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Events

A Partnership of AIA Los Angeles and USC Architecture: BIM EDGE + BIM GAP
August 22–23, 2014
BIM GAP will feature presentations about the bridging GAPs between BIM tools (analysis, construction, facilities management, and more) and also bridging the GAPs between BIM people (contractors, architects, owners, managers, subs, consultants). Learn how professionals are dealing with these gaps towards realizing the full potential of BIM. Who do you call when you need BIM guidance? EDGE examines potential partners in working with BIM beyond your firm’s current capabilities: BIM coordinators, consultants, modeling services, others.

Architecture and the City Festival
September 1–30, 2014
The American Institute of Architects, San Francisco chapter (AIA San Francisco) and the Center for Architecture + Design announce the 11th annual Architecture and the City festival, the nation’s largest architectural festival of its kind. Taking place in San Francisco every September, the month-long celebration features behind the scenes and walking tours, films, exhibitions, lectures and more, providing opportunities for participants to engage with the local architecture community and experience design in a myriad of ways throughout the city. The 2014 Architecture and the City festival theme, Home: My San Francisco, will examine the shifting nature of home, the different elements that contribute to its definition, and its relation to the urban fabric. Over 40 festival programs will explore the cultural richness and diversity of our local architectural and design community as well as provide a platform for conversation about our changing landscape and its implications for a city in a time of rapidly intensifying housing needs.

San Francisco Living: Home Tours
September 20–21, 2014
AIA San Francisco and the Center for Architecture + Design are excited to announce the 12th annual San Francisco Living: Home Tours, a two-day open house event featuring a select number of modern residences. The popular weekend showcases a wide variety of architectural styles, neighborhoods and residences, including single-family homes, contemporary renovations and multi-family residences, and is the first tour series in the Bay Area to promote residential design from the architect's point of view. Throughout the weekend, tour participants can see some of the city's latest residential projects from the inside out, meet design teams, explore housing trends, and discover innovative design solutions that inspire unique San Francisco living.

Detroit Design Festival
September 23–28, 2014
Presented by the Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3), and supported by the Knight Foundation, the fourth-annual Detroit Design Festival spans all design disciplines and brings together commerce, culture, education, and entertainment with a full, varied program of exhibitions, openings, installations, shows, talks, open studios, fashion shows, product previews, performances and workshops.

Archtoberfest San Diego 2014
October 1–30, 2014
Archtoberfest San Diego 2014 is a collaboratively-operated initiative aimed at establishing an annual, month-long program of public events and activities pertaining to architecture, design, planning and sustainability.

New Urbanism Film Festival
November 2014
The primary goal of the New Urbanism Film Festival is to renew the dialogue about urban planning with a broader audience. The Festival brings in movies, short films, speakers, on the topics of architecture, public health, bicycle advocacy, urban design, public transit, inner-city gardens, to name a few. 

 

 

 

 

Competitions

Deadline: August 18
Fabric
Formabilio


Deadline: September 2
Hansgrohe+Axor Das Design Competition
Hansgrohe+Axor


Deadline: September 5

2014 Designer Dream Bath Competition
Duravit

Deadline: December 31
Kitchen Design Contest
Wolf and Sub-Zero 

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Thursday
Feb182010

What Color Is Your Lease? - Beyond the Grid

Green leases offer sustainable and financial benefits for landlords and tenants alike

By Ina Drosu

I
n an environment where the ecological lobby is prevalent, and the general economic downturn begs for practical innovation that reduces operating costs, green leases are steadily gaining the interest of landlords and tenants. Profitability is key to survival of commercial ventures; without it, loftier concerns fly out the window. What better way to harness broad improvement potentials than a lease structured as economic driver accommodating comprehensive environmental regulations and allowing for necessary changes over time?

According to a study done by CRD&MI, energy costs are 29 percent of landlord
operating costs while less than one percent is paid for by tenants.

Alan Whitson, president of Corporate Realty, Design & Management Institute, created a model green lease to serve as more than a “token gesture to sustainability.” The lease provides incentives for landlords to build cost-effective peak-performance buildings that address energy and water efficiency, emission reduction, and waste minimization. According to a study done by CRD&MI, energy costs are 29 percent of a building’s operating costs while less than one percent is paid for by tenants. Most commercial leases leave energy efficiency out of the equation. He adds, “in a booming market it’s easy to be green, but now, savvy people realize it is part of an economic strategy to improve performance and productivity.” Additionally, the typical speculative commercial project is built, leased up and then sold, making life-cycle costing of building systems mostly irrelevant to the original developer. There is an inherent disadvantage to installing higher initial cost, more efficient building systems but that is now starting to change.

According to Tom Usher, senior director at brokerage Cushman and Wakefield, green leases promote several beneficial goals such as helping building owners achieve energy efficiency and reducing overall waste. However, a few obstacles prevent them from being more universally adopted. “Many tenants have reservations about how a green lease will impact them, their employees and the bottom line,” says Usher. While landlords who practice triple-net leases which pass increases in operating expenses on to tenants, see little incentive to installing expensive sustainable improvements. “Additionally, it is unclear how the green aspects will be monitored,” says Usher.

Increasingly, commercial leases are including incentives for sustainable upgrades in line with LEED requirements. Rodney Stone, president of space planning firm Environetics, says there is an “explosion in demand for LEED-certified buildings” partly due to corporate sustainability reporting programs, partly in anticipation of compliance mandates by government regulators. Several bills passed in California, for instance, point to an increase in green leases, such as AB-32’s greenhouse gas legislation and
AB-1103’s mandatory owner provision of building energy performance information to tenants and prospective buyers. Third party validation systems, says Stone, such as LEED or Energy Star “provide independent verification that a building project meets a higher standard.”

While building certification and startup commissioning are good first steps, success depends on ongoing operational performance, measurement of which is a LEED shortcoming the USGBC recognizes and is seeking to improve. “Technology in and of itself is not the answer, 61 percent of buildings with an Energy Star rating [which precedes and is stricter than LEED] of 75 or higher are 25 years old or older,” says Whitson. Consequently, he insists on keeping the model green lease neutral, not promoting any particular rating system. In the end, the goal of green leases is to encourage a marketplace where prosperity and sustainability are interchangeable, improving both profits and quality of life.

 

 

 

 

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