- McGraw-Hill Construction released the Greening of Corporate America SmartMarket report detailing corporate America’s opinions on green building and sustainability.
- Future British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has announced a plan to build 5 affordable "eco-towns," which will include wind and photovoltaic energy sources.
- Wal-mart announced a major initiative to outfit 22 stores with solar power, an amount that could be up to 20 million kWh per year.
- A $3 million BP gas station in South Baltimore becomes latest green building with an amazing living roof, among other things.
That’s right. Another example of the business case for going green. Recently, Gatorade received LEED Gold-level certification for the Gatorade Thirst Quencher Blue Ridge facility in Wytheville, Virginia. At 950,000 sf, it weighs in as the largest green food and beverage facility in the world. Notice the oxymoron: large green; but it’s not really fair for me to say that. Building a manufacturing facility to the LEED Gold level can be quite the accomplishment. Like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo (which owns Gatorade) sees the benefits of having green production facilities. In addition to the PR benefits of showing the community that you’re not wasteful of valuable water resources, you build a better work environment for employees and waste less energy. Big companies with green buildings show their employees that green is good, and this thinking starts to cascade. Eventually, employees will greenify their homes and habits. Employees will tell their friends and families, too. Word will spread and there will be a point, not in the too distant future, when everyone accepts green as the standard and non-green as passé, wasteful, and unsophisticated.
- USGBC Now Allows Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Points under LEED Innovation in Design Category.
- Britain Assesses the Pros and Cons of Green Homes.
- Baltimore is One Step Closer to Becoming Next City to Require Developers to Incorporate Green Building Standards into Projects.
- New Exelon HQs Becomes Largest Office Space in the World to be LEED-CI Certified at the Platinum Level.
Recently, I’ve run across the work of an environmentally friendly Thai architect named Singh Intrachooto. Singh saw a problem in the industry and decided to do something to close the loop. If you’ve ever been involved with construction of any form, you know there’s tons of wasted materials. That’s where Singh comes in. He takes left over scrap from construction sites and designs furniture with them, each piece being different depending on the size and shape of the materials that get salvaged. Now, Singh’s furniture has exploded and is on display in Los Angeles and Paris.
Singh sells the furniture via his website, OSISU, but I’m not necessarily advocating the purchase of his work. It’s incredible and inspiring, but we have our own construction waste here in the U.S. We have tons of it. And it’s going straight to the landfill. Why not find value in that trash? Let’s close the loop and put good materials to use. With Singh, it was just about 18 months ago that he decided to start making this furniture, and in his words, "people thought he was crazy." Now it’s getting big-time coverage all over the media. All it takes is asking the construction workers to set aside scraps like wood, steel, and concrete. The pieces pictured were made from reclaimed teak morsels. Via reuters.
- Small Wind Market Takes Off – Increasing Numbers of Homeowners, Small Businesses, and Farms are Installing Wind Turbines to Generate Electricity.
- BOMA Released its List of Top 10 Ways for Commercial Buildings to Save Energy.
- IBM is Hooking Up with The Nature Conservancy to Launch Software that will Help Businesses and Government Make Smart Environmental Decisions.
- The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., Announced the Launch of the Leading Green Initiative, a program to support Sustainable Travel International.
It looks like we can add Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) to the list of companies that are trying to reduce the impact of business operations. Today, the company announced a collaboration with Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute to realize reductions in water and energy consumption at Coca-Cola’s 2M square-foot world headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Under the collaboration, Coca-Cola will spend $3 million on energy-efficient lighting and air conditioning equipment, rainwater harvesting techniques, and advanced irrigation control systems. What’s the result?
- Savings of +$1 million in annual operating costs
- Elimination of 10,000 metric carbon dioxide emissions each year (equal to removing 2,000 cars from the road)
- 23% reduction in energy consumption
- 15% reduction in water consumption
Back-of-the-envelope style, that’s a three year payback. Coca-Cola realizes it can’t be frivolous with water, especially considering the fact that H20 is the main ingredient in the company’s beverages. Cola-Cola Energy and Climate Protection Manager Bryan Jacob talked about the green retrofits saying, "Since climate change will have a profound impact on freshwater resources, we are making water conservation – in our plants around the world and at our headquarters – a priority. The irrigation improvement projects at our Atlanta Office Complex will reduce the water used for landscaping by an estimated 75 percent."
I think Coca-Cola should be recognized for these efforts. This is another example of the business case for green buildings. Coca-Cola is going to save money on this deal. It’s the smart, business-savvy thing to do. Now, our next step is to figure out how to reduce the worldwide consumption of caffeine. Via Coca-Cola + Atlanta Business Chronicle.