Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden’s mission is to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants, advance sustainability and human and environmental wellbeing through action and research, and to celebrate its historic glass houses. The mission of the organization is evident in the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL). A restored brownfield is now a productive place that takes what it needs from what is available to it, and provides a healthy environment for life to thrive. True to the Phipps mission, the ongoing work at the CSL is based on recognizing vital and positive connections between people, plants, beauty, health, and focuses on awakening children to nature and encouraging sustainable, healthy lifestyles.
In a matter of months, five projects—two residences, a government office and a pair of educational facilities—achieved Net Zero Energy Building Certification through the Living Building Challenge. This recent flurry of certifications supports an assertion commonly voiced at our Net Positive Conference in February: the future of Net Zero buildings isn’t on the horizon; it’s already here. Learn more about the following certified projects via our case studies:
Zero Energy House, Auckland, New Zealand
American Samoa EPA Office, American Samoa
Center for Sustainable Landscapes at Phipps Conservancy & Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh, PA (also pursuing Living Certification).
When we think of LEED, we typically think in terms of class-A office buildings in the CBDs of our nation’s top-tier cities, such as New York, Los Angeles or Chicago. But what about the vast stock of existing buildings outside of that profile? What are the sustainability options for class-B assets in the outskirts of St. Louis, or an existing multifamily property in Oklahoma City? Where do they fit within the relatively narrow spectrum of potential LEED ratings and programs?
The fact is that LEED certification fails to address our nation’s huge inventory of multifamily buildings. Neither does it allow for many assets that are not class-A or better.
In fact, our research shows that, of the total commercial real estate stock in the United States—roughly 84 billion sq. ft., according to CoStar, not counting specialty, sports and entertainment facilities—LEED certification addresses only 3 percent of the inventory. That essentially excludes something on the order of 81 billion sq. ft. nationwide and renders the program of no relevance to the vast majority of industry practitioners. LEED was and remains groundbreaking. But its scope is narrow and the math is inescapable.
MARCH 17, 2014 | As of December 2013 there were 738 LEED-certified industrial manufacturing facilities worldwide, representing 195 million sq. ft., with another 1,335 facilities representing a further 343 million sq. ft. in the process of obtaining LEED certification. In addition, in 2012 the USGBC formed the LEED Manufacturing User Group, a group of companies committed to applying LEED to their facilities and sharing resources, expertise and best practices with each other. The user group is comprised of Intel Corp., Colgate Palmolive Co., Johnson Controls, Kohler, Procter & Gamble, Siemens Industry Inc., CH2M Hill, URS and UTC Building & Industrial Systems, and is working to leverage LEED to help design and build sustainable manufacturing facilities, enhance collaboration between USGBC and the business community and integrate LEED into their global sustainability strategies.
Sustainability is pretty clearly one of the world’s most important goals; but what groups can really make environmental progress in leaps and bounds? Chris McKnett makes the case that it’s large institutional investors. He shows how strong financial data isn’t enough, and reveals why investors need to look at a company’s environmental, social and governance structures, too.
Constructing a high-rise sustainable building in a matter of days is an amazing accomplishment. It seems that technology like this could change the face of commercial construction.
“Broad is one of the few Chinese manufacturing companies that has been widely recognized for its green policies and commitment to climate change. It has expanded its business in recent years to include other energy saving products and sustainable buildings, and achieved a feat of building a 15-story tall hotel in 6 days, which received 2 million views in the first 10 days on YouTube.”
Some notable accomplishments noted about the building in this video:
5X more earthquake resistant than conventional buildings
MultiFamilyG is a website dedicated to educating multifamily building managers, owners and investors about practical green technologies that can reduce operating costs and increase the property’s allure to residents. Energy efficiency, green certified design, and waste reduction are hot consumer topics and can also save you money if done properly. Whether you are considering the construction of a new building or trying to retrofit an old one, MultifamilyG provides you with the tools and information you need to reduce energy costs and green your property. Use our free online green self-check, learn about solar power, fuel cells, and energy reduction techniques, and request free advice from energy experts. Go green and get the “G-factor” to get ahead!