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Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate
The capacity to endure; a long-term responsibility, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of stewardship and the responsible management of resources.
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5 steps to making the business case for solar

5 steps to making the business case for solar | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

"While the economics of solar are improving dramatically, commercial property owners face a significant obstacle in tapping the power of the sun: the highly complex decisions involved in evaluating the business case for solar on each and every property in their portfolio."

 

Alta Energy, an independent solar analytics and procurement company, has just released a new report, “Making the Business Case for Solar,” which provides a clear roadmap for commercial property owners to objectively evaluate the economics of solar for each property in their portfolio and then monitor the projected return on investment (ROI) for each potential project over time. The report includes a detailed presentation internal staff can utilize to educate company decision-makers and make rational decisions about potential solar investments.

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Kickboxing for kilowatts: How competition cut office energy use

Kickboxing for kilowatts: How competition cut office energy use | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

"Can a trophy and some friendly competition among employees actually spur the type of behavioral change that can power energy savings for businesses?"

 

It's an interesting question, given that businesses -- not to mention the energy efficiency industry -- have historically focused on upgrades to equipment and facilities as the primary way to reduce energy costs. Changing employee behavior as a means to significantly reduce energy consumption has largely been ignored.

 

But behavioral change, as well as the new technologies and social connections that facilitate them, are a hot area of interest. With building systems becoming more efficient, the human side of the energy equation is becoming larger and more important.

 

As an engineer in our Large Commercial practice, I am actively supporting PECI's ongoing research on the impact of different behavioral based approaches on energy efficiency savings. And we recently wrapped up an in-house study that allowed us to see just what kinds of savings are possible.

 

The Competition

The study we conducted allowed us to test different behavioral scenarios and collect data on how each scenario impacted energy savings. The study involved a competition -- aptly named The Kilowatt Cup -- that pitted three office floors...

 

clear here to read entire article

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How energy benchmarking can boost your building's efficiency

How energy benchmarking can boost your building's efficiency | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

Energy benchmarking can help you better understand your commercial property's energy use and monitor performance over time. It allows for comparisons among similar building types and helps identify which ones could operate more efficiently.

 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its Energy Star program offers a free online tool called Portfolio Manager that allows users to track and assess building energy consumption for a single building or an entire portfolio. Portfolio Manager can help users comply with local energy laws, set investment priorities, identify underperforming buildings, verify efficiency improvements and receive EPA recognition for superior energy performance.

 

If you have already been through the benchmarking process, are you on track to increase your building's energy performance rating this year? While benchmarking helps you understand the current state of your building's performance, an energy audit can help you identify and prioritize opportunities for substantial energy and operational savings.

 

http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=evaluate_performance.bus_portfoliomanager

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The GREEN MARKET: Sustainability Study Finds Businesses ...

The GREEN MARKET: Sustainability Study Finds Businesses ... | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

"According to new research by Accenture, the vast majority of businesses say that sustainability is vital to their future growth. More than three quarters (78%) of the 250 senior executives polled indicated that sustainability is ..."

 

"Sustainability has broken free from the realm of regulatory pressure and reputation management, and is now rising into a virtuous circle of commercial opportunity and investment growth. Businesses must now industrialize and scale production in order to drive higher levels of productivity, operational discipline and cost optimization nto what can often be immature operating models in high growth sustainable markets."

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Westfield London UK - Philips Dynalite Project

Westfield London UK - Philips Dynalite Project | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

"Westfield London, the iconic shopping center in the UK, is lit up by Philips Dynalite lighting control system's superior functionality and flexibility."

 

With 150,000 square metres of floor space, over 280 retail outlets and 50 eateries, Westfield London is certainly an icon of the UK’s retail landscape.

 

As well as being Europe’s largest urban shopping centre, Westfield London has been designed to incorporate innovative and sustainable technologies and an ‘everythingunder- one-roof ’ approach to shopping and entertainment.

 

With the potential to accommodate 20 million visitors a year, the shopping centre demanded a sophisticated lighting control system with wide ranging capabilities.

The Philips Dynalite solution was to install a state-of-theart lighting control system offering superior functionality and flexibility, which has taken shopping centre lighting to a new level.

 

Westfield says the lighting system has delivered on all counts – from an operational, diagnostic and energy management perspective.

 

 

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Demand for Green Buildings Exceeds Workforce Supply

Demand for Green Buildings Exceeds Workforce Supply | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

"Will the rapidly increasing demand for green buildings lead to a shortfall in skilled workers"

 

With the rapidly increasing demand for green buildings, industry professionals are concerned that the supply of skilled workforce cannot keep up with the demand. While having more jobs than people to fill them seems like a good problem to have in today’s economy, the shortage cannot be trivialized.
 

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Why is sustainability seen as a rollercoaster for business leaders?

Why is sustainability seen as a rollercoaster for business leaders? | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

"Fears of being out of control, isolation or failure are some of the obstacles to overcome for a successful sustainability agenda, says leadership coach Liz Hall."

 

"They get that things need change, they get that as leaders, they need to lead the change. But they say how do I do it in a way that is consistent with the past, that doesn't come across as radical and out there, creating uncertainty in the organisation? The main obstacle now is lack of courage."

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Tampa Ranks in Top 25 U.S. Cities with the Most ENERGY STAR ...

Tampa Ranks in Top 25 U.S. Cities with the Most ENERGY STAR ... | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

"The city of Tampa was listed as 1 of 25 cities with the greatest number of energy-efficient buildings that earned the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star certification in 2011."

 

Energy Star labeled buildings in Tampa achieved significant reductions in their energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions. These buildings represent more than 14 million square feet and will save nearly $15 million annually in energy costs while preventing greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions of 2,200 homes a year.

 

 

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LEED's Reach Grows Despite Grim Economy, But Slower Than Hoped

LEED's Reach Grows Despite Grim Economy, But Slower Than Hoped | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

LEED registration soars overseas and continues to edge upward in the United States, but growth seems to be slowing, prompting a concern that progress in green building must accelerate mightily to counter the threats posed by climate change, according to the latest Green Building Market and Impact Report.

 

Here are some of the key findings in Watson's new report:

 

LEED certification to reach 2 billion square feet soon. It took about 10 years for LEED to hit the 1-billion mark, but certification is expected to reach 2 billion square feet in 2012.

 

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Corporate Sustainability Driven by the Bottom Line - Forbes

Corporate Sustainability Driven by the Bottom Line - Forbes | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it
The sustainability activities of leading companies are increasingly driven by financial considerations and other core business objectives.
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What Does it Mean to be a High Performance Building?

What Does it Mean to be a High Performance Building? | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

"According to the US Energy Information Administration, 47% of all greenhouse gas emissions are from existing buildings."

 

So when property owners and managers transform an existing facility into one that's a high-performance building, what does that mean? Essentially, it means doing more with less. High-performance buildings are energy efficient, and therefore, easier and more affordable to operate and maintain. They provide healthier and more comfortable workspaces, making them more attractive to tenants and more desirable to own.

 

The good news is that there are substantial incentives available on the Federal, state and city levels, as well as from utilities, to help businesses make smart investments in energy efficiency.

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3 things businesses need to know about extreme weather

3 things businesses need to know about extreme weather | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

"NOAA called it Meteorological March Madness. Other commentators likened it to science fiction. More than 15,000 daily heat records were broken around the U.S. last month, making 2012 the warmest March since records began in 1895."

 

Unfortunately, many companies have been slow to fully appreciate the significance of these changes -- and few have responded at a scale necessary to prepare for the changing climate. So here are three things all businesses need to know about how Earth's climate is changing.

 

3 things business should know

 

It's getting hotter: Since 2000, the world has experienced 9 of the 10 warmest years since 1880. And climate change will almost certainly bring more record-breaking temperatures over most land areas, according to the IPCC's Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation, released last month. North America, the report warns, will very likely have to adjust to hotter days– and nights. Of the more than 15,000 high temperature marks in March, over 7,500 were nighttime records. Hotter temperatures will likely affect, among other things, food and agriculture production, tourism and human health.

 

The climate will become more variable: A warming world will heighten some natural variations in climate patterns. In many parts of the world, this will lead to changes in the variability of seasonal rainfall and temperatures, making forecasting and forward-planning more difficult and unpredictable. These changes will have significant implications for many economic sectors, including agriculture, water supply, forestry and urban planning.

 

Extreme weather is on the rise around the world: The past year has provided a taste of future climate impacts, battering the world with droughts and floods from the Horn of Africa to Colombia, Australia, and the United States. Many regions, especially the tropics and high latitudes, are likely to suffer from more heavy rainstorms that can trigger devastating flooding. Other regions, including parts of central and southern Europe, central North America, Central America and southern Africa, may face longer lasting droughts. Meanwhile, India, the world's fourth largest economy, is projected to face heavier monsoon downpours but over fewer days, making the country susceptible to both more floods and more water shortages.

 

Impacts on Business

Why specifically should businesses be concerned? First, and most obviously, these changes can have material impacts on a company's operations, from reducing the water reserves needed for production lines, to disrupting the supply of raw materials, or destroying vital infrastructure, such as refineries and transport networks.

 

In 2011 alone, droughts, floods, hurricanes and other extreme weather cost the U.S. economy at least $55 billion according to NOAA, with 14 events each exceeding $1 billion in costs. One of these was the devastating drought, and associated wildfires, in Texas and Oklahoma, which cost American crop farmers $7.6 billion, on top of around $5.4 billion in losses to the cotton and cattle industries.

 

Extreme weather events and other climatic changes also affect global supply chains. Disasters that hit manufacturing hubs, like the Bangkok floods, can affect the operations of businesses around the globe. Damage to facilities owned by Western Digital, a leading supplier of computer storage and networking equipment, severely constricted the world's supply of electronic hard drives. The resulting manufacturing slowdown also led companies such as Intel and Apple to warn of profit losses and industry-wide shortages.

 

The same ripple effect can occur when agricultural regions are hit by droughts or floods. A 2001 drought in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, for example, led to water shortages that squeezed production at Anheuser-Busch, the world's largest beer manufacturer, impacting global prices.

 

Some companies are starting to wake up to these risks. A 2011 survey of 72 major corporations, for the UN Global Compact, with technical support from WRI, found that 83 percent believed climate change impacts posed a risk to their products or services.

 

Nevertheless, businesses need to do more to develop comprehensive climate strategies to not only reduce their emissions but also adapt to a changing world. Climate change is no longer some far off threat. It is already happening and the impacts are becoming increasingly clear.

 

By Manish Bapna

Published April 24, 2012

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Earth Day: Consumers Care Less About the Environment Than They Use To

Earth Day: Consumers Care Less About the Environment Than They Use To | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

"So much for saving the planet. A recent survey reveals that over the past few years, Americans have become less likely to say they care a great deal about the current and future state of the environment."

 

This isn’t to say that people aren’t taking steps that help minimize impact on the environment. It’s just that the individual is more likely to help Mother Nature when the efforts also help himself.

 

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Energy Points: Bringing the 'Moneyball' Mentality to Sustainability

Energy Points: Bringing the 'Moneyball' Mentality to Sustainability | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

What is your business’s carbon footprint? How much energy do you use? Have you considered an energy efficiency audit? Do you need new lighting? Waterless urinals? What about solar power on the roof?

 

Sustainability gets really complicated really quickly, enough so that even sophisticated enterprises have a difficult time picking which green projects will have the most significant impact on both their environmental impact and their bottom line.

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How to defeat the massive plug-load monster

How to defeat the massive plug-load monster | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

"In commercial buildings, plug loads are one of the fastest-growing end uses in terms of energy consumption and typically account for 30-35 percent of the total electricity used."

  

Maybe you just got to the office, grabbed some coffee and pulled up to your desk to start your day. Your printer sits innocuously next to your lamp, computer and phone, but they feed an insatiable monster -- they all draw electricity around the clock. This drain, called plug load, which accounts for about a third of commercial building energy use, might be why your electricity use has increased over the past few years.

 

Plug loads are a major contributor to building energy consumption, especially in offices.  Since 1995, plug load energy consumption has increased about 235 percent. Since the building shell and major building systems are becoming more efficient and the solutions for reducing plug loads are challenging to implement, plug loads become a larger and larger piece of a shrinking pie.

 

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Run your building like an athlete

Run your building like an athlete | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

"Like the human body, building systems and equipment are also subject to wear and tear, overuse, and ultimately breakdown without proper care. But beyond the obvious parallel, where can athletes and building operators find common ground?"

 

When you think about the athlete's paradigm, it's easy to sit with eyes fixed on the rearview mirror after an injury has taken place. A tweak here, an adjustment there, and perhaps the athlete would be in the game, rather than on the injured list. After all, hindsight is 20-20. But, what if foresight was 20-20 too, and athletes used tried and true statistical facts to predict injury and took steps to prevent it? To that end, what if building operators used statistical data to preempt breakdown in a way that goes beyond routine preventative maintenance?

 

For building operators, relevant data are those that impact the risks of the building underperforming. These data sources include energy usage, control system data, sensors, weather, schedules, occupancy, energy market data, and so on. Once you understand the data you should be analyzing (in other words, the data that impacts your energy consumption and costs), data can be interpreted in context to determine where opportunities for improvement lie. Or, from a statistical perspective, where outliers exist, enabling prioritization of opportunities for improvement.

 

The possibilities for applying prehabilitation methods to buildings are endless with a clear understanding and correct application. Whether you're a building operator, energy manager or facility manager looking for ways to take the next step in reducing your energy and maintenance costs, take a hard look at one of your favorite athletes who's at the top of their game and consider how their physical conditioning program can inspire you to condition your buildings for optimal performance, too.

 

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The 10 Sustainability "Megaforces"

The 10 Sustainability "Megaforces" | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

"Businesses have been urged to step up their efforts to ensure they are resilient to an increasingly resource-strained world, after a new report by KPMG identified 10 "global sustainability megaforces" that could derail businesses' plans over the next two decades."

 

Click here to see the list.

 

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It's what's inside that counts: World's top LEED interior

It's what's inside that counts: World's top LEED interior | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

"Building engineering company Integral Group unveiled a building with the world's highest LEED rating for commercial interiors in Oakland, Calif., this week."

 

Not only did the building achieve the LEED Platinum ranking for commercial interiors, it hit the highest marks for this category in the world. While only 80 out of 110 LEED points are required to achieve a Platinum rating for commercial interiors, Integral Group’s Oakland Office achieved a record-breaking 102 out of 110 points.

 

Even more exciting, says Peter Rumsey, Integral Group’s managing director, is that the firm was able to achieve remarkable energy savings on a small budget. Integral Group spent $25 per square foot on the renovation of its Oakland office, whereas the typical office renovation costs $50 to $75 per square foot.

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Winning App Helps Commercial Buildings Get Energy Star Benchmark

Winning App Helps Commercial Buildings Get Energy Star Benchmark | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it
Melon, an app that simplifies the process of getting an Energy Star benchmark for a commercial building, was one of the big winners in the US government's Energy for Apps competition.

 

The Melon app delivers an Energy Star score and suggest next steps to improve efficiency and reduce waste, once a building manager supplies basic building information and energy use.

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MIT Study Shows That Sustainability is Profitable

MIT Study Shows That Sustainability is Profitable | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

"MIT has put out a study showing that sustainability is profitable. We believe sustainability is here to stay."

 

The overall results show that more companies are taking sustainability seriously and are even benefiting financially from sustainable business practices. The report demonstrates...

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Sustainable Destinations: Pittsburgh proves sustainable venue programs get better with age

Sustainable Destinations: Pittsburgh proves sustainable venue programs get better with age | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

"In 2003 the David L. Lawrence Convention Centre (DLCC) opened as one of the
first LEED-certified convention venues in the world. Nearly 10 years later has
sustainability paid off?"

 

Based on a recent session at the GMIC Sustainable Meetings Conference it seems that sustainable building and business operations have combined to achieve triple bottom line benefits that stand the test of time in Pittsburgh.

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Brilliant Solar Ads Say Screw The Environment, It’s About Paying Less

Brilliant Solar Ads Say Screw The Environment, It’s About Paying Less | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it
SunRun is a solar company with an interesting model: Instead of just selling you solar panels, they pay to put them on your house, and then you pay them for the energy those panels provide.
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The Importance of Sustainability - Expert Business Advice

The Importance of Sustainability - Expert Business Advice | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

"Sustainability is the ability to maintain and carry on, despite what happens outside of the walls of your business. Is your company that resilient? Here’s how to do it."

 

In today’s global market and economy, sustainability is paramount for a number of reasons. For starters, sustainability ensures that functions of various aspects of corporate life are bound to continue without disruptions, no matter what. Sustainability can be used in various spheres of life, e.g. environmentally, organizationally and socially.

 

With an ever-growing population, natural resources ...

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Sustainability is no longer a “soft” issue

Sustainability is no longer a “soft” issue | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

 

“A sustainable building will quite quickly become a prerequisite for prime property. Consequently, we expect the pricing gap to widen between sustainable and non-sustainable assets during the next few years.”

 

He added that while older, less-sustainable buildings may offer lower rental costs, any savings are likely to be offset by higher operational costs duie to rising energy prices.

 

“Employers cannot neglect the increasing ‘social’ aspect of sustainable real estate. During the next ten years we expect productivity, employee satisfaction and sustainability to become intrinsically linked. We expect business managers to place greater emphasis on the social value of sustainable real estatem,” said Mr Pearey.

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Every Business – Large and Small – Is Needed for the Global Sustainability Challenge!

Every Business – Large and Small – Is Needed for the Global Sustainability Challenge! | Sustainability of Commercial Real Estate | Scoop.it

"And as people all over the world begin to recognize the negative impact our current economic model has on our global environment and its social fabric, companies of all types and sizes are facing rapidly increasing stakeholder expectations about how they behave."

  

America is finally waking up to the excessive demands being placed on the world’s resources by our existing global economic model. These demands are most clearly seen in rising energy prices, but the overwhelming evidence is that we will soon see similar resources challenges in water, land use, forest products and a number of mineral resources. Food production capacity is already coming under severe pressure, resulting in steeply rising prices for many food commodities.

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