Tag Archives: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

ShaneStephens, CBRE

Shane Stephens Joins CBRE

CBRE has announced that Shane Stephens has joined the firm’s Retail Services Group in Phoenix, Ariz. as a vice president. Stephens, who is one of the top emerging retail professionals in the Phoenix commercial real estate industry, will partner with Vice President Traci Russell to form a new team that will focus its attention on retailers and retail developers looking to capture opportunities in the greater Phoenix marketplace. “Shane is a wonderful complement to our team of best-in-class retail professionals,” said Craig Henig, CBRE’s senior managing director and Arizona market leader. “His experience, gained while working with notable local companies RED and Evergreen, will expand CBRE’s reach and strengthen our capabilities to serve the diverse needs of our retail clients throughout the Phoenix area.” Prior to CBRE, Stephens worked for RED Development, where he was the top senior leasing associate for the major development, management and acquisition firm. In 2013 alone, he was honored by Cole at 2013 RECON for most transactions in their portfolio and led the RED Arizona team with number of transactions for the year. Prior to that, he was a leasing manager for Evergreen Devco, Inc. With Arizona’s retail market continuing to improve post-recession and consumer and retailer confidence continuing to strengthen, strategic hires like Stephens will help CBRE expand its retailer practice in Arizona and across the southwestern United States. CBRE Retail Services Group represent clients worldwide, providing integrated products and services including strategy development, management, finance, corporate services, consulting and leasing. Whether serving the retailer or the retail property owner, the division’s professionals act as advisors and become an invaluable part of clients’ decision-making processes. Stephens holds a M.S. in economic management and policy from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland and a B. S. in economics from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla.

Mark Skalny Photography

CPI Brokers 36KSF for Mark IV Capital Properties, Inc.

Commercial Properties Incorporated, Tempe, recently brokered six leases totaling almost 36KSF at Red Rock Business Plaza in the Chandler Airpark.

Black Diamond Advanced Technology, a division of Roper Industries, took 24,196 SF of flex industrial shell space.  Chris McClurg with Lee & Associates and Eric Ramer with ICON Commercial Interests out of Atlanta represented the Tenant.  The built to suit space will be delivered to Black Diamond in “turn key” condition by Mark IV Capital in early 2014.

Black Diamond valued the high building standards of Red Rock Business Plaza as well as the great San Tan Freeway Corridor location as deciding factors.  Other lease transactions with Generations Physical Therapy, Express Interlock, BBJ Rentals, Aptech Systems, and HSP Corporate Arizona have brought the occupancy rate at Red Rock up to over 75%.  Red Rock Business Plaza, part of the Mark IV Capital portfolio, was built in 2008 and is comprised of three, single-story buildings, totaling 134,478 RSF of office/showroom/warehouse space just south of the San Tan Loop 202 and east of Crossroads Towne Center on Gilbert Road.

Sarge Glenn and John Hart, with Commercial Properties Incorporated, represented the Landlord, Mark IV Capital.  Mike Gilbert and Justin LeMaster with Cassidy Turley represented Express Interlock.  Tricia Gumulka with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented BBJ Rentals.  Josh Wyss with Cassidy Turley represented Aptech Systems, and Russell Gould with StoneCrest Properties represented HSP Corporate Arizona.

Meritage Homes

Meritage Homes earns Energy Star Honor

Meritage Homes earns Energy Star Honor

Meritage Homes has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2013 Energy Star Partner of the Year — Sustained Excellence Award. The award recognizes ongoing leadership across the Energy Star program, including energy-efficient products, services, new homes, and buildings in the commercial, industrial, and public sectors.

An innovator in production homebuilding, Meritage was recognized for its continued leadership in protecting the environment. Meritage received the EPA’s 2012 Energy Star Leadership in Housing Award, the 2011 Energy Star Builder of the Year award and the 2010 Department of Energy’s Building America Partner award. Meritage’s accomplishments in earning these awards include being the first 100% Energy Star production builder; offering the first fully EPA-certified home for Energy Star, Indoor airPLUS and WaterSense; and the first Net Zero Energy production builder in the U.S.

“Meritage has redefined the way homes can and should be built, setting a new standard in production homebuilding,” said Steve Hilton, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Through our work with customers, engineers and Energy Star, we’ve continually advanced our initiatives by giving specific consideration to all features, systems, materials and construction methods to bring homeowners unparalleled energy efficiency and both short- and long-term savings.”

With a variety of homes across the southern and western states, Meritage Homes integrates advanced technologies into their design and building from the ground up. Together, these technologies can save homeowners, on average, 50 percent on their home energy use, compared to standard homes. With optional upgrades, Meritage offers cost effective Net Zero Energy throughout its markets. In 2012, with more than 4,000 home sale closings, the company reduced homeowners’ utility bills by more than $3.5 million every year. These homes eliminate nearly 30 million kWh of electrical demand every year — the equivalent of a 60 watt light bulb being lit for 57,000 years or the emissions from over 4,000 cars.

“EPA is recognizing Meritage Homes for earning EPA’s highest Energy Star award – the 2013 Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award,” said Bob Perciasepe, acting administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “Meritage leads the field with their commitment to energy efficiency and demonstrates how all Americans can save energy, save money, and create a healthier environment.”

With every home it builds, the company is focused on creating value and improving family lifestyles through dozens of features that work  together to provide improved home function. The results are homes that are quieter, cleaner, healthier, and have reduced pollution, allergens and dust in the indoor air. The energy-efficient features save money without sacrificing lifestyle or compromising design.

Meritage Homes is the only large national homebuilder to earn the EPA’s Energy Star seal of approval on every home it has built since 2009. These homes meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by the EPA and be at least 20 percent more energy-efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC). A third-party certified home energy rater must perform an independent audit and verification to ensure that a home meets Energy Star guidelines.

Meritage will be honored at an awards ceremony on March 26 in Washington, D.C., with other award winners selected from the nearly 20,000 organizations that participate in the Energy Star program.

Air pollution

Air Pollution In Arizona: Hayden Seeks Long Awaited Relief

Air pollution is a national problem. Imagine leaving your house every morning and having to wear a face mask and gloves, worrying that the air you breathe and everything you touch is toxic. That is an example of the extreme, but it if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doesn’t regulate and control where factories are built and what they are dispersing into the ecosystem near towns and cities, wearing a face mask and gloves may become the norm.

National Air Pollution Problems

Lead and arsenic are being released into the air in Laureldale, Pa. by Exide, a company that recycles car batteries. Exide was recently cited with 161 violations and fined $436,000, but did that change its practices?

Residents are still complaining because of the smell, but it’s the unseen hazards that are putting this community at risk.

The EPA says toxic air has dropped by 40 percent when compared to 20 years ago, but there is still an issue with companies violating regulations. The EPA has a watch list of Clean Air Act violators and as recently as this summer the list capped at around 400 companies across the United States.

Poisoned Places: Toxics in the Air, on the Ground

Air Pollution in Hayden, Arizona

When it comes to companies being careless about toxic emissions, small Arizona towns are being affected by bad air. Residents of Hayden, Ariz. are are concerned about the health risks that come with living in Hayden and are afraid to let their children play outside.

One resident relocated after Asarco bought her home and demolished it after it was determined to be severely contaminated with chemicals emitted by the copper mining and smelting company.

The EPA tested the soil in Hayden and found that lead and arsenic contaminated dozens of family yards close to the smelting operations. The company was required to clean it up, but according to Hayden residents, ASARCO covered the contaminated soil with landscaping rocks.

The air pollution condition for the residents in Hayden, Ariz. is a catch-22. The community was created by the mining company and many residents in the community work for ASARCO. They don’t want to lose the jobs the company provides, they just want ASARCO to clean up its act.

License to Pollute: An Arizona Town’s Long Struggle With Hazardous Air

Sustainable Banks, Green Banking

“Green” Banking, New Resource Bank, Helps Empower Sustainable Businesses

Sustainable Banking

More than ever companies are taking the steps to creating a sustainable business; however, changing your business from “regular” to “green” can be costly and take time.

But there are banks that can help: green banks — specific banks designed to aid environmentally-conscious businesses and consumers with better incentives and loan rates. Despite the changes in our economic system in business caused by the housing market, these banks are willing to work with companies who want to empower sustainability.

New Resource Bank is a small commercial bank established with the sole mission of serving the particular needs of green entrepreneurs and sustainable businesses. The model “rethink, rebuild, renew” has a vast appeal to the bank because they want to educate with programs, reduce consumption and challenge other companies to do the same.

Not only is this bank lending funds to help other companies go green, they are walking the walk themselves. The bank is reducing their environmental footprint by using renewable energy and buying re-manufactured toner cartridges and chlorine-free paper products. The Values in Action Committee monitors the bank’s performance and pledge to promoting a global well-being for future generations.

Sustainability Certifications and Awards

Certified B Corporation

Green Banking 2011: Picture:Flickr, ithread

San Francisco–certified Green Business

LEED Gold headquarters

Green-e certified offsets

Outstanding Achievement 2009, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pacific Southwest region

New Resource Bank accepts applications from businesses in every state as long as you are a green business or committed to turning their business green.


Eco-Workers: Sustainability Starts At The Office

Sustainability starts at the office

Many firms are changing their operations to have considerably less impact on the environment. But most changes don’t have to begin at the top. They typically occur because concerned individuals got together, came up with an action plan and sold it to top management.

Eco Workers, Arizona Business Magazine September 2008As Alexis de Tocqueville observed in the 1830s in his “Democracy in America,” a defining characteristic of Americans is that they don’t wait for someone in authority to tell them what to do; they just voluntarily organize a group and go do it. If your company doesn’t use hybrids or support employees’ public transit use, get everyone on board to do this. If you’re going to move to a new building, insist on a LEED-registered (and certified) project.

Through an arrangement with a plumbing fixture manufacturer, one building engineering firm with about 100 employees in Portland, Ore., now offers a program to subsidize the installation of dual-flush toilets in employees’ homes, each saving about 6,000 gallons of water per year. The same firm has bought four Honda Civic hybrids for travel to client meetings and job sites, and subsidizes 60 percent of the cost of public transportation for employees, which has led to 80 percent participation. It’s also testing very low-flush urinals in the two washrooms, saving 85 percent of the water use of a typical 1-gallon-per-flush fixture.

Workers at a larger corporation might be surprised at how many incentives may be offered in the coming years for you to “go green.” For example, early in 2007, Bank of America offered a $3,000 cash rebate to any of its 185,000 employees who bought a hybrid car. Why couldn’t your company do the same? Many companies are offering transit subsidies, participation in local “car sharing” programs, showers and bicycle lockers for bicycle commuters, and similar measures to keep them from driving to work in conventionally powered, conventionally fueled, single-occupant automobiles.

Here are my top tips for affordable sustainability initiatives for any employer:

  • Make a personal commitment to change the way you do things. Lead by example.
  • Engage the creativity of staff by creating an in-house “green team” that has specific goals, responsibilities, timetables and budgets. If you’re large enough, consider hiring a sustainability director to oversee a comprehensive group of initiatives.
  • Tell the rest of the company in creative ways what your commitment is. For example, one company president sends his quarterly newsletter to more than 200 employees on recycled paper with wildflower seeds embedded in it. Instead of tossing it, employees are encouraged to soak the newsletter for a day, and then plant it in their garden.
  • Use less paper. Have the IT department set the default printing style to duplex, so everything is double sided unless it has to be printed only on one side.
  • Get rid of printers altogether; give everyone scanners for any paper that has to be saved, and encourage people not to
    print anything.
  • Measure everything that comes into the office or factory, and use less of it.
  • Get rid of wastebaskets under the desk and put recycling boxes. Any other trash can be disposed of down the hall.
  • Subsidize transit passes and offer guaranteed rides home for employees.
  • Make every company car a hybrid, biodiesel or flex-fuel vehicle. Look for a chance to buy the coming plug-in hybrids.
  • Buy only Energy Star appliances and equipment for the office. Get rid of any remaining incandescent lamps. Use only compact fluorescent bulbs or LED lights.
  • Buy green power from sun or wind power plants to meet all your electric power needs.
  • Buy carbon offsets for all your company travel, especially
    air travel.
  • Change your purchasing policies to buy only “Environmentally Preferable Products” from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s list.
  • Cut water use by installing waterless (or ultra-low flush) urinals and dual-flush toilets in all restrooms.

If you work at a government agency or school district, you have a chance to affect all of the organization’s design, construction, remodeling and purchasing policies. There’s nothing an elected official, planning commission member or senior civil servant likes more right now than to look good by instituting a sustainability policy. With more than 800 mayors of American cities on board to take action to reduce their cities’ greenhouse gas emissions, they’re going to be looking to their staffs to come up with practical proposals to implement this commitment. Make sure that everything you build has long-term sustainability built into it, including getting all new or renovated buildings certified to the LEED standard. Then tackle the harder stuff, such as purchasing policies and energy use in ongoing operations. Try to get the organization to certify one building to the LEED for Existing Buildings standard in order to create a benchmark for measuring the sustainability of operations across the board.

Jerry Yudelson, PE, MBA, LEED AP, is president at Yudelson Associates, Tucson. He can be reached at jerry@greenbuildconsult.com.