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Sustainable Development Update
December 7, 2017

Sustainable Development Focus

Zero-net energy buildings market to reach $78.8 billion by 2025

Proud Green Building - Nov 30 Come 2025, the global net-zero energy buildings market will have climbed to approximately $78.8 billion, according to a new report by Grand View Research Inc. The projected increase is a notable one, considering the market size was valued at a little more than $8 billion in 2016. As defined by the U.S. Department of Energy, a net-zero energy building generates enough renewable energy to meet its own annual energy consumption requirements, thereby reducing the use of non-renewable energy at the property. The residential sector has contributed to the market, but it’s the commercial real estate sector that accounts for the bulk of these properties, at more than 75 percent of the global net-zero energy buildings market in 2016. The commercial segment’s dominance can be attributed to two circumstances: greater demand and higher adoption.

U.S. disbands group that prepared cities for climate shocks

Bloomberg - Dec 4 The Trump administration has terminated a cross-agency group created to help local officials protect their residents against extreme weather and natural disasters. The Community Resilience Panel for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems was created by the Obama administration in 2015 within the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. Its chairman, Jesse Keenan, told members at a meeting Monday that its charter was being dissolved and that meeting would be its last.

Toyota to build hydrogen plant, fueling station at Long Beach port

San Diego Union-Tribune - Dec 1 Toyota Motor North America, Inc. will build what it calls the world’s first megawatt-scale carbonate fuel cell power generation plant with a hydrogen fueling station to support its operations at the Port of Long Beach. The Tri-Gen facility will use bio-waste sourced from California agricultural waste to generate water, electricity, and hydrogen. When it comes online in 2020, Tri-Gen will generate approximately 2.35 megawatts of electricity and 1.2 tons of hydrogen per day, enough to power about 2,350 average-sized homes and meet the daily driving needs of nearly 1,500 vehicles. The power generation facility will be first Toyota facility in North America to use 100 percent renewable power.

Will the 21,500-home Newhall Ranch project be California’s greenest development?

The Orange County Register - Dec 3 After 20 years of battles over traffic, water, and endangered wildlife, brush clearing and construction of roads and infrastructure is underway on 21,500-home Newhall Ranch, which is being marketed as one of the world’s first large-scale planned communities that will add no new greenhouse gases to the environment. Orange County-based mega-developer FivePoint Communities, which has brought thousands of new homes to the master-planned community of Irvine and owns Newhall Ranch, says it will reach its so-called “net zero” goal for greenhouse gases through a combination of high-tech solutions on-site and far-flung projects across the region, the state, and around the globe that will compensate for carbon emissions that can’t be eliminated within the development. Among other things, the company plans to offer subsidies to Newhall Ranch residents, schools, and bus services for buying zero-emission vehicles; install 3,000 electric vehicle charging stations elsewhere in Southern California; and fund worldwide forest conservation projects and environmentally clean cook stoves for rural Africans. In all, the net-zero efforts, pursued by FivePoint after a state Supreme Court setback, will cost about $200 million over the 15-to-20-year build out of the development, or about 2 percent of the development’s $12 billion price tag, the company says.

Building with recycled materials could reduce carbon footprint

Construction Dive - Nov 29 In an effort to reduce carbon footprints, some manufacturers are adopting new building materials and methods, according to Popular Science. Some of those methods include using algae to absorb carbon emissions, developing concrete that absorbs carbon dioxide, and making materials from recycled goods, such as wood, metal, cardboard, and plastic. Buildings account for 70 percent of power consumed in the U.S., both through electricity use and through manufacturing high-carbon footprint materials such as steel and concrete for building the structure. Steel, concrete, and other building materials production releases more carbon pollution than each car, minivan, and truck on the planet combined.

Solar power savings give K-12 districts money to spend in other areas, report says

Education Week - Dec 4 Nearly 5 percent of U.S. schools now use solar panels to generate electricity. Besides conserving energy, these installations provide utility cost savings that translate into more educational resources for schools, according to a new report from a solar industries group and others. Rapidly declining installation costs are one major reason for the fact that 5,489 K-12 schools are now using solar energy, according to research from The Solar Foundation, Generation 180, and the Solar Energy Industries Association. The average cost of an installation for solar power in schools dropped 67 percent over the last decade, and 19 percent in 2016 alone, according to the report. The first study of its kind was released three years ago.

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Perry Patrick A Patrick A. Perry
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Renée Louise Robin Renée Louise Robin
Senior Counsel
Environmental & Natural Resources | Land Use & Development
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