Sustainability is best defined as creating and maintaining the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations (Environmental Protection Agency , 2016). As the population grows, housing demand will follow suit; this concept has new life into many industries and their respective markets.
In May 2012, McKinsey came out with an article recognizing health and wellness as the next trillion-dollar industry. Additionally, findings from the 2015 CogFx Study from Harvard University suggested that employees show higher cognitive function scores when working in green and healthy office environments. On an average people spend 90% of their time indoors, therefore, it is essential to emphasize improving the health and wellness of building occupants.
It may seem that everyday there is a new designation for products and companies that go above and beyond what is required of them. B Laboratory, the nonprofit organization responsible for certifying B Corporations (B Corps), claims “B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.” B Corp stands for Benefit Corporation, and its administrator B Lab strives to prove that businesses can pursue social justice, benefit the environment, and create an equitable organization, all while improving their financial success.
ZNE is a sexy phrase and thrilling concept, but setting the building sector’s sights on zero as the fix-all goal is raising notable concerns among critical stakeholders. This article outlines the tradeoffs of a ZNE framework for our future built environment and points to some alternative approaches to keep us on track to the ultimate goal of carbon reduction.
As the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) implements the California Long-Term Energy Efficiency Strategy Plan, a foundational goal is ensuring all new residential buildings be Zero Net Energy (ZNE) by 2020, and all new commercial buildings be ZNE by 2030. Additionally, 50% of existing commercial buildings will need to be retrofitted to ZNE by 2030.
At Verdical Group, we’ve been leading the charge to build Connection within the green building industry as part of our natural evolution as a firm. Our passion and purpose have driven us to produce the nation’s largest net zero building conference for five years running and, while we never initially set out to be in the business of events, it has become a large part of what we do based on our corporate principles and, frankly, sheer demand. Since 2014, the Net Zero Conferences have been our cathartic passion project towards connecting, educating, and inspiring an industry towards a purpose – to create a healthier, greener, cleaner built environment. Maybe it’s because we’re a certified B Corporation that we feel compelled to do this – or maybe it’s why we’re a B Corp.
If you missed the Net Zero 2017: Energy + Water + Waste Conference on August 24th, 2017, you missed a day of thoughtful, solutions-based thinking and progressive case studies. Speakers presented on zero waste manufacturing, zero net energy facilities, and ZNE community development. The audience learned about successes, challenges, and lessons learned; if you did miss it, you can review the presentation slides here.
We live in a changing world. The planet, and our communities, continue to fundamentally change as temperatures rise and the atmosphere contains higher concentrations of greenhouse gases. Shifting weather patterns present new challenges, and vulnerable populations become increasingly more at risk as additional challenges pop up faster than we can come up with individual solutions. How can we respond to the positive feedback loop of new challenges? How can we adapt for the future, and protect ourselves now?
Part III: Perlita House Green Building Certification
While we’re out here trying to beat the heat, construction on the Perlita Passive House continues on schedule. By now you’re familiar with the Perlita Passive House design process (and if not, you can read Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up) and have read that Verdical Group is leading the charge on the Project’s Living Building Challenge (LBC) Energy Petal Certification. But what does that really mean?
With just two weeks until Verdical Group’s Net Zero 2017 Conference, we’re highlighting the participation of Southern California Edison (SCE) in this year’s 4th annual event. The conference will gather 600+ attendees and 45+ exhibitors in Los Angeles on August 24, 2017 at the IBEW-NECA Net Zero Plus facility. Read our interview with SCE below that highlights their focus on climate goals and building a sustainable society as a primary provider of energy in SoCal and as one of the largest utilities in the country.