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July/August 2016 • $5

New Fire Safety Solutions Reduce Risk Array of Innovative Products, Strategies Show Promise

CRE Attracts More Young College Grads

California’s Multifamily Brave New World Housing Surges of Restrooms

Innovations in Acoustics

Features Smaller Dwellings... Bigger Lives... Better Communities Moving to urban areas is popular with their bright lights, bustle, better cultural features and economic opportunities. It’s quite a transition for many empty-nesters to move from sprawling suburban homes to apartments, but the rewards of more interesting community life can be enticing. Downsizing from 3,000to-4,000 square feet to 1,000 square-foot dwellings or even micro-sized units can be challenging. Smaller dwellings can also be a major solution to the housing shortage. But San Diego architect Eric Naslund and others maintain that when your surrounding community is as appealing as so many are in California— with their abundant natural and cultural features—maybe your own home space can be much more modest. Urban planners like SPUR know this and are working to encourage more community space in increasingly dense multifamily areas. Millennials seem particularly interested in broadening their world by spending more time outside their homes in surrounding areas, where they can gather with others and be a part of a larger community. And more seniors are seeking “community” by moving from suburbia to urban cores. Beyond these aesthetic and lifestyle considerations is the brutal economic reality that fewer and fewer people can afford decent urban housing in our booming state. Even one-bedroom apartments cost nearly $4,000-plus a month in San Francisco. City planners must remove barriers and create incentives for developers of multifamily housing to produce much smaller and less costly units and foster more appealing surrounding areas. And they must do so near mass transit—which of course should also be expanded. California faces the twin challenges of housing shortages and clogged roadways. They are both solvable problems. It just takes a little vision and commitment. (See pages 34-35 for small apartments article.)

Micro-Units Could Alleviate Serious Housing Shortage Very small apartments, like this model designed by Panoramic Interests of San Francisco (creators of CITYSPACES), could be an affordable solution for low-to-moderate income people (see photos below). They are ideal for


Better Acoustics: Q&A with Charles Salter


Fire Safety Solutions


California Apartment Boom

Greener Convention Center in San Diego



Why Be a Facility Manager?


Training the Next Generation


Boosting Wellness in Buildings

Greener Materials Improve Indoor Air Quality



Apartments Getting Smaller

Cover images (fire, acoustics and cityscape): Getty Images. Grads’ photo courtesy of BOMA San Francisco.

California Buildings News Team Henry Eason, Editor and Publisher Ellen Eason, Co-Publisher Contributing Editors Zachary Brown, CBRE Bob Eaton, Eaton Hotel Investments Jessica Handy, CodeGreen Solutions Rich Lerner, Construction Consultant Katherine A. Mattes, Real Estate Consultant Larry Morgan, Facilities, SAP Steven Ring, Fulcrum Real Estate Development Carlos Santamaria, CEES-Advisors

Advertising Information Ellen Eason, 415.596.9466 © Copyright 2016 Eason Communications LLC PO Box 225234 San Francisco, CA 94122-5234 Left: apartment unit with dining room set-up. Right: same unit with bed folded out. Photo credit: Keith Baker Photography.

many tenants—both young and old—especially if they are on their own and have limited resources. Local governments, however, need to alter codes in many areas to provide for their construction. — Henry Eason

Copyright © 2016 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.


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Better Acoustics Can Improve Productivity…Even Healthcare Architects Can Benefit from Early Acoustics Consultation to Prevent Problems


Is there evidence that increased noise in work environments reduces productivity?


Yes, the World Health Organization “Guidelines for Community Noise” states, “In the work place, noise adversely affects the performance of cognitive tasks including reading, attention, problem solving, and memorization.” This statement is based on laboratory research that relates noise and productivity.

Q&A With Charles M. Salter, President Charles M. Salter Associates, Inc. San Francisco


There seems to be an increased focus on having better acoustics in buildings. What is driving this?


One driver is an expectation for better acoustics in residential and work environments. This correlates with overall improvement in our standard of living. In offices specifically, one driver is “post-occupancy evaluations.” Office workers complain more about excessive noise and lack of speech privacy than any other environmental factor. Decades ago, people might have been annoyed about acoustics but there were no formalized mechanisms to highlight these problems for building designers or owners. With modern survey techniques, acoustical complaints receive more emphasis. The Center for the Built Environment at UC Berkeley has probably the largest database of indoor environmental quality attributes, including acoustics. In a little more than 10 years, they have catalogued information from more than 65,000 individuals in 600 buildings. This information encourages architects to be more attentive to acoustical design considerations.

A recent New York Times Magazine article, entitled “The PostCubicle Office and Its Discontents,” covers almost a hundred years of research about office productivity. Quoting from this article, “The move to take people out of private offices, the better to improve collaboration and productivity, has little empirical justification. Most widely-cited studies of employee satisfaction tend to run against such trends in office design. A study from The Journal of Environmental Psychology in 2013 indicated that 50 percent of workers in open-plan spaces suffer from a lack of sound privacy…” Our office design experience supports these findings.


Can noise complaints among the increasing number of multifamily residents be significantly abated? What are the cost considerations of remedial action?


Acoustical experts typically recommend that market-rate or luxury housing have sound isolation qualities that are 5-to-10 decibels better than minimum code requirements. These enhanced designs can significantly increase satisfaction. However, no matter how well a residence is designed and built, it is likely that some people will complain. It needs to be made clear that no building is “sound proof.” Aside from the building design, the behavioral aspects of communal living need to be considered. Most people are considerate of their neighbors. Unfortunately, there are some who feel entitled to generate noise that suits them while ignoring complaints. Therefore, it is important for building owners, community associations, and governmental entities to establish appropriate noise limits. In our experience, upgrading acoustics during the design phase of projects is relatively inexpensive; however, improving these qualities in buildings after people have moved in can easily cost 20 times more.


Are you familiar with studies that have determined acceptable exterior noise intrusion into commercial buildings and residences?

5 California Buildings News • July/August 2016


The first surveys that I am aware of were done in Europe after World War II. The findings led to European standards for environmental noise. Decades later, similar noise studies were done by the United States government. Particularly interesting research was carried out by Theodore J. Shultz, a former colleague of mine. In a 1978

A December 2015 JASA article documented increasing noise at various hospitals over the last 45 years. These results were determined to be significant for patients, visitors, and hospital staff. The most obvious effect of noise in healthcare facilities is sleep disturbance. There is also concern about excessive noise in operating rooms, emergency departments, and neonatal intensive care.

“Office workers complain more about excessive noise and lack of speech privacy than any other environmental factor... With modern survey techniques, acoustical complaints receive more emphasis.” Photo: Getty Images/monkeybusinessimages.

Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA) article entitled, “Synthesis of social surveys of noise annoyance,” Ted said, “…even in quiet zones…about 10 percent of the people interviewed complained about aircraft noise; these same people complain about other aspects of their environment in general and may be habitual complainers. We recall, too, that about 25 to 30 percent of the people never complain even in extremely noisy environments.” Based on these findings, we expect a wide variety of responses to a given acoustical environment. There is no sound level that will guarantee satisfaction for everyone.



As an acoustical consulting firm, you must have to sort out an array of product offerings. What advice can you give manufacturers or distributors who seek to have your firm specify their products?


We learn about new acoustical products almost daily. For new products, it is important that manufacturers submit acoustical test data which provides objective information about the product’s performance. Since most of the work we do is in the United States, we require that the acoustical testing be done to conform to protocols promulgated by American standards organizations.

We’ve heard that noise has negative impacts on healthcare. What can you tell us about that?




A leader in healthcare acoustics is Johns Hopkins University. They conducted acoustical measurements throughout their facilities. Astoundingly, they found that no location was in compliance with current World Health Organization guidelines for interior noise.

Under what circumstances do architects need the assistance of acoustical experts? The advice of acoustical experts is particularly important to architects when they are dealing with (Continued on page 6)

6 California Buildings News • July/August 2016

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Better Acoustics (Continued from page 5) unfamiliar types of building designs or client requirements. These could involve new types of ventilation systems, or mixed use buildings where there might be a food market on the ground floor, residences above, and a restaurant/ entertainment facility on top. If an architect specializes in a particular product type, then he or she will eventually become very familiar with the acoustical outcomes of their typical building designs. They will receive feedback from their clients, tenants, or postconstruction acoustical testing. Expert help is probably not needed under these circumstances.


How has the practice changed since you started consulting over 48 years ago?


Acoustical experts now have sophisticated computer models that enable us to predict sound qualities of rooms in the design phase. Not only (Continued on page 23)

8 California Buildings News • July/August 2016

Fire Safety Conference Highlights New Products NFPA Exhibitors and Attendees Leverage Technology in Fire Protection

Some of the most promising developments in fire safety are the new products and technologies that are being offered to building managers and firefighters. At the recent National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, key speakers and presentations highlighted the growing importance of data analytics in fire and life safety and the impact that new technology is having on fire prevention and protection today. The technology presentations were well received by California attendees, known to be early adopters of digital solutions. Photo: Getty Images/herjua.

9 California Buildings News • July/August 2016

NFPA’s annual meeting is considered the premier strictly a codes and standards-publishing organization to industry event for nearly 7,000 professionals from the an information and knowledge expert that delivers research fire services, code enforcement, architecture, electrical, and analysis based on both NFPA resources and outside engineering, building, data. Data analytics, facility management he said, is becoming and insurance an intrinsic element industries. of NFPA as an orgaTwo keynote nization. Pauley then presentations, entiintroduced the auditled “Eyes in the Sky, ence to NFPA’s new On the Ground and data analytics server, Under the Waves,” Crosby, named for covered the latest the organization’s first advances in prevensecretary. The server tion, response and is meant to compile monitoring techbig data from a varinology. Daniel Koh, ety of sources and chief of staff to Boston serve the vast needs of Mayor Marty Walsh, NFPA stakeholders. discussed cutting-edge To reinforce this data dashboards that year’s key messaging, the administration a hands-on Discovery launched in just five District was estabmonths so that local lished in the Expo. NFPA President Jim Pauley spoke leaders could monThe new space highitor key prevention, lighted emerging techabout the organization’s journey response and planning nology and the response efforts underway in tactics required during from being strictly a codes and Boston. Koh’s presenemergency situations. tation resonated with Attendees learned about standards-publishing organization the audience, which artificial intelligence and was impressed to learn interacted with robots in to an information and knowledge about the CityScore inithe “robot petting zoo.” tiative and the profound New safety sensors expert that delivers research and impact that Boston’s and smart devices real-time data focus is created a buzz in analysis based on both NFPA having on day-to-day the Smart Solutions operations, government Showcase. Participants resources and outside data. worker morale, citizen also enjoyed touring, engagement, and strateexploring and learnData analytics, he said, is gic planning. Dr. Robin ing about two growing becoming an intrinsic element Murphy of Texas A&M trends: alternative fuel University followed vehicles (AFVs) and of NFPA as an organization. with a global view of food trucks. NFPA’s how robotics and technew Data Analytics nology are increasingly Sandbox also made improving disaster its debut so that fire preparedness, prevention, response, and recovery throughservices, municipalities and others could see the value in out the world. cultivating, sharing and utilizing data to create solutions for In his opening remarks at the show, NFPA President Jim (Continued on page 10) Pauley spoke about the organization’s journey from being Illustration: Getty Images/cacaroot.

10 California Buildings News • July/August 2016


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Fire Safety (Continued from page 9) operational and tactical challenges. NFPA is collaborating with stakeholders to reduce community risk, foster better efficiencies, encourage inter-agency communication, improve first responder safety, and deliver cost savings. Later in the week Bart van Leeuwen, a data expert and firefighter from the Netherlands, delivered the featured presentation, which focused on big data. In it, van Leeuwen explained his work harnessing the capabilities of big data to lower risks for firefighters and community members. His presentation and professional expertise hinge on the idea that properly gathered and analyzed big data can have a tremendous impact on local firefighting efforts. Throughout the conference, attendees got to take a deeper dive into data and new technologies during educational classes and informal learning sessions. The Conference and Expo (C&E) featured more than 120 education sessions with more than 20 devoted to data, risk management, smart technology and emerging trends such as energy storage systems, food trucks, alternative fuel vehicles, solar energy, lithium ion batteries, sensors and other new innovations that are currently impacting fire and life safety. For a more complete round-up of activities from C&E including videos, code updates and select presentations, please visit the NFPA blog. NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. n

Visit to learn more about the National Fire Protection Association. There you will find information on codes and standards, fire statistics and research, and publications. Next year’s Conference & Expo will be on June 4-7 in Boston. See pages 38-40 for a showcase of products from this year’s NFPA Expo.

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Booming Apartment Industry Meets in California...

California Buildings News • July/August 2016

NAA Products & Solutions Expo Drew Record Crowds


ith the apartment industry booming throughout California, the National Apartment Association held its annual education conference and expo in June in San Francisco. It featured a record-breaking number of 1,189 product exhibitors and industry-expert speakers at 65 sessions for the benefit of more than 9,000 attendees. Highlights included the 10th annual Maintenance Mania® National Championship, NAA Thursday Night Party and a celebration breakfast to honor the 2016 NAA Excellence Awards winners. (See photo next page.) “The 2016 NAA Education Conference & Exposition showcased the best and brightest that our industry has to offer, bringing together apartment developers, builders, owners, property fee managers, onsite personnel and supplier partners from around the world who are working together to provide quality rental housing,” said NAA President & CEO Doug Culkin, CAE. The event’s Diamond Sponsors were AT&T Connected Communities, Behr Process Corporation, CSC Service Works, HD Supply, The Home Depot, RealPage, Inc., RentPath, Sherwin-Williams and Yardi. The Platinum Sponsors were, CORT, Entrata, For Rent Media Solutions, Maintenance Supply Headquarters, Restoration Affiliates and Zillow Group. The Gold Sponsors were Google Fiber, Lowe’s Companies, Inc., and Wilmar.

“Maintenance Mania” Contest Featured Skilled Staffers Jorge Blanco earned the title of National Champion on Friday, June 17, at the National Apartment Association’s (NAA) 2016 Maintenance Mania® competition, finishing with a time of 1 minute, 11.618 seconds. Blanco, a member of the Apartment & Office Builders Association (AOBA) and employee of Kettler Management, was among 20 finalists who qualified from a pool of thousands nationwide to battle in San Francisco for this year’s title. The 10th annual competition, offered by NAA and presenting sponsor HD Supply Facilities Maintenance, was held during the 2016 NAA Education Conference & Exposition. It consisted of eight maintenance-focused challenges that tested competitors’ skills and knowledge of the industry as they competed for the national title and nearly $6,400 in grand prizes courtesy of the presenting and national sponsors. The total prize package for winners and spectators totaled nearly $20,000. Racing against the clock, these highly skilled maintenance professionals competed to see who was fastest at the A.O. Smith water heater installation, CFG faucet repair, Fluidmaster toilet repair, Frigidaire icemaker installation, Kidde fire and carbon monoxide safety installation, Kwikset key control deadbolt test and j ceiling fan installa-

Shown above: Broadstone Little Italy in San Diego. Photo credit: Alliance Residential Company.


Multifamily News

California Buildings News • July/August 2016

tion. The finale of the event featured a racecar competition, where competitors launched hand-built model cars—each using at least three maintenance products—down a pinewood derby-style track.

Housing Costs Too High A week following the conference, the NAA released the results of a national study that focused attention on

Jorge Blanco wins the Maintenance Mania competition at the National Apartment Association conference. Photo courtesy of the National Apartment Association.

the nation’s housing affordability challenge. NAA’s Culkin, commenting on the MacArthur Foundation’s 2016 “How Housing Matters” survey, said, “With four of five Americans believing housing affordability continues to be a problem, this study underscores the need for political leadership and results-driven policies to meet the demand for (Continued on page 41)


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14 California Buildings News • July/August 2016

Multifamily News

Marketing Tips to Gain— and Retain — Apartment Tenants By Mary Gwyn, Chief Innovator, Apartment Dynamics When the National Apartment Association asked me w Having a fully functional and mobile-ready website to join a panel of fellow apartment execs to share marketing is a necessity. To quickly achieve a low cost, great looking, techniques at its annual Education Conference in San Francisco, mobile-friendly website, consider a templated site like I knew we would all benefit! Because of the synergy and Offering free and enhanced versions, has hundreds of creativity of the panel, I returned from that trip armed with templates from which to choose. Incorporate numerous “apps” useful new strategies. Here are just a few of the tools we shared to add to its functionality for social marketing, video, and blogthat are ready to implement for great results: ging, keys to improving your websites’ search optimization! w lets you become a graphic artist, making it w Donna Olson featured, by which you easy to create beautiful marketing materials, ads, flyers, emails create event announcements, invitations and more, all and more. designed as mini-movie posters, great for marketing an event w Google Cardboard is a at your community. nerdy looking box you slide your w Pattie Woods uses smartphone into so it becomes, a virtual reality viewer. Imagine which sells customized, providing rental prospects the affordable banners that get memorable tool of a cardboard her communities noticed and viewer and a link to a virtual promote fun events at her reality tour of your apartment apartments. community! The cardboard vieww For larger banners, use ers are only $10-$20 each and, a site on available on Amazon. There are which you can create a custom free apps on which to shoot the banner ranging in size from 2’ virtual reality tour, such as Splash by 4’, to 10’ by 50’, all affordable, and Camera3D. well-made, and quick to ship. w Selfie marketing is hot! A banner ordered from ColorAround for just a few years, the has been installed trend is growing, with over a on a building we manage for million selfies taken daily! Hold over 2 years, and is still vibrant. From left: Pattie Woods, Valerie M. Sargent, Donna Olson and Mary Gwyn. Selfie contests in which residents Improving service keeps renters take photos of themselves at the in place longer, benefiting owners apartment community and post them on your Facebook page by lowering the number of turns and their turn costs, reducing with a contest hashtag. The selfie with the most likes wins! It’s a vacancy loss and the time-consuming marketing and vetting great way to market your property’s page! process that goes with finding a new resident. Here are great w Donna Olson introduced, an attachment tools that help keep residents satisfied longer: for smartphones that helps capture great selfies with your pet, w is for busy property managers who another potential selfie contest. need help coordinating repairs with both maintenance teams w According to Pattie Woods, almost 70% of apartment and vendors. It is a speedy, efficient and seamless way to coordwellers are pet owners. Her properties are pet friendly, dinate the work, the resident and the technician for appointwith Pet Food Drives, Pet Pool Parties (at the end of pool ment times, payment, approval and follow up. It’s so easy it season), and Pet Adoption Fairs through the local animal seems too good to be true! shelter. has a “how to” for a DIY pet w is a great tool to solicit resident feedwash built in a corner of an underutilized community laundry back. Surveying regularly helps you improve service, and thereroom, hot and cold water already in place. fore, resident tenure, as well as possibly preventing negative w Valerie Sargent shared that 74% of all Internet traffic online ratings through “fixing” the problems before they in 2017 will be video. With Internet ads expected to grow by hit the Internet. 10% and mobile ads by 45%, Valerie said to be sure we include (Continued on page 41) video and mobile in your marketing plan! C








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ecoming more sustainable not only cuts the cost of running a giant convention center, but it also makes the center more appealing to convention and conference planners who are demanding than their event venues be green. And the San Diego Convention Center is stepping up to those demands—and will save almost $1 million in annual lighting costs alone as a result. In-between hosting a variety of events, the operations staff at the San Diego Convention Center is constantly making improvements to the facility, and there are some standout projects happening in the building this year. The first of these is the conversion to LED lights. Instead of modifying the building’s mounting systems to accept off-the-shelf fixtures, the center is working directly with a manufacturer to replace 10,282 existing fixtures with new LED fixtures and lamps. The more environmentally friendly LEDs offer a number of benefits including improved visibility and reduced energy consumption. In addition, the LEDs will reduce the heat load on its heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system and eliminate 91 percent of the mercury inventory in the building as a result of removing the old lightbulbs. In the first phase of this retrofit, which began in February of 2015, many of the “back of house” light fixtures in the loading docks, workshops and service corridors were replaced. With the second phase, which kicked off last November, replacements include meeting rooms, office areas, hallways and the Sails Pavilion. When completed, the manufacturer estimates this conversion to LEDs will reduce the convention center’s lighting consumption by an estimated 4,461,058 kilowatt hours, which translates to approximately $848,654 saved annually on its utility bills.

San Diego Convention Center Goes Even Greener

In addition to its LED initiative, the center also: • • • • • •

Recycles waste, diverting 62% of its waste from landfills Cuts energy use with HVAC upgrades and energy software management Uses low-flow sinks and toilets Composts 175 tons of food Purchases many biodegradable products Donates more than 100 tons of food to local charities

Photo and graph courtesy of San Diego Convention Center.

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California Buildings News • July/August 2016

Greener Apartments in California: More Desirable, Healthier Q&A with Kelly Vickers National Director of Sustainability, Alliance Residential Company, Concord


Please describe the sustainability features of the Alliance apartment complexes in California.


California is our largest market with a current portfolio size of 129 communities consisting of 27,032 units. Within this portfolio we have a diverse mix of building types from garden-style, mid-rise, and high-rise and in various markets, mainly large urban markets like the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego. The sustainability features do vary based on property type, but key features include water-saving toilets and other plumbing fixtures, LED lighting, ENERGY STAR appliances, drought-tolerant landscaping, smart irrigation controllers and rain sensors, zero-VOC paint, low-VOC carpet and flooring, and energy efficient windows. Because California is the largest market for electric vehicle adoption we also have a number of communities with EV Charging stations, mainly ChargePoint brand. And a number of our California assets also have solar PV to offset common area electricity and smoke-free policies in place.


Do you see evidence that “greener” apartments are more desirable to tenants?


Absolutely, and especially with Millennials. It’s not new information, but studies continually show that the Millennial demographic cares about sustainability, and

considers a company’s sustainability efforts in their purchasing, employment, and housing decisions. We still see however that how sustainability resonates with our renters does vary by market. In the Pacific Northwest or urban markets throughout California or in Austin, Texas for example, sustainability is much more of an expectation than what we see in parts of the Southeast. Regardless, amenities that help our renters directly save on their utility bills (i.e. LED lighting, smart thermostats) and that help promote wellness and healthy living (i.e. walkability, smoke-free policies, low to zeroVOC materials) are no brainers. Then a company’s overall approach, transparency and dedication to sustainability only strengthen the bond between them and a consumer.


What governmental incentives can encourage apartment companies to implement more sustainable features?


There are a lot out there and keeping tabs on them can seem daunting. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) is a good place to start as well as your local utility websites. I also find that our vendor partnerships have really helped us stay up to date and informed on what is available. On the federal level, and depending on a company’s tax appetite, the solar investment tax credit (ITC) provides a 30% tax credit for residential and commercial solar systems. Many local utilities have some sort of rebate and/or direct install program to help retrofit apartment and/or common area lighting and plumbing fixtures with more energy and water efficient options, often at little to no cost. Last year we worked with LADWP to replace 1.6 GPF toilets with Stealth .8 GPF high-efficiency toilets at many of our LA properties at no cost. Turf rebates are also worth taking advantage of to help remove high water consuming grass with native, drought tolerant plants. We’ve taken advantage of these types of programs throughout California. (Continued on page 36)

Shown above: courtyard of Broadstone Little Italy in San Diego, which is GreenPoint rated and just received the IREM CSP certification. Photo courtesy of Alliance Residential Company.

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21 California Buildings News • July/August 2016

Why Would Anyone Want to Be a Facility Manager? One of the Country’s Leading FMs Says Why By Larry Morgan The position of facilities and property management has been discussed so many times I lost count and in all of the formats possible, position papers, job postings, internet, industry specific media, LinkedIn, etc. and they do a fairly decent job of describing what we do, but let’s take a different approach here if I may. Why do we do what we do and what do we get out of it? First, let’s take a moment to reflect on why we do what we do. For the most part FM was or is not the career of choice of the practitioners out there. We came from other disciplines, coerced by senior management (you’ll take it and you’ll like it) or just flat out couldn’t do anything else legally! But there are some who have chosen to be FM’s. I know this to be true because I am one of them. I chose the profession primarily because it aligns very nicely with my personality, A type. For sure not a desk job, meet lots of different people, from boiler room to board room, never the same thing day after day or for that matter minute to minute (not a widget makers dream job), and in the end the tangible results far outweigh the crazy days, nights and weekends or really annoying calls about the toilet paper being too rough, too hot, too cold, too noisy, someone is parked in my space (even though it’s unassigned parking) etc. “Thick skin required,” but never put on the job description. Whether you chose the profession or not, we do what we do because we are natural problem-solvers, safety-first mentality, we are amazing organizers, we are diverse, we are fiscally responsible, we are effective, we are efficient, innovators, we are dedicated and loyal, to a fault if treated fairly but most importantly we are the glue that binds all of our companies’ physical and human capital assets together. No electrical service=no operations, no HVAC=no operations, no vertical transportation=no operations, no operations=no revenue. You get the picture. I oftentimes get asked what I get out of being an FM? Well there is no simple answer, but it’s not the money. Although we are responsible for huge amounts of capital assets and their performance operationally and or financially, some estimates are in the hundreds of trillions of

dollars globally, but I think it’s more than that, this is not a job to get rich on. I have travelled all over the world, acted in a consultant role, taught the profession in foreign lands far and wide, IFMA Board of Director, met thousands of amazing people but I never met any FM who pulled up in a Lamborghini unless it was rented to show off in, a relative’s or “borrowed from the valet.” That being said it’s a steady gig, in high demand, decent living wages and benefits but most important to me is at the end of the day I can

“We are the glue that binds all of our companies’ physical and human capital assets together.”

(Continued on page 36)

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Better Acoustics (Continued from page 6) do these computer models assist us with room shaping, but we now can simulate the sound of various acoustical conditions for our clients. Producing accurate virtual acoustical simulations helps our clients understand the acoustical qualities of a building design without having to comprehend arcane concepts such as the decibel.


40 years ago your firm initially provided acoustical consulting services. Now you offer additional design services in the areas of audio/video, telecommunications, and security systems. Why have these additional services been added?


It is important to design room acoustics to meet the needs of the audio systems and vice versa. Thus, it was a natural progression for us to offer audio/video system design services along with acoustical design. Audio/video has become an integral part of the built environment, particularly since the advent of teleconferencing. Since both audio/video and security signals are now transmitted over telecommunication networks, we saw a virtue in combining acoustical design with low-voltage technologies to offer our clients a coordinated set of services. n Salter may be reached at

24 California Buildings News • July/August 2016

Facility Managers’ Strategic Influence is Growing ...and Key in Selecting Building Products and Services Q&A With Bob Dills, vice president of Western Allied Mechanical of Menlo Park and member of the IFMA Foundation Board of Trustees and ISPE can keep issues and developments at the top of mind, so you are prepared when the time comes to give Facilities a voice at the management table.


Is the industry doing a good enough job educating FMs on the job and for people who might wish to have such jobs?

A Q The role of facility managers seems to be evolving in building operations and even design. Is this true and, if so, how is this taking shape?


In my world as a service provider, the facility manager has always been the boss. But all of our jobs are rapidly evolving. This is not a time to be complacently reactive to whatever crops up. We have to handle that day-to-day traffic, but it is vital to develop the ability to rise above the noise and make a meaningful contribution to our organizations’ core missions. For the facility manager, thinking and acting in a strategic manner and speaking the language of the “C” suite are the only ways to avoid being reduced to a commodity. Commodity services are easily outscored. I believe the most successful FMs are seen as the Facility Subject Matter Experts at the senior management table. That would be equally true in operations and design conversations. These FMs are able to balance the numbers and the human factors of the built environment.


What impediments remain to more fully integrating facility managers into the management mix?


I know integrating requires a focus on the larger picture. The day-to-day demands for the facility manager’s attention are immense, so it is all too easy to be consumed. I think there is danger in that. Obtaining credentials such as CFM and SFP from IFMA, or RPA and FMA from BOMA support visibility within your organization. I believe active participation in the professional organizations such as IFMA, BOMA, AFE,

I don’t see it as “the industry’s” role to educate. That is our own responsibility as individuals who desire to be at the top of the game. The education is available if we seek it out. Again, our professional associations play an important role. And more and more university-level facility management programs are emerging around the world to support the elevated demands of the industries we support. The university-level FM resources on the West Coast are still thin, but that is gaining a good deal of attention. Arizona State University recently gained FMAC accreditation for its facility management degree. The movement westward has begun and there is local interest at both 2-year and 4-year institutions.


Congratulations on being recently named to the IFMA Foundation Board of Trustees. How can your position within IFMA help address the many issues confronting the industry?


Well, I have been really fortunate to have found work that I love and that has provided so wonderfully for my family and me. So the Foundation is just one of a few ways I’ve found to give back. The Foundation focuses on developing talent to sustain the facility management profession. That is in the wheelhouse of my personal philanthropic interest. I particularly love their Global Workforce Initiative. My personal passion in this area has to with helping the built environment related professions grow to better represent the communities in which we live and work, increasing our workforce diversity. Silicon Valley is a place of wealth, with a rich community of high-tech professionals. But within our spectrum of (Continued on page 32)

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26 California Buildings News • July/August 2016

Buildings Groups Launch Recruitment, Education Programs Tens of Thousands of Property, Facility Management Jobs May Soon Go Unfilled

Photo courtesy of BOMA San Francisco.

Influential buildings associations, companies and schools across California are mobilizing to answer the most serious challenge to face the commercial real estate industry in decades: a lack of qualified people to operate commercial buildings. The situation could not be more threatening. Unless it is resolved, it could dampen California’s red-hot growth. The problem is three-fold: (1) tens of thousands of Baby Boomers are retiring and taking their skills and experience with them, (2) the California buildings economy is booming and requires even more buildings people than even a year ago, (3) and technology-enhanced buildings need much more knowledgeable people to run them. The good news is that organizations like the

property and facility management, as well as construction and engineering services in the flourishing San Francisco Bay Area. Visit: CBRE’s Tawni Sullivan, a leader in the CREATE effort, explains, “As the profession has evolved to people needing to be specialists of real estate operations and financials, fewer people entering the industry, and baby-boomers retiring, a shortage has been created of qualified personnel to fill the growing number of necessary jobs. Combine this phenomenon at a time that real estate investment dollars are at a peak, and we, as industry leaders, recognize something has to be done for the future.” CREATE has funded commercial real estate courses at San Francisco State University, recruited and mentored students and — when they graduate — has found jobs for them. The foundation works in a number of other ways to recruit and train staff.

“What impresses me is the supportive people and culture of the industry. From the instructors and now from my employer, I’ve gotten tons of support. I like the sense of community and collaboration,” — Samantha Hoyle, recent graduate of the Commercial Real Estate Certificate Program at San Francisco State

Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of San Francisco have stepped up with a comprehensive recruitment and educational campaign called Commercial Real Estate Alliance for Tomorrow’s Employees (CREATE). BOMA leaders recognized that the challenge was too great for it to handle alone in the Bay Area, so it reached out to allied commercial real estate groups like the Bay Area chapters of NAIOP, the Institute for Real Estate Management and BOMA Oakland/East Bay. Together they launched a workforce development organization that promises to produce numerous new entrants into the fields of

Recent graduate Samantha Hoyle, who is now a tenant coordinator at Salesforce, explains her experience: “As an undergraduate at San Francisco State, I decided to enroll in a couple of relatively new courses being offered as part of the Commercial Real Estate Certificate Program. The four required courses educated me on the principles and fundamentals of real estate. I appreciated that the courses were taught by industry professionals. The professors (Jim Arce, Nancy Gille and Dave Hysinger) would constantly tell stories about their experiences and it made the coursework more relatable. “You could tell that each one of them was very passionate about their career, and that’s inspiring. What impresses me is the supportive people and culture of the industry. From the instructors and now from my employer, I’ve gotten

27 California Buildings News • July/August 2016

tons of support. I like the sense of community and collaboration. On top of that, besides the support from CREATE, I received a scholarship from BOMA to attend its international conference in Washington, D.C. this summer where I had the opportunity to learn much more.”

Facility Management Groups Recruit and Train Just as many facility engineers and managers are retiring as property managers, and the need to replace them and add others to accommodate California’s economic expansion and “smarter” and more sustainable buildings is just as great. The International Facility Management Association and the Association of Facilities Engineering chapters in California have been aggressively promoting their profession and working in a variety of ways to train and onboard new facility professionals. Recent research shows there is an annual shortage of 3,200 qualified facility managers in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties alone. “In a recent survey of FM professionals, the lack of qualified talent to fill the increasing demand was identified as the most pressing challenge facing the industry in the next five years. IFMA and the IFMA Foundation are making

great strides to address this problem. To date, 30 FM degree programs have been accredited by the IFMA Foundation while the Global Workforce Initiative (GWI) is introducing FM as a career of choice as early as high school and to community college students and incumbent workers from related professions. The landmark collaboration between IFMA and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is further underscoring the critical role FM plays in the larger built environment universe,” says Jeff Tafel, executive director of the IFMA Foundation.

How Facilities Education is Tooling Up Bill Roeder is an instructor and program coordinator in facility management studies at DeAnza College in Sunnyvale. “De Anza College was a pilot program for the California Community College Chancellor’s Office-Energy, Construction and Utilities Sector Group and the IFMA Foundation’s Global Workforce Initiative. Both organizations want to lever the lessons learned and roll this out nationally and globally. The opportunity was brought to me by the (Continued on page 33)

We build these too...

28 California Buildings News • July/August 2016

Association News

Improving Healthcare Facilities Boosts Wellness

USGBC–Los Angeles Sponsored Conference Coalesces Industry Leaders — By Dominique Hargreaves Health and wellness is an increasingly important framework in which to discuss building issues, and a current Los Angeles-based series entitled “Innovations in Health and Wellness” has led AEC members this summer through the topics of workplace and higher education. The July focus on healthcare, however, drew more than 60 attendees,

U.S. Green Building Council–LA chapter (which created the series) hosted a lively presentation and discussion focused on the latest trends in healthcare design, treatment and services, and user experience. Moderator Jean Mah, healthcare planning principal with Perkins+Will, began with the statement that promoting health and wellness begins with changing human behavior and attitudes, introducing nature into the built environment and selecting materials which are non-toxic to improve indoor air quality. Sean M. Collins, director, facilities planning, design and construction, Cedars-Sinai, built upon these ideas by illustrating the importance of including patients, staff, and practiPanel presented health and wellness innovations at recent USGBC-sponsored event. Photo courtesy of USGBC-LA. tioners in holistic healing, where the largest audience to date, including furniture and carpet there is a focus on population health. Collins noted the representatives in addition to AEC professionals. hospital’s healing garden which offers nature and peace in With the healthcare industry’s mission to improve its dense urban environment. There are also multi-purpose the mental and physical health of the public, ensuring that spaces for yoga classes and health fairs to take place. healthcare facilities support this is crucial. An integrated insurance approach offers staff incentive Research shows that patients with a strong connection programs, awarding them up to $600 per year for participatto the outdoors have faster recovery times, and a hospital’s ing in programs and self-tracking using wearables. Cedarsphysical environment can help reduce staff stress and fatigue. Sinai is a 40-year-old facility and in constant renovation and In addition, it can increase effectiveness in delivering care, innovation, from constantly overcoming deficient spaces to improve patient safety, reduce patient and family stress and prioritizing how to deliver the best patient care. A point of improve overall healthcare quality. interest of the renowned 886-bed facility and non-profit This booming healthcare industry is responding to everhospital is its virtual reality (VR) program, in clinical trial changing needs and the need for value-added experience for phase, for treatment of patients with chronic pain. Pain level their customers and patients. BuroHappold and the is monitored before and after 20-minute VR sessions in which

29 California Buildings News • July/August 2016


Gather with the best and the brightest real estate managers from around the world in San Diego this October. Speakers include Marla Maloney, CPM®, President of Asset Services at Cushman & Wakefield, AMO®, and Tony Long, Global President of Asset Services for CBRE, AMO®.


patients find themselves in a scene where they are playing with dolphins. Researchers have found a 20% reduction in chronic pain in these patients so far. Dyan Sublett, president, MLK Community Health Foundation, described the new facility and its importance to the community of South Los Angeles, which is also serving as a recruitment tool for attracting top talent. There is a focus on building trust and community pride that resonates from the hospital facility, which is located in a traditionally disinvested community with little access to healthcare. Its new facility includes 131 “smart beds” all in single-occupant rooms and its modern design allows for doctors to see into every patient room from the center of the floor. All patient records are in the cloud and connected to the nurses’ smart phones and tablets. The smart beds can send alerts if patients are at risk or their vitals indicate they are in distress. MLK hires from their community, in fact 53% of their employees impressively live within a five-mile radius of the site. The final presenter wrapped up the evening focused on innovations regarding how to bring new life comfortably into our world. Kennetha Gaines, director: maternal child health/


medical surgical at Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, described how the concept of defensible space has produced positive outcomes for mothers and babies in the labor, delivery, and postpartum area. Their space is designed more like a birthing center than a traditional hospital. Private rooms encourage breast-feeding and the family remains there for all procedures. Traditionally, babies are taken from their mothers for testing or genetic screening. At MLK, skinto-skin contact is given continuously for two hours after the birth which helps mother and baby bonding and allows the baby to transition more quickly and comfortably. They have delivered 300 babies since opening the hospital last year, and boast a 73% exclusive breast feeding rate, vs. the county average of 53%. They are currently running a campaign “Wear Your Baby”—swaddling and carrying babies in wraps and slings—to promote more skin-to-skin contact. The final presentation in the series will focus on transportation, on Sept. 13, 2016. Please visit for more information. n — Hargreaves is executive director of the U.S. Green Building Conference-Los Angeles

30 California Buildings News • July/August 2016

Association News

Use Greener Building Materials, IFMA Replacing toxic building materials with sustainable alternatives not only improves the environment, but significantly reduces occupants’ illnesses that result from unhealthy indoor air. That was the message of a panel of experts who recently appeared before an International Facility Management Association of Silicon Valley audience. Anjanette Green of Stok observed that since 90 percent of our time is spent indoors at home or at work, greater efforts should be made to use greener building materials. The health impact, according to studies she cited, can be dramatic. For instance, one investigation showed that when green upgrades were made in buildings asthma-related hospital visits were reduced 76% and school absenteeism by 71% when filtration and ventilation were improved, respirable particles and mold were reduced and materials with reduced chemical emissivity were installed. Cognitive functions are also impaired due to poor indoor air quality —becoming a major productivity issue for employers. “The World Health Organization reports that 2 percent of lung cancers are attributed to secondhand smoke…but 17% are attributed to household air pollution,” she said. Green further cited a Berkeley Earth Research study that showed 1.6 million Chinese people in that air-polluted nation die every year from air pollution—17% of the country’s mortality rate. Green cited a number of companies that produce healthier building products. (See box on facing page.) There is “a huge pendulum push,” she said, toward the use of healthier materials as enlightened companies seek healthier working environments and governments focus on the issue.

DeAnza College Sets Green Example Cupertino-based DeAnza College leads the way in setting green standards for higher education in a number of ways, school instructor Bill Roeder told the IFMA audience. Specifically, the community college has reduced energy consumption and increased fuel use efficiency and drastically cut water needs using smart irrigation and non-potable water when possible. It serves healthy food and beverages, has improved indoor air quality and provides mass transit options to reduce air pollution. Beyond these good practices, the school uses its own facilities as a teaching example, offering environmental education classes on how buildings anywhere can be made greener. School officials walk the talk by pursuing LEED standards, exceeding California’s Title 24 law in many respects and aggressively recycling, removing hazardous waste, green purchasing and encouraging the use of vendors that practice sustainability. Its Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies is a global model, a LEED platinum demonstration building where students can learn the latest techniques in green building operations. Some examples of Kirsch’s green practices: n Carpets made from recycled material; low VOC adhesives and paint n FSC Certified lumber/bamboo n Fly ash concrete n Desks are 80% wheat/corn stalk; Chairs made from recycled materials n Floor tiles from recycled car windshields n Toilet seats and lids recycled water bottles n Granite countertops n 70% recycled steel Roeder spoke proudly of development of what he called a “green-collar workforce of the future” at Kirsch.

Shown above: Anjanette Green, Bill Roeder and Wayne Whitzell give a presentation to an IFMA Silicon Valley audience. Photo credit: Kent Goetz.

31 California Buildings News • July/August 2016

Silicon Valley Told Are Designers & FMs Working Well Together? When facility managers aren’t involved in designating products to be used in buildings, they can be left with materials and goods that are costlier to maintain and operate. That was the central message of Wayne Whitzell, executive vice president of DFS Green. Operations and Maintenance (O&M) people and Architectural and Design (A&D) people Should work more closely together, he said. “There is a huge chasm between the A&D community and O&M. Many of us had hoped that the sustainability movement would naturally bring these two groups together. Unfortunately, these two groups are still worlds apart both philosophically and financially. If real sustainability is to truly occur in the built environment, these two groups must be intimately linked to one another. In order to accomplish this, we must become diplomats for the O&M community and demand a seat at the A&D/Sourcing table where these decisions are often made with little or no input from the FM community,” said Whitzell. n

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FMs’ Influence (Continued from page 24) neighbors are those who are searching for way to build a rewarding middle-class existence. This is not a place that is getting any easier for many; it is truly expensive to live here. Many of our youth might not recognize what a career path in the built environment professions can mean. Or how to start along that path if we don’t go out and show them. And more than half of us in senior positions will be retiring over the coming few years, so the need is great for a welleducated incoming workforce. These issues exist all around the globe. I’m lucky to have an opportunity make a small difference.


What role do facility managers play in buildings products and services selection?


Just remember what I said earlier. In my world, the FM is the boss.


Are there lessons you’ve learned working in the complex Silicon Valley buildings environment that can be applied to other types of facilities?


Many of the advanced technologies we use in our work in high-performance buildings and in mission critical environments are becoming more affordable. And in many cases the elevated requirements of California’s Title 24 Energy Code are driving these into all of our new commercial and industrial structures. For example, LED lighting has moved

rapidly from a sexy but expensive bleeding-edge option, to a basic requirement in new buildings. In HVAC, VRF systems are completely ready for primetime. Chilled Beams and Net Zero Building are still a little exotic for most, but they are coming to a building near you! Forgive the jargon. Some of those terms are probably unfamiliar to some, and maybe not that interesting unless you want to total geek out on advanced building technologies. But the bigger opportunity is to adapt the advanced technologies for which a good business case can be made whenever considering a project in an existing facility. Retrofits are where the biggest opportunities to make an impact exist for most facility managers. This goes back to the topics of seeing the big picture, and the ability to speak the language of the C Suite. Hopefully every facility manager is developing a set of trusted advisors who they turn to when building a business case.


You seem to have a very lively after-work life…what some describe as your “walk-abouts.” Does this help you achieve better work-life balance?


Yeah, in this Facebook world, my adventures get a bit more attention than would likely been the case “back in the day.” I’m lucky my wife is tolerant of my occasional need for some solitude with nature, and my walk-abouts are the times when I steal away to fly fish or motorcycle. My big trip each year in the late spring combines those passions, when I get away for 15 days or so. We are all so lucky to live in California, the range of environments here is simply amazing. Getting out in a stream, connected to a big trout at the other end of my fly rod, feeling his every muscle twitch, is one of the times I feel most alive. Don’t get me wrong, I love my work and every part of my life. Especially the time my wife and I get to spend with our three grandsons. But those times when I am out there alone are refreshing. Sleeping only when I need to, eating whenever I get hungry, on no one else’s schedule. Well, I just love that I have that, too. The other stuff I do certainly puts me in the right space when it is time to work! In our jobs, we are always “on.” In one fashion or another, we’re always working. I believe deeply we have to work at maintaining our whole beings. n

33 California Buildings News • July/August 2016


(Continued from page 27)

Bay Area Community College Consortium that oversees the 28 Bay Area Community colleges. It was supported at a very high level by the Silicon Valley Chapter of IFMA,” says Roeder. “As far as De Anza is concerned, I am having active conversations with vocational high school programs in the Bay Area to build a bridge to my program and FM training, and I know that the Silicon Valley Chapter of IFMA is also targeting adult continuing education programs in the area. “The program I oversee at De Anza— the Energy Management and Building Science program— is a very good fit for facilities management as we focus on energy efficiency in buildings including tightening the building envelope, efficient lighting and HVAC systems, building automation and control systems, using sustainable materials in an effort to reduce the amount of nonrenewable resources and waste, and to reduce energy use, greenhouse gases and overall cost in building operations and maintenance. You can find out more about De Anza’s Energy Management Degree program, what we teach and our internships here: “I can say that a community college in Southern California will be announcing an IFMA FM pilot program similar to De Anza’s within two weeks. It will incorporate high school pathways and incumbent worker training on top of their two-year business administration degree program. Up to 20 community colleges have been targeted for college credit programs in environmental science, energy management.” Ryan Storz is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Technology at the California Maritime Academy, CSU and an active Association for Facilities Engineering leader. He says, “The AFE encourages the training of future facilities engineers through several means. They support AFE student chapter clubs on several Northern California college campuses and an array of events including their annual Day With a Facilities Professional event (DWFP). DWFP is a halfday conference/forum discussing facilities related careers and then students are paired up with professionals who then tour students of their respective job sites. “AFE regional leadership also works with me at Cal Maritime to extend training opportunities and site tours to students. Cal Maritime is unique in that the campus offers a Facilities Engineering Technology (FET) program where students are strongly encouraged to get involved with AFE. As part of their curriculum, students are required to complete two summer internships. Through involvement in professional organizations, such as AFE, students are highly likely to find internship opportunities in industries that are interesting to them and have excellent future career paths.” (See outreach efforts in box at right.) n

Outreach Efforts by Ryan Storz and AFE: High School—I am involved with Project Lead The Way at a local high school where I talk with students about the various engineering fields and career opportunities. I also bring students on tours of various facilities: microgrid sites, power plants, and I’d like to take them to see a high rise building at some point. University Level—At Cal Maritime, we have the Facilities Engineering Technology program and Association For Facilities Engineering Club. Through their degree curriculum and the club, students interact with professionals at various events and guest speaking sessions. I’d say the most motivating aspects of the outreach that encourages students to pursue FE careers is when they tour facilities with the FE and can actually see what they will be doing. This is further cemented with internships as the students are temporarily “trying out” an industry. Employers also get an insight into the type of worker the intern is and usually ends up in future job offers/recommendations upon graduation. Other California Schools—I don’t know of any schools that necessarily promote FE operations schools like we do. I know San Jose State and Cal Poly Mechanical Engineers usually go into contractor design careers or other contract facilities industry services.

34 California Buildings News • July/August 2016

Industry News

California Apartments Get Smaller…Integrate More With Community


partments are getting smaller, particularly in larger cities, according to RENTCafé, an online apartment-finding subsidiary of Santa Barbaraheadquartered Yardi company. The pressure mounts throughout the state for developers to produce a greater number of small and even micro-units to accommodate the ferocious demand for housing.

Research and chart: RENTCafé.

“It’s not uncommon to sacrifice living space for prime urban locations, especially for young professionals who want to be in close proximity to jobs, shops, and entertainment,” reports Yardi’s Amalia Otet. “But it’s not just downtowns that are seeing apartment sizes go down. Over the last decade, apartments have been slowly but surely shrinking in cities all across the U.S. According to our most recent survey of the apartment market, the average size of new apartments—those completed in 2016 — has fallen to 934 square feet, the smallest on record since 2006.” 2010 was a turning point for real estate markets across the country. With the housing industry in recovery mode, developers temporarily closed the lid on multifamily investment, causing a significant drop in new rental stock. Not only were there fewer units delivered, but those that came online were also smaller in size— a trend that continued even after 2012 when rental markets started seeing inventory growth again. Studios dropped from 617 sq. ft. in 2010 to 508 sq. ft. in 2011. In fact, studio apartments have seen the biggest fluctuations in terms of unit size over the course of the last decade, while 2-bedroom apartments were the least volatile of all property types, according to Yardi’s RENTCafé. Overall, the average size of a U.S. apartment is currently 889 square feet, irrespective of when a property was built.

California made its way into the tiniest rental homes list, with no fewer than four cities— Bakersfield, Stockton, Fresno, and Chula Vista — hosting some of the smallest apartments in the nation. And yet, rents go uphill as units get smaller. Apartment rents are breaking record after record, with the national average hitting an impressive $1,204 in May. While rental rates will moderate as new supply kicks in, this is not the kind of thing that happens overnight. In the meantime, you’ll still be paying $2,500 for a 500-square-foot studio in San Francisco, RentCafe reports. Studio sizes range in California from 540 square feet in Oakland to 524 in LA, 497 in Sacramento, 456 in both San Francisco and San Diego and a tight 450 in San Jose— while one-bedrooms in range from a 741 in San Jose to 729 in LA, 711 in Oakland, 700 in San Francisco, 688 in San Diego and a mere 676 in Sacramento. Smaller Apartments…More Abundant Surrounding Communities Cities like Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco are working to make their downtowns more of an extension of the living experience of multifamily residents, Yardi’s study reports: “Many of the nation’s urban cores were in dire need of revitalization just a few years ago. Downtowns in Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Colorado Springs used to go

A 325-square-foot studio in San Francisco is an example of a small apartment in an urban core. Photo courtesy of RENTCafé.

quiet after working hours. Now they are all vibrating with city life 24/7 as apartments join businesses and commercial towers. The increasing demand for high-density housing — which more often translates into smaller-sized apartments — permitted developers to redevelop older (Continued next page)


Concrete Advice for Shaky Areas

California Buildings News • July/August 2016

Recently, Build with Strength, a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA), emphasized the importance of utilizing durable and resilient construction materials in the Seattle market—on alert to the possibility of a titanic earthquake and tsunami. It’s also good advice for quake-prone California. The advice comes as part of an increased effort to inform the design/build and construction communities about the advantages of concrete construction in the low- to mid-rise residential sector, and in general. “Anyone who resides in the greater Seattle area, and the entire Pacific Northwest for that matter, lives with the knowledge that an act of God, or an innocent accident can destroy their homes and turn their lives upside down in an instant,” said Kevin Lawlor of Build with Strength. “To protect against this we are asking that architects, developers, and the construction community build with strength and durability by using the safest and most cost effective material available, concrete.” “Safety must come first in the development of all new structures, it’s not enough to be safe and secure at school, but not at home,” continued Lawlor. “Regardless of whether the threat comes from earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, wildfires, or something else, concrete is the only building material that can withstand Mother Nature’s wrath.”

buildings or build new ones studios, infinity pools, as infill projects, thus bringing and fitness centers may long-dormant communities not have had a place in back to life. apartment buildings in the But more than that, this past, but they are now a new wave of lifestyle-oriented common sight in most new apartments, specifically directrental communities. ed at the busy Millennials and Eastown, for example, the downsizing Baby Boomers, the largest apartment has made way for an urban community delivered in renaissance that’s redefining 2015 to the Los Angeles the way we live, play and rental market, comprises work. Location sure beats 535 rental units. Apart space for a young professional from a desirable location working in finance or tech, or in Hollywood, the California apartments are the nation’s smallest at 843 square feet. any other modern industry, community comes with Research and chart: RENTCafé and the fact that you can shop some top-of-the line ameniand socialize right next to where you work means you get ties including a pool and spa with lounge areas, a common to do more of what you want every day instead of spending room with a fireplace and a patio, a gym and fitness studio, precious time on the daily commute. BBQ areas, and electric vehicle charging stations. Rents “Space may be at a premium in key locations, but these at this high-profile community start at $1,925 for a new communities bring convenience and amenity-rich envi571-square-foot apartment,” according to the study. n ronments to the table. Rooftop decks and urban farms, yoga

36 California Buildings News • July/August 2016

Greener Apartments

(Continued from page 19)


Are healthier apartments considered to be more sustainable? Such as smoke-free complexes? What other features might be added to make apartment dwelling healthier?


Yes, healthier apartments are absolutely a part of making them more sustainable. Studies have shown that healthy indoor air is critical to our health, our cognitive function, and our wellbeing. At Alliance, we are making strong efforts to convert our communities to smoke-free and currently 29% of our national portfolio is smoke-free (up from 14% last year). Low to zero-VOC paint, adhesives and materials are also really important as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are some of the most harmful chemicals because they easily vaporize and react with other elements in the air to produce ozone which causes pollution and leads to such things as breathing problems, headaches, and nausea. We implemented zero-VOC paint and low-VOC carpet and flooring programs several years ago because of this very reason. Using less toxic and more environmentally-friendly cleaning chemicals also helps improve our indoor air quality and creates a much safer work environment for our teams. Fresh air intake is also important.

as important as having a sustainable apartment community. We cannot control tenant behavior and if they leave their LED lights on or their low flow shower running all day it’s still extremely wasteful. We run annual campaigns that help engage our residents in our sustainability efforts, we use social media, eBlasts, onsite events, anything really to keep the conversation going around sustainability. Surveys also help us understand what they deem important, what is helpful and how we can improve. It’s a group effort and communicating with each stakeholder group on a continual basis is really important.


The presence of pets creates problems when tenants permit them to spread waste products around the grounds and indoor surfaces. What does Alliance do to curb these practices?


Pet related amenities vary by property but some examples of what we’re doing include dedicated pet parks, self-cleaning surfaces with enzyme sprays, walk-off areas at access/egress points, dedicated pet relief areas, strategically placed pet pick up stations, pet sPAW’s, and of course we conduct pet owner interviews and have strong lease language regarding our pet policies.





What recent products on the market can be easily implemented to create more sustainable apartments? Reducing a building’s consumption of energy and water is essential for it to be more sustainable so replacing inefficient items like lighting, appliances, mechanical equipment, toilets, and showerheads with more energy and water efficient options is a great start. I really like the Stealth high-efficiency toilets that use only .8 gallons of water per flush and many utility companies are offering these at no or low cost through rebate programs.


In what creative ways can apartment companies induce tenants to become more involved in creating a sustainable environment?


Educating your renters and continually communicating the importance of and how to conserve resources is equally

How are apartment complexes being designed and built to use less energy? Retrofits? In California, the building codes have become much more stringent over the years to ensure that new construction is focused on energy efficiency and water conservation. Many of our new developments in California go above and beyond by pursuing green building certifications such as LEED. On the retrofit side, we are always looking for opportunities to increase efficiencies, while staying within budget. Our Director of Facilities who oversees the capital budgeting for our assets incorporates sustainability into their 5 year plans. We also always encourage our renovations to have an energy audit conducted prior to help identify savings opportunities and help guide the renovation plan. n

Facility Manager (Continued from page 21) say that I made a difference and I am proud of the accomplishments that I provided for my family and had a little left over for golf and a few beverages. Refer to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs where self-actualization (“What a man can be, he must be.”) plays the most important role. I am honored to be a part of such a great profession, proud of the many accomplishments we contribute to the global economy, grateful to all of the amazingly talented

women and men who I have had the pleasure to work alongside of, been mentored and led by and most of all that I chose this profession. I couldn’t do anything else except be a drummer in a rock and roll band. n Morgan is the Northern California-based director of facility management at global tech leader SAP and a member of the board of directors of the International Facility Management Association.

Industry News

37 California Buildings News • July/August 2016

Demand for Architectural Services Rising…Highest in the West Multifamily Housing Market Leading the Surge…Expected to Continue

Led by a still active multiChief Economist, Kermit Baker. family housing market and “Demand levels are solid across the sustained by solid levels of demand board for all project types at the for new commercial and retail moment. Of particular note, the properties, the Architecture Billings recent surge in design activity for Index has accelerated to its highest institutional projects could be score in nearly a year. As a leading a harbinger of a new round of economic indicator of construction growth in the broader construction activity, the ABI reflects the approxindustry in the months ahead.” imate nine-to-twelve month lead Regional averages: West (53.8), time between architecture billings South (53.7), Northeast (51.2), and construction spending. The Midwest (49.9). Photo credit: Getty Images/Jupiterimages. American Institute of Architects Sector index breakdown: (AIA) reported the May ABI score multi-family residential (53.7), was 53.1, up sharply from the mark of 50.6 in the previous institutional (53.0), commercial /industrial (51.0), mixed month. This score reflects an increase in design services practice (51.0). (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), produced by the new projects inquiry index was 60.1, up from a reading of AIA Economics & Market Research Group, is a leading 56.9 the previous month. economic indicator that provides an approximately nine-to“Business conditions at design firms have hovered around twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential the break-even rate for the better part of this year,” said AIA construction spending activity.

California Port Facilities Getting Greener

Inbound Logistics Magazine Rates Long Beach and LA Highly

After their moves to reduce harmful air emissions, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles earned high ratings recently by the respected industry magazine Inbound Logistics. In its June issue, the publication said of the Port of Long Beach, which has spent more than $500 million greening its facilities, “In 2015, the Port of Long Beach constructed four new buildings on a recently redeveloped marine terminal located at the 170-acre Middle Harbor. The buildings, which conserve energy and water, have received a gold level certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Of equal importance, the terminal itself is also environmentally friendly. Its cranes and cargo moves run on electricity, resulting in nearly zero emissions compared to traditional terminals.” The magazine also praised the Port of Los Angeles for utilizing a process that captures emissions as ships plug into shore power—while they’re at berth. Known as the Alternative Maritime Power program, it has resulted in a reduction of 14 tons of diesel particulate matter, as well as 123 tons of nitrogen oxide emission. The port currently has more shore-power capable berths than any other port in the world. Port of Los Angeles. Photo credit: Getty Images/InterestingLight. The LA Port’s Pasha Terminal, which may become the world’s first terminal to generate power onsite via a renewable energy source that, with a 2.6-MW battery storage system, could potentially allow it to operate off the local energy grid while using zero emissions yard equipment and drayage trucks, says Inbound Logistics.

38 California Buildings News • July/August 2016

Fire Safety Innovations from NFPA Viking Corporation has introduced the VK494, the only residential flat plate concealed sprinkler with identical flow and pressure requirements at three temperature ratings — 155°F, 175°F, and 200°F. Sprinkler installers can standardize on intermediate temperatures without sacrificing performance or aesthetics, while consolidating inventories and simplifying sprinkler choices on the job site. (Shown at right: VK494 with cover plate. Photo courtesy of Viking Corporation.)

Kidde’s Worry-Free Plug-In carbon monoxide alarms plug into any outlet and contain a CO sensor proven to last 10 years. All of Kidde’s WorryFree models are UL-Listed and have a sealed-in lithium battery that provides continuous backup power for a decade, eliminating the need for battery replacement and low-battery chirps. (Photo courtesy of Kidde.)

The first time trainees use an extinguisher shouldn’t be during a real emergency. The BullEx BullsEye™ system (shown above) and R.A.C.E. Station let them pull a real fire alarm, dial 9-1-1, squeeze the trigger of an extinguisher and extinguish a fire. Its portable, realistic digital flame simulators let you train in places where fires are likely to occur—a supply closet, break room or production floor. (Photo courtesy of BullEx.)

Sierra Monitor’s Red Owl IR3 and UV/IR flame detectors are powerful, cost-effective instruments that can monitor hydrocarbon/hydrogen-based flames at long distances. Enclosed in an explosion-proof, stainless steel enclosure, Red Owl has the unique ability to perform continuous self-test to assure proper functionality, removing the need for an expensive, external tester. (Photo courtesy of Sierra Monitor.)

39 California Buildings News • July/August 2016

The Xtralis VESDA-E VEA detector combines VESDA reliability and early warning smoke detection with pinpoint addressability and annunciation options. It uses patented air sampling points and multi-channel microbore air-sampling with enhanced or standard alarm sensitivity settings. The VEA can divide a protected space into sampling locations, enabling localization of a fire for faster incident response. (Photo courtesy of Xtralis. Xtralis is now part of Honeywell.)

Oval Brand Fire Products is an innovation leader in the fire safety industry. Oval’s entire line of fire extinguishers are compliant with the ADA protruding object limits. With Oval, fully recessed fire extinguisher cabinets can now be installed within 2-1/2 inch studded walls and 6 inch masonry. Plus, Oval’s unique mounting system greatly reduces accidental damage caused by everyday impacts. (Shown above: Oval Column Swing. Photo courtesy of Oval Fire Products.)

(See page 40 for more innovations)

40 California Buildings News • July/August 2016 (Continued from page 39)

The new Light Cancellation Technology in the Fireray range of beam smoke detectors greatly reduces false alarms caused by ambient light. This allows reliable operation in difficult light conditions caused by direct sunlight, sodium lamps and florescent lighting. The Fireray range is the only line of beam smoke detectors to offer light cancellation for increased reliability. (Photo courtesy of Fireray.)

Stat-X® fire suppression is an aerosol technology providing safe and superior fire suppression with remarkable reductions in weight, space, and maintenance. Applications include enclosed special hazards such as: vehicle engine compartments, machinery spaces, and electrical cabinets. This product is made in the USA and is approved for normally-occupied spaces. (Photo courtesy of Stat-X.)

Tornatech’s complete line of electric and diesel fire pump controllers feature the ViZiTouch color touch screen operator interface with intuitive graphics, quick and easy commissioning and user friendly operation. They meet all requirements of the California Building Code: CBC 2016, ICC-ES AC156 and IBC 2015 including OSHPD Special Seismic Certification Preapproval. (Photo courtesy of Tornatech.)

ComplianceCenterTM is a free web-based solution from BuildingReports® that provides valuable compliance reporting and inspection management tools. This public service allows fire and safety officials, service companies and facility management collaborate and communicate more effectively in order to reduce liability and ensure critical fire and life safety devices are up to code.

Darley has simplified the shopping and ordering process of NFPA 13D sprinkler pumps. Darley ships a fully assembled residential fire pump that meets all NFPA 13D requirements within 24 hours. You work smarter; not harder. The StarterPaq is the only fully assembled NFPA 13D fire pump that starts at less than $1,000 and is ready to install out of the box.

Protectowire FireSystem’s newest technology directly addresses the problems associated with mechanical damage to linear heat detectors. The Confirmed Temperature Initiation (CTI) Series can distinguish between a short caused from mechanical damage and a short caused by heat activation. This new technology is FM Approved, UL Listed and CSFM.

41 California Buildings News • July/August 2016

Apartment Boom

(Continued from page 13)

apartment housing. America’s affordability problem is growing. The supply of rental apartments can’t meet the demand—between 300,000 to 400,000 apartments must be built annually to keep pace, but only an average of 208,000 were built between 2011 and 2015. “Compounding this challenge is stagnancy in incomes. Median rental household income is almost unchanged from 35 years ago on an inflation-adjusted basis. Finally, costly and cumbersome regulations at all levels of government create barriers to the development of new rental housing and ultimately drive rents above what many families can afford. (See box at right: Affordability Study Highlights, How Housing Matters.) “We commend the MacArthur Foundation for reinforcing that Americans want lawmakers to act now to address our nation’s housing affordability challenges. Lawmakers must recognize that the most viable solution requires a strong partnership between government and the private sector. The National Apartment Association continues to work to enable our members to provide apartment homes that meet the needs of all Americans.” n

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How Housing Matters MacArthur Foundation commissioned study by Hart Research Associates s 81% of Americans believe that housing affordability is a problem…10% a serious problem. s 94% of adults believe that stable affordable housing is important to be able to secure a middle-class lifestyle…68% believe it is harder to secure such housing harder than a generation ago. s 63% say housing affordability is not getting enough attention from presidential candidates. s Americans across the spectrum are deeply pessimistic about economic mobility. s 31% of Americans spend more than 30% of their monthly household income on their rent or mortgage payment.

Marketing Tips

(Continued from page 14)

w is a way small landlords can accept credit card and debit payments. Residents have more flexibility in how they pay, and landlords get paid faster. w Bikes are big, and apartments will benefit from creating bike storage and adding, offering repair stations with options for tools, parts, and air. Loaner bikes are a great option too. Attracting the best quality renters with the least effort requires the latest marketing and retention tools. Armed with these easy-to-implement tactics, your marketing efforts are sure to succeed!

Excerpted from 45 Hot Trends for Multifamily at the National Apartment Association’s 2016 Education Conference in San Francisco, presented by Mary Gwyn with Apartment Dynamics, Pattie Woods with Fogelman Management Group, Donna Olson with Olson Training, and Valerie Sargent with Yvette Poole & Associates. Gwyn can be reached at

42 California Buildings News • July/August 2016

Like the iconic screen roles and the Chinese Theater, our buildings have withstood the test of time. When we think of icons, we conjure up images of people, places and things that withstand the test of time, symbolizing our beliefs, culture and community. Greenbuild 2016 celebrates the icons of our movement. Those who are working in the trenches today, and those who are in line to take up the banner and lead the way into the future. Plan now to join us for an epic celebration at Greenbuild 2016: Iconic Green in Los Angeles, California.



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