Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Recycled Leather As A Green Building Material

Recycled leather used for floor tiles? I just reviewed this product on www.iGreenBuild.com and it really looks impressive, environmentally friendly and it meets LEED criterial. When I first heard about leather floor tiles I was skeptical, but after learning more about how the leather is processed, how easy the tiles are to install and how durable they are, I quickly became an interested prospect.

If you are a home owner, builder, architect or green building advocate I suggest that you take a look at EcoDomo and share your thoughts on this Blog.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Green Building Is Ripe For Marketing

This week I've seen the phrase "green building" in the business magazines I read, on TV and even in my local Mother's Market grocery store. For a business owner in the green building publishing business these are wonderful signs that our business planning and "assumptions" of three years ago were right on.

From a marketers perspective "the north forty" is ready for harvesting! Companies of all sizes are positioning their environmentally friendly building products and services in trade publications, on web sites, in television ads and even on public transportation vehicles. This is a great time for a new market and it's even a greater time to start living responsibly. The fact that both of these can be accomplished and there's thousands of companies getting involved sure makes me a happy farmer.

Were are you going to start planting your green marketing seeds?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Green Building, Sustainability, LEED

Have you searched GOOGLE for green building, sustainable design, LEED or other environmentally friendly building information lately? It's great to see so many companies moving into the green space. Combine this with GreenBuild, The World Energy Engineering Congress, West Coast Green, EcoBuild Federal and other conventions and the amount of information pushing the green movement is amazing.

Start surfing!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Green Building Product Enviromode Is Favorite At iGreenBuild.com

Have you seen Enviromode yet? This new terrazzo surface is made from recycled tubs, sinks and toilets. It’s easy to maintain, durable, eco-friendly and beautiful. Best of all it's a great addition to your green building project.

I am amazed at the number of architects, home owners and builders, all sustainable design lovers, that have requested more information about Enviromode at www.iGreenBuild.com.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Green Building in 2008

Now that GreenBuild will be in California in 2007 will this help West Coast Green? My personal opinion is that more exposure and more networking always help a cause like sustainable building and events like these can benefit from the opportunities they present...no matter how many there are.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ask the Green Architect: Why Should I Care About Green Building Anyway?

By Eric Corey Freed

Typically, I am suspicious of lists with an even number of ten items on them. It makes me think only eight or nine could be found and they made up a couple. Today, I am breaking my own rule and bringing you the ten most often asked questions I receive about green building.

After nearly 15 years in green building, I have observed widespread misunderstanding of some basic principals of sustainability. In the future, all buildings will be green. It is inevitable in order for our species to survive. The sooner everyone comes to a basic understanding of how to be environmentally responsible, the better off we all will be.

Click here to read my answers to the most popular questions I receive in regards to building green.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sustainable Building Expert Yudelson Receives State, National Marketing Awards

Yudelson Associates, a leading green building consulting firm, announced today that its founder, Jerry Yudelson, has received two major marketing awards in recent months. In July, Yudelson was awarded a statewide marketing communications award by the Oregon chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services, a national professional organization for the architecture, engineering and construction community. In August, Yudelson received a national marketing communications award at the SMPS annual meeting in Los Angeles.

These awards were given for Yudelson’s innovative marketing campaign for Interface Engineering, Inc., a Portland, Oregon, based regional engineering firm. In November 2006, Yudelson created a marketing campaign based around a projected LEED Platinum award for the Oregon Health & Science University’s "Center for Health and Healing" in Portland. This campaign featured a remarkable 48-page detailed case study of Interface’s engineering design for the project. In the first year of publication, Interface received more than 7,000 requests for copies of this case study, from all over the world.

"What we did was unique for a building engineering firm, detailing the inner workings of an integrated design project that produced more than 60 percent energy savings and 50 percent water savings over a conventional building, at 12 percent less cost than the contractor’s initial budget," said Yudelson. "Our communications program vaulted Interface Engineering into the top rank of West Coast engineering firms, resulting in a number of design awards from major, first-time clients." He concluded, "Engineering firms have been reluctant to 'toot their horn' when they do something this remarkable. Interface’s accomplishments were featured as cover stories in three national trade magazines as a result of this communications program. This is the essence of good marketing in today’s world: a great story, well told."

Jerry Yudelson is the Sr. Editor for iGreenBuild.com. Sign up for his monthly eNewsletter here.

Ask the Green Architect: Green Cleaning, Lawn Maintenance, and more

By: Eric Corey Freed

This week, Freed tackles the problem of how to green-clean commercial spaces, how to maintain a "green" lawn, and answers the question, "Where do green and historic preservation intersect?"

Q: Are there green cleaning products for commercial spaces, such as: day spas, baths, or gyms? Given the more stringent health requirements for these spaces, are these products approved for this use?

A: Cleaning one's home or office is often considered a healthy thing to do. After all, it feels kind of good and self-satisfying to remove all of the inevitable dust, food crumbs, fallen hairs, and other gross remnants of daily life from our home.

Ironically, we typically clean our homes and offices with chemically intensive and potentially toxic cleaning materials. Did you ever wonder why you have to wear gloves (and sometimes even masks) to clean?

The chemicals used to clean are adding to the already overloaded toxic soup we have in most indoor spaces.The American Association of Poison Control Centers ranks household cleaners as the leading source for acute human exposure to toxic substances. In addition, these caustic cleaners, pesky pesticides, raucous removers, and other potent products with their toxic ingredients also damage our environment through their production, use, and disposal.

Fortunately, a number of commercially available healthy alternatives exist:

Ecover: established in 1980, Ecover is one of the global leaders in healthy cleaning products. Not only are the products healthier, the company is incredibly dedicated to sustainable business. Their solar powered factory features green building features such as passive solar and water efficient methods.

Finish reading this article on iGreenBuild.com here.

Green Building in Georgia's Parks

The Sweetwater Creek State Park Visitor Center
By: David Freedman, P.E. - Monday, November 13, 2006

Georgia's Sweetwater Creek State Park Visitor Center is the first new construction in the Southeast to receive LEED Platinum certification. The new Center serves as an example of sustainable building that doesn't necessarily cost more than standard construction.

Read the full article and share your comments with iGreenBuild.com here.

Building the Change: The 2030 Climate Challenge

By: Gil Friend - Sunday, November 12, 2006

Ed Mazria presented the opening keynote at West Coast Green in San Francisco September 28, and offered what was probably the most compelling, moving and useful global warming presentation I've heard yet. (No offense, Al, but Ed got more usefully into what to do for high leverage impact.)

"When the US balked at Kyoto," he explained, "the stated concern was impact on industry and competitiveness. But U.S. industry has held emissions relatively flat for the last 20 years (part thru efficiency, part through export of industry and emissions)."

Read the full article at iGreenBuild.com.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Free DVD about classroom acoustics, HVAC and indoor air quality is informative

The 13 minute video that plays when you load this DVD (found on SchoolFacilities.com) is really very informative. I think teachers, architects, school officials, facility managers and parents should watch this.

Tell us what you think...

You can request a copy of this DVD here

94 percent of Americans want to work in healthy, energy-efficient buildings

According to a recent poll by Mortgage Lenders Network USA (MLN), 94 percent of Americans prefer to work in a building that is designed to be energy efficient and ecologically sound. The poll results showed that women appear to be more environmentally-concerned than men about their workplace. The poll revealed that 72 percent of working women declare a strong preference for green employers, vs. 64 percent of men. And, a larger percentage of Americans ages 45-54 would prefer to work in an eco-friendly building vs. their less eco-minded counterparts ages 25-34 (74 percent vs. 62 percent). This strengthens the business case for green buildings, particularly among developers aiming at large corporations for their tenants.

Posted by Matt Banes for Jerry Yudelson

Saturday, November 11, 2006

GSA Report Finds LEED is the Best Building Rating System

By: staff - Thursday, October 12, 2006
Source: iGreenBuild.com

A 55-page report prepared for the U.S. General Services Administration in July 2006, found LEED® to be "the most appropriate and credible sustainable building rating system available for evaluation of GSA projects," according to a September 15th letter from Lurita Doan, Administrator of the GSA Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs, to Senator Christopher Bond (R-MO), that became widely available in early October.
The GSA study rated the applicability, stability, objectivity and availability of the following systems: LEED, BREEAM (UK), GBTool (Europe/IISBE), CASBEE (Japan) and Green Globes™. According to Doan’s letter, the report’s authors, from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) concluded that LEED:

is applicable to all GSA project types

tracks the quantifiable aspects of sustainable design and building performance

is verified by trained professionals

has a well-defined system for incorporating updates; and

is the most widely used rating system in the U.S. market.

Editor’s Note: This report should put to rest any controversy about which rating system project teams should use for commercial and institutional projects. The jury is still out on the best rating system for low-rise and single-family residential projects.

A Free DVD about creating better classrooms

We previewed this DVD and posted it on SchoolFacilities.com and more than 100 school facility professionals requested it. If you are involved with designing, building or maintaining school facilities the information on this 13 minute video will help you understand more about the importance about HVAC, acoustics, indoor air quality and ventilation.

    You can get the free DVD here.

Green Building Advertising That Works

Without bragging too much about iGreenBuild.com I will say that this site generates sales leads for its advertisers. We here at GBM Marketing operate a few B to B sites and "the green one" is quickly becomming our top site for leads, content forwarding, newsletter subscribers and content contributors.

Give it a try here.

Ask the Green Architect: Occupant Surveys and Fly Ash By: Eric Corey Freed

Q: We are developing a post-occupancy evaluation for our clients and are struggling with how to ask the users, who don't know much about green buildings, about the qualities of their green building. Do you have any suggestions for resources or examples of occupant surveys?

A: Post-occupancy evaluations (POEs) are useful for evaluating the success of any building design, but are particularly useful in evaluating green buildings. It is the only opportunity architects and designers have to learn if their buildings actually work. Think of it as a report card to assess what is good about a building and what is not.The goals of a green POE are to document and measure the indoor environmental quality, energy performance, occupant satisfaction and the other green factors you incorporated. This information will help architects design better green buildings.Using interviews, behavioral maps, user surveys, visitor questionnaires and observational walkthroughs, POE reports typically contain nine items (sorted by priority):Top Priority: Health, Safety, SecurityMid Priority: Function, Efficiency, Work FlowLast Priority: Psychological, Social, Cultural

Read the full article here.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Green Building Press

Over the past month I have read about Green Building in the Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal and a few other major publications. Has anyone else noticed this flood of press?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Engineers and Green Buildings by Jerry Yudelson, PE, LEED AP

The green building industry is going nowhere but up. In 2005, the green building industry had a significant expansion and growth in the U.S. For the first time ever, new LEED-NC (New construction) project registrations topped 1,000, adding more than 130 million gross sq.ft. of project area, and more than 150 LEED-NC projects were certified, topping 100 for the first year ever. The U.S. Green Building Council’s annual Greenbuild conference and trade show expects to attract nearly 12,000 people to Denver in November, making it the world’s largest, and the number of LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED APs) exceeds 24,000. LEED-NC version 2.2 has been successfully introduced, along with a simplified documentation and project management system, LEED Online.

Many external events continued to work to promote green buildings. Oil prices surged above $75 per barrel in July and threatens to stay at elevated levels for a long time. In November 2005, the U.S. government’s hyper-conservative Energy Information Administration published its long-term forecast for oil prices and estimated oil prices in 2025 at $54 per barrel in 2005 dollars, up 65% from its year-earlier estimate of $33 per barrel. Increasing oil (and natural gas) prices, the drumbeat over global warming intensified by the movie An Inconvenient Truth, and the prospects of uncertain supplies because of volatile geopolitical factors have changed the psychology of the public for the first time in a generation, toward a concern for energy conservation in buildings.

Even President Bush and the Congress got into the act, passing the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT), providing for dramatically increased incentives for solar and wind power, along with strong support for energy conservation in new and existing buildings. Although the incentives are scheduled to expire at the end of 2007, many seasoned Washington observers expect them to be extended in 2007. In 2006, President Bush went on the road in mid-February to tout his new focus on ending America’s recently discovered “oil addiction.” (“My name is George Bush, and I’m an oil addict!”)

Just to show that architects get the message that, as captain of the ship, steering buildings toward less energy use is their responsibility, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) issued its most ambitious policy statement yet, declaring in a December 2005 position statement supporting sustainable design that new buildings should reduce currently consumption levels by 50% by 2010. The problem, as anyone who works daily in building design will acknowledge, is that architects and engineers have few clues how to accomplish this goal, within current building budgets. And, with costs for ordinary buildings exceeding $200 and even $300 per sq.ft. in major metropolitan areas, most construction budgets are stretched to the breaking point. Absent new financial and institutional arrangements there is simply no more “upfront” money for building energy conservation.

What might all this mean for consulting engineering firms? A recent survey of market growth projections, conducted by McGraw-Hill for the U.S. Green Building Council, predicted that education and government sectors, followed by institutional and office buildings, would show the highest growth rates, from 48% to 65%, over the next year.

External factors continue to have a dramatic effect on the construction industry and indirectly on the financial viability of green buildings that carry higher initial costs. Commercial construction costs escalated dramatically in 2005, led by 20% higher costs for concrete and steel, owing to higher fuel costs and dramatically increased construction demand in China, India and other Asian countries. This means that engineers are going to have to embrace integrated design approaches, to provide higher-performance buildings on the same or less construction cost.

Many engineering firms seek to differentiate their services by increasing the number of LEED APs on staff, aiming at 40% to 50% or more of their professional staff. Each firm in the design and construction industry that wants to stay competitive in the green building market arena needs to move in this direction. Having a strong sustainability program in-house will be one of the few ways consulting engineering firms can hope to attract new talent and to keep ambitious engineers on board.

The main sticking point for rapid LEED project growth continues to be the perception that these projects cost a lot more. In 2005, Turner Construction repeated its initial 2004 green building industry survey, with similar results. In this survey, 68% of 665 executives surveyed believed that higher construction costs were the major factor discouraging construction of green buildings, while 64% cited lack of awareness of benefits. In terms of the cost and complexity of LEED documentation, 54% cited that as a contributing factor, while 51% cited short-term budget horizons of clients, 50% cited long paybacks (average eight years), and 47% cited difficulty quantifying all the benefits of green buildings.

Clearly there is a lot of work to do, in the world of architecture and engineering, to start making buildings more efficient. However, the “perfect storm” is now in place, for the first time in a generation, for building owners and developers to listen to the message of energy-efficient building design. It’s time for professionals to start getting the tools, products and techniques in place, using the process of integrated design, to tighten up the energy use of buildings.

An earlier version of this column appeared in the April 2006 issue of HPAC Engineering magazine, http://www.hpac.com/. References:”Green Building Smart Market Report,” McGraw-Hill Construction, November 2005, 44 pages, available from www.construction.com/SmartMarket/greenbuilding/default.asp, p. 12.See “Engineering a Sustainable World,” available from Interface Engineering, for an example of how a Platinum LEED project can be designed with less initial MEP costs. Order a copy from www.ieice.com.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Double Bottom Line: Doing Good and Doing Well by Peter Pike

Real Estate Cares... "Yes!", readers responded to August 8th's Dispatch, Socially Responsible Real Estate. Who Knew?. Real estate investors are doing good AND doing well.

David Keiran of the New Boston Fund in Boston writes that his firm's Urban Strategy America Fund (USF) offers institutional investors a "socially responsible" real estate vehicle. USF "seeks a double (and often triple) bottom line return and provides our investors with strong financial returns and measurable socio-economic impacts in the areas in which we invest. The triple bottom line return comes in the form of sustainable green development, which is part of our overall fund development strategy."

USF closed on its first property, Olmsted Green in Mattapan, MA, ten months ago. With a projected IRR of 19%, this 552,190 square foot mixed-use development "will include 287 workforce housing condominiums, 153 affordable rental units, 83 units of senior housing and a 123-bed skilled nursing care facility."

Skip Case at Case Industrial Partners in Columbia, MD, must be one of the few brokers who has taken "both of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) courses. ... Having rubbed elbows with some very hotshot LEED people, it is interesting for me to note that their biggest push is towards commercial and public office buildings where creature comforts are of paramount importance. Being the industrial guy and USGBC member that I am, I look at the billions of square feet of roofs on warehouses and distribution centers nationwide (not to mention the retail big boxes) and think, 'Wow, if only we could do living roofs on these…' [Pike: Check out Ford's new 454,000-square foot living roof at their Dearborn Truck Plant.]

Dan Winters at Evolution Partners in Washington, DC, writes that his firm "only represents developers building or rehabbing LEED / Energy Star buildings. "To us, it’s a sign of both a quality real estate developer and a quality firm. Frankly, they make for inspiring clients. ... With nearly 20 federal government agencies and three branches of the military signing an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) on green building in January 2006, coupled with nine states and 40-plus municipalities adopting green building legislation, it makes for a compelling story."
Reprinted with permission from pikenet.com.

Planet Wedgies by Jerry Yudelson, PE, LEED AP

An article in Scientific American, (September 2006, http://www.sciam.com/) presents “A Plan to Keep Carbon in Check.” Written by two Princeton professors, the article looks at all the ways to solve the climate problem of excessive carbon dioxide buildup for the next fifty years, using current technologies. This may seem like an extremely conservative viewpoint, but if we look back fifty years, we will find that we are still producing electricity and fueling our factories, cars, offices and homes with the same fuels: oil, gas and coal. After a brief “blip” of nuclear power, the U.S. turned away from it, with the result that no new nuclear plants have been started since 1974, more or less.

The professors, Robert Socolow and Stephen Pacala, published their initial findings in the peer reviewed Science magazine two years ago. What they do is contrast two futures, the first based on a “do-nothing” premise, i.e., continuing with carbon emissions at much the same rate as the past thirty years. The result is 14 billion tons per year of carbon emissions by 2056, which would triple “pre-industrial” levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, with almost certain significant climate changes.

In the second, more positive future, emissions are frozen for fifty years at today’s level of 7 billion tons of annual carbon inputs, then reduced by half for the next fifty years, holding total carbon dioxide concentrations at only double the pre-industrial level, less than fifty percent above today’s atmospheric concentrations.

Socolow and Pacala identify two long-term trends that may help accomplish part of this goal: a transition from manufacturing to service economies all over the world, and the “substitution of cleverness for energy,” for example, the development of more energy-efficient appliances and aircraft engines.

To look at solutions, the two professors developed the notion of “stabilization wedges” (hence the title of this article) that would each avert one billion tons of carbon emissions per year fifty years from now, starting at zero today. This would move the annual carbon emissions from 14 billion tons back to 7 billion.

How does all this relate to green buildings? The authors lay out fifteen potential ways to get seven stabilization wedges, which would each yield 25 billion tons of total emission reductions over the next fifty years. This is “sustainability thinking” on a grand scale. One of these wedges requires cutting electricity use in homes, offices and stores by 25 percent. Think of it: cutting 50 percent of energy use in homes, offices and stores over the next fifty years would itself contribute nearly 30 percent (two of the seven wedges) of the emission reductions needed to avoid drastic climate change. This is a grand challenge for designers, builders, developers and government agencies.

And guess what? It’s not that hard to cut energy use in existing buildings by 25 percent over that time frame, and a piece of cake to cut electricity use in new buildings by 50 percent over the same time frame. In fact, the AIA-supported “Architecture 2030” protocol (http://www.architecture2030.org/) calls for cutting new building energy use by 60 percent by 2010, just four years from now. Add to that major ramp-ups of wind and solar use in buildings and you’ve got another wedge, or nearly half the problem solved.

So, here’s a challenge for designers, contractors, equipment makers, planners, lenders, investors, clients and everyone involved in the building industry. Look at your next project: if it’s not cutting electricity use by at least 25 percent in an existing building, go back and redesign it. If it’s not cutting electricity use by at least 50 percent in a new building, consider whether your firm will be competitive in five years. Can you design and construct high-performance buildings on a conventional building budget? If not, figure out how to do it.

The 21st century is shaping up to be a “design century.” We should all be encouraging fresh approaches to building and community design that reduce energy use while maintaining high levels of environmental quality and design excellence. In the long run, i.e., the fifty-year level, the greatest challenge is to the education community. If the current ways of teaching architecture, engineering and building are not yielding the planet-friendly results we all need, isn’t it time to “re-design” the entire curriculum to turn out designers with a planetary conscience and the skills to implement one, two or more wedgies?

Jerry Yudelson is Senior Editor of http://www.igreenbuild.com/. He can be reached by email to jerry@igreenbuild.com and via his consulting firm, Greenway Consulting Group, LLC, http://www.gogreenway.net/.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Jerry Yudelson joins iGreenBuild.com as Senior Editor

Jerry Yudelson joins iGreenBuild.com as Senior Editor. iGreenBuild.com focuses on providing green building enthusiasts, construction industry professionals and environmentalists with important information about environmentally responsible and sustainable design and construction.

JERRY YUDELSON, PE, MS, MBA, LEED® AP is Associate Principal and Sustainability Director at Interface Engineering, Inc. Jerry has served on the national board of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). A registered professional engineer in Oregon, he is an expert in the LEED® green building rating system, and serves as a national LEED trainer for the USGBC. He has trained more than 2,000 people in the LEED green building rating system.

On behalf of the U.S. Green Building Council, he chairs the Steering Committee for Greenbuild 2004, 2005 and 2006, the largest green building conferences in the world. He is the author of three landmark books on marketing green buildings, including the just-released Developing Green: Strategies for Success, a primer on green marketing for developers, published by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, www.naiop.org.

In 2004, Jerry’s work was recognized by the “Better Bricks” award of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, as “Green Building Advocate” of the year. He was also named as one of the top 25 Green Building Leaders in the Northwest by Sustainable Industries Journal. Jerry serves on the editorial boards of the SMPS Marketer, Environmental Design & Construction and as senior editor of www.igreenbuild.com . He holds a BS from Caltech and an MS from Harvard, both in civil engineering and an MBA (with highest honors) from the University of Oregon.