Chicago snags green city spotlight for second year running

August 24, 2018 by  
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A new study has revealed Chicago to be the greenest city to work in within the U.S for the second consecutive year. About 70 percent of the Windy City’s office spaces are certified for energy efficiency, up from 66 percent last year. Other top cities include San Francisco, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Each year, the U.S. Commercial Real Estate Services (CBRE Group) surveys buildings in the 30 largest U.S real estate market areas and evaluates the results in collaboration with  Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Results depend on the amount of square footage of LEED – or Energy Star-certified commercial buildings constructed within a city. This year’s records show an extraordinary total of 4,700 green buildings in these 30 areas. The total square footage now accounts for 41 percent of all office spaces. CBRE Senior Vice President David Pogue revealed that green certification has “become a proxy for good building management,” in recent years. “Particularly in the services sector, a lot of their energy use and environmental impact is in the buildings they occupy, so the tenant base is demanding this, and institutional financiers also believe a sustainable building is a better building,” he said. According to the EPA, commercial buildings account for approximately 19 percent of total energy use in the country. As such, they are often the largest contributors of carbon emissions within cities. To combat this, LEED certification was established by The Green Building Council, which recognizes Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) through evaluation of aspects such as water systems and energy efficiency. Similarly, the EPA’s own Energy Star program focuses on strict performance standards in the energy category. “So many buildings have become dependent on this as a way of demonstrating quality to investors and corporate tenants,” Pogue added. “It’s going to cause every building to go back and reconsider what their energy use is — and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.” Chicago is well on its way to reaching its goal of 100 percent renewable energy in city-run properties by 2025. Close competitors include San Francisco, with 64 percent of its office spaces certified as energy-efficient. Also notable is Los Angeles, which has the most Energy Star buildings, 716 in total, compared to Chicago’s 339. Via Bloomberg Images via Alan Stark and Michel Curi

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Chicago snags green city spotlight for second year running

10 minutes with Amanda von Almen, Salesforce

August 13, 2018 by  
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A green building evangelist shares how she convinced the tech giant’s real estate team to prioritize the environmental and health aspects of the company’s workspaces.

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10 minutes with Amanda von Almen, Salesforce

Solar-powered mountain home is a sustainable prototype for Aspen development

June 22, 2018 by  
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Like in many places across the U.S., the real estate market is booming in Aspen , Colorado. And, as companies move in to replenish the dwindling housing inventory, one real estate developer hopes to provide a more sustainable alternative to the inevitable onslaught of cookie-cutter homes. Working in collaboration with San Francisco-based Aidlin Darling Design , the developer has completed a solar-powered dwelling that serves as a new energy-efficient prototype for speculative real estate in Aspen. Located on the steep slopes of Red Mountain, the Aspen Residence boasts spectacular panoramic views that overlook Aspen to the west and an undeveloped landscape to the south. The spacious home covers an area of 9,618 square feet and is oriented on a north-south axis to maximize views, preserve privacy, and optimize passive solar strategies. To tie the contemporary design to the landscape, the architects used local materials and long stone walls that anchor the space into the hillside and frame outdoor spaces that function as extensions of indoor living areas. “The client, a developer with an earnest desire to change the real estate paradigm in Aspen, desired a more sustainable, site-sensitive , and modern alternative to the usual developments,” explains Aidlin Darling Design. “The design challenges conventional notions of interior and exterior, absorbing the surrounding landscape.” Related: Solar-powered Colorado school houses a sun-soaked learning environment Sustainability is key to the design. The Aspen Residence’s rooftop is integrated with a 12.6 kW solar photovoltaic array as well as a green roof and solar hot water panels. The roof is also designed to slow and reduce stormwater runoff in conjunction with the on-site bio-retention pond. To reduce energy demands, the home is wrapped in closed cell spray foam insulation and punctuated with glazed windows and doors that let in natural light and promote natural ventilation. Moreover, energy-efficient radiant heating is built into the floor slabs and a heat recovery ventilation system recaptures heat from exhausted indoor air. + Aidlin Darling Design Images via Aidlin Darling Design

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Solar-powered mountain home is a sustainable prototype for Aspen development

Why retailers like Target are powering up more EV charging infrastructure

April 23, 2018 by  
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The investments could appeal to new sorts of shoppers.

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Why retailers like Target are powering up more EV charging infrastructure

Hyperloop TT plans to build working line in the UAE next year

April 18, 2018 by  
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It’s been a busy week for Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT): they began building a test track in France , and now they’ve just announced the signing of an agreement with Aldar Properties , a Abu Dhabi real estate developer, for what HyperloopTT described as “the first commercial Hyperloop system in the UAE .” Hyperloop plans to start construction next year, with the first section open by 2020. ? Aldar Properties and HyperloopTT signed a memorandum of understanding for a commercial Hyperloop system, including a Hyperloop Visitor Center and HyperloopTT’s XO Square Innovation Center. This agreement will allow the California-based company to start building an around six-mile Hyperloop system. The site is near the border between Abu Dhabi and Dubai , near the Al Maktoum International Airport and the location for Expo 2020 . In fact, HyperloopTT chairman Bibop Gresta said with regulatory support, they aim to have the first Hyperloop section operational in time for the expo. Related: HyperloopTT is building the world’s third Hyperloop test track in France Aldar Properties CEO Talal Al Dhiyebi said in the statement, “We believe that Hyperloop technology can have a major positive impact on the lives of all those living within our communities, and we look forward to this possibility becoming a reality.” HyperloopTT said they would build the Hyperloop system in several phases, and although this agreement covers a six-mile system, they ultimately aim to construct a commercial network throughout the UAE. They said they’ve been working in the country since 2016, and have finished a comprehensive feasibility study, working with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transportation. HyperloopTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn said, “With this historic agreement in Abu Dhabi, we take a big step towards the world’s first commercial system.” This isn’t the first time cities in the United Arab Emirates have shown an interest in Hyperloop technology; in 2016, Hyperloop One (now Virgin Hyperloop One ) signed an agreement with Dubai’s Roads and Transit Authority to evaluate a Hyperloop system in the area. Earlier this year, Virgin Hyperloop One and Dubai’s Roads and Transit Authority unveiled a commuter pod prototype . + Hyperloop Transportation Technologies + Aldar Properties Images via Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

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Hyperloop TT plans to build working line in the UAE next year

Why real estate and insurance lobbies will have a huge influence on climate policy

March 14, 2018 by  
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Billions of dollars in additional, annual potential damages have put these industries on notice.

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Why real estate and insurance lobbies will have a huge influence on climate policy

IKEA, Marks & Spencer sign up to ambitious new sustainability goals

March 14, 2018 by  
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Supermarkets are committing to a raft of joint targets based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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IKEA, Marks & Spencer sign up to ambitious new sustainability goals

This $1.4 million Somerset cottage could be yours for just $14

January 22, 2018 by  
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Feeling lucky? For under $14 you could win this stunning 17-room cottage outside of Bristol. The English manor belongs to UK hat maker Tricia Hamilton , and she’s raffling it off to one lucky winner. The 19th century home measures 8,250 square feet and has a whopping 17 rooms, including 4 bedrooms, spread out over three stories. The picturesque cottage sits on a half-acre plot of land with a vegetable garden and fruit orchard. Hamilton has lived on the property for 20 years and has restored its historic fixtures over the years. As for the odd way of selling such a real estate gem, Hamilton says that the home has been on the market for more than a year. Even after cutting 300,000 from the original listing, she still couldn’t find a buyer. Although the unconventional system of selling the home by raffle may be a little risky (she needs to sell 500,000 tickets to break even), she hopes to use the money to reinvest in her business and move to be closer to family. Related: Magical Cape Cod-style cottage perched on NYC rooftop goes on sale for $3.5M The drawing is scheduled for the 15th of February. The lucky winner will have stamp duty and fees paid for them, and a portion of the proceeds from the drawing will be donated to charity. + Win My House Via The Spaces Images via Win My House

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This $1.4 million Somerset cottage could be yours for just $14

Next year, resilience will become the new normal

December 29, 2017 by  
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The riskiest 20 percent of U.S. counties are economic powerhouses. Having valuable property that is not resilient and in the path of disaster is unsustainable.

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Next year, resilience will become the new normal

Overheard in sustainability: The funniest moments in 2017

December 29, 2017 by  
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These stories illuminate the lighter side of a flood of bad news about record emissions levels, political inaction and lapses in corporate responsibility.

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Overheard in sustainability: The funniest moments in 2017

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