Friday, February 20, 2015

Advocacy Update

Greetings Green Building Advocates!

Here is an update on our key advocacy issues for 2015, Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing (PACE), Net Zero Building Code, and Net Metering.

Our PACE stakeholder focus group—made up of around 12 organizations and trade groups, primarily with environmental, labor, and economic development interests—is gaining momentum and working towards strengthening support for this year’s legislation. We are working with Senator Joyce’s office to bring in other co-sponsors up until the bill is brought out of committee. We are also collaborating with the Climate Action Business Group (CABA) to have a public forum around PACE financing and its relationship to resiliency planning.

Net Zero

The current version of the Act promoting zero net-energy buildings in the Commonwealth by Senator Eldridge is gaining more co-sponsors, and is targeting a more stringent path to Net Zero Building Codes. The advocacy team is continuing to expand our network of support around this issue.

Net Metering

Our advocacy team is following the progress of the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Task Force on Net Metering. Among the issues the task force is examining are the potential impacts of a minimum bill for Massachusetts ratepayers and its impact on reaching the statewide goal of 1,600MW of solar. The task force has outlined 5 primary tasks to accomplish which you can see in detail here:consulting team status update and task presentation; the task force also provides a Table of policy options and a draft of the task 1 report

Mark those calendars now, the next Green Breakfast will be held on Thursday March 19th and we will have presentations to describe each issue, and how you can help build momentum to pass this years legislation!

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Green Engineer Spotlight

Cambridge Center Expansion
Biogen Idec

When Biogen Idec decided to locate their 204,000 sf expansion in Kendall Square, they also decided to work with an all-star cast of design, construction and real estate professionals. The project was developed by Boston Properties, designed by Elkus Manfredi, and built by Lee Kennedy Co. The Green Engineer helped to ensure the building attained LEED Gold certification for Core + Shell. The new office and lab space is linked to the existing Biogen building by a two-level connector structure, and is also powered by an existing steam plant.

The project earned 63 points, reducing indoor water use by 30%, potable water use in irrigation by 50%, achieving a 16% improvement in baseline building performance, using recycled building materials, and specifying FSC-certified wood products. For more details on the energy-saving features of the project check out the LEED scorecard here.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Boston Properties Spotlight

Boston Properties:
LEED Gold, Class A Office Spaces 

Boston Properties certified two Class A, LEED Gold office buildings in 2014: 230 CityPoint and Reservoir Place, both along the 128 Corridor in Waltham. 230 CityPoint is part of a larger development which already includes another LEED Gold Certified building, 77 CityPoint. The two 6-story buildings provide over 500,000 sf of multi-tenant Class A office space, including a cafe, fitness center and conference center. 230 CityPoint earned 61 points to achieve its Gold certification, reducing indoor water consumption by 25%, using recycled materials and achieving an 87 Energy Star Performance Rating. The 25-acre CityPoint site features several additional parcels currently under development, 10 CityPoint and 99 Third Avenue Retail. See the LEED Scorecard here.

230 CityPoint

77 CityPoint

10 CityPoint (Under Development)

99 Third Avenue Retail (Under Development)

The second LEED Gold building certified by Boston Properties in 2014 is Reservoir Place, a 527,000 sf Class A office building on the northern edge of the Cambridge Reservoir. In addition to being the largest multi-tenant office building on Route 128, Reservoir Place features a cafe, fitness center, several shops and even tennis courts. Reservoir Place was constructed in 1955 and renovated in 1983, and not acquired by Boston Properties until 1998. The decision by Boston Properties to bring the project up to LEED Gold standards for Building Operations + Maintenance, represents their commitment to investing in energy-efficiency for both new and existing construction. See how Boston Properties was able to transform an existing building into a LEED Gold project by checking out the Scorecard here.

Reservoir Place

Reservoir Place

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sustainable Landscape Networking Night on Cape Cod

by Adam Prince, ZeroEnergy Design

USGBC MA Cape & Islands Interest Group just enjoyed an evening with two sustainable landscape design presentations and a quick tour of a newly renovated commercial building.

Michael Talbot, co-owner of Talbot Ecological Land Care and principal at Environmental Landscape Consultants, LLC, and Seth Wilkinson, President of Wilkinson Ecological Design, each presented a program on ecological and sustainable land development.  Michael provided an overview of sustainable landscape design and management principles, and Seth followed by reviewing case studies of how to incorporate sustainable design by including these principles in the planning and permitting phase of the building process.  Each took questions afterward, as the 20-ish attendees enjoyed a fabulous food spread with refreshments sponored by Cape Associates.

The evening ended with a quick tour led by Adam Prince of ZeroEnergy Design together with Seth Wilkinson, as the group investigated the well insulated office building for Wilkinson Ecological Design which recently underwent a full gut renovation. With green architecture and mechanical design by ZeroEnergy Design, and construction by CapeWide Enterprises, the tour highlighted the many green features of the building.

Michael Talbot, co-owner of Talbot Ecological Land Care

Seth Wilkinson, President of Wilkinson Ecological Design

Cape Associates