May 4, 2010 @ 6:40pm – Ottawa, Canada. Greg Searle is to provide a Keynote address to the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association on One Planet Communities.
First LEED-CI Platinum in the North Bay area of San Francisco: Comcast’s New Operations Center at Sonoma Mountain Village
Comcast’s new zero-carbon Operations Center at Sonoma Mountain Village, managed and built by the developer, Codding Enterprises, has received the first LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification – the top honor available from the U.S. Green Building Council – in the North Bay area of San Francisco.
The Operations Center is the first Platinum LEED certified facility for Comcast, and it is a natural fit for Sonoma Mountain Village where Codding plans to create a complete neighborhood with jobs and housing within an easy walk of daily basic needs, like groceries, daycare and restaurants.
“A significant factor in Comcast’s decision to move to Sonoma Mountain Village was Codding’s vision for the future community, as we are constantly looking for ways to improve the lives of our employees and customers,” said Paul Gibson, Area Vice President for Comcast. “The facility generates operational efficiencies, and gives Comcast’s technicians newer tools and resources to better serve customers in the same communities where our employees work and live.”
The plan for Sonoma Mountain Village is ambitious – 100 percent renewable power and ultra-efficient water use, for example – but it is already starting to pay off. Tenants receive green power for no extra cost and 41 companies have moved into the first phase.
“Rohnert Park is proud of Sonoma Mountain Village’s progress toward sustainability and applauds their LEED Platinum certification on the Comcast facility. Green jobs and green buildings go hand in hand, and we need more of both.” said Mayor Pam Stafford.
Comcast’s 35,000 square foot Sonoma County Operations Center is home to more than 150 employees, including maintenance technicians and field service representatives who install and repair Comcast’s advanced digital video, high-speed Internet and telephone communications services. The facility also includes warehouse space and houses technical support vehicles.
“The green building movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the most important challenges of our time, including global climate change, dependence on non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy and threats to human health,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President of the U.S. Green Building Council. “The work of innovative building projects such as Sonoma Mountain Village is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement.”
LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. The U.S. Green Building Council administers LEED and related green building training programs and events.
Comcast’s LEED Platinum facility generates no greenhouse gases at all from building energy and uses just 46% of the water for a typical new office building. Some of the sustainable design features of the property include:
- A record-setting 98% of all waste from construction was recycled
- Irrigation with reclaimed water
- Advanced lighting and controls using 35% less energy than a typical new California office
- 100% solar powered from an on-site 1 megawatt array
- Efficient heating and cooling with a central plant using special economizers
- Climate-friendly refrigerants in the cooling system
- Advanced testing and verification of lighting and HVAC systems
- Sustainably harvested woods for doors, lockers and finishes
- Natural linoleum flooring
- Low-emission paints, glues, carpets and furniture
- Recycled content carpet with end-of-life recycling guarantee
- Advanced air filtration with 30% more fresh air than typical
- Green janitorial chemicals and practices
- Bicycle storage, showers and changing rooms
- Salvaged materials such as fencing and bathroom partitions
- Local sourcing of materials
The project team, led by Codding and Codding Construction, includes Wix Architecture, 15000 mechanical engineering, JRA electrical engineering, KEMA commissioning services and Codding Maintenance.
Contact: Geof Syphers, Chief Sustainability Officer, Codding Enterprises
April 8 2010 – Kansas City. BioRegional North America Executive Director, Greg Searle, was invited by AIA Kansas City to provide a keynote address on One Planet Communities at the SUSTAINABLE KC 2010 Green Energy Conference in Kansas City. The conference brings together construction, engineering, design and facilities professionals for a one- day conference exploring the realities of optimizing energy use, applying renewable energy strategies, and navigating the growing sustainability construction market.
Increased renewable energy generation
In December 2009, a contract with Stellar Energy was signed to provide an additional 1,000 kilowatt solar photovoltaic array on the roof of one of the existing commercial buildings on-site. Work began on this project in late February and should be completed by the end of 2010.
Job creation at Sonoma Mountain Village (SMV) has increased and there are now over 850 jobs onsite in commercial buildings and the successful green business incubator. In 2009 almost 100% of all new leasing activity in the municipality of Rohnert Park occurred at SMV, making it the city’s largest source of new jobs. In November 2009 DC Power Systems, one of the nation’s largest suppliers of solar components, announced its headquarters move to SMV. We have also found cases where conventional tenants at SMV have been influenced by the One Planet culture at their new workplace to establish new or improved sustainability goals for their on-site operations. By attracting jobs – particularly green jobs – to Rohnert Park, the SMV project is helping to compensate for the loss of 2,500 local high-tech manufacturing jobs when the original owners of the SMV site left the property.
A detailed development agreement between Sonoma Mountain Village and a coalition of local labour, housing and environmental groups called the Accountable Development Coalition on the use of union labour and living wages, construction of affordable housing and environmental requirements has been completed, receiving praise in the media for its “far reaching” impact on local business practice.
Environmental Impact Review
SMV’s public Environmental Impact Review (EIR), an in-depth process mandated by the State, has also been completed. SMV has set important precedents in California for using a per capita approach to carbon footprint in their EIR, and for earning a “less than significant” GHG impact finding (representing the lowest carbon impact finding in California to date at the neighbourhood scale).
January 30 – Vancouver. An excerpt: Already frustrated by the process and results he was seeing in his own LEED projects, Geof Syphers of Codding Enterprises welcomed the challenge One Planet Communities offered when developing the Sonoma Mountain Village. “Even in the very best-case scenario, under an LEED Platinum project, we were only reducing CO2 emissions by 15 to 20 per cent relative to the status quo,” says Syphers.
“Even if we were beating stringent codes by 40 per cent, and we’re supplying half of the power with renewable energy, we’re still providing the other half with fossil fuels and causing a net detriment to the planet.”
Syphers says the One Planet framework was attractive, in part, because it lays out exactly what is needed to achieve sustainability.
“It makes no claim that you’ll succeed,” he says, “but if you fall short, you’ll know exactly what the gap is and why, and then they publish that widely.
“Instead of patting ourselves on the back for reducing waste by 89 per cent, we say we made good progress, but still have a long way to go, and if you can help us, that would be great. It allows real science to happen.”
Mexico City. Greg Searle of BioRegional North America will be giving a 2-night seminar and workshop for a Diploma Course in “Design of Sustainable Communities at the Architecture Department of the Universidad Iberoamericano in Mexico City December 2-3.
Thurs Nov 12 8:30am MST @ Greenbuild 2009 – Phoenix, Arizona. Greg Searle will join Malcolm Lewis of CTG Energetics and Chris Pyke of the U.S. Green Building Council in presenting Greenbuild 2009 session OR 11 Bridging the gap between design and performance: experience from leading low carbon communities. Greg will be presenting on lessons learned from Sonoma Mountain Village.
BioRegional North America has been commissioned by developer A.G. Spanos Companies to help architecture firm Gensler develop a comprehensive Sustainability Action Plan for the Preserve – a proposed 8,000-unit mixed-use development in Stockton, California. The draft Sustainability Action Plan has informed the project’s recently announced Master Development Plan. BioRegional is expecting a finalized draft of the Sustainability Action Plan to be submitted soon for consideration as an offical endorsed project. BioRegional rigorously assesses a development’s ability to deliver on this statement: “If everyone in the world lived in similar communities, we would be truly sustainable.” Endorsement is a sign of deep green leadership; for every 3 projects that develop Sustainability Action Plans, only 1 will meet the full criteria for endorsement.
Due to several online articles that have incorrectly identified the Preserve as an official endorsed project, BioRegional has released an official clarification on the status of the project as a candidate One Planet Community.
Sept 3 2009 @ 7:00PM PST – Bellingham, WA. Greg Searle is to provide a free community lecture on Smart Growth and One Planet Communities, hosted by Sustainable Connections.
Location: Bellingham Cruise Terminal, Bellingham
Sept 4 2009 @ 830am : Greg Searle is to provide the keynote address for the 2009 Smart Growth for Sustainable Communities Conference.
The 4th Annual Smart Growth Conference will be a catalytic agent for finding common ground among diverse perspectives and forging consensus on common issues related to land use policy and practice. Together, this diverse group of community leaders can see to it that growth management and real estate development creates a quality built environment which adds long-term economic, environmental and social value to our community that benefits citizens today, and future generations. Topics will include: True Urbanism, Density Done Right, One Planet Communities, Sightline Scores Smart Growth, and updates on Green Factor Analysis and how this relates to the FIVE/12 initiative and Urban Villages.
Location: Bellingham Cruise Terminal, Bellingham
Greenland. A British and two Canadian adventurers will be attempting a unique unsupported traverse of the full length of Greenland, from the Atlantic Ocean on the south coast to the Arctic Ocean on the north coast between May and July 2009 to draw attention to the need for “one planet living”. The team will also raise awareness of the effects of global warming on the Greenland ice cap and carry out scientific monitoring. Using the power of the wind to kite ski and haul 150kg sleds for 2 months over a 3500km route that has never been done before, the Emirates NBD Greenland Quest will also likely be the longest unsupported Arctic Polar journey in history. Become a fan of the Greenland Quest Facebook page!