This Issue

2016 May-June

Eco Sin Confessions

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="25"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="18094" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="22089" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text] By Alexandra Pecci [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Holley Henderson dispels the notion that environmentalists have to be perfect to be effective. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Holley Henderson might be a vegetarian, but do not ask her to pass on bacon, especially if it is cooked by her mom. “Regardless of your carbon footprint, my mom’s bacon and grits can convert any vegetarian,” she says with a laugh and a subtle Birmingham, Alabama, twang. “I mean that woman can seriously cook.” Being a bacon-eating vegetarian is not the only seemingly contradictory part of Henderson’s personality. Sure, she is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Fellow, an environmental building speaker and consultant, founder of the Atlanta-based H2 Ecodesign, and author of the book, Becoming a Green Building Professional. But she is the first to admit her own “eco sins.” “I love a very long and very hot shower,” she says. In the car, she likes to turn on the heat, including the seat warmer, and roll the windows down. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="22090" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1462387654824{margin-bottom: 20px !important;}"] Holley Henderson, LEED Fellow. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] She regularly confesses these sins for a reason: to dispel the idea that...

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Healing Hospitals

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="18059" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="22100" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Mary Grauerholz [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] HDR Inc. designs an Army Medical Center with sustainability and wellness in mind. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] The global architectural firm HDR Inc. was in the middle of designing a new military hospital in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, in 2007 when news broke about substandard conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The news that some of the U.S. Army’s wounded veterans were being treated in a moldering, dilapidated setting launched an investigation and a directive from Congress that both hospitals be transformed into “world-class medical facilities.” “We were right in the middle of the design process with the Department of Defense on Fort Belvoir. It was quite a firestorm, a tumultuous time,” says Jeff Getty, RA, LEED AP, an architect in HDR’s Arlington, Virginia, office. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="22099" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]When combined with environmental and financial benefits, the SROI net present value of HEPA filtration and hydrogen peroxide vapor cleaning increases the total benefits to roughly $38 million and $121 million, respectively.[/vc_column_text][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="15" padding_top="15"][vc_column width="1/4"][vc_single_image image="22104" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_single_image image="22105" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self"...

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Cleaner, Faster, Friendlier

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][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="22120" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text]  By Katharine Logan [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Brownfield remediation’s third generation comes of age. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] Brownfield cleanup, long a quagmire of cost and uncertainty, is undergoing a paradigm shift. As regulatory agencies put away their big sticks and facilitate collaborative, market-driven solutions instead, brownfield redevelopment is emerging as cleanup’s main driver. “What we’re seeing is the maturing of a third generation in brownfield remediation,” says James Maul, president of Maul Foster & Alongi, a consulting firm integrating environmental engineering with planning and community development. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="22121" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]Brownfield development is providing opportunities for the city of Portland, Oregon.[/vc_column_text][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="25" padding_top="15"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] In brownfields’ first generation, regulatory agencies drove cleanup for cleanup’s sake, with no consideration for economic or community context. In the second generation, elements of proposed redevelopments crept in for cost savings: pathways or building foundations, for example, might form part of the cap on a contaminated site. In the third generation, the most polluted sites have been dealt with, and most of the thousands of brownfields that remain will never rise to the top of the environmental...

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Opening Doors to Recycling Innovation

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="25" padding_bottom="25"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="17498" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="22142" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text] By Alexandra DeLuca [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] The invention of former New York City recycling head Ron Gonen, the Closed Loop Fund tackles how to reuse products and packages as part of the supply chain of the manufacturing process. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] In his office near New York City’s Union Square, Ron Gonen takes to a whiteboard for a quick geography lesson. His sketch of the United States, pinpointing major cities, is soon overwhelmed as he draws route after route showing how trash is trucked around the country looking for landfill space. “NYC garbage goes to landfills in South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio,” Gonen, a former deputy commissioner of recycling and sustainability for New York City’s department of sanitation, says. “Toronto pays to send its garbage to Michigan. Sacramento sends its garbage to Utah.” [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="22144" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1462465126283{margin-bottom: 20px !important;}"] Co-founders Ron Gonen and Rob Kaplan. Photo: Neil Landino [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="10"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] These are just a few examples, he says, of an unfortunate ecosystem that not only trucks tons of recyclable waste to landfills across North America but one that eliminates local jobs as well. “The great thing...

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At the Table

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="15"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text] At the Table [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] USGBC-LA’s Green Janitor Program reaches beyond energy-saving strategies to empower its employees.   By Kiley Jacques[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text]It started with an initial conversation back in 2010 that sought to answer the question, “What could be done to promote operations and maintenance practices that focus on green building performance?” Enter the U.S. Green Building Council–Los Angeles (USGBC-LA) chapter’s Vocational Green Class with Building Skills Partnership, which stemmed from the realization that janitors, supervisors, and operations managers have a significant effect on a building’s functionality.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="22155" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]Classroom instruction is given onsite at their place of employment.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]The development phase of the program was a long one. Determining what such a program should look like meant careful consideration of its participants and the curriculum necessary to provide results-driven, on-the-job training for employees responsible for the maintenance and operations of commercial buildings, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified or otherwise. “It took us a good amount of time to come up with our strategy,” says Dominique Hargreaves, executive director of USGBC-LA. “The core team has worked together for over five years to make this program come to fruition.”...

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Affordable and Energy Efficient

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="15"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text] Affordable and Energy Efficient [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Changes in the FHA’s insurance rates foster sustainability in multifamily housing.   By Bryan Howard [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text]For decades the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has been helping individuals and families be part of the American dream of owning a home or property. FHA’s role of insuring loans has helped millions of borrowers get better interest rates for both the purchase and refinancing of homes. Recently, the FHA multifamily lending program has taken a monumental step in signaling to the market the value of LEED-certified buildings.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="22179" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text] U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]In April the FHA Office of Multifamily Housing Programs announced a change that will benefit certain FHA-insured loans through reduced upfront and annual insurance rates. For new or renovated LEED-certified multifamily properties, annual rates will drop to some of the lowest levels that FHA is allowed to offer. // // ]]> // ]]> “By reducing our rates, this Administration is taking a significant step to encourage the preservation and development of affordable and energy-efficient housing in communities large and small. This way, hard-working families won’t have to make the false choice between quality or...

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Q&A with Alex Liftman

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="50"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="22194" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text] Illustration by Melissa McGill [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_single_image image="22192" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1462470713339{margin-top: 20px !important;}"]As Global Environmental Executive for Bank of America, Alex Liftman is responsible for the company’s environmental sustainability strategy. She oversees the bank’s aggressive operational goals, its environmental business initiative, and its policy positions and philanthropic investments.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]Q.What is the Catalytic Finance Initiative? The Catalytic Finance Initiative (CFI) is a multipartner collaboration launched in September 2014 by Bank of America. The goal of the initiative is to stimulate at least $10 billion of new investment into high-impact, yet hard to finance, clean-energy and sustainability projects. The initiative is focused on developing or advancing innovative financing structures that reduce investment risk, and thereby attract a broader range of institutional investors to these projects. Bank of America began the initiative with a $1 billion capital commitment and asked others to join. Q.What are the main goals of the Initiative? The goal of the CFI is to demonstrate how we can accelerate and scale up investment into high-impact clean energy projects by making it easier for larger amounts of capital to be mobilized and invested. In general, we expect CFI to focus...

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From Green Power to Economic Empowerment

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="22079" 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="22084" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Michelle Moore CEO at Groundswell Michelle Moore is CEO of Groundswell, a nonprofit that builds community power to connect low and moderate income communities with clean energy through place-based programs in equitable community solar, affordable wind power, and energy efficiency. A social entrepreneur and former White House official with roots in rural Georgia, Michelle is a relentless agent for change. Her accomplishments range from helping build the global green building movement to leading the sustainability team for the Obama Administration. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="3/4"][vc_column_text] [dropcaps type='normal' color='' background_color='' border_color='']W[/dropcaps]hat does the sustainability movement look like from the perspective of economic equity? You might measure your response in how much affordable housing is LEED certified, or whether there’s a cost premium for green. But if you’re a family living in poverty paying 10 percent of your total income for dirty power, is the promise of sustainability accessible to you? That’s the question facing an estimated 16 million Americans who are paying more than 10 percent of their household income for electricity. The reality today is that working families pay more to keep the lights on despite falling prices and growing...

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