Sustainability

Making Multitenant Net Zero Work in Colorado

A 100,000-square-foot (9,300 sq m) project in an emerging transit district in Boulder, Colorado, is making the business case for net-zero-energy (NZE) multitenant leased office buildings, including lower operating costs, higher profits, reduced carbon emissions, better recruitment and retention for tenants, and happier, healthier, and more productive employees. The new $40 million Boulder Commons, a mixed-use office/restaurant/retail project in two adjacent buildings, is one of the largest NZE multitenant commercial buildings in the United States, according to New Buildings Institute (NBI) data.

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New ULI Report Offers Bold Principles for Building Resilience

A new report from the Urban Land Institute’s Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance outlines ten fundamental principles for building resilient cities and regions that successfully anticipate, respond to, and recover from both immediate shocks such as hurricanes and other extreme weather events and long-term stresses such as sea-level rise, poverty, and declining population.

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Building on New York’s Case for More Sustainable Waterfronts

The Waterfront Alliance, an organization encompassing hundreds of groups that have as their goal improving over 700 miles of shoreline in the New York/New Jersey area, has developed the Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines (WEDG) for real estate projects and sites. WEDG launched the nationally applicable version of the rating system in March after initially piloting a New York–specific set of guidelines. A small number of real estate projects and parks in New York City have been certified under the guidelines, including the Domino Sugar factory site in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which is being redeveloped by Two Trees, and both Brooklyn Bridge Park and Greenpoint Landing.

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How Residential and Office Developers Are Preparing for the Realities of Net Zero

In 2017, California passed the first net-zero building code in the United States (for new residential construction by 2020). New York City; Washington, D.C.; and other cities have made net-zero building commitments as well, including both new and existing buildings. While a perception remains that achieving net zero is too costly for most residential and office development, a few pioneering development companies are figuring out how to deliver net-zero and net-zero-ready projects with a high net-present value at scale.

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Recent Articles

  • Promoting Active Transportation in El Paso

    February 26, 2018

    In fall 2016, about 100 residents, business owners, and public officials came together to discuss the Franklin Canal in El Paso, Texas, the adjacent neighborhoods, and an opportunity to connect them: a proposed Active Transportation System (ATS) funded by the El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). These community members were participating in an ULI Advisory Services panel, a weeklong workshop convened to develop a strategy for the “International Beltway” portion of the ATS.

  • ULI Product Council Launches Webinar Series Highlighting Business Case for Sustainability

    February 22, 2018

    The ULI Responsible Property Investment Council (RPIC) in January kicked off a webinar series that will run through 2018 highlighting the business case for renewable energy investments in real estate.

    The inaugural webinar, “Here Comes the Sun,” provided an in-depth look at the project economics of a pilot solar retrofit project developed by Ginkgo Residential, a development and property management company operating in southern Virginia and the Carolinas.

  • As Toronto Grows, Adding Resilience through Floodproofing and Restoring Older Apartments

    February 20, 2018

    Speaking at a ULI event in February, Toronto’s chief resilience officer said the two issues he is most keen to address in his role are the renewal of the 1,189 apartment towers in Toronto that were built before 1985 and safeguarding the city against a catastrophic flood.

  • Use of PACE Financing for Renovations, Construction Growing for Commercial Buildings

    February 2, 2018

    Commercial property owners received hundreds of millions of dollars in Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing in 2017—more than twice the total amount of deals closed in 2016. It is now possible to arrange PACE financing in more than half the states in the United States. Also, as more property owners learn how to use this complicated financing tool, deals are becoming larger.

  • Moody’s: Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Could Affect Cities’ Bond Ratings

    January 17, 2018

    In December, Moody’s Investors Service issued a report encouraging cities to invest in climate adaptation and mitigation. Cities will be evaluated in the future at least in part on how they prepare for both short-term climate “shocks” and longer-term trends associated with climate change. Moody’s is the largest credit rating agency to date to publicly outline how it evaluates climate change risk and integrates it into its credit rating assessments.

  • Greenprint Report Shows Real Estate Industry Continues to Reduce Energy Consumption, Carbon Emissions, Water Use

    November 20, 2017

    A new report from the ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance shows that several of the world’s leading commercial real estate owners and managers are making significant progress in reducing energy consumption, carbon emissions, and water use in their buildings, demonstrating a 3.4 percent reduction in energy consumption, a 3.3 percent reduction in carbon emissions, and a 4.3 percent reduction in water use between 2015 and 2016.

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