Posts filed under ‘Compliance’

Cities Taking The Lead On Climate Change

With the incoming Trump Administration signaling a change away from climate change research and green projects and improvements it is falling to the cities across our country to take up the banner.   In an article from Sustainable Business it is clear that many cities including locally, Los Angeles are ready. It is quite an interesting group and I can’t wait to see what they bring to the table.

Especially in the face of publicly traded companies not having to disclose as much of the potential downside of climate change on their operations and profits (Green Building Law Update 12/11/2016) it is heartening to see the broad support for a new ordinance in the City of Los Angeles (My News LA 12/20/2016).  The ordinance is in response to  an analysis by the California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA and the City Energy Project suggest that 4% of the city’s buildings are responsible for possibly 50% of the energy and water use. Talk about a defined target for efficiency improvement!

The ordinance  basically requires annual reporting for all buildings larger than 20,000 square feet to the Department of Building and Safety and for buildings over 15,000 square feet that every five years that the building will be required to take steps to reduce its total resource footprint.It will be very interesting to see what incentives and penalties are attached to this program eventually to aid building owners to comply.

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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December 20, 2016 at 9:53 pm Leave a comment

Rainwater harvesting coming to city near you?

I have been an advocate of rainwater harvesting and redirecting for a long time.  It looks like the City of Los Angeles is going to make it law finally!  In an article on Treehugger (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/02/los-angeles-may-get-mandatory-rainwater-harvesting-law.php?campaign=th_rss_science)

it looks like it may become law sometime in 2011. It looks to be a pretty well designed law, but of course the devil is always in the details

I believe that adoption of this is going to take some pretty extensive marketing on the City’s part.  Developer’s are going to be making the calculation on which is cheaper, the on-site improvements or the fine. We need to get to the point where the only thought is how to make this happen.  This will only come about if solutions that are acceptable to the City planners are put forward to the developer rather than waiting for the developers to propose them.  It is this back and forth game that is what puts the uncertainty in this process  and the frustration on the developer’s part.  The solutions proposed by the City have to be pleasing to the eye as well as practical to implement.

This is very important and I hope they put together a great program, the health of the area’s water supply may depend on it.

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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February 21, 2010 at 9:41 pm 2 comments

Housing First – The best option for the homeless

There has been a movement in the low income housing segment called Housing First for some time now, but it is finally getting noticed and even better implemented on a nationwide scale.

Previously the homeless had to “earn” housing by in some manner getting ready, such as getting sober.  This represented a very large barrier to the homeless population in general.

Since it was determined that housing in and of itself is theraputic and that folks who are housed have better and quicker roads to recovery, Housing First was born.  Housing First means exactly what it implies which is you allow these folks access to housing even though they may not be “ready”.

I would like to direct you to the NPR.org site(http://www.npr.org/news/specials/housingfirst/?sc=emaf)  and their yearlong special reporting on this and other topics revolving around homelessness.

Below are other links on the topic for you to explore.

Beyond Shelter: http://www.beyondshelter.org/aaa_initiatives/ending_homelessness.shtml

A sudy released by HUD on the subject: http://www.huduser.org/publications/homeless/hsgfirst.html

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Housing_first

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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April 3, 2009 at 9:19 am Leave a comment

Asking your Landlord to “Green” your space

It is an interesting problem that a landlord faces when a tenant asks about green upgrades for the commercial or residential they would like to rent.  This is the first of several articles where I plan to discuss this problem from both ends.

Tonight we will pretend we are the landlord.  The process of providing green upgrades to the space and general energy efficiency improvements can usually only be justified on a return on investment basis (ROI).  As such to the landlord it is critically important that there be some cost savings to the building and maybe a premium to the rent that can be charges. The later is less likely in the current environment.

One way to help the ROI calculation is with the help of government incentives.  Here is a handy and well thought out page that summarizes the current crop of these programs by location (http://www.dsireusa.org/index.cfm?&CurrentPageID=7&EE=1&RE=1). Also there are any number of fairly simple projects that have a ROI of less than 2 years, a winning number in most accountant’s books.

The other side of this problem is that the tenant either wants or must have in the case of government agencies some guarantee of a certain level of efficiency or compliance to another standard like LEED.  There is a significant risk for the landlord in this case.  In an ongoing series on the Green Real Estate Law Journal (http://www.greenrealestatelaw.com/2009/02/legal-risks-of-green-leases/) there is a fairly thorough explanation and assessment of these risk and issues.  I would encourage all landlords contemplating the world of green leases to read this series and understand it.  It would also be helpful for all potential tenants to read it as well to better understand the landlord’s concerns as well as being prepared in what you can negotiate away to get the deal done.

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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February 19, 2009 at 11:46 pm 2 comments

Green Building Standard Approved

Well it appears that progress is being made on building codes and standards that will support greening the construction and the use of buildings.

ANSI (American National Standards Institute) has completed its standards set for green building for all residential construction. The story on Environmental Leader (http://www.environmentalleader.com/2009/02/04/national-green-building-standard-approved-by-ansi/) goes into some detail.

Excerpt: “Key provisions of the standard include, construction of smaller homes to conserve resources; energy performance starting at 15 percent above the baseline requirements of the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code, use of low VOC materials and homeowner education on proper maintenance and operation to maintain a building’s green status throughout its life cycle.

Also today via Green Building Law (http://www.greenbuildinglawblog.com/2009/02/articles/resources/resourcedepartment-of-energy-code-map/) the US Department of Energy has given us a map of the US giving the electrical building code standards by state. This could be very useful for advocacy and for those builders who work in multiple jurisdictions.  The map can be found here: http://www.energycodes.gov/implement/state_codes/index.stm

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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February 5, 2009 at 7:43 am Leave a comment

Follow up to Compact Fluorescents – Making the right choice

It seems that sometimes the information on a particular subject comes in streams over several days instead all at once and it is certainly the case about CFL’s.

Ecogeek.org has a great article (http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/2509/) on how to convince your friends to take the plunge into the world of more efficient lighting choices.

Excerpt: “In the fourth quarter of 2008, one out of every four bulbs sold in the U.S. were compact fluorescents. For the last five years, one out of every one bulbs I’ve bought have been compact fluorescents. What is up?

How have incandescent lights managed to hold on for so long? I’m going to do a little bit of guessing here, but this article, I hope, will help explain the resistance.

Also on Ecogeek.org another report is brought forward giving the good, the bad and the ugly about CFL’s. (http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/2507/) The report mentioned in the article is also found here: http://www.ewg.org/node/27399 It’s a great shopper’s guide to help us all get the best product and value when making greener lighting choices!

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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January 26, 2009 at 9:50 pm Leave a comment

Paint your Roof to fight global warming?

Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory suggest that painting your roof white could be a good part of helping to fight global warming.

This is all about reducing urban heat islands and it local and now supposedly global effects.  The article can be found here: (http://newscenter.lbl.gov/feature-stories/2008/12/11/cool-world/).

Excerpt: “Most existing flat roofs reflect only 10 to 20 percent of sunlight. These roofs absorb much of the remaining solar radiation and heat up the buildings they cover. Buildings with air conditioners expend energy to cool down – energy that’s mostly generated from burning fossil fuels.

On a larger scale, cities heat up more than their rural surroundings because of their dark roofs, dark pavements, and the absence of vegetation – an urban “heat-island” effect that raises the average air temperature of cities and their suburbs.

Now this has been a requirement here in California under our Title 24 section of the building code for some time and to me makes good sense as it is a economic way to make any building more efficient.  I am just glad that the science continues to come in to support these requirements and helps us in the building construction and maintenance industry justify the costs for doing the right thing!

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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January 21, 2009 at 7:33 am Leave a comment

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