Cut the expenses on your commercial property. Building performance tracking promises continuous improvement for every building. Even a building constructed to the most exacting environmental standards needs to be operated and maintained properly to perform as designed. By employing a strategy to monitor and improve the energy and system operation of commercial buildings, building performance tracking is the first step in seeing operating costs fall, asset values grow, and market differentiation improve.
“The Building Performance Tracking Handbook” was developed by the California Commissioning Collaborative with funding from the state’s Energy Commission and can be applied to commercial buildings throughout the country. It allows operators to understand how their buildings are running and improve standard operating procedures and energy usage for a building.
“The Building Performance Handbook” outlines the steps needed to continually manage building performance, demystifies the complex array of building performance tracking tools available, and provides guidance on selecting the most appropriate tracking strategy.
There are four elements to performance tracking:
• Collect data and track the performance of the HVAC and lighting systems, plus energy use data.
• Identify performance problems.
• Diagnose problems and identify solutions.
• Fix problems and verify results.
To help facility managers build a business case, the handbook identifies a range of benefits from performance tracking, including enhanced occupant satisfaction, reduced energy costs and increased property values.
Building Owners, managers, and engineers will find this handbook valuable, whether they are just embarking on a formal performance tracking approach, or are looking to take their existing strategies to the next level.
The Handbook, endorsed by BOMA California’s Energy Committee, is the outcome of research funded by the California Energy Commission, under a project managed by the non-profit California Commissioning Collaborative. The handbook was written by PECI, a non-profit organization devoted to energy efficiency.
Download a copy of the manual @ http://cacx.org/PIER/documents/bpt-handbook.pdf.
By Jodi Summers
The White House issued a challenge to the nation’s utilities > to allow customers more access to their own energy data. California utilities are the first to step up. Welcome the Green Button. This online tool from Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric and Pacific Gas & Electric will allow consumers and businesses to see how much electricity they’re using and to download the data so that we can figure out how to use less.
The Green Button allows customers to download of personalized energy usage data through its secure website, My Energy. Developers and third parties will be able receive energy usage data from customers in machine-readable form
The utilities’ goal is for customers to better understand how their consumption changes over the day, week and seasons. This data, in conjunction with smart meters, which transmit energy usage information in real time, should give .customers the tools to control usage, cut costs and conserve energy…
The Green Button project “is one of many initiatives designed to offer our customers choice, convenience and control,” Ted Reguly, SDG&E’s director of customer programs and assistance, said in a statement.
Here’s how it works: After logging in, customers can click on the Green Button and download up to 13 months of their detailed electricity usage data, which can be segmented down to 15-minute intervals. The three utilities are the first in the nation to adopt the technology, which uses a cloud platform developed by Tendril, a Boulder, Colo.-based company.
“Green Button marks the beginning of a new era of consumer control over energy use, and local empowerment to cut waste and save money,” observes Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer. “With the benefits of open data standards, American app developers and other innovators can apply their creativity to bring the smart grid to life for families—not only in California but in communities all across the Nation.”
Standardizing and freeing the data can create an ecosystem for developers to use that data to create apps that can deliver new services and products. The line of thinking is > the internet has thrived because of open data and standardized information systems. Delivering that energy data directly back to consumers is expected to lead to energy-efficiency measures that may change a consumers’ energy-consumption behavior.
The Green Button project “is one of many initiatives designed to offer our customers choice, convenience and control,” notes Ted Reguly, SDG&E’s director of customer programs and assistance.
The three utilities are the first in the nation to adopt the technology, which uses a cloud platform developed by Tendril, a Boulder, Colo.-based company. The Green Button was inspired by the government’s success with its Blue Button initiative, which allows veterans instant access to their health care data.”
It’s a first for the U.S. > a national green building code. Is this a good thing, or another step toward Socialism? In development for more than two years, the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) applies to all new and renovated commercial buildings and residential buildings over three stories high.
“It represents a change in the standard of construction,” says Jessyca Henderson Director of Sustainability Advocacy at the American Institute of Architects. “It will affect everyone that touches buildings…it will be a big leap.” To develop the code, the International Code Council collaborated with the American Institute of Architects, US Green Building Council, and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), among other appropriate agencies.
The new code creates a mandatory “floor” – enforceable minimum standards on every aspect of building design and construction that now must be reached. These new minimum standards apply to all aspects of building design and construction, including energy and water efficiency, site impacts, building waste, and materials.
Site Development, Land Use: In a big move toward environmental preservation, development on Greenfields (undeveloped land) is no longer acceptable, although there are exceptions based on existing infrastructure. There are new guidelines for site disturbance, irrigation, erosion control, transportation, heat island mitigation, graywater systems, habitat protection, and site restoration…so you too can help save the Round-tailed Ground Squirrel.
Materials: As with California codes, the ICC code requires a minimum of 50% of construction waste must be diverted from landfills, and at least 55% of building materials must be salvaged, recycled-content, recyclable, biobased, or indigenous. Buildings must be designed for at least 60 years of life, and must have a service plan that justifies that. If 600 years ago they built properties that have lasted 600 years, using modern technology for new construction to last 1/10th that time should be easy.
Energy Efficiency: total efficiency must be “51% of the energy allowable in the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code” (IECC), and building envelope performance must exceed that by 10%. It sets minimum standards for lighting and mechanical systems, and requires certain levels of submetering and demand-response automation.
Water Efficiency: The ICC code establishes maximum consumption of fixtures and appliances and sets standards for rainwater storage and graywater systems.
Operations: Maintenance gets more complex. New green buildings require pre- and post-occupancy education of building owners and maintenance employees.
Here’s a cute perk…every project is also required to choose an additional “elective,” which pushes the envelope for the developer further. There’s a sexy menu of elective choices, like whole-building life-cycle assessment to more stringent recycled-content.
Local governments and states have the choice of adopting the code – many California cities like West Hollywood, Santa Monica and Berkeley have already implemented their own codes. But, once a city chooses the ICC codes – which require no additional budget – it’s enforceable…but does allow for flexibility within the rules depending upon location and size of building. Also, it’s customizable. Municipalities can add their own requirements on top of the code that address local concerns such as stormwater management or lighting pollution control. No information was shared on how these new rules will affect cost…we await that information with bated checkbooks.
Expect the final code to reach the public late in 1Q 2012.
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By Jodi Summers
The experts believe that because of declining home ownership, U.S. rent growth will grow healthy 5% to 6% this year. As usually, the Los Angeles multifamily market will remain strong. Mark Obrinsky, vice president of the National Multi housing Council expects apartment fundamentals to remain positive for the next decade.
A recent study by the Center for Housing Policy compares and ranks the costs of buying or renting a place to live in more than 200 U.S. metropolitan areas. It found that in most metro markets, fair market rents have held steady or increased, and occasionally surpass monthly mortgage payments for a median-priced home. Bottom line: rents increased in 89% of the markets studied.
- RATIONAL LOANS. To get a loan on a multifamily dwelling of more than five units, you will be getting a commercial loan. The value of the property will be calculated in relation to cash flow, age and condition of the building. An apartment buyer can justify his price based on the net operating income of the property. The bank will also use the cash flow numbers to evaluate the loan, take some of the onus off of the buyer’s creditworthiness.
- EZ 2 RENT. You watch the news, you grasp the foreclosure crisis. The rate of home ownership is expected to drop to between 62% and 64% – levels not seen since the 1980s. That other 36% – 38% needs to live somewhere. The high demand for rentals in the Los Angeles area keep them occupied with long-term tenants.
- CASH FLOW. If you’re leasing out a condo or a house, you have one living area with one income stream…and that gives your one tenant quite a bit of leverage. Multiple units mean multiple rents, thus a stronger and more reliable cash flow.
- EZ TO MANAGE. If you’ve got a number of homes or condos, you’ve got a lot of different balls in the air. With apartments, your renters are all in the same place, which results in easier management and reduced expenses – taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance. And, if you’re looking to simplify the process even further, you can always hire a property manager.
- TRADE UP. Because Multi-family units and apartment complexes tend to be more expensive than single-family homes, they appreciate faster, generating larger profits when you choose to sell. Owners can accelerate appreciation with upgrades and remodels, metering utilities (water costs will only continue to grow), 1031 exchanges, and by subdividing multiple buildings or single tax parcels with more than one building into more than one tax parcel. When you’re taking multiunits, there are a number of ways to leverage profits and exchange into something more profitable.
Multiunit investment is a fine choice for the intermediate and advanced real estate investors looking to expand their portfolios. Properties offer expect returns in a volatile housing market.
We’re here to help you with your investment properties. Please contact Jodi Summers – Sotheby’s International Realty ~ firstname.lastname@example.org ~ 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.
By Jodi Summers
In the future, big buildings are not going to be called skyscrapers, they’re going to be known as eco-towers. This new breed of buildings are utilizing green technologies on an entirely new scale. And, like the elliptical shape our new Marriott hotel downtown, they will not look like those box-shaped structures that have become familiar to world skylines. Let us share with you 10 of the world’s most unique green eco-towers;
1.The Bahrain World Trade Center Towers, Kingdom of Bahrain
There is a lot of land in developing nations, and space allows for tremendous innovation. The Bahrain World Trade Center, located in the capital city of Manama, is a 50-story eco-tower, the second tallest building in Bahrain, and the firstskyscraper in the world to integrate wind turbines into its design. Bridges between the buildings house 3 96-foot suspended between the towers house propellers which supply the spires with over 1100 megawatts per year. These towers face north to capture the winds from the Persian Gulf, and the sail shape of the building was designed to to maximize the airflow for the jumbo blades. The “S” shape flow is ideal because it ensures that any wind coming within a 45 degree angle to either side will create a wind stream that is perpendicular to the turbines. These turbines are intended to provide 11% to 15% of the towers total power consumption.
2. The Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou, China
The China Green Building Council offers basic energy efficiency rules for building, and features a 5-star labeling system as a market-based incentive. The Pearl River Tower exemplifies China’s green push, as this eco-tower is designed to harness winds at lofty heights, using internal wind turbines for lighting. Fashioned like a giant wing, the tower pushes air through wind tunnels on two of the building’s 71 stories. Other green features on the Pearl River Tower include geothermal heat sinks, ventilated facades, waterless urinals, integrated photovoltaics and daylight responsive controls. The skyscraper has net zero energy goals, and anticipates generating enough power to meet its energy demands. Pearl River Tower is a self-sustaining, environmentally intelligent building that is a stunning new icon for the future of the region.
3. Bank of America Tower, New York City
The Bank of America Tower is Manhattan’s 2nd tallest building and 1st LEED Platinum eco-tower. The designers of, Cook + Fox Architects have incorporated rainwater capture and floor-to-ceiling windows for natural lighting, natural gas fuel cells for on-site electricity and sunlight-sensing LED lights maximize efficiency.
4.The Lighthouse Tower, Dubai
The Dubai International Financial Centre Lighthouse Tower incorporates 4,000 photovoltaic panels on the south facing facade as well as three mega 225 kilowatt wind turbines to meet its electricity needs.
Designed by the Atkins Group, the 66-floor Lighthouse Tower is designed to produce the smallest carbon footprint possible. It is structured as two separate towers connected by a bridge at level 10, and features numerous sky gardens. The tower hopes to reduce energy consumption by 65% and its water consumption by 40% when matched against similar structures.
5.The CIS Tower, Manchester England
The CIS Tower is the second-tallest building in Manchester, England. Measuring 387 feet tall, the glass roofed building is home to Co-operative Financial Services. The Tower was built in 1962, and is a fine example of green retrofitting. The new and improved CIS Tower may be considered the ultimate is solar, with more than 7,000 panels on the façade provide a weatherproof barrier, and generate about 390kW of power for the building. In total, 7,244 Sharp 80W modules are used to cover the entire service tower (but apparently only 4898 of these modules are “live” the others are “dummy modules”). Additionally, there are 24 wind turbines on the roof, and the ability to produce 10% of its energy needs.
The £5.5 million ($10.1 million) solar project was supported by a £885,000 (US$1.64 million) grant from the Northwest Regional Development Agency and a £175,000 (US$ 324,435) grant from the Department of Trade and Industry.
6. The Hearst Tower, New York City
The Hearst Tower was the first skyscraper in Manhattan to achieve LEED Gold accreditation. Built atop the existing Hearst building, this innovative addition hsed 80% of the steel was recycled, as well as the floors and ceiling tiles are made from recycled materials. Architect was Norman Foster designed a “diagrid” triangular framing pattern required fewer steel beams to achieve the same rigidity as a conventional skyscraper. Rainwater is collected on the roof and is funneled into a 14,000-gallon tank in the basement, and accounts for 50% of the tower’s usage. It’s pumped into the cooling system, used for irrigating plants in communal spaces called “sky gardens” and to power the 3-story waterfall which cools and humidifies the lobby air (like NYC needs more humidity). The building also boasts a smart elevator system, which retains memory and optimizes paths based on previous data, headcounts, and floor requests.
7.The Burj al-Taqa (Energy Tower), Dubai
Unlike most of the U.S. and Europe, Dubai has the issue of extreme heat. The Burj al-Taqa is 68-story super eco-tower has a cylindrical shape that is designed to expose as little surface area to the sun as possible, thanks to a façade built from a new generation of vacuum glazing. A protective solar shield reaches from the ground to the roof and covers 60% of the building. It protects the side most affected from the sun’s glaring rays, making sure that none of the rooms are exposed to direct sunlight. The remaining 40% of the structure has diffused light that is tempered by a mineral coating on the windows. This objective is to shield the building from outside heat, keeping the temperatures inside at a low, comfortable temperature.
“Such a building has to work like a thermos flask,” says DS-Plan’s energy manager Peter Mösle. “It has to have a cooling effect in the summer and retain heat in the winter.”
Burj al-Taqa also has a natural air conditioning system. Lateral openings in the towers suck in cool air like a chimney. The heavier cool air sinks downward, displacing the lighter air; therefore creating a temperature that is ideal for the working environment. Additional fresh air, cooled by sea water, is pumped into the interior of the building by means of a duct system at the same time. There are three large cooling units in the cellar of the skyscraper, also lowering the inside temperature.
Burj al-Taqa was modeled after ancient Persian architectural features. It is #22 on the list of the tallest buildings in the world thanks to the 200-foot wind turbine that will sit atop the building. The turbine, accompanied by two photovoltaic facilities produce the electricity to meet the needs of the building. Additional energy is provided by an island of solar panels that drift in the sea within viewing distance of the tower.
8.Waugh Thistleton Residential Tower, London
This eco-residential building employs 4 helical wind turbines attached to one side of the tower have the potential to generate 40,000kW hrs a year, more than 15% of its energy needs.
9. 340 on the Park, Chicago
If you have $700K to throw down on a 1,600 square-foot condo in this tower designed by archtiectural firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz, you can enjoy low utility bills thanks to the building’s fully insulated windows and rainwater capture system. The building was designed Post-Tensioning in order improve the floor-to-ceiling height for residents.There is also a multi-story winter garden starting on the 25th floor and it is connected to the Chicago pedway system. 340 on the Park is the first residential tower in the Mid-West America to achieve Silver LEED certification.
10. The Urban Cactus, Rotterdam
Designed by UCX Architects, the Urban Cactus is a residential project in the Netherlands that offers 98 residential units on 19 floors. The staggered design and curvy balconies which looked like a stacked set of rotated, swoopy plates allow each unit’s outdoor space to get plenty of light from the sun. This also affords greater angles of natural sunlight to penetrate into the interior of the units themselves. While this tower may lack in the technology department, its carbon-mitigation potential is high thanks to all the photosynthesis happening on the porch gardens. Additionally, the building is white to mitigate the urban heat island effect.
MULTIFAMILY RESIDENTIAL RECYCLING PROGRAM
by the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation
edited by Jodi Summers
Here is a straight forward guide to what to recycle in the blue bins, courtesy of the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works Department. Please read it, it will make you smarter.
HOW TO RECYCLE
• Please rinse all cans, bottles and plastics before recycling. Crush aluminum cans to save space in the bin.
• Put recyclable items into the blue recycling bin or store them in a bag or container. Do not tie or close the bag.
• Empty the container or bag into the blue recycling bin. Reuse the bag or container or recycle it, if it’s recyclable.
YES – WHAT TO RECYCLE
Brown paper bags
Cans/Metal, aluminum, steel & tin
Cardboard (flattened and put next to the bin)
Glass bottles & containers
Metal coat hangers
Plastic grocery bags
For a complete list of accepted items visit www.larecycles.org
NO – DON’T RECYCLE THESE THINGS
Appliances & electronics
Food-soiled paper (eg. pizza boxes)
Medical waste (eg. syringes, bandages, tissues, cotton swabs)
Waxed cardboard & paper (eg. milk cartons)
THAT’S IT! IT’S EASY!