CLEARING THE AIR
Happy Clean Air Action Day! The North Texas Clean Air Coalition
issued a public throwdown to change your habits today and improve air quality. Of course, that made us want to reach out to CRE folks to see what you're up to. Our tip: cut back on paper and read Bisnow.
|Here's William Milligan of merriman associates architects (capital letters emit twice as much greenhouse gas) hitchin' a ride at the Akard DART Station just outside the maa offices at 300 N Field St in downtown). He says he takes DART because he feels like he's making a difference during his 30-mile commute. Skyler Renschler of maa tells us the majority of maa staffers walk, bike, or ride the DART to work. ?I think DART has played an important role for the CRE industry because it's easier for employees and visitors to access their offices, shops, or restaurants around the stations, and it has developers planning TOD projects around the DART,? she tells us.|
Aimee Sanborn, maa LEED director (second from right), says DART is an economically viable and ecologically minded choice (plus she gets to catch up on Facebook and NPR on the way to work). She's here with colleagues Nichole Christianson, Keisha Jones, Danette Billington, William, and Kyle Lindsay at the Akard DART station. Unless you've been living under a rock (or just moved here with all those relocated HQs) you know that the EPA says the Metroplex ozone levels pretty much suck (that's a technical term). That's what triggered Clean Air Action Day, which suggests riding a bike to work (DART has tips on that here) or riding mass transit. There are other tips to reduce pollution here. (The air smells cleaner already!) You can also find a regional carpool-matching option online atTryParkingIt.
|Cencor Realty staff accountant Carol Lynn Pohl shows us her DART pass, which she uses to save energy, money, and wear and tear on her car (and it matches nicely with her jacket). Unlike many North Texans, public transportation isn't new to Carol Lynn (she used to take the L in Chicago). She doesn't mind the longer travel time because (like Kermit) she likes being green even if it isn't easy. She's one of several Weitzman Group/Cencor staffers that ride-share or use DART services. Chuck Grizzard, in the lease admin department, rides both the bus and train to reach work and back home. Carol takes the train to the West End station in downtown and catches the bus to the office at 3102 Maple in Uptown.|
Connecting to DART from Denton ?s A-train up north is another way to promote cleaner air quality, which Integrated Design Group senior mechanical engineer Ken Gill says would reduce the long-term effects of ozone and carbon emissions on the exterior of buildings. Additionally, the life of interior finishes and the air quality inside the building is affected by the ozone free radicals, particulates, and gaseous pollutants (that also means not spraying yourself with the entire bottle of cologne, gentlemen). The building acts as a sponge re-emitting the pollutants absorbed over time; this eventually causes the building environment to be less healthy than outside. It gets worse: the wear and tear on the building and its occupants impacts productivity. Rent may be $20/SF per year but an employee?s cost is $400/SF/year. One or two sick days or even that day battling the sniffles and a sinus headache can add up.
We borrowed this photo (we're already recycling) of Front Burner Restaurants CEO Randy DeWitt recharging his 2010 Chevy Volt electric vehicle with one of the two electric-vehicle car charging stations at his Whiskey Cake Kitchen and Bar at Windhaven Plaza. Randy says the commercial charging stations reinforce what Whiskey Cake aims to be as a restaurant: forward-thinking, locally sustainable, eco-friendly, and customer-oriented. Plus, he wanted a place to charge his new car.
How is a corporate cafe environmentally friendly? Not having to battle the heat or run your engines to grab a bite, for one thing, says CBRE senior managing director Michael Caffey. This is CBRE's Caf RISE(named after the firm's core values: Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence) in it's new digs at 2100 McKinney, which gives staffers lunch options in-house with hot entrees, sandwiches, a salad bar and soup option. (What? No pepper bar?) It's fast, affordable, and doesn't put wear-and-tear on their cars or the earth, Michael tells us. Caf RISE also creates accidental collaboration between employees because you see people during the lunchtime that you normally never would. It's a huge bonus that we are helping to preserve the environment in the process, he says. All this green living has us singing "sometimes all I need is the air that I breathe!"