News & Press

To the Edge and Back

December 1, 2009

I can’t speak for everybody, but I know a vast majority of the people I talk to say, “thank goodness 2009 is over.” It has been a rough 18 months for most of us in the building industry, but if you believe the analysts, at least things are supposed to get better in 2010. I sure hope so.

What has been refreshing to see is that even in these challenging times, the prevalence of green building has continued to grow. It certainly has been a buyer’s market, with new tenants in control of lease negotiations and current tenants asking for concessions. But as building owners and managers scrambled
to cut costs, hold onto existing tenants, and maybe even fi nd a few new ones, they realized greening their facility could help on all three fronts. Read more

The Evolution Continues…
Minimum water efficiency prerequisite added to LEED.

September 1, 2009

For those of you following the rollout of LEED 2009, you’re sure to have noticed by now a number of changes to the credits: increased thresholds for existing credits, more regional opportunities and a completely different weighting system.

Another seemingly small but rather significant change has been the addition of a tiny new prerequisite: Minimum Water Efficiency. While all the other changes don’t necessarily affect a building’s ability to get certified, throwing in a new prerequisite is a pretty strong change — one reflecting the growing importance of water efficiency. Read more

Was that an EBOM?
Why going for LEED-EB: O&M certification shouldn't make your head explode.

July 1, 2009

What’s 4.5-inches tall, 11-inches deep, and weighs 12 pounds? The three new LEED reference guides, of course! The newly released reference guides for LEED 2009 come in three versions: Green Interior Design and Construction (aka, Commercial Interiors), Green Building Operation and Maintenance (aka, Existing Buildings and Operations), and the behemoth — Green Building Design and Construction (aka, New Construction/Core&Shell/School). The last one alone comes in at whopping 645 pages. Read more

Weathering the Storm

April 1, 2009

We’re living in some tough times right now. The one silver lining to our current economic situation is that with great challenge comes great opportunity. But what the heck does that mean for our buildings and us? One thing seems pretty consistent: There is a continued push for energy effi ciency and sustainable buildings—from schools to federal buildings to anything new. Read more

The Consultant Conundrum
Finding a well-versed LEED consultant can prove to be a precious resource.

November 1, 2008

Do you hate the “C” word? The use of consultants comes with all sorts of stigmas. Added cost, outsiders who don’t know the team, hired guns with nothing to lose — all of these are often associated with bringing in outside consultants for any sort of problem, and using a LEED consultant can be no different. But that doesn’t have to be the case, and in fact, using a LEED consultant on your first project can be one of the best investments for future projects that you will ever make. The LEED certification process is a complicated beast: Not only do you need to figure out what strategies to incorporate into your building, you then need to maneuver through the LEED documentation maze to actually earn certification. And that is where a qualified LEED consultant can pay dividends. Read more

Stakeholder Engagement is Key to LEED-EB

July 1, 2008

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB), huh? There are plenty of classes out there. All taught by LEED faculty. And they will give you a great overview of the five categories, 85 points (for EB 2.0; 91 points for LEED EB: Operations and Maintenance) and credit requirements. How do you get water credits? Reduce consumption compared to the baseline by 20 or 30 percent. How about the materials credits? Simple, just start using recycled janitorial products and increase the amount of materials your building’s occupants are recycling. Read more

Benchmarking Building Performance
Portfolio manager from Energy Star streamlines building performance assessment.

June 1, 2008

You’ve cut your electricity bills by 10 percent. The chiller is operating smoothly, lights are off after hours, the building automation system is working on schedule — overall, you have a pretty efficient building. Compared to what? That is the ultimate question. While your utility bills may be lower this year, how do you know what an ideal target is? How are other buildings your size, occupancy and location operating? Read more

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