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April 22, 2008
(Our More Serious Side)


GSA Readies for Next Wave of Green Initiatives

Last Friday, David Winstead, GSA's Commissioner of the Public Buildings Service, testified to the House Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management about its green initiatives.

The agency has accomplished a lot over the last several years – progress that Winstead described in much detail. Now, though, GSA is gearing up for its next eco-friendly initiatives – some of which will be challenges, Winstead admitted.

The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, "for the first time [will] require GSA to reduce consumption of fossil fuel-generated energy in new buildings and major renovations," he said in testimony. "For new designs, our target is to be 55% below comparable commercial buildings, which may be difficult to achieve using today's technology. "Much more difficult is the goal of using 100% non-fossil fuel generated energy by 2030 in new buildings."

Winstead said GSA is working with several organizations to meet these goals, including the DoE, EPA, DoD, ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects, the Alliance to Save Energy and the Commercial Buildings Initiative.

He'd also like the authority to extend GSA's utility contracts to 20 years, from the current ten.

"Renewable power plant developers often need an energy purchase contract of up to 20 years in order to finance and develop increased capacity." Not being able to contract for more than ten years, he said, means GSA cannot benefit from the relatively inexpensive energy they would generate.

GVA Advantis   Arlington


JLL Aims to Accredit More Employees in Green Standards

Jones Lang LaSalle is establishing a global training program for employees to become accredited as LEED and BREEAM (a green standard in the UK) professionals. JLL expects to increase the number of employees accredited to these and other environmental regimes -- such as ABGR and Green Star -- to 200 this year from the current 100, and to 500 in 2009. Classes will include face time for some modules, and Internet-based course work for others, says Dan Probst, chairman of the Global Environmental Sustainability Board.

In the DC area, JLL LEED accredited professionals include Stephanie Hixson, David Garber and Tim Kastens in DC and Hank Pohl in McLean.


Akridge Releases DPW-Approved Recycling Guide As Agency Steps Up Enforcement

Akridge is providing tenants in the 31 buildings it has under administration in the District with a new pamphlet detailing DC's recycling laws and regulations. The company put it together, with assistance from the Department of Public Works, in response to a stepped-up enforcement by the agency of these laws over the past month or so.

Much of the material Akridge received directly from DPW; it also worked with the agency to answer specific questions about what is recyclable.

So, yes, you can recycle windowed envelopes in the District, according to the inspector that vetted Akridge's guide. Post-It individual notes are fine – just not the entire pad. Also, anything that is soiled cannot be recycled – and that includes empty, grease-stained pizza boxes. By contrast, plastic cups from take-out can be recycled if the recycling icon on the bottom – a triangle with a number in the middle -- is a 1 or a 2. Any number above that goes in the trash.

Such minutia apparently is not escaping the notice of DPW, Akridge SVP Kathy Barnes says. The agency is not just checking to see if the building itself has proper recycling facilities and processes in place, but in some cases is also doing tenant inspections, she says. So an employee who unthinkingly chucks her plastic cup in the trash could conceivably land her employer a fine anywhere from $25 to $1,000.


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