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Archive for June, 2016

Tanzania’s first LEED building a torchbearer for change

LEED Earth Project Pioneers: 

Published on 8 Jun 2016Written by Amanda Sawit Posted in International

Under the LEED Earth Project, the Luminary office building was certified as the first LEED Gold structure in Tanzania.

USGBC’s mission is to bring the environmental and human health benefits of green buildings to all, and it is committed to accelerating the adoption of LEED in new and existing markets.

The Luminary

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, boasts the distinction of being home to the only LEED-certified building in the country. The Luminary, a privately held office building, was certified LEED Gold in February 2016, marking a turning point for Tanzania’s building and design industry.

This 66,106-square-foot space is located on Haile Selassie Road in the peninsula region of Dar Es Salaam, the fastest-growing city in Africa. The architectural team and ESTIM Construction set their sights on achieving LEED early on, and their strong focus on pursuing the targeted LEED score “guided project participants to think beyond conventional and has imparted lifelong learnings,” said Ashutosh Gupta, senior project manager at EDS Global, New Delhi, and project consultant. “Being first in Tanzania, the project has inspired many in the construction fraternity to think sustainably.”

The Luminary was certified under the Building Design and Construction (BD+C) rating system for Core and Shell, and it’s expected that the building will cut electricity bills annually by 10 percent. It’s designed to block different angles of the sun at different times of the day, which helps cool the space while still maximizing daylighting and quality views for occupants.

The project received full points for regional priority credits, and it sits on a previously developed site that’s well connected to the city’s public transportation system and within walking distance of many community features. Seventy-five percent of construction and demolition debris were diverted during the project’s development.

The Luminary has become a torchbearer for all upcoming buildings in the country, steering professionals toward a greener way of contemporary building design, construction and operations for the future.

Amanda Sawit

Content SpecialistU.S. Green Building Council

USGBC staff



Registration Now Open for Greenbuild 2016

Published on 2 Jun 2016Written by Ashley Katz Posted in Industry

The world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building and design is headed to Los Angeles this Oct. 5–7. With 600 exhibiting companies, 200+ educational sessions, nearly 20,000 colleagues and endless networking opportunities, Greenbuild is shaping up to be iconic.


Greenbuild International Conference and Expo
Expo: Oct. 5–6, Conference: Oct. 5–7
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA

Like iconic screen roles and the Hollywood sign, buildings withstand the test of time. When we think of icons, we conjure up images of people, places and things that withstand the test of time, symbolizing our beliefs, culture and community.

Greenbuild features three groundbreaking days of inspiring speakers, invaluable networking opportunitiesindustry showcasesworkshops and tours of the host city’s green buildings. Join thousands of others who agree that green building is a good idea and good for business.

USGBC members can take advantage of exclusive and discounted registration. Become a member today.

Plan ahead and save. Register before the early bird deadline on August 1.

Ashley Katz

Director of Corporate Communications & Marketing U.S. Green Building Council

Member employees, USGBC staff


Going green in the black (USGBC Northern California)

Published on 16 May 2016Written by Peter Rumsey Posted in Community

In California, solar panels can supply electricity to a building at a rate equal to or below, sometimes significantly below, what the utility charges for electricity. But why would a developer invest in putting photovoltaic (PV) on a building when it’s the tenants who pay for the energy? This “split incentive” arrangement installing solar panels helps reduce the tenant’s operating costs but gives no benefit to the owner has hindered the development of solar buildings, net-zero and near-net-zero office buildings.

A few exceptional developers have discovered creative ways of recovering the costs of installing solar. Real estate developer Jim Gaither realized potential tenants within the Stanford Research Park in Palo Alto value a green building, and he made a strategic decision early on to pursue solar on the development of a 90,000-square-foot office he began in 2013. He looked at a variety of creative options for financing solar and decided that rather than purchase PV, he would lease it from a solar provider. He then arranged for his tenant to pay for electricity at a set rate as part of the lease agreement. This is a success story for solar—the developer made a small profit, and the tenants got renewable energy at the same cost as utility energy.

There are many additional options for recovering the cost of PV. The PV-generated energy can be included in the rent as part of a full-service lease. We have also seen developers charge a fixed monthly per-square-foot energy cost that is slightly lower than typical tenant monthly energy bills.  These arrangements are not without their legal complexities. But tenants are eager to use renewable generated energy that is priced close to what they would have otherwise paid.

Peter Rumsey

Founder and CEO, Point Energy Innovations Point Energy Innovations

Member employees


A look inside a green home’s clockwork

Published on 2 Dec 2015Written by Christina Huynh Posted in Education

The home is the most important space in our lives. At USGBC they believe all buildings should be designed and developed with human health and the environment at the forefront—but especially homes.

Environmentally responsible homes cost less to operate, use water and energy efficiently, and minimize exposure to harmful toxins and pollutants for residents. Here’s a list of key green features in a sustainable residence that are better for you, your wallet and the environment.

From the inside out: materials

A benchmark of green homes is the widespread use of nontoxic, low- to zero-VOC and recyclable materials, in everything from the furnishings to the flooring.

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, can cause headaches; nausea; and irritation to the respiratory system, skin and eyes, among other ailments. Healthy homes use paints, sealants and other materials that have low or zero VOC content.

Rapidly renewable resources, such as bamboo or cork, are great, eco-friendly materials for flooring, while natural fibers made of wool or containing a high proportion of recycled synthetics are excellent selections for carpets.

 Lighting the way to a healthier home

Green homes are brightened more with sunlight and less with artificial light, thanks to thoughtful positioning of skylights, clerestories, light shelves and other windows. More than half of the home should be illuminated with daylight.

Filling the home with natural lighting is significant in helping to reduce utility costs, but blocking the sun is equally important, too. Staples of green homes that regulate indoor temperature are shading devices such as sunshades, canopies and—the best option of all—deciduous trees in the yard.

 Reduce energy and water use, reduce costs 

A home that’s energy-efficient will have insulation inside its walls and roof, which means less heavy lifting for its heating and cooling systems, plus lower electricity bills. Insulation derived from recyclable materials and with a high R-value, or thermal resistance, are recommended.

Green homes also use dual-glaze windows, which help reduce heat gain in the summer and heat loss during the winter. Their roofs should be light-colored and reflect heat or feature landscaping to help reduce heat absorption.

Additionally, water-efficient kitchen and bathroom fixtures are a regular element in green homes. If the house is located in a drier region where water is scarce, then it’s likely it will have some type of rainwater collection and storage system.

The great outdoors: functional and regenerative landscapes 

The development and design of a home’s landscaping can have an adverse impact on local ecosystems. A green home will have drought-tolerant vegetation that requires less water and pesticides. Its landscaping will work to protect native plant and animal species while also contributing to the health of surrounding wildlife habitats.

 Location matters

Green homes aren’t built on sites such as prime farmland, wetlands and wildlife habitats. Instead, the greenest development sites are “in-fill” properties, such as former parking lots, rail yards, shopping malls and factories. They should also be within easy walking distance of public transportation, stores, schools and parks.

Healthier homes lead to healthier lives.

Christina Huynh

Web Content Associate

USGBC staff



Residential offerings expanded at Greenbuild 2016

Published on 13 May 2016Written by Taryn Holowka Posted in Education

The 2016 Greenbuild Conference and Expo, which will run from Oct 5 to 7 in Los Angeles, Calif., will feature expanded education on the residential green building market.

Homes represent a critical piece of the buildings industry: not only are they the structures in which we spend a majority of our time, they’re also a sizable and valuable segment of the industry as a whole.

Consider some facts:

  1. Home buyers expect newer homes to be greener and more energy-efficient.
  2. Builders expect more than 60 percent of homes built to be green by 2020.
  3. Green homes are healthy homes—83 percent of homebuilders and remodelers believe consumers will pay more for healthier homes.
  4. Home appraisers are recognizing a greater value in green homes.

And this year, Greenbuild has expanded the offerings designed specifically for those in the residential building and construction community:

  1. Residential Track featuring educational sessions on single and multifamily buildings
  2. Residential Day: 12+ residential sessions offered on Thursday, October 6
  3. Dedicated residential product pavilion in the Expo Hall
  4. Concept Home built on show floor by KB Home

Expanded partnerships with leading organizations in the residential building community

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) provides third-party verification of the features and effectiveness of green buildings and was originally created as a green building rating system for commercial projects. Recognizing the market readiness and need for a similar certification program for residential buildings, USGBC launched the LEED for Homes program in 2008. The residential LEED rating system is a specialized program that addresses the specific needs of residential projects built to be efficient and sustainable, because every LEED-certified home is a healthy, resource-efficient and cost-effective place to live.

LEED homes are built to be healthy, providing clean indoor air and incorporating safe building materials to ensure a comfortable home. Using less energy and water means lower utility bills each month.

Greenbuild, the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building, features three groundbreaking days of inspiring speakers, invaluable networking opportunities, industry showcases, LEED workshops and tours of the host city’s green buildings. For the last 14 years, the ideals and passion of the green building community have come alive at Greenbuild. Join the thousands in the green building community this October who agree that green building is not only good for the environment but also good for business.

Taryn Holowka

Senior Vice President, Marketing, Communications & Advocacy U.S. Green Building Council

Member employees, USGBC staff


LEED Certification

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non profit organization that certifies sustainable businesses, homes, hospitals, schools, and neighborhoods. USGBC is dedicated to expanding green building practices and education, and its LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™.

Chemline, Inc. is a member of The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and has the potential to provide LEED points.