Monday, December 29, 2008

Government Incentives for Green Building

Looking for tax incentives, loans or grants for green building? Try the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency

DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.

DSIRE is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wild Monongahela

The Wild Monongahela Act was introduced last January, with the sponsorship of all five members of West Virginia’s Congressional Delegation. The measure stands to protect nearly 40,000 acres over six areas on the Monongahela National Forest. Three existing wilderness areas; Dolly Sods, Cranberry and Otter Creek would be expanded while three additional areas; Big Draft, Spice Run and Roaring Plains West would be created under the legislation. After the bill passed the House of Representatives by an overwhelming margin, it passed Senate committee and has since been packaged in with around 150 other public lands bills in a large omnibus. Unfortunately, attention to recent economic crises has forced the legislation to be shelved until lawmakers return to Washington in January.

The West Virginia Wilderness Coalition is optimistic that the measure can still be taken up as a top priority early in 2009. Years and years of hard work by West Virginians and our Congressional leaders have gone into making this legislation possible.

Please consider making a quick phone call to West Virginia’s Senators and ask that they continue to work with Senate leadership to ensure the Wild Monongahela Act remains a top priority for the 111th Congress.

Senator Byrd: 202-224-3954
Senator Rockefeller: 202-224-6472

Monday, December 8, 2008

18 Free Green Ebooks Worth Reading

Whether you like to read, enjoy learning new things, or just need a good resource to make your life a little greener - check out these free eco ebooks and satisfy your literary cravings:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Study: Green Building Could Triple in 5 Years

A McGraw-Hill Construction study estimates that the value of green building construction could increase a possible 300 percent to as much as $140 billion by 2013.
Green Outlook 2009 observes that green building construction’s value has risen by a factor of five between 2005 and 2008, increasing from $10 billion to an estimated range of $36 billion to $49 billion.
“Green growth is phenomenal across the globe,” says McGraw-Hill’s Harvey M. Bernstein. “The business opportunities afforded by green building, even in the midst of a global economic crisis, are real and recognized by industry players.”
Green Outlook 2009 comes on the heels of two other highly positive McGraw-Hill reports: A September report predicted a major surge in growth and profits in green construction globally, while a second study in October concluded that green residential construction is continuing to trend upward despite the economic downturn.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Building For The Environment


More and more businesses are going green but not just when it comes to recycling paper and buying fuel-efficient vehicles.
Some companies are building green.

West Virginia University Design Studies Professor Chris Haddox says, when it's time for new construction, businesses are building more eco-friendly offices. "One, it's the right thing to do. Two, they can differentiate themselves in a market that's beginning to demand green and it's easier to stay ahead of the curve than to try and catch up."

So what constitutes a green building?

"A green building is one that emphasizes resource efficiency whether that's energy, water, materials. It emphasizes high indoor air quality, good lighting, connectivity to goods and services. It's looking at the impacts of everything that goes into or comes out of that building."

Haddox says you don't have to spend a fortune to build green. "Doing passive solar design for example, you're not installing a lot of fancy equipment. It's orienting the building in a way to take advantage of the sunlight energy."

Why is building green so important?

"The build environment in the U.S. produces about 40% of our carbon dioxide output, which is about 3% more than the transportation industry produces."

Building green may cost a bit more in the short term, but Haddox says, in the long run, it will save a company money and help save the environment.

Monday, November 17, 2008

West Virginia University selected for EPA brownfields grant

Source: US EPA - Environmental Protection Agency Published Sep. 10, 2008
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected West Virginia University to receive an estimated $550,000 grant to help identify mine-scarred lands that are suitable for redevelopment into biofuels and other alternative energy production sites.
The EPA brownfields grant, -- to be spread over four years -- will be used by the university's water research institute to provide technical assistance to rural Appalachian communities in identifying potential energy production sites called sustainable energy parks. These parks will generate local economic growth, decrease or offset greenhouse gases through carbon sequestration and promote renewable energy technologies.
'EPA’s brownfields initiatives have energized communities by breathing new life into abandoned properties, rebuilding tax bases, and providing valuable employment opportunities for local residents,' said Donald S. Welsh, administrator for EPA's mid-Atlantic region. 'We’re committed to building partnerships that ensure people in the local communities reap the benefits of brownfields redevelopment.'
The grant to West Virginia University is one of 10 EPA grants awarded nationwide this year for brownfields training, research, and technical assistance projects that explore new and innovative ideas in the areas of human health, environmental protections, sustainable development, and equitable development.
'This significant milestone award is an outstanding compliment to the work West Virginia University is poised to execute as part of its advanced energy initiative - a strategy that will tackle America's energy problems with innovative research and public policy development,' said Dr. Curt Peterson, West Virginia University vice president for research and economic development. 'Creation of sustainable energy parks on mine-scarred lands is the kind of strategy that this nation and its best thinkers and leaders must pursue in the drive toward energy independence.
Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. In January 2002, President Bush signed the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, which increased funding, expanded authority, and provided liability protection to help communities revitalize brownfields. EPA provides grants, technical assistance and training to support local brownfields efforts.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Green Leases and Green Buildings

Here is a good article on Green Leases and Buildings from the latest issue of Probate and Property

Sunday, October 19, 2008

West Virginia University selected for EPA brownfields grant

PHILADELPHIA - (September 10, 2008) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected West Virginia University to receive an estimated $550,000 grant to help identify mine-scarred lands that are suitable for redevelopment into biofuels and other alternative energy production sites.

Read Press Release -- cut and paste this link into your browser:!OpenDocument

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Coal v. Green Power

Solar power plants and other renewable energy sources are real, competitive threats that neither the coal industry nor the state's political and academic leaders should dismiss, a consultant warned Wednesday at the second West Virginia Coal Forum.

Read entire article

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

West Virginia Wind Power

Wind Powering America: West Virginia Wind Resource Map

The Department of Energy's Wind Program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published a new wind resource map for the state of West Virginia . This resource map shows wind speed estimates at 50 meters above the ground and depicts the resource that could be used for utility-scale wind development. Future plans are to provide wind speed estimates at 30 meters, which are useful for identifying small wind turbine opportunities.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Green Building Seminar

Thanks to all who attended today. Joe Massaro and Mike Tarle gave a great presentation. I hope it's the start of a great relationship between Massaro and JK.

You can download the Power Point presentation by RIGHT clicking on the link below and saving the zip file on your hard drive. It's a big file (8mb) so be forewarned.

Massaro Power Point Zip file

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Brokers must be up to speed on green trends

With the amount of publicity on “going green,” most corporations are now including a statement addressing sustainability in their corporate responsibility policies, and based on the marketing and cost savings that have come to light, you can bet that Fortune 1000 firms will continue to put these policies in place within the next few years.

The value of green depends upon the angle from which you view it — green costs versus benefits is different for landlords and tenants, so should be approached differently by landlord representatives and tenant representatives. The body of knowledge related to the LEED green building rating system is something all brokers will need to become familiar with as it becomes a part of increasing numbers of real estate transactions.

To continue reading, go to:^1710857&surround=etf

Thursday, September 18, 2008

News and Notes

Michigan Business Review - MLive.comGreen building: Here to stayMichigan Business Review - - Ann Arbor,MI,USAThe United States Green Building Council, which administers LEED certification, says LEED buildings use 30 to 50 percent less energy and up to 40 percent ...
Raleigh's Convention Center Goes for LEEDBy Evelyn(Evelyn) It makes a lot of sense for municipalities and universities to pursue LEED certification because they will likely own and operate the building for decades - plenty of time for the energy savings to offset the upfront costs of LEED ...Springleaf Adventures -

GREEN- Wind jammer: Should homeowner suit stymie Virginia's first ..."In West Virginia," explains Webb, "they've seen about 4000 of these dead bats at a 44-turbine project there, and they've recently determined it's not the blades, but the vortex their spinning creates that causes a pressure change - Current Articles -

Are Green Buildings Really Losing Their Appeal?GreenerBuildings - USAFor the hard-headed naysayers in the real estate sector who might be pawing through the news for tidbits to confirm that green buildings are 'just a fad', ...See all stories on this topic

Portland's Green Building ProgramPowerPoint Presentation, 63134kb Category: Commercial Projects in Portland.PortlandOnline -

Federalism--Green Building Law Quagmire?By Shari Shapiro(Shari Shapiro) I wrote on the blog earlier this summer about a suit filed by HVAC indsutry associations challenging Albuquerque's green building code claiming that the energy requirements for the HVAC equipment was preempted (ie already regulated) by ...Green Building Law -

Agencies Partner To Offer Green Development GrantsThe Chattanoogan - Chattanooga,TN,USA“Local officials are interested in meeting their stormwater management goals through green development practices,” said Environment and Conservation Deputy ...

VERSAR, INC. Joins US Green Building CouncilMarketWatch - USAannounced today that it has become a member of the US Green Building Council ("USGBC"),, the leader in green building and development. ...See all stories on this topic

Is It Time to Green Financial Services?By greenskeptic(greenskeptic) Green building has caught on in a major way over the past decade. Now, 14 percent of US municipalities over 50000 in population have programs promoting green development, according to Shari Shapiro, a lawyer with Obermayer, ...the green skeptic -

US Renewables Group Partners with Citi, Credit Suisse on $140MM ...Send2Press (press release) - Torrance,CA,USAThe financing was led by the renewable energy private equity group within Citi Alternative Investments, Sustainable Development Investments (SDI), ...

Skeptics turn the heat on LEED ‘green’ ratingsTwin Cities Finance and Commerce - Minneapolis,MN,USAAs a result, some buildings aren’t performing as advertised when it comes to the most important part of green building: saving energy. ...

California's Green Building StandardBy Womble Carlyle Construction Law Team(Womble Carlyle Construction Law Team) California's Green Building Standard, adopted by the California Building Standards Commission on July 18, 2008, appears to remain the only state-wide green building standard in existence --- which is somewhat surprising, ...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Top 10 Green Building Blogs


1. Building Green TV
On the one hand, Building Green TV is a television show on PBS, but on the other hand, it's behind the interactive social website of the same name. Building Green TV's mission is to provide homeowners with a glimpse of just how easy, cost-effective, and healthy it is to go green, while dispelling the myth that an environmentally conscious lifestyle means doing without. The television show's host is Kevin Contreras and season two is already in the works. Also check out the website's share feature, which allows readers to interact, publish stories, and find new ways to live green.
2. Green Buildings NYC
This website is the product and passion of Stephen Del Percio, a LEED AP and attorney in New York and New Jersey. He started the website in March 2006 and has been pumping out good green business, real estate, and law information ever since. Although the content is fairly local in nature (sites for New York, LA, DC, and Miami), much of it is relevant in any geography.
3. MetaEfficient
MetaEfficient is a blog written by Justin Thomas covering the latest and coolest green products and technologies. Importantly, MetaEfficient highlights tons of tech that could help buildings with energy or water efficiency. Also, this blog is quick to feature some of the newest, most innovative green skyscrapers, so if you want to get in early, get with MetaEfficient.
4. Equity Green
Equity Green is an excellent source of green building information with a financial/tax perspective. The author, who also happens to be my brother, regularly features the newest YouTube videos and LEED projects right as they come out. As the tag line says, Equity Green is about finding equity in green buildings.
5. Treehugger - Lloyd Alter
You probably already know Treehugger, but do you know Lloyd Alter? Lloyd is an architect, developer, and all around green prefab expert. He tells it like it is and takes a beating for it. He's genuine and approachable, too. Here's a quote from his bio: "Lloyd became convinced that we just use too much of everything- too much space, too much land, too much food, too much fuel, too much money, and that the key to sustainability is to simply use less. And, the key to happily using less is to design things better."
6. Apartment Therapy: Green Home
This new channel within the big-time Apartment Therapy blog system is about "saving the planet, one apartment at a time." AT Green Home publishes tons of new articles every day and helps readers go green in a stylish way. I'm a big fan of the new channel and eagerly dive into each story popping up on my feed reader.
7. Green Key Real Estate Blog
Green Key Real Estate is the first and only green real estate company in San Francisco. Its focus is on incorporating environmentally responsible and socially just principles and practices into all aspects of its business. What's cool about their blog is that it's not just some corporate blog promoting the interests of the company. This is a legitimate blog talking about what's going on in the world of green real estate. These bloggers don't just know real estate, they know green real estate...precisely the kind of people you want to do business with.
8. Verde Vista - Jay Hasbrouck
Jay's blog focuses on bright green environmentalism, which emphasizes the use of new technology and improved design to achieve gains in ecological sustainability without reducing the potential for economic growth. Verde Vista is a compilation of interesting news and events in the genre of environmentalism and much of it pertains to advances in green living.
9. Inhabitat
We all know Inhabitat. It's the forerunner in green design, or "future-forward design for the world you inhabit." With a talented team of writers, designers, architects, and environmental consultants, it's clear that Inhabitat will continue to influence the future of green building. Inhabitat keeps a pulse on innovations in technology, practices, and materials that are pushing home design towards a smarter, greener future.
10. Building Seattle Green
This is the green building blog section under the umbrella of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Like some of the other green building blogs, this one is fairly local in scope, but there's a lot to learn from the writing of these professionals. Building Seattle Green aims to move beyond the common perception that green building is more expensive and wants to help create a more sustainable urban environment in Seattle.
Just as an added bonus, for those that are interested, I've created these crazy little badges to strut your stuff. Feel free to post one on your blog...just right click and save (and then add it in to your blog as you like). And from Jetson Green, thanks for your excellent work in green building.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Carbon Neutral and Sustainable

Welcome, this blog hopes to provide updates on the sustainable development movement in the US