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Mixed Use Summit 2006: 4 Reasons To Think About Sustainability

Mixed_use_summit_2006

Never mind the fact that I’m supposed to be finishing a final for intellectual property, I spent the day at Victory Park and the new Dallas W Hotel, attending the Mixed Use Summit, presented by Commercial Property News and Multi-Housing News.  I found the seminar extremely enlightening and educational; I wanted to pass on some nuggets of green development wisdom.  If you could provide a nugget, a quote of sorts, on green building and the future of sustainability, what would it be?  Comments are open. 

On Sustainability:
"If you’re not thinking about sustainability, you’re missing the boat.  TODs, urban development, LEED, etc.  There are four reasons you should be thinking about it:  (1) it’s the right thing to do, (2) your competition’s doing it, (3) it adds value to the project, and (4) it speeds up the process."  – Ken Ryan, Principal of EDAW Inc. 

On LEED:

  • "This is where the future is going and groups are getting staffed up with LEED Accredited Professionals, they’re getting everyone certified."
  • "It’s sort of a best practices thing."
  • "It’s easier to sell LEED to corporate tenants, rather than human tenants, but we’re starting to get there…"
  • "If you have a project and people are worried about the bottom line, it’s tough to go LEED, especially the contractors–they’re hard to get on board, but the sales appeal is very big.  Developers know the appeal is big and they’re trying to figure it out…"
  • "In a place like Chicago, with all the requirements they have, you’re about 3/4 the way to LEED, so you might as well take the plunge and go all the way." 

This conference had many of the best developers and architects from around the country in one room, strategizing and talking about the future of land use, specifically urban development + smart growth, in the US. 

Tom Friedman Q+A Article: Land Use + Green Development Commentary

The_world_is_flat Buildings account for 36% of the US’s total energy consumption, including 65% of its electricity use.  The debate over coal, renewable energy, wind energy, solar panels, etc., pretty much comes down to the fact that we (Americans) use a lot of electricity.  Well, a well-known green real estate consultant, Charles Lockwood, sat down with Tom Friedman to discuss his thoughts on everything green (article link – pdf).  Tom Friedman is a three-time Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the New York Times and wrote the wildly popular book, The World Is Flat.  If you want to get your hands on the book, make sure to get the updated version.  Friedman has some interesting comments about green buildings and technology.  He talks about something he calls "Up, Not Out," and how green cities can attract younger workers.  He also wants to re-frame the debates on environmentalism.  Give the article a read and watch his video with Tim Russert of MSNBC.

The Green Quotient: Q+A Thomas L. Friedman [Charles Lockwood]

Green Cartoon – “Isn’t Nature Marvelous”

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This cartoon comes from a very creative Japanese cartoonist, Professor Hiroshi Takatsuki (aka High Moon), who does some pretty thoughtful environmental work.  I’m not going to spoil it by telling you the all the tangents my mind took thinking about it, but I hope you enjoy…

I will be posting a little less frequently as I need to find a way to crunch out four graduate finals over the next two weeks.  Thanks for the patience!

San Francisco Mayor Newsom + LetsGreenThisCity Dot Com

Newsom_green_couch

If you’ve watched the videos on my right sidebar, then you’ve heard San Francisco Mayor Newsom talk.  He’s a big time supporter of going green and doing it for all sorts of reasons:  it’s good business, good living, good for the city.  Right now, according to SustainLane, San Francisco is the #2 greenest city in the United States.  Well, SF is putting on a major campaign to be the greenest city in the United States and there’s a new green website to support the cause.  www.letsgreenthiscity.com.  Simultaneous to the roll-out of the website, letsgreenthiscity placed a total of nine couches throughout the city in various places (City Hall, Alamo Square, Ferry Building, Justin Herman Plaza, in the Castro, etc.).  People, including Mayor Newsom, were provided the opportunity to get their picture taken on the couch, have it printed with soy-based ink, and frame it in recycled cardboard.  The entire deal is being sponsored by Pacific Gas + Electric Company (PG+E) and ReadyMade Magazine.  Oh yeah, and guess what, yours truly is a content partner for the website (unfortunately, my content says it’s posted by "anonymous").  Exciting times! 

GreenBuild International Conference + Expo – November 15-17, 2006 (Denver, CO)

Greenbuild_expo

Sustainable building for 2006 had to be a watershed year, and this conference looks to be an exciting event.  Everytime you see "LEED" in my blog, I’m talking about the professional, responsible embodiment of green buildings–smart, efficient, and energy independent.  Starting tomorrow, the USGBC’s annual conference begins; here’s what’s in store for the next 3 days:  +700 exhibitor booths, LEED workshops, green building tours, powerful keynote speakers, Master Speakers Series, USGBC Leadership Awards, etc.  The conference will be an idea-rich feast for ideas on site location + development, water use, energy efficiency, materials + selection, indoor environmental quality, biophelia, health + productivity, financing, etc.  I’d love to be there, but I just can’t afford the investment at this time, but the conference will be full of architects, building owners, code officials, contractors, developers, educators, engineers, facility managers, financial service providers, governmental agencies, green power providers, home builders, interior designers, landscape architects, nonprofit organizations, product manufacturers, schools + universities, students, urban planners, utility providers, and media. 

Keynote speakers include Bill McDonough, Jeffrey Sachs, and David Suzuki.  I also have links to the Master Speaker Series, Educational Sessions, Special Events, Attendee Schedule, FAQs, and Exhibitors

It’s not too late to go, from what I understand…just hop a SWA flight and bill it to the company.  Seriously, if you’re somewhat curious about green building, this is the event to go to.  If you’re thinking about adopting a little green to improve your products offering, go and get some ideas.  If you can’t go, last year, there was an inspirational opening session with Ray Anderson, Janine Benyus, and Paul Hawken, which is now available on DVD for $10.  The DVD is called "Strategies for Sustaining the Sustainable Building Movement."  You can order via here.  A portion of proceeds go to the Biomimicry Guild. 

Address:
The Colorado Convention Center
700 14th Street, Denver, CO 80202
Getting To the Convention Center

Salt Lake City + Mayor Rocky Anderson Approve LEED Ordinance to Promote Green Construction

Slc_wasatch_skyline

I’ve been keeping an eye on Salt Lake City, Utah (SLC) because I’m moving there in June 2007.  Recently, there’ve been rumors that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the "Mormons") is in plans to officially adopt LEED standards on a going forward basis for its churches + buildings.  Generally speaking, Mormons strive for thriftiness and gratitude, and these principles applied to construction mean that buildings should conserve and reuse resources where possible.  While the church hasn’t made such an announcement, recent SLC news is the next best thing because the city’s population is about 50% Mormon.  In early November 2006, the City Council unanimously approved an ordinance requiring commercial, apartment, and condominium builders to meet LEED standards if they are funded by city loans, grants, or tax rebates.  The same ordinance also ratified Mayor Rocky Anderson’s summer executive order requiring new municipal buildings to meet LEED-silver standards.

Salt_lake_temple SLC is changing in a big way.  The entire downtown landscape will be transformed over the next five years as $1.5 billion in capital is placed in new construction.  This movement, aka Downtown Rising, is garnering support from all levels in the community.  According to the Vision Summary of Downtown Rising, one goal is to "develop environmentally efficient buildings, districts and public spaces." 

Ostensibly, SLC’s main goal in providing LEED incentives is to promote environmentally friendly construction.  This ordinance isn’t the last step for eco-building in SLC, however.  They’re working on further incentives to promote green building; they’re considering expedited permits/plan reviews or lowered fees for all developers that incorporate LEED certification in their plans.  Talk about major opportunities!  It’s a great time to be a green developer.  I can’t wait to get to SLC. 

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