Buildings Must Be Healthier Says Physician
Is Your Building Future-Wired?
Landscaping Can Add Value
Features Buildings People... Buildings are fascinating, not just because of their ever-evolving architecture and functionality, but also because of the people who are involved in designing, building and operating them, as well as those who provide services and products to them. It’s quite a cast of characters. Before you ever enter a building, even before the building exists, business developers, government officials or organizational leaders must conceive of the buildings, raise the money to build them, and select architects, contractors and workers to erect or retrofit them. The process of accomplishing this enormous feat is complex and requires numerous specialties. From groundbreaking to ribbon-cutting usually takes many years. Once the building is open, often the first person you see when you enter is a security guard or a receptionist. Who are these people? How did they get there? What sort of training do they have? What responsibilities do they have that you aren’t even aware of? You stride across a lobby without thinking of what went into that particular flooring or why it’s so pleasing. People, lots of them, were involved in that decision and in keeping that floor clean and safe. You get into an elevator that zooms up dozens of floors, never fearing that it will fall, because of the many people who installed it and maintain its functionality. Before your meeting, you step into the bathroom to freshen up. Someone is responsible for keeping that room clean, the soap dispenser filled, paper on the rolls and the plumbing working. (And someone provided the hardware and soft goods.) Maybe you walk past a facility manager who’s just ensured that the smoke detectors on that hallway have fresh batteries or an engineer who has just confirmed that a building’s emergency generators are tip-top. Entering an office, you’re shown into a meeting room with lighting that illuminates a room with LED bulbs and tinted windows that reduce solar warmth on a hot day. Manufacturers created those products. They created the table and chairs and AV equipment and coffee machines. Telecom companies link tenants with the rest of the world. On the floor above, contractors, subs and carpenters are readying an office with tenant improvements. They’re installing carpets, walls, doors and fixtures other people made and sold, sometimes in other parts of the world. Window washers hang hundreds of feet above the ground. Mechanical contractors install new HVAC equipment on the roof. Others calibrate the automatic fire control system that protects lives and property. Property managers meet with sustainability consultants to figure out ways to reduce building energy use, so tenants can operate more cost effectively. Buildings are beehives of activity. And the people who run them are the people our magazine is interested in…buildings people. We want to share your stories.
Henry Eason, Editor (email@example.com)
Why Poor Landscaping Devalues Property Values
Bad Wiring Cuts Into Productivity
California Faces Unique Fire Threats
Codes Drive Zero Net Energy Goals
Hiring Union Carpenters Can Benefit Contractors
BOMA San Diego President Says Sacramento Needs to be Watched
Los Angeles is Coming Back Strong
California Buildings News Team Ellen Eason, Associate Publisher and Art Director firstname.lastname@example.org Henry Eason, Editor email@example.com Editorial Board Zachary Brown, CBRE Bob Eaton, Eaton Hotel Investments Nancy Gille, REAL Systems David Hysinger, San Francisco State University College of Business Rich Lerner, Construction Consultant Katherine A. Mattes, Real Estate Consultant Larry Morgan, Facilities, SAP Carlos Santamaria, CEES-Advisors
Advertising Information Ellen Eason, firstname.lastname@example.org 415.596.9466 © Copyright 2014 Eason Communications LLC PO Box 225234 San Francisco, CA 94122-5234 • 415.242.5244
www.cabuildingsnews.com Members of: BOMA, IFMA, IREM, SMPS, SPUR.
3 California Buildings News • July/August 2014
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California Buildings News • July/August 2014
and Enhances Tenant Experiences
enant experiences and property values are significantly enhanced by appealing landscaping. And the reverse is also true: poorly maintained grounds are depressing to tenants who have to look out their windows at half-dead trees, burnt lawns, acres of parking lots, rusty debris and dried up fountains. And good luck selling such properties at their full potential. Whether it’s corporate campus grounds or urban rooftops, California landscapers have been transforming workplaces into pleasing environments where people can have lunch in an aesthetic atmosphere, meet with clients or coworkers or just take a break in nature. Valencia-based Ryan Metlen, project manager at Landscape Development Inc., says “Beautiful landscaping can transform any environment from a place where people simply inhabit, to a destination to which people enjoy utilizing. This is especially so in a busy urban setting, thanks to an over-abundance of crowds, cars, and concrete. Proper landscape design inherently softens the industrial edge of the city. One of the fastest growing segments in the housing industry in Southern California is for urban infill projects, and designers, builders, and developers across the board are facing an array of new challenges associated with creating sustainable, affordable, and appealing projects of this type.” “Trees are a landscape’s most valuable asset,” says Kimberly Taylor, Arborwell’s director of marketing. “Mature, well-maintained trees can add up to 20 percent value to a real estate appraisal. Conversely, deferred maintenance and poorly managed trees can have the opposite effect on a property, lowering its value up to 15 percent. Besides also drawing away from the aesthetic beauty of a property, trees that are not
5 California Buildings News • July/August 2014
cared for properly can create a significant liability for the property owners and managers.” Cagwin & Dorward President Steve J. Glennon says, “Tenants value aesthetics of the buildings they occupy, and landscaping has a significant impact on the aesthe tics of a property. Additionally, well-planned landscaping improves air quality, cools temperatures and mitigates run off, all of which add significant value and a sense of tranquility in urban settings.” John Gachina, president of Gachina Landscape Management, says good landscaping has a bottom-line impact on business. “High-end, eye-catching landscape improves property value for property owners and their tenants. The best example I know of this is Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto. Over the last ten years the stunningly beautiful flower displays draw people from near and far. Just the mention of Stanford Shopping Center and one pictures that beauty instantly. That has to be good for business.”
Photos clockwise from top right: The Vineyard business park in Novato with landscaping by Cagwin & Dorward (photo courtesy of Cagwin & Dorward); Nordhal Medical Center in San Marcos landscaped by Landscape Development, Inc. (photo courtesy of Landscape Development, Inc.); Bay Area office building showing attractive and well-maintained trees (photo courtesy of Arborwell); Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto featuring landscaping by Gachina Landscape Management (courtesy of Gachina Landscape Management).
6 California Buildings News
7 Reasons Why It’s Lucky To Use Union Carpenters 1 Training. Union carpenters receive four years of classroom and on-the-job training in the latest
technologies and work methods — from apprenticeships through advanced skills training. And they work systematically with other highly skilled professionals.
2 Quality. Union carpenters’ quality education ensures
that they perform efficiently and understand how to complete projects as designed...and on time. Hiring trained carpenters is a wise investment that results in cost savings on your projects.
Union carpenters help contractors meet on-time schedules because they use state-of-the-art techniques and have the experience needed to be true partners in achieving project satisfaction.
Union carpenters are trained to work safely, reducing accidents that can cause injuries or death, create delays, cause property damage and increase insurance costs.
5 Efficiency. Union carpenters can save
money and time for contractors when they are properly trained to complete jobs without time-consuming supervision or costly remedial activity.
Sustainability. Union carpenters are trained to practice sustainability. Because they perform efficiently, they generate less waste on the job.
7 Values. Union carpenters have great community values. They are committed to
supporting the construction of necessary infrastructure, affordable housing and transportation that keeps local economies prosperous and adds value to people’s lives.
Are union carpenters working in your building or on your projects? In addition to work normally associated with carpentry, carpenters perform many tasks such as drywall installation, lathing, millwright, pile driving, hardwood floor and furniture installation, trim, door and hardware installation, garage and overhead door work, panel installation, signage and wall hangings and the installation of window treatments. To learn more about union carpenters, call 510.568.4788 or visit www.NCCRC.org
7 California Buildings News • July/August 2014
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Southern California Lags the North in Clean-Tech
ccording to environmental industry watcher Clean Edge’s 2014 index of areas that focus on developing and using clean technologies, California led the nation with a 93.7
score out of 100—compared with New York’s 64.8 and Texas’ 42.5. But not all areas of California were as focused on green technology as San Francisco, which scored 94.4. Los Angeles was rated 56 and San Diego 66.3—compared with San Jose’s 79.7 rating. Still, even Southern California metro areas rated in the top seven out of 50 areas throughout the U.S. “Climate disruption and the growing availability of market-competitive clean-energy technologies are driving many states and cities to tackle climate issues head-on,” Clean Edge founder and managing director Ron Pernick said. “More than ever, this year’s Leadership Index highlights how some top regions are taking climate action seriously, with double-digit clean-energy adoption rates, new policies like California’s energy-storage mandate, and the deployment of clean-energy investment vehicles such as New York’s green bank.”
9 California Buildings News • July/August 2014
Inadequate Building Wiring Inhibits Tenants’ Functionality
odern companies and organizations in at a lower cost and implementation timeframes reduced California require robust building telecomdown to days versus weeks or months.” munications infrastructure, but too many Existing buildings are requiring a significant upgrade facilities are unable to meet tenant demands. to the telecommunications cabling backbone for tenant “An updated infrastructure is essential for the improvement and retrofit projects. “As electronic infortechnology-focused businesses we serve,” says Brian mation flow and data storage dominate our commuBritton, general manager of nication flow, our clients are Northern California for Level 3 demanding greater bandwidth Communications. “They are and flexibility,” says Cupertino looking to take advantage of Electric’s San Francisco Division emerging technology trends, such Manager Adam Spillane. “We as cloud computing and dynamic are seeing extensive upgrades content distribution, and need to both the infrastructure and the wiring and network to support station cabling as new tenants these endeavors. As building occupy buildings. We are owners look to update their seeing many of our clients trying properties, I would urge them to to get ahead of the technology modernize their infrastructure to curve in the new construcmeet the current and future needs tion projects we build. Our of enterprises.” new, high-density residential IMG Technologies’ James and mixed-use projects conChinetti says, “Connectivity and sider fiber and infrastructure the technology infrastructure needs during the design phase. within commercial real estate have Meeting high connectivity needs changed dramatically the last few is definitely a challenge, given years and we know these changes how fast technology is constantare only beginning. In order for ly evolving.” tenants to be able to connect to the “The folks we deal with latest mission critical business techin the Silicon Valley, typicalBad wiring reduces tenant connectivity. nologies that require diverse higher ly, don’t mess around when it comes to their telecommunicaand scalable bandwidth options, a tions equipment. It’s generally understood that telebuilding not only needs to have the provider options communications is the lifeline of any good business to available but a way to get them connected to their suite.” operate smoothly and profitably,” says Mike Sanjurjo of Chinetti, IMG’s vice president for technology Sprig Electric in San Jose. solutions, explains, “Some buildings can have 30-plus years of old wires running up and down their risers Sanjurjo recommends that buildings, “Install more that are not applicable to the needs of today. Carriers drops per station than ideal conditions call for. In most can range from a true global carrier with its own netcases, we have clients with two-to-three drops per work work to a smaller more regional option that may lease station. However, we’re seeing customers install as fiber from another provider for access. Each has its many as six cable drops per work station (engineers) own value, and it is critical to also understand that not and in some cases, as few as one drop per work station. every carrier is the same when putting together the mix Inevitably, collaboration, office hoteling, and cost per of options within a building or across a portfolio of square foot rental rate trends appear to be driving our buildings. Tenants need to have completely diverse and client employee densities to a new high. In other words, redundant options for their primary and redundant plan for head counts to increase per space. Installing networks. Having the right technology strategy in a additional power and data infrastructure upfront means building allows for tenants to get access to the services clients have more flexibility on station configurations in the future.”
10 California Buildings News â€˘ July/August 2014
Californians Face Unique Fire Threats Modern Facilities Are Safer, Older Buildings Less So
ALIFORNIANS HAVE TWO MAJOR REASONS to be more concerned about fire than people in most other states: earthquakes and wildfires. Vast networks of highly combustible gas distribution lines beneath heavily populated areas could be ruptured in major earthquakes, causing massive conflagrations like the one that burned much of San Francisco in 1906. And, with increasing climate change, wildfire-prone California will experience even more widespread burns that threaten nearby areas, including cities and suburbs. And there are added concerns as our aging population in all areas develops hearing problems that make it more difficult for them to hear fire alarms.
11 California Buildings News • July/August 2014
“But,” Shannon cautioned, “those successes have also The good news is that because of California’s aggressive led much of the public to a more jaded view of the costs of and highly lauded fire departments, CAL FIRE, the comfire protection. To be very blunt, when people were more prehensive ongoing work of the National Fire Protection afraid of fire, when they thought it was more likely to affect Association (NFPA) and local Building Owners and their own or their family’s safety, there was more support Managers Associations (BOMAs), modern buildings are as for strong measures to deal with the problem than there is safe as recent technology and practices can make them — today. We see this attitude manifest itself all the time. and will be even safer as newer technologies and methods “When we argue for are created by companies and residential sprinkler requireinstitutions (see page 24 for “Some businesses, even substantial ments, we often run into an new products). businesses, choose to ignore the best almost dismissive reaction The bad news is that too from some public officials many older structures remain research and guidance on how to make and interest groups who unsafe, and these “grandtheir facilities safer and are all too willing argue that any added profathered” structures have inadtections will make houses equate fire detection, antiquatto take their chances with fire, electrical unaffordable. In this clied warning and suppression hazards and other hazards like explosions.” mate, those arguments, systems that have been given unsubstantiated as they exemptions from the latest fire — James Shannon, President, NFPA are, too often carry the day. codes. Older wood structures I have even heard people also pose threats to adjacent say that they don’t see why their town should have a fire modern buildings in densely populated areas. department. Some businesses, even substantial businesses, In his dramatic farewell address as outgoing NFPA choose to ignore the best research and guidance on how to President, James Shannon told national conferees in Las make their facilities safer and are all too willing to take their Vegas this summer, “Our codes and standards, smoke chances with fire, electrical hazards and other hazards like alarms, advances in sprinkler technology and a better underexplosions.” standing of fire protection generally have all contributed to (Continued on page 23) dramatic improvements in the statistics that measure the cost of fires.”
Annual U.S. Fire Facts* 1,375,000 fires occur in the U.S. 2,919 people die in fires, including firefighters 16,500 civilians and 69,000 firefighters are injured 43% of fires caused by cooking equipment 16% of fires started by heaters 8% are arson 6% are electrical Smoking is the leading cause of home deaths 55% of fatalities are people over 50 Sprinklers decrease fire deaths by 80% 60% of deaths in homes with no smoke alarms or faulty ones *National Fire Protection Association research, 2012
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BOMA Oakland/East Bay Marks 90th Anniversary The Building Owners and Managers Association Oakland/East Bay celebrated its 90th anniversary earlier this summer with a Roaring 20s theme party atop the Oakland Marriott. Most of the 165 people who showed up were dressed for the occasion, proving, says Executive Director Stephen Shepard, “We’re a BOMA that knows how to play hard as well as work hard.”
Above: Tracy Edwards Steingold, Kimberly-Clark Professional and Ellen Eason, California Buildings News. Right: Robanne Olsen, BSM; Stephen Shepard, BOMA Oakland/East Bay; and Michelle Stringer, Cole Supply.
14 California Buildings News • July/August 2014
BOMA SF Panel Says Powerful Forces Drive ZNE Goals Government Codes and Financial Incentives Are Compelling
hether you call it ZNE (Zero Net Energy) or NZE (Net Zero Energy )…it’s coming to a neighborhood near you. Maybe not in 2030, as is the goal of many, but inevitably for many buildings. (ZNE facilities are ones that produce at least as much power as they use.) Increasingly green California codes and financial incentives are driving ZNE buildings’ goals in California, a panel of sustainability experts told a BOMA San Francisco audience in July. They cited a recent study by McGraw Hill Construction saying green building retrofits will decrease building operational costs 13%, boost a building’s asset value 4% and produce a payback for the retrofit in seven years. Ted van der Linden, DPR Construction’s director of sustainability, PG&E Principal Peter Turnbull and Environmental Building Strategies Principal Matt Macko made the joint presentation. Noting that 75% of buildings are not high-rise, Turnbull said lower buildings can achieve ZNE goals more easily than skyscrapers.
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From left: Peter Turnbull, PG&E; Mack Macko, Environmental Building Strategies; Ted van der Linden, DPR Construction.
Lower-rise buildings can produce much more energy with solar arrays than high-rise buildings which have much less roof space and many more floors operate. Van der Linden said, “Today people hold property longer, so the payback is better than selling (buildings) after three years.” Turnbull said “Occupants prefer ZNE spaces. People really like high-performing buildings.” DPR has been a leader in the drive toward ZNE in 2030. Its own offices have become showcases for sustainability, with solar roofs, ceiling fans and daylighting designs that illuminate workspaces with natural sunlight through windows. “Our Big Ass Fans on one floor use less energy than our ice machines,” said Van der Linden. Macko, noting the challenges faced by taller buildings, said the largest ZNE building so far is six stories high. Macko and others listed numerous strategies that buildings can use to move toward ZNE. Turnbull, for instance, said, “We know you can have great lighting that people like at 75% less energy.” About 25% of a building’s energy is devoted to lighting, so significant savings can be achieved by daylighting and other methods. Features the panel said can reduce a building’s energy use: building dashboards showing energy consumption, operable windows, “vampire switch” (powering down facility), BMS controls, daylight controls, LED lighting, electrochromic glass and solar chimneys.
15 California Buildings News • July/August 2014
Greater Productivity, Work Quality, Safety Justify Hiring Union Carpenters Q&A with Bill Feyling, Executive Director, Carpenters 46 Northern California Counties Conference Board Since non-union carpenters’ wage rates are less than union carpenters’, why would companies choose to pay higher wages? Productivity, quality and safety are the first things that come to mind. Union carpenters are the best in the business, and it shows in their work, safely building quality projects that last. Studies have also shown that a well-trained construction workforce wastes less material, thereby producing a “greener” project. Using union carpenters leads to strong triple bottom line, addressing the social aspects of preserving middle class, livable communities; greener, more efficiently built projects with a locally sourced workforce; and on time, quality structures that stand the test of time with lower maintenance costs. With all the Baby Boomers retiring, what are the Carpenters doing to recruit and train qualified carpenters for the future? This is an area where the unionized segment of the industry has a tremendous advantage. The Carpenters apprenticeship program has state-of-the-art training centers throughout Northern California and actively works with community-based organizations and veterans groups to recruit the next generation of building professionals. Using the joint labor-management model, the Carpenters program has over 2,400 apprentices currently in the program. Compare that to the non-union program that has only 37 carpenter apprentices. It’s not even close. And apprenticeship is only the start. Union carpenters believe in a lifelong learning model and a significant portion of the training budget is dedicated to
Journeyman training. The curriculum is constantly evolving to keep up with industry advancements.
There seems to be a great need for more multifamily housing, but will we have enough trained workers to meet the demand? The need for more multifamily housing is huge, especially in the affordable market. As John Stewart told your magazine recently, there is virtually “no room in the inn” for families with incomes between $60,000 and $150,000, as far as the market for new housing developed in the Bay Area goes. Only one out of 10 Northern California construction worker households makes north of $150,000. Half actually have incomes of $60,000 or below. It is clear that much of residential construction jobs and new housing development are widening the region’s wage-housing cost gap. We see this as the central challenge for the industry. The recent boom-bust-recovery cycle in the industry exposes the Achilles heel of the residential builders’ “low road” labor force model: builders are vulnerable to wild swings in contractors’ bids and schedule squeezes as contractors chase after too-few workers who are willing to work in the lower-paying residential sector. The union can work with builders to meet demand, but only if there is a mutual commitment to building a decently paid, career-oriented residential work force.
16 California Buildings News • July/August 2014
Buildings Must Be Made Healthier, Says USGBC “We need a paradigm shift, a more holistic approach to health” in the built environment, Dr. Elizabeth Baca told the GreenerBuilder conference in South San Francisco, sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Northern
they will collectively use their massive market muscle to influence this change.” Simon Turner, co-president of Healthy Buildings and an active supporter of the initiative, explains, “After providing indoor air quality (IAQ) benchmarks and monitoring IAQ trends in thousands of commercial buildings over 34 years, three main themes consistently rise to the top. They
“...we need to decrease mold, improve indoor air quality as well as decrease energy use to reduce greenhouse gases in communities at large.” — Elizabeth Baca, healthcare advisor to California governor’s office
Elizabeth Baca addresses the subject of healthier buildings at the GreenerBuilder conference in South San Francisco.
California Chapter. Baca, a healthcare advisor to the California governor’s office, said we need to decrease mold, improve indoor air quality as well as decrease energy use to reduce greenhouse gases in communities at large. USGBC is launching a two-year Building Health Initiative in which industry leaders from multiple sectors make specific pledges where they are best positioned to affect the most change for healthier built environments. Senior Vice President Brian Back, who is heading up the effort, says, “These pledges include demanding transparency in building materials, conducting groundbreaking research, promoting health and wellness, providing consultation and education, building toolkits and resources, and much more. The initiative has also spurred powerful cross-sector working groups focused on revolutionizing procurement strategies and fostering diversity and access to healthy buildings in traditionally underserved communities.” Back reports that USGBC “has convened and is facilitating within the initiative a working group of big building owners and managers, including top facilities and sustainability people from Google, Facebook, Kaiser Permanente, CalPERS, Adobe, Salesforce, UCSF and Troon Pacific. This group is working to change their procurement strategies to request transparency for healthier building products, and
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17 California Buildings News • July/August 2014
Sacramento Proposes Legislation That Will “Shock” The CRE Industry Q&A with Kristin Howell, President, Building Owners and Managers Association, San Diego You recently attended BOMA International’s annual conference. What were the major industry takeaways from that event? I always enjoy chatting with other BOMA affiliate board members to learn about new things they are doing and any challenges they have. I think sharing information makes all of us better for our members. A big takeaway for me this year was the emphasis on changing the perception of the traditional landlord/tenant relationship—Peter Merrett from Jones Lang LaSalle taught a very insightful seminar about tenants as ‘guests’ rather than tenants. He had many great ideas and wonderful examples of making tenants feel like welcome guests in a four-star hotel versus just a tenant in an office building. That, coupled with the idea of service providers being our partners rather than vendors, is a huge shift in the way the industry is thinking.
More on the state level, what did you learn from the recent California Commercial Real Estate Forum that people in the greater buildings industry should be considering? When we attend the CCRE Summit in Sacramento, I am always amazed at the wide variety of ways the State of California is trying to insert itself into our industry. I honestly believe that if our members could attend this event, they would be shocked at the different legislation being proposed and would, therefore, be more involved in government affairs and making sure the craziness stops before it makes it out of Sacramento. For example, the effort to create a split property tax roll between commercial and residential properties in order to increase taxes on commercial properties. This is an ongoing fight every year, and the general membership should be aware of these efforts so they can engage their elected leaders to explain why this is bad for jobs and the economy.
Is your BOMA San Diego planning any interesting programs for the fall?
Our Emergency Preparedness seminar in the fall will focus on cyber-security and will be held on October 14. Our October Luncheon is slated to be held at the newly redeveloped Headquarters at Seaport Village in the center courtyard on October 14. The VP of Marketing for Terramar Retail Centers, who manages The Headquarters, will touch on topics related to the redevelopment and revitalization of the venue and its impact within the community. Our Community Service Committee will be gearing up in the next few months for our annual Holiday Gift Drive, where we tap the local commercial high-rise buildings to host a “donation bin” and collect gifts from their tenants. The drive benefits Promises2Kids, a local non-profit aimed at making the lives of San Diego’s foster youth brighter with shelter, resources and support through their facility and programs.
18 California Buildings News • July/August 2014
Is Your Building Certified? Should It Be? By Kathy Mattes Most professional property and facility managers are aware of LEED and ENERGY STAR. Did you also know that the Building Owners and Management Association (BOMA) offers a BOMA 360 Certification and the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) is rolling out a Certified Sustainable Property certification? And, I recently heard a presentation from WIRED SCORE, which is bringing its Wired Certification program to San Francisco. Let me take a few minutes to summarize the certifications that I am aware of. LEED–Offered by the US Green Building Council, this is the premier and most difficult and costly sustainability certification a building can achieve. The USGBC is continually raising the bar for certification, which will be a good thing in the end, although hard to keep up with. ENERGY STAR – ENERGY STAR has become the one and only reliable vehicle for measuring energy consumption across building peer groups with regional specificity. It is often included in other certifications. GOLDEN GLOBE – Available in the U.S. and Canada, this certification assesses buildings on a 1,000 point scale and honors those buildings with a 35% or higher score. BOMA 360–BOMA rolled out its BOMA 360 program five years ago. This program covers six areas of building operations with a more holistic approach and includes ENERGY STAR. IREM SUSTAINABLE BUILDING–IREM noticed that there are still a very large number of commercial and multifamily buildings that are not certificated, and has created a new program that is more accessible (in both time and money). Its focus is sustainable practices and provides credit for LEED certification. WIRED SCORE–This is a new one, and interesting to me. This effort started through a public/private partnership in New York led by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and provides a way for buildings to understand, measure and communicate their communications infrastructure to assist brokers and prospective tenants with comparing buildings. I hope the market responds to this, as understanding building risers has always been difficult. Why get certified? The Costar Group and others have demonstrated that there is a real economic benefit from sustainability certification, including reduced operating expenses, increased value and both rent and occupancy increases. How many certifications do you need? I guess that depends on how committed you are to being the very best.
Mattes is a Real Estate Consultant. Find her at www.kathymattes.com
Architects’ “Design Flaws” Court Decision Rocks Architects and — Contractors
Ruling Could Open the Door For Lawsuits Affecting Contractors, Engineers Too Orange County construction law attorney Darren Barker of Michelman & Robinson, LLP warned in an interview with California Buildings News that a recent California Supreme Court decision making architects liable for design flaws also “serves as a harbinger on commercial construction” as well. In Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP, the high court affirmed a lower court ruling that held that architects can be held liable to condominium owners for negligently prepared plans. Beacon alleged multiple construction defects including solar heat gain, a condition causing the condominium units to be uninhabitable due to excessively high temperatures. Barker says the high court “allows for the potential extrapolation/interpretation of the ruling in the case to go from ‘residential construction’ to ‘commercial construction’.” The ruling could well drive up the cost of design,
engineering and construction for condo complexes and other types of commercial real estate throughout California. “If that’s the case, expect the design professionals to pass the potential costs for litigation, increased insurance expense (both as to satisfying deductibles in litigation, as well as increased insurance premium costs) on to the consumer,” says Barker. Architects expect an avalanche of lawsuits. Kurt Cooknick of the American Institute of Architects, California Council, wrote “This issue is important because if third parties who are not in privity of contract with the design professional are allowed to file suit, the door opens for contractors, construction managers, subsequent owners, and others to sue the design professional. Having this type of exposure to liability would not only increase liability to the design professional, but create a scenario of torn loyalties; making it difficult for the architect to properly serve their client, the owner, if doing so may subject the architect to liability claims by the contractor.”
What is a TOBY?
California Buildings News • July/August 2014
...and How Did Three California Buildings Win One?
OBY means The Outstanding Building of the Year. TOBYs are awarded after a peerreview process at local, regional and international levels by the Building Owners and Managers Association. The judgment process is rigorous, so the 14 international awards are given only to the very best run buildings in various categories. A Los Angeles building, one in Santa Monica and a third one in Sacramento won international TOBYs this year. Judging is based on community impact, tenant/employee relations programs, energy management systems, accessibility for disabled people, emergency evacuation procedures, building personnel training programs and overall quality indicators. A team of expert industry professionals also conducts comprehensive building inspections. California winners: w The Colorado Center in Santa Monica won In the Suburban Office Park Mid-Rise category. The property is owned by Equity Office and TIAA-CREF and managed by Equity Office. w Gateway Oaks IV in Sacramento won in the Buildings Under 100,000 Square Feet category. The property is owned by Hines VAF II Sacramento Properties, LP and managed by Hines. w Constellation Place in Los Angeles won in the Earth category. The property is owned by Constellation Place, LLC, and managed by JMB Real Estate Services, Inc. “Gateway Oaks IV stands apart from other buildings in this category due to the staff’s commitment to conduct business the same as any premier high-rise building,” says
Property Manager Carol Burke. “This award recognizes Hines’ outstanding best practices in building management and operational efficiency, including ENERGY STAR®, LEED®, tenant satisfaction/retention, emergency planning and community impact.” “Dedication, knowledge and countless hours of behind the scenes preparation are a few of the tools required to win a BOMA International TOBY Award. The team at Colorado Center consists of a staff of approximately 100 and each individual played a huge role in preparing the property for the local tour and judging. After winning the local TOBY Award in Los Angeles, the management team prepared a written submittal, including photographs and sample tenant communications, that covered 11 building management related topics that was then submitted for regional and then eventually international review,” says Senior Property Manager Barrett Stone of Equity Office. The TOBY Awards are sponsored by Kimberly-Clark Professional. BOMAs throughout California will be holding workshops and providing guidance to property managers who want to enter the TOBY contest. Consult www.boma.org to learn more or contact your area BOMA. Shown clockwise from top right: Colorado Center in Santa Monica, Gateway Oaks IV in Sacramento, Constellation Place in Los Angeles.
20 California Buildings News • July/August 2014
LA’s TI Projects Today: Creative…Creative…Creative Q&A with Jim Klawiter, Architect, Klawiter Interior Planning & Design Is there an LA Area style of commercial office design distinct from other regions? Program requirements for the office environment are often similar to other parts of the country. Regional differences peculiar to Los Angeles show up at selected sites, often warehouse or one-story applications. These may include outdoor spaces with seating, fire pits, water features, etc. specific to a particular tenant and not for common use. Color and finish palettes are noticeably lighter. Additionally, there are code requirements specific to California maximizing energy efficiency which have enormous effect on electrical and HVAC system design. What kind of TI projects are hot in LA these days? Creative, creative and creative. Tenants are looking for creative/tech environment characterized by open ceilings, exposed ductwork, hard flooring, open pantries, collaborative spaces, fewer closed offices and exposure of building structural elements. Certain professions are finding this type of work environment at cross purposes to the way they’ve previously conducted their business and the design challenge is to find ways to incorporate the ‘vibe’ while accommodating more traditional ways of working. We hear there is a lot of new commercial real estate construction in Southern California. How much is greenfield versus retrofit? Lots of new construction is occurring in LA, but not much has been completed and become available. Currently many projects are of a retrofit nature. However, there is increasing interest in gutting space to ‘raw’ which is different than previous years where there was an emphasis on salvaging existing build-out where possible. What sectors are most active for architects these days? Office, retail, healthcare, hospitality? Our practice is based on corporate and retail TI. We’re finding big activity in the entertainment, not-for-profit and financial sectors. Activity has also increased in the financial retail branch area.
LA’s Rising! After years in the doldrums, Los Angeles is showing strong signs of revival, with building activities up in nearly every sector. “Commercial real estate fundamentals have improved to the point where Los Angeles is finally starting to see new construction,” says Kimberly Ritter-Martinez, an economist with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. (Continued on page 26)
21 California Buildings News • July/August 2014
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22 California Buildings News • July/August 2014
California Should Adopt “Performance-Based” Fire Safety Requirements Q&A with Hani G. Malki, P.E., MPA, CUPA Manager, LA Fire Department What are the major fire-protection challenges for commercial buildings? Building fire protection consists of the design, construction, and maintenance of a building and its systems in order to prevent or reduce death, injury, or property damage due to fire. Historically, this objective has been accomplished by prescriptive codes which identify, in very specific terms, the fire-protection requirements and how systems are to be designed, installed, tested, and maintained. The advantage of prescriptive codes is its ease of application and enforcement. Increasingly, designers, engineers, and builders are using code provision for alternate method of construction and design to allow for design flexibility. The code requires that the alternate design and method of construction be approved by the code official, where he/she finds that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the intent of the code, and is at least equivalent to what is described in the code for fire resistance and safety. This strategy is also called performance-based design.
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Performancebased strategy requires that fire safety be looked at from the “whole building” perspective. Stakeholders such as the developer, designer, engineer and fire official have to agree on fire safety goals and objectives, fire scenarios, and assessment of design alternative against fire safety goals. Therefore, a Fire Safety Engineer (FSE), that is experienced in fire science and engineering, be retained to evaluate fireprotection strategies against fire safety goals and objective using engineering tools and methodologies. The challenge to the Fire Department is to have, on staff, a member that is competent in reviewing performance-based designs. Fire Department reviewers not only need to understand the fire code objectives, but also understand how fire originates, spreads, is detected, controlled, and extinguished.
In what ways can we act to remedy these challenges? For a building to incorporate performance-based designs, a Fire Safety Engineer (FSE), experienced in performance-based designs, needs to be involved in the onset of the project. The FSE will be responsible for evaluating the fire-protection needs of the building and coordinate with others involved in the design of the fire-protection systems. The Fire Department, on the other hand, needs to have FSE’s on board that are capable of evaluating such designs. Can you suggest changes in California laws or regulations that would improve fire safety? The State of California should consider the adoption of a model code that addresses performance-based requirements.
23 California Buildings News • July/August 2014
Fire Threats Continued from page 11) Despite Advances, Fire is Still a Major Threat
There are emerging problems ahead warned Shannon: “Climate change, demographic shifts and developing technologies all require aggressive action by NFPA.” America faces a longer wildfire season resulting from hotter temperatures, as well as bigger and hotter fires that are more difficult to combat. An aging population means the fire industry will have to ensure the safety of older people in their homes and in all the other types of facilities in which they will be living out their lives. And safer handling of new technologies like lithium ion batteries, hydrogen fuels and photovoltaic installations pose challenges. Tenants of the iconic Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco can rightly breathe a sigh of relief when they hear Security Manager Jeff Ellis say it is “almost impossible to image a fire of any consequence” in his building. Modern high-rise buildings like the Pyramid, says Ellis, are “extra safe with lots of trained people and levels of redundancy.” With its Siemens-built fire alarm system, considered one of the best on the market, building security staff and the San Francisco Fire Department get instant notice even if there is a small toaster fire in a lunch room. Such modern buildings also have fire suppression systems—sprinklers usually — that shower flames just moments after they occur and are authenticated by extremely sensitive equipment. In fact, most modern systems — those used in newer buildings—can automatically send appropriate messages to affected tenants on the floors of MAINTAINS 3” FLUE SPACE A PROVEN SOLUTION the building that are experiencing smoke or fire without need of human intervention. In modern A SIMPLE, COST EFFECTIVE INSTALLED & TRUSTED WAY TO KEEP STORED WORLDWIDE high-rises with automated fire systems, the comMATERIAL OUT OF REQUIRED COMBINES A SMOOTH STORAGE puter will also typically send warnings to the floor RACK TRANSVERSE FLUE SPACES SURFACE WITH RACK SHELF POROSITY above the affected floor and two floors below to take the stairs down. Thanks to training received FLUEKEEPER.COM PUNCHDECK.COM through local BOMAs throughout many cities in California and fire department-sponsored drills, toll-free: +1-866-400-8107 designated wardens on each floor go into action and inc. supervise the orderly evacuation of tenants, usually in less than three minutes. Not All Tenants Get Class-A Fire Protection All tenants should be so lucky in this best-case scenario But in 2010, 235 people died in all types of fires in in the relatively few commercial buildings that are state-ofCalifornia. Numerous things can go wrong, and when they the-art and in major cities, where training is practiced. We do, lives and property are lost and people are injured. In fact, are safer in California than in most other states. The U.S. Fire more firefighters died in the line of duty last year than in any Administration reports in a 2010 study that the “relative fire other year since the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. risk” score in California is a mere 0.6 — compared with as Ninety-seven firefighters died in the U.S. and more than high as 3.7 in the nation’s capital and 3.3 in West Virginia. 68,000 were injured the previous year. Only Arizona, Oregon and Massachusetts have safer fire (Continued on page 25) records at 0.5.
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24 California Buildings News • July/August 2014
New Products Help Save Lives and Property Companies are continually developing products that help protect lives and property from fire in all sorts of buildings. Here are some recently on the market that were displayed at this year’s National Fire Protection Association Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.
Siemens Siemens Industry, Inc., Building Technologies Division’s new Intelligent Voice Communication panels allow small and medium-size facilities to have full-featured protection sized for their everyday and emergency life safety and communication needs. With Siemens’ Intelligent Voice Communication systems, these facilities can now leverage a system that provides increased communications functionality in an efficiently designed solution. The Intelligent Voice Communication systems are flexible, networkable panels that leverage the latest in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology to deliver state-of-the-art fire protection with the added option of high-quality digital voice communication capabilities over the same connection. UL-listed as a fire alarm and an emergency communication system, the systems have a two-channel message player that supports up to 64 digital messages. Each panel can deliver up to three targeted or differentiated messages simultaneously, as needed.
Fire Fighting Enterprises FIRERAY® 3000, end-to-end, beam smoke detector, is designed to protect reflective environments such as atriums and mechanical rooms. In addition to operating where line of sight is narrow, it has a sunlight rejection circuit eliminating false alarms. The built-in laser pointer allows for an easy installation. The low level controller has a built in Fire Test eliminating the cost of bringing in lift equipment to test the detectors every year.
Macurco Gas Detection The GD-6 alarm and gas equipment is a versatile, easy-to-use, low-voltage device that allows you to select between methane, propane or hydrogen gas detection. Combustible gas detectors will respond to a wide range of hydrocarbons, including aerosol sprays, cleaning solvents, paint thinner and other common volatile organic compounds. This low-voltage detector provides automatic feedback and fan or valve control that can help reduce combustible gas concentrations in parking garages, battery rooms, maintenance facilities, and other locations that require combustible gas detection.
Tornatech Inc. Tornatech Fire Pump Controllers are equipped with the industry’s first color graphic touch screen operator interface, the ViZiTouch. Industry leading features include a 4.2” color display with intuitive graphics, data logging capabilities for approximately the life of the controller, password protection and user friendly operation.
25 California Buildings News • July/August 2014
Mircom Group The Toronto company’s new FX-3500 Intelligent Fire Alarm & Suppression Systems includes powerful and intelligent fire alarm control units, which support Advanced Protocol (AP) as well as Classic Loop Interface Protocol (CLIP) devices. A cost-effective solution, it makes robust technology available to small and mid-size buildings. The FX-3500 Series is recommended for both new and retrofit special-hazard, critical- infrastructure suppression, and special agent applications. Programming versatility makes the FX-3500 Series the ideal choice for dependable fire detection, signaling and protection in industrial, commercial and institutional buildings. The FX-3500 Series is unique in the marketplace. It supports the new AP digital protocol and greatly increasing point capacity up to 318 devices per loop, while still supporting retrofit solutions through backward compatibility with CLIP devices.
NIBCO Nothing could crush Brastic® lead-free sprinkler head adapters introduced by NIBCO INC. in demonstrations at the NFPA Conference & Expo. A sturdy metal starter-thread insert reinforces the CPVC thermoplastic fitting, allowing it to withstand crushing attempts from participants in the “Can’t Crush This Challenge” at the NIBCO booth during the June Expo. To conform to federal lead-free standards, the patented design prevents exposure of the brass insert to the waterway of the piping system. Brastic fittings represent the only lead-free solution for BlazeMaster® CPVC plastic fire protection sprinkler systems. NIBCO offers a broad selection of valves and fittings approved for pressure-rated fire sprinkler systems. The fire protection valve line includes: butterfly, gate, ball, angle, globe and check, in addition to indicator posts.
Fire Threats Continued from page 23) Beyond the cities, often near the burgeoning suburbs, wildfires remain a constant threat. There were 7,175 fires reported to CAL FIRE last year, burning 120,240 acres. And even when lives are spared and no one is injured, fire does major damage to the U.S. economy—more than $2.4 billion last year. Carlos Santamaria, facilities chief for Glenborough’s national operation at the time, recalls, “While experiencing a threealarm fire at Glenborough’s corporate headquarters in San Mateo in 2013, over 50 firefighters descended upon our high-rise building. What stands out most is that of the automatic fire protection system and that of the human interaction. While the most important outcome of this fire and incident was that there was no loss of life or injury to any firefighters, smoke and water damage was extensive reaching almost $1 million dollars. “In this fire incident, fire fighters were dispatched to the fire within a matter of minutes of the alarm as they cautiously entered the building and located the fire, which was 11 floors up. Both the alarm system and water-fire protection system were fully operational and operated as designed. This could have been a very different story if these systems were not operating as installed or not installed at all. It’s hard to imagine a building these days without some type of monitoring system and or fire protection involving fire sprinklers. Let’s hope that these are few in numbers and the exception.” Thousands of older, low-rise commercial buildings throughout the state are not required under state-adopted code to have automatic fire control systems. They rely instead mostly on tenants noticing smoke or fire and pulling alarms or phoning local professional or voluntary fire departments. Industry insiders say that in spite of efforts by BOMA and other industry groups to train staff, far too many buildings are supervised and guarded by poorly trained workers whose mistakes can cost lives. Slightly more than 41% of firefighters in California are paid professionals, more than half are volunteers. (See LA Fire Department interview on page 22.) Certainly not all buildings and tenants get Class-A fire protection, and that often ends in tragedy as it did last spring when people died in a San Francisco housing project where smoke detectors were inoperable. Dilapidated public housing is also vulnerable because, as the San Francisco Examiner recently reported, inspections are infrequent and repairs are in arrears. Bottom line: fire safety remains a major concern, even in a state as sophisticated as California.
26 California Buildings News • July/August 2014
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LA Rising Continued from page 20) “The economy is adding jobs, business and consumer confidence has improved and consumer spending is showing steady gains. Demand for office, industrial and retail space has been improving over the last couple of years, and with little or no new construction since the recession and well into the recovery period, vacancy rates are improving (especially for industrial space) and in some areas we are even starting to see upward pressure on lease rates,” says Ritter-Martinez. “The leisure and hospitality industry in L.A. County is booming— we have several new hotels currently under construction and more in the planning stages. Multi-family building has been another bright spot for Los Angeles construction. International trade and manufacturing have been major drivers of improvement in the industrial sector. L.A. County lacks available land for megadistribution centers that are going up in the Inland Empire, but L.A. County has one of the lowest industrial vacancy rates in the country,” she says, adding, “We still have some ways to go before returning to pre-recession employment levels, but we have seen some pretty impressive gains over the past year.”
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Q&A with Nancy Keenan, President Dahlin Group Architecture | Planning
You are one of the few women leaders of a major architectural firm. Do you think that your gender will in some way add value to Dahlin Group’s designs and execution? Women’s roles in design and leadership have been evolving. Recently, Julia Morgan was posthumously awarded the AIA Gold Medal, recognition that is long overdue. But ultimately, accomplished architects add value to design and execution because they are thoughtful designers, regardless of gender. In leading projects and people, women generally have a more collaborative style of communication, and I believe I do add that value to the leadership of our company. So many projects today call for architectural firms to go beyond design and provide more nitty gritty engineering and environmental services not normally associated with creating beautiful buildings. Are today’s architects up to those tasks? While Dahlin Group has not yet expanded in-house to include services typically provided by other consultants, we often collaborate on large-scale projects to provide a holistic design approach. Our designs for master plans and public-scale buildings frequently involve internal workshops and cooperation with engineers, environmental designers, landscape architects, interior designers and planners to develop designs that integrate best practices for all areas of expertise. As Dahlin’s new firm head, what sort of direction have you set for your team? We have a broad range of talent across the offices in many project types, and I look forward to transitioning the leadership of the company to that talent in the younger generation. I also want to see our higher density design types now under construction in China, up to 30-story high rises, translate back to our work in the U.S. Are architects nervous about the new Supreme Court ruling that makes you financially liable for design flaws? Unfortunately, the ruling expands our liability beyond the builder, since future homeowners can claim injury suffered by poor design, beyond construction defects to include “livability.” In addition to increased exposure, this could keep architects in lawsuits longer, adding even more costs. We were worried about increased accountability years ago when ADA was enacted and especially that a court of law was the final arbiter. However, the results have produced mostly better accessibility design. Hopefully, we will see a similar response, with more attention to “livable” designs in the future.
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