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  • Hiding In Plain Sight | Victoria Anstead | Snapshot Column | the Sallan Foundation
    role in solving it even more so when they feel part of a group Exactly for these reasons participatory art that incorporates interactive and social media is potent One example SEED by the artists collective of the same name is a web based interactive public art project that does just this Created for multiple users who engage with its large scale surreal imagery via a cell phone players plant and design virtual trees with their keypads The amount of time each participant is engaged in play is matched by sponsorship dollars that go to planting real trees in the places from which the caller come In 2007 4 067 virtual trees became 407 actual trees Every green building or one in the process of becoming greener represents an opportunity to increase its occupants understanding of the technology and their emotional embrace of the philosophy of resource efficient building These buildings should engage and enable users to become part of the process When available at all typical approaches to educating occupants can be dry and didactic While brochures websites and even dashboards enumerating a building s energy saving statistics are informative if they are read they do not always accomplish true engagement and sustained behavior change on the part of occupants While cutting edge green design is increasingly able to circumvent the human factor in energy waste through automated systems these buildings do not always perform as planned As important most buildings energy systems are just not this sophisticated They still rely on human behavior which is notoriously unreliable If we were totally rational beings we would be doing all the right things all the time So tapping into a more effective way to influence occupant behavior is key to successful green building Energy is largely invisible apparent only in the devices that support and enhance our lives Make this power visible particularly the balance between what comes in and what goes out and we have something we can grasp This is the function of technology enabled feedback devices such as dashboards and smart meters that have proved effective in reducing domestic consumption But their efficacy is difficult to sustain since people often loose interest after the initial novelty of knowing where the power goes wears off Research on effective designs for these tools is on going but the answer may lie in enlarging the experiential potential of these feedback systems In other words add art into the mix art that employs sensoring technologies and is able to deliver real time data in forms that engage our aesthetics curiosity and sense of wonder Such is Balance by Jeff Feddersen a large scale kinetic sculpture elements of which reveal energy coming into the building others that show energy being used When Balance is in balance the building is as well Matsukaze by architect and artist Yumi Kori is a series are xenon filled glass tubes stimulated by an electrical current creating in essence lightning Each glass element reflects the energy use on

    Original URL path: http://www.sallan.org/Snapshot/2010/03/hiding_in_plain_sight_1.php (2016-02-10)
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  • Smart Building Technolgy: Not Smart Enough | Stephen Samouhos | Snapshot Column | the Sallan Foundation
    is evident that the majority of environmental benefits to be gained from smarter buildings will come from retrofitting the existing building stock Complex Efficiency Incentives Efficiency driven investments for smart buildings are typically made to reduce the perceived energy consumption of site appliances for example replacing incandescent light bulbs with LEDs and installing lighting controls The source energy savings from site based efficiency improvements are difficult to forecast or measure because the systemic energy analysis of multiple site appliances requires in depth system modeling For example turning off a few lights in one building does not translate to identical reduction in power output from the local power station Likewise an incremental reduction of the cooling load in a building does not yield the same incremental decrease in power consumption at the chiller that provides chilled water for the building s air conditioning The complication in both of these situations is due to the non linear response of source energy consuming appliances such as a natural gas fired chiller or coal fired power plant to changes in the loads that are placed on them Furthermore the details of that response are also typically a function of how multiple loads are connected to a source energy consuming appliance again without as built drawings to describe those connections we cannot easily predict how an individual smart building will ultimately reduce its source energy consumption and carbon emissions Depending on how a smart building attempts to reduce its utility costs building appliances in a smart building may also be forced to operate in an extremely in efficient manner even though they reduce the energy costs for the building For example the use of a grossly over sized cogeneration unit to drive down electricity loads during peak demand hours of the day is a troubling practice Cogeneration can in fact generate electricity at much higher efficiency than a typical central power plant but only when the heat from that cogeneration unit is captured and utilized by the building When operating an over sized cogeneration unit to drive down peak electricity consumption far too much heat is produced by the unit than can ever be used by the building and hence much of that heat is rejected to the outside air The net result is reduced monthly electricity bills at the cost of extraneous natural gas combustion and carbon emissions Turning from appliances to tenant landlord and tenant tenant relationships we find typical split incentives between those who inhabit spaces and those who pay the utility bills For management agencies which charge a fee proportional to building operation costs higher utility bills represent a profit center Likewise sub metering among different tenants in a building can be stonewalled by the tension between tenants who feel they are paying too much and those who enjoy paying too little Overall regardless of the perceived energy or environmental impact of advanced building controls and automation devising the right incentive for efficiency is not a trivial effort Prevalence of Custom

    Original URL path: http://www.sallan.org/Snapshot/2010/01/smart_building_technolgy_not_smart_enough.php (2016-02-10)
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  • Advancing Energy Efficiency in Russia | Mark Izeman | Snapshot Column | the Sallan Foundation
    action to make our energy consumption radically more efficient And last year President Dimitry Medvedev took this call for action further by signing a decree directing top officials to draft new energy efficiency laws and setting a goal of slashing the country s energy wastefulness by 40 by 2020 The bad news as President Medvedev acknowledged early this fall is that only very modest progress has been made in advancing concrete on the ground energy efficiency projects including public education campaigns But given the Kremlin s strong backing of energy efficiency it is likely in the coming months and years that Russia will begin to make slow progress in this area And the energy efficiency experiences there both good and bad can help advocates better focus their strategies for building sustainable cities and communities Here are four lessons that I took away from my time in Moscow First it is important to have a single government entity in charge of advancing energy efficiency In the US we have seen how critical it is to have one agency overseeing specific local state or federal environmental programs Unfortunately in Russia energy efficiency responsibilities are scattered throughout the federal government and this is one major reason things are still stuck in first gear there In Russia the best approach is to have one strong federal agency responsible for implementing national priorities including enforcing concrete targets and timelines for achieving greater energy efficiency in the residential commercial public and industrial sectors Second there needs to be a major policy and compliance focus on buildings when developing a comprehensive energy efficiency strategy In the US commercial residential and public buildings consume including through heating hot water and lighting roughly 40 of total energy usage In Russia experts believe that this number is as much as 50 Surprisingly Russia already has some of the most progressive mandatory efficiency standards in the world for how new buildings are designed constructed and operated But there are big questions on how effectively these laws are enforced Third in the same vein heating systems are a chronic source of energy losses Russia is a little unique in that nearly 70 of the heat generated for buildings comes from large centralized so called district heating systems Under this setup centralized boilers pump heat to nearby buildings through underground and above ground pipes But the current system is made of up largely inefficient boilers and leaking transmission pipes as much as 25 of the heat alone escapes before it reaches apartments And like some residential and commercial tenants in the US there is little incentive for residents to reduce waste because they are not charged for actual heat usage Russian consumers have not been provided with know how and resources to take simple steps such as fixing or replacing windows and adding insulation that can dramatically reduce heat loss Fourth and finally Setting efficiency standards for consumer appliances can make a big dent in a country s energy usage Household appliances such

    Original URL path: http://www.sallan.org/Snapshot/2009/11/advancing_energy_efficiency_in_russia.php (2016-02-10)
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  • Blue/Green — Making It Work Takes Work | Ed Ott | Snapshot Column | the Sallan Foundation
    their lives is an alarm as loud as any global warning The business side of the green movement also has needs and self interest Many of the business leaders of the green movement are highly motivated entrepreneurs who want a better world That being said if green businesses are going to be successful they must play in the real economy and the competition does not allow them to ignore costs and pricing It is interesting to me to see that many green businesses call for new regulation and local sourcing These are issues that appeal to organized labor It is also true that many in the green economy need to protect their investment and pay attention to the bottom line When we talk about sustainable economies we need to recognize the tension that exists between sustainable wages and benefits which unions need to defend and a fair return on investments Try as we might to think otherwise a business is still a business green or not and the union is the union Many union leaders feel strongly that the only sustainable wage is the union rate Union wage standards are usually achieved over a long period of time to reflect the value of the work being performed For many green businesses often start ups that have no experience working with unionized labor this can be a real problem With the federal government making large amounts of money available for weatherization projects we can expect this discussion to become more immediate and sharper I recently had an executive of a non profit organization explain how he had family roots in the United Auto Workers but felt that the union had no place in his affordable housing organization This exact argument was used by the so called nonprofit hospital industry against unions in the 1960 s Now add to the equation the environmental justice organizations These job conscious community based organizations are often left out of the discussion about what should be developed in their communities and get put in a position of having to block projects just to get to the table More often than not we are talking about communities of color who have a long history of struggle for civil and human rights The EJ movement is both the most militant and most reasonable component of the emerging blue green alliances Its members are not willing to be left out and will fight to be part of the plan When at the table they are in fact the most constructive in offering serious proposals to move things along The best example of this is the role the EJ community has played in New York City in the Mayor Bloomberg s 2030 Plan The EJ coalitions supported attempts to get a job analysis of the 2030 Plan They also were willing to go beyond wage discussions in getting at the sustainability issues Jobs job training and apprentice opportunities in the trades were all of concern to the EJ groups But

    Original URL path: http://www.sallan.org/Snapshot/2009/08/bluegreen_making_it_work_takes_work.php (2016-02-10)
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  • Transparency & Innovation: Open Data For Green Building | Bomee Jung | Snapshot Column | the Sallan Foundation
    baby Be UNPROPRIETARY LICENSE FREE does not have to be scary There s a lot packed in there but let s just sum it up by saying that the point of all this is to make available data that can be re used in ways unanticipated by the original owner of the data and that we want machines to be able to do the hard work so that people can have real time context sensitive information tailored to their specific needs Does this all sound a bit far fetched You may be surprised to know that our Federal government and Obama s Chief Technology Officer Vivek Kundra is already taking the lead As of June 2009 Data gov is providing public access to high value machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government including the Toxic Release Inventories from the EPA H1N1 flu information from the CDC Project based Section 8 information from HUD and hundreds of others To its credit New York City is hot on the heels of the Feds and could become one of the first cities in the country after Washington D C to adopt a mandate for open data standards for public records Also under consideration is Intro 476 A a part of the package of four green building bills announced by Mayor Bloomberg on Earth Day So What Does This Have To Do With Green Buildings Everyone s top 10 list of why don t we build more green buildings has on it some version of we don t have enough data about green buildings What data do we need Why do we need data Who will benefit The short answer goes something like this Knowledge makes profits but sharing makes markets First what kind of data are we talking about Let s start with energy use in buildings though you could just as well say empirical measures of indoor environmental quality or measurable health impacts like number of asthma free days Energy use should be easy because we already measure it and store it or at least our utilities do One purpose of having publicly available energy performance data would be to verify performance claims Today for instance green buildings are those designed or rehabilitated with the intent of achieving high performance whether or not they meet those performance goals once they are occupied and operating Typically the the incentive programs and certification schemes like USGBC s LEED Enterprise Green Communities and many others use models to compare the expected performance two versions of a building the one that could built according to code and the one as designed by the development team This is a critically important exercise in designing for energy efficiency but lacking empirical post occupancy performance data claims made about performance can be misleading Take for example a fictional building called Efficiency Place a Class A office building that claims to be 25 more efficient than comparable buildings You might imagine that someone out there

    Original URL path: http://www.sallan.org/Snapshot/2009/07/transparency_innovation_open_data_for_green_building_1.php (2016-02-10)
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  • Climate Change & Environmental Impact Statements | Michael B. Gerrard | Snapshot Column | the Sallan Foundation
    reduce GHG impacts and finance energy efficiency measures States About twenty states have their own equivalents of NEPA The first state to take serious action on climate change under its law was Massachusetts which in April 2007 required GHG analysis under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Two months later King County Washington which includes Seattle took similar action But the state that has surged far ahead is California whose attorney general Jerry Brown began sending stern letters to various municipalities and project applicants demanding consideration of climate issues under the California Environmental Quality Act CEQA These initiatives resulted in several prominent settlements under which detailed CEQA analysis was conducted and substantive measures to reduce GHG impacts were adopted The California Legislature adopted a statute in 2006 requiring issuance of formal guidance on how this analysis should be done and meanwhile several non governmental organizations formulated their own guidance These requirements continue to be controversial in California with important voices in the Legislature seeking their repeal but so far without success New York State has been late to the game but it is finally taking action The text of the State Environmental Quality Review Act SEQRA provides that EISs should discuss the effects of the proposed action on the use and conservation of energy resources where applicable and significant and should also consider a project s effect on air pollution The U S Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that GHGs are air pollutants In February 2008 New York officials included detailed climate related requirements in the scoping document for certain actions at the state run Belleayre Mountain Ski Center and for the Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park On March 11 2009 DEC issued a draft guidance on the consideration of climate change in EISs where DEC itself is the lead agency DEC is seldom the lead agency but this guidance is likely to be picked up by other agencies The guidance requires EISs to consider direct emissions of GHGs stack and fugitive emissions from on side combustion or industrial processes and emissions from fleet vehicles associated with the project as well as indirect emissions of GHGs from off site energy plants supplying energy used by the project from vehicle trips to and from the project site during its operation and from generation transportation treatment and disposal of wastes generated at the site The guidance also calls for projections of the reduction in GHG emissions that would result from mitigation measures and quantification of reductions in GHG emissions that would result from mitigation measures considered and rejected Disappointingly the guidance does not require an analysis of the effect of climate change on projects However the New York State Sea Level Rise Task Force may adopt this as a recommendation The guidance only concerns consideration of GHGs in actions that are already undergoing the EIS process DEC is currently drafting revisions to its Environmental Assessment Form that will require a look at GHGs before a decision is made on whether to require an

    Original URL path: http://www.sallan.org/Snapshot/2009/06/climate_change_environmental_impact_statements.php (2016-02-10)
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  • Another Berkeley FIRST | Mayor Tom Bates | Snapshot Column | the Sallan Foundation
    municipalities include NO city subsidy or exposure to the City s General Fund because FIRST is based on California s Mello Roos financing law Partnership with a third party finance administrator protecting the municipality from financial risk This mechanism contributes to a municipality s climate and energy goals All FIRST program costs can be paid out of bond proceeds The program promotes the green economy The Hottest Ticket in Town Initial signs look good for the program s long term success At 9 00 a m November 5 2008 in partnership with Renewable Funding LLC Berkeley s third party administrator the City of Berkeley opened the application process for its 1 5 million pilot program At 9 10 a m the pilot sold out To date thirty eight solar installation projects evenly distributed throughout the city have funding committed by Berkeley FIRST During this pilot phase the City with help from UC Berkeley s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab will evaluate the program and determine whether another round of funding can be made available The data collected during the evaluation phase will also be used to create a How To guide to be used by cities hoping to set up similar programs Where Did this Come From In November 2006 Berkeley voters forged a mandate for the City to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by passing Measure G with over 81 of the vote Since the passage of Measure G I have worked with City staff and the community to prepare Berkeley s Climate Action Plan CAP an emissions reduction plan with a goal of reducing Green House Gas GHG emissions by 80 by 2050 Berkeley FIRST will play a very important role in working toward the goals of Measure G Electricity and natural gas consumption in Berkeley s homes businesses industries and public institutions including the City government results in over 342 000 tons CO2e per year emitted into the atmosphere about 53 of Berkeley s total GHG emissions Residential energy consumption contributes about half of the total emissions from building energy use while energy consumption in non residential buildings contributes the other half To achieve its interim emissions reduction target Berkeley must reduce the emissions that result from building energy use by 35 by 2020 Improving energy efficiency and adding solar photovoltaic PV and solar thermal systems to Berkeley s buildings will go a long way toward reaching these ambitious goals Without FIRST our powerful financing tool these goals would be very difficult to achieve Is There More If the initial pilot program is deemed successful Berkeley staff will look to fund a second and larger round of financing for a phase two of the FIRST program Our phase two goal is for participants to be able to fund energy efficiency improvements with this mechanism including improved ducting attic insulation and hot water heaters We also plan to include the ability to fund solar thermal hot water installation in future FIRST rollouts Who s Next As America moves

    Original URL path: http://www.sallan.org/Snapshot/2009/03/another_berkeley_first_1.php (2016-02-10)
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  • New Space, New Faces | John Tepper Marlin | Snapshot Column | the Sallan Foundation
    Stewardship Council Sean provides fish advice to large restaurants in New York City and elsewhere in the United States and he has associates in four other cities providing the same service He has a list of large restaurants and another list of fishermen Sean insists that the word is not sexist it is gender neutral and he puts the two groups in touch with each other Sean has two large posters over his desk One is of billed fish like marlin is that a nephew of mine up there The other poster shows various kinds of tuna His main fish he sells are Tobago Wild Alaska Wild and Dixie Wild from the Gulf and Southeast Atlantic These fishermen fish with hand lines He is able to bypass the markets by relying on email and phone and keeps track of everything on his laptop Deliveries are made via FedEx with gel ice FedEx won t take dry ice packaging This is a green business because of great benefits to the environment 1 Only one trip from fisherman to restaurant meaning less of a carbon footprint and less cost 2 Shipping is consolidated with other shipping eliminating fish trucks 3 Assurance by Sea to Table that no endangered fish are being purchased with MSC certified fish 4 No fish market is required and 5 Much less waste and fresher fish Incubators are for babies that will grow bigger What is the growth trajectory for Sea to Table It needs to expand supply by working with more fisheries It needs to expand demand by adding more large restaurants in more cities The sustainable model takes longer to catch fish and so they are more expensive I would bet on the idea that people are going to care increasingly about where their food comes from Crop to Cup The second incubatee is Crop to Cup which is a small ethical trading shop that imports coffee and sells both unroasted green coffee to roasters around the country and roasted coffee on its website It also sells the coffee wholesale to restaurants grocery markets and the food service industry Ethical trading is quite simple means paying small farmers in a developing country more than market price for their products The consumer gets quality coffee that competes on price with similar quality coffee with the additional pleasure of knowing that the farmer is being well treated I have tasted the Crop to Cup coffee at Green Spaces and at home and it s good There are quite a few such ethical trading efforts under way and coffee is a product that is very likely to be ethically traded especially coffee sold in coffee shops Once it is known that a coffee shop say Starbucks is selling only ethically traded coffee who would want to be seen drinking coffee in a coffee shop that denied farmers the extra money for their labor under the hot African sun Crop to Cup s unique selling proposition is that its coffee

    Original URL path: http://www.sallan.org/Snapshot/2009/02/new_space_new_faces.php (2016-02-10)
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