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NAIOP Washington Introduces Sustainability Award at Night of the Stars 2020

What does it mean to go first? In celebration of NAIOPWA’s Night of the Stars inaugural “Sustainable Development of the Year” category, here is a closer look at the two nominees, each of whom elected to be on the front edge of sustainable real estate development. Read below to learn more about these two industry-leading endeavors.

What is the first thing many developers or investors think when they hear the words “sustainable” or “green” as their architects describe their building design? For decades the common perception has been that it is difficult (if not impossible) to make a deeply green building pencil financially. However, by definition “sustainability” is the nexus of environmental, social and economic progress. We interviewed key participants representing both Watershed and Inspire at the Russell W. Young Building to learn how they overcame perception to create these very special properties.

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NAIOPWA Advocacy Update: Expedited Voluntary Cleanup Program

Update & Summary for August 3, 2020: 
The WA Dept. of Ecology's new Expedited VCP, launched on July 1, 2020, is a self-sustaining process with dedicated staff to respond quickly to the needs of developers working under compressed schedules. The time to get through the expedited VCP could be as short as 4 months compared to 18 months (or more) under the regular VCP. The new program also allows moving sites in the regular VCP to the Expedited VCP as long as certain requirements are met.

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Stepping into a New Normal: Redefining the Future of our Cities

Conference area at Gensler demonstrating physical distancing with clear signageWe’ve now reached 2+ months of working from home and have settled—as best as possible—into a new routine that revolves around juggling family, colleagues, and clients, while maintaining our personal health and well-being 24/7. That’s a lot. Some of us may be embracing this new work style while others are still overwhelmed by the daily challenges. But what’s top of mind for us all is what’s looming ahead. What will our new normal look like when our stay-at-home restrictions are lifted and more importantly, what changes can we expect to stick?

There has been much speculation and publication around what we could see when we return to the office. There will undoubtedly be the anticipated ongoing requirements of continuing to practice frequent hand washing and safe distancing. Health screenings for body temperature and the need to wear face masks in public places will become part of our routine. Physical changes to the work environment such as greater space between workstations, one-way traffic flow and limited occupancy of meeting rooms and elevators will also be necessary to maintain a safe space. We are all becoming more familiar with general changes that will certainly be in force on day one. The real question is, which of these changes and other modifications will be part of the workplace going forward, even after the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 has subsided?

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Sustainable Buildings = Healthier Occupants = Organizational Savings

Sustainability Mindset blog header with closeup of moss at right and text New Post

Investing in people could be one of the most inexpensive ways to invest in our businesses.

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Disaster Resiliency in the PNW

One critical aspect of sustainability is resiliency, or how we bounce back from natural disasters. A little preparation can go a long way—but a lack of forethought can quickly lead to very difficult situations throughout a city or region. Remember the 2015 New Yorker article about the next big Cascadia earthquake? When the article was published, it prompted seemingly endless, yet interesting, discussions about the inevitability of a very large earthquake in the region, as well as dozens of follow-up stories giving advice on how to prepare. 

Fast-forward four years to Seattle Snowmaggedon 2019. Did you have a week’s supply of food and water in your home when the snow fell last February? Conditions weren’t anywhere near as bad as the name suggests, but empty grocery store shelves made a deep impression, whether you saw them in person like I did or on social media or the news. Those empty-shelf encounters were a fairly common experience. The takeaway is that there is only a few days’ food supply in our grocery stores, which is quickly exacerbated by disaster-inspired hoarding behavior and the breakdown of efficient but lean supply chains.

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The ESG Framework and its Impact on Real Estate Development and Investment

It pays to go green!
Sustainability is becoming ever more important in the development of and investment in commercial real estate (CRE) due to several factors:

  • Increased attention to Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) issues at the corporate level.
  • Increased interest from the real estate investment community in ESG aspects of development.
  • Demographic impact of millennials placing a greater importance on environmental and social issues.

Corporate Interest in Sustainability via the ESG framework

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2019 NAIOPWA Change Makers for a Better Future [Event Recap]

banner with rooftop and text Change Makers

NAIOPWA’s Sustainable Development Committee held its fourth annual Change Makers event on June 27, 2019. The event brings together voices from a diverse group of local change-making organizations making social, environmental, and economic impacts, and establishing Seattle as a leader in sustainable development and beyond. The goal was to pool our collective wisdom, challenge assumptions, reach across boundaries, and explore what's possible when everyone pulls in the same direction.

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What’s Your Water Footprint?

Sustainability Blog header

A drought emergency for half of Washington State was declared in April and expanded in May. The drought is expected to impact the Olympic peninsula, the North Cascades, the eastern Cascades and southwest Washington. Seattle, Tacoma and Everett may also experience moderate drought.

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Ecological Overshoot: A sustainability discussion framework

Sustainability Blog header

Welcome to the first post of NAIOPWA's new Sustainability Mindset Blog, presented by the Sustainability Committee. The committee would like to further the discussion of sustainability with the greater NAIOPWA community and help nurture a sustainability mindset. We will produce a new post every couple of months, so please check back periodically for your next dose of content. You can also download the NAIOPWA app, follow NAIOPWA on Twitter, and subscribe to NAIOPWA's weekly email updates to be alerted when new posts go live.

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New Benchmarking Analysis Report Highlights Savings

The Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment released their latest Energy Benchmarking Analysis Report  to update energy performance trends based on data reported to the City from 2014 – 2016. The report highlights key building energy and emissions metrics for the 3,300 benchmarked buildings and reveals that continuously benchmarked buildings have reduced emissions, saved money, and improved performance over time.

Highlights include:

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