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777 Main Street, Hartford CT

Bruce Becker of Becker + Becker Associates, Fairfield-based green development and architecture firm, welcomed Governor Malloy, Mayor Bronin, numerous state and local project partners to a green building celebration this morning at 777 Main Street, Hartford in recognition of the building’s recent USGBC LEED Platinum certification.

Bruce Becker stated, “This building represents a collective will to bring people home to downtown Hartford.  In addition 777 Main serves as a model for sustainable development. We have demonstrated that it is possible that we can live and thrive in Connecticut with a 55% overall reduction in energy use.”

777 Main is LEED® Platinum-certified and a net-zero energy building, producing its own heat, hot water and electricity without combustion of fossil fuels via a 400KW fuel cell and 115KW solar array. The project incorporates advanced technologies including energy and heat-recovery, Nest thermostats, high-efficiency water-source heat pumps, LED lighting and occupancy sensors, high-performance interior envelope, regenerative-drive elevators, and 11 electric car-charging stations.

Governor Malloy highlighted the state’s success in creating a housing department responsible for the initiation of over 18,000 new homes and over $1 billion of investment, emphasizing efforts to try to build housing downtown.  The governor noted, “in these buildings, to see a fuel cell used, this is a perfect use.  If you’re able to capture the heat you go from about 47% usage to 97% (efficiency).” 

The project’s installation of solar panels, in addition to the 400KW fuel cell, qualifies the building as a microgrid, the first in the nation financed with C-PACE, facilitated through the Connecticut Green Bank and Greenworks Lending.  Becker added, “with Micro-grid integration, it is possible to reduce CO2 impacts by 80% and airborne pollutants by 99.8%.”

Mayor Bronin credited the success of the project to both the tenacity of Bruce Becker as well as the commitment of the governor, through CRDA, to the revitalization of downtown.  The Mayor added, “to be able to see today not just the conversion of a vacant, empty commercial building brought back to life as a center of vitality in the core of our city but to also have the building be LEED Platinum is a home run, it’s exactly what we want to see in this city.” 

 Becker closed his remarks by stating, “While we have set a new standard in Connecticut and Hartford’s largest apartment buildings by achieving LEED Platinum, our work is still cut out for us in a more important regard.  We now have to share our lessons with others so that all new development embraces these principles as the norm, not the exception.” Becker thanked the public agencies that have helped to make the project possible including the State, City, OPM, DEEP and DRS, and the private corporations Greenworks Lending, Eversource and UIL. 

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Green building design is a smart business move, finds report

26 October 2016, source edie newsroom

A reduction in sick days, an improvement in productivity and increased collaboration between workers are among some of the key business benefits that are being realized through 'healthy' and 'green' office design and operation.

green building design is a smart business move

Saint-Gobain's new LEED ‘Platinum’-rated offices in Pennsylvania, which has seen the productivity of its call centre staff double thanks to its green building design features

Investment in green buildings is also a smart business move for building developers and owners as it can have a positive impact on property values and attract premium rents, according to a ground-breaking new report released by the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) this week.

--- READ THE REPORT HERE ---

WorldGBC chief executive Terri Wills said: “While our earlier work presented the overwhelming evidence between office design and improved health and wellbeing of workers, this report breaks new ground by demonstrating tangible action businesses are taking to improve their workspaces.

“The results are clear – putting both health and wellbeing, and the environment, at the heart of buildings, is a no brainer for businesses’ employees and the bottom line.”

The 50-page report, titled 'Building the Business Case', showcases 15 buildings from around the world that are leading the way in green building design through the likes of improved air quality, increased natural light and the introduction of greenery to create stronger connections between workers and the natural environment. These simple steps, the WorldGBC says, can have a dramatic impact on the bottom line by improving employee productivity and reducing absenteeism, staff turnover and medical costs.

Chair of the WorldGBC’s Offices Working Group Beth Ambrose added: “The business case for healthy buildings is being proven. All over the world, companies, both large and small, are redesigning their offices, changing working practices and trialling new technologies to improve the wellbeing of their staff, tenants and customers.”

Business case

Case studies detailed within the report include the Doncaster offices of UK construction firm Skanska, who’s BREEAM-UK ‘Outstanding’ building has seen 3.5 times fewer building-related sick days than the firm’s other UK offices, saving £28,000 in staff costs in 2015. Improvements to the site’s layout, noise and indoor air quality, and a central light well bringing more daylight into the building has also seen Skanska’s staff satisfaction with the office jump from 58% to 78%.

Another construction company, Saint-Gobain, has seen the productivity of its US call centre staff double and after moving into new LEED ‘Platinum’-rated offices in Pennsylvania, which house a fitness centre and more than 100 collaborative workspaces, including some outdoors.

The report identifies eight key factors in creating healthier and greener offices which can impact on the bottom line: 

1) Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation – a well-ventilated office can double cognitive ability;

2) Thermal Comfort – staff performance can fall 6% if offices are too hot and 4% if they too cold.

3) Daylighting and Lighting– a study found workers in offices with windows got 46 minutes more sleep a night than workers without them.

4) Noise and Acoustics – noise distractions led to 66% drop in performance and concentration;

5) Interior Layout and Active Design – flexible working helps staff feel more in control of workload and encourages loyalty.

6) Biophilia and Views – processing time at one call centre improved by 7-12% when staff had a view of nature.

7) Look and Feel – visual appeal is a major factor in workplace satisfaction.

8) Location and Access to Amenities – a Dutch cycle to work scheme saved €27m in absenteeism.

Within the report, WorldGBC calls on more businesses to assess key environmental factors which could affect the health and wellbeing of staff. Firms should survey employees to find out how they experience the buildings they work in, and assess the potential economic factors that green design could influence such as productivity, absenteeism and medical costs.

The report comes less than a month after a separate study carried out by the Harvard School of Public Health and the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University discovered that employees working in certified 'green' buildings are likely to have better cognitive abilities, fewer 'sick building' symptoms and higher sleep quality scores than those working in non-certified buildings.
Source: http://www.edie.net

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GBCI Announces New Technology Organization: arc

Today, during the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) International Summit held at the 2016 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) announced a new technology organization called arc.

Officially launching later in 2016, arc will further the performance of the green building industry and the built environment as a whole.

Scot Horst, USGBC's chief product officer, has been named arc's incoming CEO. He will transition from his role with USGBC and LEED at the end of 2016.

"As the leaders of the green building movement over the last two decades, USGBC and GBCI have gathered more green building data and its related business intelligence than any other organization in the world," said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. "Through this data we have begun to measure, monitor and score building performance in real time. We developed arc as a way to provide new and more transparent ways to share this information."

"Scot's leadership of this new venture is a testament to his expertise and vision. He's led LEED's continued evolution through LEED 2009 and v4, its globalization and its shift from a design tool to a performance metric. We welcome him to his new role," continued Fedrizzi.

Arc is a state of the art platform that will allow any building to participate and immediately start measuring performance, make improvements and benchmark against itself. The goal of arc is to support the missions of USGBC and GBCI.

LEED certified buildings can use arc to improve and benchmark against other certified buildings around them. Buildings that have not certified yet will be able to use arc to make incremental sustainability improvements and eventually achieve LEED certification.

The arc platform is a complement to LEED and other green building rating systems, standards, protocols and guidelines and allows buildings and spaces to connect to the built environment in a new way by comparing performance metrics and connecting them to green building strategies. Arc eliminates complexities and barriers to behavioral change.

Arc was developed by GBCI, which is the only certification and credentialing body within the green business and sustainability industry to exclusively administer project certifications and professional credentials and certificates for various rating systems. Arc is an open platform built to integrate the current and future standards, guidelines, protocols and systems that enable a higher quality of life.

Source: http://www.investorideas.com/news

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Setting High Standards: LEED Gold Now the Rule at UConn

The Board of Trustees recently raised UConn’s minimum green building standard from LEED Silver to LEED Gold, taking another step toward achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and securing other environmental goals.

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Greenbuild and NAHB Announce New Strategic Partnership

Informa Exhibitions and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) are pleased to announce a new, strategic partnership for 2015. NAHB has signed on to become one of three Greenbuild Top Tier Partners for 2015, in addition to AIA and BOMA.  Greenbuild will feature a variety of residential offerings at the 2015 event, inclusive of a residential product pavilion; a LEED v4 Platinum, net zero electricity demonstration home on the show floor and an extensive educational track. The residential track has increased to 15 sessions focused on both multi-family and single-family that runs Nov. 18-20 at the conference. Thursday, Nov. 19, is the primary residential day with 12 sessions taking place in three different time slots.

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