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  • Class of 2017: LEED-certified schools make an impact

    Posted by Michael Stevens
    Michael Stevens
    Mr. Stevens possesses over 20 years of proven corporate marketing, sponsorship and sales promotion experienc...
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    The Center for Green Schools at USGBC reached a milestone in 2017: 2,000 LEED-certified schools. The accomplishment shows the huge impact that LEED has on both students and the environment. Each school provides healthy learning spaces, reduces the environmental impact made by buildings and inspires real-world lessons on sustainability. Where we learn matters, and these schools are putting the words into practice.

    Kudos to the USGBC for reaching this milestone.

    LEED school

    Schools are at the center of communities, where children learn lessons vital to success in the world and people gather for events. In many places, schools are at the forefront of change. Improving school infrastructure can bring communities together by creating a source of pride, improving student performance and offering learning opportunities for sustainable practices.

    To honor these efforts made by schools, the Center gathered project descriptions and pictures from schools certified in 2017. We received details on more than 35 projects and over 150 pictures of innovative learning spaces. These schools alone have made improvements in environmental health and sustainability literacy for over 10,000 students. They have made inspiring changes for their communities, and we want to share them through our networks.

    To learn more about this program, please click HERE.

  • Building right on top of freeways - what air pollution?

    Posted by Michael Stevens
    Michael Stevens
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    Developers - City Councils - Freeways

    The American developer and the local politicians that agree to support developments, such as those on top of L.A. freeways continue to amaze.

    Sure, on one hand, there are cries such as, "there is a huge housing shortage!" On the other hand, there are too many people in the City of Los Angeles and the city is not obligated to allow developers to build on every available lot nor to allow building in areas where even a middle school science student may say, "gee, that does not make sense to build in this area."

    Please read the recent Los Angeles Times article on apartments such as Da Vinci on top of 110 freeway in downtown Los Angeles. In the article, it states that part of the requirements for the developer is to install air filters.

    Da Vinci Apts 110 fwy

    Air Pollution for Residents

    Does it take a Rhodes Scholar to figure out that the tiny particles generating the carbon monoxide may be partially caught by filters, but these filters do not keep out all of the toxic exhaust gases.

    In a way, it is evident that the people of L.A.have to live somewhere and that the city and developers will try to do their part to alleviate the housing shortage. Oh, by the way, it will come at a cost of infecting children and adults alike to future health problems, higher medical bills, and a brief presumption that some of those bills will be covered by all taxpayers.

    As with many issues facing society, no easy solution here. However, common sense would dictate that residential dwellings should be a lot farther away than the 500 feet proposed. Let's get our act together, speak up to various city councils and stop abuses by developers in this area.

  • Renewables versus Coal and Oil - Energy Secretary has no clue

    Posted by Michael Stevens
    Michael Stevens
    Mr. Stevens possesses over 20 years of proven corporate marketing, sponsorship and sales promotion experienc...
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    Energy Secretary has no clue about renewable energy

    Energy Secretary Rick Perry sees renewables as a threat to coal and nuclear baseload—could you be more clueless and biased to try to protect these two fields?

    renewable energy wind solar

    It's real simple - Up = good; Down = bad

    • Down with Coal.
    • Down with Nuclear.
    • Up with Wind.
    • Up with Solar.
    • Up with Waves.
    • Up with Geothermal.
    • Up with other renewable and alternative energy sources.

    The renewable and alternative energy field is creating new, sustainable jobs - good idea? Yes.

    Anyone with common sense can only look to the sky for help and say, "how did such an ill-informed, incompetent individual be placed in such an important position?"

    Well, for that matter, most of the current U.S. cabinet is filled with people that do not have ample experience in these respective fields.  

    Perry (does not deserve the title of Secretary) is just a good ol' boy that has been thrust in a position of power to continue to take care of his boys in the oil and coal industries.

    Highlights from Jeff St. John's article on Perry and renewable energy versus coal and oil include:

    Real Support for Baseload with Wind and Solar

    • Over two months ago, Energy Secretary Rick Perry ordered the DOE to conduct a 60-day study on whether wind and solar are undercutting baseload coal and nuclear power.
    • Many renewable energy and environmental groups fear will lead to a foregone conclusion against renewable-friendly state subsidies and policies.
    • U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), wrote a letter to Perry that “a hastily developed study, which appears to predetermine that variable, renewable sources such as wind have undermined grid reliability, will not be viewed as credible, relevant or worthy of valuable taxpayer resources.”
    • Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), declaring that Perry’s idea of coal and nuclear as essential for a stable grid is an outdated concept.
    • Union of Concerned Scientists published its critique of what it called “Rick Perry’s Unnecessary and Biased Grid Study,” noting that the Trump administration has picked anti-renewables lobbyists to lead the process and appears to be ignoring multiple studies that have shown that more flexible grids can handle much larger shares of wind and solar.

    Please read the rest of this ARTICLE - I can only stomach so much of this nonsense.

    These politicians are living for today - grease pockets now, secure as many favors as possible, take care of friends and family and who gives a darn about 10, 20, 50 or more years from now.

  • Jerry Yudelson's latest book Reinventing Green Building

    Posted by Michael Stevens
    Michael Stevens
    Mr. Stevens possesses over 20 years of proven corporate marketing, sponsorship and sales promotion experienc...
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    Reinventing Green Building

    Reinventing Green Building is an insider’s critique of why certified green buildings are failing to provide large-scale carbon reduction. It is a potent vision for the future that the green building industry needs NOW.

    Here is an overview of the book. I have read several of Jerry's books and support his research and experience.


    In its first three years on the market, LEEDv4 registered less than 5% of all new LEED projects, with the balance going to the cheaper and easier-to-understand LEED 2009. This does not bode well for the future of new project registrations, now that LEEDv4 is the only LEED system available for project registrations.

    LEED Project Certifications in Commercial Interiors

    LEED project certifications in commercial interiors increased in 2016 after falling in 2014 and 2015. Retail project certifications also increased. Still, both totals are very small compared to the huge size of both 86 billion sq.ft. of nonresidential floor space and 1.1 million retail buildings.

    2016: LEED in (Reverse) Motion - Part 3

    In 2016, nonresidential new construction and core and shell LEED certifications fell 21% below 2015 levels, to only about 1,500 projects, down about one-third from the peak in 2013.

    Reinventing Green Bldg JY

    About Jerry Yudelson

    Jerry Yudelson is a LEED Fellow, Federal GSA National Peer Professional and the author of 13 books on green buildings, water conservation, green homes, green marketing and sustainable development. He has been involved in the green building movement since 1997 and co-founded the first USGBC chapter, Cascadia, in 1998. Jerry also served for six years as chair of the steering committee for Greenbuild, the largest green building conference and trade show in the US. He was one of the first ten faculty members in the US for the LEED system and has trained nearly 4,000 building industry professionals in the LEED system.

    In 2014 and part of 2015, he served as president of the Green Building Initiative (GBI), a national nonprofit and the US provider of the Green Globes green building rating and certification programs.

    Jerry is a registered professional engineer with more than 25 years’ experience. He holds engineering degrees from Caltech and Harvard University and an MBA (with highest honors) from the University of Oregon. He was a Rotary Foundation Fellow for graduate work in engineering at the Technische Hochschule in Aachen, Germany.

  • Savings by Design Whole & System Approaches to High Performance Buildings

    Posted by Michael Stevens
    Michael Stevens
    Mr. Stevens possesses over 20 years of proven corporate marketing, sponsorship and sales promotion experienc...
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    To encourage owners to invest in energy efficiency as a major goal in their new buildings, financial incentives are available to owners when the efficiency of their new building exceeds the minimum Savings By Design threshold (generally 10% better than Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standards).

    There are two approaches to High Performance Buildings: Whole Building Approach & Systems Approach.

    Whole Building Approach

    Owner Incentives

    The Whole Building Approach is the preferred method of achieving energy savings within Savings By Design.   Enabling the design team to consider integrated energy efficiency solutions that balance electric and gas use, may lead to buildings that offer:

    •  Greater health, comfort, and productivity for the occupant
    •  Reduced building and operating costs for the owner

    In the Whole Building Approach, the estimated total annual energy savings for the building is calculated compared to the Title 24 minimum requirements. Using an approved computer tool, this analysis can be prepared by the design team, or by an energy consultant provided by the utility. Owner’s Incentives are available for projects estimated to exceed Title 24 or standard practice baseline by at least 10% on a whole building performance basis. Owner Incentives range from $0.10 - $0.30 per annualized kWh savings, with a step increase to $0.40 per annualized kWh savings for projects that exceed Title 24 by 40%, and $1.00 per annualized therm savings as the design becomes more efficient. Owners may also qualify for demand reduction incentives of $100 per kW.

    Owners meeting program requirements may be eligible to receive additional incentives:

     End Use Monitoring Incentive

    Each incentive is calculated as 10% or 20% of the Owner’s Incentive respectively.  The maximum incentive per project is $150,000.

    Whole Building Incentives

    Whole Building Incentives Chart

    Systems Approach

    The Systems Approach is a method of optimizing energy efficiency choices for less complex buildings.  By considering building systems holistically rather than as a collection of components, the Systems Approach encourages greater energy efficiency by designing “whole” building systems, rather than individual equipment or fixtures.  It’s a straightforward approach, and the Design Team may find it more appropriate for their project. 

    Your Savings By Design Representative can help by: Using a simplified energy simulation modeling tool to help your team identify system options and quickly estimate the associated potential savings

     Identifying which systems qualify for potential Owner Incentives

    Systems Approach Project Incentives are calculated using a flat incentive rate. Your Savings By Design representative can help you identify system options, quickly estimate the associated potential savings, and identify which systems qualify for generous incentives:                                                                                    

    • Daylighting
    • Interior Lighting
    • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
    • Service Hot Water
    • Other Systems and Processes

    Daylighting Systems

    Daylighting has a major impact on a building’s functionality from many perspectives.  Not only does it decrease energy costs associated with illumination and space conditioning, it also enhances the building’s comfort and ambiance -- resulting in increased productivity of its occupants.   

    Interior Lighting Systems

    Interior lighting is a major component of any building’s energy use, enhancing the functionality of interior spaces.    Energy usage can be reduced with thoughtful attention to illumination requirements within the building, along with specifications for efficient components and appropriate controls.    

    Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Systems

    The design of high-performance HVAC systems includes high-efficiency equipment and controls that regulate the system to allow operation only when it’s needed.  Thoughtful consideration of the interactions of all system elements can substantially increase comfort for building occupants while cutting costs for the building owner.  

    Service Hot Water Systems

    The use of high-efficiency natural gas hot water heaters can help to round out an overall approach to energy savings in the building design.   Facilities that use large amounts of hot water can see substantial savings when a high-efficiency system is used.  

    Other Systems and Processes

    A variety of process systems and controls not regulated by Title 24 can be considered for the Savings By Design program.  Current industry standard practice is used to establish a reference point from which estimated energy savings are determined for manufacturing, refrigeration, food processing, mechanical ventilation systems and other systems and processes.

    Systems Approach Incentives

    Systems Approach Incentive Rates

    For more information on this program, please visit

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To discuss how your company and project can benefit from our services as well if there are representation opportunities, please contact Michel (Michael) Stevens, President, at (800) 260-6008 ext. 301 PST or mstevens[at]greenprojectmarketing[dot]com. Skype ID: GreenProjMktg.