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UNDERPINNINGS Real Estate Builds on a Progressive Foundation
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editor’snote COLLATERAL ENVIRONMENTAL destruction aside, it seems antithetical that extracting and processing a buried resource could make for cheaper electricity than pulling it from forces – sunlight, wind, water current – that are abundant on earth's surface. Logically, coal mining or fracking should not be the path of least resistance. Proponents of carbon pricing and/or regulatory restrictions on allowable greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions maintain that such measures can nudge market players to explore and exploit new ways of making money. Factoring in life-cycle costs of the product upfront would create room for more benign alternatives to compete on price. Once that equilibrium is established, green capitalists are confident that renewable energy and associated clean technology will gain the momentum to capture the market. Recent decades of breathtaking advancements in IT technology certainly back that hypothesis. Or, from an energy management perspective, witness the remarkable evolution of LED lighting. Prices do drop dramatically as onetime niche products become the status quo. Many leading real estate companies have adopted a similar philosophy of assessing investments in the context of long-term intertwined economic and environmental returns. Our Focus on green buildings, sustainable management and operations covers a range of industry initiatives and broader social issues that increasingly influence how building owners/managers conduct business. Rapidly growing participation in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) survey – from an initial 198 organizations in 2010 to 2015's 707 respondents – demonstrates that major institutional investors see reason to track and report environmental performance of their built portfolios and their human asset managers. LEED and BOMA BEST are likewise stepping up the continuous improvement agenda, while a new IREM certification presents an opportunity to draw in an important industry segment that has been on the sidelines. Rand Stephens and Todd Litman discuss how alternatives to commuting in owneroccupied vehicles might enhance the quality of urban life and the workplace, with spinoff benefits for employers and landlords. Jiri Skopek and Meirav Even-Har look at how the real estate industry is incorporating lessons learned, applying sustainable design principles and considering its place in the wider community fabric in order to be better prepared for extreme weather events. We also look at the business and environmental potential of energy strategies, both from the coordinated linkage of community energy plans within Canada and spillover opportunities from the U.S. Clean Power Plan.
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Focus: Green Buildings, Sustainable Management & Operations 12 Lagging Registration for LEED version 4 14 Canadian Spinoffs in U.S. Clean Power Plan 20 Climate Change Risk Management Strategies 24 Resiliency through Mitigation, Adaptation and Regeneration 28 Green Investment Paybacks 32 Commuting Factors in Office Leasing 36 Bus Lane Economics 38 GRESB 2015 Results 42 Performance Gaps Between Conception and Completion 46 Community Energy Plans 50 Products & Materials Guidance for LEED v4 52 Short-lived Climate Pollutants 56 HVAC Challenges in Glass Buildings 58 Passive House Standard for Retrofits
Departments 6 Editorâ€™s note
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TENTATIVE TRAILBLAZERS Majority of CaGBC Registrants Choose LEED 2009 Over v4 By Rebecca Melnyk
WHILE THE U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has granted LEED program participants additional time to prepare for LEED version 4 (v4), which will become mandatory for newly registered projects beginning November 1, 2016, the number of users voluntarily choosing this new version is still lagging as the majority opts for the current LEED 2009. The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) estimates about 500 projects have registered for LEED certification in Canada since October 2014 when the deadline was extended, but only 13 of these projects are registered for v4. “What we see today is that owners and consultants are looking at v4 and 12 November 2015 | Canadian Property Management
seeing there is a lot that is new that they want to learn about before they apply it across the board,” says Mark Hutchinson, Director of the green buildings program at CaGBC. “They’re selecting specific projects to apply v4 so they can learn from that experience and ensure a smooth transition towards using it on all their projects.” Along with this mindful approach is the reality of additional costs and some requirements for prerequisites and credits for v4, which are more arduous, inducing members to remain with 2009 until they have to make the switch. The stricter requirements for metering and recording energy and water use, increased emphasis on verification, and a
deeper transparency of building materials and the resources used to source, manufacture and dispose of them are a few updates hindering industry members to make a quick adjustment. The significant shift to ongoing and performance based metrics requires a much deeper commitment to LEED than the previous version. COMMITMENT & COSTS “To me, the number one issue with regards to proceeding with v4 is that additional commitment to the ongoing measured actual performance of the building,” reflects Edwin Lim, President and Chief Executive Officer of the consulting firm, Ecolibrium Strategies.
cities, this investment becomes a harder sell for the property managers.
“As an environmentalist, I think this is exactly the right thing to do, but that is also the barrier.” Lim suggests the deadline extension gives people more time to procrastinate until they have no choice. But choice aside, he predicts change will truly percolate when it becomes significantly obvious that buildings need v4 to “stay in the game,” that a building cannot be Class A without the new rating system, that those who begin measuring and using data first will have “first mover advantage” and will be directly responding to a new culture adopting data-driven methodology. “There’s always going to be clients who consider going for v4 right now because they want to be the market leader – one of the first in North America,” adds Peter Easton, Manager of Sustainability at the engineering consulting firm, WSP. “You’ll always have those leaders wanting to break away from the rest of the pack, prepared to spend that little bit extra money and effort.” M a n y o f E a s t o n ’s c l i e n t s – predominately large national property companies owned by pension funds that invest in building assets – are
opting to go for the quicker and earlier certification process while they can s t i l l a p p l y f o r 2 0 0 9 a n d avo i d additional costs of v4 for now. Easton notes two particular current LEED EB credits that are, even now, stumbling blocks for clients: Alternative Commuting Transportation and the Minimum Energy Efficiency Performance prerequisite. Under 2009, a building has to achieve an Energy Star score of 69, which Easton says will be a challenge for older buildings without investment in energy consuming infrastructure. “When you move to v4, that score rises to 75, which is a more difficult target to achieve,” he says. “It’s often a costly affair for some clients to improve their Energy Star score; v4 is just making that requirement slightly more onerous, but for good reason as we try to reduce our carbon footprint.” Pension funds typically want to invest to improve Energy Star scores because they increase the value of buildings, especially seen in Class A and AAA assets. Yet, when it comes to Class B buildings, which are smaller and usually outside the downtown core of major
MOVING FORWARD Despite the sluggish turn to v4, Hutchinson notes the industry supports the direction in which LEED is headed, appreciative of the improvement. Not only does v4 create more flexibility to earn credits in new and different ways, but it is driving fundamental changes to information about products, ultimately decreasing the impact those products have on the environment and human health. And until this new process becomes mandatory, CaGBC is moving forward with a twofold mindset to position v4 in the industry. “We need to make sure there is an appreciation in the industry of what v4 is so that when they achieve that, there is a general understanding that v4 is an accomplishment and the latest and greatest standard,” says Hutchinson. “Secondly, we need to work with the individual projects to give them the opportunity to have visibility, while sharing information they have learned.” This includes showcasing frontrunners, such as Ecohome’s Edelweiss project, a single-family home in Quebec, which, in September, became the first v4 certified project in Canada. Over the course of 2016, several other projects currently registered under v4 will become certified, including commercial and government projects, new construction and existing buildings that will all be able to demonstrate accomplishments. CaGBC recently launched a webpage highlighting all the projects pursuing v4 certification and offering information on case studies. All such projects will become educational opportunities to create awareness of obstacles, challenges and misperceived challenges, with three webinars soon to launch that address various aspects of project experiences. “It is important to remember that LEED's success has been largely driven by stakeholder marketing,” adds Lim. “When they finally shut the 2009 door, all of a sudden, tenants will say, ‘well that’s the old LEED, what about the new LEED?’” zz Rebecca Melnyk is an online editor with the REMI network. Canadian Property Management | November 2015 13
U.S. CLEAN POWER PLAN HOLDS PROMISE FOR CANADA States Could Look North for Compliance Support
By Barbara Carss CANADA'S RENEWABLE energy and clean technology sectors could figure prominently and profitably in American states' efforts to comply with the recently introduced U.S. Clean Power Plan. Many Canadians can also expect improved air quality along with even higher electricity costs during periods of peak demand if, as envisioned, a vast network of U.S. based coal-fired generating plants are shut down.
14 November 2015 | Canadian Property Management
The plan, which is a regulation under the U.S. Clean Air Act, was released in final form in August 2015 after 14 months of sometimes contentious consultation. It establishes a national target, and contributory state targets with deadlines, for cutting carbon e m i s s i o n s f r o m p ow e r p l a n t s . Collectively, the states must deliver a 32% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030, while each player must fulfill
s p e c i fi e d r e q u i r e m e n t s a n d h i t reduction thresholds along the way. "In the context of the American marketplace, this is substantial," says Adam Chamberlain, a partner and environmental law specialist who leads the climate change practice group at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. "It looks like it could be quite transformative, and I would say this is an opportunity for Canada."
States are now presumably developing the compliance strategies they are required to submit – either in completed form or with enough progress to merit a two-year extension – to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by September 6, 2016. This prompts them to implement policies and programs for cleaner fossil-fuel generation, emissions trading, renewable energy and conservation and demand management (CDM). While some of the 26 states that have petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to negate the Clean Power Plan may be holding back on this work, if upheld, the rules would impose the EPA's model implementation plan in states that fail to develop their own. Performance would be measured beginning in 2022, as states are called on to track and report carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. They would also have to meet interim reduction targets in 2024, 2027 and 2029 to prove they are on pace to the final goal. In the bigger picture, the U.S. has pledged to reduce nationwide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 26 to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025 as part of its commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). That will require an approximate doubling of its achieved reduction rate thus far. "We can choose to believe that super-storm Sandy and the most severe droughts in decades and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgement of science
and act before it's too late," U.S. President Barack Obama said when the final version of the Clean Power Plan was released. COAL REPLACEMENTS NEEDED The target for the power sector is ambitious, but the solution for meeting it is no great puzzle. Electricity accounts for 31% of total GHG emissions in the United States versus approximately 12% in Canada. As of 2012, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy reported that 13 states rely on coal-fired generation for more than 50% of their power production,
short-term is to use natural gas as a bridging tool." Yet, as his affiliated role as managing partner of a venture capital firm specializing in clean technologies indicates, he sees longer term opportunities, and predicts the Clean Power Plan will both stimulate the market for renewable energy and associated goods and services, and broaden the base of the nascent North American cap-and-trade market among California, Quebec and Ontario. "It will be a catalyzing factor," Rand says. "There is a massive economic upside."
“Obama is clearly targeting America's single biggest source of emissions, which is coal.” including seven that produce more than 75% of their power from coal. In total, 29 states – largely aligned with those now challenging the Clean Power Plan at the Supreme Court – derive more than 25% of their in-boundary power supply from coal. "Obama is clearly targeting America's single biggest source of emissions, which is coal," observes Tom Rand, Senior Advisor with the Cleantech Venture Group at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto. "The option in the
He sees prospects for: bio-fuels from forestry and agricultural waste; energy storage, which will be critical for exploiting the massive solar potential in the U.S. southwest; and smart grid technology that enables demand management and stabilizes delivery of fluctuating sources like wind that also require seamless backup contingency. While Canada has a UNFCCC commitment to reduce national GHG emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, Rand maintains it has an even Canadian Property Management | November 2015 15
bigger role to play through continued development and commercialization of its clean-tech expertise. "There will be more reductions from the transfer of technology around the world than we can get from reducing our own emissions," he predicts. WELL-TIMED LINK There is also potential for Canadian power exports to the U.S. from hydroelectric, natural gas, wind and tidal generating sources. Chamberlain suggests there could be a readymade new market for some of Ontario's so-called non-utility generators with soon-toexpire contracts with the provincial Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). The timing seems even more opportune in Atlantic Canada where construction is now underway on the 520-kilometre Maritime Link between Newfoundland & Labrador's 824-megawatt Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project and Nova Scotia's connection to the North American transmission grid. Beyond forging Newfoundland & Labrador's first electricity transmission link to the rest of the continent, the $1.5-billion initiative includes upgrades to Nova Scotia's existing system to enhance the capacity of the high-voltage direct-current line to the U.S. This could
16 November 2015 | Canadian Property Management
â€œAbout 2,500 megawatts could be extracted from the Bay of Fundy without any significant environmental impact.â€? support the development of the Bay of Fundy's tidal power potential, now at an embryonic stage. Two turbines with a combined 4-megawatt generating capacity are slated for deployment before the end of this year, as part of the Cape Sharp Tidal pilot of open-centre turbine technology. This will be gridconnected, via sub-sea cable, with a power purchase agreement through Nova Scotia's feed-in tariff program. At a current cost of about 40 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), proponents acknowledge that there is a substantial price gap to close before tidal power can compete, even with other renewable sources like wind, which is now priced around 10 cents/kWh. However, they see promise in technological advances, economies of scale with broader rollout, the likelihood of carbon pricing and, of course, tidal power's absolute
reliability. The U.S. Clean Power Plan now enhances the marketability of a future tidal-hydroelectric power mix flowing into the grid from Atlantic Canada. "About 2,500 megawatts could be extracted from the Bay of Fundy without any significant environmental i m p a c t , " s a y s S t e p h e n D e m p s ey, Executive Director of the Offshore Energy Research Association in Halifax. "That's more power than the entire installed capacity that Nova Scotia has right now. So the space for tidal energy is created by the removal of coal-fired generation capacity in Nova Scotia and in other markets in the U.S." CAP-AND-TRADE MARKET GROWTH The Clean Power Plan's promotion of emissions trading among U.S. states also portends new and/or returned participants in the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) cap-and-trade market, currently comprising
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greenpromise&delivery California, Quebec and imminent new entrant, Ontario. Although all but California eventually bailed out, eight U.S. states initially signed on to the concept in 2007-2008. (Three of them – Arizona, Montana and Utah – are now among the states challenging the Clean Power Plan at the U.S. Supreme Court.) Particularly for states that opt for the rate-based pounds-per-megawatthour approach to meeting their r e d u c t i o n t a rg e t , c a p - a n d - t r a d e p r ov i d e s t h e m e a n s t o c o m p e l generators to get on board. For industries like commercial real estate that potentially have offset credits to sell, more market players should also be good news. "One question is, if other U.S. states start to join up, will that diminish Canadian influence on market design? But I think we are well placed to take advantage of an expanded market because we have already been at the table," Chamberlain reflects. "The development of offset protocol is going to be something we need to push for." In Quebec, for example, the first three approved offset credits – destruction of methane at covered manure storage facilities; destruction of methane at landfill sites; and destruction of ozone-depleting substances removed from refrigeration and freezing appliances – provide little to engage building owners/managers, but regulations to designate new categories of activities are in the works, as Ontario and Quebec are now committed to harmonizing their efforts. Meanwhile, its stature as a global asset class gives the commercial real estate industry common North American interests, and perhaps collective clout, to make the case for including
18 November 2015 | Canadian Property Management
“The development of offset protocol is going to be something we need to push for.”
reductions gained through energy retrofits of buildings. "If you want to be able to sell offsets, you are going to need a protocol in place so the offset markets are usually on the softer side initially. The allowances are easier because they h av e a l r e a d y b e e n d e fi n e d , " Chamberlain says. In Quebec, 2015 is the first year that emission allowance costs of cap-andtrade have been added to consumers' natural gas prices, equating to 3.072 cents per cubic metre as of November 1. Presumably, coal would carry a higher monetary penalty. PRICE & HEALTH SPINOFFS Pricier electricity in the U.S. will have the most discernible negative impact in Canada during peak demand periods when the domestic price is already high and power imports are necessary. Ontario has generally experienced its peaks in the summertime, but in a winter peak scenario (as occurred in the winters of 2014 and 2015), market analysts warn of new price pressures in the U.S. "Like falling dominoes, retirement of coal-fired power plants leads to greater use of natural gas, which
leads to higher winter gas demand on pipelines, which leads to pipeline constraints, which leads to higher pipeline transportation charges, which leads to higher local gas pricing, which, where gas is a major power plant fuel, causes higher winter electricity pricing," advises Lindsay Audin, a U.S. based energy management specialist. On the flipside, public health watchdogs applaud air quality improvements in Canada's most populous region since the decommissioning of Ontario's coal-fired electricity plants – albeit also in sync with a decline in manufacturing. Sulphur dioxide emissions within the province have fallen significantly, while the number of designated smog days has dropped from 53 in 2005 to none in 2014. "The wind around the Great Lakes basin blows in a north-easterly direction. Ohio has the industry; we get the pollution," notes Joe Mihevc, a City Councillor and Chair of the Toronto Board of Health. "If coal power was shut down in the U.S., it would be the next big tranche for us in air quality." zz For more information about the U.S. Clean Power Plan, see the website at www.epa.gov/ cleanpowerplan.
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RESILIENCY IS A COMPONENT OF SUSTAINABILITY
Building Managers and Occupants Should Align Efforts with Wider Community By Jiri Skopek
IN 2007, THE U.S. Supreme Court formally recognized the relationship between global warming and severe weather events. Today even climate change deniers are acknowledging that something is up with the climate. What are the implications of climate change on property owners, occupants of the buildings and the communities in which they operate? Notwithstanding the polar vortex, 2014 was the hottest year on record. Over the past 60 years the planet has become hotter by one degree. Doesn’t 20 November 2015 | Canadian Property Management
sound like much, but assuming “business as usual” the earth will heat up by 2 degrees in the next 15 years – the point beyond which the impact of climate change is not only irreversible but will fundamentally change life on this planet due to super drought, mass species extinction, extreme sea level rise and violent storms. Even conservative voices are raising the alarm. Henry M. Paulson Jr. Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury says, “I feel as if I’m watching as we fly in slow motion on a collision course toward a
giant mountain. We can see the crash coming, and yet we’re sitting on our hands rather than altering course.“ Cities and engines of the global economy such as New York, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, London as well as major cities in Japan and China are concentrated in coastal regions, on river flood plains or near river deltas and will be affected by rising sea levels. In Europe, cities are threatened by winter storms, which maintain their force even when far inland. While earthquakes are not directly linked to climate change, their impact is also devastating for the vast concentrations of real estate located along the Ring of Fire, an area of high seismic activity in the Pacific Ocean. Already we see an upward curve of escalating economic loss due to floods, tornados, wild fires and hurricanes, with the greatest losses occurring in the USA and Asia Pacific. Severe weather has always been a driver of property and casualty claims but the problem is growing exponentially. An increase in weather related claims has led the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to implement a simple eight-question disclosure survey to assess whether insurance companies can remain solvent in the face of claims related to climate change and related global warming. For their part, insurance companies are circling the wagons, urging renewed riskmanagement and considering how to factor in potential impact on premiums or coverage availability. Buildings do not exist as structures in isolation, and for this reason, it’s important to understand that risk management and resilience occur on three levels: occupants, property managers and communities. Occupants need to develop their business continuity plans, but they rely on buildings that are responsive to natural and human-caused hazards. Buildings, for their part, need community critical infrastructure – power, water, fuel, sewerage, telecommunications and transportation. The specifics vary at all three levels, but the approach to risk management is remarkably similar and has many areas of overlap.
Insurance companies are circling the wagons, urging renewed risk management and considering how to factor in potential impact on premiums or coverage availability. RISK ASSESSMENT & MANAGEMENT Built on a foundation of risk assessment, the four universally accepted pillars of emergency management are Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery. The following are some examples of how these are addressed by occupants, property managers and communities. Mitigation
The first pillar refers to ongoing measures to reduce the impact of a catastrophe or the chance that it might (or might not) happen. These can be structural adaptations to the building, the site or at the community level, or they can be operational measures. For example, take mitigation in an earthquake prone area. Occupants can mitigate the impact of an earthquake by securing tall furniture and desktop equipment to avoid them sliding or toppling, placing large heavy objects on lower shelves and hanging items away from where people work. However, occupants also need to be in an earthquake-proof building. For building owners, that might mean measures such as adding seismic bracing and installing safety glass. At the community level, earthquake mitigation may mean introducing building regulations and reinforcing the critical infrastructure services. Preparedness
This pillar is all about sitting down with pencil and paper and writing plans for what to do if a catastrophe happens. In fact, the word “preparedness” can be substituted with the word “plans.” Preparedness is making sure that when a catastrophe happens, one can lay hands
on a document that tells everyone exactly what to do. Some plans would apply to many types of incidents. These are called allhazard plans. Examples include emergency communications, evacuation or shelter-in-place. Other plans are related to specific incidents such as power failure, wind, flood or bomb threat. Plans will be different for occupants, building owners or communities. For occupants, the plan for a major power failure may involve relocating to a mirror facility. For building managers, the power failure plan would require all manner of detailed operations and procedures including locating the source of the electrical failure, turning off equipment and circuit breakers, switching on the generator or in the case of a rental, having a pre-determined location, cable routing and fuel delivery, and possibly evacuating the building. At the community level, the plan would include provisions to maintain water, sewerage and natural gas to serve high priority functions, and in a bad situation, start to triage while the problem is being fixed. Readiness
This pillar is the process of ensuring that when plans are opened, everything is in a state of readiness to put them into action. The best laid out plan is useless without trained and practiced people, up-to-date information and the necessary equipment. For example, if a building’s Flood Plan speaks of sandbags, then a building operator needs to be able to quickly access sandbags. For occupants, there need to be up-to-date contacts to instruct Canadian Property Management | November 2015 21
greenpromise&delivery employees to work from home or relocate to a pre-determined alternate office. At the community level, readiness would include ensuring that equipment is in place, and that first responders and city officials are trained and are regularly conducting exercises. Recovery
This pillar is about getting back to business as usual, as quickly as possible, and involves a similar approach for occupants, property managers and at the community level. There may be some damage assessment, clean-up, testing for safety such as air quality inside the building, documenting the activities that took place during the incident for the appropriate authorities within the organization, and taking care of any legal and insurance paperwork. DISTRICTS 2030 Sustainability is about greening and resiliency. The most effective resilience occurs when communities, property owners and occupants align their mitigation, planning, response and recovery.
Occupants, the end users of buildings, need to work with property owners to develop effective business continuity plans to keep the wheels of commerce turning. Increasingly, property owners need to be involved with one another and at the community level to contribute to regional resiliency – for example working together to create local distributed energy micro-grids and combined heating and power, creating small wetlands and planting trees for better storm water management. Districts 2030 embodies this approach, as a growing movement across North America, whereby building owners in downtown areas in cities such as Albuquerque, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle, Stamford and Toronto are collaborating to achieve greater results than they could alone. It’s a platform for private/public partnerships of property owners, managers and developers together with local g ove r n m e n t s , bu s i n e s s e s , a n d community stakeholders.
Districts 2030 provide a business model for urban sustainability and resiliency through collaboration, leveraged financing, and shared resources. 2030 Districts establish links among participating cities to share best practices, develop and implement creative strategies and verification methods for measuring progress. It’s an example of how stakeholders including occupants, property managers and the public sector work together to achieve safe and sustainable communities on many levels. zz Jiri Skopek is Managing Director, Sustainability, with JLL. For more information, see the website at www.jll.com/sustainability
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MITIGATE, ADAPT, REGENERATE Resiliency Born in Carbon Footprint Reduction By Meirav Even-Har CLIMATE CHANGE is hard to plan for. Commercial building owners and operators are generally aware they should expect a greater number of hot days and extreme weather events, but uncertainty makes preparedness difficult. Three recent seminars in Toronto – hosted by industry, academia and local government – explored climate change resiliency and how buildings can contribute to a community's success or failure in mitigating, adapting to and enduring the fallout of extreme weather. Each event addressed resiliency concepts through an expert’s focus on a range of issues such as design and architecture, food sustainability, energy reduction, glass architecture and art. While the speakers were diverse, the collective learning can be distilled into three critical lessons. First, buildings are part of a larger community and are both dependent and relied upon in realizing climate resiliency. Second, being a fixture of a given community, the building industry needs to be at the forefront of both mitigation and adaptation measures. Finally, doing less harm is not enough – buildings can and 24 November 2015 | Canadian Property Management
should be part of adding to the environment around them. Climate resiliency includes reducing carbon footprint, adapting to change and enhancing the built and natural environment. While resiliency typically addresses adaptive measures to ensure that buildings and cities are more prepared for storms, reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) relates to diminishing long-term vulnerabilities by lessening global temperature change. MITIGATE Architect Craig Applegath of DIALOG stressed the need for buildings to mitigate, protect and reduce harm in his presentation at the Green Buildings Festival in early October. Noting that reducing and eventually eliminating GHGs includes a focus on transportation, increased energy and water efficiencies and harnessing the circular economy by recycling resources, he advocated building design that aims for a zero carbon footprint. Greater densification in cities will also enable people to live, work and shop within a smaller area, reducing vehicle dependency.
Focusing on new and existing buildings, Sustainable TO’s Paul Dowsett posited that “simple is the new smart” and zero carbon comes in threes. Three issues: orientation, insulation and ventilation. Three locations: walls, floors and roofs. And three Rs: reducing energy use, reusing nature’s energy passively and recycling with renewables. All should be incorporated into traditional planning with the use of appropriate materials. Buildings contribute a third of global GHGs, predominantly during their operational phase, so reducing the operational GHG footprint is key to mitigating climate change in the future. ADAPT Resiliency is most commonly discussed in the context of adaptation to severe weather. Making cities and buildings resilient to future storms, for example, has been a priority for Calgary and Toronto after they have faced significant, costly floods. Storm water management is one important tool in the resiliency toolbox. Infrastructure preparedness is another.
Grant Humes, Executive Director of Toronto’s Financial District Business Improvement Area (BIA) spoke about the organization’s collaborative work with Toronto Hydro and the Toronto Transit Commission. Engaging with the transit authority, the BIA and its members can be part of the change necessary in increasing reliance on public transportation. That also includes helping BIA members such as the large financial towers better coordinate emergency notices to building occupants in case of subway station flooding, power outage and other significant service disruptions. Presenting at the TalkTransformation! event, hosted by the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, Humes noted that approximately 200,000 people commute from suburbs to the financial core each day. He stressed that conversations need to begin early in order to achieve successful coordination with multiple stakeholders. Aiming to help building owners and managers become informed about climate change resiliency issues, the Building Owners and Managers Association of Toronto (BOMA Toronto) established a committee chaired by Alec H. Hay, Director of the University of Toronto Centre for Resilience of Critical Infrastructure. The committee was tasked with writing a white paper that can be shared with the industry to help building managers move forward with actionable items to accelerate preparedness. Presenting at a Sandford Fleming College forum, Hay spoke about the importance of working in coordination with the community at large. It is not enough for a large office tower to be fully prepared for a significant flood event if
the city where it is located is lagging behind. Occupants must be able to move to and from their workplace – an issue that became apparent during the Calgary floods. Prof. Hay raised two interesting trends related to liability. The value of operation often exceeds the value of the property, and market tolerance for work stoppage due to disaster has decreased. Tenants expect to be able to restore normal operations the next day, placing pressure on the building manager to have all systems functioning. The property manager, simply put, is a critical partner to companies post-disaster. Meeting and exceeding best practices in property resiliency and recovery begins with securing minimal operation capability. A significant storm would require swift reaction to enable systems to function within the building. The recovery stage may take a little longer but should incorporate an assessment of what can be improved. There are likely regular preparedness checks that can be added to property management routines so that, ultimately, sustainable operating capacity is achieved. The latter, notes Hay, refers to building management’s ability to predict and seamlessly return to operation after a disaster. REGENERATE The third component to climate change resiliency focuses on repairing humans’ collective harmful footprint by contributing positively to the natural environment. Buildings have a role and can significantly improve the way occupants and the communities around them can become
more sustainable in both environmental terms and wellness. Food security has become important to the resiliency dialogue. Food sustainability tackles the issue of longdistance, unsustainable transport of food that contributes to both vehicle emissions and GHGs, as well as makes cities vulnerable to shortage of food supplies should natural disaster prevent access to market. CEO and Founder of Lufa Farms, Mohamed Hage, established the world’s first rooftop greenhouse in 2011. Presenting at the Green Buildings Festival, Hage spoke about the company’s two rooftop farms: the first assembled in an existing building in Montreal and a second, larger outfit as part of a new-build design in Laval. Rooftop greenhouses are built to circulate 100% of water. In Montreal, the rooftop greenhouse has contributed to 30% energy savings. Lufa Farms is a good example of a new way of thinking about the built environment in terms of its contribution to the overall resiliency of a community. Artist Sarah Hall spoke about her work, which combines glass architecture and renewable energy. For Hall, “bringing renewable energy and beauty together” is a way of enhancing a building’s functionality i n t e r m s o f i t s e nv i r o n m e n t a l footprint, while creating spaces that occupants and visitors enjoy. Hall works with Building Attached Photovoltaics (BAPV) panels for new construction and Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) for existing Canadian Property Management | November 2015 25
structures. She creates stained glass artwork for the Canadian and international market that is both beautiful and environmentally sustainable. Her presentation placed buildings in the context of the larger environment and community while highlighting the growing variety of sustainable energy technology.
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LINKS TO THE COMMUNITY Islanding is not the right approach, emphasizes Hay. On-site preparedness is important, but so is ensuring the surrounding environment is organized for extreme weather events. Building operational resiliency is part of the larger resiliency of the community where they are located. In that spirit, the One Planet Community plan is being applied to Zibi – a sustainable community and redevelopment project by Windmill Development Group and Dream Unlimited Corp. Located mid-river within the boundaries of Ottawa and Gatineau, Quebec, Zibi is comprised of both the Chaudière and Albert Islands. A 20-year management plan, Zibi will incorporate the ten principles of One Planet Community: Zero Carbon; Zero Waste; Sustainable Transport; Sustainable Materials; Local and Sustainable Food; Sustainable Water; Land Use & Wildlife Habitats; Culture & Community; Equity & Local Economy; and Health and Happiness. The Zibi project, which includes commercial, institutional, cultural and residential buildings, is a good example of how climate change resiliency includes the principles of mitigation, adaptation and regeneration. For existing buildings, upcoming tools such as the BOMA Toronto climate resiliency discussion paper can move the dial forward. Initiatives such as 2030 Districts, BIAs and city-based programs can help collaborate at a community scale. zz Meirav Even-Har is a researcher and project manager with a range of experience in guiding organizations in the implementation of sustainable policies and certification programs.
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PEER SCRUTINY CURBS CONSUMPTION Reporting Provides Evidence to Reframe Building Value By Cheryl Mah THE INFLUENCE of the built environment on resource and energy consumption is well documented and, as a result, there h ave b e e n g r ow i n g investments in the energy efficiency and sustainability of buildings. Yet, energy consumption in commercial buildings is increasing and new buildings can consume even more electricity than older buildings. The reasons, according to Nils Kok, CEO and founder of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), are more electrical equipment in buildings, more electricity needed for heating and cooling and more demand for electronic devices such as smartphones. The risk of rolling blackouts will increase with an aging grid, demand for electronics and retiring of power plants, Kok predicted during a session at the Canada Green Building Council’s 2015 Building Lasting Change conference in Vancouver earlier this year. 28 November 2015 | Canadian Property Management
Kok provided an investment perspective on green buildings, using examples from the U.K. and the U.S. and studies that demonstrate green-rated buildings may realize higher values. The market implications of energy efficiency and sustainability in the commercial and residential property sectors are relevant for investors and real estate developers. “Buildings are considered the problem, but can also be part of the solution,” he said, going on to identify several options to combat energy consumption including increasing prices of electricity and natural gas, building codes, subsidies/rebates and information provision. Kok acknowledged that building codes are great in principle, but the challenge is to make sure buildings are being built to those codes and operated to those codes. “Building codes and real energy performance/consumption is not necessarily going hand-in-hand,” he said, citing results from a study in the U.S. as
STUDY FINDS GREEN CERTIFIED BUILDINGS OUTPERFORM Results from a pioneering study examining the correlation between improved property performance and green building certification were released earlier this fall. The research was based on 10 years of financial performance data from more than 300 Bentall Kennedy office properties across North America, collectively encompassing 58 million square feet. An international research team concluded that there is strong evidence that buildings with sustainable certification outperform similar non-green buildings in terms of rental rates, occupancy levels, tenant satisfaction scores and the probability of lease renewals. “This is the most in-depth and conclusive analysis conducted to date of the link between responsible property investment practice and financial returns,” says Gary Whitelaw, Chief Executive Officer for the
Bentall Kennedy Group. “By examining a large North American portfolio with consistent data across multiple market cycles, the results validate Bentall Kennedy’s focus on energy and sustainability improvement in buildings not only as a socially responsible strategy, but also as a way to enhance property income for our clients.” Findings from the study are published in the September 2015 issue of the Journal of Portfolio Management. Here are some highlights : • Net effective rents, including the cost of tenant incentives, average 3.7% higher in LEED certified properties in the U.S. than in similar non-certified buildings. • Rent concessions, for LEED and BOMA BEST buildings in Canada are on average 4% lower than in similar noncertified buildings.
• Occupancy rates during the period were 18.7% higher in Canadian buildings having both LEED and BOMA BEST certification, and 9.5% higher in U.S. buildings with ENERGY STAR certification, than in buildings without certifications. • Tenant renewal rates were 5.6% higher in Canadian buildings with BOMA BESt level 3 certification than in buildings with no BOMA BESt certification. • Tenant satisfaction scores were 7% higher in Canadian buildings with BOMA BESt level 3 and 4 certification than in noncertified buildings. • Energy consumption per square foot was 14% lower in U.S. LEED certified properties than in buildings without certification. –Rebecca Melnyk Canadian Property Management | November 2015 29
evidence. “More importantly, building stock that’s around today cannot be improved by building codes.” Heightened energy reporting and increased transparency may be more effective. Kok cited Opower in the U.S. as an example where the software is used to compare energy consumption between residential neighbours. It has been shown that when energy information is compared between peers or neighbours, people reduce consumption on average by 2%. Energy labelling in Europe and mandatory disclosure in most large U.S. cities is also having an impact. The uptake of voluntary certification such as LEED and Energy Star is also significant, according to Kok. He highlighted evidence from a study of green commercial buildings in the U.S. marketplace that showed green credentials do have a significant financial impact for investors. The three-year study showed that green commercial buildings had higher rents (3%), higher effective cash flow (7 %) and higher transaction prices (13%). Likewise, energy efficiency can flow through to revenues. The study found that increasing energy efficiency by $1 per square foot translates to $0.95/sq.ft. increase in rents and $13/sq.ft. increase in transaction prices. Less efficient buildings may increasingly face a risk of obsolescence, said Kok. Efficiency in buildings may have implications for lowering expenditures (energy, water waste) including insurance premiums. Lenders may also be inclined to provide cheaper capital if a building has green credentials. “Tenant attraction and retention seems to be higher in those building that are green certified,” he added. Kok believes the industry needs to be changing the conversation from payback period to return on investment. “If these investments are really translated into cash flow and transaction price, you can start to see, for example a four-year payback period is roughly a 25% return,” he said. “Would you make an investment for a 25%? Yes, of course.” zz Cheryl Mah is based in Vancouver as the Managing Editor of the REMI network publications, Construction Business and Design Quarterly. 30 November 2015 | Canadian Property Management
Photo courtesy of REALpac
RETURNS ALIGNED WITH ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL GAINS
Investors, tenants and in-house commitment contribute to a circular flow of sustainability in some of Canada's largest real estate portfolios, with the parties reaping both measurable paybacks and harder to quantify gains. Senior real estate executives commenting on the release of 2015 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) results earlier this fall (see story, page 38) outlined their experiences in balancing demands for financial returns with environmental and social goals – and concluded there is no discernable tradeoff involved. "It's our belief that sustainability drives long-term value, reduces risk and supports tenant retention," asserted Paul Zemla, Chief Investment Officer with Bentall Kennedy LP. The company was a standout among the 155 North American participants in the 2015 GRESB survey, ranking as the sector leader for diversified properties, but Zemla emphasized it has achieved this standing with the backing of 550 clients who first had to be convinced of the merits of sustainability expenditures. "It's not our money; it's always someone else's money. We are just the influencers," he observed. "In order to do all the things we've done, we have had to go make the business case item after item. That's a pretty high test." Similarly, as the real estate arm of OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Systems), sustainability advocates at Oxford Properties are well aware of their first priority. "We are held to a very high threshold of returns to pay pensions. Everything we do around sustainability has to be backed by business," said Andrew McAllan, Oxford's Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Real Estate Management. That includes upending the traditional industry standard of three-year paybacks for capital improvement projects – now justifying upgrades that have paybacks of five, 10 or 15 years. "With better investment through our existing assets, we get a better yield than we can anywhere else," he explained. That also plays to an increasingly sophisticated tenant base that has financial and corporate social responsibility and sustainability agendas of its own. "When we started in this business, tenants didn't really pay attention to operating expenses. In many cases, they didn't really understand them," recounted Yves-André Godon, Chief Operating Officer with Triovest Realty Advisors, one of 70+ companies worldwide to join the GRESB survey in 2015. Now, blue chip tenants are seen as major drivers of a green development and retrofit boom. "That's yesterday's news. That's been the case for quite awhile," Zemla confirmed. – Barbara Carss
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DRIVE-TIME ANALYSIS INFORMS LEASING DECISIONS
Public Transit Plays Role in Shrinking Space-to-Worker Ratios By Rand Stephens
C O M M U T I N G H A S become a significant component of employees' worklife balance. The less commuting employees have to endure, the better their morale, overall quality of life and cost of living. In turn, improved productivity and reduced direct parking costs can be significant financial benefits for employers when commuting becomes easier. Corporate tenants assessing the potential for relocation now frequently look to drivetime analysis for decision-making support. It helps to weigh the costs and benefits of a 32 November 2015 | Canadian Property Management
location that may have higher rental rates, but shorter commuting times versus a location with lower rental rates and longer commuting times. Results tend to highlight three benefits of reducing employee vehicle traffic to and from offices: overall cost reduction for corporations and employees; improved employee quality of life; and better local air quality. Corporations generally pay handsomely for the use of parking garages in the buildings they occupy. The cost of the garage is included in the rent, and there are
additional monthly charges associated with a companyâ€™s reserved and unreserved parking spaces. Yet, from employers' perspective, parking structures contribute no direct operational value for the user of the building. Reducing employee demand for parking spaces represents a straightforward saving. Employers can encourage this outcome in three ways: 1) through commuting benefits programs that provide financial incentives for employees to use public transit or ride-share with co-workers or occupants of the building; 2) implementing enterprise-wide technology
with parking for corporations. Smaller garages could also provide an opportunity for better space utilization, increasing the level of productive office space.
to support offsite work, allowing employees to avoid driving to the office every day; and/or 3) relocating to office space within a transit-oriented development (TOD) where employees can live, work and play in a compact, pedestrian-friendly community that has easy access to public transportation. SPACE CONSTRAINTS & OPPORTUNITIES According to a 2012 NAIOP report, the amount of space North American tenants occupy is expected to drop to 151 square feet per employee by 2017. If employees continue to commute by the same modes – 81% of commuters in the United States rely on personal vehicles to commute to and from work and 86% of these personal vehicle users drive alone – denser office occupancies will have repercussions in the parking garage. Estimates from parking planning/design specialists, HWA Parking, peg the typical parking space at eight feet, six inches by 18 feet (153 square feet) in downtown buildings or nine feet by 18 feet (162 square feet) in suburban markets throughout North America. Each parking space also requires a certain amount of space for moving in and around the garage. A
conservative garage efficiency rating is approximately 350 square feet per space, meaning that a 1,000-space facility would total 350,000 square feet. However, the Avison Young corporate headquarters in Toronto presents another picture for the future. Largely on pace with industry projections, office space has been optimized to an average of 150 square feet per person, but since the headquarters are also in a transitoriented location, 81% of employees do not drive their own vehicles to work – significantly reducing requirements for and costs of parking spaces. A cost-benefit analysis weighing the increased real estate costs associated with locating offices in more commuter-friendly locations against the savings arising from reducing the number of employee vehicles travelling to and from the office will typically show that fuel and parking-cost savings dwarf any increases in building rent expenses. If a large number of employees choose alternate means of transportation, corporations can plan for smaller parking garages, which would ultimately decrease project costs for developers and the rental costs associated
HEALTH & WELL-BEING Excessive employee turnover due to job dissatisfaction can be expensive for employers – and one contributor to job dissatisfaction is a long commute. A 2014 CareerBuilder survey revealed that half of all respondents who intended to stay at their current job would stay because of a good work-life balance, while 43% reported that satisfaction with their pay was the primary reason for staying. Factors that influenced positive work-life balance perceptions include friendly co-workers, a good boss and, of course, a short commute. Looking again to Avison Young's experience, professionals have proved willing to trade salary opportunities for quality of life improvements such as more leisure hours and reduced expenses associated with shorter commuting times. Personal and public health are also important factors. Numerous studies link long commutes to negative health outcomes. One study found that one in three workers with a 90-minute daily commute had a recurring neck or back problem. Another study found that workers with long commutes cut out other health-related activities – like sleeping, cooking homemade meals and going to the gym – to accommodate travel time. In the bigger picture, automobiles spew groundlevel ozone, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, which can lead to the development of asthma and trigger more frequent asthma attacks, especially among children. EMPLOYER STRATEGIES The sheer number of drivers suggests there is immense opportunity to reduce the number of cars on the road. Meanwhile, incentives to forego driving can have positive environmental and health impacts with spinoff benefits for employers. Three approaches include: Carpooling Benefit Programs
Carpooling might be viewed as a way to increase productivity and morale. Many regions have carpool lanes that help commuters avoid traffic delays and cut commuting times. Rather than driving to work alone, car poolers can spend their commute socializing, sleeping, Canadian Property Management | November 2015 33
greenpromise&delivery reading or even working ��€“ activities that may reduce stress and contribute to a better quality of life and improved employee productivity, while also enabling participants to save on fuel, depreciation, wear and tear on personal vehicles and attain insurance cost savings from reduced mileage. F r o m a t a x p e r s p e c t iv e , U . S . companies are allowed to deduct up to $130 per month ($1,560 per year) in wages for each employee that participates in carpooling. Promoting Mobile Workplace Technology
Investing in the necessary technology and cloud-based services to support a mobile work environment can have a significant impact on office parking requirements, among other space requirements. Remote access, mobile platforms and virtual private network (VPN) technologies allow employees to access important work documents from anywhere with an Internet connection. There are also many cloud-based services to keep telecommuters connected. For employees, the option to work remotely is often perceived as an important factor in maintaining a healthy work-life
balance. It has been demonstrated that employees with more flexibility in terms of their work schedule are ultimately happier with their job and more productive. It may seem counterintuitive, but research has shown that employees who have remote workplace flexibility actually spend more time working than those who work at the office (about 60% of the time saved by not commuting is applied to productive work). Telecommuting also reduces employee downtime, because employees do not have to take a full day off from work when they are sick or attending to personal business. Locate in a Transit-Oriented Development
Relocating to a transit-oriented development (TOD) has multiple benefits for employees, but most notably it reduces employee driving significantly. This type of development offers the option to live near work or easily access public transportation, resulting in fewer cars on the road, thereby reducing traffic congestion, car accidents and injuries. As well, the concentrated population resulting from a TOD provides the opportunity for developers to establish a diverse set of retail businesses catering to employees.
CORPORATE LEADERSHIP REQUIRED In all cases, it will take leadership from corporate office users to maximize parking garage efficiency and minimize parking-related rent expenses. If developers believe that corporations have no interest in alternate employee commuting options, they will not design parking garages that appeal to corporate policies intended to reduce commuting via personal vehicles. Regardless, the verdict from employees is clear. They do not like long commutes and they are willing to make sacrifices in order to minimize commuting time. Before making the next office leasing decision, corporations should consider conducting an employee drive-time analysis, an employee commuting survey and a parking demand-analysis to determine the most appropriate strategy for the organization as a whole. zz The preceding article is adapted from the Avison Young white paper, Why commute? The business case for boosting bottom lines and employee productivity. Rand Stephens is a Principal with Avison Young, based in Houston. For more information, see the website at www.avisonyoung.com/research/whitepapers-and-topical-reports-0
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PRIORITIZING PEAK-HOUR PASSENGERS Bus Lanes Contribute to Transit-Oriented Development By Todd Litman CITIES ARE, BY DEFINITION, places where many people and activities locate close together so urban space, particularly road space, is always scarce and valuable. Thus, efficient and equitable urban roadway management favours higher-value trips and more space-efficient modes under congested conditions. This encourages travellers to choose more efficient modes such as buses and ridesharing. Bus lanes can provide various benefits including operating efficiencies, passenger time savings, increased fare revenues, vehicle travel reduction benefits â€“ reduced 36 November 2015 | Canadian Property Management
traffic and parking congestion, facility cost savings, traffic safety, energy conservation and pollution emission reductions â€“ social equity objectives, plus support for strategic planning goals. Even people who never use buses enjoy many of these benefits. All of these impacts should be considered when evaluating bus lanes. A narrow perspective considers only direct traffic impacts and justifies bus lanes only if they attract enough drivers to reduce congestion on adjacent lanes. More comprehensive evaluation considers
other factors, including total travel time savings, total economic costs and benefits, social equity impacts and support for strategic planning objectives such as development of more compact and multimodal communities. Comprehensive analysis considers the total, long-term results of bus lanes implemented as part of an integrated program of pro-transit policies. More comprehensive evaluation, better predictive models, a longer analysis period and bus lanes implemented with complementary transport and land use policies tend to justify more bus lanes. Bus lanes are generally warranted where â€“
greenpromise&delivery after all economically justified pro-transit policies are implemented and they are operating for at least a year â€“ they carry more people during peak periods than adjacent general traffic lanes, and so result in total time savings. This typically means carrying more than 800 peak-hour passengers (about 20 buses) on surface streets or 1,800 peak-hour passengers (about 40 buses) on grade-separated highways. However, bus lanes may be justified with lower ridership levels if they provide significant indirect benefits by reducing automobile travel or supporting strategic development objectives, such as creating more compact, multimodal communities. Where transit demand and congestion are low, bus travel can be encouraged with operational improvements, intersection priority strategies and traffic laws that require motorists to yield to buses entering the traffic flow. Where transit demand and congestion are moderate, roadways should have HOV lanes, which accommodate buses and rideshare vehicles. As congestion increases the minimum number of rideshare vehicle passengers should increase. Where transit demand and congestion are high, urban roadways should have bus
lanes. Higher bus volumes justify Bus Rapid Transit features including centre (median) lanes, attractive stations with rapid loading, and improved pedestrian and cycling access. Very high bus volumes can justify multiple bus lanes for express buses and special highway ramps and intersection flyovers. Current traffic models are poor at predicting the impacts of transit service quality improvements, while current economic evaluation practices tend to undervalue many transit benefits, which undervalue bus lanes. Bus lane development often increases congestion on adjacent lanes in the short term, although this usually declines over time as travellers respond to the transit service improvements, particularly if bus lanes are developed in conjunction with other pro-transit strategies. Although a single bus lane may provide only modest short-term benefits, an integrated bus lane network implemented with other pro-transit policies can be the fastest and most cost-effective way to transform automobile-dependent cities into multimodal metropolises where all types of travellers can choose the most efficient mode for each trip.
Bus lane development faces obstacles, including conventional planning which undervalues public transit, rail transit advocates who undervalue buses and automobile interests that resist road space reallocation to favour space-efficient modes, even if this increases efficient and equity overall. To build support, advocates must effectively communicate the resulting benefits, demonstrate the cost efficiency compared with other transport system improvements, address concerns and criticisms and build coalitions with interest groups that have reasons to support efficient and equitable urban transport. That includes transportation professionals, businesses interested in economic development, and social equity advocates who want to improve affordable travel modes. It can be useful to remind motorists that they may become transit users in the future, and so may themselves directly benefit from bus lanes. zz Todd Litman is a principal with the Victoria Transport Policy Institute. The preceding article is excerpted from his research paper, When Are Bus Lanes Warranted? For more information, see the website at www.vtpi.org.
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CANADIAN GRESB PARTICIPANTS SHINE Sustainability Benchmark Gaining Worldwide Influence By Barbara Carss
DESPITE STANDOUT performance, Canadian achievement is somewhat obscured in the bigger picture of the 2015 Global Real Estate Sustainability B e n c h m a r k ( G R E S B ) s u r v e y. Numerically, 11 Canadian organizations represent just 1.5% of this year's 707 participants, but they account for nearly 4.2% of the value of the GRESB database, equating to 420 million square feet of space valued at U.S. $96 billion (CAD $126.7 billion). That's reflective of North America's disproportionate share of the total U.S. $2.3-trillion value of surveyed portfolios, while positioned well ahead of the larger pack. GRESB's Chief Operating Officer, Chris Pyke, affirms that Canadian results are more in line with those from the topranked Australia/New Zealand region, which registered an average score of 69, than with the 144 U.S. participants. "If you take Canada out of North America, Canada does better," he told a September gathering hosted by the Real Property Association of Canada (REALpac). Notably, Canadian organizations boasted a collective average score of 67 compared to the global average of 56 and North American average of 54, and likewise surpassed the global and North 38 November 2015 | Canadian Property Management
American averages in seven measured performance categories. Looking behind the numbers, that means policies and programs that lead to verifiable outcomes of energy and water efficiency, emissions and waste reduction, health and well-being. GRESB measures performance and assigns weighted scores based on whether the initiative is policy and management oriented (30%) or can be tangibly implemented and measured (70%). Results are then plotted on a four-quadrant graph to categorize participants in ascending status as Green Starters, Green Talk, Green Walk or Green Stars. The annual survey serves a twofold purpose as a support for investment decision-making and an agent of change. GRESB's adherents endorse it as a consistent, straightforward means of gauging environmental, social and governance (ESG) compliance, while a sharp incline in participation â€“ from 198 organizations in 2010 to 707 this year â€“ suggests major real estate players are increasingly adopting that view. "We don't score the building; we're scoring the things that institutional investors invest in," Pyke reiterated.
"We are trafficking in what we believe to be material non-financial information." In turn, forging and augmenting what he terms "a systematic global platform to score and benchmark properties" compiles the data to help draw more conclusive connections between sustainability and income returns. It also begins to codify sustainability expectations. "When the institutional investors ask for ESG information, those investors start a cascade of effects that actually inspire change," Pyke asserted. GRASPABLE & RECOGNIZED In an associated panel discussion examining the Canadian GRESB results, prominent real estate executives commended the survey's value as an easily understood benchmark for external analysts and an internal checklist for their own environmental management systems and engagement strategies. "You get very rich, meaningful helpful data back," said Andrew McAllan, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Real Estate Management with Oxford Properties, which was this year's sector leader in North America among diversified office/retail properties. This is the second consecutive year Oxford Properties has attained sector
leader status, and McAllan reports that the title did resonate with clients, lenders and co-investors last year – recalling, for example, one meeting with J.P. Morgan representatives to discuss a proposed deal. "The first thing they said was: Congratulations on your first place GRESB ranking," he recounted. "And then they wanted to know how we did it so they could advise others on our strategy." In general, benchmarking exercises – including REALpac's energy and water benchmarking programs – are seen to appeal to industry players' inherent competitiveness, pushing them to better their own results and aim to catch and overtake the identified frontrunners. "Part of that is human nature. Nobody likes to lose," reflected Paul Zemla, Chief Investment Officer with Bentall Kennedy LP, the 2015 North American sector leader for diversified properties. Steadily improving GRESB results support that theory, as the global average score jumped from 47 in 2014 to 56 this year, even as 70 more organizations joined in. The number of participants achieving the highest Green Star ranking perhaps even
BOMA CANADA REBRANDS BOMA BEST
BOMA Canada has announced a more improved and intuitive BOMA BEST certification brand, which became available to the public September 21, 2015. Besides reinforcing the environmental mandate of BOMA BEST, which is to create a sustainable environment one building at a time, the new brand will offer a more intuitive five-level recognition system to reward the environmental performance of buildings. After a long engagement process with members and stakeholders in the commercial real estate industry, BOMA Canada has also created a more focused and simplified language to better communicate sustainable achievements. Each certification level will employ new terminology: • Platinum (formerly Level 4) is awarded to buildings that have met the BEST Practices and have achieved between 90 and 100 per cent on the questionnaire. • Gold (formerly Level 3) is awarded to buildings that have met the BEST Practices and have achieved between 80 and 89 per cent on the questionnaire. • Silver (formerly Level 2) is awarded to buildings that have met the BEST Practices and have achieved between 70 and 79 per cent on the questionnaire. • Bronze (formerly Level 1) is awarded to buildings that have met the BEST Practices and have achieved between 60 and 69 per cent on the questionnaire. • Certified (formerly Level 1) is awarded to buildings that have met the BEST Practices. The Association recently released the BOMA BESt National Green Building Report revealing improved energy and water efficiency, steady waste diversion tallies and continued high implementation of environmental management systems. BOMA Canada says more changes will be made to the underlying program in 2016. – Rebecca Melnyk
Canadian Property Management | November 2015 39
greenpromise&delivery more impressively rose from 36% in 2014 to 56% in 2015. At the other end of the scale, the portion of Green Starters dropped to 18% from 38% last year, as several organizations moved up in the rankings. "The denominator is getting bigger and the scores are going up," Zemla observed. "It's working, and it's working on implementation, not just policy and management." "We're all chasing Australia, but we're all moving up in the same direction," Pyke concurred. zz The preceding article is reprinted from the REMI network. See www.REMInetwork.com.
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IREM LAUNCHES BUDGETWISE GREEN CERTIFICATION
The Institute of Real Estate Management has introduced what it terms an “affordable, attainable alternative" to LEED to serve proponents who choose not to bear the costs of attaining LEED certification. The new IREM Certified Sustainable Property certification is geared to property managers who have sustainability programs, but can’t demonstrate green performance to stakeholders. The certification is available for three property types: offices; multi-residential communities; and shopping centres. “IREM believes that good management matters and that it improves the quality of life for the people who live, work and shop in the properties we manage,” says Lori Burger, President of IREM. “The IREM Certified Sustainable Property certification demonstrates quality, responsible management to owners, tenants and residents and other stakeholders.” Performance is assessed in five categories, including energy, water, health, recycling and purchasing. There will be 15 baseline requirements and managers must earn at least 62 category points. A checklist, workbook and document list for each property type is available during the process, with templates and forms for every requirement and point activity. IREM will reward up to three years of past action, so if building owners are working on the certification process in November 2015, they can set their baseline beginning January 2012. Recertification is required every three years. – Rebecca Melnyk
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COLLABORATION BRIDGES THE GAP
Keeping Green Buildings On Track from Design to Optimization By Cheryl Mah
42 November 2015 | Canadian Property Management
THE MAJORITY of modern green buildings have complex systems that often include new and innovative features that have not been extensively tested. This leaves numerous opportunities along the entire project process for gaps to develop between the envisioned target goals versus the actual building performance. To keep building performance on track, setting realistic and measurable performance targets and paying attention to key design details and coordination throughout the project are critical. Projects are “complex entities with a multitude of elements interacting in a very complex manner," observes Vladimir Mikler, Principal at Integral
Group, and they can get off track as early as the project vision stage. Due to a competitive nature of the market, the biggest disconnect that can happen at the project vision stage is where the building vision and expectation has been identified but the financial reality does not allow this to happen. “Everybody is trying to build a building that’s very unique – that gives them the edge to attract the best users for the building,” Mikler said. Yet, it’s important to have well defined and measurable metrics of success and ensure they are implemented. Mikler was one of four speakers at a session presented during the Canada Green Building Council's annual
greenpromise&delivery conference in Vancouver earlier this year. How to Stay on the Performance Track addressed the most common causes for buildings failing to achieve their targeted and predicted performance from building concept to its actual operation. SIX VULNERABILITIES The speakers' panel identified six important stages where gaps can occur: project vision; design; construction; handover; operation; and optimization. The overwhelming consensus was the need for better collaboration in the industry and better information management. To begin, at the design stage, it’s key to clearly define the performance target and also the hierarchy of the individual goals of the building. “For example, just stating LEED Gold or Platinum doesn’t give a defined picture of what is the target performance,” said Mikler. “We need to go much deeper to target specifics, especially elements that can be
“These buildings have complex systems – if they don’t have a good understanding of how they’re supposed to work, how are they suppose to operate them?” measured such as energy and water.” Design should be delivered in an integrated fashion with all the stakeholders involved instead of teams working in silos. “The quality of the design team also makes a big difference,” he advised, noting that selecting a team based on lowest fee might be reflected in the outcome of the quality of the design. John Lutz, Senior Building Performance Advisor at Integral, stressed that the commissioning authority should be involved early on
in a project but is “often an afterthought.” Involving the commissioning authority early provides greater opportunity to identify possible operation, installation, and performance issues long before they become an issue. Energy modelling should also be done early in the design stage. But Ali Nazari, Integral Principal, acknowledged there is some confusion when it comes to energy modelling because there are different ones. “Each modelling has a different purpose and it’s very important to
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Canadian Property Management | November 2015 43
greenpromise&delivery understand what is the benefit of each to help the project achieve real sustainability goals,” he said, citing the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre as an example where upfront modelling eliminated the need for a cooling system all together. Mikler added that LEED compliance energy modelling models the “fictitious reference case versus the proposed building. If you’re using LEED energy modelling results, they are not necessarily predictive of the actual energy use.” CONCEPTUAL MEETS PRACTICAL When the project moves into the construction stage, gaps can occur depending on the contractor’s ability to interpret design documents and execute on the intended design. “How we work together can have positive impacts on the schedule and costs,” said Clinton Undseth, Vice President Innovation, with the general contractor/construction management firm, Stuart Olson. “Collaboration is fundamental in how we bring together the conceptual with the practical.
There is a lack of an information management plan where data is carried into construction and into operation of the building.” Value engineering can also have big impacts on projects. When changes are made, “all those decisions ultimately affect the end performance of the building,” Mikler concurred. Handover and operation of the project creates “by far the largest gap”, according to Lutz, due to i n s u ffi c i e n t bu i l d i n g o p e r a t o r t r a i n i n g a n d p o o r k n ow l e d g e transfer. Allowing for adequate overlap in handovers is critical. “These buildings have complex systems – if they don’t have a good understanding of how they’re supposed to work, how are they suppose to operate them?” he said. “It can lead to a big break down.” The challenge is to ensure all the information (operating and maintenance manuals) is turned over to t h e bu i l d i n g ’s o p e r a t i n g a n d maintenance team and that they have good understanding of the original design intent.
Most modern buildings, especially in the commercial sector, have their key operation parameters being metered, and the amount of data can be o v e r w h e l m i n g , n o t e d M i k l e r. Leveraging information management s y s t e m s t h r o u g h o u t t h e bu i l d i n g lifecycle will help achieve the building’s targeted performance. zz Cheryl Mah is based in Vancouver as the Managing Editor of the REMI network publications, Construction Business and Design Quarterly.
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REAL CONTENT. REAL TRAFFIC. ONTHLY AVERAGES 2015 M
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MERGING INDUSTRY LEADING BRANDS
IE W S
COMMUNITY ENERGY PLANS ON FRONT LINE OF SAVINGS
Policies, Programs, Data and Peer Linkages Support Achievements By Patricia Bell, Peter Robinson, Tonja Leach, Eric Campbell and Cheryl Ratchford
More than 150 cities and towns accommodating more than 50% of Canada's population have developed and implemented community energy plans. These documents set out priorities for boosting energy efficiency, curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and promoting economic development through targets, policies and promised action steps. Proponents maintain that these plans are the critical local link and frontline embodiment of national, provincial and territorial goals and initiatives. The following is an excerpt from a joint report from the Community Energy Association, QUEST (Quality Urban Energy Systems for Tomorrow) and Sustainable Prosperity, with recommendations on potential for and paybacks of linking the efforts nationally â€“ Editor CITIES, TOWNS AND VILLAGES have influence over approximately 60% of energy consumption and over half of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada. On average, community per capita spending on energy ranges from $3,000 to $4,000, equating to $1 billion per year in total for an average-sized community. As a result, there is an opportunity to substantially reduce energy spending at the community level through a more integrated approach to energy planning and to recirculate the savings within the local economy. While many communities in Canada are advancing community energy plans 46 November 2015 | Canadian Property Management
(CEPs) to define priorities around energy, all communities need help getting from plans and ideas to implementation. A range of existing provincial and territorial programs and policies support both the development of plans and implementation of actions. The most common policy and program is for alternative energy projects, followed by transportation and energy efficiency in buildings. However, provinces and territories are generally missing the opportunity to support CEP development with energy data, which is a critical first step for the development and implementation of CEPs. The
availability of energy inventories and monitoring is low, and absent entirely in some provinces and territories. There is also an opportunity for provinces and territories to enhance the linkage between policies and energy used in communities. For example, transportation, which accounts for about 18% of energy used in communities, is inadequately reflected in policies and programs in some provinces and territo r i e s . A d d i t i o n a l l y, m a n y provinces and territories have biomass strategies, yet implementation of biomass district energy projects is still relatively rare. This type of discrepancy suggests that more integration between provincial/territorial policies and communities is needed. Local governments' land use and infrastructure planning decisions affect transportation, residential, commercial, industrial and non-urban sectors, and have direct, long-term implications for community energy demand and energy costs. Energy planning in communities can help mitigate against risks including
Image courtesy of QUEST
greenpromise&delivery Figure 1 – Community Energy Plans across Canada
66% Northwest Territories
25% Newfoundland and Labrador
74% British Columbia
0% Prince Edward Island 56% Alberta 40% Saskatchewan
45% Nova Scotia 7% Manitoba
% of Population Represented by a CEP (filled from bottom)
11% New Brunswick 34% Quebec
Researched Community Energy Plans Other Community Energy Plans
rising energy prices, increasing climatic changes and stranded assets that may arise due to a shift toward a future lowcarbon economy. CEPs also establish a community level framework for addressing provincial and territorial energy objectives and can directly support provincial and territorial energy objectives influenced by these sectors. SPINOFF ECONOMIC BENEFITS There are no known provincial and territorial targets that specifically address the reduction of energy spending in communities. Meanwhile, a significant proportion of energy spending in communities leaves local economies. For example, of the $1.5 billion spent on energy in London, Ontario, annually, 88% leaves the local economy and 33% leaves the province. There is an opportunity to substantially reduce energy spending at the community level through a more integrated approach to energy planning, and to recirculate the savings within the local economy. CEPs can be integrated with economic
development or innovation plans at the community level and guide investment in energy efficiency, technology and fuels, and contribute to the establishment of local energy management programs. Investing in CEP development and implementation can have other economic benefits including job creation, business retention and attraction, and housing affordability. For example, in British Columbia, the City of Richmond’s Alexandra district energy utility provides renewable geoexchange heating to more than 600 residential and commercial units. Construction of the system supported 105 temporary jobs and operating the system supports eight fulltime jobs. At full build-out, the system will provide the city with a 6.5% internal rate of return over 30 years. Investments like this can help diversify a community’s revenue base and provide additional funds for community programs. Clean technology is Canada’s fastestgrowing industry. Analytica’s 2014 Canadian Clean Technology Report,
found direct employment by clean technology companies rose 6% from 2011 to 2012, from 38,800 to 41,000 workers, with revenues increasing 9% to $11.3-billion. At the current growth rate, Analytica estimates Canada’s clean tech industry will be worth $28 billion by 2022. In addition, a Conference Board of Canada analysis entitled Investing in GHG Emissions-Reduction Technology: Assessing the Impact states that investments in GHG emissions reduction technology that were partially funded by the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC) in Alberta between 2011 to 2016, are projected to contribute more than $2.4 billion (in 2007 dollars) and add 15,017 person-years of fulltime-equivalent employment to the Canadian economy. LEGISLATIVE IMPACT AT THE LOCAL LEVEL Improving energy efficiency in new and existing buildings is essential for achieving provincial and territorial energy objectives. This includes both publicly owned buildings (municipal and provincial facilities) and privately owned buildings (residential housing, commercial and industrial). Buildings account for about 12% of Canada’s GHG emissions and 25% of energy end-use in communities, the majority of which is attributable to existing buildings. GHG emissions in Canada’s commercial and residential buildings increased by 14 megatonnes of carbon dioxide between 1990 and 2005, and have remained relatively stable around the 2005 levels through to 2011. Between 2005 and 2009, 40% of Canadian floor space received energy retrofits, leading to the stabilization of GHG emissions for buildings since 2005, despite a growing population and increased housing stock and commercial and institutional building stock. Approaches for new buildings include setting standards or creating incentives so that new buildings exceed the National Energy Code for Buildings (green building standards, stretch building codes). Approaches for existing buildings focus on structural improvements to increase energy efficiency. Alternative energy approaches include those that generate electricity or heat from renewable resources, capture waste Canadian Property Management | November 2015 47
greenpromise&delivery heat or use existing approaches more efficiently. Technologies are varied and include, but are not exclusive to, wind, hydroelectricity, solar, district energy, waste heat capture and combined heat and power. Mechanisms include requirements (legislation, regulation) or incentives (feed-in tariffs, technology funding, policy support). Some successful programs with measured community-based achievements include: Nova Scotia's Efficiency One Demand Side Management Program
Efficiency One in Nova Scotia (formerly Efficiency Nova Scotia), was created in 2010 as a non-profit via the Efficiency Nova Scotia Corporation Act to offer energy efficiency programs to upgrade existing buildings. The agency is led by an independent board of directors and is regulated by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. Its programs are funded by a Demand Side Management Cost Recovery Rider (DCRR) on residential and industrial customers’ energy bills. As of 2013,
A Comprehensive Approach to Supporting CEP Implementation
Energy Efficiency in Buildings
Inventories and Monitoring Progress
Transportation, Transit and Active Transportation
Community Energy Plans
Energy and GHG Targets Landfill Gas Capture
energy efficiency initiatives (with an uptake of over 150,000 participants) have reduced the annual electricity load by 5.5%. Cost savings for participants in 2014 were estimated at $78 million. British Columbia's Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program
The Climate Action Revenue Incentive
Program (CARIP) grant, which is available to each local government, is equal to 100% of the carbon tax they have directly paid. To be eligible for the CARIP grant, local governments are required to report publicly on their plans and progress toward meeting their corporate and community-wide climate action goals and submit a copy of their final public report to the Province. Community-based projects funded by CARIP include the construction of bike lanes and sidewalks, diversion of organic waste, reduction of municipal fleet and lighting costs and the use of solar photovoltaics and district heat for both corporate operations and private · buildings – resulting in both cost savings and new revenue. According to the 2013 CARIP Summary Report, 36 local governments, representing 22% of local governments, achieved carbon neutrality in 2013. Local governments reduced GHG emissions by approximately 115,530 tonnes of GHGs in 2013 through local GHG reduction projects, which is a 54% increase in GHG emissions reductions
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greenpromise&delivery over 2012. In total, almost 9,200 individual corporate and community projects were undertaken between 2010 and 2012, resulting in 91,000 tonnes of GHG emissions reductions. Manitoba's Coal Heating Ban
In 2011, Manitoba announced an emissions tax on coal in anticipation of a pending ban on coal heating, thereby giving many small coal users time to make the switch to alternatives. As of J a n u a r y 1 , 2 0 1 4 , M a n i t o b a ’s Conservation and Water Stewardship office introduced North America’s first petroleum coke and coal heating ban with a grace period up to July 1, 2017 for emitters with approved conversion plans filed by June 30th, 2014. All revenues from Manitoba’s 2012 emissions tax on coal ($500,000 in 2013) are being redirected to support the transition from coal to carbon-neutral biomass energy. The petroleum coke and coal-heating ban has reduced emissions by between 50,000 – 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
B.C's Solar Hot Water Ready Regulation
The Province of British Columbia introduced a new Solar Hot Water Ready Regulation for single-family homes allowing communities that opt in to the regulation to require new single‑family homes to be solar hot water ready (plumbing, electrical and roof structures and building orientation are set up to support solar hot water equipment). This is one way that communities can require the development community to build beyond the requirements of the building code. Since it was first offered, 48 of B.C.'s local governments, representing almost 30% of all municipalities in the province, have signed on to the regulation and implemented solar hot water ready requirements in their communities. OPPORTUNITY & CHALLENGE Provincial and territorial policy approaches for CEP development and implementation can be reflected along a continuum, ranging from a hands-off approach to encouraging or requiring specific action at the community level. Despite cultural, geo-political and
resource differences among provinces and territories, there is an opportunity to replicate successful programs to support the development and implementation of CEPs in Canadian communities. What is clear, is the challenge. Under the Copenhagen Accord agreed to in 2009, Canada committed to reducing its emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020, resulting in a target of 611 megatonnes (MT) emitted in 2020. Projections show that, under a “current measures scenario,” Canada will fall short of achieving this target by 116 MT, highlighting a need for enhanced efforts. In May 2015, the Federal government announced a new Canadian GHG emissions reduction target of 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. In addition to establishing a national target, some Canadian provinces and territories have established their own GHG emissions reduction targets. zz The complete text of the National Report on Policies Supporting Community Energy Plan Implementation can be found at http://gettingtoimplementation.ca/category/ resources/publications/
after a disaster. Are you prepared?
Canadian Property Management | November 2015 49 15-03-26 1:15 PM
CHOOSING AND VERIFYING SAFE PRODUCTS
Built Environment Enters Mainstream of Transparency Movement
THE U.S. GREEN BUILDING Council (USGBC) set a new course for health considerations in buildings with the release of its new LEED v4 standard in November of 2013 (also adopted by the CaGBC in Canada), establishing a systematic approach through which the building community can address chemicals of high concern to people and the environment. Two new LEED v4 credits advance better knowledge of chemicals in products through disclosure, and the selection of safer alternatives through optimization. Health experts have long recognized the risks of individual and groups of toxic chemicals in building products, beginning with lead and asbestos and expanding to include formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), 50 November 2015 | Canadian Property Management
mercury, arsenic and certain phthalates and flame retardants. These chemicals, among many others, are associated with a range of adverse health and environmental effects including asbestosis, cancer, eco-toxicity, endocrine disruption and neuro-toxicity. GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals is a LEED-recognized tool that manufacturers, designers and developers can use to select materials and products and comply with LEED v4 verification requirements. A newly released "How to" guide charts a four-step process: product inventory; chemical hazard assessment; reporting; and LEEDcompliant verification. This advises manufacturers on steps to certify their products for LEED v4 compliance, and
helps architects, designers and LEED project reviewers to more easily identify product documentation that meets USGBC and CaGBC requirements. Developed by the non-profit Clean Production Action, GreenScreen was envisioned as means to better inform: procurement; product design and development; standards; and policies. It sets out four benchmarks on the path to safer chemicals, with each benchmark defining progressively safer chemicals. This builds on the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry and the US EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) alternatives assessment method, which consolidates the available data on a chemical’s inherent characteristics – including human health effects, environmental fate
greenpromise&delivery and toxicity, and safety – into a table of hazard endpoints each ranked as high, moderate or low. From there, the hazard evaluations are further consolidated into a single benchmark that provides an easy means for comparing chemicals. GreenScreen also addresses the hazards posed by a chemical when it breaks down in the environment. Users can rank chemicals and understand why some alternatives are more or less preferable. This helps them make more informed decisions, reduce their business risk and promote innovation. CREDITS & CRITERIA LEED v4's credit for Material ingredient reporting rewards project teams for selecting products that have complete ingredient disclosures. Transparency is a critical step in changing the chemical content of products and improving the health of indoor environments as it makes knowledge of material ingredients in products available to the building community and the public in general. The more customers know about the chemicals in their products the better prepared they are to avoid chemicals of high concern and to request safer alternatives. From Apple in the electronics sector to the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) initiative in the apparel sector, transparency about chemicals in products across their lifecycle is a growing trend. LEED v4 places the built environment into the mainstream of the transparency movement. LEED v4's Material ingredient optimization credit emphasizes the importance of replacing toxic chemicals with safer alternatives, thus avoiding regrettable substitutes where, for example, a manufacturer replaces one toxic flame retardant with another that is equally toxic. This optimization credit provides points for both avoiding chemicals on scientifically authoritative lists, as well as for selecting inherently safer alternatives. The new guidance document was developed in collaboration with business and environmental leaders with the intent of providing users with clear step-by-step instruction on how to apply the GreenScreen method and earn points for one or both LEED v4 options. Two types of GreenScreen assessment results can be used to meet the LEED v4 credit for Disclosure and
Health & Safety insight at:
Optimization: 1) GreenScreen Benchmark scores generated using a Certified GreenScreen assessment and/or 2) a listbased assessment using the GreenScreen List Translator. zz The preceding article was supplied by Clean Production Action. For more information about the GreenScreen guide for LEED v4, see the website at www.greenscreenchemicals.org/ method or www.cleanproduction.org.
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Addressing Short-Lived Climate Pollutants
California – Quebec and Ontario's partner in the Western Climate Initiative's cap-andtrade market for carbon emissions – is considering stepped up policies and regulatory initiatives to address the short-lived climate pollutants that join carbon dioxide in the atmospheric soup of greenhouse gases. A recently released draft strategy from the California Environmental Protection Agency's, Air Resources Board makes the case for action. The following is an excerpt – Editor.
SCIENCE UNEQUIVOCALLY underscores the need to immediately reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), which include black carbon (soot), methane (CH4) and fluorinated gases (F-gases, including hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs). They are powerful climate forcers and dangerous air pollutants that remain in the atmosphere for a much shorter period of time than longer-lived climate pollutants, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and are estimated to be responsible for about 40% of current net climate forcing. While reducing CO2 emissions will limit total warming over the long term, reducing 52 November 2015 | Canadian Property Management
emissions of SLCPs will effectively slow the near-term rate of climate change. Therefore, the best path forward is to emphasize a coordinated strategy for simultaneous emission reductions for both SLCPs and CO2, which is needed to keep average warming below 2°C this century. Short-lived climate pollutants have atmospheric lifetimes on the order of a few days to a few decades, and their relative climate forcing impacts, when measured in terms of how they heat the atmosphere, can be tens, hundreds or even thousands of times greater than that of CO2. Short-lived climate pollutants contribute about 40% to the
current anthropogenic global radiative forcing, which is the primary forcing agent for observed climate change. GLOBAL WARMING POTENTIAL The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) developed the concept of global warming potential (GWP) as an index to evaluate the climate impacts of different greenhouse gases (GHGs) including SLCPs. This metric provides a comparison of the ability of each GHG to trap heat in the atmosphere relative to CO2 over a specified time horizon. Global warming potentials account for the lifetime of different GHGs in the atmosphere, and the amount of energy they absorb on a per-kilogram basis, relative to CO2, to represent the relative climate forcing of a kilogram of emissions when averaged over a time period of interest (for example, 20 years or 10 years). Looking at prominent SLCPs, use of GWPs with a time horizon of 20 years better captures the importance of the SLCPs and
The 21st Annual Survey
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Who’s Who 2016
Here’s how to participate in the 21st annual Who’s Who in the Canadian Real Estate Industry survey. Please take a moment to complete this questionnaire and fax it back to (416) 512-8344 by February 19, 2016. Your participation ensures the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the list so don’t miss the opportunity. - Barbara Carss, Editor Note:
1. This survey pertains to Canadian properties only. Please do not report any properties outside of the country. 2. If your ownership interest in any property is diluted, i.e. by a partnership, joint venture or other structure, please report only your net interest. 3. Please print your responses clearly. 4. Please provide all estimates of space managed and/or owned in square feet. Manage Only
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4. Industrial Properties 5. Retail Properties 6. Other Properties (Government, Health Care, Hotel, Educational etc.)
Total following information will not be released in the printed listing. It is, however, essential that you include this information should we need to confirm the accuracy of the estimates you are providing. Name: ____________________________________________________ Title: __________________________________________ Company: _________________________________________________Email: __________________________________________ Telephone: __________________________________________________Fax: __________________________________________ Please sign and date this form in the space provided to authorize this submission. ______________________________ Authorized Signature
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greenpromise&delivery gives a better perspective on the speed at which SLCP emission controls will impact the atmosphere relative to CO2 emission controls. Methane has a 20-year GWP 72 times greater than CO2; F-gases have a 20-year GWP ranging from 437 to 6,350 times greater than CO2; and black carbon has a 20-year GWP 3,200 times greater than CO2. Black Carbon
With respect to climate impact, black carbon is the principal absorber of visible solar radiation in the atmosphere, while organic carbon is often described as lightreflecting compounds. Black carbon is emitted from burning fuels such as coal, diesel and biomass. It contributes to climate change both directly by absorbing sunlight and indirectly by depositing on snow and by interacting with clouds and affecting cloud formation. In addition to its climate and health impacts, black carbon disrupts cloud formation, precipitation patterns, water storage in snowpack and glaciers, and agricultural productivity. Methane
Methane is the principal component of natural gas and is also produced biologically under anaerobic conditions in ruminants (animals with a four-part stomach, including cattle and sheep), landfills and waste handling. Atmospheric methane concentrations have been increasing as a result of human activities related to agriculture, fossil fuel extraction and distribution, and waste generation and processing. The atmospheric lifetime of methane is about 12 years. It is well mixed within the atmosphere and, like other GHGs, warms the atmosphere by blocking infrared radiation (heat) that is re-emitted from the earth’s surface from reaching space. Almost all of methane’s impact occurs within the first two decades after it is emitted. Methane is responsible for about 20% of current global warming and methane emissions continue to increase globally. There is particular concern among scientists that continued climate warming may cause massive releases of methane from thawing artic permafrost and dissolve frozen methane clathrate deposits trapped within shallow ocean sea floors. Methane also contributes to global background levels of ozone in the lower atmosphere (troposphere). Photooxidation of both methane and carbon 54 November 2015 | Canadian Property Management
monoxide lead to net production of global background levels of ozone. Ozone itself is a powerful SLCP, as well as a regional ground level air pollutant. Tropospheric ozone is not emitted directly into the atmosphere, but rather formed by photochemical reactions. Its average atmospheric lifetime of a few weeks produces a global distribution highly variable by season, altitude and location. The radiative forcing of tropospheric ozone is primarily attributed to emissions of methane, but also to carbon monoxide, volatile organics and nitrogen oxides that eventually form ozone. Fluorinated Gases
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are synthetic gases used in refrigeration, air conditioning, insulating foams, solvents, aerosol products and fire protection. They are primarily produced for use as substitutes for ozonedepleting substances, including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are being phased out under the Montreal Protocol. Currently, HFCs are a small fraction of the total climate forcing, but they are the fastest growing source of GHG emissions globally, primarily driven by the increased demand for refrigeration and air conditioning. The mix of HFCs in current use, weighted by usage (tonnage), has an average atmospheric lifetime of 15 years. HFCs are also potent GHGs, with a warming effect hundreds to thousands of times more powerful than CO2. The average GWP of the current mix of HFCs being used is about 1,600. Studies indicate that a lack of action to prevent the growth of HFCs would greatly undermine efforts to address climate change. A recent study concluded that replacing high-GWP HFCs with low-GWP alternatives could avoid 0.1°C of warming by 2050 and warming of up to 0.5°C by 2100, offering one of the most cost-effective climate mitigation strategies available. PARTNERS & BENEFICIARIES Studies in d i c a t e t h a t ava i l a b l e technologies, if universally adopted, can effectively reduce global methane emissions an estimated 40% and black carbon an estimated 80% percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Additionally, a global phase-down of HFCs currently being negotiated under the Montreal Protocol and other efforts could cut the
expected production of HFCs by up to 70% by 2030, and up to 85% by 2035. Achieving these levels of global reductions would deliver significant climate benefits. It would cut the expected rate of global warming in half by 2050, slowing global temperature rise by about 0.6 °C, which would reduce the risk of dangerous climate impacts such as accelerated Arctic melting and sea level rise. SLCP emission reductions would reduce local air pollution and produce other co-benefits. The benefits could be even greater in the Arctic, which is especially vulnerable to black carbon emissions and is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. This would be critically important for stabilizing climate change and its impacts, as the Arctic is an important driver of sea level rise and weather patterns throughout the northern hemisphere. Strong, near-term action to cut emissions of SLCPs, in conjunction with immediate and continuous reductions in emissions of CO2, is the only way to stabilize global warming below 2°C. Accordingly, California has signed a number of agreements to work together with other countries, including China and Mexico, to support actions to fight climate change and cut air pollution. Additionally, California is bringing together states, provinces, cities and regions under the Sub-national Global Climate Leadership Memorandum of Understanding, which commits signatories to take steps to reduce SLCP and CO2 emissions and meet the goal of keeping global average warming below the 2°C threshold by reducing their GHG emissions to under 2 metric tonnes per capita, or 80 to 95% percent below 1990 levels, by 2050. To date, a total of 41 jurisdictions (including Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia and Yukon) representing 19 countries and five continents have signed or endorsed the MOU, collectively representing more than U.S. $12.3 trillion in GDP and 387 million people. If the signatories represented a single country, it would be the second largest economy in the world behind only the United States. California will continue to share its successes and approach with others, to expand action to address climate change. zz The complete text of California's Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy can be found at www.arb.ca.gov/cc/shortlived/ shortlived.htm
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Canadian Property Management | November 2015 55
GLASS AESTHETICS HAVE OPERATIONAL TRADEOFFS Condensation, Drafts and Fluctuating Interior Temperatures EYE-CATCHING aesthetics and demand for more light and sightlines underpin the popularity of floor-to-ceiling glass facades, but temperature control and energy efficiency challenges typically come with the clear package. Although building owners/managers can confidently anticipate reduced reliance on artificial light, less favourable tradeoffs can include condensation, drafts and/or fluctuating energy loads. Particularly in colder climates, frost build-up can occur on window exteriors, necessitating perimeter heating. Time of day and weather conditions are felt more intensely – for example, interior temperatures can jump nearly 4° C on sunny days. If occupants then open windows to cool down, there is direct energy loss. In a 2013 article in TreeHugger, the architect and building science consultant, John Straube, observed: “Most of the tremendous performance gains in glazing technology over the past 25 years have been squandered on increased window area, not improved performance.” Low-temperature hydronic heating and cooling systems offer a means to offset condensation, cold zones and fluctuating indoor temperatures and accommodate consumers' desire for glass. The principle of convection – or the transfer of heat energy via a moving medium – creates a circular airflow. With hydronic heating, air flows up into a coil containing hot water, is warmed and then dispersed throughout the room. As the air cools, it sinks back down to again move through the coil. When placed discretely along floor-toceiling windows, convection can create a curtain of warm air throughout an entire room, providing a barrier between a cold 56 November 2015 | Canadian Property Management
window and nearby occupants. In contrast, in-floor radiant heating systems with radiant panels rely on radiation, rather than convection, to warm a surrounding area from the floor upwards. Heat from radiation is concentrated on both sides of a traditional radiator’s panels but the effect causes significant energy losses on the window side, and the heating effect from the roomfacing side of a radiator decreases as a person gets further away from the unit. To deal with fluctuating energy loads, the mass of the radiator needs to be as low as possible. The lower the water content and weight of the heat emitter, the lower the inertia and the more controllable it becomes. Radiators equipped with optimized heat exchange technology are better heat conductors and have a lower overall mass – some models now contain only 10% of the water content that traditional radiators hold so they can react almost immediately as external factors change. Low-H20 solutions are also a safer choice compared to hot panel radiators near windows because during a cold winter day, traditional radiators generate a lot of thermal stress on the glazing. In these periods, the glass becomes brittle and can easily crack from the slightest impact. On a warm day, these systems can quickly reduce output during times when the building is able to take advantage of the natural solar and internal loads. Studies have shown that sunlight that suddenly enters a building through double glazing can add more than 3400 BTU/hr per 11 square feet of glass to a room – contributing to occupants' discomfort. On the flipside, studies have shown that improved comfort can positively influence employee productivity. According to David
Pogue, national director of sustainability at CB Richard Ellis, worker performance improves with temperatures up to 22° C (72° F), and experiences a downturn with temperatures above 23 to 24° C (73 to 75° F). As building owners look to renovate older buildings with more advanced technology or build new structures, old boiler systems are being phased out and hydronic solutions are being incorporated. Using them, developers and engineers have found energy savings of up to 30 to 40% greater than the minimum standard set in ASHRAE 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. They are also seeing a paybacks of less than five years with low-temperature systems. Hydronic cooling options allow for individual climate controls so that building occupants can set the unit to their preferred temperature rather than having a single thermostat control the temperature for every unit on a floor. This can be particularly well suited for apartments in multi-residential buildings. Hydronic systems eliminate the need for ductwork, which can free as much as an additional foot of ceiling space per floor. In new construction, it's then possible to add another floor or penthouse suites in highrises, generating additional revenue within the same vertical footprint. Absence of ductwork also means absence of dust and bacteria that can collect in it, making for better indoor air quality. zz The preceding article is drawn from the whitepaper, Indoor Climate Control in Glass Buildings, by Jaga Canada Climate Systems Inc. For more information, see the website at www.jaga-canada.com.
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PASSIVE HOUSE FOR RETROFITS
Engineering Faculty Housed in World's Largest Certified Building
IT MIGHT BE SAID that the newly refurbished Faculty of Technical Science at the University of Innsbruck (Austria) is literally home to the Passive House Institute – or at least to its Director, Dr. Wolfgang Feist, who, as a professor with the university's Institute for Energy-Efficient Construction, also has an office in the building. The 390,000-square-foot, eight storey, circa 1968 structure is now the world’s largest building to be certified to the EnerPHit standard for retrofits of existing buildings using Passive House components. Following an extensive renovation, the building now performs well within EnerPHit's prescribed heating demand of no greater than 25 kilowatt-hours per square metre annually (kWh/m²) with heating demand of just 21 kWh/m² (1.95 kWh/ft²). To achieve this, the Passive House Institute worked closely with the designers undertaking a complete overhaul of the building envelope and building services. Only the reinforced concrete structure, consisting of ceilings and supports, was retained. The EnerPHit standard is specially tailored to the particularities of retrofit projects. While the Passive House standard is geared to achieving a heating and cooling energy- use intensity no greater than 15 kWh/m²(1.4 kWh/ft²) in new construction, retrofit criteria recognize the challenges of applying the principles seamlessly to the existing built form. Nevertheless, the use of Passive House components in refurbishments have realized significant reductions in heating energy demand – dropping from 180 kWh/m² (16.7 kWh/ft²) in the case of the Faculty of Technical Science. At the same time, occupant comfort improved substantially. Among other things, this was due to automatically controlled passive cooling at night via windows in summer, the supply of fresh air directly into the office areas through adequately dimensioned transferred air openings, and a good level of thermal protection of the 58 November 2015 | Canadian Property Management
Photo courtesy of Passive House Institute
By Benjamin Wünsch
façade. The efficiency of electrical equipment was also increased. Besides energy efficiency, the aspects of healthy living, building preservation and lifecycle costs are also taken into account. The overarching objective is quality assurance; with EnerPHit certification, building owners can be sure that an optimal standard of thermal protection is actually ensured. This is particularly important because subsequent correction of inadequate thermal protection measures is almost always uneconomical. "The basic principle, which should be applied for each structural intervention in an existing building, is: If it has to be done, it should be done properly," Dr. Feist says. Calculation with the design tool PHPP (Passive House Planning Package), which is necessary for EnerPHit certification, provides reliable energy values for a building. Due to the individual features of refurbishment projects, the energy-relevant criteria apply for individual building components. Exceeding the respective limit
values is permissible if the building has a maximum heating demand of 25 kWh/m² despite this. "It is getting increasingly colder outside now into autumn, but inside the building it remains pleasantly warm, without the need for using the radiators," Dr. Feist observes. "The building already passed the heat test this past summer. When the temperature in Innsbruck was a record-breaking 37°C (99°F), even without air conditioning it remained cool enough to work in the office, thanks to the passive technology. A huge improvement compared with the previous situation." The general public also got an opportunity to see during this year's International Passive House Days, November 13 -15, when the Faculty of Technical Science was one of several hundred buildings worldwide to welcome visitors. zz Benjamin Wünsch is the Press Officer with the Passive House Institute. For more information, see the website at www.passivehouse.com.
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