California Buildings News Q2 2021

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

OPENING UP! Post-Pandemic Workplace Designs and Strategies

Q2 2021 • $5

Contents 10 Positive Changes Due to COVID Throughout history when wars and cataclysms finally ended, and we dug out from the carnage, we discovered that miraculously some innovations and changes occurred that have lasting value. Hard as it is to imagine, the COVID pandemic has resulted in bettering our world in some ways. Here are 10 things that I have perceived, though there are surely more. The pandemic kept us apart, but technology brought people together.... in ways that will keep us closer than ever. 1. Renewed appreciation of people. We have sorely missed the wonderful pleasures interacting with people in the “physical” world. 2. Education and training via remote. Zoom and like technologies will save us all untold amounts of time and money and multiply the quality of interactions we have. 3. Virtual conferences and trade shows. In-person conferences are very good for interaction, but they are so time-consuming and expensive that we never get to attend as many as we would like. Hybrid events will allow us to virtually attend many more, while budgeting wisely for those we must attend in person. 4. Regional leisure travel. We have discovered the delights and values of locales we can simply drive to and fund area businesses. 5. Decongesting workplaces. Horrible benching arrangements are hopefully gone forever, as people require more space for health and quality of work. With the permanent trend of people working more from home and visiting the office less, workplaces will require the same or more square footage, but it will be better arranged. 6. Refocusing on heartland communities. People are moving more from “vertical” cities to “horizontal” communities, costing us less for housing and officing and giving us more quality of community life than more intense and costly environments. 7. Less commute time. Great air quality, less commuting cost and improved health for all while reducing traffic accidents and death. 8. Higher productivity. Most workers and their supervisors have been pleasantly surprised at how some or all work from home can boost focus —and improve work. 9. Better hygiene awareness. Before 2020, people missed billions of hours in sick leave and poor performance at the job because they were less aware of the dangers of close contact with others, poor air quality and unclean surfaces. 10. Rediscovered passion for outdoor settings. The value of outdoors —even just a window view —was becoming understood as healthy and desirable, but during the pandemic we came to better appreciate the many benefits of circulating air in an open environment at work or at home. That trend will result in greater investment in parks and open settings within architecture. — Henry Eason


Art Gensler's Business Principles


Pandemic & Need for Open Space


Opening Up: Workplace Strategies

Associations: USGBC, BOMA, IFMA



Q&A with LA Architect Knudsen


Future Cities: Vertical or Horizontal?


New California Projects

Product Focus: Innovations



Comments on articles? Suggestions? Contact

California Buildings News Team Henry Eason, Editor Ellen Eason, Publisher & Associate Editor Contributing Editors 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 2021 Eason Communications LLC PO Box 225234 San Francisco, CA 94122-5234 Copyright © 2021 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. Other images: Adobe Stock.

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California Buildings News

Emergency Phones: Are Yours Functional & Code-Compliant?


ith telecom costs continually on the rise, most would welcome the opportunity to streamline their systems. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is becoming increasingly common, particularly for commercial use. While potentially ideal for your building’s general telecommunications, there are challenges when using VoIP with emergency phone systems (like the ones in your elevators). At Kings III, we understand that elevator phones might be the last thing on your mind, and we’re here to help. Code-compliant emergency monitoring and response in areas not often thought about is our entire business. Regardless of who monitors your emergency phones, we encourage you to review our recommended minimum standards for elevator phone monitoring. These standards cover code compliance as well as performance, safety and risk-mitigating measures that we developed for elevator consultants. We believe every property manager and owner should evaluate their systems against these standards. A great starting point is simply testing your elevator phones regularly. It is critical. In doing so, make sure the operator can identify not just the building but also the elevator cab you are calling from, without your help.

VoIP and POTS: What You Need to Know Introduced as a way to save money on long distance, VoIP lets you make phone calls using an internet connection instead of a traditional plain old telephone service (POTS) line. Traditional phone lines, whether you call them POTS, analog or copper, are reliable and efficient. However, new technologies are making these lines obsolete. Large telecom companies are no longer training technicians on this old technology and plan to cease servicing these lines. Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages as you try to cut that ever-increasing phone bill and upgrade your public switched telephone network (PSTN) to a new solution. VoIP advantages include: cost savings, as most systems allow you to use your current equipment; improved call quality; low maintenance; and flexibility. (How many Zoom or Microsoft Teams calls have you been on this week?

Whether you used your PC or iPhone, you were able to do that through VoIP, which allows multiple calls at once.) VoIP disadvantages are: inconsistent dual tone multifrequency (DTMF) make communication difficult, especially when trying to retrieve information from or calling back into a dialer in a specific zone (or elevator). Router configuration is critical for VoIP service to be delivered smoothly, as voice traffic is typically given priority and requires more than average bandwidth to operate. In addition, power outages can impact VoIP, since no power to the router means there is no connection to the internet.

Cellular: A Viable Option VoIP offers benefits over traditional landlines and many times at a lower cost. However, VoIP is not a one-sizefits-all solution, and there are a few circumstances where it is not code compliant. One of those use cases is your elevator emergency phone. One of the most critical code issues related to VoIP and your elevator emergency phone is call location tracking. With VoIP, the monitoring party may be unable to identify an entrapped passenger’s location (and specifically which elevator cab they are calling from) without aid from the caller as required by elevator code. Elevator phones are often an afterthought when making a telephony change and are easily missed even in the most robust telephony project. We’ve discovered elevator emergency phones that were left completely disconnected! A working phone without location identification may not be code compliant, but it’s better than no phone at all. Fortunately there is a way to mitigate risk and liability exposure, increase safety and reliability, and manage tenant experience in your elevator while saving money. Cellular is the most viable option. This solution uses an ADA-compliant hands-free phone, but completely eliminates your dependence on POTS lines. A cellular transceiver is placed outside of the concrete and steel-lined shaft with the cellular unit positioned for signal strength and access to power. The signal is sent via cellular communicator, but copper wiring is still required to connect that communicator to the elevator.

Learn more about code-compliant elevator emergency phone solutions at or email

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6 California Buildings News • Q2 2021

The world's architectural community lost Art Gensler this spring. He built and ran the world's largest design firm. He inspired countless professionals and left a legacy of numerous wonderfully designed facilities. We are reprinting our interview with him in 2015.

America’s Leading Architect’s Business Principles Says “Always Looking for New Products”…Stresses Functionality Q&A with Arthur Gensler, Jr., Founder, Gensler, San Francisco Art, as he is very well known globally, founded what is often listed as America’s largest architectural firm, headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in 46 locations around the world, staffed by more than 4,600 design professionals, currently serving more than 2,390 clients, including 55 of 100 of Fortune magazine’s top Global 500 companies. California Buildings News asked Gensler to share some of the insights he made in his new book, as well as insights into the way his firm selects products. In your new book, “Art’s Principles,” you outline ways design professionals can do a better job of running their businesses. What are three of your best tips? 1. Hire the best 2. Storytelling 3. No project is too small for a great client Hire the best people. They may cost more but the return will be much greater and you can trust the results in their contribution. Give them the support they need and then get out of their way. Learn to be a storyteller. Potential and current clients can relate to a relevant story. Don’t use industry gobbledygook. Learn to speak in their industry’s language. Your stories should convey real and relevant experiences, and don’t need to be given directly to an audience if you aren’t comfortable with public speaking. You can share your stories using social media. Architecture is design, but architects are also very concerned with products used to fulfill building design: wall systems, paint, flooring, roofing, solar, windows, restroom fixtures, etc. What guides Gensler in recommending such products? We are lucky that we have excellent and experienced librarians at Gensler, working with us to research products. We use the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) evaluation system, as well as the aesthetic and functional

properties of a product to guide and select products. For U.S. testing we rely on the recommendation of BIFMA, ASTM or UL. Does Gensler default in product selection to companies with established reputations or give new manufacturers a chance? We are always looking for new products. We are careful not be to be the first to try products. We want to make sure they really meet the performance criteria presented by the manufacturer. Some firms are more concerned with design over functionality. How does Gensler reconcile these requirements? We clearly first focus on function. If it doesn’t respond to our clients’ needs and requirements, then no matter how wonderful or unique the design we create is, it will not be a successful solution. Do manufacturers respond well to architects’ needs to meet codes or design requirements by innovating products or altering them to meet your needs? If not, how can they improve? I believe the majority of manufacturers have recognized the need to provide functional and appropriate products that are sustainable, innovative and responsive to our needs. And most of them will work with us to modify their standard solutions if we feel it is necessary.

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To what extent are architects involved in stimulating product development? Being in a large metropolitan area and a large firm we get manufacturers reps through our door constantly. They meet with the librarian, technical and design people, always searching out new opportunities for their current products or products they could provide to meet our needs. I believe suppliers are a very important part of the building team. Why are bigger architectural firms superior to smaller ones? Or are they? I don’t believe size creates a superior firm. There is a need in our profession for all sizes of organizations. The superior firm is made up of people who are professional in their approach, respond to the client and community needs, add value through their projects, and enhance the environment.

Gensler with San Francisco’s Bay Bridge in the background. Photo courtesy of Gensler.

8 California Buildings News • Q2 2021

Pandemic Emphasizes Need for Open Spaces Workers, Tenants, Patients Need Fresh Biophilic Experiences Creating open spaces will become even more important in workplace, healthcare and living environments in the wake of COVID-19, and giving people options to interact in biophilic settings will also add considerable value to interactions and personal well-being. Zeek Magallanes, associate landscape designer at McCullough in San Diego, says, “In a world defined by social-distancing, area of influence becomes a critical consideration. Maintaining six feet of separation from others is an important prevention tool we should consider in social settings, however, both indoor and outdoor spaces have historically been predicated on less. Fire safety occupancy requirements typically define outdoor spatial strategies that fail to account for potential viral contamination. By shrinking the area of influence outdoor spaces have through the use of plant material and proper airflow, we can help minimize undue exposure to these contaminants. “Workplace scale is another critical consideration and is most often experienced as either linear or enclosed. New offsets need to be considered for people to safely interact outdoors during brief encounters. Workplaces should accommodate these serendipitous and often highly productive meetings by providing small outdoor seating or standing work areas demarcated in some way, such as with plant material or unique floor treatments. While these spatial principles may seem simple, their consideration can help point us toward solutions that encourage appropriate and productive workplace design in our post-COVID workspaces.”

Gardens Convey Tangible Benefits Gardens and trees in the workplace, home landscape and urban settings aren’t just pleasing to the eye, they actually help our mental well-being and provide physical and economic benefits. “Studies have shown that spending time outdoors brightens our mood and can help one feel less stressed, so the importance of these green spaces are getting renewed interest during the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Len Burkhart, technical advisor for the Davey Institute at The Davey Tree Expert Company. Studies have shown that hospital stays are shorter when a hospital room has a view of landscapes, and cities with greater amounts of tree canopy on average have lower crime rates. “My grandmother always told me, if something is bothering you, go outside in the garden for a while and those problems will become less important. There’s actual proof of this,” said Burkhart. The physical and economic benefits of trees are important too, from filtering the air we breathe, to providing shade over a building or house decreasing AC bills. The benefits of gardens, trees and green spaces are endless and should be put on high importance when building workplaces and residences. Small outdoor seating areas are important in post-COVID workplace designs. Top photo: The Dave Tree Expert Company.


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10 California Buildings News • Q2 2021

OPENING UP! Post-Pandemic Workplace Designs and Strategies

Above: The JLL Orange County office in Irvine, California, was designed by H. Hendy Associates with the aim of promoting cross-collaboration. Photo courtesy of H. Hendy Associates.

How many of us will return to our workplaces? If so, how do we get there? How many days a week are necessary? Will others there make us sick by not wearing masks? Must we be vaccinated? How long will we have to wait in line to use an elevator in a go to go home? How productive and happy have we been working from home? Do we need to mix with people to do a better job and advance in the office politics game? And, what will our workplaces look like when we get there? Will our workplaces be better? A lot of questions...and a lot of answers. Many California building managers say most tenants are not investing in wholesale changes in the design of their workplaces, preferring a wait-and-see posture to see exactly how workplaces will be used in the new hybrid use world. Some forward thinkers are imagining what that will be. Meantime, many manufacturers are creating products designed to make workplaces safer by improving air quality, elevator operation, sensoring for space use. According to a study sponsored by the Building Owners and Managers Association, “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.” Henry H. Chamberlain, BOMA’s president, said, “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.”

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one desk/one-person approach are now suddenly inspired to reevaluate their whole way of working. Many are embracing a hybrid work model, in which employees split their time between in-office and remote work. “As such, the one-size-fits-all workplace is finally a thing of the past; the office of the future will be built for adaptability and will be able to morph as behaviors change and attitudes evolve.” Tenants need to resume occupancy to strategize how to best use their space and design configurations to better manage the flow of employees, Kevin Whalen, president of the Building Owners and Managers Association of San Francisco, wrote in the latest edition of BOMA Views. The Jones Lang LaSalle executive said BOMA-member owners and managers are helping tenants implement new technologies that improve air quality, reduce contact of high-touch surfaces and upgrade cleaning methods and institute better wellness and health standards. “So, what will the office’s role be?” asks Dubisar. “It’ll be a place for collaboration, socialization, and connection to purpose, both hyper-collaboration and hyper-focus. It will have furniture that’s easily configurable and supports the latest technology. As a destination, it will be a place that The Wall Street Journal reports recently that scores of emanates culture, and it will need to offer what the home managers in all types of companies are leaning toward office cannot. It will need to reconsider protocols and behavneeding workers to be physically present— at least some of iors to ensure the remote employee feels connected when the time—in order to stay more engaged in corporate goals. they’re not physically there. And it will need to prioritize wellness through ergonomics and outdoor spaces – not just a picnic table and an umbrella “The one-size-fits-all workplace is in a courtyard, but a true inside/outside office finally a thing of the past; the office optimized for getting things done. of the future will be built for adapt“The workplace of the future will be a workability and will be able to morph place with heart—one that prioritizes people and as behaviors change and attitudes evolves to meet their needs.” evolve.” — Kelly Dubisar, Gensler

Business Community Rocked By Change

Kelly Dubisar, a design director at Gensler in San Francisco, says, “Before COVID-19, many companies were already imagining the future of their workplace, what it might look like, and how it could accommodate the evolving ways we spend our workdays. “Now, more than a year into the pandemic, these conversations have gone from conceptual to critical. Companies who previously subscribed to a nine-to-five,

Heidi Hendy, managing principal of H. Hendy Associates in Newport Beach, says, “Never before in modern history has the business community, and specifically commercial real estate, experienced such profound and dramatic change. The marketplace faced a long, arduous year with unexpected demands on resources and personnel. It was beyond transitional; it’s been transformative, educational and an eye-opening experience for all. “Over the past year, we’ve witnessed a fundamental change in the role of office. As we quickly transitioned to virtual and digital workspaces, we saw leadership shift their perspective on remote working and physical space. Business leaders also shared concerns over workplace purpose and rightsizing their future office requirements, yet they have (Continued on page 13)

The workplace is being reimagined. Explore innovative insights and world-class thought leadership on how organizations operate, collaborate, and support worker well-being in tomorrow’s built environment.

Reconnect in person with your professional community to discuss, discover and embrace new mindsets for creating healthy, agile, sustainable, whole-person spaces.

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13 California Buildings News • Q2 2021

Creative design solutions

Above: Design for a collaborative office from Steelcase. Image courtesy of Steelcase. Left: Tech-Integrated furnishings from Coalesse's Lagunitas Lounge collection afford flexibility and safe distancing. Photos courtesy of Coalesse.

Opening Up

(Continued from page 11)

been awed and inspired by the complexity of the single question: “What is the future of work?” “Now that we have untethered from our in-office cubicles, desks and paperwork there will be no turning back to the old ways of working. Remote work is here to stay, and recent data implies that it will only continue to accelerate. The overnight transition to remote work also caused a sudden implementation of often underutilized tools. The result: we now have an experienced, digital savvy workforce with the tools to make remote work successful. So, what’s next for office and how do organizations apply learning lessons? Enter the New Generation Space. “The New Generation Space is a purpose-built environment that drives employee engagement. This hybrid office model also known as a “Hive” is the place people return to for human connection and supports the activities an individual does not or cannot do from home. And although it’s not one-size-fits-all, there’s an emphasis on the following: leadership, cultural experience, in-office employees, collaboration and innovation and agile workspaces. With wellplanned migration patterns and deliberate touchpoints, this

hybrid workspace becomes a memorable experience and physical manifestation of a company’s brand promise, culture and values. An environment that supports long-term business goals and inspiring place where people want to work now that they have a choice. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hendy earned the trust of JLL Orange County to apply some of this thinking to the design of their new office in Irvine, California. Completed in 2020, JLL’s new office aims to promote cross-collaboration and is inspired by the firm’s company culture —a place where people want to work and be. Hendy helped the CRE giant bring forth a design that can stand the test of time, is purpose-driven and supports its business strategy. The new JLL office in Irvine, California aims to foster teamwork and collaboration and serve as a model for the future of office. JLL is one of the early adopters of this workplace transformation, and its new space is designed to be a best-in-class example for companies reevaluating their office layout and design.” (See photo of the JLL Orange County office on page 10.) n

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Did Your Building Get “Sick” During COVID? 4 Evaluate the building and its mechanical and life safety systems to determine if the building is ready for occupancy. Check for hazards associated with prolonged facility shutdown such as mold growth, rodents or pests or issues with stagnant water systems, and take appropriate remedial actions.

The Centers for Disease Control cautions people returning to workplaces and schools to make certain your building is safe for occupancy. Here is some advice: 4 Increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors if possible and using fans. Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety or health risk for occupants, including children (e.g., a risk of falling or of breathing outdoor environmental contaminants such as carbon monoxide, molds, or pollens).

4 Ensure that ventilation systems in your facility operate properly. 4 To minimize the risk of LegionFor building heating, ventilation, naires’ disease and other diseases and air conditioning (HVAC) associated with water, take steps systems that have been shut down to ensure that all water systems or on setback, review new conand features (e.g., sink faucets, struction startup guidance providdrinking fountains, decorative CDC recommends increasing the circulation of outdoor ed in ASHRAE Standard 180-2018, fountains) and water-using devices air as much as possible. Photo: Adobe Stock. Standard Practice for the Inspection (e.g., ice machines, cooling towers) and Maintenance of Commercial Building HVAC Systems. are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown.



17 California Buildings News • Q2 2021 Five California-based building teams are Pacific Southwest regional winners of TOBY (The Outstanding Buildings of the Year) Awards, bestowed by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA). These regional winners now advance to the international competition. International TOBY winners will be announced at the BOMA International conference in Boston in October. Renovated Building Techmart, Santa Clara Management Company: Hudson Pacific Properties Building Manager: LaToya Ross 500,000 – 1 million Square Feet 333 Bush Street, San Francisco Management Company: Tishman Speyer Building Manager: Glenn Good

100,000 – 249,999 Square Feet Airport Tower, Irvine Management Company: The Muller Company Building Manager: Suzi Mier

250,000 – 499,999 Square Feet 100 First Street, San Francisco Management Company: Kilroy Realty Building Manager: Megan Pusateri

Suburban Office Park Low-Rise The Exchange at Larkspur Landing, Larkspur Management Company: Lincoln Property Company Building Manager: Danae Outeiro

Photo credits: Airport Tower - Freshpage Images. Others provided by their management companies.

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18 California Buildings News • Q2 2021

Association News

Industry Groups Support Members During COVID Online Activities Keep People Connected, Provide Valuable Guidance Never in our lives have we been so cruelly isolated from our social and business networks. The pandemic has caused us personal and financial loss, and it has severed us from our vital business family. During this pandemic our associations have become our refuge, our source of essential information and, via technologies like ZOOM, often rewarding connections to other people. Associations have truly demonstrated their value during the most severe “social distancing” period in history. Their volunteer leaders and professional staffs have worked tirelessly and creatively under difficult conditions and sometimes balky tech to develop programs that have helped get us through this long dark time—and to help prepare us for a different and maybe better future. This article details—and salutes—a few of those efforts in California. From Trivia Night pitting IREM Orange County against IREM-LA to a virtual murder mystery event at IFMA and IREM Sacramento to virtual tour of a beer garden (and a tasting) sponsored by BOMA San Francisco, building industry associations have been keeping people connected on the light side and providing them will valuable career and operational guidance to get them safely and sanely through the pandemic.

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Ben Stapleton, executive director, of the Los Angeles chapter of the US Green Building Council, says “The pandemic actually was the push we needed to improve how we engage our community digitally...and in the process, brought us together, providing human connection during a challenging time. From one online webinar in 2019 to over 190 online events in 2020, we pivoted quickly...and the audience responded, with over 11,000 people attending our online meetings, webinars and trainings. “We maintained and grew interest in our chapter by launching programs that responded to and anticipated the needs of pandemic and post-pandemic issues, such as Healthy Buildings Alliance on occupant health and a Talent Development portal towards green workforce development­— two areas on everyone’s mind right now. “We moved our annual Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo online, expanded it to two days, increased attendance from 600 to over 1300 globally, and were told that, with it being in August, we presented a solid model for others to follow. As an additional note, we had actually selected the theme of ‘Equity’ in Oct. 2019 as the theme for the conference, which wound up being even more relevant than we ever could have guessed, and the conference (we humbly hope) responded and launched us on a more forward-looking path and discussion around equity and sustainability, both within our team and for our greater community. “Finally, I think our team —which grew by three hires in the last 6 months—has seen the value in these new initiatives, as well as ones we’ve had but got new life online. And their input on how to adjust our programming and communicate it to new audiences has been both creative, inspiring and invaluable. I’m very grateful for this team through this past year, and excited about 2021 and figuring out how to balance the online and IRL future in all we do.” Building Owners and Managers Association Oakland East Bay President Kelly Lynch said, “Despite the challenges the pandemic created, BOMA Oakland/East Bay worked together to continue to build on our strengths—advocacy, education and community engagement.” She listed some of the highlights of activities and events during the past year for members of that very socially engaged group: w Transitioned to virtual learning and created an Online Learning Center for members to access recordings 24/7 w Staff worked with our partners to provide COVID-19 panels on General Contracting, Janitorial, Security, Legal, Building Systems. (April – June) (Continued on next page)

19 California Buildings News • Q2 2021

w “Returning to Work” webinar with BOMA International’s

Chairs (April) w Fireside Chats for principals and associates held separately so they could engage and connect about issues that they were facing. (April and July) w Wellness Wednesday Series (September) w Talent Management (October) BOMA OEB's networking and engagement included using Zoom to connect members for Whiskey Tasting (August), Wine Tasting (September), Virtual Showcase (October), Chopped Board (October), and Charcuterie Building (November). The Annual Meeting moved virtual, with election via electronic vote. The holiday party was held virtually in partnership with BOMA San Francisco. In addition, BOMA OEB created an online Coronavirus Resource Center to provide members access to the latest information available and sent weekly eblast to keep members informed regarding each counties’ requirements. Katie Spurlock is marketing director of Salter and a long-time leader of the Society for Marketing Professional Services. SMPS is a group of people who communicate for a living, so you can expect its members met the pandemic with creativity and skill, as they do in marketing architectural, engineering and construction firms day in and day out. Spurlock said, “Shifting to a completely virtual world overnight meant the Society for Marketing Professional Services

San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (SMPS SFBAC) had to quickly rethink events and education for its 250 members. Our volunteers embraced the challenge and experimented with multiple virtual platforms to educate themselves and members on best practices for digital engagement. “Embracing virtual events enabled us to draw on a larger audience for attendance, welcoming and easily accommodating not only members from other chapters, but also co-workers who might not usually attend in-person. This also widened the pool of potential speakers to attract experts from around the country. SMPS SFBAC also shifted its content to address current social issues with programs on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) featuring DEI executives from Sephora and Chevron. “To address challenges to mental and physical wellbeing, we provide monthly Motivational Mondays to discuss inspiring videos or articles on topics such as how the philosophy of stoicism can lead to peace of mind and clarity during stressful times. We recently held a Wellness Workshop where attendees were treated to meditation, yoga, nutrition tips, and a WELL Certified office TI case study. Striving to best support our members, SMPS SFBAC believes virtual member engagement is here to stay. From the environmental benefits to improving accessibility, creating engaging, high-quality virtual experiences benefits our members and the greater A/E/C community.” n

Industry News

20 California Buildings News • Q2 2021

Architectural Billings Continue to Rise

Continuing its meteoric rebound, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) recorded its third consecutive month of positive billings, according to a new report from The American Institute of Architects (AIA). AIA’s ABI score for April rose to 57.9 compared to 55.6 in March (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). Neither score has been achieved since before the Great Recession. During April, new project inquiries and new design contracts reached record highs with scores of 70.8 and 61.7 respectively.

“This recent acceleration in the demand for design services demonstrates that both consumers and businesses are feeling much more confident about the economic outlook,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The pent-up demand for new and retrofitted facilities is keeping architecture firms in all regions and building sectors busy.” Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial (59.1); multi-family residential (56.9); institutional (56.7); mixed practice (55.0).

Some California Multifamily Sectors Recovering Revival Fastest in Inland Empire, Sacramento Markets The multifamily market is rebounding from the panPhoenix (8.1%) retained their longstanding positions at the demic at a rapid clip, and gateway markets are now seeing top in April. Gateway markets like New York (-12.6%), positive performance indicators for the first time in many San Jose (-10.8%) and San Francisco (-7.7%) remain at the months. The latest Yardi Matrix Multifamily National bottom, but monthly numbers point to a rebound. Report has much good news for owners and investors, Meantime, CBRE says, “With steadily improving marincluding a 1.6 percent year-over-year ket conditions, multifamily investment rent bump. volume is expected to increase in 2021. “That is the largest increase that CBRE Research predicts U.S. multifamily we have seen since the beginning of investment volume will reach about $148 the pandemic,” said Matrix analysts. billion next year, lower than 2019’s record Overall rents increased by $10 in level of $191 billion but a 33% gain over April to $1,417. The last time overall the 2020 estimate of $111 billion. rents increased by that amount in a Investor demand for multifamily month was June 2015. It was also assets this year was more than previous the largest year-over-year jump since recessions would have indicated. Pricing March 2020. held up quite well. Still, many investors Out of the top 30 markets Matrix moved to the sidelines as the COVID-19 Luxury apartment complex in Northern reported on, 24 had month-overpandemic spread. With greater clarity California. Photo: Adobe Stock. month rent growth greater than 0.5%. on future revenue streams, institutional Of particular significance were the gains in gateway markets. buyers and value-add investors should become much more Miami leads the gateway markets with 0.8% rent growth active next year. Offshore buyers likely will increase their on a trailing 3-month basis. All other gateways had positive activity, especially if travel restrictions are eased. trailing 3-month rent growth, with Chicago (0.5%) and Multifamily segments that had greater market deterioraBoston (0.4%) showing strong gains. Washington, D.C. tion in 2020 —such as Class A assets in urban submarkets, (0.2%), New York, San Francisco and Seattle (all 0.1%) are particularly in gateway cities —may not stabilize until well further back in the recovery process. into 2021 and present more investment risk. Buyers may National rents increased by 1.6% in April on a yearseek pricing discounts for such assets, but significantly disover-year basis—a huge jump from the 0.6% gain in March. counted pricing will remain difficult to find. Every major metro continues to show improvement on a The most impacted metros in 2020 were San Francisco, year-over-year basis, and 21 out of our top 30 metros had San Jose and New York. Other underperformers includpositive YoY rent growth this month. ed Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, Oakland, Austin, Miami, The Inland Empire (9.4%), Sacramento (8.4%) and Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Orlando.

21 California Buildings News • Q2 2021

West Coast Outstrips the East in Tall Building Construction In the 1st quarter of 2021, more than 120 construchas seen an increase in its cranes, erected at new infill housing tion cranes swung over rising buildings from Seattle to Los towers in the Downtown, Koreatown, East Hollywood, and Angeles compared to over 68 over major metros along Culver City areas. Multiple mixed-use and commercial projthe East Coast, according to Rider Levett Bucknall’s Crane ects are nearing completion in Culver City and Century City, Index® for North America which is puband several hotels in Downtown and Midlished biannually. It tracks the number of Wilshire are slated to open later this year. operating tower cranes in 14 major cities Delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, across the U.S. and Canada. the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is According to RLB, the survey shows scheduled to open in September 2021. “an increase of cranes from our previous RLB continues, “A dip in the San count; with the count increasing by 71 Francisco crane count reflects the complecranes (overall). Of the 14 cities surveyed: tion of several apartment and condominiseven experienced an increase; four are um projects along the Market Street and holding steady; and three saw significant Van Ness corridors, and infill projects in the decreases, ranging from -44% to -54%. South of Market neighborhood. A COVIDCrane rises above a construction site in The crane count appears to have rebounded induced decrease in occupancy rates for Silicon Valley. Photo: Adobe Stock. from its previous dip, exceeding its count residential, office, restaurants, and retail from this time last year. We have seen tower cranes installed buildings has depressed new starts; however, this low occuat residential and mixed-use projects increase to 69% of pancy has also likely added efficiencies to projects requiring the overall count. The commercial sector has also seen an tower cranes, offering increased opportunities to operate in aggressive increase since our previous count.” public right-of-way areas during normally peak traffic hours. Los Angeles metro tied Seattle Metro with 43 cranes Upcoming projects are a mix of residential, institutional each for the most activity along the West Coast, with (including student housing and administration buildings), San Francisco at 10 cranes. The report says, “Los Angeles and mixed-use commercial office buildings.”

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22 California Buildings News • Q2 2021

With Jenna Knudsen Managing Principal, CO Architects, Los Angeles

Q: Congratulations on your glass-ceiling-crashing accomplishment as the woman leader of a major California architectural firm. Are you just an exceptional outlier or the beginning of a trend of more women leading architectural firms? And do you see your efforts to encourage women’s advancement in architecture bearing fruit? A: Architecture is a profession where women had very few leadership role models in previous generations. It has taken a concerted effort by women—as well as men advocating for them—to create the opportunities to rise into leadership positions that we’re seeing more of today. It’s also incredibly important to make women architects visible and accessible to the next generation. This millennium, female students in STEAM programs are increasingly aware of architecture as a viable profession. CO Architects strives to lead by example. In 2013, we started our summer Internship program to expose young women to architecture. In 2019, we expanded the program to include affiliates from Photo credit: John Ellis

NOMA (National Organization of Minority Architects) and a local STEAM program to expose under-represented minorities to the profession. Internally, I collaborated with a group of female co-workers to launch our Women of CO professional development group in 2010. The goal was, and remains, to ensure equal opportunities within the firm, explore gender-based issues, and suggest initiatives that would benefit all of CO Architects. I acquired additional insights into female advancement while serving as chairperson of the AIA Los Angeles Chapter’s Women in Architecture Committee. Currently, 54 percent of CO’s 144 employees are female. We’re also an incredibly diverse firm; more than 50 percent are minority ethnicities, with employees from 23 countries who speak 18 different languages. Besides adding a wider range of skills and perspectives to projects, our diversity helps immensely when building rapport with clients across several industries.

23 California Buildings News • Q2 2021

to the design of large, complex institutional buildings. The Q: Your firm has designed quite a few healthcare faciliresults have not only been an enriched and more sustainties and university teaching centers. Has the pandemic able architecture, but also lower costs and a faster schedule focused even greater attention on the need to expand our for all parties. nation’s healthcare infrastructure, and in what ways will this influence design? Advances in technology profoundly change the way we A: The pandemic put a public spotlight on challenges we design, execute, deliver, and experience buildings. BIM have been actively addressing. gives us the power of visualizaThe pandemic demonstrated tion and improved communiwhat happens when patients cation, helping us continually “The pandemic demonstrated what vastly outnumber providers, re-invent our role in the process happens when patients vastly which exacerbated an already with new design tools. outnumber providers, which projected shortage of healthcare Q: Are you seeing signs that as exacerbated an already projected professionals. We’re designing we emerge from the pandemic shortage of healthcare professionals.” learning environments that there will be a surge of new attract and retain medicalprojects...and in what areas? and nursing-school students, A: We anticipate healthcare future pharmacists, and biotech and life sciences projects continuing to remain strong. researchers. CO also designs hospitals, so we’re adept at Education and workplace projects could undergo transforcreating med-school facilities that integrate real-world clinimations. If virtual learning and remote working continue, cal and inter-disciplinary training. To improve learning and there could be decreased demand for traditional classroom engagement, today’s curriculum relies less on classrooms and office-space configurations. Workplace redesigns and lecture halls and more on hands-on environments such should surge as companies explore a post-pandemic workas simulation rooms with high-fidelity robotic patients. At place that prioritizes health, comfort, safety, collaboration, University of Arizona’s Health Sciences Innovation Building and tech infrastructure to accommodate an increase in offin Tucson, faculty member Dr. Allan Hamilton helped us site staff. We foresee bidding on a record number of interidesign a “simulation theater,” incorporating Hollywood ors-only projects in the coming months. s soundstage influences from his consulting work on Grey’s Anatomy. Also, CO’s tech group uses videogame engines and AR/VR to create user-engaged environments. Our Virtual Operating Room Experience presents a virtual model of an operating room. Using VR goggles, practicing physicians can “work” in a virtual operating room environment, providing real-time feedback on the design fea® tures. Engaging clients at both virtual and physical levels improves their understanding and confidence in high-stakes Whether you’re in an apartment, condominium, hotel, design decisions. office building, media room or a children’s play area... peace and quiet is possible. In 2010, CO helped pioneer the acuity-adaptable patientcare model, which minimizes patient movement during Super SAM 125 sound abatement membrane ensures the course of their treatment—a major factor influencing you won’t have to hear it to believe it! patients’ susceptibility to infection. The pandemic validated the benefit of this approach—limiting exposure to other patients. We have also been integrating biophilia into healthcare design for more than a decade. Biophilic healthcare design emphasizes natural light and outdoor views and includes outdoor “healing gardens” where possible.

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Q: Has your focus on BIM given you insights into how technology can better aid design...and in what ways? A: As a very early adopter of BIM-enabled integrated project delivery (IPD), we pioneered this model and the innovative, sustainable architecture that it supports. BIM-enabled dialogue improves collaboration among architects, engineers, owners, contractors, and craftsmen, which is integral • 800-633-4622

24 California Buildings News • Q2 2021

Future Cities: Vertical or Horizontal? By Ed McMahon, Senior Fellow, Urban Land Institute

When it comes to land development, Americans typically dislike two things: too much sprawl and too much density. For half-a-century, the pendulum swung sharply in the direction of spread out, single use, drive everywhere for everything, low density development. Then the pendulum swung back. Energy prices, smart growth, transit-oriented development, new urbanism, infill development, sustainability concerns all coalesced to foster more compact, walkable, mixed use and higher density development. Cities were cool again. The pendulum swing was both necessary and long overdue. In addition, there was a growing demand for higher density housing because of demographic and lifestyle preference changes among boomers and young adults. The problem was that many developers and planners decided that density required high rises: the taller the better. Buildings 20, 40, 60, even 100 stories were proposed and built in once low and mid-rise neighborhoods all over the country. All of these projects were justified with the explanation that if density is good, even more density is better. The problem was that the units in these buildings were almost always very expensive and invariably small. Even the larger units were typically a maximum of two bedrooms with an open concept, living room, dining room, kitchen. The idea was that the amenities in the neighborhood: parks, bars, restaurants, theatres and other urban assets would make up for the lack of space. The tallest and most expensive buildings, like the pencil towers in New York, were, according to the NY Times “mostly empty, most of the time” because the units were simply investment vehicles for the super-wealthy.

When the Pandemic Hit...

Then two things happened. First, millennials started to have families and then the pandemic hit. All of a sudden, both parents were working from home and then they realized that there was no place to put a desk, a bookcase or a file cabinet, unless it was in front of those lovely floor-to-ceiling windows. And

how were we supposed to work with small kids at home? The office sector saw a similar compacting of space. Before the pandemic, there was a trend toward “open offices”. This meant more employees in less space, reduced boundaries between staff, interaction encouraged, centralized supervision and of course, more offices downtown. The pandemic has turned these trends upside down. Now we are seeing fewer employees in more space, increased boundaries among staff, staggered workdays, the return of cubicles, more employees working from home and a shift to offices in the suburbs. A big question is: how many employees will go back to the office, once the pandemic has subsided? According to a recent report by the National Association of Business Economics, few employers expect to completely abandon office space, but only 1 in 10 employers expect all employees to come back into the office. The post pandemic office will include much more flexibility. A majority of companies are developing hybrid offerings in which people work from home some days and in their office’s other days. What’s more, the long duration of workplace disruption has caused some people to prefer the new normal, while others are over it and are ready to go back to the office.

The Future of Vertical Cities

An even bigger question is what is the future of cities, especially vertical cities, following the pandemic? In the short term, the pandemic has accelerated the out-migration of people, jobs and capital from high rise, high-cost cities like San Francisco and New York, to smaller cities, suburbs and high amenity small towns. In the longer term, big gateway cities, could become more affordable again. We already see lower rates and higher vacancies in urban multifamily projects and in Center City office buildings. So what happens, if many of those offices never fill up again? Well, older office buildings can be converted to housing and some tenants from the older buildings will now be able to relocate to Class A space in the newer, but now more affordable buildings. Vacant

office buildings can also be adaptively reused as hotels, student housing, data centers or even vertical farms. To be clear, big cities, despite the current adversity, have a bright future. There have always been cities across history, no matter the time or place. Cities have always facilitated commerce, government, worship and social and cultural interaction. Also, cities have always had health challenges, from the time of Rome, to the dawn of the industrial age to the tenements of the early 20th century, but cities have evolved and improved. Cities are adaptable and resilient. As rents and prices reset to more affordable levels, the laws of supply and demand will ensure that cities will prosper once again.

Horizontal Living?

So, what about the suburbs? Does the urban exodus mean more sprawl? Not necessarily. Even before the pandemic, the suburbs were changing to become more walkable, compact and mixed use. What’s more, many of the people leaving cities don’t want their parents’ suburbs. In the future, we are likely to see many more suburban retrofits. Office parks are adding retail and housing, suburban town centers are popping up all over the country, underperforming parking lots at dead strip malls are turning into multi-family housing and suburban TOD projects are likely to grow in the future. Managing density in the suburbs requires developers and planners need to recognize several things: First, that

we don’t need density everywhere. Density works best in a few key locations: near large transportation investments, along underperforming commercial corridors, in suburban town centers, and in former office parks and light industrial areas. Density also does not require high rises. Tremendous density can be achieved in compact, low and midrise neighborhoods. Paris for example, has almost twice the density of New York, despite a general lack of high rises. Finally, density demands high quality design and compensating amenities like parks, playgrounds, sidewalks and bike trails. The question is not vertical vs. horizontal, but creating density that makes communities more liveable, affordable and attractive. n

For our members, for our industry, for our communities. The Carpenters Union works with signatory construction, mill-cabinet and installation contractors to keep our jobs safe and to keep our industry moving forward. Joaquin Galindo and Eriberto Bolanos, Carpenters Mill-Cabinet Local 2236, complete a custom-built cabinet at US Millwork Mission Bell in Morgan Hill.

26 California Buildings News • Q2 2021

New Projects Santa Ana Seniors Housing Facility AO, a leading architectural services firm with diverse multifamily and commercial design expertise, recently completed Metro East Senior Park Apartments, a sixstory, 461,535 square-foot senior affordable housing community that borders the cities of Santa Ana and Tustin. Designed for developers AMG, The Pacific Companies and Jamboree Housing Corporation, the community comprises 419 residential units with a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments with floor plans ranging from 402 to 821 square feet. Metro East Senior Park Apartments is currently accepting residents. “We’re breathing new life into Santa Ana’s Metro East mixed-use zone with a senior affordable housing community that’s absolutely first class,” said Ed Cadavona, partner at AO. “Our vision for Metro East Senior Park Apartments was to create a living environment that promotes well-being and longevity through social, mental and physical engagement.” Fronting the property, a public plaza offers shaded seating areas and invites the public to mingle with tenants and enjoy community events. Five activity courtyards throughout the property encourage socialization among residents with indoor-outdoor features that capitalize on Southern California’s idyllic weather. Other premium amenities include a sky lounge with sweeping views, a fitness center, recreation lounge, outdoor dining and barbecues, lawn games and a community garden. The building’s contemporary architecture sets the tone for the revitalization of Santa Ana’s Metro East, centered around arts and culture. A vibrant large-scale mural on the east façade depicting the faces of seniors who have made an impact on Santa Ana creates a welcoming gateway to the city. The eye-catching exterior design integrates a mix of materials and textures, recessing and projecting elements, with a crisp pallet of warm grays, whites and tans. Inside, unit plans feature both shallow and wide floorplans that feel open and bright. Metro East Senior Park Apartments. Photo: Ling Ge.

Metro East Senior Park Apartments’ progressive design has earned the property two Gold Nugget Merit Awards for “Best Senior Community on the Boards” and “Best on the Boards Affordable Community.” Located at 2222 E. First St., the property is minutes from I-5 and 55 freeways and a five-minute drive to Old Town Tustin and Santa Ana’s award-winning restaurant scene. It offers convenient access to public transportation, shopping and dining, entertainment centers and medical services. “Nearly 125,000 low-income renter households in Orange County do not have access to an affordable home according to the California Housing Partnership,” said Alexis Gevorgian, partner at AMG. “We’re proud to bring a much-needed asset to Santa Ana that meets pent-up demand and promotes an active and social lifestyle for Orange County seniors.” Project partners are builder Sinanian Construction, landscape architect Thomas H. Phelps Landscape Architecture and civil engineer C&V Consulting. Other notable local multifamily and mixed-use projects by AO and AMG include First Point, a two-building, 552-unit affordable housing community located in Santa Ana slated for completion by Fall 2021 (phase one) and Spring 2022 (phase two); and Garden Brook Senior Village, an award-winning, 395-unit adaptive reuse senior housing community located in Garden Grove with completion anticipated by 2022, among others.

27 California Buildings News • Q2 2021

Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine As one of the leading healthcare providers in the country, Kaiser Permanente has created a new School of Medicine to train the next generation of leaders in medicine in Pasadena, a project of CannonDesign. Kaiser Permanente sought a school unfettered by the traditional pedagogy of academic medical centers, but also detached from typical campus amenities. This pushed the design team to reimagine the typology entirely. How does one envision, on a tight urban site, all the components needed for first-rate medical education? The resulting design is an entire campus within a building. The 80,000 sf building houses simulation, flex classrooms, cafeteria, lecture hall, computer center, small group learning, collaboration zones, and outdoor recreation areas to create the school of medicine as a laboratory. This approach redefines medical education, preparing a new generation of physicians to influence positive change within the Kaiser Permanente system and in hospitals, homes, schools, workplaces and communities at large.

Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine. Photos: Christopher Barrett.

Ohlone College's Fremont Campus Community colleges are a cornerstone of the American higher education system. They enroll nearly half our country’s college students and act as an affordable and accessible gateway into higher education and the workforce. Ohlone College’s Fremont campus—located about 40 miles outside of San Francisco—is a key part of the higher education system within California’s Bay Area. To better prepare local students to seize the region’s in-demand jobs, CannonDesign partnered with Anderson Brulé Architects and the college to design its new Academic Core. The project includes three new buildings designed to transform the student experience: a science center, a music and visual arts center, and a learning commons housing study rooms and a library. Prior to these new buildings, the campus was very much a commuter campus, meaning students went to class and then went home. Now, students have access to new indoor and outdoor environments where they can socialize, build friendships, access technology and focus on academics in a setting more akin to a university. Ohlone College. Photo: Laura Peters.

28 California Buildings News • Q2 2021


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29 California Buildings News • Q2 2021

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30 California Buildings News • Q2 2021

New Tool To Stimulate Green Buildings Careers

Green Buildings Career Map Showcases Diverse Energy Efficiency Career Options The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has launched a Green Buildings Career Map, an interactive career map highlighting the breadth of rewarding career opportunities in building energy efficiency. The Map was supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office, in partnership with the Building Performance Association (BPA), Community Action Partnership (CAP), Home Builders Institute (HBI), Building Performance Institute, and National Institute of Building Sciences. The Green Buildings Career Map features 55 jobs in energy efficiency for buildings across four different industry sectors, as well as over 300 potential advancement routes— all developed with input from industry subject matter experts. By helping interested job seekers learn about quality jobs related to energy efficiency in buildings, the Green Buildings Career Map will help foster a robust and inclusive pipeline of qualified workers to meet employer demand. “The Green Buildings Career Map will raise awareness about the diversity of meaningful career options in energy efficiency, particularly among diverse and underserved communities,” said IREC President & CEO Larry Sherwood. “This is crucially important to sustaining the rapid growth of this important industry and ensuring the benefits of employment in this sector are accessible to more people.”

Energy efficiency is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country. These jobs will become increasingly important to meeting climate goals because power and space conditioning for buildings accounts for 40% of all energy use in the U.S. To ensure this job growth also benefits underserved communities, the Map even highlights 32 “New-Collar” Green Jobs—skilled roles that do not require a college degree. IREC and the partners will conduct extensive outreach to share the Map with relevant audiences, including underrepresented groups, such as communities of color and low-income communities, and organizations that serve them. The map can be used by a wide range of audiences from job seekers and workers to school and career counselors, training providers, and recruiters. Job seekers from entry-level to advanced can use the map to identify opportunities for career progression. Current and prospective students can use it to evaluate the skills needed and possible on-ramps for different roles, while counselors and training providers can use it to help people identify different career paths and training options. Recruiters can showcase the variety of advancement opportunities stemming from specific jobs.

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California Leads the Nation in Energy Efficiency California ranks #1 as the most energy-efficient state overall based on its low energy consumption per capita and progressive climate-related policies. That is according to, a top resource for finding the top ranked service providers in over 200 industries. Its recent study on the most and least energy efficient states in 2021 examines all 50 states and provides overall scores based on energy consumption and policies. Minnesota earns high scores with the most climate-friendly energy policies, and Rhode Island consumes

the least amount of energy per capita. The report also identifies North Dakota, Wyoming, and West Virginia as the least energy-efficient states. “Energy efficiency can significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change,” says David Franklin, CEO of Expertise. com. “Hopefully, this study will raise awareness about collaborative efforts and policies that can help prevent climate change.” Researchers at applied a wide-ranging methodology using nine metrics across two

subcategories. Each metric was graded on a 10-point scale and used to determine the weighted average of each state. To view the complete report and list of most and least energy efficient states in 2021, visit: https://www. The most energy efficient states are: California, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland, Washington and Colorado.

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