Atlanta Ranks Third in Nation for Green Office Buildings

Atlanta ranks #3 in the nation for green office buildings according to a recent study. The Georgia Tech Living Building in Atlanta, pictured here, will be one of most environmentally friendly buildings in the Southeast.

According to  a new study, Atlanta is one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the country when it comes to office buildings.

The fourth annual Green Building Adoption Index a study conducted by researchers at the Commercial Real Estate Services (CBRE) and Maastricht University in the Netherlands — showed that more than half (55%) of Atlanta’s office space is “green certified,” either through the USGBC LEED program or through Energy Star.

Out of the 30 largest office markets in the United States, Atlanta ranks third on the list of eco-conscious office spaces, following San Francisco (#2) and Chicago (#1). Almost 25 percent of all offices in Atlanta are Energy Star labeled—second only to Manhattan and nearly double the national average.

In 2015, the city of Atlanta adopted the commercial buildings energy efficiency ordinance requiring that commercial buildings spanning at least 25,000 square feet, must annually measure and publish their energy and water use. The goal is to see a 50 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from commercial buildings by the year 2030, according to Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed.

Less than 5 percent of U.S. office buildings in 2005 were certified as “green” or “efficient,” researchers wrote. Since then, the statistic jumped to 38 percent. The CBRE study confirmed that institutional owners of office buildings continue to pursue green building certifications in the 30 largest U.S. markets.

As the trend for green design and renovation continues, clearly, these top 30 cities nationwide are receptive target markets for all those in the sustainable, environmental building and design sectors.

Brazilian Museum of Tomorrow Wins Innovative Green Building Award

The Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, recently won the MIPIM award for “Best Innovative Green Building”. PHOTO: © Sérgio Huoliver 2015

The Rio de Janeiro Museum of Tomorrow, designed by architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, recently won the MIPIM award for “Best Innovative Green Building”. The stunning structure was recognized for its sustainable building design and architecture, as well as its “commitment to creating a better future”.  Since the museum opened in 2015 for the Brazilian Olympics, it has become a symbol of urban recovery in the Puerto Maravilha neighborhood in Rio, providing the area with new infrastructure and transforming the neighborhood into an attractive destination.

The building’s innovative and sustainable features include solar panels that move with the sun to maximize energy absorption, the collection of reusable rainwater, and an air conditioning system that uses water funneled from Guanabara Bay. This water is filtered, cleaned and returned to the Bay through a small waterfall. Water conservation efforts alone have saved an estimated 9.6 million liters of water and 2,400 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity each year ­– enough to supply over 1,200 homes. It is the first museum in Brazil to receive LEED Gold certification.

Designed to be a place where science and technology meet art and culture, the Museum of Tomorrow attracted 1.4 million visitors in its first year of operation, far exceeding expectations.

MIPIM (Le Marché International des Professionnels de l’Immobilier) is an international real estate conference and exhibition in Cannes, France every March, bringing together real estate professionals, property investors, architects and other industry leaders. The award is part of an international competition that MIPIM sponsors.

US Green Building Council Reports on High-Impact LEED Projects

The Orlando Magic's Amway Center in Florida is the first NBA arena to earn LEED Gold Certification.

The U.S. Green Building Council has released its LEED in Motion: Venues report which showcases high impact LEED certification projects such as convention centers, sports venues, performing arts centers, and community centers, and their ability to transform their environmental, social and economic footprint.

By incorporating green practices, venues around the world are positively impacting what the report calls the “triple bottom line” (people, planet, profit) while inspiring and educating others to be proactive in the areas of social responsibility and sustainability.

The economic and environmental statistics in the report are also revealing. The anticipated growth in large convention, stadium, event venues and their impact on the U.S. economy are huge, to say nothing of  the billions of dollars saved on energy, water, and maintenance if they are LEED certified.

New Web-based Tool for Energy Efficiency Project Financing

New financing navigator facilitates funding for energy efficient building.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has introduced a new web-based financing navigator to help private and public sector organizations understand and access financing solutions available for energy efficiency building projects.

Since limited financing options are often cited as a major barrier to investing in energy efficient systems, the “Better Buildings Financing Navigator”  now offers building owners, facility and energy managers, and other decision-makers guidance on how to connect with investors and lenders  so that they can pursue energy-saving projects. By bringing smart financing solutions to the market, building construction and management teams can move forward more rapidly with energy efficiency refits and upgrades.

The DOE’s financing navigator helps users identify relevant financing options which are tailored to their needs and also provides technical research and advice. The site encourages collaboration between public and private sector organizations across the country to share and replicate successful strategies with the goal of making commercial, public, industrial and residential buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade. This potentially means saving billions of dollars on energy bills, while accelerating America’s investments in energy infrastructure and creating thousands of jobs.