There is a significant new trend in the world of green buildings – wellness. Through a case study, the Alliance engaged with stakeholders responsible for the recent renovation of the Gates-Thomas building at Caltech. This project clearly showed occupant wellness as a value proposition that engaged all stakeholders around a central ideal. In fact, in a survey of building occupants, approximately 70% of survey respondents indicated that working in a healthy building was more important to them than working in a sustainable building
In 2016, LA County residents approved a half-cent sales tax (“Measure M”) to finance new transit stations and infrastructure projects to reduce traffic congestion. LA County municipalities have been actively drafting or revising Community Plans, as cities re-imagine development around these proposed transit stations. These planning processes offer a window of opportunity for utilities to partner with municipalities to advance sustainable building practices through transit-oriented development (TOD). TOD is an urban planning approach that clusters compact, walkable, resource-efficient neighborhoods around transit centers to reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. This report profiles two upcoming LA County transit projects, and explores opportunities for utilities to collaborate with municipalities to promote a more sustainable, resource-efficient built environment.
The passage of California Senate Bill (SB) 350, the adoption of a 10‐year rolling energy efficiency portfolio, and the increased difficulty of achieving cost‐effective energy savings through traditional utility programs are challenging utilities to develop approaches that provide deeper savings. Serving utility customers through a multiyear facility planning (MFP) approach can open new energy efficiency opportunities and help utilities achieve their energy efficiency goals. The Alliance set out to identify key opportunities to utilize MFP approaches to optimize customer relationships and achieve long‐term, cost‐effective energy savings. This resulting report also provides an overview of the MFP engagement approach, insights into the practices for applying MFP to lodging sub‐segments, and lessons learned from current utility programs.
Occupant wellness is an increasing concern in building design. The Alliance presented what this means and how the trend interacts with sustainability initiatives at the 2017 Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo. The World Green Building Council acknowledges that office design greatly impacts occupant health, wellbeing, and productivity. Now, just as sustainability efforts prompted certification systems, the WELL Building Institute seeks to provide a system for measuring the built environment’s impact on human health.
The large potential for social impact of urban farms is stymied by multiple barriers. Urban farms in the Los Angeles area typically use minimal onsite energy, but expanding operations will introduce new energy requirements, and funding is difficult to come by to facilitate improved water and energy efficiency projects. This case study highlights GrowGood in Bell, California to share their best practices, lessons learned, and areas of opportunity.
Passive design strategies are often overlooked in commercial facilities. In response, the Alliance sought to complete a technical feasibility study to quantify the potential for natural gas savings associated with passive design strategies in small commercial facilities located in Southern California. This study investigates and quantifies potential natural gas savings from passive design strategies in the four most predominant Southern California climate zones (Beach Cities, Downtown Los Angeles, Mountains, and Desert). The four commercial building types studied are Small Office, Medium Office, Outpatient Healthcare, and Large Hotel, and recommendations are made for these and others
Recurring drought in California demands investment in water conservation. As medical facilities highlight healing gardens, landscape irrigation presents ample opportunities for saving water while maintaining positive impacts on patient wellbeing. Water-efficient landscape design can create a healthy environment for vegetation and people by considering the water needs of plant choices, climate, and irrigation design. This report provides basic information on landscape types and irrigation systems, the methodology for estimating weather-based irrigation needs, and a case study. The case study estimates the water and cost savings, as well as carbon sequestered, possible from renovating three landscapes at PIH Health’s Shannon Tower in Whittier, California to water-efficient landscape designs that cater to the patient recovery process.
Throughout LA, there is a growing presence of urban agriculture, which is primarily driven by public interest in food safety, security, and proximity. Urban farms in LA are typically between one and five acres in size due to limited land availability and expensive land prices. Common crops grown in LA include tomatoes, mixed greens, high-value microgreens, squash, zucchini, beans, carrots, peppers, and cucumbers. This Guidebook provides information on urban agriculture and the status of this industry in Los Angeles with a look at future opportunities for industry growth and including water and energy efficiency into that vision.
Zero Net Energy (ZNE) has emerged as the gold standard of sustainable and integrated building design, transitioning from an unattainable goal of energy-efficient design to a probable vision of the future. The Alliance took participants at the 2016 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo on a journey through time, to consider the future of the built environment as ZNE becomes the norm. This presentation focused on larger-scale corporate, energy, and policy discussions that will drive what building owners, community organizations, and other decision makers will need to grapple with as they attempt to meet this ZNE future and the real-life challenges that are likely to be encountered by stakeholders as a ZNE world develops.
Zero Net Energy (ZNE) has emerged as the gold standard of sustainable and integrated building design. The Alliance presented on this vision of the future at the 2016 Municipal Green Building conference and Expo. California has set aggressive ZNE targets for both residential and commercial buildings. As ZNE becomes the norm, corporate, energy, and policy discussions will drive building owners, community organizations, and other decision makers as they grapple with new challenges.