Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bring in the Bucks - Greener Vegas

Pepsi's Refresh Project - Good Idea grant could have a local recipient in Greener Vegas.  Your vote can make the difference.

Incorporated in 2007 by Zachary Delbex-Smith, the company works to enable business and educate community about the possibilities of repurposing reusable materials.  After years of working in the convention industry, Greener Vegas' founder became convinced that there was a way to keep much of the post-show debris out of the landfill.

His vision has evolved into a business that diverts these resources into the hands of businesses, nonprofits, schools, theater groups, community programs, artists, and manufacturers.

Over 50% of the $250,000 grant would go to staffing.  That's jobs for Las Vegans!  

Here are the goals of "What’s Waste in Vegas, Stays in Vegas!":
  • Reduce the carbon foot-print of the convention industry.
  • Divert reusable items into community, creating a closed loop system.
  • Create sustainable “green” jobs for vets & persons with disabilities.
  • Reduce significantly the non-recyclables entering landfills.

Please vote on Pepsi's website for Greener Vegas, and bring some much needed capital to our community!  September 30, 2010 is the deadline.

Disclosure:  Anne Johnson serves on the Greener Vegas board of directors.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Credential Upgraded to LEED AP: BD+C

After maintaining the LEED-AP* credential for several years now, Anne has taken the plunge to be LEED-AP with specialty: Building Design and Construction (BD+C).

What does this mean for our clients?
  • Demonstration of current knowledge (LEED, best practice, green construction technology)
  • Assurance of third-party oversight of LEED AP credential
  • LEED AP point toward LEED Certification
  • Doumented continuing education as required by Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI)
Per the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) website, "The LEED AP BD+C credential provides a standard for professionals participating in the design and construction phases of high-performance, healthful, durable, affordable and environmentally sound commercial, institutional, and high-rise residential buildings. The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) created this specialty credential to denote practical knowledge of the Green Building Design + Construction LEED rating systems: LEED for New Construction, LEED for Schools and LEED for Core & Shell."

Note: Anne maintained the LEED-AP BD+C through 2018 and remains a LEED-AP.
*“LEED AP” or "LEED Accredited Professionsl," and the LEED AP logos are trademarks owned by the U.S. Green Building Council and awarded to individuals under license by the Green Building Certification Institute.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Contractors Now Building Using BIM

Design professionals and have been using Building Information Technology, or BIM, for several years now.  During pre-construction, these 3-dimensional and data models inform design by allowing for virtual walk-throughs with clients, coordination of structural-mechanical-electrical-plumbing systems, and 3D testing of details.  Solid physical models can even be built from these virtual models using 3D printing.

Additionally, these models create data regarding quantities of components (e.g. building material quantities, or numbers of repeated room modules).  These models also support ecological design assessment, whether native to the software or via import into another program such as Ecotect.  Factors addressed include sun orientation, fenestration, carbon footprint, water usage and more.  Read more about current eco design software here...

Contractors are finding the BIM process useful for site logistics, quantity take-offs, 3D Request for Information RFI analysis, and work planning.  Here's one example of how McCarthy Building Company uses SketchUp Pro.  Click here for a brief discussion of pros and cons of using BIM for construction, and see BIMForum.org for Associated General Contractors of America's (AGC) take on the subject.

Building owners are also finding utility with BIM.  According to Facilities.net, a facilities management trade publication, "because of savings realized in scheduling, project costs, change orders and errors in general, several major organizations, both public and private, have migrated to the BIM process.  Examples include U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), NASA, General Motors, Crate & Barrel, Intel, LucasFilm and Walt Disney Imagineering."

Our studio uses ArchiCAD by Graphisoft.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

May Events

GoingGreen.com presents Green Your Home Workshop this Saturday May 1 from 10-11am at the Habitat for Humanity green prototype home.  Click here for more information.

Green Drinks National Webcast about Sustainable Food is Wednesday May 12. Click here for more information.

Green Drinks Las Vegas is Thursday May 13 6-7:30pm at Sun Cat Skylights. Click here for more information.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Renewable Power Rebates

Although the NV Energy rebate window for photovoltaics (PV) has closed*, Southern Nevada residents can still pursue green energy generation through wind power.  Local codes are still evolving to encourage residential and large-scale wind power installations.  Use the In My Backyard (IMBY) tool to estimate how much power your property can produce with PV or wind turbines.  Then contact a licensed contractor for more information.   Be aware that there are local ordinances governing the installation of wind turbines.  For example, in the City of Las Vegas, “small wind energy systems” are only allowed in certain residential districts zoned R-A, R-E and R-D and up to 100kW.  Check out Wind Power Nevada for some more background on current state and local laws.

WindGenerations and HydroGenerations are still accepting applications.  NV Energy is also now accepting more options for wind generators.  See their website for a listing of accepted certifications.
Learn more about electricity from wind for residential here.

*NV Energy’s SolarGenerations rebate program opened April 21, 2010 and exceeded capacity within six hours, and officially closed April 26.  They are currently reviewing applications to confirm eligibility.  Applications were accepted through Step 3 2012/2013. Check here for updates.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day 2010

Happy 40th Anniversary of Earth Day!  Every April 22 since 1970, Earth Day creates awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. 
Facts & Tips
Local Events
Take Action

Monday, April 12, 2010

We're DBE Certified with Nevada UCP

Our firm is pleased to announce Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Certification with the Nevada Unified Certification Program.  Our number is NV01238UCPN.  This follows an application and vetting process administered by NDOT.

This new status allows Anne Johnson, AIA to use the DBE certification to bid as a prime or subcontractor on projects with the Nevada Unified Certification Program (UCP).  The Nevada UCP is comprised of the Nevada Department of Transportation, the Regional Transportation Commissions (RTC) for Washoe and Clark Counties and the Reno/Tahoe and McCarran Airports.

This latest certification is in addition to our self-certified status as a woman owned business with the Federal Government's Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA).  [8/2012 update: CCR & ORCA have migrated to www.SAM.gov.  Enter CAGE code 5NN25 (AJA) 8DPZ1 (SFS)]

Let us know how we can partner with you at (702) 553-3323, or send an email.

We are listed with NDOT and Federal CCR registration under the following codes:
SIC 8712 - architectural services
SIC 7336 - commercial art/graphic design
541310 - architectural services
541430 - graphic services
337214 - office furniture
541410 - interior design services
561499 - business support services
337212 - custom woodwork
C213 - general inspection (non-construction)
B545 - special studies/analysis - housing/community development
AB42 - community service/development: Urban (applied resarch/exploratory development)
TOO1 - photo/map/print/publication - arts/graphics

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Can Gardening Be Greener?

Yes, gardening can be even greener.  Maintaining a garden is a sustainable idea by itself:  Grow what you eat; travel a few steps to pick out dinner; connect with the food cycle.  Whether container gardening on a patio, or a raised bed in the backyard, growing your own food sustainably is achievable.

A few trends from MyGardenGuide.com for a more sustainable garden follow:
  1. Lifecycle and Environmental Impact - How much energy was consumed in a plant or product's transportation and if any recycled materials were used?   How much water was used in the production of a product?  What kinds of chemicals are used and how do they affect the soil, air and water?
  2. Water-wise Landscapes - Use drought-tolerant plants, and install drip irrigation systems instead of using conventional watering techniques.  Visit Springs Preserve for ideas.
  3. Plants for Wellness - Garden for the betterment of mental health, nutrition or fitness.  
  4. Mixing it Up - Maximize square footage with a mix and match approach--edibles with ornamentals is one example.  Learn more about Square Foot Gardening...
  5. Vegetable Gardens - Grow edible gardens, which include vegetables, berries, fruits, and herbs. 
  6. Less Lawn, More Flowers and Shrubs - Water-wise landscapes are essential in our desert.  
  7. Native Plants - Native plants, or "naturescaping" emphasizes plants that naturally grow in a given locale.  Since they're evolved to grow in those conditions, they require little artificial water or fertilizer, and are highly disease resistant.
Home Farming, or Urban Farming, aren't new ideas, they extend back to our human beginnings.  However in in the past five years or so, the concept has resurfaced in an organized fashion.  Organizations promoting the concept focus on education, hunger relief, and health and wellness.  More community gardens are popping up to provide food for individual families, food banks, and those unable to garden for themselves.  Here in the Las Vegas Valley, we have a couple of urban farming organizations: Project Angel Faces and Tonopah Community Garden.  Individuals can contribute excess crops, or manpower to their efforts.

As we enter the month of Earth Day, give home farming or community gardening a shot.  It's fun and delicious!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In Business CRE March 26th Edition

Article by Anne exploring current trends in green building, commercial retrofits, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funding, Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC), and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification:

"Real estate and construction markets are experiencing a growing interconnection of green building and our economy. “Show me the money!” now requires a green edge. The United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) “Green Jobs Study” projects over 7.9 million jobs and $396 billion in labor earnings from green construction for 2009 through 2013. This is encouraging for our national and regional economic recovery...Recent studies and our own hands-on experience identify the following trends for 2010 and beyond:
• Green building growth led by existing building operations and tenant improvements
• Increased renewable energy production and energy conservation retrofits with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funding
• More use of energy savings performance contracting (ESPC) by commercial facility management
• “LEED Lite” economy approach to certification
• Green construction rating systems evolve with proven life-cycle data
• Changes to local government laws & fees, federal incentives & building codes promote green building
• “Integrated Bottom Line” overtakes “Triple Bottom Line”

read more at the Las Vegas Sun...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Earth Hour Saturday March 27

1 hour without lights at 8:30PM. It's that simple. All around the
Global site: http://m.earthhour.org/
Some fun facts about Earth Hour:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Local Women in the Green Economy

The Las Vegas Ward 5 Chamber of Commerce & Green Talk Radio will be celebrating Women's History Month by acknowledging women who have made significant strides in the green economy.

To check out these dynamic women see the upcoming "green" edition of the Las Vegas Uptown News. Honorees will be announced on March 18, 2010, 12:30 p.m. at La Scala's Restaurant during Green Talk Radio's "Lunch and Learn."

UPDATE...the honorees are:
  • Richann Bender - Exec Dir California-Nevada Super Speed Train Commission
  • Anne M. Johnson - Architect
  • Rosalind Brooks - Tonopah Community Garden
  • Cindy Ortega - Sr VP MGM Mirage Energy and Environmental Services Division
  • Emily Covelli - DECOLights
  • Emily Huffman - Energy Educator for NV Energy
  • Betty Wolfe - Wolfe Drop Box Services
  • Su Phelps- Lakewood Recycling
  • Julie Johnson - Employer Resource Specialist, Las Vegas Clark County Urban League

Thursday, February 18, 2010

G-Force Neighborhood Cleanup March 6

GoingGreen.com, G-Force and the City of Las Vegas are cleaning up the 18b Las Vegas Arts District on Saturday, March 6.

Have fun, learn about new ways to go green, and make a difference in our city:
Registration 9:30-10:00AM
Clean Up 10:00AM - noon
Presentation & Food noon-1PM

For more info call (702) 813-1435, or click GoingGreen.com

Friday, January 1, 2010

Christmas Tree Recycling

Tip from Earth Friendly Living section at Primrose Magazine:

"Now through January 15, you can recycle your Christmas Tree at Springs Preserve.  You can give our community a gift while doing your holiday cleaning.  Visit one of over 20 drop sites, or make time to visit a great Las Vegas attraction by going to Springs Preserve.  Call (702) 822-7700 for locations, or visit www.springspreserve.org."