Blog: November, 2011

November 18, 2011
Built Environment green building California Sustainability Alliance

The adoption of green building systems and technologies is now widespread among California’s premier office buildings. As measured by our Green Building Barometer, 54% of Class A office space in the state is now classified as green (defined as either Energy Star or LEED certified). This achievement is a striking improvement over the situation just three years ago, when only 26% of Class A space was certified green.

With the construction of new office buildings at an all time low, the increase in green space largely reflects the upgrading and certification of existing buildings. LEED certification is becoming almost mandatory for Class-A office buildings in the financial districts of the major cities:

  • In San Francisco the Transamerica Pyramid recently achieved the highest level of certification with LEED Platinum status.
  • In Southern California, the Irvine Company achieved LEED certification for all three of its high rise office towers located in Orange County and San Diego.
  • Building codes in the state are now greener, so that where new construction does occur, green certification is now very likely to follow, such as at the Tustin Centre in Orange County.

The adoption of greener operations in commercial buildings is being aided by new tools and technologies that help building owners to go green. For example, in October the City of San Francisco and the Business Council on Climate Change published a Green Tenant Toolkit for commercial buildings. The toolkit uses many of the green leasing tools and strategies developed by the California Sustainability Alliance, and is part of a suite of initiatives that also includes green financing packages and legislative changes designed to encourage greener buildings.


November 14, 2011
Alliance News California Sustainability Alliance
Now Accepting Applications for the 2011 Sustainability Showcase Awards.

We are now accepting submissions for the 2011 Sustainability Showcase Awards! Now in its fourth year, the Sustainability Showcase Awards recognize the successful sustainable policies, programs, practices and technologies implemented by leading organizations in California.

We are seeking leaders in four categories:

  • Commercial Buildings: Any organization whose primary mission involves ownership and management of one or more commercial properties in California.
  • Multifamily Housing: Organizations that own and/or operate portfolios of one or more multi-family housing buildings in California.
  • Local Government: Cities, counties, joint powers authorities, special districts or other types of local governmental entities formed and operated pursuant to California state law that have a role in implementing California’s environmental policies.
  • Water Agencies: Water and/or wastewater utilities that provide wholesale and/or retail services to California residents and businesses.

Application forms can be downloaded here. Submissions are currently being accepted and will be received until midnight on January 20, 2012. The winning entries will be notified February 2012.

Winners in each category will be honored at the Sustainability Showcase Awards Luncheon to be held in May 2012 and will be featured in online showcases. For inspiration, check out the successful strategies of previous years’ Sustainability Showcase winners, including the City of Santa MonicaEden HousingSonoma County Water Agency, the University of California, and others.