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SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS

In 2008, the Joint Venture board voted to establish an initiative addressing new and existing buildings, from the planning stage to operations, to identify opportunities to save resources and money. The focal points for the initiative were: water, energy, and the development process. Under the leadership of Glenn Gabel, Webcor Builders; Harry Sim, Cypress Envirosystems; Joe Horwedel, City of San José; and other champions, the group looked at a variety of methods to assist property owners and the development community.

Among its accomplishments were:

  • Hosting the California Building Standards Commission to provide building and planning officials with information on the CALGreen Building Code - presentation available here.
  • Championing efforts in the cities of San Jose and Santa Clara to pilot electronic building plan submission pilots for several months to determine the feasibility of using such technology.
  • Promoting water conservation via the adoption of sound public policy and through the recognition of best practices, including sponsorship of the Silicon Valley Water Conservation Awards.
  • Organizing a consortium which submitted an application for $8.2 million in funding from the California Energy Commission, to retrofit 10 million square feet of property with wireless thermostats and lighting management technology.

Significant changes in the residential and commercial real estate market during the economic downturn, combined with increased publicly-funded energy efficiency programs, led to a greater focus on retrofit, energy generation, and funding opportunities within Joint Venture. That work continues under the auspices of both the Public Sector Climate Task Force and the Climate Prosperity Council.

All Joint Venture initiatives begin with a specific mission and identifiable goals and then are carried out to their logical conclusion. Successful initiatives culminate with their goals achieved. Others, after incubation by Joint Venture, ultimately transfer to partner organizations for long-term administration. Still others cannot reach the desired outcome due to a variety of circumstances. In all cases, we analyze the steps taken, the data collected, the accomplishments and the shortcomings, and then report the results of completed initiatives to our board and to the community.

The Sustainable Buildings Initiative was launched to assist cities, counties, and the development community as they assessed new green building programs and the implementation challenges they posed.