer, the stadium is expected to be the first NFL and MLS stadium to achieve LEED platinum, reports Environmental Leader. It will also be the first sports facility to achieve all water credits available for LEED. The venue’s management has also committed to further restore natural water systems, wetlands, and damaged watersheds, and it is pursuing a new LEED Pilot Credit strategy called Water Restoration Certificates (WRC). Through the effort, the stadium will purchase WRCs locally from the Flint River in Georgia’s water supply.

What drives investment in building energy performance

National Real Estate Investor - Feb 13 A recent Energy Efficiency Survey, developed by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) in collaboration with the Institute for Market Transformation, looked at what motivates office building owners to improve energy performance. IREM and the Building Owners and Managers Association distributed the survey to their members and received 307 responses. The survey found that most respondents use simple payback calculations to evaluate energy efficiency projects, usually basing decisions on recovering the investment in one to two years. The study revealed that this simple payback does not capture the full benefits of energy efficiency, like Net Present Value (NPV) analysis, which incorporates potential revenue increases from higher rental income. The survey also found that building owners are more inclined to invest in energy-efficiency improvements if they can charge higher rents, particularly in split-incentive situations, where energy-cost savings accrue solely to tenants. Split incentives had posed a barrier to investing in improving energy efficiency, but this was overcome with the “green lease,” which requires tenants to participate in energy and water conservation programs.

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