This Issue

2014 September-October

Sustainable Housing Breakthrough

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17299" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="20"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] [caption id="attachment_17267" align="alignright" width="686"] The LEED Gold University of South Florida Apartments student-housing project in Tampa, Florida, by The Dinerstein Companies, consists of two 4-story mid-rise buildings with 182 apartment units and 24 town homes. Photo: Laurence Taylor[/caption] By Eric Butterman A sustainable rating system for multifamily dwellings is a win-win for residents and real estate investors alike.   [dropcaps type='normal' color='' background_color='' border_color='']T[/dropcaps]he opportunities abound—if you know the score. That’s the thought behind the ENERGY STAR rating system 1 to 100 scale finally being applied to multifamily buildings as it’s been for so many other structures. Available through Portfolio Manager this September, owners can assess their building for this official rating. Previously, multifamily buildings were not able to show their green value in this way. Team Effort With the EPA’s ENERGY STAR recognized by 80 percent of the public as high-brand recognition, that label can change the conversation, says Chrissa Pagitsas, director of Green Initiative Multifamily for Fannie Mae. The problem was multifamily was left silent without a rating system. “It hurt multifamily’s ability to assess their property’s performance,” she says. “It wasn’t viable to do it before because...

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Take the Challenge

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17305" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="20"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]By Calvin Hennick The Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans goes green with a little help from the local USGBC chapter.   [caption id="attachment_17315" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Principal Timothy Rusnak with students from Benjamin Franklin High School.Photo: Marc Pagani[/caption]   [dropcaps type='normal' color='' background_color='' border_color='']P[/dropcaps]laques outside the auditorium at Benjamin Franklin High School—a selective charter school adjacent to the University of New Orleans—proudly display past issues of Newsweek that declare the school one of the best in the country. But inside the auditorium, the ceiling is water damaged, some of the lighting doesn’t work properly, and the wooden seats are beginning to show signs of wear. “If you’re playing on a national stage—pardon the metaphor,” says school principal and chief executive Timothy Rusnak, gesturing to the platform at the front of the theatre, “I think you should have a facility that puts your best foot forward. You don’t go to a wedding in your underwear.” [caption id="attachment_17323" align="alignleft" width="300"] Shannon Stage, executive director for USGBC Louisiana.[/caption] Many schools in New Orleans were already in rough shape a decade ago, and with many needing to be rebuilt after sustaining damage during Hurricane Katrina, Rusnak...

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Greenbuild Products

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17330" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="30"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_column_text] 20 kW automatic standby generator The KOHLER 20 kW automatic standby generator ensures homeowners are prepared for power outages, which have become more frequent in recent years and cost U.S. consumers up to $150 billion each year in spoiled food and medicines, flooded basements, frozen pipes, and hotel stays.  Designed to protect today’s sophisticated electronics, a KOHLER generator runs on liquid propane or natural gas and automatically restores power within 10 seconds after detecting a utility power outage. It offers quiet operation, a non-corrosive enclosure, remote monitoring capabilities through a laptop or mobile device, and a five-year warranty. Kohler Co. www.kohlergenerators.com. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_column_text] Phuzion™ LED high bay The Phuzion™ LED high bay, available in 12,000 to 48,000 lumens, provides unprecedented light levels at temperatures up to 65°C. Driver housing can be mounted remotely up to 50 feet away for greater thermal protection, extending the life of the electronics. Marrying the latest in LED technology with legendary Holophane prismatic glass, vertical lighting is improved while horizontal lighting remains strong and uniform. Embedded controls sense occupancy and daylight to provide significant energy savings. Ideal for heavy industrial, light manufacturing, warehousing, and other large...

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Contributors

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17387" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="50"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_column_text] Calvin Hennick has written feature stories for a number of national magazines and newspapers including the Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Press, Men’s Health, Running Magazine, and Eating Well among others. He is a creative writing instructor at the University of Massachusetts.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_column_text] Alison Gregor has been a journalist at newspapers and magazines for 20 years. After obtaining a master’s degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism in 2003, Gregor began her freelance career focusing on coverage of real estate and business in New York City. She has written for the Columbia Journalism Review, Glamour, The Real Deal, New Jersey and Company, NYinc, Haute Living, and other publications.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_column_text] Judith Nemes is a journalist specializing in green issues and urban/corporate sustainability. Her news stories and features have appeared in publications including the Chicago Tribune, USA Today’s Green Living Magazine, Michigan Avenue Magazine, and GreenBiz.com. She’s also an adjunct professor in the journalism department at Columbia College Chicago, where she designed a class on reporting on green issues and urban sustainability. She received an M.A. in journalism and public affairs at American University in...

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Restoring Nature

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="16705" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="17412" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text] [caption id="attachment_17417" align="alignnone" width="1024"] The design of the new nature center is finally underway nine years after Katrina. It will consist of three pavilions linked by 5,800 square feet of covered exterior boardwalks that will replace trails destroyed during Katrina. Rendering: Billes Partners[/caption]   By Katie Sherman The Audubon Louisiana Nature Center enters its first phase of rehabilitation after Katrina.   [dropcaps type='normal' color='' background_color='' border_color='']I[/dropcaps]n the quarter century after it was first built in New Orleans East, the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center grew to become a hub for environmental education. When Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf region, it left the center broken, its darkest hour prolonged into nearly nine dim years. But in 2014, rays of light began shining onto this community favorite near Lake Pontchartrain. The Audubon Louisiana Nature Center is in the midst of the first phase of an $8.4 million revival intended to restore the center to its former glory. A part of the Audubon Nature Institute—a nonprofit that operates a network of museums and parks around New Orleans—the center has long educated, entertained, and engaged visitors about the importance of wildlife education and environmental conservation, and that ethos...

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H2O in 2100

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17481" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="17461" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] [caption id="attachment_17464" align="alignnone" width="1100"] Sustainable landscaping with agave plants.[/caption]   By Matthew Heberger What will California’s water resources look like at the end of the century?   [dropcaps type='normal' color='' background_color='' border_color='']A[/dropcaps]great deal of research on climate change over the last decade has focused on changes to the hydrologic cycle—the continuous process by which water is circulated throughout the earth and the atmosphere—which naturally impacts water supply. These changes—earlier spring snowmelt, increased evaporation from higher temperatures, and more frequent and intense droughts—are obvious. And the changes are alarming. Water suppliers and large water users simply cannot afford to ignore climate change as they plan for the future. Many water suppliers have begun to consider how climate will affect their water supplies, whether it is from a lake or river, stored behind a dam, or drawn from underground aquifers. Not as much attention has been paid to the other side of the equation: What will climate change do to water consumption? Most people familiar with the state of climate change expect that a warmer climate will drive up water demand for landscapes and the inevitable evaporative cooling. Yet there has been little research...

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Lighting the Way

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17498" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="17486" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Barbra Murray Entrepreneur Ajaita Shah brings sustainable energy to low-income households in India.   [dropcaps type='normal' color='' background_color='' border_color='']A[/dropcaps]jaita Shah is dedicated to her work. She’s practically apologetic about taking one day off a week, Sunday, despite the necessity of downtime for humans. “I love what I do, I’m obsessed with what I do,” she says. She is the founder of Frontier Markets, the India-based sales and distribution company providing product solutions to facilitate the end of indoor pollution and related deaths. She is also president of the Frontier Innovations Foundation, Frontier Markets’ New York-based nonprofit arm that works primarily in India to help overcome obstacles to widespread clean-energy solutions through partnering with governments, businesses, and agencies around the world. And she’s only 30. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="17494" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="15"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]Her main pursuit at the moment is bringing light, literally and figuratively, to poor households in rural areas across India in the form of solar energy. Clean energy in India is not exactly an issue that is sweeping the global green community at present, so to say that Shah’s pursuit—bringing solar power to poor...

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How Green Is Your Microgrid

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17531" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="17506" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Rachel Kaufman Lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy and Princeton University.   Superstorm Sandy in 2012 knocked out power to more than six million people in the Northeast, but in some small parts of the region, the lights stayed on. Princeton University, especially, received kudos (and a visit from President Obama) for keeping the main campus’s 180 buildings, including mission-critical research equipment, running after the storm, with a downtime of only a minute or so. Students, freed from having to worry about heat or light, began mobilizing to help the surrounding city, where families were still in the dark, traffic lights failed, and most of the city remained devastated for days. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="17509" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]The school also provided hot meals for 150 first responders and invited locals to warm up, charge their phones, and use the school’s wi-fi. The university did it with its microgrid, a hundred-year-old idea that is regaining popularity. More cities, institutions, and developers are turning to microgrids not just as a way to save money, but to become more resilient in the face of changing climate and to be greener. [caption id="attachment_17514" align="alignright" width="600"] Princeton’s...

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If it’s happening, It’s possible

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17231" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/4"][vc_single_image image="17222" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Paul Hawken Environmentalist, Entrepreneur, and Author [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="3/4"][vc_column_text] [dropcaps type='normal' color='' background_color='' border_color='']T[/dropcaps]here is widespread belief that climate initiatives are either top-down or bottom up, when they in fact exist everywhere and in all areas of human endeavor. A meaningful global climate treaty and carbon pricing are needed but unlikely at the moment. Aside from political leadership, a growing movement within society addresses climate change and works to stop it before it is too late. Climate change is no longer a prediction, but a fact of life. What we can do together as practitioners, designers, manufacturers, architects, developers, builders, and citizens is the theme of the 13th annual Greenbuild Conference. At the opening plenary, Tom Steyer will present “Project Drawdown.” In partnership with the USGBC and Steyer, scientists, NGOs, universities, colleges, students, foundations, elected officials, and government agencies are working together to create a book (and website) that details what it would take to achieve year-to-year CO2 reductions in the atmosphere within 30 years. Drawdown describes how we can reduce carbon in the atmosphere using solutions already in place—measuring the beneficial financial and ecological impact...

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