SPECIAL EDITION: Best Practices in Green Buildings Summer 2011
2 I OREGON FACILITIES SUMMER 2011
Mixed-Use Facilities Twelve West earns LEED Platinum Certification
Education Facilities Community consensus vital for energy efficient design
Hotel Facilities Hotel promotes innovation, tradition
Interiors Redefining green building interiors
4 11 15 18 22 24 26 28 30
Editorâ€™s Letter Green strides in the industry
Concrete and Masonry Improving efficiency of exterior walls
Social Responsibility Our impact on the planet
Recycling Deconstruction wise alternative to demolition
Building Controls Turning invisible efficiency measures into visible savings
Utilities Data center works with Energy Trust of Oregon to improve efficiency
Real Estate Law Protect your green innovation
LEED Critical success factors of a LEED EBOM project
Briefly OHSU Center for Health and Healing a BOMA 360 building
On the Cover: Twelve West. Photo courtesy of Timothy Hursley.
OREGON BUILDINGS SUMMER 2010 I 3
EDITORâ€™S LETTER Oregon continues to forge ahead in sustainable practices. This Pacific Northwestern state ranks fifth in the United States for LEED-Certified commercial and institutional space per person, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. Oregon also ranks third in the nation for building code energy efficiency and fourth for overall energy efficiency policy and programs. Local government entities have encouraged sustainable practices by adopting codes and policies that must be followed by those in the commercial real estate industry. The Department of Consumer and Business Services Building Codes Division recently adopted the 2010 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code, a new energy code for commercial buildings. The code will require increased insulation and higher performing windows, automatic lighting controls and more efficient mechanical systems. The City of Portland adopted a green building policy and funded a Green Building Initiative, which is designed to expand market demand and provide technical services and resources for the building industry. Although following mandates that have trickled down from government entities, Oregon building owners and facility managers recognize the sweeping benefits of green and are adopting the practices in their own real estate. Green buildings reduce energy and operating costs while increasing lease and occupancy rates and property values. High performance buildings also increase productivity, improve employee wellness, enhance corporate culture, attract and retain tenants and provide a more functional workspace. ZGF Architects wanted to incorporate sustainable design strategies into a modern, state-of-the-art mixed-use facility in order to embody the culture of the company. The architectural firm was able to create a functional headquarters that reflected their attitude toward sustainable design. The 23-story, $137 million Twelve West building in Portland's West End neighborhood was awarded LEED Platinum Certification for its efforts (see page 4). The Heathman Hotel was recently overhauled to incorporate sustainable practices into the operations of the building (see page 14). The 85-year-old building now uses 50 percent less water and saves approximately 20 percent in HVAC energy and natural gas costs. In remodeling the hotel's bathrooms to be more efficient and sustainable, nearly 100 percent of the debris from the former bathrooms was diverted from the landfill and donated to a non-profit organization. The ability to conserve energy and provide a healthier space for tenants has never been easier as more and more vendors join the green bandwagon. Building owners and managers can employ a number of practices to green their facilities, including cleaning green, retro-commissioning and using clean power. The possibilities are endless.
Managing Editor Oregon Facilities The publisher is not responsible for the accuracy of the articles in Oregon Facilities. The information contained within has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Neither the publisher nor any other party assumes liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on this material. Appropriate professional advice should be sought before making decisions. Copyright 2011 Oregon Facilities Magazine. Oregon Facilities is a Trademark owned by Jengo Media.
4 I OREGON FACILITIES SUMMER 2011
CONTACT Publisher Travis Barrington firstname.lastname@example.org
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Contributing Writers Don Aslett Eric Baxter Jim Crowder Brad Fullmer Amanda Gilchrist Susan Jowaiszas
Douglas Lichter Victor Pollak Scott Rose Artemis Vamianakis David L. Wolff
Oregon Facilities PO Box 970281 Orem, Utah 84097 Office: 801.224.5500 Fax: 801.407.1602 JengoMedia.com
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Please Excuse our Error: Port of Portland Executive Director Bill Wyatt was misnamed in the article on the BetterBricks Awards in the Spring 2011 Edition of Oregon Facilities.
OREGON FACILITIES SUMMER 2011 I 5
Twelve West Building Earns LEED Plat
By Brad Fullmer
n terms of looking at the future of sustainable design and stylistic, high-end functionality, look no further than the 23-story, $137 million Twelve West building in Portland’s up-and-coming West End neighborhood. The 525,000 square-foot project, which was recently awarded LEED Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (the highest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification given), incorporates cutting-edge, sustainable design strategies into a modern,state-of-the-art mixed-use facility. The building includes retail space on the street level, four floors of office space for ZGF Architects LLP, 17 floors of apartments and five levels of below-grade parking. It also 6 I OREGON FACILITIES SUMMER 2011
features an eco-roof, a rooftop garden and terrace space, a complete fitness studio and a theater. “It’s certainly cutting edge in many respects,” said Patrick Wilde, project manager for developer Gerding Edlen of Portland, a firm which has developed seven LEED Platinum projects to date, along with more than 20 others that have earned either LEED Gold or Silver Certifications. “This was a project we focused a lot of time and energy into making it a very unique mixed-used building, one that people will take notice of in terms of its overall design and sustainability.” “We had outgrown the space we were in and were looking for a single headquarters that embodies the current culture of
tinum for Office, Residential and Retail Space
ZGF, which has been growing along with the city of Portland towards a more sustainable future,” said Peter van der Meulen, ZGF associate partner and the firm’s project manager on Twelve West. “We wanted to find a downtown site that we could reinvest in Portland in that way and develop a project that had the vitality we were looking for as a 24-7 business. “The site we found is right at the crossroads of two developing neighborhoods that had such great potential,” van der Meulen continued. “We created a project that was devised specifically for ZGF; our aspiration was creating a functional new headquarters, but we also wanted it to reflect our attitude towards sustainable design.” Photo courtesy of Basil Childers
The north roof of the building features four wind turbines — the first installation of a wind turbine array on an urban high rise building in the United States. The turbines sit on galvanized steel masts and have exposed aluminum heads that will generate approximately 10,000 to 12,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually — a little more than 1 percent of the building’s overall electrical usage. “We jumped through a lot of hoops to earn LEED Platinum (Certification),” Wilde added. “The turbines are a very visible display of our efforts, and the commitment from ZGF to make this building as sustainable as possible.”
continued on page 8 OREGON FACILITIES SUMMER 2011 I 7
Photo courtesy of Basil Childers
continued from page 7 Twelve West occupies half a block between SW 12th and 13th Avenues and Washington Street in downtown Portland, just south of the popular Pearl District, and is one of the first new significant buildings to be constructed in the city’s West End. ZGF had a number of design criteria, including enhancing the overall Portland skyline with a transparent building that connects the tenants to
the outside urban landscape. The southern façade of the structure is slightly angled, and there are subtle textural aspects including operable windows, balconies and recessed stainless steel of varying color and shades, along with semi-opaque panels. The use of wood is utilized throughout the office space to reflect the surrounding Pacific Northwest. White oak floors in the reception area create a visual barrier between the public and employee spaces and
extensive white oak paneling is used on every floor. FSC-certified wood is used in the floor, sliding wood panels, stair treads and wood doors. The reception desk in the lobby was crafted out of salvaged Oregon walnut and designed by Gene Sandoval, ZGF design partner for the building. It was hand-crafted locally without any fasteners. On the building’s north façade, where outside views are obstructed on the lower floors by adjacent structures, a light well ensures
Energy Efficiency in Action Twelve West has numerous sustainable design features, including the following: • Four rooftop wind turbines which generate 10,000 to 12,000 kilowatts of electricity annually.
• Low-e glass admits 35 percent of visible sunlight but reflects 74 percent of the associated heat, reducing energy use for lighting and space cooling.
• Operable windows provide occupants fresh air, cooling and a connection to the outdoors.
• Daylight sensors switch off electric lights when there is ample daylight, • Rainwater re-use in toilet flushing on reducing lighting energy use by 60 the office floors and to irrigate the • Solar thermal panels heat 24 percent of green roofs reduces use of city water by percent. hot water used in the building. more than 280,000 gallons per year. • Exposed concrete moderates indoor air • Roof gardens clean, detain and filter temperatures. • Water-efficient plumbing fixtures rainwater and significantly reduce roof reduce water use by more than 40 • Passive/chilled beams provide energytemperatures in warmer months. percent. efficient cooling on hot days. 8 I OREGON FACILITIES SUMMER 2011
sunlight is able to filter down from unobstructed floors above and a yellow accent wall helps enliven the space. “Our office reflects our culture as a firm and the design values we try to instill with all the projects we design,” said Nancy Fishman, a principal with ZGF. “It’s a beautiful, modern, functional office and one that we believe is beneficial to our employees.” Energy Efficiency, Water Conservation, Comfort: All Critical Design Aspects Initial modeling predictions state that energy efficiency strategies utilized in the building will reduce consumption of energy by more than 44 percent beyond ASHRAE 90.1-2004, and exceed the 2030 Challenge benchmarks for this project type. Some of the efficiency measures include: thermal mass, daylighting and occupancy sensors on electric lights, low-flow fixtures for reduced domestic hot water demand, high-efficiency mechanical equipment, heat recovery, fan-assisted night flush of the office floors, chilled beams and hydronic baseboard heat in the office floors and CO2 sensors for ventilation demand control in large volume spaces. In addition to the four wind turbines at the north edge of the roof, Twelve West includes 1,360 square feet of flat plate solar hot water collectors. Water efficiency is achieved through a combination of conservation and stormwater reuse. Due to the state of Oregon’s restrictions on reuse of
stormwater in residential applications, reuse had to be kept to the toilet flushing of the office floors. The building houses a 50,000 gallon storage tank in the underground garage, part of which is dedicated to fire suppression, with the remaining 22,000 gallons devoted to reuse in irrigation and toilet flushing. This system, which gathers and filters runoff from the rooftops as well as condensation from the mechanical system, is projected to reuse 286,225 gallons annually. This will supply 100 percent of the green roof ’s irrigation needs and 90 percent of the office’s flushing demands. The Systems Development Charge from the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services was cut by 30 percent as a result of the reduced combined sewer contribution. That savings of more than $200,000 covered 90 percent of the first cost of the system, vastly reducing the payback period for this investment. Copious amounts of natural daylight, expansive views to the outside, operable windows, underfloor air, chilled beams, radiant heating and cooling, CO2 monitoring and lowemitting materials throughout the tower combine for healthy living and working environments. In the case of this highly transparent tower, great care had to be taken to modify the thermal performance of the envelope while not losing visual access to the outdoors and daylight. The office floors and residential units are designed to allow
Revolutionary Turbines in an Urban Setting • The turbines, which are visible from the street, sit on galvanized steel masts and have exposed aluminum heads; the blades are gray fiberglass; the nose cone is light gray fiberglass. • Special footings hold the masts, dampening the vibration of the spinning blades; masts can be laid down on the roof for service. • Each turbine weighs less than 200 pounds and is self-contained; it converts DC power to AC and sends it directly to the building's electrical system. • The three blades on each turbine are 12 feet in diameter; noise from turbines should be no worse than the sound of an electric fan.
continued on page 10 Photo courtesy of Timothy Hursley
Project Team • Under-floor air distribution efficiently delivers moderate temperature air directly to occupants.
• Rainwater harvesting piping gathers 270,000 gallons of rainwater from the roofs.
• Personal adjustable floor vents provide control over ventilation.
• Condensation of 13,000 gallons of water from the air handler system will collect during summer months.
• Water storage tank temporarily stores up to 22,000 gallons of rainwater and condensation for re-use. • Efficient central cooling plant in the nearby brewery blocks provides chilled water for space cooling.
Developer, Construction Manager: Gerding Edlen Development Co., LLC Architect, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture: ZGF Architects LLP General Contractor: Hoffman Construction Co. MEP Engineers: Glumac, Total Mechanical Structural Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers Civil Engineer: David Evans and Assoc. Acoustics: Altermatt Assoc.
OREGON FACILITIES SUMMER 2011 I 9
Photo courtesy of Nick Merrick, Hedrich Blessing
continued from page 9 access to views and daylight to more than 90 percent of all regularly occupied spaces, while not allowing excess solar radiation to create unnecessary cooling loads. Office cooling is mostly achieved through a combination of an Underfloor Air Distribution System (UFAD) and natural ventilation
through operable windows. The UFAD system delivers air directly to the occupied zone near the floor at more moderate temperatures and velocities than a conventional ventilation system, using less energy and providing better occupant comfort. The system also provides individual control of air flow via adjustable diffusers at each workstation. The modular raised floor
10 I OREGON FACILITIES SUMMER 2011
allows for repositioning of tiles with diffusers to suit changing office layouts and preferences, and the area under the floor is an easily accessible plenum in which to run data and electrical wiring. On unusually hot days, passive chilled beams add cooling capacity to keep the office space comfortable. Passive chilled beams are perforated metal coils mounted near the ceiling and chilled with cold water. As air in the office space is warmed by the sun, people and equipment, it will rise toward the ceiling, be cooled by the chilled beams and fall once again to the floor to keep inhabitants cool. Passive chilled beams save energy over conventional systems by moving heat with water instead of air and by moving air without the use of fan energy. These sustainable features emphasize to current and future clients of ZGF that building a green, highlysustainable project is worth the extra up-front costs and illustrates to owners and developers that there is a legitimate return on investment over time. “Clients tend to focus too hard on the up-front cost, when the real value of their investment is over time,” said van der Meulen. “It’s come to play on this project because we’re an owner, and the end game was to save money over time. “We have created something we can live by.” OF
concrete and masonry
Improving Energy Efficiency of Exterior Walls By David L. Wolff
f there is any hope of reducing the carbon emissions created by the construction and operation of buildings, the focus must be on making existing building stock as energy efficient as possible. This makes good sense, given the high percentage of existing buildings to new construction and the large amount of energy consumed to operate these buildings. As much attention should be devoted to making existing buildings better as is devoted to making new buildings as efficient as they can be. However, the task of upgrading the energy performance of an existing building — especially an older building — is not something to be embarked upon lightly.The obvious areas of improvement such as window upgrades or replacement and adding opaque wall insulation can sometimes prove to be either uneconomical or downright destructive. For example, historic and other older buildings are often built of unreinforced, load-bearing masonry. This provides a unique challenge when it comes to improving energy efficiency. Likely 80 percent or more of the exterior wall area of an older building is opaque — leaving 20 percent or less area for windows — and all that wall space seems to cry out for insulation. It stands to reason that if the R-value of the opaque wall is improved, the energy performance can be improved, and energy costs can be lowered. The problems lie in how to change the hygrothermic performance of the wall by adding insulation. Hygrothermic means heat and moisture transfer through building materials. In a load-bearing masonry building, for instance, the moisture that starts out as rain on the exterior surface and makes its way to the interior as absorbed moisture in the masonry, dries to the inside with the help of the heating system. The wall gets wet, the wall dries out. This has occurred for 100 years in
many older buildings. From a hygrothermic perspective, this is what has contributed to the longevity of the historic building stock. Unfortunately, the wetting and drying cycle,in the absence of thermal insulation, does little for energy conservation. When interior insulation (and often also a vapor barrier) is added to a wall assembly, the hygrothermic performance changes. The wall stays colder, and thus wetter, as it loses its ability to dry to the inside. That extra moisture can cause serious problems such as mold, decomposition of the brick and mortar, corrosion of metal fasteners in the wall, rot of wooden beams bearing in masonry beam pockets, efflorescence and in colder climates, spalling due to freeze/thaw cycling. Another common problem when improving an older, unreinforced loadbearing masonry building is that a seismic upgrade is sometimes required by code. When this is the case, another level of complexity is added to the exterior wall. The most common methods of seismic upgrade involve either adding concrete to most of the interior surface of the exterior masonry or constructing a shear wall that can add lateral support and a medium for tying back the masonry. Both of these solutions create difficulties – again by changing the hygrothermic performance of the wall. The basic principles of building enclosure design are pretty simple. For any enclosure and condition you must control the movement of moisture, air, vapor and heat. Keeping moisture under control is first and foremost the main focus of any enclosure. To that end, when looking at improving the energy performance of a particular structure, be conscious of all the variables and analyze the performance of the system as a whole. One helpful tool is the hygrothermic modeling software WUFI (Wärme und Feuchte instationär: Transient Heat and
Moisture), created by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics in Germany and supported in the United States by the U.S. Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The software can give projected temperature, humidity and water content levels for a given assembly using real, local weather data. Using this analysis, variables can be analyzed and problems can be predicted before committing to what could be costly mistakes on a building. Case studies have shown that it pays to look at the entire building when considering an energy upgrade. By analyzing the life cycle costs of various options for improving energy performance and then focusing on the best value items, the approach can be prioritized. Often upgrading lighting and mechanical system controls, refurbishing windows and adding attic insulation (which is often relatively easy and does not present all of the same potential problems as insulating opaque walls) can dramatically improve the energy efficiency of the building without breaking the budget or putting the structure at risk. Sometimes it is possible to upgrade the exterior wall by adding insulation. Sometimes replacing worn out windows makes a great deal of sense. Often the best, most cost-effective path to better energy performance is not the most obvious. Through careful analysis of the unique circumstances found in existing buildings, wasted energy can be economically reduced and, at the same time, the enormous investment can be preserved in existing building stock. David Wolff is a licensed architect and building enclosure consultant with The Facade Group, LLC in Portland, Oregon. Wolff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. OF
OREGON FACILITIES SUMMER 2011 I 11
Non-Profit Program, Architecture 2030, is Changing the Way Buildings are Designed and Constructed By Scott Rose
ollaboration is the key to designing 21st Century learning environments for Oregon students of all ages. Developing community consensus around schools and educational delivery is a dynamic process fueled by the collaboration of many audiences, each with passionate points of view. Today, in addition to developing consensus and reaching decisions on
traditional issues of site, educational program and design, the role of sustainability is an ever increasing element of the design process. When a collaborative design process commits to the tenets of Architecture 2030 as design goals, the result is more than a school. The outcome is a learning environment that elevates student performance and entire communities, equipping each to compete in a local and global economy.
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Elevating Education in Scappoose Scappoose is in a semi-rural area just outside the Portland metro. Its population of 6,000 is split between professional/administrative workers and production/industry/agricultural families. In Scappoose, the design team engaged a community that possessed a passionate interest for a sustainable approach as it worked to upgrade its educational facilities.
Petersen Elementary School Location: Scappoose, Oregon Size: 70,270 square feet of indoor and outdoor learning support spaces Grades: 4-6 Date Completed: August 2010 Project Team: DLR Group, Architect, Educational Planning, Design, Interior Design, MEP Engineering, Structural Engineering Cornerstone Management Group, Program Manager P&C Construction, General Contractor Cardno WRG, Landscape Architecture MGH Engineers, Civil Engineering
The process began by inviting the Scappoose school community to a high performance design charrette to investigate sustainable design opportunities for this project. The aim was to share insights and ideas and collaborate with all stakeholders to develop a sustainability-oriented approach for the Petersen Elementary School design. Design team participants in architecture, engineering (structural, mechanical and electrical), landscape and interiors, along with a representative from the Oregon Department of Energy, met with approximately 75 community
members for an all-day environmental work session. An initial brainstorming exercise identified significant community commitment to water and energy efficiency and interest in options for a high-performance building envelope. Building on the themes of the ecocharrette, the next phase of community engagement was a traditional design charrette. Over the course of three days, designers collaborated with school community representatives to develop design goals and compose design options in response to those goals. The final design for Otto Petersen Elementary School reflects the desires and discoveries through this community collaboration. This school meets the needs of both the Scappoose School District and the greater community. Petersen Elementary is designed to seamlessly integrate with an existing K-3 center adjacent to the site. The resulting design is a comprehensive and sustainable K-6 facility. Four distinct zones were created in this design: vehicular, learning, play and pastoral. These boundary definitions inform the building organization and create dedicated spaces on the site. Three distinct volumes define the school’s footprint. While each unique shape could stand as its own building, all three are unified by a circulation spine. This serves as a gathering space for group learning, assembly space for the cafeteria and a learning commons for the library. Interior nodes along the spine define learning and play spaces, while exterior nodes delineate the play and pastoral outdoor areas. On the upper level, the library reaches over the bus loop, connecting to the landscape to the south. Elevating Sustainable Design According to the Architecture 2030 website (www.architecture2030.org), buildings are responsible for 74.5 percent of U.S. electricity consumption, 50.1 percent of energy usage and 49.1 percent of carbon dioxide emissions. The tenets and sustainable
benchmarks of Architecture 2030 should be the primary design goals for every project in the public sector. This is especially true in construction of new schools where entire structure and site materials, mechanical systems, landscaping and spaces can be weaved into the curriculum to teach understanding of sustainability and environmental stewardship. In many buildings, sustainability is invisible. It’s the clean, fresh air that is taken for granted. It’s decreasing water use in bathrooms. Or it’s the source of the material you’re standing on while engaged in an activity. But at Petersen Elementary, the value of sustainable choices and building features are linked to everyday learning. Materials At Petersen Elementary, the approach focused on maintaining greenspace, minimizing displacement and re-purposing natural materials. The site placement, design and construction preserved 70 percent of the total trees on site. Trees and wood displaced during construction were repurposed for monument signage, benches, planter boxes for the roof garden and mulch. Water Rain gardens throughout the site and at the main entry detail the movement of water across the school grounds. The rain gardens enhance a student’s understanding of the process of natural water filtration, absorption and how landscape impacts water flow and quality. The Petersen rain gardens also reference the cultural heritage of the Scappoose community. In the Chinook language, “Scappoose” means “gravely plains” or “rocky creek,” which inspired the winding-creek design of the rain garden plan. A second-level roof garden specifically targets opportunities for structured outdoor learning. Multiple structured planters provide individual planting areas for each grade level and
continued on page 14
OREGON FACILITIES SUMMER 2011 I 13
Petersen Elementary features a variety of sustainable features to enhance the learning experience for students and teachers and to benefit the environment. continued from page 13 special needs, learning programs. Rainwater is harvested over 5,500 square feet (half of the gymnasium roof ) and directed to a storm water cistern. Stored water is used for all toilets and urinals. Projected rainfall will contribute to 42 percent of flushes using harvested rainwater, with connections to the city water system providing the rest when the cistern is dry. Low-flow restroom fixtures include ultra high-efficiency urinals and solar powered dual-flush toilets. Systems With design goals based on Architecture 2030, energy efficiency was a focal point at Petersen Elementary. The high performance building envelope features R24 minimum at all walls, R30 at all roofs. Renewables designed to provide energy savings include photovoltaic panels on the library roof that also double as sunshades and windows with extreme southern exposures. The mechanical system uses displacement ventilation in high
occupancy areas to introduce air at room height. This allows air to be introduced at lower temperatures, with resulting energy savings, to achieve target comfort levels. Ventilation sensors at windows in classrooms automatically shut down variable air volume distribution into spaces when windows are opened. Energy savings also are achieved through a highefficiency chiller. Heat recovery in the air-handling units is designed to extend the value of the energy used to heat the air. The design team used modeling for the design of occupancy sensors to regulate lighting. This modeling is targeting 20 percent less energy than called for by the Oregon State Energy Code. Skylights and a translucent ceiling system illuminate common areas on both levels. Every classroom is day lit and optimized to negate window glare effects. This natural lighting creates a more natural and harmonious internal environment for students. All of these features come together inside the school as part of the curriculum. Kiosks with video
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monitors (green screens) inside the school enable students to monitor the buildingâ€™s energy use and conservation. From the building design, to the building resources and the curricula, Petersen Elementary School is truly a lesson in sustainability. Students realize how small changes, such as minimizing energy usage, maintaining green space and re-purposing natural materials, can affect the environment in a big way. The ultimate lesson imparted to students at Petersen Elementary School is how to become global citizens. Scott Rose, LEED AP, is a principal with DLR Group in Portland. He leads the firmâ€™s K12 practice in Oregon managing projects through the design life cycle, from community meetings through construction administration to completion. Contact DLR Group at 503.274.2675. OF
Little Me, Make a Difference? By Don Aslett cleaning seminars 25 years ago in Riverside. It was wonderful and made a great change in my life.” She went on to compliment me further until her husband, who was not so taken with all of this, stepped up somewhat grumpily and said, “Yeah, I remember going there, and I only learned one thing — to turn my socks and underwear right side out after I took them off and before I put them in the hamper. That’s all I got out of it.”
isiting Hawaii once, my wife and I were walking from our beachfront hotel through a yard full of fragrant flowers. I stopped and picked one of the plumaria flowers from a tree and romantically stuck it in my wife’s hair. A neatly dressed gardener nearby looked up and pleaded, “Please don’t pick the flowers. If everyone did, the tree would be bare in a single day, and stay that way for the rest of the year, with nothing left for others to enjoy.” That was a right-on-target lesson that I deserved to hear. I was not alone in my little urges and activities. With all of those other people out there on this planet, there is a surprising multiplication of our actions, even the smallest ones. Thus a seemingly insignificant act can cast a long shadow. Such as recently when a middle-aged couple caught up with me at an event I was attending. The woman grabbed me by the arm and blurted out, “Oh, Mr. Aslett, we attended one of your
... There is a
surprising multiplication of our actions, even the smallest ones.
His wife, still clinging enthusiastically to my arm, said, “Yes, and he has done it every day since. That’s 25,000 times I’ve been saved having to do that myself before I put them in the washer.”
The same is true of single, little, daily, earth-friendly actions like recycling that can or jar instead of trashing it or remembering to use the reusable grocery bags you bought, instead of paper or plastic. As one pebble tossed into a still pool can generate a hundred ripples, one single wise principle or act can have unimaginable cumulative value. Good or bad is never a stand-alone process, because no man is an island. It all counts, now or later. Our little individual actions, all added up, will determine our ultimate outcome: the future of the world. Don Aslett, the founder of Varsity Contractors, has revolutionized both the home and the workplace with his popular cleaning services, products and books. He has written more than 30 books relating to building maintenance. OF
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Historic Hotel Promotes Innovation and Tradition with Sustainable Upgrades By Kelly Lux
Photo courtesy of John Rizzo photography
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pgrading the Heathman Hotel, which was built in 1927, to be more environmentally sustainable while preserving the building's natural and culture uniqueness, has been, and continues to be, an ongoing process. Since 2006, significant changes have been made by hotel management to reduce the building's energy use and associated electrical and natural gas consumption, increase guest comfort, improve operations, increase property value, create diagnostic tools for staff and add to the economic vitality of the travel industry and the city of Portland. To date, the Heathman Hotel has upgraded its HVAC control systems for the central plants and common areas, participates in the Blue Sky Renewable Energy program through Pacific Power, replaced all guest room lighting with compact fluorescent bulbs, remodeled the 155 hotel bathrooms, upgraded each guest room's HVAC unit as well as the temperature controls and most recently upgraded its domestic hot water boilers, heating hot water boiler plant and water cooled chilled water plant. “Innovation is critical to our success,” said Heathman Hotel General Manager Chris Erickson. “It is only natural to take a long, hard look at the building facilities and best practices and position ourselves for the next 20 to 25 years as a model of sustainability and efficiency.”
The 150-room, 115,000 squarefoot Heathman Hotel promotes innovation and tradition. Management wanted to ensure the building remained an icon in Portland for the next 90 years. Sustainable improvements seemed the most obvious and rewarding solution, Erickson said. Initially, partnering with Energy Trust of Oregon and its trade allies, energy management consultant firm Viking Energy Services and the contractor, Environmental Controls Corp., Heathman spent six months upgrading the chilled water and heating hot water central plant control systems and common area temperature control systems to a DDC system and approximately $150,000 to reduce its carbon footprint. That partnership was crucial to the process, Erickson said. Now, an estimated 149,941 kilowatt hours of electricity and 15,197 therms of natural gas are saved by the hotel each year. Monthly savings are close to 20 percent. “The Heathman Hotel views itself as a responsible leader in sustainability, particularly in the category of historic sustainability and preservation,” said Erickson. In addition to saving energy and natural gas, Heathman Hotel partnered with Pacific Power to participate in their Blue Sky Renewable Energy program — the only hotel in downtown Portland enrolled at the 30 percent level in the program. Now, 30 percent of the total energy usage by guests and employees is renewable. Using the incentive or rebate money available through Energy Trust of Oregon, Existing Buildings Program, Heathman was able to move forward with more sustainable measures, including an upgrade of all guest room lights to compact fluorescent bulbs. Annual kilowatt hour consumption in the guest rooms was reduced by 500,000 hours. “Changing out the lamps and the lighting was a critical piece of the puzzle,” Erickson said. “It gave us the momentum we needed to move forward with the bathroom remodel.”
The $4 million bathroom remodel was perhaps the most significant undertaking as far as sustainable efforts go at the Heathman. Erickson called it amazing and suggested that the remodel repositioned the hotel as a model of sustainability. “The bathroom undertaking was huge — a giant and a big success,” Erickson said. “One hundred fifty bathrooms were remodeled, and only 1 percent of that waste went to the landfill. To me, that is a great story. It wins us business, increases employee morale and reduces the carbon travel footprint.” Partnering with Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects, Heathman recycled, re-purposed and reused approximately 99 percent of the old fixtures and waste from the bathroom remodel — most of which was donated to Portland's ReBuilding Center, a non-profit building materials resource in North America. The teak trim, mirrors, stone vanities and tubs were retouched and reused. Certified wood that adheres to all sustainable building practices was purchased from the Forest Stewardship Council. The new shower heads reduce gas consumption by 10 to 20 percent, and the new toilets reduce water consumption by half. The tile, which was installed on the walls and the floor, is made of 40 percent recycled material. “Those little, tiny things make a difference,” Erickson said. “We partnered with local businesses that were small enough to understand our needs, to work with us and to find products that were more sustainable.” Once the bathrooms had been updated, Viking Energy Services, building energy analysts, with help from the Energy Trust of Oregon Existing Buildings Program, assisted the Heathman Hotel in prioritizing the potential energy savings projects and mechanical systems upgrades. The hotel then upgraded the guest room HVAC and the temperature control system, saving approximately 11,893 therms and 281,930 kWh. Based on Viking Energy Services energy analysis, four domestic hot water boilers, one heating hot water
boiler and the entire water cooled chiller plant were replaced by mechanical contractors Hunter Davisson, American Heating and HVAC, Inc. The Energy Trust of Oregon also helped subsidize the energy-saving projects by providing substantial financial incentive, based on estimated annual energy savings, to offset project costs. The new boilers will increase the hot water heating efficiency and domestic hot water efficiency by 15 to 20 percent, saving an estimated 15,963 therms, while the new water cooled carrier chiller plant is expected to save an estimated 244,380 kWh annually. Erickson estimated the return on investment, after receiving Energy Trust of Oregon incentive, on the boilers and HVAC system to be approximately five years and on the chiller plant to be about six years. “Since 2006, it's been a pleasure working with the Heathman Hotel, Mr. Erickson and his staff to improve their HVAC and mechanical systems and reduce their hotel's energy consumption,” said David Lee, principal at Viking Energy Services. “They have been very receptive to completing the energy savings projects that we have recommended, and in a way that hasn't really impacted regular hotel operations. Additionally, we are looking forward to helping them achieve the Energy Star Label for the hotel.” Erickson is also pleased with the results. “We are going to have this equipment for the next 20 years,” Erickson said. “It is part of the ethos of who we are, part of the culture of this hotel. Our responsibility is to bring money to the bottom line. Being green and being Green Seal Certified helps us achieve our guest revenue goals and our bottom line goals as well.” Bluevine Studio, which specializes in sourcing materials and furnishings for green remodeling projects, worked with Heathman Hotel in remodeling the Tea Court, Hotel Library and team member break room and restroom
continued on page 18
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continued from page 17 using sustainable products for the furnishings and new design features. Eco-friendly flooring, made of preconsumer and post consumer recycling materials, was used in the remodel. The cabinets and tables were repurposed and resurfaced. The lighting was replaced with more energyefficient bulbs. Additionally, all items that were not used were carefully sorted for recycling. “We re-purposed as much as we could,” said Kat James, principal of Bluevine Studio. “We wanted to modernize — bring things up to date. I think we were really successful.” The sustainable practices implemented at the Heathman Hotel were successful enough to earn the hotel Green Seal Silver Certification in February 2011. Erickson is quite pleased with the
direction the hotel is headed. He attests that every improvement to the facility during the last five years has helped to make the hotel a better place — especially in terms of sustainability. Part of the process was overcoming the challenges of updating a nearly century-old building to make it energy efficient. “If we can change our best practices and our building, using the shell of a 1920s building, into a green, sustainable, future-oriented business, there is no excuse for any other business not to follow suit,” Erickson said. Other best practices that have been implemented at the hotel included food composting and the use of Green Seal Certified cleaning products and recycled soap and shampoo. Erickson meets regularly with Viking Energy Services, helping the hotel stay on
track to become the first Energy Star labeled hotel in Oregon. “It may take a little bit more time to do the right thing,” Erickson said. “But it is a lot easier than it was five or 10 years ago to move in the right direction and be green.” As a Four Diamond hotel that offers a full-service restaurant with private dining and catering space, the commitment at the Heathman Hotel to sustainability reflects on the community of Portland, which is known as one of the greenest cities in America. “We are always promoting our city as the greenest destination in the United States,” Erickson said. “We own that particular brand. And if Oregon businesses can continue to collaborate together, we will continue to be the top choice for green meetings in the United States.” OF
Deconstruction Wise Alternative to Demolition By Douglas Lichter
econstruction is an affordable and sustainable alternative to conventional demolition. It is often defined as the “selective disassembly of a building structure in reverse order of assembly, usually by hand, to maximize the recovery of used materials for reuse.” Construction and demolition debris constitutes an estimated 25-30 percent of waste stream and upwards of 60-75 percent of those materials can be reused or recycled. Deconstruction significantly reduces that waste, achieves reuse and recycling and minimizes the impact on a region’s natural resources. Working mostly by hand, skilled deconstruction crews can salvage for reuse up to 85 percent of a building’s major components. Nearly 100 percent of the construction debris from the former bathrooms at the Heathman Hotel (155 bathrooms in total) was donated to Portland's Rebuilding Center.
Since deconstruction generates far less waste than mechanical demolition, it’s the ideal method for helping projects achieve sustainability. Environmentally responsible, it captures the embodied energy already inherent in the salvaged materials and resources, thereby preserving natural resources for future generations. Unlike demolition, it doesn’t require the use of massive amounts of water to control dust and particulate matter from rising up into the air. Since the building doesn’t have to be watered down while being deconstructed, hazardous pollutants aren’t being washed into the storm water system, eventually making their way into and damaging the local watershed. Deconstruction is affordable and price competitive with mechanized demolition, particularly when the potential tax benefits are considered. Many deconstruction firms nationwide either are non-profits or partner with 501(c)(3) non-profit recycling centers.
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Clients working with firms such as these will receive a tax-deductible receipt and documentation for all materials salvaged and donated to these charitable organizations. This offers the potential of substantial tax deductions for the donated building materials, which can significantly offset costs of deconstruction while making a difference in the community. Equally important, deconstruction creates green jobs. Deconstruction provides an estimated six to eight more worker days at a living wage than standard demolition. At a time when leaders are desperately seeking ways to rejuvenate the economy and grow jobs, responsible re-purposing of built environments can lead the way. Deconstruction can help a project qualify for the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Certification. It also earns remodelers points on green remodeling projects under the NAHB Model Green Home Building
ECO-REMODEL FACTS AND FIGURES: • 50 percent less water consumption in the guest rooms • 20 percent less gas usage from showerheads • Diverted 15 • 99
tons of debris from landfills
percent landfill-free remodel
• Used a Caribbean teak wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) which has a paper trail documenting sustainable forestry practice from the day it was planted until harvest, in accordance with the Smartwood Rainforest Alliance • 40 percent recycled tile suited to hotelier’s needs: quiet installation, no demolition (The Heathman Hotel is the first company to install this tile in the United States.) • Allowed preservation of original teak trim, stone vanities and tubs • Custom designed low-energy LED lighting • Employed 13
Guideline, a helpful tool remodelers can use when planning a deconstruction and remodeling project. Deconstruction crews remove building materials from kitchens and bathrooms for smaller remodeling projects, while most experienced firms will hand dismantle anything: sheds, garages, porches, decks, complete houses, barns, commercial, even industrial buildings. The deconstruction of the Heathman Hotel bathrooms and suites presented some unique challenges not typically encountered on a standard project. It came with all the commensurate challenges a contractor experiences in any urban setting: parking and site logistics issues. The hotel sits in the heart of a dense, urban setting and shares an internal driveway with the adjoining performing
Photo courtesy of John Valls Photography
arts center, the Schnitzer Hall. In this case, the deconstruction crews had to contend with the quality of experience for hotel guests while transporting materials up and down floors. Quiet needed to be maintained until 10 a.m. so as not to disturb guests on adjoining floors, shortening the work day significantly. In addition, the only freight elevator in the building exists in a bustling kitchen on the way to the interior driveway alley where off loads were placed for salvaged materials and debris. Since dinner preparations begin mid-afternoon, the afternoon was equally circumscribed, thereby shortening the effective workday to only
five hours. While the property presented some challenges to the deconstruction crews, management at the Heathman couldn't be more pleased with the sustainability practices accomplished through the deconstruction process. Essentially, deconstruction and recycling can occasionally take more time and effort than demolition, but the many benefits outweigh the minor challenges. Douglas Lichter is the deconstruction services manager for the ReBuilding Center of Our United Villages. He can be reached at 503.331.9875 or email@example.com.
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Company Manufactures Cutting-Edge, Environmentally-Friendly Modular Solutions that are Built to Last By Amanda Gilchrist
ur company’s definition of sustainable design differs from that of mainstream architecture,” says Mike Iannone, manufacturer’s representative for modular interior wall solutions. “The design community focuses on energy conservation and recycled content, but to sustain means to stay in use. Conventional interiors have a limited life cycle and are, by definition, the antithesis of sustainability.” The average life cycle for a standard commercial building interior is 54 months and for retail, 20 months, according to Iannone. A study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revealed that for every square foot of sheet rock installed in new
construction, one pound of drywall ends up as garbage. Roughly 28 to 30 percent of landfills consist of construction, demolition and renovation waste. Conventional drywall construction is an environmentally damaging cycle of building, demolition, disposal and rebuilding. Modular interior wall companies redefine sustainable building interiors by manufacturing cutting-edge, environmentallyfriendly solutions that are built to last. “Reducing and reusing are the best ways to maximize sustainability,” says Iannone. “Recycling actually has a large carbon footprint. You need fuel to transport the existing materials and convert them into something new.”
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Along with their distribution partners, modular wall companies create customized, productive spaces as long-term solutions for a client’s continually evolving needs. Many modular wall solutions are an adaptable kit of parts that reconfigure easily and efficiently. A wide range of standard and custom options gives individuals exactly what they want while maintaining a consistent overall look and feel. “Designers love modular interior walls because they can control the aesthetic as well as the ever-changing function,” says Taylor Finlay of Environments in Portland, a modular wall distribution partner. “They love giving clients the ability to change any wall into what it
interiors needs to be five years from now.” Conventional construction often forces tenants to lease more square footage than necessary to accommodate inevitable future changes. The adaptability of modular walls allows clients to maximize their existing space, integrating freely with the base building. Select modular walls are freely compatible with other manufacturers’ furniture, millwork, electrical and plumbing. By using a modular interior solution, building managers don’t have to worry about disrupting asbestos or compromising aesthetics and function. Revolutionary technology helps modular wall companies achieve some of the shortest lead times in the industry. One company uses an advanced design platform, an objectoriented software loaded with specific product information. It streamlines the order process, increases productivity and drastically reduces error margin. “When I’m designing a project, the design platform gives me comprehensive pricing, shop drawings, AutoCAD files and a bill of materials for sign-off and order entry,” says Finlay. “When I complete the design work, I send the electronic files to the manufacturer, and it’s a pretty quick turnaround to get my order acknowledged with a ship date. They use the electronic information to immediately start manufacturing the parts in their factory.” Designing in software automatically creates an interactive 3D interface, a powerful communication tool. Using patented video game technology, the program creates graphic, real-time elevations that give clients a detailed visual mock-up of their interior solution. Changes are easily made and submitted for review. Because the image is the order, clients don’t have to wait for custom product engineering. “The manufacturer automatically generates a list of parts and installation drawings when the order ships,” says Finlay. “It saves so much time. I don’t
have to spend three days updating floor plans and tagging each tile. The installers get the drawings, we’re all looking at the same thing, and we know it’s accurate.” Though potential clients see the environmental benefits of modular walls, they often assume the cost is significantly higher, which isn’t the case. Additionally, modular walls offer a huge tax savings over traditional drywall construction, as they fall into the same category as office furniture. Furniture depreciates over a seven-year schedule as opposed to conventionally constructed interiors, which depreciate over a 39-year schedule. Recent tax laws currently allow for 100 percent of first-year depreciation. “If a for-profit company in Oregon spends $1 million on a modular interior solution, the first year tax write-off has a cash value of about $400,000, or 40
percent of the purchase price,” says Iannone. “It’s like getting a subsidy for choosing modular walls.” Traditional construction might seem like the cheapest way to build a wall, but not when you look at the big picture. Conventional construction projects often exceed the initial budget and deliver late. With a modular interior solution, the cost is the same from the start of the project to the end, and they often help reduce construction lead time by two to three weeks. “Time is money, and the sooner a business can get up and running, the more productive they’ll be in the long run,” says Iannone. Amanda Gilchrist is a project manager at Environments, a distribution partner for DIRTT modular solutions. She can be reached at 503.963.6205 or firstname.lastname@example.org. OF Photos courtesy of DIRTT modular solutions
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Turning Invisible Efficiency Measures into Visible Savings Energy Measurement and Verification Services Measure the ‘Invisible’ for Facility Managers By Jim Crowder
or most people, efficiency can’t be seen. Telling how efficient a building is just by being inside it is hard. Most commercial building dwellers can’t detect subtle shifts in temperature setpoints, let alone tell a building’s energy performance by looking at it. If it were easy to see the amount of energy being wasted in most commercial buildings on a daily basis — like piles of money flying out of the building on cold nights, hot days and long weekends when the building is empty — then energy measurement and verification would be top of mind and agenda. By contrast, operating budget excess is easy to see. Energy comprises a third of most buildings’ controllable operating costs. Now that owners and managers are learning that just lowand no-cost energy efficiency measures alone can reduce their annual energy spend by an average of 15 percent. They are having facility managers run energy saving diagnostics to uncover big savings from simple fixes. However, these types of savings opportunities typically revert back without rigorous oversight on the part of the facilities staff. After diagnosing and changing your systems, how do you know if your energy-saving adjustments are working? And what do you do if they aren’t? New, affordable methods are increasingly available to help. Ongoing energy measurement and verification services, known as “M&V” in the industry, prove that predicted savings from proposed energy conservation measures are happening (or not)
through scientific measurement. Energy measurement and verification helps facility managers bridge this gap of invisibility by providing real time data that help to ensure the delivery of monthly savings. As facility managers feel increasing pressure from management to reduce utility bills, they’ll need data to show and prove savings from actions taken to reduce energy usage. What is energy measurement and verification? Energy measurement and verification is the ongoing, continuous monitoring of a building’s energy use over time, tracked and analyzed by sensors, software and consultants who interpret the data. Many call it the equivalent of adding a 24/7 energy
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expert to building management staff to continuously watch the energy use of the facility and tell facility managers when they are saving money or wasting it. If it is paired with cost-cutting recommendations from the system and energy analysts, it goes beyond making the facility manager’s job easier to making that person look like a hero. Building conditions and tenants are in constant flux. From weather conditions to interior office and cubicle rearrangements, energy management is
building controls a moving target. Measurement and verification allows the potential for instant adjustment should building conditions change, tracking how much energy is being saved as a result of changes on a day-to-day basis. How does it work? The most effective measurement and verification systems stay quiet when building systems are functioning optimally, constantly looking for data that is out of the expected range for that building and quickly identifying the most serious energy waste. Realtime alerts are issued when energy use exceeds baselines. Continuous monitoring allows energy analysts to identify changes in building efficiency as they happen and make immediate corrections to avoid unnecessary costs. Most measurement and verification services use sensors to collect energy
usage through an interface to the building’s electric meter. Those pulse measurements are sent wirelessly to a server, where the data is collected. When run through a sophisticated software platform, that data can be analyzed and presented via a real time energy dashboard or reports. The information is then reviewed by an energy analyst, and recommendations can be made when opportunities to save energy are identified. Measurement and verification provides the information needed for executive leadership to ensure energy waste is eliminated in their buildings leading to lower operating costs. Measurement and verification in practice Generally, facility managers’ demanding schedules and breadth of oversight aren’t best suited to day-to-
day measurement of continuous data. But with energy costs inevitably on the rise, facility managers (and their managers) will want to keep a watchful eye over every dollar. As facility managers know, energy management isn’t a one-time event. Energy waste and cost control require continuous monitoring, analysis and management. To simplify those tasks, one of the most important tools in the effort to improve buildings’ energy efficiency is to solve the difficulty of eliminating waste with a robust energy measurement and verification system. Jim Crowder is president and CEO of AirAdvice, an industry-proven, energy services delivery platform. Read more about AirAdvice at www.airadvice.com. OF
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Data Center Works with Energy Trust of Oregon to Improve Efficiency By Susan Jowaiszas
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s a managed hosting and colocation services provider, EasyStreet Online Services has delivered secure IT infrastructure solutions since 1995. Known for its expert technical support, the company is also recognized for its environmental focus, including its use of 100 percent clean wind power purchased from its electric utility, Portland General Electric. In 2009, Energy Trust of Oregon conducted an energy study of EasyStreet’s Beaverton, Oregon, data center to establish an operational usage baseline and discover possible efficiency improvements the company could apply to its facility. The study identified airflow management strategies that made technological and financial sense for EasyStreet’s facility — and qualified for Energy Trust incentives, as well. The data center is a grid of aisles with nearly 200 cabinets containing equipment owned by colocation customers. Using thermal imaging, computational fluid dynamics modeling and expert analysis, EasyStreet was able to identify hot spots in both the older and newer areas of the data center, indicating the facility needed better airflow management. The first step in the airflow project involved determining the least disruptive layout that would allow for hot and cold air management — keeping the area at a stable temperature is essential for reliable, uninterrupted performance. EasyStreet thoroughly communicated with customers about upcoming changes and coordinated the necessary moves, which included aligning all the servers so the airintake sides faced front into the “cold aisles” and the heat-exhaust sides faced back to the “hot aisles.” Managing cables and blocking cabinet gaps with blanking panels also improved bypass airflow. The next step was to move the cold air into the right areas. EasyStreet contracted with Protemp Associates of
Portland to install diffusers on the air handlers to direct the cold air into the correct aisles. Finally, Weaver Technologies of Tigard used AirBlock components from Simplex to create caps over the top of the hot aisles, extending them all the way to the air handlers. A special feature of the cap design ensures the caps will drop open to expose the existing fire suppression system if needed.
PROJECT-AT-A-GLANCE Project Benefits • Reduced energy use and costs • Lowered average temperatures, increasing stability • Improved conditions for servers and air conditioning equipment • Maintained functionality of fire suppression system Equipment Installed • Diffusers on air handling system • AirBlock isolation components from Simplex Financial Analysis • $131,885 project cost • $65,942 Energy Trust incentive • $35,121 estimated annual energy cost savings • 524,187 estimated annual kilowatt hours saved
Once the containment components were in place, the air handlers were tuned so they operate steadily and efficiently, rather than in bursts of “short cycling” (running for a shorter period of time than it should). At first, it was challenging to match the air handlers to the temperature fluctuations, but now with the right configuration, EasyStreet has taken two of six units offline. With all of these improvements in place, the data center is maintaining stable intake temperatures below its target of 74 degrees. Measurements show fewer than five degrees per hour variance, which is exceptional by industry standards. With Energy Trust incentives, EasyStreet expects an 18month payback on the project. “Data center operators might be wary of touching their existing systems,” said Rich Bader, president and CEO of EasyStreet. “It seems like trying to fix a jet engine midair. We can say it’s both possible and worthwhile to do. The net result exceeded our expectations in terms of energy reductions.” Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and tapping renewable resources. Their work helps keep energy costs as low as possible. Learn more at www.energytrust.org or call 1.866.368.7878. OF
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Protect Your Green Innovation Building Owners Discover and Patent New Ways to Use Energy More Efficiently By Victor Pollak and Artemis Vamianakis
reen technology innovation is thriving in this economy as businesses look for cost and energy saving strategies to enhance efficiency and sustainability into the future. According to the Energy Information Administration, U.S. buildings use more than 70 percent of the country’s electricity and consume nearly 40 percent of its energy (Green Building Alliance, 2010). Compared to standard buildings, green buildings have been shown to lower maintenance costs by more than 10 percent, reduce energy use more than 25 percent and significantly increase occupant satisfaction (Green Building Alliance, 2010). Building owners and managers nationwide seek to renovate and improve their buildings’ energy use with innovation in green building design, workplace design and property management. Programs such as the federal Energy Star program or the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) encourage the adoption of green building and development practices by creating a recognized benchmark for design, construction and operation. For example, the LEED standard for existing buildings encourages facility managers and building owners to address issues of improved air quality for occupants, lower water use, greater recycling efforts, reduction of toxic materials and lower overall operational and maintenance costs. According to Thomas L. Friedman’s Hot, Flat and Crowded, studies show that occupancy, rental rates and sale prices are higher in
LEED-Certified buildings than in conventional ones. An innovation to be protectable under patent law may consist of a new and useful process, machine or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof. Those concepts may include innovations for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality improvement. As owners and managers seek to squeeze opportunities for improved efficiency out of everyday activities and processes, innovation in construction and management of facilities may be fertile ground for patent protection. If you have conceived of such innovations, you may be able to seek patent or other intellectual property protection in order to monetize the innovations through licensing or other means. In a recent decision, Bilski v. Kappos, 130 S.Ct. 3218 ( June 28, 2010), the U.S. Supreme Court clarified that innovative processes and business methods may still be eligible for protection under the Patent Act. The Patent Act, 35 United States Code § 1-376, governs the issuance of patents. The Patent Act defines four patent eligible categories: “whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent.” (35 U.S.C. §101). A “process” under the Act, is defined as an “art or method, and includes a new use of a known process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter or material,” (35 U.S.C. §100(b)). A
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business method is a specific type of “process,” an orderly procedure, a regular way or manner, a method of doing business. What processes, business methods, are eligible for patent protection? In 2008, a landmark Federal Circuit decision suggested that a process is eligible for patent protection “only if it is tied to a particular machine or transforms an article into a different state or thing;” this was known as the “machine-or-transformation” test (In re Bilski, 545 F.3d 943, 954 (Fed. Cir. 2008)). The machine-or-transformation test effectively narrowed the broad statute; the Patent Office began to reject patent applications and district courts began to strike down existing patents on innovative processes. In 2010, however, the decision was reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court. In Bilski v. Kappos, 130 S.Ct. 3218 ( June 28, 2010), the U.S. Supreme Court analyzed the rigid machine-ortransformation test, and found that while the test is a “useful and important clue, and investigative tool,” it is “not the sole test for deciding whether an invention is a patent-eligible process,” (Bilski, 130 S.Ct. at 3227). The Court also clarified the law on business method patents, finding that business methods may fall within the scope of “processes” eligible for protection under the Patent Act. Finally, the Court emphasized that clear limitations remain — “In order to receive patent protection, any claimed invention must be novel, non-obvious and fully and particularly described,” (See Id. at 3228). The invention or discovery must be more than an abstract idea alone; an
real estate law abstract idea that is applied to a known structure or process, however, may be well deserving of patent protection (Id. at 3230). What does this mean? The Court did not adopt categorical rules on what specific business methods would be patent eligible, lending to what may be, an unpredictable future. For now, however, Bilski stands for the possibility that processes described as business methods may be eligible for patent protection. Accordingly, as building owners and managers discover new ways to use energy more efficiently, they may be in a unique position to harness innovation in everyday processes into patentable technology and to then monetize the technology through licensing or other means. It may be worth your while to consult patent counsel to explore whether patent
protection may be available for your innovations.
Victor Pollak, an attorney/shareholder at Fabian Law, concentrates in corporate and securities matters for businesses and their owners, including those engaged in technology commercialization. Artemis Vamianakis, an associate attorney at Fabian Law, has experience in a variety of legal fields including business organization, energy and utilities, natural resources and real property. They can be reached at 801.531.8900 or email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. OF
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Critical Success Factors of a LEED
By Eric Baxter
ftentimes, project teams dive into a LEED for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance (LEED EBOM) certification effort without fully understanding all the factors that will affect their success. Challenges include setting realistic goals and objectives, dedicating enough time and human resources to the effort and understanding how to budget for it. By thinking through several key questions before embarking on LEED EBOM certification effort, you can expect a smoother process that ultimately meets your intended goals. Before considering these questions, a bit of background: The U.S. Green Buildings Council’s (USGBC) LEED EBOM rating system gives building owners and facility managers the opportunity to develop and implement a robust program that moves their property toward a more sustainable operations platform. Once in place, a third party evaluates the implemented program for its accomplishments. Depending on the number of strategies implemented, one of four rating certification levels can be awarded: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum. For some buildings that are well down the green operations path, the certification exercise is less complex in terms of adapting their existing practices to the LEED requirements, setting up tracking parameters and preparing the certification submittal for evaluation. For other buildings, the LEED EBOM program will require more in-depth changes to their operational practices and culture. Certification will depend on a more structured approach that produces greater buy-in and change from a variety of the building’s operations team members. Here are several questions any
project team should be asking before tackling LEED EBOM certification:
ONE 1 Why does a building need this certification, and what are the desired outcomes from this effort?
Certification is sought for a multitude of reasons. The most common goals are market differentiation of the property through the certification’s branding, operational cost savings through highperformance operations and reducing the environmental impacts of building operations. Understanding the motivations or goals driving this effort has bearing on its success. Maybe the building owners wish to use the certification system to reduce the building’s operations. Or they saw the building down the street achieve certification and now feel their building requires Gold-level certification to stay competitive in the leasing market. Perhaps they see the process as a way to cut operating expenses. By understanding these motivations and clearly articulating the goals and desired outcomes, the property managers and building engineers can better streamline, focus and direct their LEED EBOM strategies.
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How much tolerance is there for costs associated with this effort, when will budget be available and where will it come from?
The costs associated with a LEED EBOM certification effort will most likely be an unknown before the project begins. Many teams start their projects with an investigational (assessment) phase where each LEED EBOM credit strategy is explored for costs upfront and in on-going operations. Teams will be better able to create a preliminary credit strategy and determine whether to target highcost credits by understanding at the onset whether (and how much) money for LEED EBOM may be available from a one-time capital expense budget, from on-going operational budgets or a mixture of the two categories. LEED EBOM isn’t free. If an organization is willing to explore and budget for strategies that may have little or no return on investment but align well with aggressive goals and overall objectives, the team is freer to assess its strategy options in more depth. However, if budgets are tight and at least $50,000 to $100,000 isn’t available, the team may need to reconsider the pursuit of certification. It may be better to just use LEED EBOM as a framework for implementing a few new green operational strategies. We have seen projects achieve certification on smaller budgets, but this is more the exception than the rule. In parallel, the budget question should also be analyzed from a timing perspective. Teams will want to determine whether the organization’s budgeting cycle aligns with the ownership’s timeline goals for achieving certification or whether funds need to be pulled from other budget categories to fast-track the process.
THREE 3 Who will direct the LEED EBOM certification effort and what involvement will be required both internally from the building management/operations team and from external parties such as contractors, suppliers and consultants?
Sometimes the top-down mandate to achieve certification doesnâ€™t fully consider the human resources element as a primary success factor. Internal team champions must be willing to step up, and they must be provided time within their busy schedules to facilitate the operational changes to satisfy each prerequisite requirement and targeted LEED EBOM credit. Also, assess whether your internal team has the expertise and learning ability to undertake this effort. A team that is rapidly overwhelmed by the detailed complexity of the rating systems requirements will lead to a stagnated certification effort, wasted valuable human capital and, perhaps worst of all, an uncertified project. If these questions have you scratching your head or at least thinking about your original certification plan differently, you might benefit from an independent set of eyes and ears. Asking for outside help isnâ€™t a sign of weakness. In fact, it may lead to certification program planning that identifies more and better opportunities and more robust outcomes. Eric Baxter is the Existing Buildings group director at Brightworks Sustainability Advisors. He can be reached at email@example.com or 503.290.3000. OF
BRIEFLY Portland General Electric has more renewable power customers than any other utility in the United States. That’s according to the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which released its annual rankings of the nation’s top utility green pricing programs. At the end of 2010, PGE had nearly 78,000 business and residential renewable customers, or 12.6 percent of its eligible customers, enrolled in a PGE renewable power program, which is well over the national average of 2 percent participation rate for other utilities. This marks the second consecutive year PGE has received NREL’s No. 1 ranking for number of business and residential renewable power customers. PGE also continues to hold NREL’s top spot for selling more renewable power to residential customers than any other utility in the United States. “Our customers again have proven Oregon continues to be a leader in renewable energy and sustainability,” said Carol Dillin, vice president, customers and economic development, PGE. “Our customers tell us every day they want choices when deciding how to power their homes and businesses and many choose renewable power. We are very proud of that.” Separately, NREL released lists of the top 10 national Utility Green Power Programs in five categories based on 2010 data. PGE’s highlights include: Renewable Energy Sales. For the sixth consecutive year, PGE maintained its No. 1 ranking of renewable energy sales to residential customers, and also holds the No. 2 ranking of total
renewable energy sales to residential and commercial customers combined. PGE customers purchased more than 735 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy in 2010, which is equivalent to the entire output of a 250-megawatt wind farm. Customer Participation Rate. PGE held on to the No. 2 position in the nation for the percentage of customers who purchase a renewable power option. At the end of 2010, PGE had 12.6 percent of eligible customers purchasing a renewable power option. NREL rankings are based on raw numbers for calendar year 2010 and are not adjusted for the size of the utility. The full report can be accessed at www.greenpower.energy.gov. While many school districts around the state face budget cuts and tough decisions, the future looks brighter for Dallas School District. In 2010, McKinstry, a full-service, design-build-operateand-maintain firm specializing in consulting, construction, energy and facility services, retrofitted all five of the Dallas School District schools using an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC). A year later, the district is now saving an estimated $100,000 annually — enough energy from these improvements that the school district budget committee was able to decrease the 2011-12 natural gas budget by $93,000. Performance contracting enables school districts to replace aging equipment with modern, energyand resource-efficient technologies. The capital investment to make the improvements is paid for through the savings created over a set period, and the energy service
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company that installs the improvements contractually guarantees a combination of savings on energy consumption and improved system performance. “Our partnership with McKinstry has enabled us to not only save money and conserve energy, but to improve the learning environments of our schools,” said Christy Perry, superintendent of Dallas School District. “Had we not replaced our inefficient boilers in all five schools, the District would be paying nearly $100,000 more next year to heat our facilities. Instead, we will be able to redirect these dollars back into the classrooms.” Completed in 2010, the facilities bond allowed the installation of new boilers in all schools, numerous lighting upgrades, steam trap repairs, new controls in most schools and various HVAC improvements. In addition to the savings realized by these projects, the improvements created new construction jobs in the state and spurred the local economy. McKinstry worked with 10 other local and regional companies to complete the Dallas school modernizations on time and on budget. In addition to the ESPC, McKinstry also assisted Dallas in securing $400,000 in incentives, $85,000 in tax credits and $715,000 in grant funding through Oregon’s State Energy Program (ARRA Funded) in order to pay for many of the facility upgrades. The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International announced that 53 new buildings have been conferred with the BOMA 360 designation in the first quarter of 2011. The new class of BOMA 360 Buildings includes the OHSU Center for Health and
Healing in Portland, Oregon, which is owned by RIMCO, LLC, and managed by CB Richard Ellis. The BOMA 360 Performance Program is a program designed to recognize commercial properties that demonstrate best practices in building operations and management. Since the program’s inception in spring 2009, more than 230 buildings have been designated, and the momentum continues to grow. According to a recent study conducted by Kingsley Associates, buildings with the BOMA 360 Performance Program designation have higher tenant satisfaction scores in 47 out of 50 categories relating to tenant relations compared to commercial office buildings without the designation. A survey of designees that have held the designation for a year or longer also showed that BOMA 360 buildings have achieved operational savings, developed new policies and procedures to improve operational efficiencies and successfully competed for new tenants because of their designation. "As the economic recovery starts to gain footing, the BOMA 360 designation is proving to be a valuable tool for property professionals looking to enhance commercial building asset values," noted BOMA International Chair Ray H. Mackey, Jr., partner and chief operating officer, Stream Realty Partners, L.P. “By earning the BOMA 360 designation, these new designees have proven that they have the critical operations and management best practices in place that are necessary to thrive in today’s marketplace." The BOMA 360 Performance Program evaluates properties on six major areas of building management: building operations and management; life safety/security/risk
management; training and education; energy; environment/sustainability; and tenant relations/community involvement. The comprehensive nature of the BOMA 360 Performance Program means that every aspect of building performance is assessed, and scores are based on how buildings meet an extensive checklist of best practices. Construction on the $139 million project to transform the Edith Green/Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in downtown Portland has begun. Funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the modernized facility is designed to achieve the highest level of green building certification, LEED Platinum, from the U.S. Green Building Council for its use of cutting-edge sustainable design and technology. Additionally, the project will demonstrate how public and private buildings constructed in the 1960's and 1970's can be retrofitted to meet new resource-conserving standards. The Edith Green/Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in downtown Portland is a 35-year-old deteriorating facility at the end of its economic life, but still a viable and needed federal asset. Major building components and systems, such as the electrical and HVAC system, are unreliable and not able to meet modern performance demands. The building does not meet current security, Americans with Disabilities Act (AD), and seismic standards that would be able to support agency missions in the future. This project is primarily a modernization. GSA is replacing building components that have reached the end of their operating life. This project will turn Edith Green/Wendell Wyatt into one of the premier environmentally-friendly buildings in the nation and establish
GSA as a green proving ground for innovative green-building techniques. Building enhancements include: • Replacement and upgrades to the building’s accessibility, life safety, mechanical, electrical and security systems; • A 50 percent reduction in lighting energy usage through advanced, optically-enhanced light systems that automatically adjust to the amount of daylight available; • A 60-65 percent reduction in potable water consumption through the use of low-flow fixtures and reuse of rainwater for toilets, urinals, irrigation and mechanical cooling; • Modernized elevators that regenerate power as they descend; • A solar array on the roof to offset up to 6 percent of building energy consumption, with solar power produced on-site; and • Unique energy-saving treatments to each of the building’s four sides, including light reflectors to provide daylight in occupied areas, shading fins to keep heat out during the summer and a vertical screen to provide shade and cooling in the summer for the west façade. GSA was appropriated more than $5.5 billion under the Recovery Act to convert federal facilities into highperformance green buildings and construct energy-efficient federal buildings, courthouses and land ports of entry. In addition to creating jobs, these projects will deliver lasting progress toward building a more sustainable national infrastructure while reducing the federal government’s consumption of energy and water and increasing the use of clean and renewable sources of energy.
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Oregon Facilities P. O. Box 970281 Orem, UT 84097-0281 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED
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