NewEnergyNews: BIG GREEN BUILDINGS

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The new challenge: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HAWAII'S UTILITIES PLAN FOR 67% RENEWABLES BY 2030
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: CAN WARREN BUFFETT'S PACIFICORP BRING THE NORTHWEST'S RENEWABLE RICHES TO MARKET?
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: A UTILITY IN THE MAKING: THE MUNICIPALIZATION OF BOULDER, COLORADO
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT NATIONAL HIGH VOLTAGE TRANSMISSION SYSTEM?
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    GET THE DAILY HEADLINES EMAIL: CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR SEND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: THE STATE OF THE U.S. WIND INDUSTRY (AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR UTILITIES)
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW SACRAMENTO'S PUBLIC UTILITY IS GETTING IN THE RESIDENTIAL SOLAR BUSINESS
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HAS APS INVENTED A ROOFTOP SOLAR BUSINESS MODEL FOR UTILITIES?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: THE GRID NEEDS INDEPENDENT DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM OPERATORS
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW SHOULD UTILITIES VALUE SOLAR?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: IS PUERTO RICO THE NEW POSTER CHILD FOR THE UTILITY DEATH SPIRAL?
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • Weekend Video: Reindeer Stresses
  • Weekend Video: Pink Fracking
  • Weekend Video: Fighting Duke For Solar
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    Your intrepid reporter

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

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  • Tuesday, July 07, 2009

    BIG GREEN BUILDINGS

    Iconic skyscrapers find new luster by going green
    Chris Kahn, July 4, 2009 (AP)

    SUMMARY
    Increasingly, buildings that show “green” credentials are more successful in an ever more competitive commercial real estate marketplace. Owners and tenants are discovering that money spent for efficiency retrofits saves on power and water and attracts customers and tenants without compromising aesthetics.

    As a consequence, specialists who combine renovation and retrofits around the U.S. are busy insulating porous walls in grand old buildings, adding high tech water-efficient plumbing systems to classic architecture and using energy-saving recycled material in carpets and tile flooring with unique period designs.

    Case 1: The prime example of a skyscraper going green is Manhattan’s Empire State Building. Perhaps the world’s most iconic commercial architecture, the owners chose to spend $120 million on a variety of Energy Efficiency retrofits to make it a more economic as well as a more marketable address. (See NEW ENERGY EFFICIENCY FOR EMPIRE STATE BUILDING)

    click to enlarge

    The Empire State Building is getting a top-to-bottom renovation that includes $13.2 million in sustainable technologies to cut the building’s greenhouse gas emissions (GhGs). The 18-month makeover, which will earn the building a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), will cost little more than any other kind of renovation. It will include retrofitting all 6,500 windows and insulating radiators. The building's lighting, cold water and ventilation systems will also be upgraded. When complete, the owners expect to get energy savings of $4.4 million a year, enough to pay off the entire upgrade in ~3 years.

    click to enlarge

    One tenant, Skanska, chose the renovated Empire State Building for its LEED platinum certification. Another, attorney Jacques Catafago, chose it because it beats the cost of buildings uptown and saves money on operational costs.

    Case 2: The Christman Building is an 81-year-old Elizabethan Revival office in Lansing, Mich., that's listed on the National Register of Historic Places. During a renovation to repair the limestone exterior and preserve unique details like the mica light fixtures, the owners upgraded to water-efficient plumbing, increased natural light and a reflective "cool" roof, at a cost of $8.5 million.

    Case 3: Chicago's 36-year-old Sears Tower, a 110-story, staggered skyscraper, is doing a 5-year, $350 million green renovation. It will add solar panels, wind turbines and 35,000 square feet of sunlight-absorbing gardens to its roofs. The improvements will cut the tower's electricity use 80% and save 24 million gallons of water.

    The numbers are conclusive. Does Green Pay Off?, a CoStar Group study by Norm Miller, Jay Spivey and Andy Florance, shows clearly that energy efficient and LEED-certified buildings have higher occupancies, get more rent, lease better and sell better (after controlling for age, size and location).

    click to enlarge

    COMMENTARY
    A few years ago, the Empire State Building retrofit might have been considered a gamble. Today, it is considered a smart investment. The results of the CoStar study show in hard, cold numbers what real estate people had already begun to intuit: In recent years, environmentally friendly retrofits have begun to pay off. Companies, especially high-profile companies, want more efficient office spaces they can show off to their increasingly environmentally-aware clientele. New technology in older, more architecturally appealing buildings translates into higher property values, higher and longer leases and better occupancy rates.

    As a result, forward-thinking building owners have been buying retrofits. Less forward thinking owners are buying retrofits, too, because their tenants and prospective tenants are demanding them.

    click to enlarge

    The Empire State Building’s experience with Skanska, which specifically shopped for a property with the USGBC LEED certification, is becoming more common. High profile companies need the “green cred” to compete, sometimes even without knowing exactly what LEED certifification means.

    Transwestern management group works with tenants looking for certified properties. 9 of the properties it works with got LEED certification in 2009. They switched light bulbs, upgraded to efficient equipment and cut energy costs an average of 2%. That’s a big deal when power rates go up 10-to-40%. While Transwestern does not report increased leasing, its buildings have so far not had reduced occupancy, despite recessionary office building vacancy rates across the country that have gone from 10.9% in 2007 to 12.4% in the first quarter of 2009.

    The CoStar study covered ~1200 Energy Star and LEED-certified buildings. Energy Star buildings are those in the highest 25% of efficiency. It compared them to ~2000 non-green buildings. All the buildings in the study were multi-tenanted Class A office buildings of 200,000 square feet or more, 5 stories or more, and built since 1970.

    click to enlarge

    Green buildings had a 90.3% occupancy rate in the first 3 months of 2009 and rented at an average of $38.86 per square foot while the non-green rate was 84.7% and the average rent was $29.80 per square foot. The study reported the increased cost of retrofits that get Energy Star ratings or LEED certification for their enhanced efficiencies to be from 1.0%-to-10.3%, depending on the rating/certification level and the location.

    The CoStar study included an answer to an especially interesting question at this juncture: If a building owner finds tenants will not pay higher rents for retrofits and upgrades, is there still value in doing them?

    The study says the answer is probably “yes” because (a) the building will likely have faster absorption (get bought, leased or rented sooner), which is a financial benefit, and (b) there will be lower operating expenses and cap rates in the short-term as well as the expected long-term energy-saving benefits.

    click to enlarge

    QUOTES
    - Anthony E. Malkin, attorney and head of real estate group owners, Empire State Building: "In a good market, we're going to get the best rents for the best tenants…In a bad market like we have now, we're going to get tenants when other buildings won't."
    - Allan Skodowski, Transwestern management group: "They say 'We want LEED,' …and that's it...If one extra tenant comes and looks at the building, if the owner gets an extra penny or so a foot, then at the end of the day it's paying for itself…"
    - Marc Heisterkamp, director of commercial real estate, U.S. Green Building Council: "This isn't just a 'We are doing the right thing' movement…In the end, the numbers pencil out."

    click to enlarge

    - Spokeswoman, Skanska, an Empire State Building tenant: "We had looked at several downtown spaces, but the Empire State Building made the most sense…"
    - Jacques Catafago, attorney, an Empire State Building tenant: "We'd be paying twice as much [uptown]…"
    - From the Executive Summary of "Does Green Pay Off?" from The Journal of Sustainable Real Estate: “These results are promising for the benefits of investment in sustainable real estate, energy savings and for the green movement now sweeping our society. The payoff from wise green investment is easy to justify even if based on purely profit motivations.”

    1 Comments:

    At 2:21 AM, Blogger CitySteelBuildings.com said...

    That's great! It will inspire others to take the same road as well!

    Making buildings energy efficient and sustainable should be the top priority of every builder and owner and to see Empire State setting such an example is terrific!

    Thanks for sharing
    Kirk J. Steel
    http://www.citysteelbuildings.com/

     

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