POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS CHEMICALS FOUND IN INDOOR AIR
The phthalate esters commonly used in plastics and consumer products have already
been associated with a variety of health problems in people, but a new study reveals that
ambient air in buildings and other indoor spaces may be an important source of exposure
to these chemicals.
The research, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, shows that the pollutants can be absorbed directly from the air. Researchers predict that more than 30
semivolatile compounds that are commonly found indoors will prove to be equally potent
SOLAR POWER COULD BENEFIT
While bioenergy is a popular focus for improving
the world’s power supply, new research shows that
the power source’s expansion may have a negative
impact on biodiversity. The proliferation of solar
power, however, could improve capacity with less
of an impact on surrounding environments.
The study, which examined the global expan-
NREL ESTIMATES RENEWABLE
sion of land use for renewable energy versus bio-
diversity protection, found that while bioenergy
generated only limited amounts of power (mostly
on the local level), its implementation ran counter
to biodiversity conservation efforts. On the other
hand, solar and wind energy were found to provide large amounts of power with less of
an impact on natural environments.
ENERGY POTENTIAL IN THE U.S.
Many areas in the U.S. could become ripe
for renewable energy investment in the
future, according to research from the
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
(NREL) that found dropping technology
costs could improve the outlook for technology such as photovoltaics, wind power,
geothermal, biomass and hydropower.
The researchers found that by incorporating the social cost of carbon and using
projected electricity costs for the future,
the U.S. could theoretically produce nearly
50% of its annual electricity generation
from renewable sources by 2020. Those
numbers could improve to 75% by 2030
thanks to continued research, development and deployment that will drive
WORKPLACE CHARGING CHALLENGE ENCOURAGES EV USE
Created by the DOE, the Workplace Charging Challenge offers benefits to employers who offer EV charging stations for employees. The program includes technical
assistance, access to an information network to share best practices, and peer-to-peer
exchanges at workplace charging events.
Organizations looking to join the challenge can take the pledge, which includes
a commitment to provide EV charging access to employees. Participants must also
assess employee demand for charging, set a minimum goal for providing charging
service to a portion of EV-driving employees and develop a partner plan that captures
the organization’s strategy for meeting the goals.
NEW CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
DEVELOPED AS LEED ALTERNATIVE
A new certification program has been launched by the
Institute for Real Estate Management (IREM) to act as
a cost-effective alternative to LEED. The IREM Certified
Sustainable Property program is designed to measure
initiatives that FMs and property managers are able to
control and focuses on three main property types:
offices, multifamily buildings and shopping centers.
The new program will not require FMs or building
owners to hire a consultant. The tool will help organizations meet investment goals through expense reductions, potentially higher revenue and overall value
enhancement for properties certified under the program.