Howard Neukrug Water Commissioner, Philadelphia Water Department
E O R E H R SUPE
I L I B A N I A O F S U ST
TO THE RESCUE! Superheroes of Sustainability are helping Philadelphia become the greenest city in America INCLUDING
MOMS CLEAN AIR FORCE 큼 REVOLUTION RECOVERY 큼 ROB AND HELEN DIEMER
University of Pennsylvania, Morris Arboretum - LEED Platinum
WRT Philadelphia Office- LEED Gold
W.S. CUMBY Builders & Construction Managers
US Airways GSE Facility, Philadelphia International Airport - LEED Silver
KidZooU, Philadelphia Zoo - Goal of LEED Silver
Building a Greener Philadelphia www.cumby.com
Take a closer look at these sustainable projects during Greenbuild 2013. For information, please visit: http://www.greenbuildexpo.org/education/green-building-tours.aspx
was produced by Grid and published by Red Flag Media 1032 Arch St., Third Floor Philadelphia, PA 19107
The exciting intersection of profit and sustainability
by Janet Milkman
Publisher Alex Mulcahy email@example.com
When is business “green?” Where does protecting and improving health and the environment fit in a capitalist society? How do we harness the for-profit businesses to operate sustainably? How do government and nonprofits support this goal? These are the hard questions faced by the Delaware Valley Green Building Council’s (DVGBC) partners — the business, government and nonprofit “superheroes” profiled in this issue. Now in my fifth year as Executive Director of DVGBC, I’m starting to see some exciting answers. There are two ways to link sustainability and business: first, help existing businesses operate with fewer impacts on the environment, as the policy leaders highlighted in the following pages have done through incentives and regulations. The second approach is to create for-profit opportunities in sustainability products and services, and we also highlight engineers and builders, energy services providers and recyclers, lighting and landscape designers, who have done just that. Market transformation is Executive Director the goal of the U.S. Green BuildDelaware Valley Green ing Council, our national partBuilding Council ner, and over its 20 year history,
we’ve seen the development of a significant market for greener building products and services. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system demanded cleaner, healthier and more sustainable materials and practices. But it was the adoption of LEED by the U.S. General Services Administration — the largest property owner in the world — that solidified this market transformation. Companies such as Revolution Recovery would not exist without the demand created by the LEED system, but it takes the involvement of all the players — government, nonprofit and business — to support a sustainability economy. The 2013 Greenbuild Conference and Expo will fill the entire Pennsylvania Convention Center with businesses that make a profit from sustainability. In Pennsylvania alone, the green building industry employs 277,000 people and grosses more than
Editor-in-Chief Jon McGoran firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director Danni Sinisi email@example.com
Writers Emily Kovach Julianne Mesaric Peggy Paul Copy Editor Andrew Bonazelli
$34 billion in annual revenue. At DVGBC, our work is to amplify the business profit into “social profit.” That’s why we put such focus on K-12 schools, and work so closely with policy-makers to institutionalize sustainable business practices. This intersection of profit and sustainability must be our future. The biggest opportunities to learn about the people and companies leading us there will be November 20-22 at Greenbuild at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and March 7, 2014, at our annual Sustainability Symposium at Temple University. I’ll see you there. Learn more about these events and DVGBC’s work on policy and K-12 schools at dvgbc.org.
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DELAWARE VALLEY GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL 2013 | GREENPRINT | 3
The World At Our Doorstep
DVGBC to hold fifth annual Spring Sustainability Symposium
Greenbuild Conference & Expo puts Philadelphia in the spotlight by Emily Kovach
by Julianne Mesaric
Imagine starting your day with a breakfast where you are privy to some of the top minds in the sustainability industry. Afterwards, you head to a lecture by Sheryl 20-22 WuDunn, co-author of the New York Times bestseller Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Then, full of inspiration, you explore an expo featuring the world’s leading green building and design products and services. Later that afternoon, you attend an educational session titled “Reinventing Philadelphia Through Green Infrastructure,” and are flooded with practical applications for the info you absorbed in earlier sessions. Finally, as the sun sets over the Philadelphia Convention Center, Hillary Rodham Clinton takes the stage to deliver a keynote speech.
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of committed volunteers will be coaxing conference-goers out of the Convention Center and into Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. Toward this goal, 35 Greenbuild tours — open to the public — have been organized in the city and surrounding region. The Navy Yard, the University of Pennsylvania, the Ben Franklin Parkway and many other locations will be on display. And since Philadelphia is largely defined by its neighborhoods, they will be highlighted as well. “The architects, city planners, policy makers and manufacturers [at the conference] want to be outside of the Convention Center walls, which is why we’ve organized the tours and compiled a list of neighborhood gems to help them with wayfaring during the event,” says Blakeslee. “This will give a sense of the real communities in Philadelphia, which is what makes our city really shine.”
Sound too good to be true? Well, from November 20 – 22, more than 30,000 people will descend upon Philadelphia for the 2013 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo for a day just like the one described. This is a special year for the conference: its first appearance on the East Coast since 2008, its first time hosted in Philadelphia, and the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Green Building Council. Heather Blakeslee, Deputy Executive Director for Communications and Strategic Initiatives at the Delaware Valley Green Building Council (DVGBC), thinks this is the perfect opportunity to put Philadelphia on an international stage. “We are a national leader on many fronts,” she says of Philadelphia. “And as a chapter, our biggest goal is for people at the conference to come away with an understanding of just how amazing all of the work that’s happening here is.” A major focus of the DVGBC and its multitude
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When Brad Molotsky sketched a program outline on a napkin one night over beers, he had no idea it would become the first NJ/PA Sustainability Symposium. The region’s most prominent sustainability conference, it attracting 400 attendees to Rutgers University Camden in March 2010. An executive vice president and general counsel at Brandywine Realty Trust, Molotsky co-founded the Symposium with Lori Braunstein, now the Director of Green Schools for DVGBC. “I wanted to host an event that serves as a convener of folks to talk about disparate and different topics under the larger umbrella of sustainability and energy efficiency,” says Molotsky, who is now a DVGBC board member. More than 1,000 attendees are expected to come to Temple University, Friday, March 7, 2014 for the fifth annual symposium, now hosted by Temple University’s Fox School of Business. In addition to keynote speeches and presentations from innovators in a variety of disciplines, a new networking lounge will help attendees to interact and assist each other in achieving their goals. “We invite people to come out of their silos, and to branch out of their individual professions and sectors,” says Braunstein. “The DVGBC considers this dialogue a catalyst for how change happens.” That dialogue will also include a forum where Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial candidates will be asked about sustainability issues. The Forum will be free and open to the public.
Tickets to the symposium can be purchased beginning December 15 at dvgbc.org.
OF S U S HEROES
This miniature green roof on a bus shelter at 15th and Market Streets inspires Philadelphians to take on their own stormwater projects
“It’s amazing the amount of change that’s happened in a decade, in terms of the public understanding of the issues of water, stormwater and how people are reacting to it, and just the level of knowledge.” HOWARD NEUKRUG WAT E R CO M M I S S I O N E R
of local, state and federal government — but Howard stuck with it and was intensely committed to seeing it through.” The plan has won widespread praise and national attention. It has also captured the city’s imagination, quite an achievement considering not long ago the issue existed solely in the realm of white papers and policy wonks. “It’s amazing the amount of change that’s happened in a decade, in terms of the public understanding of the issues of water, stormwater and how people are reacting to it, and just the level of knowledge,” says Neukrug. “In 1999 I began the Office of Watersheds... I’d say, ‘Hi, I’m Howard Neukrug, director of the Office of Watersheds,’ and their first question to me was ‘What’s a watershed?’ …Today, everywhere I go, people are talking to me about impervious cover and how they manage it. Where do they get a rain barrel? …That’s an amazing change.” Change has been one of the few constants at PWD during Neukrug’s tenure, which began just after the Clean Water Act mandated construction of big wastewater treatment plants, transforming the way water departments viewed rivers and streams. Climate change and increases in heavy rain events have pushed stormwater management toward the top of the agenda, but Neukrug notes that without the Clean Water Act, rivers and streams would have remained too dirty to detect the pollution storm runoff. While implementing its forward-thinking agenda, PWD must also maintain an aging traditional
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infrastructure that includes 7,000 miles of pipe. “We’ve been targeting .8 percent of our water distribution pipes to be replaced each year... a 120-year cycle,” Neukrug says. That might not sound like much, but .8 percent equals more than 50 miles of pipe that must be changed each year. PWD’s innovative plans go beyond stormwater management. “We’re looking to recover every resource you can,” says Neukrug, “...The water itself, the heat within the water, the nutrients and organics. How do you take everything you can out of that water and reuse it the best you can? …That’s the future of the water industry.” The tools to do it are evolving as well, from the sewage treatment plants of the 1920s, through the Water Pollution Control Plants (WPCPs) built under the Clean Water Act. Next will be Resource Recovery and Energy Efficiency (R2E2) facilities. Neukrug’s enthusiasm about stormwater permeates the city, but its impact is felt event further. “That passion and vision has really energized a lot of people,” says Gajewski. “I have the opportunity to talk with folks working in cities across the U.S. and the world, and it’s exciting to have them looking to us as an innovator and aspiring to follow our lead. Just as exciting to me is that there is a new generation of planners and engineers interested in public service because of Green City, Clean Waters.” Learn more about the innovation at the Philadelphia Water Department at phillywatersheds.org and at phila.gov/water
Meliora’s innovative stormwater designs can be seen at the Philadelphia Zoo (above) and the Albert M. Greenfield School (below)
Designed. Made. Celebrated. www.hughloftingtimberframe.com 610-444-5382
Stormwater engineers mix disciplines by design by Emily Kovach Meliora Design’s multidisciplinary team of engineers works with clients ranging from the Philadelphia Zoo to the City of Chattanooga, Tennessee, harnessing a range of technologies like rain gardens and porous asphalt to manage stormwater. “You don’t get to sustainable design with one discipline — it’s an integrated process,” says Meliora founder Michele Adams. “We’re engineers and scientists focusing on water issues, but it’s never just about the water.
It’s about the community, the clients and making cities more resilient.” The Phoenixville-based Meliora (“always better” in Latin) was part of a winning team in the recent Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! design competition for the “Leveraging Plants + Water on Zero Lots Sites” presentation, which displayed their mastery of the intersections of landscape, design, urban renewal and stormwater management. melioradesign.net
Designer’s integrated approach keeps everyone happy by Emily Kovach The fate of Lower Venice Island, a five-acre stretch of land between the Schuylkill River and the Manayunk Canal, was hanging in the balance. It was destined to become either home to a sewer overflow tank for the Philadelphia Water Department, or a recreational space for the community. Then Andropogon came to the rescue,
conceiving of a fluid design that integrated both uses of the area. This is just one example of the work that this landscape architecture and ecological planning and design firm has been doing for the past 30 years, both in the region and around the country. andropogon.com
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CLEARING THE AIR Council uses the law to defend clean air by Emily Kovach Ever since the Clean Air Act came into being in 1963, there have been forces trying to subvert it. Since 1967, the Clean Air Council (CAC) has been fighting back, relentlessly defending the tenets of the act on behalf of the citizens of Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. In 1982, Joseph Otis Minott, Esq. was hired by CAC as a staff attorney, fresh out of Villanova Law School. One of only a handful of employees, his first major project was successfully suing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to implement an auto emissions inspection program. That case was the first step in Minott’s career in environmental justice and legal activism in the name of clean air. By 1986, Minott had become both executive director and chief counsel. Under his leadership, CAC has grown into a robust organization with 7,000
Clean Air Council Executive Director Joseph Otis Minott, Esq.
members, 36 employees and offices in Harrisburg, Erie, Wilmington and Philadelphia. Minott estimates that CAC has filed more lawsuits over the years than any environmental group in Pennsylvania, but he remains modest about his influence on CAC’s growth and success. “Our organization is a great collection of mostly young, really dedicated people,” he says. “We have attorneys, planners, special events people and others, all putting in long hours and working for small salaries.”
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Architects Engineers Interior Designers Planners Irvine New York Philadelphia Washington DC ewingcole.com
City agency is on the front lines of the fight for clean air by Emily Kovach If there’s a strange odor on your block, unidentified smoke billowing out of an industrial area, or a diesel truck idling for hours and filling the air with exhaust, who are you going to call? The city’s Air Management Services, that’s who. As the enforcers of city, state and federal air quality criteria, they will send a representative to inspect the situation and respond accordingly. Calls are confidential. Part of the City of Philadelphia’s Public Health Department, this department defends our right to clean air. They tackle this mighty feat via a number of avenues, including the air and noise concern hotline (215-6857580), an air monitoring lab that tests
air samples for toxins and a system for handling applications and permits that business must obtain before installing any equipment that creates pollution. There are many technical regulations, codes and bureaucratic guidelines in place to keep our city’s air clean, and there’s always someone trying to skirt the rules. As individuals, it can sometimes feel like there’s no recourse against polluters. But you can breathe a little easier knowing the Air Management Services Department is on the case, ready to respond and regulate.
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DELAWARE VALLEY GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL 2013 | GREENPRINT | 9
OF S U S HEROES
DUMPSTER DIVERTERS Company keeps construction debris out of landfills for more than 40 years by Peggy Paul If you’ve ever passed by a renovation or construction site, you’ve probably noticed the dumpsters crammed full of drywall, two-by-fours, metal, glass, plastic and other waste materials. But have you ever wondered where those materials go? Too often, it’s the landfill. For the past 40 years, Richard S. Burns and Company has made it their mission to change that. Founded as a one-man operation in the 1960s, the company now operates a 10-acre state-of-the-art processing facility in Northeast Philadelphia, transforming demolition and renovation waste into reusable materials.
The company’s philosophy is less about environmentalism than about the practicality of adopting environmental practices. “The key is to be environmentally friendly and also economical,” says longtime client representative Bob Beaty. “Burns is a business, and everyone here is very hands-on.” Burns’ efficient and surprisingly clean facility handles over 1,500 tons of material waste per day and diverts between 85 and 90 percent of incoming waste away from landfills. For contractors and renovators in the Greater Philadelphia region,
Burns provides dumpster rentals, same-day waste removal and recycling of all non-hazardous waste material. Their two LEED-accredited project managers work with businesses and construction sites to develop earth-friendly waste management plans. The magic begins when the dumpsters arrive at Burns’ facilities, filled with rubble and other demolition waste. After each load of materials is photographed, weighed and given an identification number, it is sorted on a magnetic conveyer belt. Metal, gypsum, stone, cardboard, glass, porcelain
and plastic materials are separated for recycling. Wood is chipped into mulch or sold to landfills as a proprietary barrier system. Stone is crushed and screened for drainage, road-building and landscaping applications. Asphalt roofing shingles are ground for use as additives in the manufacture of both road and roofing asphalt products. With materials that cannot be reused in their current form — for instance plywood, contaminated cardboard and window glass — Burns makes its patented Barrier cover product for landfills, which the company sees as a necessary evil, but one that should be as environmentally sustainable as possible. In Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, Barrier has been tested and approved as an alternative to the six inches of non-reusable soil typically required as daily cover for landfills. Because of the large amount of soil it replaces on landfills, it meets the highest standards of environmental protection and is compliant with existing LEED guidelines. burnscompany.net
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OF S U S HEROES
“Where we live and work has as much, or more, of an impact on energy use as the energy efficiency of our buildings and public spaces do” ROB DIEMER F O U N D I N G PA R T N E R , IN-POSSE
reduce energy used for transportation. Enhancing the quality of life in our cities entices more people to live in cities and reduce their overall environmental impact.” The Diemers agree about the importance of aesthetics in public spaces, but still benefit from each others’ slightly differing points of view. “By the nature of what she does, Helen is very concerned about aesthetics, and because of what I do, I am very concerned about energy conservation,” says Rob. “We both know that there needs to be a balance but because I am less involved in aesthetics, I can sometimes seem to diminish its importance. Helen is quick to put me in my place by reminding me that an energy efficient world without beauty would not be a very appealing world.” Helen agrees. “I would argue that the lighting of public spaces is necessary power usage... Providing a desirable nighttime environment — which includes great nighttime lighting — encourages people to walk and enjoy the amenities that the city has to offer, instead of getting in their cars to seek refuge in the suburbs. It is a misconception that providing this amenity is wasted energy.” “Our perspectives are different,” says Helen, “but I think we have both learned from the other’s point of view... At TLP, we strive to use that energy as efficiently as possible to make beautiful places. That is part of our creative challenge.” Even with the major impact the Diemers have had on how resources are consumed and conserved in Philadelphia and beyond, Rob sees the choices of energy users as more important. “Designers and architects don’t use energy; we just set the stage,” he says. “Until building designers figure out how to engage building users and provide them the guidance, tools and motivation to adjust their energy use, we won’t be able to deliver buildings that truly use less energy.” To learn more about what the Diemers are working on, visit Rob at in-posse.com and Helen at thelightingpractice.com.
Landmark Philadelphia law makes bulding energy usage public knowledge by Julianne Mesaric If knowledge is power, the City of Philadelphia is about to become super-powered. In June 2012, Philadelphia City Council enacted a law that requires owners of non-residential buildings of more than 50,000 square feet to track data on energy and water consumption and make those benchmarks publicly available. “Energy and water benchmarking measures building performance using industrystandard performance indicators,” says Alex Dews, benchmarking program manager in the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “The policies provide owners, operators, buyers and tenants with information to guide investments, make more informed real estate decisions and reduce environmental impact of commercial buildings.”
The law is intended to help educate the building industry on opportunities to improve performance and reduce utility costs. Energy and water use data must be tracked via the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager program, a free online tool. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and its partners provided outreach and training to support compliance. The first reporting deadline of October 31, 2013 was extended to November 25 due to the federal government shutdown. While the law’s intent is to raise awareness around energy efficiency, violations for noncompliance will be issued in late 2013. phila.gov/benchmarking
A CERTIFIABLE SUCCESS Local company is a national leader in LEED and ENERGY STAR certifications by Julianne Mesaric In 30 years of operation, MaGrann Associates has certified 55,000 ENERGY STAR homes and 2,600 LEED homes, making it one of the nation’s leading providers of these certifications. Despite the challenge of the housing recession, MaGrann never wavered from its commitment to increase the number of energyefficient homes in the city, through sustainability consulting and working with building professionals, utilities and program sponsors. This commitment to doing the “right thing” despite a challenging economy reflects how seriously MaGrann President and CEO Mark MaGrann takes the world’s energy problem. “It’s not going away in our lifetime,” he says.
Maybe not, but Philadelphia’s carbon footprint improves with every building that reduces the energy it consumes, and MaGrann is determined to help make that a reality for as many as possible. Their eGuarantee program provides owners of multi-family buildings with energysaving recommendations and predictions on how much energy they will save in the next two years. If the recommendations are followed and the savings fall short, MaGrann pays the difference. To MaGrann, this makes good sense environmentally and economically. “Every dollar saved by our clients can be put back into the economy,” he says. magrann.com
DELAWARE VALLEY GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL 2013 | GREENPRINT | 13
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