Thursday, September 6, 2007

Waterfront Redevelopment: BEYOND LEED to a Triple Bottom Line

On 8/27/07 I posted an article entitled Waterfront Redevelopment: Clean & Green or In-Between? This posting builds upon that with more information.

Today, I attended the Sustainable Communities & Land Use Conference held at the Ferry Terminal and among several excellent sessions, heard one of the most sincere and inspiring presentations in recent memory.

The Keynote address by Jason McLennan, CEO of the Cascadia Chapter of the US Green Building Council put the issue of sustainable planning, building and living habits squarely into focus with examples that vividly illustrated where our failure to get smarter will lead. New Orleans, Houston and Kansas City all provide insights into where we are heading if we fail to get smarter about growth.

But, these three examples merely served to load the bases for the next batter, who hit an absolute homerun!

Joe Van Bellegham [almost sounds like Bellingham!], the Developer of Dockside Green in Victoria, BC actually received spontaneous standing ovations from the audience -of probably over 200- for his presentation on Urban/Brownfield Development Focus - best practices.

Dockside Green is a 15 acre urban, waterfront, mixed use, Brownfield redevelopment, which has captured the admiration of essentially everyone paying attention. The 'green' buildings themselves are fascinating enough, the inspiration behind this project, its guiding philosophy and where that has led are the real story! If there was ever a developer capable of not only walking his talk, but living his dream, it would have to be this guy, Joe. And now that he has actually accomplished a very successful project that previously had to be thought of as unaffordable, impossible and impractical, Joe is on a mission to give away his 'trade secrets' to enable similar successes elswhere.

One point that resonated deeply was Van Bellegham's concept of the 'triple bottom line', that comes as close to defining 'full cost accounting' as anything I've heard. Are you ready for this? The 'triple bottom line' means satisfying needs for Economics, Ecology and Social Equity, the 3 'E's"!
As comedian Craig Ferguson might say, REMIND YOU OF ANYTHING?
A three-legged stool, maybe?
Put another way, it stands for PEOPLE, PLANET & PROSPERITY.
Who could possibly be against any of those things?

Joe went way beyond his alloted time, but no one cared. In fact, I think most folks would have stayed as long as his voice held out, so interesting was his approach, enthusiasm and heart-felt motivation. What he had to say was that good, and I'll be really disappointed if his talk and slides weren't captured on video for others to experience.

Joe then answered questions with the same enthusiasm, born of both of his obvious success and his commitment to this cause.
At the end, Michelle Long asked Joe if he would consider helping our community realize its Waterfront Redevelopment.

He didn't hestitate in responding that he didn't need another such project, that he probably had about 3 or 4 left in his future, but would be very selective about which assignments he might take on. He said much would depend upon the community and its commitment to such an undertaking. Then, he candidly said what we all wanted to hear; that if asked, he would probably take on the assignment of 'helping' us with our Waterfront Redevelopment!

I don't know about others, but I was ready to sign him up on the spot, knowing full well that we need to think carefully about what role he might play in defining what it is that we - as a community, committed to sustainability - can get behind and make happen.

Let's get those discussion started! This guy is a winner and has the right ideas about how to go about winning the public trust it will take to make our Waterfront Redevelopment a winner, too!

For those interested, here is a website at which Joe's Dockside Green Projects is described:

About LEED® for Neighborhood Development
June 2007

What is LEED for Neighborhood Development?

LEED for Neighborhood Development is a rating system that integrates the principles of smart growth, new urbanism, and green building into the first national standard for neighborhood design. It is being developed by USGBC in partnership with the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
What is the significance of LEED for Neighborhood Development certification?

Using the framework of other LEED rating systems, LEED for Neighborhood Development recognizes development projects that successfully protect and enhance the overall health, natural environment, and quality of life of our communities. The rating system encourages smart growth and new urbanist best practices, promoting the design of neighborhoods that reduce vehicle miles traveled and communities where jobs and services are accessible by foot or public transit. It promotes more efficient energy and water use—especially important in urban areas where infrastructure is often overtaxed.
What is the status of LEED for Neighborhood Development?

The LEED for Neighborhood Development pilot program has just begun. A call for pilot projects took place between February and April 2007. More than 370 projects submitted an expression of interest to participate. Due to overwhelming interest in the pilot program, additional resources were made available that enabled us to accommodate any of these projects that choose to register for the pilot program. After registration, these projects will submit documentation based on the rating system to be verified by a third-party reviewer in order to become LEED Certified pilot projects. The information learned during the pilot program will be used to make further revisions to the rating system and the resulting draft will be posted for public comment before it is submitted for final approvals and balloting.
What can projects do to get certified if they missed the deadline for participation in the pilot program?

Although the period for applying to be in the pilot program has passed, projects will be able to participate in the full program, which should launch in early 2009. For most projects, certification under the full program should offer similar value to pilot certification, since LEED for Neighborhood Development enables projects to certify at both very early and very late stages of development. For now, projects can look to the pilot rating system and other information that is posted at for general guidance as to what LEED for Neighborhood Development is about, although the rating system will change somewhat as a result of the pilot program.

Program staff and the LEED for Neighborhood Development Core Committee are developing ways for projects that are interested in pursuing LEED for Neighborhood Development to remain engaged during the pilot phase, even if they missed the pilot application deadline. Please join the LEED for Neighborhood Development Corresponding Committee if you would like to hear about these opportunities once they become available. This listserv will also be notified when the full program is open for registration. Directions on how to join the corresponding committee are below.
How do the other LEED rating systems interact with LEED for Neighborhood Development?

Points are available within the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system for including LEED Certified buildings and for integrating green building practices within the buildings on the project site. These credits relate to energy efficiency, reduced water use, building reuse, recycled materials, and heat island reduction.
How will LEED for Neighborhood Development be different from the Application Guide for Multiple Buildings and On-Campus Building Projects?

The Application Guide for Multiple Buildings and On-Campus Building Projects is based on the LEED for New Construction rating system for buildings and therefore does not incorporate smart growth or new urbanism to the extent that LEED for Neighborhood Development does. The LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system focuses on residential, commercial, and mixed use projects developed by a single entity but often sold or leased to multiple consumers whereas the application guide targets institutional and office park campuses, usually owned and operated by a single entity.
What are the LEED for Neighborhood Development Core and Corresponding Committees?

The core committee does the day-to-day work of developing the rating system, while a larger corresponding committee is also established for every LEED product so that interested stakeholders can participate in its development. The corresponding committee listserv enables a wider group of experts and interested parties to stay updated and receive notification of opportunities to provide feedback. Corresponding committee members receive minutes from core committee meetings and other announcements.
I would like to be involved with LEED for Neighborhood Development. How can I join the corresponding committee?

The corresponding committee is open to USGBC members and nonmembers but there are different ways to join:

• USGBC members can visit, log into Your Account, and subscribe to the committee listserv.
• Others can send an e-mail to requesting to be added to the corresponding committee.
What is the timeline for developing LEED for Neighborhood Development?

2007: LEED for Neighborhood Development pilot program launches
2008: Public comment periods begin for post-pilot version of LEED for Neighborhood Development
2009: LEED for Neighborhood Development (full program) ballot and launch
How do I find out more?

For more information, visit or e-mail
Here's a LEED for Neighborhood Development Pilot Project Checklist

Smart Location & Linkage

Prereq 1 Smart Location
Prereq 2 Proximity to Water and Wastewater Infrastructure
Prereq 3 Imperiled Species and Ecological Communities
Prereq 4 Wetland and Water Body Conservation
Prereq 5 Farmland Conservation
Prereq 6 Floodplain Avoidance
Credit 1 Brownfield Redevelopment
Credit 2 High Priority Brownfields Redevelopment
Credit 3 Preferred Location
Credit 4 Reduced Automobile Dependence
Credit 5 Bicycle Network
Credit 6 Housing and Jobs Proximity
Credit 7 School Proximity
Credit 8 Steep Slope Protection
Credit 9 Site Design for Habitat or Wetlands Conservation
Credit 10 Restoration of Habitat or Wetlands
Credit 11 Conservation Management of Habitat or Wetlands

Neighborhood Pattern & Design

Prereq 1 Open Community
Prereq 2 Compact Development
Credit 1 Compact Development
Credit 2 Diversity of Uses
Credit 3 Diversity of Housing Types
Credit 4 Affordable Rental Housing
Credit 5 Affordable For-Sale Housing
Credit 6 Reduced Parking Footprint
Credit 7 Walkable Streets
Credit 8 Street Network
Credit 9 Transit Facilities
Credit 10 Transportation Demand Management
Credit 11 Access to Surrounding Vicinity
Credit 12 Access to Public Spaces
Credit 13 Access to Active Public Spaces
Credit 14 Universal Accessibility
Credit 15 Community Outreach and Involvement
Credit 16 Local Food Production

Green Construction & Technology

Prereq 1 Construction Activity Pollution Prevention
Credit 1 LEED Certified Green Buildings
Credit 2 Energy Efficiency in Buildings
Credit 3 Reduced Water Use
Credit 4 Building Reuse and Adaptive Reuse
Credit 5 Reuse of Historic Buildings
Credit 6 Minimize Site Disturbance through Site Design
Credit 7 Minimize Site Disturbance during Construction
Credit 8 Contaminant Reduction in Brownfields Remediation
Credit 9 Stormwater Management
Credit 10 Heat Island Reduction
Credit 11 Solar Orientation
Credit 12 On-Site Energy Generation
Credit 13 On-Site Renewable Energy Sources
Credit 14 District Heating & Cooling
Credit 15 Infrastructure Energy Efficiency
Credit 16 Wastewater Management
Credit 17 Recycled Content for Infrastructure
Credit 18 Construction Waste Management
Credit 19 Comprehensive Waste Management
Credit 20 Light Pollution Reduction

Innovation & Design Process

Credit 1.1 Innovation in Design: Provide Specific Title
Credit 1.2 Innovation in Design: Provide Specific Title
Credit 1.3 Innovation in Design: Provide Specific Title
Credit 1.4 Innovation in Design: Provide Specific Title
Credit 1.5 Innovation in Design: Provide Specific Title
Credit 2 LEED® Accredited Professional

Project Totals (pre-certification estimates)
Certified: 40-49 points, Silver: 50-59 points, Gold: 60-79 points, Platinum: 80-106 points