Jetson Green 2007: Flaunt the Business Case for Green Real Estate

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When I say "green real estate," I’m referring to all aspects of the real estate business.  That includes the following jobs:  developer, owner, third-party manager, agent, broker, investor, architect, contractor, sub-contractor, etc.  There is a business case for the greening of real estate, but here are some preliminary considerations. 

First, "green building" is not only about energy and water efficiency.  It must be remembered that "green building" includes the concepts of indoor air quality and environmental impact.  These three concepts can overlap, but they are distinct.  Each concept can bring profitability in different ways.  Lloyd Alter blogged about this concept (specifically on "ethical design") today on TreeHugger. 

Second, "greenwashing" is a pejorative term for companies that are trying to realize value from sustainability when their products, processes, or services do not deserve the green emphasis.  It’s free loading.  It’s disingenuous.  It’s deceptive.  And it’s counter-productive.  To make matters worse, public opinion will draw the line between greenwashing and green marketing, so companies must tread water honestly. 

It’s my personal goal for 2007 to flaunt the business case for sustainable real estate.  Here are a couple good examples from 2006. 

  • Ex 1: Adobe created value by greening their existing building. 
  • Ex 2: Ecobroker provides a way for agents to differentiate themselves in a competitive market. 
  • Ex 3: New Resource Bank is a case study in efficient market positioning as a niche bank. 

The opportunities exist for companies that want to make a difference and still remain committed to profitability; Jetson Green will remain committed to exposing and documenting those cases. 

Green Cartoon: Hiroshi Takatsuki + Blog Updates

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I hope you’re enjoying the holidays, this is another cartoon from High Moon. I’m not in contact with the internet, so I will be back posting next week when I get to a connection.

Brad Pitt + Global Green USA Seeking Partners for New Orleans Green Community

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This is fantastic news–we have a little quid pro quo that could change the future of a company forever.  Seriously.  Pitt + Global Green USA have partnered to build a sustainable community in New Orleans.  They are seeking cornerstone partners, each with category exclusivity, to help create a prototype for affordable, green housing.  Housing will be energy-efficient with environmentally conscious and weather-resistant materials.  Here’s how the deal works:

Potential Partner Company Provides:

  • $1-2 million in year one, with right of first refusal in years two-four
  • Support for green initiatives through employee education
  • Support for green initiatives through consumer awareness program, sales of iconic products, etc. 

Potential Partner Company Receives:

  • Inclusion in Global Green USA stories with media outlets such as "The Oprah Winfrey Show," People Magazine, "The Today Show," "Dateline NBC," VH1, etc. 
  • Earn consumer trust and brand loyalty through commitment to Go Global Green
  • Affiliation with celebrity spokesperson Brad Pitt

The deadline to act on this is January 31, 2007.  That’s about it as far available information, but I think this could be a great opportunity to get your company going on an explosively green track.  Will it be profitable?  Hard to say, but there looks to be substantial upside.  Via PRNewswire via ‘razzi

SCIPs + Green Sandwich Technologies

[Runtime = 28:46 min.]  You probably heard about Green Sandwich Technologies (GST) earlier this year when William (Bill) McDonough, FAIA, announced that he’d be on the company’s advisory board.  Structural Concrete Insulating Panel (SCIP) technology, also known as Welded Wire Sandwich Panel, has been mentioned in most popular magazines and has the unique achievement of meeting the Cradle to Cradle design protocol.  This video shows Green Sandwich panels in action.

GST panels have 7 main advantages:  (1) strength – wind load capacity of 200 mph+ and earthquake tolerance of 8.0+; panels resist pests, mold, and vermin; have the highest fire rating in the industry and are water resistant; (2) speed – allow buildings to be erected in 1/2 the time of conventional construction; (3) flexibility – panels can be used for residential, commercial, and industrial uses for floors, walls, roofs, ceilings, pools, and fences; (4) superior sound insulation – they transfer 66% less noise than wood and steel frame walls; (5) superior temperature performance – delivers R-40 performance, good for both hot and cold climates; homeowners can save up to 60% on home energy costs; (6) environmental friendliness – panels contain about 60% recycled/reclaimed materials by volume (40% by weight) + all waste is 100% recyclable; and (7) affordable – builders recognize value in cost savings such as 50% less construction time, 4-12% labor savings, 4-12% material savings, equipment savings, loan carrying cost savings, and energy savings up to 60%.  Click here to see a list of building applications.

Merry Christmas + Happy Holidays

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Skyscraper Sunday: The Modern + Green Skyscraper Movement

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[Runtime = 4:13 min.]  I wanted to include this video within my post, but E&ETV disabled the embed function, so head over to Youtube this jolly Christmas eve to watch a good primer on green skysrapers.  With modern skyscrapers, everyone is focused on sustainable, energy-efficient structures.  These days, most skyscraper design integrates LEED, as an overlay to the rest of the design process.  The video narrative goes through some of the most popular green skyscrapers, such as World Trade Center Complex, Hearst Tower, and Bank of America Tower.   

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