Archives: Sustainability

Subscribe to Sustainability RSS Feed

Prospering thru Green Building in a Changing Environment

Stuart Kaplow
I spoke to a gathering of construction industry attorneys the other day about that the changing environment of Federal government regulation portends huge business opportunities for green building. This blog post is my prepared remarks for that talk. While much of the mass media hyperbole has focused on the new Administration’s 2018 “skinny” budget request … Continue Reading

The First BREEAM USA Certification

BREEAM Oaks e
The Oaks, a 1.3 million square foot shopping mall located in Thousand Oaks, California, owned by Macerich is the first project achieve certification under the new BREEAM In-Use program for existing buildings. Macerich, a leading owner, operator and developer of major retail real estate with a portfolio of over 50 shopping malls, also earned the … Continue Reading

Deadline to Propose Changes to National Green Building Standard

icc 700
Development of the 2018 version of the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) is now underway. The NGBS is a collaborative effort between the National Association of Home Builders and International Code Council, the NGBS also known as the ICC 700 provides “green” practices that can be incorporated into new homes, including high rise multifamily buildings, … Continue Reading

California is a Model for PACE Loan Reform

Residential PACE
California’s statutory changes to its existing residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program, that became effective January 1, 2017, may be a model for residential PACE programs across the nation. The first residential PACE program started in Berkeley, California in 2007. Today there are laws in at least 34 states that allow some form … Continue Reading

Passive House is “In” in 2017

Passive House
As you consider what’s “in” and what’s “out” in 2017, within the realm of green building, Passive House is in. It is not controversial to accept that a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings at low cost, while also improving occupant comfort, is to improve the thermal performance of the building envelope. By … Continue Reading

FTC Order Restricts use of “All Natural”

ftc
The Federal Trade Commission issued a summary decision against California Naturel, Inc., for falsely advertising its sunscreen product as “all natural” in violation of Sections 5 and 12 of the FTC Act. In a December 12, 2016 opinion, written by Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, the FTC describes how the company promotes its “all natural” sunscreen on … Continue Reading

Less Climate Change Disclosure by Public Companies

SEC Headquarters
Publicly traded companies are required to disclose material business risks to investors through regular filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Since February 8, 2010, the SEC has expressly required disclosure related to climate change. While it has been controversial, the SEC’s 2010 interpretive guidance, the Commission Guidance Regarding Disclosure Related to Climate Change, which … Continue Reading

False Advertising Claims over Net Zero and LEED Certified Homes

2500 R Street
Homebuyers are making claims of false advertising over “Net Zero LEED certified” houses in midtown Sacramento – that may be neither. The website for the architect on the project, today still says, “2500 R Street located on a two acre site along the R Street light rail corridor in Midtown Sacramento, this new single-family home … Continue Reading

Increased Flexibility for LEED Multifamily Residential Projects

Multi Family 1
Dramatic changes have been announced by the U.S. Green Building Council to the LEED v4 Homes Multifamily Lowrise and Multifamily Midrise rating systems with the aim of broadening market share. Regular readers of this blog will recall that I blogged from Greenbuild last month, when Scot Horst first publicly announced dramatic changes to LEED multifamily … Continue Reading

BREEAM for Existing Buildings: The British are Coming

Barry Giles 2
BRE Global Ltd., the 97 year old Great Britain based world’s leading authority on all aspects of the built environment (.. it all started with fire testing for homes), with over 2,247,696 BREEAM registered buildings across 77 countries in its sustainability assessment method, will before the end of the year award its first BREEAM In-Use … Continue Reading

Organic on the FTC Agenda

organic event
The word “organic” as it relates to non-agricultural products is the topic of the October 20, 2016, roundtable sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is a big deal. The roundtable will explore interpretations of organic claims for products that fall outside the scope of the USDA’s National Organic … Continue Reading

The Future was on Display at Greenbuild

Greenbuild 2016
Nearly 20,000 people attended the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild 2016 convention in Los Angeles last week with more than 600 exhibiters from the green building industrial complex showcasing innovations and new products on the expo floor. Regular readers of this blog will know that I blogged  from Greenbuild last week, including Top 10 Products … Continue Reading

Less than 20% of Green Building Contracts Properly Drafted

green building contarct
In a recent review of contracts involving green building construction projects, less than 20% had properly drafted provisions addressing green building matters. 100 contracts involving green building construction projects were reviewed. The methodology was admittedly unscientific, if only in that the sample was too small given the large number of sustainable building being erected across … Continue Reading

Cannabis Cultivation has Growing Environmental Implications

Cannabis Environmental
Cannabis cultivation is not new, but beginning in the 1990s when states began to legalize medical marijuana and recently as state laws evolved, decriminalizing and legalizing recreational use of cannabis, the burgeoning industry has brought with it environmental implications, including of water and energy use. Energy consumption for cannabis cultivation can be incredibly significant and … Continue Reading

PACE Bill Due in Baltimore City

PACE Photo e final
A public hearing is scheduled tomorrow on a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan program ordinance in Baltimore City. I have been quoted saying that PACE “could be bigger than anything in U.S. real estate since the invention of the glass window.” PACE loan programs, where payments for energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy … Continue Reading

New Federal Floodplain Regulations Rewrite 100 Year Floodplain

Floodplain 0e
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is proposing to rewrite the longstanding 100 year floodplain standard for federally funded projects such that most building would now have to be 2 feet freeboard. In the name of resilience, reliability and green this proposed regulation will result in significant additional first costs for affected building. FEMA is … Continue Reading

Is California Going to Ban Cows in the Name of Climate Change?

cows grazing
The California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board has issued a “Proposed Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy” that includes the penultimate statement, California’s dairy and livestock industries account for roughly half of the State’s total methane emissions and about five percent of the State’s overall GHG emissions. About half of the emissions from the State’s … Continue Reading

Attend Greenbuild – The Best Way To Grow Your Green Building Business

Greenbuild 2015
I am often asked, “how can I expand my green building business?” My answer is simple and the same response I have offered for years, attend the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. This year Greenbuild is in Los Angeles from October 5 – 7. I do not claim any particular business marketing prowess, but Greenbuild … Continue Reading

Historic Church Appeals to Higher Authority in Solar Dispute

First Parish ee
The First Parish in Bedford, Unitarian Universalist church has appealed from a decision of the Historic District Commission of the Town of Bedford that denied First Parish’s application for a certificate of appropriateness to install solar panels on its Meetinghouse roof. The complaint filed Superior Court for the County of Middlesex, Commonwealth of Massachusetts claims … Continue Reading
LexBlog