Tag Archives: LEED

Five Inconvenient Truths -Global steel industry

Interesting article, it discusses trade, overcapacity, raw materials, growth/slow down in building, and re-purposing of existing mills.  Maybe that is true. Read more here.

I must admit I am most intrigued by the existence of this group:

John Lichtenstein is a managing director for Accenture Strategy and the global lead of Accenture’s metals group.
The article did not discuss:  
  1. Changes in Environmental regulation. What if the total cost of an item was part of the selection process for materials (Aluminum vs. Steel)? What if LEED building specified LOCAL MATERIAL use or adding the effects of long distance shipping into the environmental degradation? What if shipping companies were forced to contribute money to the clean-up of the plastic gyre in the Pacific Ocean when shipping across the Pacific Ocean?  Unlikely, but possible and more sensible than carbon credits.
  2. Quality of the steel produced in China (I’d really like to know why the Bay Bridge is rusting with its low quality steel imported from China), coupled with the environmental devastation caused by converting raw materials to finished goods in a country that does not have strict environmental regulations and technologies.
  3. The main premise that global demand is slowing and will remain so, flies in the face of the greatest population being urban, and the population continues to expand. Housing in urban areas is made with steel, when it is high-density.

There is always room to learn more. I’ll be interested in Accenture’s next set of statistics.

There are many other Accenture articles; here is another from the same author.

IEEE Event, Speaker Heath Blount, Brightworks

49ers’ New Levi’s Stadium: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at This Impressive Green Stadium
Monthly Meeting – Jan. 27, 2015 – TUESDAY

WhereSinbad’s Restaurant
Pier 2 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, California
United States 94111

Speaker: Heath Blount, Brightworks
All sports fans are excited about the newly constructed Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, the new home of the San Francisco 49ers. But facilities engineers will be especially interested to hear about the many green features of the impressive new stadium. This presentation will provide a behind-the-scenes look at what makes Levi’s Stadium an important green stadium. Topics will include the stadium’s 1,162 solar panels; the high-efficiency, water-conserving toilets and sinks; the vegetative roof utilizing native plants; the use of recycled construction materials; the installation of high-efficiency LED lighting; and the electric vehicle charging stations. The speaker also will discuss that the stadium is working toward LEED for New Construction Gold certification, and may become the first NFL stadium to achieve that distinction.

SF IEEE IAS Chapter Upcoming Events: Monthly Meetings and Seminars
IEEE Industry Applications Society (IAS) San Francisco Chapter

SF IAS Workshop – Feb. 27, 2015 – Seminar

Seminar agenda

It’s a Day Long Seminar with many useful and current Topics:
An Introduction to NFPA 70E – 2015 Gary Fox (GE)
ATS Science Jay Tucker (GE)
Medium Voltage Generator System Grounding Chris Small (Laeverco, Post Glover)
NEC Code Article 250 – Grounding Mike Stone (NEMA) John Taecker (UL)
Utility Interconnection for Alternate Power Sources Chase Sun (PG&E) Hamid Matinpour (Mazzetti)
Elect Eng’s Solutions to T24 Compliance John Griffiths (Mazzetti) Geoffrey Yamasaki (Mazzetti)
Electrical Engineer’s Solutions to T24 Compliance Rick Miller (RNM Eng)
The Electrical Engineer’s BIM Technology Jessie Avery P.E., LEED (Mazzetti)

EcoCenter–Environmental Education Gets a New Lease On Life in SF

SAN FRANCSICO, CA – March 25, 2014 – In a joint effort to increase and expand environmental education in southeast San Francisco, Aquarium of the Bay became the new leaseholder of the EcoCenter in Bayview Hunters Point.

As of March 1, Aquarium of the Bay joined forces with City College of San Francisco, the A. Philip Randolph Institute of San Francisco and the Port of San Francisco, and has already begun adding to the EcoCenter’s repertoire of community engagement and environmental education. “Our partnership with Aquarium of the Bay, City College of San Francisco, and the A. Phillip Randolph Institute has created an extraordinary blend of talents to manage and operate educational programs at the EcoCenter,” said Monique Moyer, Port Executive Director. “This unique partnership demonstrates a collaborative approach to enhancing environmental education and social justice programs for students, community organizations, and the public throughout San Francisco.”

The EcoCenter is one of the greenest buildings in San Francisco–it is a landmark in sustainable development and a model environmental education facility serving youth and families in southeast San Francisco. Its mission to engage and educate the public about the connections between healthy ecosystems and healthy urban life is a vision that Aquarium of the Bay shares, and is committed to maintaining. “We are so excited to expand our outreach programs to Bayview Hunters Point and to collaborate with such amazing partners on this new venture,” said Carrie Chen, Director of Education and Conservation at Aquarium of the Bay. “With our combined passion for the Bay and expertise in environmental education, we have the opportunity to create something truly amazing for the community of southeast San Francisco.”

With a mission to protect, restore, and inspire the conservation of San Francisco Bay from the Sierra to the sea, Aquarium of the Bay was a natural fit for the EcoCenter, whose sustainability is literally through the roof. The EcoCenter boasts a variety of impressive features, including an “off-the-grid” solar energy system, a living roof, rainwater harvesting system, an on-site wastewater treatment system with indoor constructed wetland, permeable pavements, sustainable building materials, and other resource efficient design features. The EcoCenter is the first building in Bayview Hunters Point to be certified LEED Platinum-the highest certification possible-and is the only net-zero energy building in San Francisco.

The Southeast Sector is historically known for a heavily industrialized past and continues to recover after years of blight and neglect. In a community with such a rich history, the EcoCenter will be a refreshing location where youth and young adults from the immediate neighborhood will have an opportunity to gain new experiences, explore natural habitats, and access enrichment activities that will make lasting life impressions. The A. Philip Randolph Institute will lead community engagement efforts, leveraging years of experience in building relationships in the Southeast Sector. “This is an opportunity to inspire young people to become aware of their environment, get involved in preserving their city, and become leaders of the community for the future San Francisco,” said Jacqueline Flin, Executive Director of the A. Philip Randolph Institute of San Francisco.

Over the past two years, Peggy Lopipero-Langmo of City College of San Francisco has used the EcoCenter as a living classroom where students were involved in day-to-day operations, maintenance, monitoring, and research, as well as the conduct of tours and programming for K-12 students through working professionals. The Port of San Francisco has also provided environmental education and volunteer programs for K-12 schools and other groups through a partnership with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department’s Youth Stewardship Program. The Port and Recreation and Parks Department will continue these programs in conjunction with City College and Aquarium of the Bay. Aquarium of the Bay will grow capacity of the EcoCenter, adding curriculum for K-12 school groups and additional opportunities for the public, school children and volunteers to get involved. “The EcoCenter is an ideal setting for students to acquire work experience in sustainable development and environmental science,” said Lopipero-Langmo. “With Aquarium of the Bay at the helm, we will finally see the EcoCenter’s vision realized.”

About EcoCenter

The EcoCenter is a living classroom that demonstrates how we can better use the Earth’s resources in order to foster healthy people, ecosystems, and economies in our local communities and beyond. The EcoCenter is located in southeast San Francisco within Heron’s Head Park, a formerly underutilized area of fill in the Bay, which the Port developed as a park and wetland habitat in 1998. Today, Heron’s Head Park is comprised of eight acres of wetlands, 14 public park areas, and is a model for waterfront redevelopment, wetlands restoration, and habitat protection through community involvement. With many of the center’s programs inspired by the features of the building, educational topics include environmental science and natural resource conservation, principles of environmental justice and sustainability, ecology of Heron’s Head Park, green building technologies, sustainable building design implemented by the EcoCenter itself, and more. To learn more visit www.ecocenterhhp.org.

About Aquarium of the Bay

Aquarium of the Bay is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit nature center affiliated with The Bay Institute, with a combined mission to protect, restore and inspire the conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed-from the Sierra to the sea. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and certified as a Green Business by the city of San Francisco. Located next to the beautiful San Francisco Bay and on the world famous PIER 39, Aquarium of the Bay is San Francisco’s only waterfront aquarium. Dedicated to the diverse marine life and ecosystems of the Bay, Aquarium of the Bay is home to approximately 20,000 animals found in the San Francisco Bay and along the California coast. Additional information about Aquarium of the Bay is available at www.aquariumofthebay.org.


Green Hotels, New Report

More Business Travellers Opting For Green-Certified Hotels

 According to a new report from Timetric, an increasing number of business travellers are opting for green-certified hotels in an effort to curb the impact of their frequent travelling.


Business travellers are increasingly prioritising green-certified hotels, according to a new survey by market research firm Timetric. According to its Global Business Traveler Survey 2013 report, 47% of respondents confirmed that it is ‘important’ for them to stay in green-certified hotels during business trips. 7% of the respondents consider green certifications to be an ‘extremely important’ factor in their choice of hotel.How hotels are going greenSurvey results show that for a hotel to be considered green, respondents consider ‘low-energy light bulbs’ and ‘reduced use of plastic materials’ to be the main sustainability facilities that hotels should adopt. ‘Solar-energy water heating’ was another important factor, particularly for respondents in the Asia-Pacific region. Respondents from companies operating in North America and Europe consider ‘timer lighting systems’ and ‘post-consumer recycled paper products’ as important actions to be undertaken by hotels. Hotel chains are also implementing measures to curtail plastic waste generation.Bali’s hotels set an example

According to the Timetric research, the Bali Hotels Association (BHA) was successful in reducing the use of plastic in 2012 with the introduction of its ‘Say No to Disposable Plastics’ campaign. A total of 30 participating hotels within the Island were successful in attaining average reduction in plastic use by 23%. A senior executive from the association said: “When we launched this program in April 2011, our aim was to see an overall reduction of 20%. The fact that we have exceeded this is testament to our members’ commitment to preserving Bali’s natural heritage, both as a tourism destination and for its inhabitants.”

Realising the increasing customer preference for green hotels, several hotel chains have started to invest in obtaining green certification and in reducing their carbon footprint.

The Timetric report; ‘Global Business Traveler Survey 2013: Hotel Accommodation, Selection Criteria and Customer Expectations of New Technology, Promotions and Services was published on the 26th July 2013.

SF Bay Area Locals: I have asked for information on US / Local green hotels. We’ll see what information this group shares with us. I have a few suggestions: You might want to check out the hotel at the Presidio, not only is it in a beautiful place filled with history and views of the Golden Gate Bridge, but it is in an area that feels calm and lovely. You can hike the trails and walk up grassy slopes or down to Crissy Field. It is a beautiful part of the city.

In the Sacramento area, the Arden Acres Cottages get high marks with many people staying longer than they were expecting because it is wonderful –they are a welcome addition for the CA Capital area.  –editor

New Palo Alto Weekly LEED Building, Tour 10/10

Please join us for an informal open house this Sunday, Oct. 10 from 10-1 at our new offices at 450 Cambridge Ave., just one block north of California Ave. and a block east of El Camino.

Our building has received its LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and we want to share with the community the features that make the building the “greenest” in Palo Alto, and hopefully a model for future commercial developments.

Self-guided tours and refreshments will be available, and while you’re here you can enjoy the biannual Jewish cultural street festival, “It’s Life,” also taking place Sunday afternoon on California Ave. (between 11 and 5.) There should be plenty of parking on the second level of the city parking garage across the street from our office (behind Country Sun.)

If you can’t make it on Sunday, feel free to stop by anytime and we’d be delighted to show you the building.

Hope to see you Sunday,

Bill Johnson
Palo Alto Weekly

Embarcadero Media
450 Cambridge Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94306

One Company’s Green Journey

Teller Andrea W. of Denver is an banking agent on a mission.

Her green bracelet identifies her as one of Wells Fargo’s first “sustainability agents”—banking store team members who help customers and fellow team members better understand the company’s green practices and products and commitment to environmental stewardship.

Working together, the Environmental Affairs team and Distribution Strategies & Services launched the program last spring. Today there are 35 agents in Arizona, California, Colorado and Illinois. Coming soon: sustainability agents in stores in Kansas, Missouri and Texas.

“Many customers come into our stores wanting to know what measures we’re taking to protect the environment,” said Sheri Lucas, program manager for LEED Construction & Standardization (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design®).

“It’s one thing to have a poster or brochure describing your conservation efforts, but it’s much more effective to have a team member who can answer questions in a meaningful way,” Lucas said. “Through our sustainability agents, we can be sure these efforts are being effectively communicated, promoted and practiced in our stores. Our plan is eventually to have agents in stores nationwide.”

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED program provides third-party verification that a building was designed and built to conserve and protect natural resources.

Store managers nominate team members, who then undergo four hours of training each year. Although the program focuses on stores that have solar power and stores that meet LEED standards (either as new or renovated buildings), team members from any banking store can participate if selected by a manager.

wells fargo green team

Sustainability agents are go-to sources for:

  • Local recycling guidelines (and compost, if available).
  • Use of recycled paper products and paper reduction efforts, including two-sided printing for internal items and paperless campaigns for customers (Envelope-FreeSM ATMs and online statements).
  • Purchase of environmentally friendly supplies such as compostable utensils and plates in break areas and Energy Star-rated office equipment.
  • Energy-saving practices such as turning off the lights after business hours or when leaving conference rooms.
  • Health and comfort issues (such as “green cleaning” programs).
  • Solar programs and products such as the store’s solar panel installation and customer options for solar financing.
  • Green store features and Wells Fargo’s other environmental stewardship programs.

Andrea W., who joined Wells Fargo in August 2009, works in the Highlands Ranch store—one of 10 solar-energy-powered stores in a pilot of the technology in Denver. Since being selected by her manager, she’s not only become an expert on the store’s solar power system and company practices but also has found some of her own ways to lessen environmental impacts.

“At the conclusion of each business day, we used to put deposit slips in envelopes bundled together until the deposit slips needed to be shipped out,” she said. “I changed the practice so we now rubber-band the deposit slips from each teller with a date slip. This has saved us 50 envelopes a week and taken some of the paper waste out of our daily usage.”
Mary Wenzel, head of Environmental Affairs, said Wallace’s actions illustrate another benefit of the sustainability agent program.

“It’s a great way to generate new ideas and best practices that can be shared throughout the company,” Wenzel said, noting plans to launch an internal social media site for agents to make the exchange even easier. “It’s like a continuous green communications loop! Plus, it’s a great way to gather feedback from our customers and to listen to them and use that knowledge to continue to put them at the center of everything we do.”

Green practices also are good business, Wenzel said, noting national studies showing 92 percent of young professionals prefer to go to work at environmentally friendly companies. The research also suggests those already employed are more than four times as likely to stay at such companies versus those with less-stellar environmental records.

Although it’s just one part of her daily routine, Wallace said that being a sustainability agent has made her more conscious of her own choices.

“The most important piece of the program to me is the fact that we’re trying to make the eco-friendly attitude a part of everyone’s daily life—something that everyone is conscious of every single day,” she said. “Whether it’s turning off lights or putting things in the proper recycling bin, being an agent has changed my personal life as well. Now, I’m making other people aware of how little things can add up to big savings, and it’s become a passion of mine.”

Note: Most companies have this opportunity to make a difference. Great corporations like Wells Fargo, can make a difference, and promote green policies. It is thrilling and inspiring to see the changes in the corporate mindset.  The team members have more job satisfaction and customers are pleased to know that this company is in line with thier green thinking.  – Jacqueline

Greener Office Supplies

To help your company qualify for the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance (EBOM) Volume Certification program you will make greener choices. Part of those standards involves the types of office supplies used. Several companies have made supply lists which feature items with at least 10 percent post-consumer content or 20 percent post-industrial material. A key element to going greener, is to take the guess-work OUT!
One method: by using StaplesLink, (part of the online Staples store) your company creates a list of green office supplies and its products have an impact by helping employees select more sustainable office supply options and making them readily available.  Anything that makes the selection and check-out quicker makes my company WANT to participate in going greener.

Another Method: Get a “GreenWatch” group going in your company! If this is their passion they will love searching out the best products and most progressive ideas. It is a huge bonus to buyers groups and trickles down to the families in the company because this green purchasing information is very valuable.  Make sure to document your decisions, so you can share your results. Don’t worry about every decision being perfect, the fact that your group is making the effort and working together has a huge positive effect for your company and employees.

Blue, Gold, & Green – Lair Sustainability

Reducing Paper Waste, a great place to focus at the Bear’s Lair Camp which continues this summer with the introduction of GreenSpec-Listed and LEED-Qualifying high-speed hand dryers! These dryers will have a dry time of just 12 seconds while using half the energy of other hand dryers AND perhaps most importantly, the Blue and Gold pool kids will be using significantly less paper towels this season. This will be the first step in evaluating the functionality of this concept at camp – it is hoped that we will integrate more hand dryers throughout all the camps to continue to reduce the Lair’s overall paper consumption.