Tag Archives: Green Ideas Sustainability Consultants

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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.

John Cribbs joins Green Ideas Sustainability Consultants

John Cribbs, Green Ideas Sustainability Consultants

John Cribbs, Green Ideas Sustainability Consultants

Green Ideas Sustainability Consultants announced that John Cribbs has joined the company as a principal. Cribbs’ responsibilities for Green Ideas will include management of the firm’s technical and LEED consulting group in addition to business development and education programs.

Upon appointing Cribbs to principal, Green Ideas President Charlie Popeck stated, “John is one of the top young stars in the sustainability movement and we’re excited to have him join Green Ideas in a senior management position. His diverse background with architectural design, Building Information Modeling and Prefabricated Construction will enable our company to pursue different types of cutting-edge consulting contracts that we never did before.”

Cribbs has worked on a variety of sustainable project types including but not limited to new construction, interiors, schools, and healthcare facilities. He is a LEED Accredited Professional with Building Design & Construction (BD+C) as well as Operations & Maintenance (O+M) and Commercial Interiors (ID+C) specialties under the recently released LEED version 4 program.
 
Cribbs earned his Bachelors degree in Environmental Design with an emphasis in Architecture, from the University of Colorado, at Boulder. He went on to receive his Masters Degree in Architecture from Arizona State University shortly thereafter. He is currently pursuing a Construction Management PhD. at ASU, and has been awarded the Del E. Webb Foundation Graduate Fellowship, as well as the Harold and Lucille Dunn Memorial Fellowship. Cribbs is active with the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) and is currently the residing President of the Arizona State University DBIA Student Chapter. He has studied abroad in Spain, Greece, and Istanbul, Turkey.

Mark Wilhelm Lifetime Achievement Az Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

BIG Green Awards: Lifetime Achievement

Twelve categories, hundreds of nominations — but only one will take home the green. It’s the first annual Southwest Build-it-Green Awards, where BIG teamed up with the USGBC to bring you the leanest sustainable leaders and projects in Arizona.

Recipient: Mark Wilhelm, LEED AP
Co-founder, Green Ideas Sustainability Consultants

Mark Wilhelm has a long-standing commitment to the green movement, and over the years he has given countless hours toward improving the earth.

Wilhelm realized in 1973 that he wanted to create ways to make the U.S. a sustainable place to live. He focused on solar energy technology, building energy simulation, and designing energy-efficient buildings. After earning his master’s in environmental planning from Arizona State University, Wilhelm worked for APS for 13 years, where he headed the development of the APS Environmental Showcase Home (ESH). The home is designed to use 60 percent less water and 85 percent less energy than a regular home and displayed new sustainable technologies, materials and procedures.

In 1994, Wilhelm created the firm Green Ideas Sustainability Consultants with his colleague, Charlie Popeck, to promote green building. He also volunteers to teach sustainability to ASU students and community organizations throughout the Valley.

Wilhelm is a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Arizona Chapter, and served as chapter chairman in 2006. In 2007, Wilhelm successfully lobbied to have the Arizona chapter host the 2009 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. He also helped to choose the LEED Silver certified Phoenix Convention Center as the site of the conference. To recognize Wilhelm for his hard work and passion, he was named chairman of the Greenbuild Host Committee. The 2009 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo truly engaged the greater Phoenix community and attracted more than 27,000 attendees from around the world.

www.egreenideas.com


Finalist: Edwards Design Group
www.edwardsdesigngroup.com

The Edwards Design Group is the pioneer of building environmentally sound, energy efficient homes in Scottsdale, Ariz. Brothers Kevin Edwards and Doug Edwards have been creating environmentally friendly homes for customers for thirty years. The company’s green approach protects the earth, conserves energy and saves homeowners money.

The Edwards Design Group was the first construction group to create and build a house using straw bale and autoclave aerated concrete, an insulated building block that doesn’t need to be as replaced as often as regular concrete. The Edwards Design Group also set up recycling processes on site during construction, saving one owner over $25,000.

The Edwards Design Group helped the City of Scottsdale increase its awareness on environmentally friendly and safe building techniques and materials. The company works closely with the City of Scottsdale’s Green Building Program, and has participated in the annual “Green Building Expo.” Kevin and Doug both host a TV show called “Sustainable Scottsdale.”


Finalist: Richard Franz-Under, RA, LEED AP
Pima County Development Services
www.pimaxpress.com

Richard Franz-Under made history in Arizona when he received the first LEED certification for a building in the state. The Desert Vista Campus Plaza Building at Pima Community College was also the 31st building in the world to achieve LEED certification. In 1997, while working at Pima Community College, he developed the first green building program and is the state’s leading expert in designing buildings to meet LEED certification.

His dedication to sustainability doesn’t end there. Franz-Under commutes 20 miles round trip to work on a bicycle and provides community outreach for sustainable construction practices and affordable housing. He also manages a LEED for Homes Provider program — the only one in the nation — and is currently supervising the certification process of one remodel, 94 multifamily units and 62 new homes.

Franz-Under has served as a consultant for several different LEED projects in Arizona and speaks to the community throughout the year, educating people about the importance of green building practices.

Arizona Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010