Earth Hour 2012 Breaks Record; Participating CBRE Wins Accolades

For an hour starting at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 31, commercial buildings around the world turned off non-essential lights in honor of World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Earth Hour Celebration.

This year, an estimated 150 countries and territories and 6,494 towns and cities took part in Earth Hour. From the Eiffel Tower in Paris to San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, many of the world’s most iconic landmarks participated. As the lights went out in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, the City of Tucson launched the Earth Hour City Challenge initiative to create healthy competition between cities to work toward a “climate-smart future,” WWF President and CEO Carter Roberts said in a statement.

CBRE Group Inc. was among the U.S. and international organizations to take part in Earth Hour, with 722 million sq. ft. of the commercial property it manages for its clients participating, representing an estimated 26 million people in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific. In 2011 CBRE became the first global commercial real estate services firm to achieve carbon neutrality, consistent with the firm’s goal set in 2007.

This year’s Earth Hour theme of “I Will If You Will” inspired CBRE’s Global Director of Sustainability Dave Pogue to agree to install solar panels on his own home if 500 million sq. ft. of CBRE-managed space participated. CBRE participants broke the firm’s previous global record and surpassed Pogue’s goal.

In addition, CBRE Group Inc.’s Atlanta office was awarded the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2012 Innovation in LEED award in the large company category. This annual award recognizes companies and individuals who are leading the way in sustainability by focusing on green best practices, innovative new environmentally-friendly products and services and/or a mission to educate the public on environmental issues.

CBRE Atlanta manages 6.4 million sq. ft. of LEED-certified properties, 24 percent of the region’s portfolio. The CBRE Atlanta region also manages 12.4 million sq. ft. of Energy Star Rated buildings and 8.1 million sq. ft. of Energy Star Certified buildings.

Glenwood, Demand Energy Networks Partner to Pioneer Energy Storage Technology

Glenwood, a New York City developer, owner and manager of luxury rental residences, recently built its first LEED-certified apartment building. Now Glenwood is pioneering the incorporation of energy storage technology by pioneering energy storage technology at two of its properties.

Demand Energy Networks Inc., an energy storage company led by utility industry and telecom executives, has supplied its storage solution, called the Demand Shifter, to Glenwood for use in two of its luxury Manhattan rental buildings: Barclay Tower, a 58-story property in Tribeca, and The Caldwell on the Upper East Side.

Demand Energy’s storage solution uses proprietary network management and power conversion technologies as well as advanced battery technology. The solution works by storing efficient base load power that’s available during off-peak periods and utilizing it during peak periods instead of drawing from inefficient and more expensive peak power.

Demand Energy’s technology has the potential to be a game-changer for the utility industry by enabling buildings and utilities to store electricity for use during peak-demand times, which saves money, integrates intermittent renewables like wind and solar, flattens the demand curve and eases congested distribution lines.

Con Edison Green Team Awards Multifamily Customers, Contractors for Energy Savings

Con Edison’s Green Team in New York City recently honored six of its top-performing customers and three contractors for energy-saving accomplishments through its Multi-Family Energy Efficiency Program.

The program has paid out $4.7 million in incentives and helped customers save 7,100 megawatts in electricity and 75,000 dekatherms, as well as completed energy-efficiency projects in 600 multifamily buildings and installed free energy-saving measures in 11,000 apartments. Award winners were: Shore Haven Apartments LLC; Lemle & Wolff Inc.; 2612 Broadway; 2640 Frederick Douglass Blvd.; 4-17 Stokes Rd., Yonkers; 10 Fort Washington Ave.; Riverdale Electrical Services; Entech Digital Controls and OnBulb.

HOOPP’s AeroCentre V Wins NAIOP REX Award

The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan’s (HOOPP) AeroCentre V building in Mississauga, Ontario—a LEED gold office development—has won the NAIOP REX Award as Office Development of the Year.

The 225,000-sq.-ft. facility is an example of suburban infill development. It was built on the site of a parking lot so that no agricultural land had to be turned over to commercial use and existing infrastructure could be leveraged.

The AeroCentre V building is a past winner of the REX Green Award of the Year and the 2010 Mississauga Urban Design Awards Award of Excellent. HOOP is a major real estate investor, with about $5 billion in holdings.

Rooftop Solar Energy Program Approved by Los Angeles City Council

The Los Angeles City Council cleared the way for the launch of a rooftop solar-energy program by approving a measure to allow the Dept. of Water and Power to move ahead with the CLEAN LA Solar Program.

This initiative will allow local property owners to sell solar power generated from rooftops and parking lots back to the DWP using a feed-in tariff (FiT). Los Angeles will be the largest U.S. city to adopt such a program. The CLEAN LA Solar Program was launched in 2008 when Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for a 150-megawatt FiT program to be created. Enacting the full CLEAN LA Solar program, including the FiT, will create 4,500 jobs, generate $500 million in economic activity and offset 2.25 million tons of carbon emissions by 2016.

Recognizing CLEAN LA Solar’s potential, a broad coalition of businesses, environmental groups, labor organizations and other groups have joined to support it, including Trammell Crow Company, the Sierra Club and Communities for a Better Environment.

LEED Certified Commercial Building Projects Hit 12,000 Mark

The 12,000th commercial project has earned LEED certification, the U.S. Green Building Council announced on March 27.

The 12,000th commercial project is the LEED Gold Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, located in Texas, which was rebuilt after the original facility was destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008. The new facility will house new wildlife exhibits, an environmental education center and National Parks employees.

The wildlife refuge joins a community of more than 137,000 LEED-certified projects, including homes, communities and neighborhoods, around the world.

First LEED Gold Maryland Seniors Housing Project

Brightview South River, an assisted living community and memory care services facility for seniors in Edgewater, Md., has been awarded LEED Gold certification. The certification is a first for a seniors project in Maryland as well as for Brightview Senior Living, one of the largest providers of seniors housing in the U.S.

Brightview South River is one of 23 Brightview Senior Living communities in nine states, and provides residential accommodations with assisted living services for 64 residents. Thirty-five percent of the community’s electricity is being purchased from renewable energy sources.

Brightview South River is one of 23 Brightview Senior Living communities in nine states, and provides residential accommodations with assisted living services for 64 residents. Thirty-five percent of the community’s electricity is being purchased from renewable energy sources.

Plaza Construction Earns LEED Gold for HQ

Plaza Construction’s new 35,000-sq.-ft. Manhattan headquarters, comprising the entire seventh floor of 1065 Avenue of the Americas, has been awarded LEED Gold certification.

Plaza worked closely with New York-based Cosentini Associates, MEP engineeringand sustainable design consultants, throughout the design phase of its new premises, prior to relocation last July. HOK was the architect and lighting designer OneLux assisted in the design of the space. The Blackstone Group is owner of the 35-story, 681,790-sq.-ft. tower located at West 40th Street.

TRSA Clean Green Certification Sets Environmental Standard

TRSA has launched an international initiative to lead the textile services industry to greater levels of sustainability and environmental protection with its Clean Green certification program. The program recognizes companies that meet TRSA requirements for achieving efficiencies in water and energy conservation and adopting best management practices for reusing, reclaiming and recycling resources.

The certification gives the industry’s customers third-party verification that the uniforms, tablecloths, bed sheets, floor mats, towels and other reusable textiles they purchase from Clean Green certified companies are laundered using an environmentally friendly process. TRSA President and CEO Joseph Ricci noted that more business owners and operators are modifying their production technologies, processes and work habits to improve efficiency and conserve supplies.

TriZetto Group to Build New LEED Certified HQ

The TriZetto Group Inc. will build a new 165,000-sq.-ft. LEED-certified worldwide headquarters in Denver. The $110 million project will generate between 400 and 500 construction jobs.

The four-story single-tenant building will be located in the Meridian International Business Center in Douglas County, Colo. Designed with a precast and glass exterior, it will feature balconies and patios with mountain views, an employee cafeteria and 740 parking spaces.

Construction will be completed in early 2013. Opus Design Build LLC will construct the facility, Opus AE Group will serve as architect and engineer of record and Open Studio Architecture is the design architect.

Hartz Mountain Completes Nearly 4% of New Jersey’s 2011 Solar Installations

Hartz Mountain Industries constructed 11.87 megawatts of rooftop and ground-based solar arrays in 2011, representing 0.6 percent of the national total and 3.8 percent of New Jersey’s total.

Also, in December 2011, the Secaucus, N.J.-based Hartz began operation of its largest solar power installation and first ground-based array, an 8.5-megawatt field, Hamilton Solar Farm in Hamilton, N.J., comprised of over 30.000 solar modules. Hartz also installed six rooftop solar panel systems, bringing the total number of buildings providing solar power to the company and its tenants through solar paneling to 13.

New York’s One Jackson Square Earns LEED Silver

One Jackson Square, an 11-story, 30-unit luxury residential condominium facing a small park in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village Historic District, has received LEED Silver certification.

The project contains 60,000 residential sq. ft. and 7,300 sq. ft. of retail and amenities space on the ground floor and basement levels. The property, developed by Hines and RFR and designed by architect William Pedersen of Kohn Pederson Fox, won an American Institute of Architects national design honor award in May 2011. The property’s residential condominium units outsold the market, averaging $2,168 per sq. ft., and were 100 percent sold out in May 2011. The retail condominium at One Jackson Square, which includes tenants Starbucks and TD Bank, was recently sold to American Realty Capital.

One Jackson Square’s green features include energy-efficient HVAC systems, Energy Star appliances, optimal air quality systems, multiple terraces, a green roof comprising more than 20 percent of the overall site area, reduction of potable water consumption through select plantings that require only rainfall and bicycle storage for at least 15 percent of the building’s residents.

Skanska, DPR J.V. to Build State-of-the-Art Facility in U.S.

Skanska and DPR Construction, in a 50/50 joint venture, have been selected as construction manager for a 2.8 million sq.-ft. research and development facility in the U.S. for an undisclosed client. The initial contract is $256 million. The facility will incorporate green design features to achieve LEED certification.

Tishman Joins Bulgarian Green Building Council

Tishman International Companies has joined the Bulgarian Green Building Council (BGBC), a non-governmental organization that supports the European Union’s sustainable development policy. Sustainable construction is one of the six areas of focus of the European Commission’s Lead Market Initiative for Europe.

Tishman’s work in Bulgaria has provided a model for the country’s ongoing economic expansion. The firm’s Sofia Airport Center is a mixed-use development that includes Bulgaria’s first LEED-certified commercial office building.

Tishman’s BGBC membership will support the nonprofit’s efforts to foster sustainable construction throughout Bulgaria and develop a national certification system for high-performing sustainable buildings. In addition, Tishman will offer tours of Sofia Airport to Bulgarian architects, designers, developers and contractors who are preparing for the LEED Professional Credentials Exam. Sofia was the site of BGBC’s First Annual Sustainability Conference in September 2011.