California Buildings News Q4 2020

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Design & Operation of Office, Multifamily, Hospitality, Medical and Government Facilities

Q4 2020 • $5

Cleaning Facilities During COVID-19 Challenges Require New Strategies, Products and Training Pandemic-Influenced Building Design

Better Ventilation Means Better Health

Healthier Bathrooms

Contents 4

What If the Pandemic Lasts for Years? Property owners and managers, architects, employers, educators, hoteliers and everyone who pre-COVID went regularly into buildings needs to ask this... and answer. There are answers— and very smart, determined people are working them out day by day, sector by sector, product by product. We must give a big hand to our creative product makers and service providers. Many of the bright ideas are emanating from California, long the seedbed of innovation. That will mean retrofits and product enhancements. We have been and will continue to bring you news and perspective on all this. Facilities solutions are fomenting... faster than vaccines. And will be more permanent, since viruses keep evolving. It’s California... We Can Move Outdoors! Deadly airborne infections have emphasized the value of fresh freely circulating air, so let’s devote more space to rooftops, gardens, courtyards, parks and rooms with open windows for workplaces, multifamily complexes, hospitals, hotels, cafes, everything! This is a great time to consult with architects and landscapers. Besides, meeting outdoors stimulates creativity. (Try a walking meeting!) Will We Ever Go Back to the Office? Of course we will, many of us anyway. The outstanding question is how many of the 35% of the workforce working remote six months into the pandemic will ever return, given that just 2% were work-fromhomers before COVID-19. Necessity being the mother of invention, many knowledge-based and service work companies and organizations are realizing genuine productivity and employee satisfaction benefits from homework. Some top real estate forecasters say the commercial market, dropping to historic lows in the third quarter, will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025. And by then workplaces will probably be a blend of some office days and a lot more days remote for workers than before the pandemic, especially in trendy California. With more workspace-per-worker, the same pre-COVID space footage in buildings will likely be needed. And bigger apartment spaces will also be required as more work from home and need to maintain some distance between economic and personal activities. Moreover, we will likely see more office development in the suburbs and smaller towns, as city centers lose some appeal and companies establish satellite offices. Are Women Carrying Too Much of the Burden? Women probably have a greater percentage of responsible positions in commercial real estate management and some allied fields than in other industries. The health of the greater buildings industry depends on them functioning at the highest possible level, but how can they do that during the pandemic when they must also shoulder all-consuming child education and daycare duties... while also often getting less compensation than men to help them fund their needs? Industry leader Blake Peterson sheds light on this in her article on page 19. — Henry Eason

CA Voters Reject Higher Taxes

Cleaner Buildings: The Healthy Way


Building Design After COVID

Better Ventilation, Better Health



COVID & Women's CRE Careers

Association News: AIA, NAIOP, USGBC, ASHRAE, SMPS, US Chamber




New Projects


Comments on articles? Suggestions? Contact

California Buildings News Team Henry Eason, Editor Ellen Eason, Publisher & Associate Editor Contributing Editors

Zachary Brown, CBRE Ken Cleaveland, Public Affairs Advocate Bob Eaton, Eaton Hotel Investments Jessica Handy, CodeGreen Solutions Rich Lerner, Construction Consultant Michael F. Malinowski, AIA, President, Applied Architecture Inc. Katherine A. Mattes, Real Estate Consultant Steven Ring, Fulcrum Real Estate Development Carlos Santamaria, CEES-Advisors

Advertising Information Ellen Eason, 415.596.9466 © Copyright 2020 Eason Communications LLC PO Box 225234 San Francisco, CA 94122-5234 Copyright © 2020 by Eason Communications LLC, publisher of California Buildings News. The publisher assumes no liability for opinions expressed in editorial contributions to the magazine or third-party quotations within articles. The publication is not responsible for claims in advertisements. Printed in the U.S.A.

Cover images: Main image: Getty Images. Vent: Adobe Stock. Apartments and restroom: Getty Images

Color Takes Flight

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Owner: Metropolitan Airports Commission

GC: Sheehy Construction


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4 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

California Voters Reject Higher Real Estate Taxes Efforts to Impose Rent Controls Also Failed, Removing Growth Obstacles


oters refusal to boost taxes on commercial real estate and their rejection of stronger rent control measures will provide a long-term boost to the California economy by encouraging increased development of housing and providing more stable commercial rents at a critical time in our economy. Meantime, the national elections provided a likely division of leadership in Congress which puts a brake on excessive agendas by either political party and will require more cooperation going forward. There is a greater chance of infrastructure investment and a commitment to restoring normal trade relations that will ensure continued strong foreign funding of American real estate as well as more certainty in the delivery of badly need building materials from abroad. The California Business Properties Associations said in a news release: “Proposition 15, the largest property tax increase in California history, was defeated today by a margin of more than 550,000 votes, ending a challenge by Service Employees International Union, California Teachers Association, California State Parent Teacher Association and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to dismantle major portions of Proposition 13, the greatest tax protection measure left in the highest taxed state in the country overwhelmingly passed by voters more than 40 years ago.” “From day one, we knew that if voters understood the harm this deeply flawed tax hike would impose on California’s economy and its families, farmers and small businesses, voters would reject this ill-advised effort,” said Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable and co-chair of the No on Prop 15 campaign. Photo: Adobe Stock.

“Today’s victory should send a clear message to the proponents and warn all politicians that voters will continue to reject attempts to dismantle Prop 13.” “California voters understood the very real threat Proposition 15 presented to small businesses, farmers and consumers,” said Allan Zaremberg, president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce. “Voters in California smartly recognized that enacting the largest tax hike in California history would have been devastating to jobs, our economy and California’s future competitiveness.” “The robust opposition effort to defeat Prop 15 included a broad and diverse coalition which came together to educate voters about Prop 15’s many flaws and real-world impacts of an $11.5 billion per year tax increase. The main No on Prop 15 committee was led by the California Business Roundtable, the California Business Properties Association, the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Taxpayers Association. The bipartisan coalition, one of the most diverse coalitions ever assembled, also included social justice and civil rights organizations including the California State Conference of the NAACP, California State National Action Network, Latino groups, veterans, local chambers of commerce, private-sector labor unions and hundreds of small businesses across California. “Across California, voters in the vast majority of counties cast their ballots in opposition to Prop 15,” added Rob Gutierrez, president of the California Taxpayers Association. Rex Hime, president and CEO of the California Business Properties Association added, “Small businesses and property owners now have the opportunity to focus on making ends meet instead of formulating plans to close their doors.” (Continued on page 30)

Clean Buildings Series 6 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

Cleaner Buildings... the Healthy Way

Green Cleaning Makes Buildings Safer to Re-Enter During COVID-19 We are learning from experience that making buildings healthy enough for re-entry is a complex process that requires that we clean surfaces with materials that do the job and don’t pose secondary health challenges, that airborne infections are reduced and we use distanced designs. In this package of articles we examine many aspects that make buildings healthier, from HVAC to germ-free restrooms to cleaning materials and procedures. And we also focus on the unique impact COVID is having on the people who manage buildings, who increasingly are women. Janitors are our front-line defenders of cleaner surfaces. The way they perform and the materials they use are critical to the best outcome. “Green cleaning implementation requires a comprehensive strategy that entails green cleaning programs, products and procedural elements with the benefit of impacting the triple bottom line (human health, economic gain, and environmental protection),” says Julissa Sanchez, lead communicaPhoto: Adobe Stock.

tions specialist at the Building Skills Partnership of California, with operations throughout the state. “Building janitors should be made aware of their company’s sustainability programs to help advance and implement green cleaning solutions throughout the building. Building Skills Partnership’s Green Janitor Education Program is one such solution for engaging janitors in the building sustainability process, while

also professionalizing this workforce. “Given the expectation of janitors’ role, it is essential to provide education and training so that they can better understand how their duties contribute to workplace wellness and safety. The Green Janitor Curriculum recommends that workers use their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at all times while in the workplace, use only company provided equipment and materials, familiarize them

7 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

selves with product Safety Data Sheets for proper product usage and report any leaks or faulty equipment to their supervisors. “In addition, green cleaning combined with Infectious Disease training fosters janitors’ understanding about infectious diseases, exposure controls and how their contribution in cleaning and disinfection breaks the chain of transmission. “Green cleaning product selection should be based on standards and guidelines from organizations such as the U.S. Green Building Council of Los Angeles and the Environmental Protection Agency's N-List to incorporate products that are effective and environmentally safe.”

Economic Impact of Healthier Workplaces

USGBC’s “Healthy Economy Forum Report” cites a McKinsey study that if business can emphasize greater health the world will add an estimated

$12 trillion in GDP by 2040. Since the pandemic, surveys have revealed that employees’ concerns about the overall health of their workplaces has soared to the highest of employment concerns. Focus on the health of work, schooling, leisure and healthcare environments goes far beyond just fear of getting a coronavirus. The broader discussion goes into concern about all sorts of conditions, like productivity and even whether we are able to enjoy aspects of nature as we work. The USGBC report says, “building occupants will start to demand better ventilation with an increased cost of $14–$40 per person each year. Active design, lighting and views were also cited as critical health factors. Inactivity was noted to result in $54 billion in health care costs and $14 billion in lost productivity.” It adds, “There is a need to expand the definition of a resilient building to say a resilient building is not only one

that rolls with the punches, but also helps occupants roll with the punches. We need dynamic buildings and can no longer look at a building envelope as a construct that is hermetically sealed off from the world. Presenters discussed designing spaces to include a pandemic mode that can be switched on and off to respond to occupant needs during a pandemic, or a weather event. “Ventilation, filtration, hygiene and control of source all play a role in generating healthier air. Controlling relative humidity was introduced as one important factor that may decrease disease transmission, as well as monitoring air circulation whether with operable windows; increasing air supply; assessing, testing and replacing MERV 13 filters or adjusting HVAC systems to bring in additional outdoor air. “Transparent communication will build the trust and confidence people (Continued on page 8)

Clean Buildings Series 8 California Buildings News • Q4 2020


Ensuring a Safe Return to the Workplace Touchless Everything

Screen In / Screen Out

Contact Tracing

Social Distancing

LEARN MORE HERE: 415.962.1300 415.962.1300

Cleaner Buildings

(Continued from page 7)

need before heading back to work. While many of the strategies might be inside a building’s walls, it is equally important to promote visible strategies like socially distanced desks, hand sanitizer stations and more access to windows to show people you have taken steps to make the space safer than it was before.” Manufacturers Rising to COVID-19 Challenges Manufacturers have stepped up their game to provide cleaning crews with the tools they need. “Since the onset of COVID-19, we’ve learned that consumers are hyperaware—more than ever before—of business’ cleaning and disinfection routines and the products businesses are using.

More articles in this series: z USGBC Best Cleaning Practices (Page 10) z Building Design and COVID (Page 12) z Better Ventilation (Page 14) z Healthier Public Restrooms (Page 16) z COVID and Women's Careers (Page 17)

In fact, while previously only 4% of people said they felt concerned about germs outside the home, that number has now jumped to 60%, according to a recent study by Kantar and Lysol,” says Max Shearwood, Vice President, RB Business Solutions – Americas. “Some consumers feel so strongly that they won’t patronize a restaurant or business unless they feel confident that stringent health and cleanliness protocols are in place. This is why Lysol continues to forge alliances with businesses like Hilton and Delta to not only help protect employees and customers, but also to inspire confidence and contribute to safe reopenings.” n

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Clean Buildings Series 10 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

USGBC’s Best Cleaning Practices

The U.S. Green Building Council suggests the following cleaning practices:

w When disinfecting against SARSCoV2, use disinfectants that are on EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 and formulated with the active ingredients recommended by EPA’s Design for the Environment Logo for Antimicrobial Pesticide Products. (As of May 2020, the active ingredient list includes: Hydrogen Peroxide, Citric Acid, L-lactic Acid, Ethanol, Isopropanol, Peroxyacetic acid, and Sodium Bisulfate). If concentrated disinfectants are used and diluted to the proper use-solution utilizing a portion control device, put in place a testing protocol to ensure that the correct dilution rate is being achieved. Inexpensive test strips (under ten cents each) are available for many commonly used disinfectants (e.g. hydrogen peroxide and quats). w Use of cleaning chemical products that meet EPA Safer Choice Standard, Green Seal standards GS-37, GS-40, GS-52/53, or UL Ecologo 2792, 2795, 2777, 2798, 2791, 2796, 2759 or cleaning devices that use only water, ionized water, electrolyzed water, or aqueous ozone and have third-party-verified performance data equivalent to the other standards mentioned above (if the device is marketed for antimicrobial cleaning, performance data must demonstrate antimicrobial performance comparable to EPA

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Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics and Design for the Environment requirements, as appropriate for use patterns and marketing claims). w Use of hand soaps that meet one or more of the following standards: EPA safer choice, Green Seal GS-41, UL Ecologo 2784, or soaps with no antimicrobial agents (other than as a preservative) except where required by health codes and other regulations (e.g., food service and health care requirements). w In areas where soap and water are not available, use of hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol and meet one or more of the following standards: UL Ecologo 2783. w Use paper towels, wiping/drying products, mops, buckets and other tools that meet one or more of the following standards: EPA comprehensive procurement guidelines for janitor paper and plastic trash can liners, Green Seal GS-01 for tissue paper, paper towels and napkins, UL Ecologo 175 for toilet tissue and hand towels, janitorial paper products derived from rapidly renewable resources or made from tree-free fibers; FSC certification for fiber procurement, California integrated waste management requirements, for plastic trash can liners (California Code of Regulations Title 14, Chapter 4, Article 5, or SABRC 42290-42297 Recycled Content Plastic Trash Bag Program). w Use of cleaning equipment that has ergonomic design features to reduce worker injuries such as vibration, noise, and user fatigue. For examples of ergonomic design features, see EQ credit powered cleaning equipment. w Use of procedures that meet the joint requirements of CDC and EPA on Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes. w Use of procedures that optimize cleaning personnel resources and minimize unnecessary use of valuable cleaning products and equipment. Do not overuse or stockpile disinfectants or other supplies. Where possible, adjust spaces to minimize frequently touched surfaces and regularly update cleaning personnel on occupant activities in the building to ensure their cleaning aligns with the way the building is being used. w Identification of “high-touch surfaces” along with frequencies for cleaning and disinfecting the different objects so designated.

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w Procedure for quantitative testing of the cleanliness of surfaces. w Strategies for promoting and improving hand hygiene, including prioritizing thorough washing of hands with plain soap and water over hand sanitizers where possible.

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Clean Buildings Series 12 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

Will Buildings Be Better Designed After COVID? The “New Normal” Could Improve Where We Work, Learn and Live

The great pandemic tragedy that is coursing through the world will certainly change the way we do many things that were once considered set in stone. And some of them might result in improvements to the way work takes place, as well as education and housing. Architects, social scientists and urban thinkers are spending a lot of time these days redesigning the future. Kate Diamond, who is design director of HDR “We need to use the best Inc.’s Los Angeles office, information that science says, “In the world of workhas to offer while embracing place and community/civic uncertainty about changing design, the pandemic is raising both operational how we use space and and design questions. technology.” Clearly there are going to — Kate Diamond, HDR Inc. be challenging changes as we try to use our very murky crystal balls to predict future change. What degree of work from home flexibility is a valuable way to retain staff compared to the loss of creative, in-person collaboration and serendipitous moments of mentoring? “If someone works from home much of the time, what kind of space(s) do we need in offices? Touchdown spaces shared by multiple users require new cleaning protocols. We must consider everything. When we design civic buildings will we still be sizing council chambers for large in-person participation or will virtual meetings occur? We recently reviewed an administrative headquarters that uses active chilled beams with less outside air changes. We found that recirculating the air more passively across fewer individuals might be safer than a traditional HVAC that circulates air across many occupants, though it is likely to offer 6x as many outside air changes per hour — you need 50+ air changes to seriously reduce the rates of infection. We need to use the best information that science has to offer while embracing uncertainty about changing how we use space and technology.” Designers are also rethinking the way we deliver healthcare. HDR’s Julie Robertson, an expert in this field, says, “The way we design hospitals has changed with this pandemic and made hospital systems more prepared for the unexpected. Everything is under the microscope. We're focusing on limiting the amount of touch points along the patient/family journey from where they enter to

where they exit. These touch points and surfaces are being designed to withstand UV lights and more frequent disinfection protocols. Planning with flexibility in mind creates staging options for unknown scenarios and ramping up infrastructure for evolving changes in technology is critical considering that tele-health has drastically increased. Providing more negative pressure/isolation rooms so that facilities are prepared for the future is essential.

Redesigning Educational Environments Francie Moore, principal and higher education studio leader in SmithGroup’s Los Angeles office, says, “The unexpected pivot to online learning has revealed both benefits and shortcomings of today’s learning environments, and higher education institutions are addressing both by creating hybrid models of education. In the future, the learning ecosystem will be woven across multiple physical locations between campus and community. “Pandemic-era requirements for physical distancing have raised questions about the long-term efficacy of inflexible instructional spaces. The move away from single-use space toward more adaptable, multi-purpose space will address the immediate crisis and set up facilities for success. These flexible spaces will accommodate pedagogical changes, such as active learning environments, which are known to achieve better outcomes. Adaptability measures, such as movable furniture, and even walls, along with ubiquitous Wi-Fi and ample, dispersed power locations, will allow classrooms and other spaces to be transformed. “Seamless connectivity for students learning off-campus requires both technology at their remote location and in the campus environment. Infrastructure for technology to enable distance learning, including robust video conferencing systems, is imperative. To address issues of equity in access to technology in higher education environments, institutions may consider establishing remote locations operated by the college or university that provide safe, quiet remote learning environments with equipment and wireless access to encourage all students to learn successfully off campus.” n



Increase Outdoor Air Ventilation Rates Since carriers of infectious diseases, such as small particles and aerosols, can be airborne, removing them via building ventilation can be a powerful tool in mitigating transmission

RenewAire’s Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) PROVIDES INCREASED VENTILATION to dilute indoor air contaminants and decrease disease transmission rates


Read what the experts (CDC, OSHA, ASHRAE, REVHA) have to say about ventilation in the fight against COVID-19: INSTALL AN ER V OR DOAS AT YOUR OFFICE

“Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19),” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), March 21, 2020,


Clean Buildings Series 14 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

Better Ventilation Means Better Health... Advice from a City With Lowest COVID Rate of Any Major U.S. Metropolis

“In general, the greater the number of people in an indoor environment, the greater the need for ventilation with outdoor air. Focus efforts on providing fresh air ventilation to the spaces with the highest density of occupants as well as where occupants may be unmasked." Images: Adobe Stock.

If the rest of the U.S. had practiced public health as wisely as San Francisco, the nation’s COVID deaths would be a fourth the current rate. So, when the city’s public health department makes recommendations, they should be heeded everywhere. Its advice to building operators is particularly relevant to operators of all types of buildings. San Francisco was, in fact, the first city in California and one of the first in the nation to more fully and safely open workplaces. The San Francisco Department of Public Health said in a report, “Our understanding of the role that the built environment plays in the transmission of COVID-19 is evolving; recent literature suggests that air currents may carry small droplet and particles well beyond the 6-foot social distancing radius. With the possible exception of hospitals, healthcare facilities, and research facilities, existing ventilation requirements, such as those established in the Building Code and Title 24 were not intended to control exposures to small droplets and particles of hazardous infectious agents such as COVID-19. “Consequently code-compliance should be considered to be the baseline or starting point in creating more protective environments, and ventilation should be maximized to levels as far above code requirements as is feasible particularly for areas where people are unmasked and/or where there is the mixing of unassociated people. “In general, the greater the number of people in an indoor environment, the greater the need for ventilation with outdoor air. Focus efforts on providing fresh air ventilation to the spaces with the highest density of occupants as well as where occupants may be unmasked. Decrease occupancy in areas where outdoor ventilation cannot be increased.”

Steps SF Public Health Says You Should Take w Inspect and maintain local exhaust ventilation in

support areas such as laundry or kitchens. w Make sure that such ventilation is in balance

with the rest of the building so that potentially contaminated air is not drawn in from other areas. w Ensure restroom and other exhaust fans are functional. w Keep windows and other sources of natural ventilation open to the greatest extent possible. w Consider adding Portable Air Cleaners (PACs) in areas where fresh air ventilation cannot be increased.

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Public health officials also said, “Consider mechanical ventilation system upgrades or improvements and other steps to: 1) increase the delivery of clean air and 2) remove or dilute concentrations of COVID-19 or other contaminants in the building air. Obtain consultation from experienced HVAC professionals when considering changes to HVAC systems and equipment. Some of the recommendations below are based on ASHRAE’s Guidance for Building Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Review additional ASHRAE guidelines for schools and universities for further information on ventilation recommendations for different types of buildings and building readiness for occupancy.”

How Can You Tell If Your Ventilation is Effective? Public health officials suggest: w Small pieces of ribbon or tissue paper can be affixed to ventilation supply registers to verify that the system is operating. w A lightweight (down) feather, on the end of a stick or dowel can be used to trace air currents such as from fans or PACs, to verify that air is not being blown from person to person. w Commercial “ventilation smoke tracers” are sold to evaluate air currents but must be used with extreme caution. Many of the products use titanium tetrachloride, stannic oxychloride, or sulfuric acid fume which are severe respira-

tory tract irritants. Smoke candles create too much smoke for indoor use under normal circumstances. w Low-cost carbon dioxide, CO2, (not carbon monoxide, CO) monitors are commercially available. Increases in carbon dioxide levels over outdoor levels (typically 350-450 parts per million (ppm)) when a space is occupied may indicate that ventilation is not keeping up with room occupant’s breathing which has 4-5% (40,000-50,000 ppm) of carbon dioxide. w Although 700 ppm above background levels is the common value used to assess indoor air quality, lower increases (200-400 ppm above background) may be more appropriate to assess fresh-air supply for COVID-19. w Measurements should be taken at multiple locations within a room or space and repeated periodically during the time the room or space is occupied. w If PACs are being used, CO2 measurements need to be assessed with extra caution as PACs do not filter or remove CO2 from the air. In such circumstances CO2 differences in measurements at different locations may still help identify “dead spots” within rooms where air mixing or exchange is not occurring and when inadequate amounts of outside air are being provided. Consult ASHRAE for more info on readying your facility for safer re-entry: technical%20resources/covid-19/ashrae-building-readiness.pdf

Most Cost-Effective Healthy Air: Ventilation There are “cost-effective measures to reduce the risk of viral transmission are to increase outdoor air ventilation and provide good filtration of return air passing through the heating/cooling system,” says Jim Laabs, sales director for the West region of RenewAire. “Increasing outdoor air is a proven way to reduce small virus-carrying particulates. Studies show that increasing air changes in a room from 0.5/ hour to 1.5/hour reduces

the number of virus-carrying particulates by over 56%. For a typical classroom, this would require increasing outdoor air by about 250 CFM. An energy recovery ventilator (ERV) can provide outdoor air ventilation with a very minimal energy cost by recovering energy from exhausted air while supplying fresh outdoor air. “Heating and cooling equipment typically recycle room air, and if the return air filter is poor, this will

spread a virus around the room. In a classroom, a student in the front row may cough, and the virus will be redistributed through the entire room by the air conditioning system. It is important to use the highest MERV rated return air filter the equipment will allow and change the filter on a regular basis. Most systems can handle a MERV13 filter, which studies show significantly reduces the number of virus carrying particulates,” he says.

Clean Buildings Series 16 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

Public Restrooms Must Be Healthier to Prevent Infections Airborne Transmission Needs As Much Attention As Surface Cleaning By Hafsa Burt

Building occupants need to feel safe in a building, and lessons from COVID 19 will affect how buildings are renovated and designed in the future. Creation of safe and healthy indoor spaces that reduce the spread of airborne and surface contaminants is of prime importance in the current climate. COVID 19 has created a new set of concerns for building and space design. Regular cleaning of high touch areas can’t be less emphasized and CDC has issued guidelines for cleaning. Restroom layout seen commonly at airports that eliminates doors with widened pathways and one-way traffic is possibly the best way to go for new construction or major renovations. Automatic doors lessen touching. Some other elements include contact-less fixtures, which did become common even before the pandemic. Sensor taps have been around for quite some time for water, soap dispensers, hand dryers, paper towel dispensers etc. in heavy traffic areas such as airports to prevent spread of germs and should become a common practice in more building types. Large sink areas using non-porous surfaces with seamless construction and plenty of room to create a distance between users while washing hands will also become a more common best practice. Copper is an antimicrobial and specifying accesAbove: restroom layout seen commonly at airports that eliminates doors is a good solution. Photo: Adobe Stock.

sible fixtures coated with antimicrobial coatings will be seen more often.

Flushed Toilets Without Lids Can Spread Disease

In public restrooms a common practice is to use WCs without lids which can expose the user to toilet plume. More and more designers may opt to enclose the toilet in floor to ceiling partitions or opt for toilets with lids that close automatically before flushing. Also, waterless urinals don't have urinal plume. Lastly, cleaner indoor air and proper ventilation for airborne problems will include elimination or limitation of unfiltered air entering a space and further filtrating and recirculating indoor air. The Center for Disease Control suggests the coronavirus can spread indoors through poor circulation of building ventilation systems. MERV 13 does have the ability to remove droplets and aerosols. MERV 16 does a little bit better than MERV 13 but doesn’t offer a big difference. MERV 13 is required, but MERV 16 is not the ideal case compared to HEPA filters. In addition, both MERV 16 and HEPA filters need a booster fan. Further, eliminate or limit unfiltered air entering the space. Turn off any fans that are bringing in unfiltered or (Continued on page 18)

17 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

Will COVID Disrupt Working Mothers’ CRE Careers? A Leading Woman in the Industry Says, “It’s Up to Us” By Blake Peterson


formidable pull towards home that was not built into anychool closures due one’s career path. Smart leaders understand that helping to COVID-related our labor force navigate these waters is critical to the short measures have and long-term success of an organization. As such, unprecabsolutely disrupted houseedented times call for unprecedented employee flexibility holds with working parents. and unprecedented resource availability. Families with kids that As a leader, it is my job to keep our employees delivercan’t effectively administer ing consistent quality service to our clients. If that means remote learning independently have taken on a potentialreferring childcare options, shifting work hours, providing ly unmanageable burden. Assisting children with remote home IT equipment or hiring additional support staff, we learning on top of a full-time job does not offer a clear path will ensure that standards aren’t compromised, and all to achievable balance, putting parents in a position to make commitments are met. Talk to painful compromises. your employees, know where Do I sacrifice my kids’ they are, and see how you can education or sacrifice my "High achievers... don’t accept the help. Consider accommodations work product? Due to mutually exclusive concept that one that have never been provided men statistically outbefore. earning women and women can be either an excellent parent or In addition to the "employtraditionally taking a more an excellent professional." er’s role, I think that partners, hands-on role with primary coworkers and friends of workeducation, it will disproporing mothers also play a part in tionately (and unfortunately) this. Support your local workbe women’s careers that will ing mother; she has likely never been spread so thin and a decelerate to accommodate family needs while men’s careers small amount of encouragement and help goes a long way. forge on. The headlines have indicated that this is already If you don’t know how to help her, simply ask her. happening at alarming rates. The high achievers that I know naturally seek success Although the overall commercial real estate sector still and inherently pursue maximizing potential in all areas of has a LONG way to go on diversity, we have seen some their life. They don’t accept the mutually exclusive concept recent and consistent progress in women earning leaderthat one can be either an excellent parent or an excellent ship roles in many major organizations. Not too long ago, professional. With the right support and creativity in and the only females in real estate that you’d find at the top of out of the workplace, we can avoid forcing women to the organizational chart were in non-producing functions choose due to COVID-19. like human resources. Let her be lovely and kind and maternal and let her We’ve recently seen a refreshing uptick in the number also be outwardly intelligent and skilled at her professional of women in top leadership roles across service lines — trade where she finds fulfillment and satisfaction and conparticularly in asset services. I celebrate this progress, but fidence by adding value to a call beyond the household. If let’s make a collective decision not to let COVID-19 impact she wants it all, let her go for it and help her through these this positive momentum. temporary, unique challenges. She’s worth it and I guaranThe underlying issues here are not due to the pandemtee she’d do the same for you. ic. COVID-19 has just publicly exposed working mothers’ classic tug-o-war between work and home, introducing a

Peterson is senior vice president, asset services, for Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. She lives in the East Bay, is a mother of three school-age children and is a former president of the Building Owners and Managers Association of San Francisco and remains active in number of business associations.

Clean Buildings Series 18 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

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How Dangerous Are Uncovered Public Toilets? “SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, spreads primarily through airborne respiratory droplets. However, it is also known that the novel coronavirus is shed in an infected individual’s feces. In fact, some community COVID surveillance programs sample building wastewater for viral presence amongst the building’s population,” says NoviSphere CEO Paul Lockhart. Most public toilet have no lids, so flushing them can disperse aerosol fecal molecules. “Toilet flushing can generate fine aerosol particles lighter and smaller than respiratory droplets, remaining suspended in air for longer periods of time and traveling farther distances; especially when caught in the return of an air handling system, potentially recirculating to other parts of the building. As such, there is potential risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission via toilet flushing, especially in public restrooms. “The NoviSphere™ PE 254 pathogen-eradication system eliminates all airborne viral, bacterial and fungal (mold) aerosol particles from the bathroom space. The unit is safe to use in occupied spaces and renders the ambient air safe for recirculation. NoviSphere believes that the use of this device bolsters building disinfection strategies with an additional layer of protection,” Lockhart explains.

Public Restrooms

(Continued from page 16)

insufficiently filtered air. This includes sidewall or central supply fans, ERV or HRVs with less than MERV 13 filtration. Ducted recirculating systems have to be checked for cleaning or replacement of filters. It might also be best to run ducted HVAC systems with central fans in AC or fan only mode. Discuss options with your mechanical consultant and perhaps get them to custom design HEPA filter boxes with booster fans and to provide UV lights at the supply ducts to kill viruses. In summary, non-porous surfaces with touchless fixtures, wide sink areas to encourage social distancing, toilets with lids that close automatically and regular cleaning per CDC guidelines or with 70% or more alcohol should become a common practice. Cleaning requirements may also become regulated, and the health and safety of janitorial staff and other employees falls under strict OSHA guidelines. n Burt is the studio head at HB+A Architects in San Francisco and Castro Valley and can be reached at

19 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

COVID-19’s Impact on Key Real Estate Trends From Urban Land Institute’s “Emerging Trends in Real Estate - 2021” Report

Accelerated by COVID-19

Stopped or slowed by COVID-19 (for now)

w Work from home

w Appeal of Central Business District/density

w Move to Sun Belt states

w In-person conferences and meetings

w Suburban migration

w Experiential retail

w Public open space

w Leisure travel/tourism

w Retail sector transformation

w Business travel

w Importance of redundant supply chains

w Mass transit use

w Proptech shift to WFH and building safety

w Apartment amenity wars

w Municipal/state fiscal issues

w Tourist-oriented retail

w Safety/health concerns in buildings

w Live entertainment

w Affordable housing crisis

w University towns

w Concerns about racial equity

w Student housing

w Federal deficit

w Global supply chains

w Bikes and scooters

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California Buildings News

San Diego Building Solves Telephony Service Issues While Realizing Substantial Savings Elevator phones should be simple: the elevator had terminated the phone line without speaking to anycompany provides the phone, the phone company one on site. Instead of being relieved the automated calls provides the dial tone. Yes, it should be simple but so had stopped, the building manager was now even more often it’s not— and knowing just how much an elevator concerned due to the elevator communication system phone can cost you is now more important than ever. being out of code compliance. As a building manager, imagine receiving a bill In the meantime the elevator company recommendfor $468.93 for a single phone line. Let me repeat ed the property reach out to us here at Kings III. Using that, $469 for one phone line. Yes, almost $500 per unique line seizure technology, we were able to elimimonth for one phone nate the phone line in line for a single emerquestion and another Telecom gency elevator phone. line along with $900 in Provider Kings III has one such monthly expenses, all customer in San Diego while keeping the Phone Line Expense $980.00 $0.00 that recently experienced building’s elevator just that. Adding insult communication system Monitoring Expense $0.00 $96.58 to injury, the telecom code compliant. Total Monthly Charge $980.00 $96.58 company had also added The difference is Kings III Monthly Savings $883.42 long-distance charges to that with Kings III, this emergency elevator making sure the phone Kings III Annual Savings $10,601.04 phone line. works is just the start. Recently the elevator The hardware is just phone line started experiencing connection issues and one component of the service which includes equipment, began making continuous mechanized calls. When the installation, lifetime maintenance and 24/7/365 profesproperty manager called the phone company on a Monday sional monitoring by our Advanced Emergency Medical to request immediate service, he was told they would be Dispatch (AEMD) and HIPAA-certified emergency dispatchthere on Friday. Meanwhile, the telecom company was also ers, all for one low monthly fee. While cost savings is charging the property $1 per minute ($1440 a day) for great, it is really our highly trained dispatchers and benthese automated calls. Naturally, the property manager efits not commonly offered in the security space that set pushed for more immediate service and then not getting us apart and helps us help you mitigate risk and liability. any help from the telecom vendor, he called his elevator So, not only should elevator phones be simple, they company to see if they could assist. can be. Think this is an anomaly? Think again! We have The elevator company was able to confirm the had two such cases with new customers in San Diego problem was with the phone line and beyond its scope. and another in Los Angeles all in the same month. Then rather unexpectedly, the calls randomly stopped. We encourage you to take a closer look at your telephony Problem solved, right? As a part of their troubleshooting bills and please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help efforts, the elevator company discovered the phone line in doing so. Think this sounds great, but not using had been completely disconnected. The phone company landlines? We offer cellular service as well.

Check out the full story complete with the phone bills mentioned above at s ( 833) 339-0616 s

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22 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

Association News

AIA San Francisco Confers 2020 Design Awards AIA San Francisco’s Design Awards program recognizes the outstanding achievements in architecture and design of Bay Area individuals and organizations, and celebrates the distinguished work of architects and related professionals from afar who contribute to the framework of our local built environment. The program serves to inform the public of the breadth and value of architectural practice.

The awards demonstrate that all of these disciplines explored collectively, rather than independently, strengthen the overall power and scope of architecture to help shape the built environment and enrich the human spirit. The Design Awards program now incorporates the fulfillment of sustainable design principles into all categories.

This year’s top awards included: Honor Award: SF State Mashouf Wellness Center, WRNS Studio Honor Award: Skigard Hytte, Mork Ulnes Architects Merit Award + Urban Design Commendation: 855 Brannan, David Baker Architects Merit Award: Goto House, IwamotoScott Architecture Merit Award: Larkin Street Substation Expansion, TEF Design Merit Award: Lick-Wilmerding High School Historic Renovation & Expansion, EHDD Citation Award: Moscone Center Expansion, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Mark Cavagnero Associates Citation Award: PG&E Potrero, Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects Citation Award: The Bechtel Family Center for Ocean Education and Leadership for Monterey Bay Aquarium, Mark Cavagnero Associates

Bechtel Family Center. Photo: Tim Griffith Photography

Citation Award: The McClintock Building Adaptive Re-Use,Perkins and Will (formerly Pfau Long Architecture) Citation Award: WETA Richmond Ferry Terminal, Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects

Moscone Center. Photo: Tim Griffith, Matthew Millman, Cesar Rubio

888 Brannan. Photo: Bruce Damonte

23 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

AIA-LA Announces Millennium Awards

The Six. Photo: Tara Wucjik

Grand Park. Photo: Jim Simmons

Caltrans Headquarters. Photo: Roland Halbe

Celebrating the best architecture realized during the first 20 years of this new millennium, the winners of the “Best of the Millennium Awards” were selected from entries that earned American Institute of Architects Los Angeles’ design awards from 2000 to 2019. This recognition of the role of important and forward-leaning design was also reflected in changes to criteria in existing AIALA Design Awards categories for 2020: the namesake 2020 AIALA Design Awards which honor completed projects, and the Next LA awards which consider designed but as-yet unbuilt work. To encourage advances in sustainability, an essential consideration in the coming years of the millennium, the AIALA incorporated the “Common App” for design juries to use as a component in assessing submissions for both of these categories. The app is a nationally used tool and data base that evaluates sustainability performance and tracks progress the architectural profession is making in carbon neutrality, water conservation, healthy materials, and resiliency and similar areas. “The addition of the Common App as an evaluation tool for the Design Award and Next LA awards categories reflects the commitment of our profession to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment,” stated 2020 AIALA President Greg Verabian, AIA. “This is a core value of the profession and something we think about every day and in every project at my firm. Our profession holds a leadership role, we are stewards of our universal future. We know that we can change the course of climate change.” The winners are: Honor Award: Inner-City Arts (Los Angeles), Michael Maltzan Architecture Honor Award: Grand Park (Los Angeles), RIOS Merit Award: Pico Branch Library (Santa Monica), Koning Eizenberg Architecture, Inc. Merit Award: Solar Umbrella (Venice), Brooks + Scarpa Merit Award: The SIX (Los Angeles), Brooks + Scarpa Citation Award: Caltrans District 7 Headquarters ( Los Angeles), Morphosis Architects Citation Award: Silvertop (Los Angeles), Bestor Architecture

24 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

Association News

Greenbuild Speakers Call For Healthier Climate Actions Echoing the link scientists have made between climate change and increasing epidemics, U.S. Green Building Council President Mahesh Ramanujam said at this year’s Greenbuild that the people of California know this well, since they are using the N95 masks they bought during recent wildfire seasons to protect themselves from COVID-19. The sustainability group’s CEO and International WELL Building Institute President Rachel Gutter emphasized at the online conference the need to address all aspects of climate change that are impacting the global community—including pandemics. “Human health and climate heath are inextricably linked,” Gutter said. In her Greenbuild keynote address, Christiana Figueres, the architect of the Paris Agreement and executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said buildings need to be moving to net zero and that LEED and other tools are helping to normalize the standards and conditions that will get the industry there. She remarked that meeting climate goals will require “stubborn optimism and asserted that the building, architectural and construction sectors have the greatest potential to bring the world back in touch with our humanity--that they are architects of the future. Without assertive actions globally, Figueres forecasted a dismal future. “Are we condemned to a dystopian world? No, because (humanity has) the upper hand.” But the decade of 2020, she said, is a decisive time when the world’s governments and major corporations have bold plans to decarbonize.” Summary of Conference Actions During education sessions and keynote addresses, USGBC outlined commitments and actions to help support a healthy, sustainable, resilient and equitable recovery: w USGBC ALL IN – A new equity program from USGBC

As companies in California continue to encourage their employees to work remotely and office space needs shrink, what will happen to the mountains of furniture and office supplies no longer needed? Those organizations looking for a way to impact their community while lessoning the burden on the environment have been tapping Green Standards Ltd, a specialized environmental firm that works with companies in the Bay Area and beyond, to responsibly redistribute no-longer-needed surplus office furniture, equipment and supplies—those materials are then donated, resold, or recycled, making it simple and cost-effec-

What To Do With Excess Furniture... After Downsizing

will serve as a roadmap for how the organization and the green building community can better contribute to addressing social, health and economic disparities in communities around the world. USGBC released a draft equity strategy that includes 12 priorities and actions the organization has committed to, to ensure equity is embedded throughout everything the organization does. A final strategy will be released in 2021, and USGBC is soliciting feedback on the current priorities outlined and available online. As a first step, USGBC will provide funding for 500 individuals in underserved communities to earn their LEED credential. w Living Standard – USGBC is expanding its Living Standard campaign to become the organization’s pivotal grassroot initiative, a galvanizing and inspiring tool to share best practices and support the organization’s ambitious, inclusive and resilient vision. w Return on Investment (ROI) Study – To help the industry better quantify the benefits of green building, USGBC will be conducting an ROI study that looks at both the value of investment, as well as impact of green building. USGBC will also conduct a credentialing survey to understand the needs of the market as it works to build the green building workforce. More information on USGBC research will be available next year. w LEED Zero for design – As part of a session on the future of LEED, USGBC announced that a LEED Zero rating system will be released for projects in the design phase. More information is to come on the rating system and its release. w Leadership Awards – This year, USGBC recognized 10 extraordinary individuals, companies and projects for their commitment to LEED, as well as improving Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance, enhancing citywide sustainability and resilience, and introducing innovative waste management solutions. tive to clear out workspaces and do more good. An inevitable fall in demand of office space is on the horizon and unless companies up their CSR commitments when it comes to F-Waste (furniture waste) when they ditch their vast, multi-floor office spaces filled with bulky waste-in-waiting, they’re contributing to this growing problem. The alternative is what local companies like Adobe have done—turn F-Waste into meaningful donations to local non-profits like LifeMoves and schools like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Middle School, which are just two of over 100 local beneficiaries of recent GSL projects. Over the past few years, Green Standards has teamed with some of the biggest companies in the Bay Area to donate over $800,000 worth of furniture of equipment to organizations in need while diverting 99.7% of these materials from landfill.

25 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

NAIOP Predicts Positive Trend For Offices in Early 2021 Leading Real Estate Developers Group Says Multiyear Leases, Tech Jobs Key Factors A new office space demand forecast published by the NAIOP Research Foundation projects a period of negative absorption through late 2020 and early 2021, but total net absorption from Q2 2021 to Q3 2022 will exceed negative absorption from the recession, resulting in overall gains. In addition, the forecast negative absorption is less than the negative absorption that has been reported for the last two quarters. “Given the continued challenges facing the U.S. economy, office net absorption is forecast to be negative 18 million square feet in Q4 2020 and negative 10 million square feet in Q1 2021,” according to the forecast. “The coronavirus pandemic has led to conditions that are remarkably different from past recessions but are nonetheless challenging for the office sector.” “Although vacancy rates have risen, there are many multiyear leases that are set to outlast the projected return

to the office,” said Thomas J. Bisacquino, president and CEO of NAIOP. “Office space users face a unique dynamic presented by the pandemic, but the shift to remote work has allowed businesses to keep going in certain sectors.” NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, is a leading organization for developers, owners and related professionals in office, industrial, retail and mixed-use real estate. For example, October unemployment rates in the financial-activities sector (3.8%), information sector (5.8%) and professional and business services sector (6.1%) were below the U.S. national average of 6.9%. This forecast assumes a continued rebound in real GDP for the remainder of 2020. It assumes real GDP will expand by 4% in 2021 and 3% in 2022 and that average unemployment during 2021 and 2022 will be approximately 5.5% and 4.5% respectively. Finally, the forecast assumes that inflation in both years will be 1.75%.

Construction Rebounding, Says U.S. Chamber The commercial construction industry showed signs of rebound in the latest U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index. While the overall index score remained fairly steady, increasing by one point to 57 in the third quarter, two of the three main indicators saw increases, pointing to more optimism about the future. Despite the overall gain, the index remains significantly below the score of 74 from the first quarter of 2020. Confidence in new business rose six points to 56 in Q3 from 50 in Q2, while revenue expectations increased four points to 48 in Q3 from 44 in Q2. However, those increases were offset by the third indicator, current backlog, which dropped five points from 73 in Q2 to 68 in Q3 (impact to backlog may lag for several months as projects are delayed). As commercial construction contractors look to the future, 82% now have moderate to high confidence that the U.S. market will provide sufficient new business opportunities in the next 12 months, up from 75% in Q2. The majority (60%) of contractors expect their revenues to remain about the same in the next 12 months (the same as in Q2); 22% expect an increase, up from 17% in Q2.

26 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

California’s Tech-Intense Facilities

Require Heightened Security

Q&A with Joseph Gittens, Director of Standards, Security Industry Association As the home of many of the world’s leading technology and intellectual propertygenerating companies, universities and government agencies, California facilities that house them need special protection. California Buildings News asked one of the country’s top security experts to share some insights and recommendations. Q: With so many commercial and institutional buildings nearly vacant, how can tenants best protect their assets from theft and other mischief?

in the remote workspace as well. Employees should continue using corporate devices and accounts to work from home. Additionally, cybersecurity exercises such as red teaming should continue to be practiced in this enviA: Many of the security measures that these buildings had ronment, keeping employees abreast of common threats in place previously—access control, video surveillance and and vulnerabilities. Novel predatory phishing attempts intercom systems—should carry the bulk of the weight in should be reported, and staff should protecting the unoccupied space; be taught how to spot the signahowever, there are a few practictures of these types of efforts. es that can help mitigate a vacant "Bad actors thrive during times

building’s risk of being the target of Q: We have heard from of turmoil and during times of theft or vandalism. some property managers economic distress, so you always (particularly women) in charge Stage activity even when there is see an uptick in crime." of large buildings that they none: Through automation, smart are concerned for their lighting and timers, a building can safety as they move about appear occupied even when it is empty hallways. How can they be better protected? not. Additionally, having any human security or designated personnel do simple things like rearranging A: Very similar to the answer to the first question— and updating visible door signage or lobby furniture although the scene may be scary, security that is already regularly and collecting mail and packages to avoid the in place should give some peace of mind to these proptelling pileup of parcels could make it seem like there is erty managers. A manager can perform a virtual tour of more activity in a building and lead potential bad actors their expected route, reviewing the live video feeds of to seek an easier target. their planned route before moving through the hallways. Review security system settings: Many security systems Lighting automation can ensure the route is lit before the have been configured for a normal daily routine, including rounds begin. any rules-based analytics that monitor the flow and moveQ: What interesting new types of products and ment of people. Alarm thresholds and rules should be revisservices are emerging to better shield buildings? ited and reconfigured for the new traffic patterns within Advancements in security system analytics and rules building. For example, it may be worthwhile to turn people processing can help protect buildings both in the current counters on or revisit loitering sensors that caused nuisance landscape and during “normal” times. Access control rules alarms previously; these tools can help with situational can help enforce social distancing by creating caps on the awareness in these abnormal times. number of people allowed in a building or area, and these Q: Do you perceive greater cybertheft during this rules can be further monitored using video and the anatime? How can it be foiled? lytics that often come with these systems, such as people A: Bad actors thrive during times of turmoil and during counting, and newer mask detection technologies. Many times of economic distress, so you always see an uptick in of these technologies aren’t new; rather, they have been crime. Cybercrime is no different. Home networks are unused, and the pandemic has introduced a serious use usually not as secure or closely monitored as corporate case for these switches to be flipped. More efficient use of networks, and with more people working from home, these security technologies, coupled with more integration there is definitely greater risk. Organizations should ensure with building operations systems, will go a long way toward cybersecurity practices followed in the office are adhered to protecting both occupied and unoccupied buildings. n

Association News

27 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

Is It Safe To Reopen Schools?

ASHRAE Raises Issues, Provides Guidance in HVAC Report The ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force has developed guidance on the operation of HVAC systems to help mitigate the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2. The 41-page presentation includes convenient checklists to prepare educational buildings to resume occupancy such as starting up HVAC systems as well as checks and verifications to maintain during the academic school year. The guidance is meant to provide practical information to school districts and university campus environmental health managers, facility managers, administrators, technicians and service providers. “As schools prepare to reopen for the fall academic semester, it's important to keep children and school staff safe,” said 2020-21 ASHRAE President Charles E. Gulledge III, P.E. “ASHRAE’s school reopening guide will serve as a resource to school leaders as they work in lockstep with health experts to finalize plans to keep everyone safe.”

The guide includes the following topics: Determining Building Readiness, Equipment & System Specific Checks & Verifications During the Academic Year, New/Modified Facility Design Recommendations, Filtration Upgrades, Operations of Occupied Facilities, Controlling Infection Outbreak in School Facilities, and Higher Education Facilities Recommendations. Also included is guidance formulated to help designers retrofit and plan for the improvement of indoor air quality and to slow the transmission of viruses via the HVAC systems as well as new guidance on student health facilities, laboratories, athletic facilities, residence halls, and large assemblies, lectures and theatres. “School and university officials are challenged with making very difficult decisions on how to best protect both students and staff as education facilities reopen, said Corey Metzger, ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force Schools Team lead. “This guidance offers a solid framework on ventilation control, filtration and maintenance that can be applied to different climate zones, building types and HVAC systems.” For the complete reopening guide and other COVID-19 resources, visit

Six AEC California Firms Win Top Marketing Awards

SMPS Recognizes People Who Communicate for Architects, Builders & Engineers The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), the premier A/E/C marketing and business development association, recently announced the recipients of its 2020 Marketing Communications Awards (MCA) program. Its annual competition is the longest-standing, most prestigious awards program recognizing excellence in marketing and communications by professional services firms in the design and building industries. The MCA finalists, including Best of Show and People’s Choice, were recognized during the MCA Virtual Show held online during Build Business in October. “SMPS is proud to celebrate the 43rd annual MCA competition as it underscores the critical role and immense value marketing professionals bring to the design and building industries,” noted Josh Miles, chief marketing officer of SMPS. Winning in the following categories, the California-based firms were: Direct-Mail Campaign Merit Award: P2S Inc., Long Beach, CA (Digital)

Holiday Piece – Print Merit Award: Degenkolb Engineers, San Francisco, CA Merit Award: QK, Visalia, CA Recruitment and Retention Communications Merit Award: Taylor Design, Irvine, CA (Mixed Media) Website – External Award of Excellence: SC Builders, Sunnyvale, CA Brand Awareness Campaign Merit Award: MBH Architects, Alameda, CA (Mixed Media) The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) is dedicated to creating business opportunities in the A/E/C industries. With almost 7,000 members, SMPS provides leadership and professional development programs, industry research, business-building events, and vital marketing resources. Through SMPS, A/E/C professionals in North America tap into powerful networks to form project teams, secure business referrals and intelligence, and benchmark performance. The Society is committed to validating the practice of marketing and business development as essential to the success of all professional services firms. Visit

28 California Buildings News • Q4 2020


Reliable Controls' Powerful MACH-ProView LCD EQUIPMENTview The Reliable Controls® MACHProViewTM LCD is a powerful BACnet Building Controller (B-BC) and BACnet Operator Display (B-OD) which provides a fully customizable, high-resolution graphical user interface called EQUIPMENTview. This freely programmable, touch-screen controller also features six universal inputs and outputs and communicates on industry standard topologies such as Ethernet, Power over Ethernet, Wi-Fi and EIA-485, using BACnet and Modbus protocols. In addition to temperature, the MACH-ProView LCD supports occupancy, humidity, CO2 and VOC sensing. Visit

Starline’s Track Busway a Flexible Solution Starline’s revolutionary overhead Track Busway system combines the flexibility of track lighting with the ability to power other equipment— all from one power supply. Available from 40 to 1200 amps, Starline Track Busway systems provide unlimited access points for an entire spectrum of lighting fixtures. A versatile selection of plug-in units can be employed in any configuration and allow for quick relocation of electrical access points to support changes to your facility layout. Learn more at

PAC Snap-Clad Metal Roof System: Strength with Style Petersen’s Snap-Clad metal roof system features architectural aesthetics and structural performance. Snap-Clad panels offer a 1-3/4” leg height and a continuous interlock for improved wind resistance. A concealed-fastener clip system allows for thermal expansion/contraction while providing extraordinary hold-down strength. Snap-Clad panels come in 46 standard colors with a 30-year non-prorated finish warranty. Most colors meet LEED®, ENERGY STAR® and cool roof certification. For information about Petersen’s full product line, visit

Krieger Specialty Products' Door & Window Products Since 1936, Krieger Specialty Products has been a leading manufacturer of specialized door and window products for acoustical, blast resistant, bullet resistant, radio frequency shielding, thermal shielding, tornado, and hurricane applications. Built to your precise specifications, Krieger doors and windows have been the choice for premier buildings in California and throughout the world. Learn more at or call 562-695-0645.

29 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

KastleSafeSpaces: Bring Workers Back Safely Kastle Systems is the leader in “Managed Security,” an end-to-end approach for servicing clients’ security needs, taking long-term responsibility of their security package and operations. The company created KastleSafeSpaces to get workers back to work safely in the COVID-19 era by integrating its access control system of touchless technologies for doors, turnstiles, elevators and more, with employee health screening protocols, social distancing and contact tracing to reassure workers they are returning to their offices safely. To learn more, visit or call 415-962-1300.

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RenewAire ERVs: The Optimal Cleaning Choice Post COVID-19 Being inside can be harmful due to indoor air contaminants, including the PM2.5 and Coronavirus. The solution is dilution via ventilation, but opening a window isn’t enough. The best option post COVID19 is controlled and balanced energy recovery ventilation (ERV), which exhaust contaminants out, brings in fresh outdoor air and saves energy. For California buildings, an optimal choice is the RenewAire ERV, which is not only compliant with Title 24 requiring MERV 13 filtration, but also supports IAQ and energy efficiency. Learn more at

Dallas/Fort Worth-based custom elevator cab manufacturer, Eklund’s, Inc., has launched a new product offering, CabShield™, to mitigate disease transmission inside elevators. CabShield helps keep passengers safe from pathogens by continuously disinfecting the space. CabShield targets airborne and surface-dwelling pathogens inside elevators via UV light and advanced air filtration. Available exclusively as an upgrade option for cab interior projects, the anti-microbial components are seamlessly integrated into design plans during engineering. For more info about CabShield, visit cabshield or contact us at

30 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

PRODUCT FOCUS Kings III's Emergency Monitoring Reduces Risk and Mitigates Liability Exposure

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Real Estate Taxes

(Continued from page 4)

Voters Rejected Rent Control Almost 60% of California voters rejected an extreme version of rent control, Proposition 21, a proposition that would have hampered the development of new housing. “It’s heartening that voters across the state recognized that Prop 21 would have worsened California’s ongoing housing shortage and homelessness crisis,” said Tom Bannon, chief executive officer of CAA. “Now, it’s time to get busy and come up with real solutions for increasing the number of housing units for California’s working families.” The measure would have repealed key provisions of 1995’s Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, authorizing local governments to bring back vacancy controls, capping rents between tenancies. Moreover, it would have allowed cities and counties to apply local rent control ordinances to newer apartments— as soon as they turn 15 years old — and to a greater number of condos and single-family homes. These policies would have prompted many existing landlords to take their homes and buildings off the rental market, converting them to other uses and many developers to take their housing project proposals across state lines. n

31 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

Are Tall Buildings Doomed? Not Necessarily...If Their Owners Work with Big Cities To Adapt & Innovate Since the pandemic there have been numerous reports in the media that cities with skyscraping downtowns like San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego are doomed because people fear breathing viral air in elevators, avoid mass transit that’s necessary to commute to central business districts and numerous people are allowed to work from home. The crowded entertainment and social venues that attracted people to big cities have become fearful. Since scientists tell us they don’t know when this pandemic will be over and others may follow, many people have been moving away from urban centers. The Urban Land Institute in its respected 2021 Emerging Trends in Real Estate report documents this, but it also offers some hope that grass will not soon grow in city streets. Working with pwc, it surveyed more than 1,600 real estate executives throughout North America to offer some insights. (See a summary of some conclusions on page 21.) It reports that there is a distinctly horizontal move toward the suburbs and smaller cities, and that will continue. But it does not mean that big cities must necessarily decline. In the section of its report entitled “Reinventing Cities Post-COVID,” the report says that “central cities could face relatively more severe COVID-related fiscal challenges than suburban areas.” That said, “Cities have started to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions with creative solutions such as street dining and designating more public space for nonvehicular use. Building on decades of recognition of the value of parks and green space, and the need for lower-cost housing and quality schools, further innovation is both likely and necessary to provide these and other amenities that are often more widely available in suburbs. “The trend of suburban locations offering urban amenities is familiar. What we may be looking at now is the trend of the America’s urban renaissance of the past few decades has been transformative for cities large and small across the United States. Led by baby boomers initially but taken up full throttle by generation X and millennials, center-city neighborhoods and close-in suburbs have blossomed into attractive places to live and even raise families. Multiple factors supported the

overall interest in living in such places—the shift to experiences over possessions, improved public transportation, the desire for a smaller environmental footprint, and falling crime rates, among others.”

What Can Cities Do?

The report says, “While demographics and COVIDgenerated new habits may tilt in favor of suburban markets over the next decade, cities are not likely to stand still as their tax bases erode.” Many cities have done the following: u Allocated sidewalk and even street space for outdoor dining. u With less traffic, cities have expanded or created new bike and pedestrian ways. Many have been very well used since biking and walking are current substitutes for public transit in some cases. u Reimagined virtually all their public spaces, like streets, sidewalks, open spaces. u There should be more bike storage on streets and sidewalks. u City officials should rethink and rezone all retail space, much of it is no longer relevant “Infrastructure that’s original from the 1950s and 1960s is going to be completely reimagined now. It’s infrastructure with landscape and open space...A great example is the Los Angeles River that winds through that city. The L.A. River is the quintessential infrastructure of a single purpose project to convey water. Now it’s going to have multiple purposes: nature, people, health and wellness, and safety of moving stormwater through the city. Infrastructure just can’t be single purpose” noted a design leader who contributed to the report. The report concludes that “While suburbs may outshine center cities for the next decade, few are predicting the outright demise of center cities. Growth in urban areas will be slower than over the past decade, and possibly flat, as demographics and COVID-influenced choices favor the suburbs. At the same time, gateway markets such as Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., will remain the financial, cultural, technology, and government capitals of the United States and even the world.”


Industry News

California Buildings News • Q4 2020

CBRE Sees Economy Recovering With Vaccines, Centrist Governing Year-Ahead Forecasts Optimistic — After A Tough Q4 2020, Q1 2021 Quarters 2021 will see a “strengthened recovery of all U.S. commercial real estate sectors as the broader economy bounces back from the pandemic-induced recession and even as a potentially split federal government tempers fiscal stimulus plans,” according to CBRE, the Los Angeles-headquartered largest real estate company in the world. “CBRE anticipates that sectors like office, retail and hotels will begin a slow recovery next year. Meanwhile industrial & logistics real estate and data centers will extend their rapid early recovery that is already under way, and multifamily will start its own swift rebound. All sectors will benefit from the widespread availability of a vaccine, a prospect that was enhanced by Pfizer’s November 9th announcement of a treatment that it says proved 90% effective in preliminary trials.” Its 2021 U.S. Real Estate Market Outlook expects interest rates will remain low, even as GDP rebounds by 4.5 percent next year. “The spending plans of President-Elect Joe Biden will be moderated if the GOP retains control of the Senate after two run-off elections in early January. Elsewhere, the President-Elect’s plans could result in increased demand for

health-care real estate and for properties tied to infrastructure and R&D,” the report said. “Overall, we expect the real estate recovery, particularly the office sector, to lag the broader economic recovery by several quarters. This follows the pattern of previous cycles but with the added complication of getting people back into the workplace,” said Richard Barkham, CBRE Global Chief Economist and Head of Americas Research. “Two factors are essential for this recovery to take hold: a medical resolution to COVID-19 through a vaccine and other measures, and another fiscal stimulus package.” In real estate capital markets, CBRE says it expects that the improving economy, alongside aggressive quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve, “will hold values stable and in some cases put downward pressure on capitalization rates. For now, there remains a wide gap between buyers seeking discounts and sellers not willing to offer them, but this will narrow over the course of the year. Investors have about $300 billion earmarked for real estate investment, much of it in North America.” (See box below for sector predictions.)

In its sectoral analysis, CBRE predicted:

Office and Occupier Industrial & Logistics Nearly 250 million sq. ft. of industrial & logistics space to be absorbed in 2021, more than the previous five-year annual average of 211 million sq. ft. Adaptive reuse of retail space for logistics uses will accelerate. Construction completions will rise by 29 percent in 2021 from 2020, and rents will continue to increase.

Multifamily Suburban multifamily will outpace urban properties in the recovery. U.S. multifamily will return to pre-pandemic occupancy levels in 2021 with rents fully recovering by 2022. Investment volume is projected to rise 33 percent in 2021 to $148 billion, still well short of the 2019 total of $191 billion.

Office market fundamentals are expected to begin to recover in late 2021. Suburban office markets will recover more quickly, while downtown markets will pick up later in the year, as mass-transit commuting resumes. Whether suburban or urban, most companies will start to shift to a hybrid of in-office and remote work with the office as the primary base, CBRE surveys show. In addition, more companies will use flex space as they shift to more agile office occupancy strategies.

33 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

COVID Disrupting Workplaces, But Offices Still Valuable, Says BOMA Sixty-one percent of office owners are reassessing their space needs, but two-thirds of office decision-makers see value in on-site business operations, according to a study by BOMA International, Yardi and Brightline Strategies. On Dec. 1, the group released of key findings from the first in a series of nationwide commercial real estate COVID-19 impact studies. Fielded among 3,010 office space decision-makers and high-level influencers from across the country, the BOMA International COVID-19 Commercial Real Estate Impact Study assessed the latest in tenant sentiments relating to the pandemic as well as its impacts on their businesses, attitudes towards the physical work environment and office space decisions going forward. The findings not only provide a clear indication of the pandemic’s broader transformational effects on the office sector, but they also enable owners and operators to model the financial and operational implications thereof and proactively implement measures to mitigate risk. Request a copy at “While COVID-19 continues to be a large, disruptive force across the commercial real estate industry and its tenancy, the findings demonstrate the perceived value of office environments as a key ingredient for business success remains strong,” said Henry H. Chamberlain, president and COO of BOMA International. “While study results indicate high probabilities around changes in size, use and design of office space going forward, we have also seen a significant rebound in the utility of physical work environments since


the onset of the pandemic, with 74% of all study respondents affirming that in-person offices are operationally vital to their businesses, long-term growth and future success.” Key findings from the study include: z 65% of commercial office decision-makers continue to see significant value in on-site business operations, particularly as they relate to the three Cs: collaboration, coaching and culture. z The economic headwinds on office tenants are far reaching, with 33% of respondents saying they have experienced at least a 25% revenue decline since the onset of the pandemic and an additional 27% saying they could experience a similar or greater decline by EOY 2020. z 61% of all respondents report they will reassess their space needs with 43% seeking to reduce the size of their office square footage, 24% maintaining their current footprint, 9% increasing their size and the remainder being unsure. z 78% approve of the response their current Believe Their property owner or operIn-Person ator has implemented during COVID-19, and Office Space 77% are confident they understand how to reduce is Vital and manage risk in their physical office. z 47% of all tenants say their landlord’s coronavirus response exclusively has made them more likely to renew, the result of proactive communications and a renewed focus on safety and security. Almost half of tenant decision-makers (46%) are seeing more value in personal relationships with their property management teams. Additional findings explore the implications of COVID19 on rent payments, space needs and utilization, renewal and relocation likelihoods, confidence in the safety of office spaces, and return-to-work planning. “Our collective charge was to help owners and operators better understand, and proactively address, emerging industry trends and shifts in workplace priorities resulting from COVID-19, as well as how market attitudes towards the physical work environment are changing and what issues, behaviors and perceptions are driving them,” said Robert Teel, vice president of global solutions at Yardi. n

34 California Buildings News • Q4 2020

New Projects

Museum Honored for Innovations

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Image courtesy of Buro Happold. Rendering by Renzo Piano Building Workshop.

Buro Happold, an international, integrated engineering consultancy creating solutions for buildings, campuses, and cities, announced that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures was honored as Project of the Year by the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California. The building project, with its 150-foot-diameter orb-shaped theater and an innovative seismic base isolation system, was also given an Award of Excellence. Buro Happold was engaged by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—the world's preeminent movie-related organization—as part of a team led by the architects Renzo Piano Building Workshop, in collaboration with Gensler and project manager Paratus Group, to build the museum. The design team conceived an adaptive reuse of the Saban Building (formerly the 1939 Streamline Moderne May Company department store) and a soaring new spherical addition housing the 1,000-seat David Geffen Theater as well as the glass-domed Dolby Family Terrace. The museum is set to open in April 2021.

UC-Davis Facility Nods to Farming Roots Architect HED and contractor Otto Construction teamed up on a new 500-seat, 33,000-square-foot on-campus Latitude Dining Commons at University of California–Davis. The design is inspired by the verdant Central Valley between the Sierra Nevada and coastal mountains. The program includes full commercial kitchen capability and provides multiple international food platforms as well as grabn-go options. The building picks up on the agricultural roots of the region, providing students a place to eat, meet, study and lounge. The space represents the food and farming culture of the region and the institution. The building includes a two-level area that includes public functions (dining, servery, queuing, and retail), and a onelevel mass that includes all back of house functions. The team’s integrated approach combines the university's minimum requirements with its own innovations to achieve LEED Gold certification.

UC-Davis Latitude Dining Commons. Photo: Kyle Jeffers.

Corsair Flats Celebrate Naval Heritage

Corsair Flats. Photo: Jeffrey Peters.

Eden Housing, along with the City of Alameda and Alameda Point Partners, recently welcomed residents to Corsair Flats at Alameda Point’s Site A development in Alameda. The project was designed by KTGY Architecture & Planning, which focuses on residential and mixed-use developments and neighborhood revitalization. Site A is a $1 billion mixed-use, transit-oriented waterfront development on the site of the former Naval Air Station Alameda, which closed over 20 years ago. The new affordable residential community provides 60 units for low-income seniors age 62 and up. It is the first of two affordable residential communities to be completed at the site. The project sets aside 28 units for veterans exiting homelessness. A second residential community is expected to be completed in early 2022.

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