Tag Archives: Charlie Popeck

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Arizona becomes a top state for green building

Arizona real estate is LEED-ing the way, breaking into the Top 10 in the nation for the most projects per capita certified LEED for its green building initiative.

LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building certification program where projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), created to promote sustainability in the construction industry, established LEED to exhibit projects notable for high environmental and health achievements.

Fifteen new LEED certifications, combining for a total of 2,810,153 square feet of space, have been LEED certified in Arizona since the beginning of 2015, says Aline Peterson, a spokeswoman for USGBC.

The Arizona chapter of USGBC opened in 2002 and its founder Charlie Popeck, currently president of Green Ideas Sustainability Consultants, says “it has been refreshing to see more people are getting into (green building).”

Public developers have been among the leaders pioneering LEED building.

“Believe it or not, they are spending our tax dollars wisely,” Popeck says. Some higher education establishments, municipalities and the federal government have established minimum LEED certification requirements.

Public developers have a greater awareness about the importance of life cycle costs, says Bryan Dunn, market sector executive at Kitchell. The evaluation of a 30-year life cycle of a building shows 2 percent of the overall cost is attributed to construction, 6 percent for operations and maintenance and the remaining 92 percent is attributed to personnel cost, Dunn says. Many experts agree LEED buildings increase workplace productivity and engagement and, according to Dunn, “municipalities understand the importance of this and are willing to make the investments in their human capital.”

Some private developers are skeptical of green building because they do not feel they have the luxury or incentive to build green. However, a variety of tax benefits and incentives are available for green buildings, according to the USGBC. Examples of these incentives include tax credits, grants, expedited building permits and reductions or waivers in fees.

LEED-certified buildings use 25 percent less energy and have a 19 percent reduction in aggregate operational costs compared to non-certified buildings, per the USGBC.

“The struggle with LEED is it takes a lot of moving parts coming together to make a LEED project work,” says Thomas Cochran, the regional manager at Energy Inspectors Inc. It forces people to get together earlier in the design phase and may be a shift in process from developers.

The “sexy thing” right now is energy efficiency, Popeck says, and green building will pay off in the long run.

Education and the expulsion of the “myth” that LEED building is expensive will increase private sector activity, says Dale Benz, director of facilities consulting at FM Solutions. LEED for the private sector “boils down to the bottom line,” Benz says. With a good practical design and operation, you can get a silver certification with minimal or no additional cost, experts say.

“Most developers tell me they don’t want to pay the money for a plaque,” Dunn says. Their mindset can change if a market demands green building and developers can generate higher rents, maintain higher occupancy and lower operational cost, he says.

“There are a  lot of stakeholders concerned about sustainability throughout Arizona,” says Lisa Estrada, board member for the Arizona chapter of the USGBC. “To get more on board, we just need to promote it and education people about its value.”

The continuation of the verification of the value of LEED building will cause the demand for LEED buildings to increase over time, according to experts. If a dollar amount can be attached to energy savers and sustainability, stakeholders will be able to see the value, Cochran says.

Getting more appraisers certified to validate energy and solar features on projects will help, Cochran says. “The key is to get all the players the industry to identify the value,” he says.

Arizona Game & Fish Headquarters, Platinum Project

Latest Platinum Project In Arizona

Green Ideas Environmental Building Consultants announced their fourth Platinum LEED-certification – the highest available – for the Arizona Game & Fish Headquarters Building in Phoenix. Only three other Arizona facilities have received this prestigious recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council: the Arizona State University Biodesign Building B in Tempe; the Northern Arizona University Applied Research and Development facility in Flagstaff; and the Lee H. Brown Conservation Learning Center in Tucson.

“This milestone project is a significant accomplishment and we are extremely proud of the marked success for the state of Arizona and the Game & Fish Department,” says Charlie Popeck, president of Green Ideas.

The Game & Fish facility was designed as a full-service center to support research operations, vehicle maintenance, database management, public assemblies, educational instruction, department administration and customer service. The result is a state-of-the-art facility, built to exceed the department’s needs and support future growth, while aligning with then-Governor Janet Napolitano’s executive order to achieve LEED Silver certification as a state-operated building. The Arizona Game & Fish Headquarters Building project team, who contributed to making it one of the most sustainable buildings in the country, includes Green Ideas, architect Jeff Will, Sundt Construction and Lincoln Property Company.

Green Ideas worked with state officials and the design and construction team to develop a unique third-party ownership structure to install a large, 160 kilowatt, rooftop photovoltaic solar system. This system served as the foundation to achieve Platinum certification, supplying a significant portion of the project’s energy needs when leveraged in tandem with low-E glass that reduces solar heat gains inside the structure.

Green Ideas principal Mark Wilhelm says, “This building would not have been possible without a commitment by the design team to ensure an energy-efficient building design, maximized use of day lighting and the use of the APS Solutions for Business incentive program as a baseline for design.”

The design component of the building contributed to at least six of the LEED points earned, and focused on elements providing a direct return on investment. The design drastically reduced costs and simplified operations for the department by consolidating and centralizing many resources into a new, sustainable full-service facility.

Game & Fish Project Highlights:
* Low-emitting finishes and inert materials reduce occupant exposure to formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) commonly found in the atmosphere of new buildings.
* Exterior light shelves were tuned to the equinox to take better advantage of winter daylight, while mitigating solar heat gain in the summer.
* 282,500 SF of open space was preserved and dedicated as natural habitat on the southeast portion of the project.
* The use of native plants and drip irrigation as well as the installation of water efficient plumbing fixtures save valuable potable water.

Project Results:
* 43% of building materials were manufactured within a 500-mile radius
* 65% energy cost savings, greatly exceeding ASHRAE 90.1-1999 energy standards
* 42% building electricity supplied by 149 kilowatt photovoltaic solar system
* 73% reduction of water use for irrigation and a 42% reduction of indoor water use, for a projected savings of more than 403,257 gallons of potable water/year
* More than 680 cubic yards (57%) of construction waste was diverted from landfills and recycled

www.aps.com
www.egreenideas.com
www.gf.state.az.us
www.lincolnproperty.com
www.sundt.com
www.willarchitects.com



About Green Ideas Environmental Building Consultants

Green Ideas, established in 2000, is a full-service green building consulting firm offering educational programs, product evaluation services and world-class LEED consulting services. Its clients are building owners, architects, engineers, contractors, utilities and green product manufacturers. With a vision as bold as the results they achieve, Green Ideas is dedicated to transforming the market by promoting buildings that are designed, built and operated in a manner that improves the health, well-being and productivity of people and the environment.Green Ideas is proud to be one of the leading companies specializing in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Consulting including charrette facilitation, programming assistance, LEED registration, documentation and certification services. Green Ideas develops and implements marketing programs that will enhance companies’ images and visibility in the green building marketplace with a positive return on investment. 



To find additional information on building green visit :
AZRE: Arizona Commercial Real Estate Magazine | Southwest Build-it-Green Expo & Conference