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Posts tagged ‘net zero’

Salt Lake City Fire Station 14 Wins Prestigious National Award

Salt Lake City’s Fire Station 14, courtesy of architects Blalock & Partners,

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The Engineering News Record (ENR) chose Salt Lake City’s Fire Station 14 as their “Best of the Best Project” in the national Government/Public Building category. This is the seventh award for Utah’s first Net Zero energy fire station which was built in 2018.

The latest award, which is detailed in the March 23 issue of ENR, is the culmination of a year-long process during which construction experts from ten different regions selected finalists. Those 200 finalists then moved to the national competition and were vetted by a different panel of judges.

Fire Station 14 is believed to be not only Utah’s, but the nation’s, first Net Zero energy fire station. That means it produces as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis.

It’s also expected to become certified as LEED Gold, showing it meets a range of holistic sustainability benchmarks, including material management, waste diversion, water conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and more.

The project was recognized last year as the Best Government/Public Building for the Mountain States Region. As a result, it was automatically entered into ENR’s national “Best of the Best” Competition. Representatives from Zwick, the general contractor, anticipate accepting the award as a representation of the collaboration between the architects, Blalock & Partners, Salt Lake City (Engineering/Fire Dept.), and themselves.

Fire Station 14, near California Ave. and 3800 West, and Fire Station 3, in Sugar House, are both Net Zero and were opened within months of each other in 2018.

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Intermountain Sustainability Summit 2020

Intermountain Sustainability Summit logo with slogan "Enabling Action" on blue, yellow, and green banner. Banner also features photos of attendees from past summits.

The 11th annual Intermountain Sustainability Summit is less than a month away! Hosted at Weber State University’s Sustainability Practices and Research Center (SPARC), this year’s Summit will be held on March 19th and 20th.

The 2-day event features workshops and lectures from leaders in sustainability. The Summit highlights sustainability solutions to help build resiliency and protect the environment and economy.

Highlighting Clean Energy Communities

The Intermountain Sustainability Summit began as a way to bring students, professionals, and the public together to learn about sustainability topics including clean energy, infrastructure, and water conservation. The Summit unites non-profits, businesses, local governments, educators, students, and interested members of the public together for a variety of workshops, presentations, and networking opportunities.

This year, A full roster of speakers is lined up for the event, including SLCgreen’s very own Senior Energy and Climate Program Manager, Christopher Thomas!

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Salt Lake City Recognized for Climate Achievements

We’re excited to report that the United States Conference of Mayors honored Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, recognizing Salt Lake City efforts to move towards the city’s Climate Positive goals.

Check out the press release below for more details!

Salt Lake City Skyline

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 28, 2019

Salt Lake City receives prestigious recognition of climate achievements at U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting

Today at its annual conference, the United States Conference of Mayors recognized Mayor Jackie Biskupski for her leadership to advance renewable energy and tackle climate change. Presented at the “Climate Luncheon,” Mayor Biskupski was recognized for Salt Lake City’s efforts to transition to net-100 percent clean electricity, which made significant strides in 2019 with the passage and enactment of HB 411, the Community Renewable Energy Act.

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Electrified Transportation Really is Cleaner!

by SLCgreen intern Kelbe Goupil

We talk a lot about electric vehicles at SLCgreen (seriously – check it out).

That’s because they’re one of the critical pieces of transitioning our community to a lower carbon footprint (and they’re pretty fun to drive too).

Therefore, over the last several years, SLCgreen has developed policies to promote electric vehicle adoption in the community at large and in our government fleet.

But this support is not without substantive research and justification.

While EVs are a key part of the puzzle, they’re not a panacea to climate change or our air quality problems. Other forms of transportation (biking, walking, riding the bus or train) and good urban planning are just as important.

Today, however, we are taking a deep dive on a common question regarding electric vehicles– just how clean are they?

Read on and dig in.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station
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Salt Lake City Opens the Second Net Zero Fire Station in the Country

Firestation #3 photo 2 (slcgov)

Did you see the news about Salt Lake City’s grand opening of Fire Station 3 last week?

We are thrilled our fire crews have a new home base from which to work, rest, and recover.

Station 3 is the second Net Zero fire station in the country behind Station No. 14, and Salt Lake City is home to the only two Net Zero energy fire stations in the U.S!

Net Zero means the Station will produce as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. It’s also expected to become certified as LEED Gold, which means it meets a range of holistic sustainability benchmarks, including material management, waste diversion, water conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and more.

Salt Lake City’s internal Comprehensive Sustainability Policy (6.01.02) specifies that all new municipal construction should be evaluated to meet Net Zero energy standards (if over 10,000 square feet), as well as LEED Gold.

Station 3 is one example of Salt Lake City’s commitment to sustainability, as well as the 100 percent renewable-energy goal described in our Climate Positive 2040 plan. The thoughtful design features are anticipated to result in long-term environmental and economic benefits for our city and the surrounding areas. Read more

This is What the Future Looks Like

Project Open’s All-Electric Apartments Set the Stage for Eco-Friendly Affordable Living

 

Outside Project Open2

by Ryan Anderson, SLCgreen intern

If you’ve been to Salt Lake City in the winter, you know that our air quality leaves room for improvement. Our air pollution has already been found to have severe health impacts, and it’s crucial that we act now before the problem worsens.

Winters are plagued by inversions and in the summer we have a growing problem with ozone.

Both of these problems are directly tied to the emissions we put into the air. While transportation is the largest source, our homes and buildings are a close second and are projected to become the top polluter in the coming years.

With Utah’s population expected to double in the latter half of this century and a growth rate three times the national average, reducing emissions and improving our air quality has become even more pressing.

A key step in securing a healthier future for our community is to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas in residential and commercial buildings, plus the transportation sector.

Luckily, there are solutions. If we design and build our structures smarter, we can reduce much of the pollution that comes from our buildings. And if these structures also incorporate green transportation features, we can significantly move the needle on both air pollution and our community carbon footprint.

That’s why we’re excited to feature a forward-thinking new housing complex that is innovating on all of these fronts.

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Coming Together on Climate

Mayors Climate Picture

Mayor Biskupski meets with local elected officials from across Utah to discuss policies to address climate change.

Last week, Mayor Biskupski brought together mayors and councilmembers from nine other Utah communities to discuss what local government can do to address climate change.

The latest data about fossil fuel consumption and associated pollution is deeply troubling. For the first time in hundreds of thousands of years, the Earth hit a monthly average of 410 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 in the atmosphere.

But we still have a window to act. That’s why it’s critical for local governments to drive policies that reduce energy consumption, catalyze renewable energy development, and transform our transportation sector.

In addition to creating our own plan, Climate Positive SLCwe need to work together to achieve the kind of change our planet and future requires.

That’s why the Mayor has taken leadership roles in a number of high-profile networks, including Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean EnergyClimate Mayors, and locally with Path to Positive Utah. She was also recently appointed to chair the Alliance for a Sustainable Future Committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

It’s also important, as Utah’s capital city, for us to lead locally and share the expertise and experience we have with other cities and towns. We can and must be stronger together.

That was the intention behind last week’s meeting, which was co-hosted with the Salt Lake City chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. It garnered interest from mayors and councilmembers from Utah cities and towns representing 750,000 residents which is 24 percent of the state’s total population.

READ MORE VIA THE MAYOR’S BLOG . . .

Paris, Sydney, Oslo . . . Salt Lake City: A Trip Report from the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance Conference

Several weeks ago, Salt Lake City’s Sustainability Department Director, Vicki Bennett, traveled to Sydney, Australia to meet with the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance (CNCA). The purpose of her trip (which was fully funded by a scholarship) was to share best practices in carbon reduction strategies with 20 other cities from around the world.

Each city sent a sustainability representative to discuss one collective goal: limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius and how cities are taking on that challenge. Salt Lake City was selected to attend because of our commitment to lowering emissions city-wide via Climate Positive SLC, our membership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, and the involvement of Mayor Biskupski with Mayors For 100% Clean Energy.

“It was an honor to be included in this group,” Vicki said, noting that the attending cities all have some of the most progressive carbon reduction strategies in the world.

Untitled design (6)

Read on for an abbreviated version of Vicki’s trip report . . .

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Mayor Becker Issues Executive Order to Increase Energy Efficiency at City Facilities

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Today Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker issued an Executive Order designed to maximize superior energy management at all Salt Lake City facilities.

“We must lead by example,” said Mayor Becker. “By taking steps to actively monitor our energy use and improve the efficiency of city facilities, we will cut energy waste, improve air quality, protect our natural resources and ultimately save taxpayer dollars.”

The order, which establishes Salt Lake City among leading cities nationwide, creates a multi-department Energy Management Steering Committee and requires City facilities to develop annual Energy Management Plans and track results.

“Through this Executive Order, Mayor Becker again demonstrates his commitment to air quality and smart energy use,” said Sarah Wright, Executive Director of Utah Clean Energy. “Improving the efficiency of Salt Lake City municipal facilities is a fantastic way to showcase how local governments can save taxpayer dollars while simultaneously reducing pollution.”

Energy Management Plans will report on facilities’ progress utilizing best practices in energy management, including energy benchmarking, identification of energy-saving opportunities, requiring building energy efficiency training for facilities managers and operators, empowering employees to play an active role in cutting energy waste and improved transparency of facility energy performance.

The new Executive Order is a cornerstone of Project Skyline, an initiative designed to dramatically cut energy waste in Salt Lake City’s commercial buildings by accelerating investment in energy efficiency and raising public awareness of building performance. In 2014, Project Skyline kicked off with the Mayor’s Skyline Challenge, enlisting 20 businesses in a proactive effort to reduce building energy use. Learn more at SLCgov.com/ProjectSkyline.

A previous Executive Order issued by Mayor Becker in 2013 required all new City facilities achieve net-zero energy status (i.e. producing as much energy as they consume).

Mayor Becker Addresses Blueprint for a Better Future

On Tuesday, Mayor Becker joined Governor Herbert and other community leaders for a special Sundance event at The Leonardo. Blueprint for a Better Future: Clean Air, Clean Water, Clean Energy was hosted by The Diplomatic Courier Magazine and Hinckley Institute of Politics, and explored how climate change and climate action is impacting the future of our cities.

Mayor Ralph Becker took the stage to share how Salt Lake City is proactively addressing the city’s future by taking climate change and climate adaptation into account today.

“The effects of climate change are real and impose a serious threat globally, and to our own community,” said Mayor Becker. “Salt Lake City is aggressively preparing for future climate challenges, to be a resilient community with a high quality of life due to our climate preparedness activities. Our efforts will ensure future clean and sufficient water supplies, investment in renewable, clean energy systems, and alternative transportation systems.”

The Mayor highlighted how these investments will not only make Salt Lake City more resilient, but that they will also improve community health through better air quality and a more walkable community. He also said that while Salt Lake City has been fortunate to have access to clean and reliable water from the Wasatch Mountains, the most profound climate risk our community faces is the loss of and degradation of our water supplies. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the most important strategy to reduce climate impacts to our water supplies.

What Salt Lake City is Doing

Salt Lake City has been measuring our greenhouse gas emissions since 2002, and now can tell every department and division their emissions by source, so they can implement specific reduction strategies.

New buildings are reviewed to determine if they can be built to a “net-zero” standard. Our new Public Safety Building has met that goal.

Fleet vehicles are constantly being right-sized, eliminated or replaced with alternative fuel vehicles. Electric charging stations are being installed across the city.

The City is beginning a Climate Leadership Academy for employees to help enhance the City’s capacity for addressing climate change. Employees from all departments will attend monthly meetings for a year to learn about climate issues and opportunities, personally and professionally. This, and other training opportunities, will ensure that every city employee understands how they can make a difference.

The City has been fortunate to receive Federal support on our climate planning efforts, partnering with Western Water Assessment, part of the NOAA Regional Integrated Science Assessment Program, to conduct climate vulnerability work. This partnership has leveraged our access to actionable data and tools to support climate adaptation decision-making, especially within our water utility.

Due to these aggressive efforts, Salt Lake City has been designated by the White House as a Climate Action Champion.

Citywide & Regional Climate Action

Salt Lake City is launching a metro-regional climate planning group that will look at mitigation and adaptation efforts on a broader, regional basis in a collaborative way.

Other efforts include a Transit Master Plan, Complete Streets Ordinance, protected bike lanes, streetcars and the Mountain Accord planning process.

“Applying the true economic costs of future climate risks will be essential as we make future decisions. One example of this is our work with the State of Utah and regional energy providers to evaluate appropriate costs and account for benefits of renewable energy,” Mayor Becker said. “We need to consider long-term economic, environmental and societal benefits of these investments, not simply short-term decisions that often undervalue climate resilient strategies.”

Moving Forward

Salt Lake City understands that addressing climate change impacts is essential as part of our efforts to achieves our goals to be a livable city. And when we address climate change, we also address air quality, facilitate mobility choices, ensure a safe and abundant water supply, create more walkable neighborhoods and establish a vibrant downtown.

Learn more about our efforts at SLCgreen.com.