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Archive for December, 2016

Porsche: A foundation for excellence in sustainability

Published on 6 Dec 2016 Written by Mahesh Ramanujam Posted in Industry

The name “Porsche” is often associated with the thrill of stepping on the gas, the ease of negotiating tight corners and the freedom of traveling the open road. But that is only part of the story.

Porsche is not just the name of a sports car—it is also the name of a brand devoted to excellence in performance and to bringing exceptional experiences to every customer. Porsche stands for fascinating vehicles, high-performing and resource-saving facilities, secure jobs and pioneering sustainable mobility. Porsche has set its sights on being not only the most profitable and innovative car manufacturer in the world, but also a leader in sustainability standards.

“Sustainability has always been an important guiding element in our business principles,” says the Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, Oliver Blume. “Porsche is committed to taking responsibility for people, the environment and society. The sustainable use of resources is also a key factor in remaining competitive in the long term and securing sites and jobs.”

Sustainable activities at Porsche include the environmentally friendly use of raw materials, the development of alternative fuel vehicles and a commitment to making new models even more efficient. With every new model generation, Porsche sets a challenge to reduce the fuel consumption and average emissions by 10 percent compared to previous model.

In addition, the company’s manufacturing facilities are high-performing and sustainably developed. For example, Porsche operates one of the most efficient car plants in the world in Leipzig, Germany—the CO2 emissions there are nearly 12,000 tonnes below the yearly rate of other conventional plants.

Written by Mahesh Ramanujam Posted in Industry

 

LEED plays a key role in greening affordable housing

Published on 21 Nov 2016 Written by Nick Brousse Posted in Advocacy and policy

 Trends show affordable housing becoming greener across the U.S.

The federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program and state Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs) that guide the distribution of tax credits have an outsized ability to promote green affordable housing in the United State. Global Green, with support from Neighbor Works America, recently released its much-anticipated 2016 report examining green building practices in each state’s QAP.

The report identifies leading policy trends, shares best practices and puts forward technical and policy options that can use the LIHTC program to promote human health and address overwhelming utility burdens. The results are clear: more state housing finance agencies are deploying LEED and other third-party green building rating systems as tools to ensure the environmental, economic and social benefits of sustainable building practices are brought to all.

Twenty-five state housing agencies referenced green building certification programs, including LEED, in their 2016 QAPs to provide direction to developers and confidence at the agency level that green measures are being implemented. In separate research examining 15 recently constructed or rehabbed apartment communities built to LEED or EarthCraft standards in Virginia, these communities were found to use 40 percent less energy than housing built to existing code requirements. These changes saved the average tenant $54 per month on utility bills—over $600 per year.

The new report shows that currently about half of state QAPs commit to help reduce overwhelming energy burdens for those most in need while protecting our environment. We’re pleased that LEED continues to be a key tool to help state housing finance agencies ensure that all residents, regardless of income, may enjoy the many benefits that green buildings deliver.

Written by Nick Brousse Posted in Advocacy and policy

More bike lanes and bike-parking facilities smooth the way for cyclists

Published on 9 Nov 2016 Written by Heather Benjamin Posted in LEED

As cities and individuals seek to reduce carbon emissions, bicycle lanes and parking are growing to accommodate the influx of cyclists.

One of the ways that cities worldwide try to reduce their carbon emissions is through encouraging people to ride bicycles. We may not yet reach the level of the notoriously bike-friendly Copenhagen, which has 390 kilometers of designated bike lanes, but U.S. cities are also making a big push to add lanes for cyclists. This in turn creates a need for bicycle parking facilities, as more and more commuters are taking their bicycles to central work locations.

More cyclists, more lanes

In 2012, Capital Bike Share launched in Washington, D.C., and its surrounding counties, to provide a bike-sharing system for residents and tourists alike. Four years later, there are 235 bike stations in the District alone, with a total of over 3,700 bicycles available. Cyclists with longer commutes can also load their bikes onto Metro trains and buses. The increase in cyclists on the street is changing commuting in the region.

The rise of protected bike lanes in cities has also had a major effect. People for Bikes reported in 2013 that the number of cyclists in dedicated bike lanes along Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown D.C. had grown seven times faster than the citywide average.

Among other U.S. cities, San Francisco is making protected lanes a priority, as they plan to double their current total of 13 with 26 miles of protected lanes by the end of 2017. Going beyond road striping, Chicago has begun installing curb-protected bike lanes to make commuting even safer for riders.

Bike parking gets modern

The image of the lonely bike rack in front of an occasional municipal building or school is giving way to a more modern conception of bike storage being available along every city street and in every parking garage.

2009 transportation study suggested that a combination of bike racks and showers at an office building resulted in a much greater willingness of staff to cycle to work than having bike racks alone. As employers realize that bike facilities make sense, from the point of view of both sustainability and employee wellness, they increasingly want to provide the option to their workforce.

 

Heather Benjamin Posted in LEED

Green building works for all by saving resources and creating jobs

Published on 17 Nov 2016 Written by Mahesh Ramanujam Posted in Industry

Green buildings support a thriving, innovative industry.

One thing that all Americans can agree on is the urgent need for massive improvement in our roads, bridges, energy and water systems, as well as other important infrastructure such as hospitals and schools. In fact, infrastructure investment was one of the few issues both President-elect Trump and Secretary Clinton identified as immediate domestic priorities.

High-performing, green building practices are continuing their upward trend in the U.S. and around the world, as both the public and private sectors seek to establish themselves as leaders in real estate, asset management and sustainability. With benefits ranging from lowering environmental impact to reduced operating costs to improved human experience, building green and supporting a growing green economy transcends political divides and party labels.

Building green, high-performing structures has also become a matter of national security, with our military branches leveraging LEED as a pathway to energy security and resilience, while many U.S. embassies around the globe have used LEED to create resilient facilities that can operate off-grid with their own water and energy.

In fact, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Defense constructed the first LEED Platinum, net zero energy aviation hangar at Fort Carson, Colorado. This innovative building includes high-efficiency lighting and solar panels that supply half its power needs. It is a major step in support of Fort Carson’s goal to become a net zero energy facility by 2020.

Green building benefits include reduced greenhouse gas emissions associated with their construction and operation. Green buildings are also an important part of any city’s resiliency strategy by designing structures that feature climate adaptation and climate change mitigation strategies. They also generate impressive savings, are healthier for occupants and provide conditions for greater productivity.

Beyond the benefits for owners, investors, tenants and occupants, green buildings support a thriving, innovative industry. The 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study analyzed the economic impact of green construction on the U.S. economy and found that by 2018, green construction will directly contribute 3.3 million jobs in the U.S. and generate $190.3 billion in labor earnings.

Mahesh Ramanujam Posted in Industry

LEED plays a key role in greening affordable housing

Published on 21 Nov 2016 Written by Nick Brousse Posted in Advocacy and policy

Trends show affordable housing becoming greener across the U.S.

The federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program and state Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs) that guide the distribution of tax credits have an outsized ability to promote green affordable housing in the United State. Global Green, with support from NeighborWorks America, recently released its much-anticipated 2016 report examining green building practices in each state’s QAP.

The report identifies leading policy trends, shares best practices and puts forward technical and policy options that can use the LIHTC program to promote human health and address overwhelming utility burdens. The results are clear: more state housing finance agencies are deploying LEED and other third-party green building rating systems as tools to ensure the environmental, economic and social benefits of sustainable building practices are brought to all.

Twenty-five state housing agencies referenced green building certification programs, including LEED, in their 2016 QAPs to provide direction to developers and confidence at the agency level that green measures are being implemented. In separate research examining 15 recently constructed or rehabbed apartment communities built to LEED or EarthCraft standards in Virginia, these communities were found to use 40 percent less energy than housing built to existing code requirements. These changes saved the average tenant $54 per month on utility bills—over $600 per year.

The new report shows that currently about half of state QAPs commit to help reduce overwhelming energy burdens for those most in need while protecting our environment. We’re pleased that LEED continues to be a key tool to help state housing finance agencies ensure that all residents, regardless of income, may enjoy the many benefits that green buildings deliver.

Nick Brousse Posted in Advocacy and policy

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.