IKEA Surpasses 85% Solar Presence at U.S. Locations

IKEA has plugged in the solar energy system installed at its store in Stoughton, Massachusetts. The 118,000-sq.-ft. PV array consists of a 590.8-kW system, built with 4,220 laminated panels. IKEA Stoughton’s program will produce approximately 695,000 kWh of clean electricity annually—the equivalent of reducing 479 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 94 cars or powering 60 homes yearly.

This installation represents the 38th completed solar project for IKEA in the United States, with one more location underway, making the eventual IKEA solar presence nearly 90 percent of its U.S. locations, with a total generation of 38 MW. IKEA owns and operates each of its rooftop solar PV energy systems and globally has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015. This investment reinforces the long-term commitment of IKEA to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology. In line with the company’s goal of being energy independent by 2020, IKEA has installed more than 250,000 solar panels on its buildings across the world and owns/operates approximately 110 wind turbines in Europe.

LEED Required For All GSA Buildings

It’s official: The federal government likes green building. The Green Building Advisory Committee established by the General Services Administration (GSA) recently officially recommended to GSA that the LEED green building certification system be used for all GSA buildings. The committee also deems LEED to be the primary way to show how agency buildings use energy and water and decided that LEED standards are the most conducive to meet the Energy Independence and Security Act.

The committee has evaluated more than 160 tools and systems since being founded in 2011. In February, GSA released a request for information that publicly lauded the value of green building rating systems like LEED, and asked for additional input into important issues that could help GSA accelerate and improve its green building work.

“Consensus-based and market-driven LEED has been and continues to be invaluable to thousands of building professionals and remains the best option for the GSA and any governmental agency looking to save taxpayer dollars and increase energy efficiency,” Roger Platt, senior vice president of global policy and law at the U.S. Green Buildings Council, said in a statement. “Every single time green building and LEED have been evaluated by our most prestigious institutions, like the National Academy of Sciences, the National Research Council and the National Laboratories, the practice or green building and LEED certification has been shown to save taxpayer dollars and increase energy efficiency.”

According to Federal News Radio, GSA received more than 400 comments from 162 stakeholders from all facets of the building and academic industries as well as local federal and local government agencies. The full list of comments will be released later this spring, but the recommendation to use LEED comes from a study of more than 160 tools and standards, which found that only three of them addressed the entire building system.

A study done by The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found that GSA LEED-certified buildings used 25 percent less energy than the national average and cost 19 percent less to operate. GSA’s application of LEED has helped in the agency’s building efficiency efforts, and there are now more than 4,000 LEED-certified government projects with another 8,000 in the pipeline as registered projects. A recent report from GSA shows the agency has successfully reduced its energy use by almost 20 percent since 2003 and water use by almost 15 percent since 2007.

AKA Beverly Hills Offers Complimentary Bicycles to Residents

AKA Beverly Hills, a facility owned by the national extended-stay company AKA, located at 155 North Crescent Drive in Beverly Hills, is adding complimentary custom bicycles to its bevy of innovative, added-value amenities. The bicycles are designed by Republic Bike, a brand that has been widely recognized in the media. This new perk will help facilitate travel for any resident wanting to travel a little greener. Residents of AKA Beverly Hills furnished apartments can take a spin through the streets of Beverly to Rodeo Drive, the Beverly Hills Farmers’ Market, or Whole Foods just a block away. AKA bicycles can accommodate any shopping bags in the bike’s front basket.

New Sustainability Report from KBM Highlights a Growing Commitment to Green

KBM Facility Solutions,a national provider of facility solutions, released its 2012 Corporate Sustainability Report. This report highlights KBM’s continued dedication to greening its programs and its customers’ facilities. Reduction in energy, water and waste consumption has been an ongoing focus for KBM’s green initiatives. Eighty-six percent of the total energy used at KBM’s national headquarters in 2012 was produced by a solar power. In addition, its recent replacement of the HVAC system has achieved 42 percent efficiency gains and has also contributed to a five percent decline in natural gas consumption. Its new high-efficiency cool roof reflects heat and sunlight, reducing internal temperatures during warm months by approximately 70 percent.

In 2012, KBM reduced its water use by 19 percent from the previous year. This decrease is consistent with reductions in previous years, despite the addition of 25 percent more employees to its workforce. Upcoming water reduction efforts include removing a large lawn area and replacing it with an “Arizona” garden with plants that will require 75 percent less water.

Last year, KBM recycled 21 tons of recyclable material and reduced its total waste consumption by six percent from 2010—the year KBM began measuring its waste consumption. It also implemented a new program to recycle outdated or unused electronic items for its customers, including computers, printers and fax machines.

With an organizational structure that emphasizes sustainable practice, KBM makes every manager responsible for setting their own environmental goals. Every KBM office has a social and environmental coordinator who supports managers with ongoing training, best practices and resources to achieve these goals. In 2012, KBM’s frontline employees completed a total of 6,848 hours of Green Certified training, or an average of 17 hours per employee.

KeyBank Signs Green Lease

Key Bank signed a 15-year “green lease” for 487,000 sq. ft. of office space in its namesake high-rise in downtown Cleveland, Key Tower. The new lease will become effective July 1, 2015, and represents the largest corporate headquarters “green lease” transaction to-date in the United States.

KeyCorp’s new lease includes agreements related to an environmental management plan, building commissioning, recycling, environmental performance reporting, alternative energy, sustainability tax credits, alternative transportation, water efficiency, sustainable purchasing, air quality and other sustainability programs.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s sustainability team represented KeyCorp in the transaction.

HFF Arranges $81M for LEED-Gold Class-A Offices in San Francisco

HFF arranged $81 million in financing for 475 Sansome Street, a 21-story, 353,269-sq.-ft. class-A office building in San Francisco. HFF worked on behalf Multi-Employer Property Trust and its real estate advisor, Bentall Kennedy, to secure the 10-year, fixed-rate loan through Prudential Mortgage Capital Company.

The property is located in the North Financial District submarket adjacent to two of San Francisco’s landmark office properties, Transamerica Pyramid Center and the Embarcadero Center. Renovated most recently in 2012, the LEED-EB Gold office building is 90 percent leased to tenants including Oracle, Amazon.com, Bank of the West and Yahoo!, who combined occupy more than half of the property.

The HFF team representing the borrower was led by senior managing director Bruce Ganong, managing director Cary Abod and director Chris Gandy.

JPMorgan Chase Joins NYC Mayor's Carbon Challenge

JPMorgan Chase has joined the NYC Mayor’s Carbon Challenge to Commercial Offices, an initiative to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from some of the largest commercial building owners and tenants in New York City over the next 10 years. With 9.4 million sq. ft. of office space in New York City, JPMorgan Chase is the largest participant.

The initiative is part of a larger program that engages private organizations and institutions to help meet the City’s PlaNYC target of reducing citywide greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Each participant has agreed to track carbon emissions and create an emissions reduction strategy.

“The Carbon Challenge is an essential partnership between the City and our businesses, universities and organizations who share our commitment to a greener, greater New York,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. “I want to applaud the commitment of JPMorgan Chase and the other companies making the Carbon Challenge pledge, as well as the universities and hospitals that have already taken steps to become more efficient. JPMorgan Chase’s leadership on this issue is not only going to move our city toward a more sustainable future; we also hope it will inspire others to follow suit.”

Morrison & Foerster Relocates L.A. Office to LEED Gold Aon Center

Morrison & Foerster has relocated its Los Angeles office to the LEED-Gold office building 707 Wilshire Boulevard, after more than 20 years in offices in the Gas Company Tower at 555 West 5th Street.

Morrison & Foerster has entered into a 15-year lease at the building. The firm’s new office is housed in the top four floors of the 62-story Aon Center in downtown, and occupies more than 77,000 sq. ft. The building, which was designed in the early 1970s by Charles Luckman and was awarded LEED Gold certification in 2010, formerly defined the Los Angeles skyline, and remains one of the tallest, most recognizable buildings on the West Coast. Aon Center is bounded by Wilshire Boulevard, 6th Street, Flower Street and Hope Street, and is located within one mile of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Our Lady of Angels Cathedral, the Staples Center and Los Angeles Convention Center.

One of the largest law firms in California, Morrison & Foerster maintains five full-service offices statewide, including San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Diego and Sacramento. The firm’s Los Angeles office, founded in 1974, has approximately 100 lawyers, and is a leader in providing transactional, regulatory, real estate, employment, patent and litigation services to financial institutions, venture and institutional investors, Fortune 500 and technology-based companies, and the real estate and entertainment industries.

RILA Honored with U.S. EPA SmartWay Affiliate Challenge Award

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) joins an elite group of seven SmartWay Affiliates honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a 2013 SmartWay Affiliate Challenge award. EPA has recognized these Affiliates on the SmartWay website, in the SmartWay E-news letter and in industry trade publications as part of its Earth Day activities.
The SmartWay Affiliate Challenge is a national challenge developed by EPA to acknowledge SmartWay Affiliates that have initiated and executed exceptional recruiting, promotional and marketing activities in support of our shared goals to reduce truck emissions and improve freight efficiency. These affiliates serve as role models for other SmartWay affiliates and partners.
The challenge was open to all SmartWay Affiliates. Participating organizations submitted an application and supporting materials describing various activities they accomplished during the period of March 1, 2012 to March 1, 2013. 

Sustainable Enterprise/Capital One Multifamily Development Opens on Earth Day

The ceremonial grand opening of The Greens at Irvington Mews on Earth Day drew U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and other dignitaries who joined Enterprise and Capital One Bank, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, Baltimore Housing, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

Located in southwest Baltimore City, on a site that once served as the Irvington Loop for the #8 trolley line, the newly constructed $16 million development is comprised of 82 one-bedroom and 18 two-bedroom apartments, 10 of which are fully accessible, including two units with features for sensory-impaired adults. The development is built to the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, the first national framework for building green affordable housing and community buildings, and meets the standards for both LEED Silver mid-rise and Energy Star multi-family high-rise residential buildings.

The four-story development, located across the street from Mount Saint Joseph High School, was designed by Hord Coplan Macht to respect the residential and commercial nature of the

surrounding neighborhoods while meeting the sustainability requirements of the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria. Energy-efficient features include Energy Star windows, lights, bathroom exhaust fans and appliances. The development exceeds code energy efficiency levels by at least 20 percent, with the installation of Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) multi-split HVAC systems. The VRF system enhances energy efficiency by reacting to the heat and air conditioning needs of each room, while conventional systems attempt to heat the whole building. Other green and sustainable features are low-VOC paint, Green Label carpet, and water-conserving plumbing fixtures. Energy efficient framing techniques were used to provide greater exterior wall insulation. In addition, the exterior skin of the building is comprised entirely of highly durable materials, a combination of brick, fiber cement lap siding and cement fiber panels, all of which contribute to a reduction in energy costs. 

The Greens at Irvington Mews features over 5,000 sq. ft. of common area space, including a fitness center, TV lounge, computer center, lounge, community room and hospitality suite. One of the unique features is the placement of the community room and balconies overlooking the Mount Saint Joseph High School athletic fields across the street. Residents of the development also have convenient access to shopping, public transportation and medical facilities.

Capital One provided $13 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity through Enterprise Community Investment, Inc.; $600,000 in permanent financing; and an $8.4 million loan during construction. Additional financing for the development was funded through Baltimore City HOME funds; Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds for land acquisition; Maryland Brownfield Remediation Incentive Program funds for land remediation; a Deferred Developer Fee; and funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta.

Mack-Cali’s Roseland Property Achieves LEED Silver

Mack-Cali Realty Corp.’s 105 Eisenhower Parkway at Eisenhower/280 Corporate Center in Roseland, N.J., has been awarded LEED-EB: OM 2009 Silver certification. 105 Eisenhower Parkway joins 8 Campus Drive in Mack-Cali Business Campus in Parsippany and Liberty Corner Corporate Center, 106 Allen Road, in Bernards Township, joining a handful of multi-tenanted office buildings in the state to achieve LEED Silver. 

Highlights of the building’s sustainability achievements include an Energy Star rating of 93, which places the building in the top 7 percent of similar buildings in terms of energy efficiency; use of highly-efficient plumbing fixtures providing water savings of approximately 17 percent; modifications to the building’s irrigation system provide a 74 percent reduction in water use for irrigation, as well as a dedicated meter to monitor ongoing performance; recycling efforts resulting in a 45 percent diversion rate of recyclables from landfill of ongoing consumable waste and a 100 percent diversion rate of durable goods from entering the waste stream; an integrated pest management plan incorporating non-toxic measures for animal and vegetative pest control; and a green cleaning pProgram, implemented as part of a comprehensive building-wide indoor air quality program. This project was completed by the Mack-Cali property management team, with Gerard Hazel of Sustainable Systems LLC providing consulting services.

Partners Group Invests in Green Alternative to Hong Kong Island Offices

Partners Group, a global private markets investment manager, has invested in a BEAM Plus-rated green 13-storey warehouse building located conveniently close to transport links on Hung To Road in Hong Kong’s Kowloon East, on behalf of its clients.

Kowloon East, formerly a largely industrial area, is emerging as an important office sub-market, with the Hong Kong government launching an initiative to transform it into a more affordable, alternate central business district to Hong Kong Island.

Aligned with the government’s strategy, Partners Group’s investment will support the conversion of the warehouse building into a class-A office building with a modern design and BEAM Plus rating, a green building label recognized by the Hong Kong Green Building Council. After conversion, the office building will be suitable for large occupiers from a range of industries including financial services and manufacturing, which are seeking premium office space at more affordable rents than those offered in Hong Kong Island’s Central district.