Wednesday, April 28, 2010

California DIR Division of Occupational Safety and Health Meetings on Elevator Inspection Fee Increases - Final Discussion on May 11, 2010




BOMA San Francisco Members:

The California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health is proposing to adopt regulations that will increase the fee charged for elevator inspections on May 11, 2010, at 1515 Clay Street, Oakland CA, 13th Floor Training Room starting at 1:00 p.m.

This meeting will explain the new fee structure--click here to review the proposed fees--and provide those who attend and opportunity to ask questions and comment on the changes.


Mayor Gavin Newsom's Earth Day Breakfast - San Francisco 24x7 Energy Challenge Winners




Your BOMA San Francisco Advocacy Team attended  Mayor Gavin Newsom's Earth Day Breakfast on April 27, 2010 to recognize the winners from the first first annual San Francisco 24x7 Energy Challenge  (click here for our blog post on the Challenge)--a contest that celebrates the most energy efficient commercial buildings in San Francisco as well as properties that make the greatest gains in energy performance.

Among the winners, the following BOMA San Francisco members were recognized for their energy efficiency efforts:

  • Blake Peterson, Senior Property Manager and Elle Vega, Property Administratorboth with Ashforth Pacific at the Orrick Building, were awarded as winners in the Greatest Improvement Category: the greatest percentage gain in Energy Performance Rating in one year.
  • Annie Chang, Assistant Property Manager and Arthur Wolf, Chief Engineer, both with Shorenstein Realty Services at the Russ Building, were awarded as winners in the Most Efficient Category: awarded to buildings with the highest Energy Star Portfolio Manager energy performance rating. 
  • Julie Giannini, Property Manager and Mark Jones, Chief Engineer, both with Broadway Real Estate Services at One Sansome, were awarded as winners in The Kilowatt Cup Category: a jury-awarded trophy recognizing superior achievement in energy management, overcoming unique obstacles, and emphasizing energy savings through no- and low-cost practices.
  • Please click here for a photograph of all the San Francisco 24x7 Energy Challenge winners with Mayor Gavin Newsom, and here for all the pictures from the event.
Mayor Newsom gave the keynote address. His speech focused on what San Francisco has achieved in energy conservation and environmental sustainability--and the 'green' jobs created from these efforts--since the first Earth Day Breakfast in 1999.

BOMA San Francisco would like to congratulate the winners of the Challenge, Mayor Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Department of the Environment Director David Assmann, and all of the Department staff for their dedication in promoting energy efficiency and protecting the environment.

Fix Muni Now - Signature Gathering Locations




BOMA San Francisco Members:

We've posted information on the blog recently about Supervisor Sean Elsbernd's Fix Muni Now campaign.  Supervisor Elsbernd and his team are ramping up their efforts and are asking for BOMA San Francisco members to get involved in the campaign to reform Muni. They have signature gathering volunteer opportunities throughout the week, and we hope you will be able to join them at one of the following locations:

We will be meeting:

Thursday, April 29
8-9AM
Haight & Masonic

11-2PM
Crocker Galleria Farmer's Market (50 Post St)

Friday, April 30
8-9AM
Cole & Carl

4-6PM
Geary & Divisadero

Saturday, May 1
10-2PM
Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market

10-2PM
Park Merced Farmers' Market (in the meadow)

Sunday, May 2, 2010
11-4PM
Duboce Park

Fix Muni Now needs to collect signatures! If you're a resident of San Francisco and a registered voter, and can't attend the signature gathering efforts as listed above, here are some of the ways you can help:
  • Ask your family, friends and colleagues who are registered to vote in San Francisco to sign the form.
  • Grab a friend and gather signatures outside your favorite grocery store, coffee house or neighborhood gathering spot.
  • Join their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter to get the latest news or meet up with other signature collectors.
If you would like to learn more about becoming involved in the campaign, please send an email to info@fixmuninow.com, call (415) 640-7278, fill out the group's webform at www.fixmuninow.com, or stop by their headquarters at 305 Valencia st. (cross st. is 14th).

BOMA San Francisco is proud to work together with Supervisor Elsbernd to bring real change to our City so that we can ensure that San Franciscans' have access to quality, public transportation.


Act Now! Fight Large Tax Increase on Commercial Real Estate

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The United States Senate is considering a major tax increase on real estate development by changing the tax rate on carried interest to that of ordinary income (nearly 40%), rather than capital gain (15%). While the House of Representatives has already passed similar legislation, the Senate has never seriously considered such a proposal, until now! 

With Congress desperate for revenue and most legislators not understanding that carried interest negatively impacts commercial real estate, BOMA International needs your help telling the Senate just how devastating this would be on the already fragile commercial real estate industry.

Contact your senators immediately and tell them to oppose this major tax increase on commercial real estate!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

BOMA San Francisco PAC Endorses Theresa Sparks For District 6 Supervisor






The BOMA San Francisco Political Action Committee (BOMA SF-PAC) met with District 6 candidate for supervisor, Theresa Sparks--who kindly visited us on her lunch break--on April 27, 2010.  Ms. Sparks is currently the Executive Director with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission (HRC) and was previously the president of the San Francisco Police Commission

We're pleased to report that the BOMA SF-PAC has endorsed Theresa Sparks for District 6 Supervisor.  

BOMA San Francisco's Government and Public Affairs Committee had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Sparks in February.  We posted information on the blog from that meeting regarding Ms. Sparks background, her work on the HRC and Police Commission, her candidacy and much more,  Click here to read our blog post on why Theresa Sparks is the right candidate for District 6 Supervisor and here to access her campaign website.



Upcoming Improvements to Energy Star Portfolio Manager - June 7, 2010




BOMA San Francisco Members:

Effective June 7, 2010, several important updates will be made in Portfolio Manager [including related tools: Target Finder and the Automated Benchmarking System (ABS)] which may impact your energy performance ratings.

Portfolio Manager is an interactive energy management tool that allows users to track and assess energy and water consumption across your entire portfolio of buildings in a secure online environment. Whether you own, manage, or hold properties for investment, Portfolio Manager can help you set investment priorities, identify under-performing buildings, verify efficiency improvements, and receive EPA recognition for superior energy performance.

New Rating for Data Center

A rating will now be available for Data Centers. Spaces that are currently defined as Computer Data Center will be automatically converted to the new Data Center space type. In order to compute the new rating, there are two new required inputs: IT energy configuration; and IT energy meters (IT energy loads will be tracked similar to building energy meters). When the updates are released on June 7, 2010, estimates will be used for the IT energy load until it is updated with actual values by the user. The use of estimates will be permitted for the first two years of implementation (until June 2012) to allow users to get proper IT energy metering in place. After that time, IT energy metering will be required. In order to earn a rating, a Data Center space using estimates for IT energy cannot be more than 10% of the building’s floor area, per the current requirement. When actual data is entered more accurate ratings can be obtained and there is no size restriction. Note: Data Centers achieving a rating of 75 or higher will be eligible to apply for the ENERGY STAR label. 

Updated Rating Methodology for Office and Retail

EPA has made minor adjustments to the energy performance methodologies used for Office and Retail facilities. The purpose of these adjustments is to ensure accurate ratings for very large buildings, and for buildings with extremely high densities of computers and/or cash registers. In the cases of these extreme values, net adjustments in the rating equation are limited, to reflect expected behavior as observed in the CBECS survey.
When the updates are released on June 7, 2010, the values previously entered by users for Office and Retail attributes will not change. However, the energy performance ratings may change.


Updated Space Attributes for Water Treatment and Distribution Utilities, and Wastewater Treatment Plants

You will now be able to track the average flow on a monthly basis for Water Treatment and Distribution Utilities, and Wastewater Treatment Plants. When the updates are released on June 7, 2010, the most current existing average flow entries will be valid through December 2010; however you are encouraged to begin updating the flow meter values as soon as possible, in accordance with this new functionality.

Removal of Distribution Center from "Other" Space

Spaces that are currently defined as "Other - Distribution Center" will be automatically converted to the "Unrefrigerated Warehouse" space type. This change is consistent with the definition for the updated Warehouse model released in August 2009, which includes Distribution Centers. Please note that as a result of this update, Distribution Centers previously ineligible for an energy performance rating may be able to see a rating using the Warehouse model after June 7, 2010.

New Standard View - "Performance: Water/Wastewater Treatment Facilities"

A new standard view will be available on the "My Portfolio" and "Facility Summary" pages. The "Performance: Water/Wastewater Treatment Facilities" view will contain the following metrics:
Facility Name
Current Rating
Average Flow (MGD)
Current Weather-Normalized Source Energy per Flow (kBtu/gpd)
National Average Source EUI (kBtu/gpd)
Current Site Electric Use (kWh)
Annual Energy Cost ($)
Current Total GHG Emissions (MtCO2e)

New Standard View - "Performance: Data Centers"

A new standard view will be available on the "My Portfolio" and "Facility Summary" pages. The "Performance: Data Centers" view will contain the following metrics:
Facility Name
Current Rating
Current Energy Period End Date
Current Data Center PUE
Current Source IT Energy (kBtu)
Current Total Source Energy (kBtu)
Current Source Energy Intensity (kBtu/sq. ft.)

New Display of Default Space Attribute Values

If default values are being used for specific space attributes, you will now be able to view the rounded default attribute value in Portfolio Manager. Note: Facilities cannot earn the ENERGY STAR label when default values are used.

New Source Energy Metrics

Two new source energy metrics will be available for you to view.
Current Total Source Energy Use (kBtu)
Baseline Total Source Energy Use (kBtu)

New and Revised Building Import Templates 

Effective May 31, 2010, new and revised building import templates will be available for downloading and previous versions of the templates will no longer be accepted. New import spreadsheets sent to buildings@energystar.gov the week of May 31, 2010 will be processed after the June 7th release.
The following template changes will be made:
New template for Data Center
Updated templates to add the new Data Center IT Energy tab, including: Bank; Courthouse; Dormitory; Hospital; Hotel; Medical; Office; Other; Refrigerated Warehouse; Retail; School; Supermarket; Unrefrigerated Warehouse; Worship
Removal of the Distribution Center category from the Other template
Updated Wastewater template to include a new Influent Flow tab
Updated Water Treatment template to add a new Average Flow tab

Updates to Parking Space Adjustment

Effective June 7, 2010, a minor defect will be corrected in the calculation of ratings for buildings that contain "Open" parking area. Buildings that contain "open" parking square footage will be affected and may see a small change in their rating.


In preparation of system updates to the rating models, Portfolio Manager will be UNAVAILABLE beginning 5:00 pm EDT on Friday, June 4, 2010 until 8:00 am EDT on Monday, June 7, 2010.  If you have any questions about these changes, please contact buildings@energystar.gov.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The News Links - April 21-26, 2010


Commercial Real Estate
San Francisco
Marin/San Mateo/Sonoma
California
The Economy
Energy & Environment
General

Prop. 13 is Under Attack - Fight Split Roll Legislation AB 2492 - JOIN THE EFFORT NOW

BOMA San Francisco Members:

A split roll threat has once again resurfaced in the California Legislature. Please find information below to help BOMA stave-off this bad idea.

AB 2492 (Ammiano) proposes dramatic changes to our property tax system which would have the effect of targeting commercial properties for removal of Proposition 13 protections and enacting a 'split roll' property tax. Such a split roll tax is intended by advocates to increase property taxes on corporations. The bill is set for hearing on May 10, 2010 in Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee. Although it requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, in committee,  it only needs a simple majority vote, so we need your help to stop the bill in committee.

Click here for information and resources to help us defeat this split roll measure including a sample letter to send to the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee Chair.  Please send this letter TODAY!  With government at both the state and local levels searching for ways to balance their budgets, increasing revenues is at the top of their list of favored ideas, not reducing the size and cost of government. That’s why it’s important for BOMA San Francisco members to stand firmly against any encroachments on the protections that Prop. 13 has afforded all property owners in California, and the valuable stability it has brought to our industry.

If you have any questions about the bill, its potential impacts, or efforts to defeat it, please contact Mathew Hargrove with BOMA California at mhargrove@cbpa.com,.

The San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee - April 21, 2010 Meeting




BOMA San Francisco Members:

Your BOMA San Francisco Advocacy Team attended the monthly meeting of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC) on April 21, 2010. The DCCC is, as detailed on the Committee’s website, the governing body of the County Democratic Party and is comprised of local Democrats elected by voters in Assembly Districts 12 and 13, as well as partisan-level Democratic elected officials and nominees. You can view a complete list of the current members of this elected body, here. If you’re interested in attending a meeting, they are open to the public. Click here for the meeting schedule.

The DCCC is somewhat enigmatic to the voting public and doesn’t receive much attention by the local media--the Chronicle's C.W. Nevius wrote a great article about the DCCC on April 24, 2010. As such, we took it upon ourselves to sit in on a committee meeting to gain a better understanding of how the DCCC functions and who are the key movers and shakers on that body. And, apparently, the business community is a threat. BOMA San Francisco and the San Francisco Coalition for Responsible Growth were the two organizations from the business community in attendance.

It’s no secret that BOMA San Francisco and the greater business community have been watching the DCCC for some time, especially after it turned hard left two years ago by electing several additional so-called 'progressives' and electing Aaron Peskin (one of the most anti-development supervisors in modern San Francisco history) as its chair. The DCCC is the first step for many local politicians, and its slate card endorsements are particularly important as San Francisco is overwhelmingly Democratic. Indeed, their slate card helped a number of progressive candidates get elected to the current Board of Supervisors in 2008. If the San Francisco business community is to ever regain its voice in the local political arena, it must start with the DCCC.

The following is a synopsis of the meeting (click here for an agenda):

The Committee heard from candidates running for Superior Court Judge, seats 6 and 15.
The Committee also considered three resolutions at this meeting.
  • PASSED – Robert Haaland’s resolution opposing the Mayor’s proposed Sit/Lie Ordinance currently making its way through City Hall (click here to read our blog post on this measure).
    • There were a number of community residents who spoke in opposition to this measure; many DCCC members also spoke intelligently, and at length, on their view of the proposed ordinance.   
    • Click here to listen to Mr. Haaland's presentation of the resolution.
    • Click here to watch the Committee members vote on the DCCC Sit/Lie Resolution. 
  • NOT PASSED –Scott Wiener’s resolution supporting the expansion of the Community Justice Center into other districts in San Francisco.
    • Click here to watch Mr. Wiener's presentation of the resolution.
    • Click here to watch Supervisor Chris Daly's remarks against the resolution.  
  • PASSED – A resolution condemning the Hornblower Cruise lines for not allowing their workers to unionize. 
The committee members boldly defended their respective positions on various issues.  It was an impressive display of passion and pontification. However, the DCCC is the most influential political body in town, and the business community can no longer afford to ignore its importance and influence on the city’s voters.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

DOE Announces New Opportunities to Improve Commercial Building Energy - May 10th Application Deadline



BOMA San Francisco Members:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced on April 21, 2010 support for energy-saving commercial building projects as part of an ongoing effort by DOE to improve the energy efficiency of buildings in the United States.  With money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, DOE's national laboratories will select and fund technical experts to provide technical guidance to commercial building owners and operators. The goal of this Commercial Building Partnerships (CBP) initiative is to increase the energy efficiency of selected new and existing buildings.

DOE's CBP initiative will foster collaborative relationships among the owners and operators of commercial buildings, researchers from DOE national laboratories and private-sector technical experts. Building owners receive technical expertise on how to design, build and maintain low-energy buildings that can reduce energy use and lower energy bills across their building portfolios. These collaborations help to move energy-saving strategies into the marketplace quickly and cost-effectively. Each of the CBP building projects will be documented in publicly available case studies that will provide detailed energy use data and best practices to other building operators across the country.

Applicants can apply through the laboratories for the following two initiatives:

Call for Energy Efficient Commercial Building Projects

To get involved, owners and operators of commercial buildings—retail and office buildings, for example—will submit plans for projects that will upgrade new or existing buildings, and they commit to working with the laboratories and technical experts to make these buildings significantly more energy efficient. Although they receive no direct funding, owners and operators have access to state-of-the-art technical guidance to implement energy efficiency technologies throughout the design, construction, and evaluation of their building and retrofit projects. This technical expertise includes guidance with energy modeling, assessing and choosing appropriate energy efficiency measures, and energy performance verification.

Online applications to the call for projects are due by May 10, 2010. Learn more about the call for projects and access the application by clicking here.

Request for Proposals from Commercial Building Technical Experts

Technical expert teams and measurement and verification technical contractors interested in providing technical guidance to the successful applicants to the call for projects can respond to this request for proposals (RFP). Technical expert teams need to provide a broad range of technical expertise including all or some of the following areas: architecture, engineering, HVAC and controls, daylighting, lighting, energy modeling, commissioning, building auditing and data collection, and cost estimation. Using Recovery Act funding, the participating national laboratories will contract with technical experts to provide this guidance.

Completed proposals are due by May 10, 2010. Learn more about this opportunity and read the RFP by clicking here.

Learn more about Commercial Building Partnerships and these new opportunities at the Building Technologies Program website.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

UPDATE: SFFD Emergency Evacuation Sign Revision - SF Fire Commission Meeting on April 22nd




BOMA San Francisco Members:

We posted information on the blog previously regarding the San Francisco Fire Department's (SFFD) guidelines for new emergency evacuation signs.  Via BOMA San Francisco's Codes and Regulations Committee, members had expressed concern about the increased cost and size of the sign (below).  Indeed, the font size of 5/8" that was required by SFFD Administrative Bulletin 2.11 in 2009 made the sign larger than expected and impractical to post for BOMA San Francisco members.  The size of 5/8" was requested by the Mayor's Office on Disability, although it is not required by Title 19.  As such, the SFFD has kindly worked closely with BOMA San Francisco members and your BOMA San Francisco Advocacy Team to craft a revised version of the evacuation sign.  Please see the current and revised signs below:


Current Evacuation Sign Example


Revised Sign Example

UPDATE! - As of April 20, 2010

An important meeting of the San Francisco Fire Commission will occur on Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 6 p.m. at 698 2nd Street, Room 102 where the Commission will consider adopting a revised San Francisco Fire Department bulletin relating to emergency evacuation signage in buildings (i.e., residential, hotel, and commercial office).  Click here to read the updated bulletin.  This revised bulletin is a great improvement on what is currently in place, and needs BOMA San Francisco members' complete support. 

Although the State Fire Marshal’s office is also considering amending this requirement, any changes adopted at the local level that are more restrictive will stand, and any other deviations from state requirements will not be retroactive. Therefore, there is no reason not to fully support the much-needed revisions that have been submitted to the Fire Commission this week for consideration and possible approval.  

Please consider attending the Fire Commission meeting to detail BOMA San Francisco's case for the necessary changes to the emergency evacuation sign requirements, or send your support letter to Fire.Commission@sfgov.org.  

The News Links - April 19-20, 2010


Economist's View: Where do your federal and state tax dollars go?



Mayor Gavin Newsom's latest YouTube update


Commercial Real Estate
San Francisco
Marin/San Mateo/Sonoma
California
The Economy
Energy & Environment
  • 10 ways owners can make the office a greener place to work.
  • Electric cars searching for a place to plug in.
General
  • Americans are more skeptical of Washington than ever.
  • How big a government do we want?

Monday, April 19, 2010

PG&E - Peak Day Pricing Information






BOMA San Francisco Members:

Starting on May 1, 2010, default PG&E electricity rates for all business and agricultural customers are changing.  Peak Day Pricing (PDP) is a demand response pricing plan being rolled out to complement current time-of-use pricing or replace flat pricing. PDP provides lower energy prices during the summer in exchange for higher rates on 9 to 15 peak event days per year.

Customer classes who will begin transitioning on to PDP on May 1, 2010 include Large Commercial and Industrial customers with an energy demand greater than or equal to 200kW, current commercial SmartRate™ participants, and current Critical Peak Pricing (CPP) participants. Other customer groups will transition later.  Customers may choose not to participate in PDP and remain on a Time of Use Rate. Customers who are already enrolled in the Direct Access and/or Demand Response programs will not be automatically enrolled in PDP.

For assistance in preparing for this new pricing plan and/or selecting the most advantageous pricing plan and/or program for your energy use patterns, contact your PG&E Account Manager, call 1-800-987-4923, or go to www.pge.com/pdp for more information.

UPDATE: San Francisco Commercial Lighting Efficiency Ordinance


BOMA San Francisco Members:

Your BOMA San Francisco Advocacy Team has been working with Supervisor Bevan Dufty and his staff on the Commercial Lighting Efficiency Ordinance that would  require commercial buildings to install or adopt more energy efficient lighting measures.  Please click here to read the ordinance.  Specifically, this measure would:
  • Require owners of non-residential commercial buildings to upgrade the lamp and ballast systems in existing inefficient fluorescent lighting fixtures to meet specified minimum illumination output standards unless the area lighted by the inefficient fluorescent fixture is controlled by sensors that automatically turn off lighting when the area is unoccupied;
  • Require owners of non-residential commercial buildings who replace 4-foot and 8-foot linear fluorescent 'bulbs' or 'tubes' to use only low mercury content replacement bulbs;
  • Require compliance by December 31, 2011.
The ordinance would also require the City to require its own facilities to meet the same lighting efficiency and low mercury content standards.

UPDATE! - April 19, 2010

The Commercial Lighting Efficiency Ordinance passed unanimously out of the Land Use and Economic Development Committee on April 19, 2010.  Your BOMA San Francisco Advocacy Team was there to speak in support this measure and thank Supervisor Bevan Dufty and his staff for their outreach to BOMA San Francisco, and for working with us to make the ordinance practicable for BOMA San Francisco members.  The measure now goes to the Board of Supervisors for their consideration.  

San Francisco Controller's Monthly Economic Barometer - February 2010




BOMA San Francisco Members:

The national business press is abuzz with news of economic recovery, but the local statistics are showing few signs of growth as of February 2010.

San Francisco's unemployment rate has dipped below 10% again, but on a seasonally-adjusted basis this represents no change from January. Among the pieces of good economic news locally has been several months decline in the City's County Adult Assistance Programs Caseload, which has declined 4.5% just since December.  Temporary employment, a leading indicator of broad-based job recovery, has continued its monthly climb and is now higher than it was last February.  Total employment in the San Francisco area is still 4.5% below where it was last February.

Both February and March have been strong months for retail sales nationally, with significant growth over the same months last year.  Locally, sales tax data is not yet available, but indications from BART and city-owned parking garages suggest no major upswing occurred in February.

In the hotel industry, February marked the first month since September, 2008 that Revenue per Available Room Night (RevPAR) showed annual growth, up 11% from February 2009.  However, the monthly seasonally-adjusted trend in RevPAR remains weak, and despite the year of growth, this month's RevPAR was still 29% lower than it was two years ago, in February 2008.

Friday, April 16, 2010

UPDATE: Energy Deregulation - Direct Access


BOMA San Francisco Members:

BOMA held a workshop, sponsored by Glacial Energy, on April 1, 2010 entitled 'Direct Access: How Electricity Deregulation Could Impact Property Operations & Profitability.'  The presenters were:
The workshop was held to inform BOMA San Francisco members about how the current iteration of Direct Access (or retail purchasing of electricity) will work in California and what the requirements are to participate--possibly saving BOMA members money on energy costs. Please click here to review the history of retail energy deregulation in California.

You can download the presentation, here.

UPDATE! - As of April 16, 2010

Note, the April 16th deadline has passed for the first queue (see the presentation for more information).   If you choose to participate in a Direct Access program, your next opportunity to do so will most likely be a date between July 1-15, 2010.  Your BOMA San Francisco Advocacy Team will continue to update you with the most current information on Direct Access as soon as we receive it.  Stay tuned!

For more information on Direct Access and the requirements to participate, please contact Mr. Neeley at Tad.Neeley@glacialenergy.com or Mr. Perry at ron.perry@commericalenergy.net.   

UPDATE: CPUC Zero Net Energy Use Proposal - New & Existing Buildings

BOMA San Francisco Members:

Please click here to read the California Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan--the commercial section starts on page 35--regarding Zero Net Energy (ZNE) use by new and existing buildings in California, and when such an energy standard should go into effect.  The Strategic Plan provides the necessary background information on ZNE and articulates the California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) long-term energy efficiency goals for each economic sector and identifies specific strategies to assist in achieving those goals.

Our BOMA California staff is working on the ZNE issue with the CPUC but they need to hear from BOMA San Francisco members as to what they think of GOAL 1: all new developments to be zero net energy users by 2030; and GOAL 2: half of existing buildings must be retrofitted to be zero net energy users by 2030.

BOMA California is also seeking a better clarification on the California Energy Commission's definition of ZNE, because, as it now stands, it would mean onsite energy production. If we can broaden the definition to include off-site clean energy such as solar, wind, hydro, biomass, etc., it might become a lot more palatable and achievable for the BOMA San Francisco membership to accomplish.

Please email Ken Cleaveland, BOMA San Francisco's Director of Government and Public Affairs, with your thoughts at kenc@boma.com.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We Need Your Feedback! - Mandate and Schedule for Zero Net Energy in all Public Buildings

BOMA San Francisco Members:

Please take a moment to review California State Assembly Bill (AB) 2679 that establishes a mandate and schedule for Zero Net Energy in all public buildings by clicking here.

In the past, BOMA California has not taken positions on such measures that apply solely to the state--whereas if it were applied to all private buildings we would--under the theory that the state can create any such requirements on itself, and our companies can choose to do business with them or not.  

However, this measure might have significant cost and/or technological feasibility issues for those companies that interact with state and local governments, and we ask that you please consider this bill from a practical standpoint (i.e, is it technologically feasible). Also, we have been asked to provide information about what this schedule might cost in terms of leased buildings. Is there anyway of ballparking costs for the Assembly’s fiscal committees?

Please email Ken Cleaveland, BOMA San Francisco's Director of Government and Public Affairs, at kenc@boma.com with your comments.

UPDATE: San Francisco Stormwater Management Ordinance



BOMA San Francisco Members:

Thank you for your feedback on the San Francisco Stormwater Management Ordinance that would amend the San Francisco Public Works Code to require the development and maintenance of stormwater management controls for specified activities that disturb 5,000 square fee or more of the ground surface including, but not limited to, the construction, modification, conversion, or alteration of any building or structure and associated grading, filling, excavation, change in the existing topography, and the addition or replacement of impervious surface.  The measure will also create a Stormwater Management Plan to verify that no additional run-off will be created by a new development/project, and that any such new run-off is being properly treated or mitigated in an approved fashion.

UPDATE! - As of April 14, 2010

After reviewing the ordinance, your BOMA San Francisco Advocacy Team and Codes and Regulations Committee members have determined that this measure--approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on April 13, 2010--will have a minimal  impact on the BOMA San Francisco membership.   

You can download a copy of the ordinance, here, and the stormwater design guidelines, here.

What are Stormwater Design Guidelines?

The Port of San Francisco (Port) and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) are developing the San Francisco Stormwater Design Guidelines (“Design Guidelines”).  The Design Guidelines will improve San Francisco’s environment by reducing pollution in stormwater runoff in areas of new development and redevelopment. The Design Guidelines will be applied in areas of San Francisco served by separate storm sewers that discharge directly to local lakes or San Francisco Bay.  Given current trends in development, at this time mostly Bay waterfront parcels will be affected.

Please click here to review the Stormwater Design Guidelines.

What is stormwater runoff and why is it a concern?

Stormwater runoff is rainwater that flows over the land surface and through collection pipes.  In vegetated areas such as forests, fields and wetlands, rainwater seeps slowly into the ground, limiting runoff.  However, when rain falls on paved concrete and other hard (impervious) surfaces such as those found in most of San Francisco, it runs off quickly and is conveyed by pipes and other drainage features.  Though starting as relatively pure rainwater, stormwater runoff collects pollutants as it flows over impervious surfaces.  For example, runoff from parking lots picks up oil and grease from leaking engines, copper from worn brake linings, and zinc from tires. Although most runoff in San Francisco flows into the combined sewer system and receives treatment at the city’s two sewage treatment plants, there are a few areas in the city that discharge directly into  San Francisco Bay or other surface water such as Lake Merced without receiving any treatment.  These polluted stormwater flows can be detrimental to aquatic and other life.  The Design Guidelines will help improve San Francisco’s environment by reducing pollution in water that runs to the bay or other waters from newly constructed facilities.

How can San Francisco help reduce the detrimental impacts of stormwater runoff? 

One way to help reduce the detrimental impacts of stormwater runoff is by changing the way we approach new construction.  New development and redevelopment projects can be designed to minimize pollutant exposure within the project area.  Through careful pre-construction planning and designing, new development and redevelopment projects can be built to:

  • Minimize impervious surfaces, which would allow more rainfall to soak into the ground
  • Reduce the volume and intensity of storm water runoff, which would reduce flows that end up in the receiving waters 
  • Convey and treat storm water runoff using landscape features and other “green” systems  to provide treatment to the pollutants in the runoff

Studies performed around the world show that proactive site planning and design is the most cost-effective approach for reducing stormwater pollution.

What is San Francisco doing to address stormwater impacts associated with new development and redevelopment projects?

As the owners and operators of San Francisco’s storm drain systems, the Port and the SFPUC have teamed to develop the San Francisco Stormwater Design Guidelines.  The  Design Guidelines will apply to new development and redevelopment in areas of San Francisco served by separate storm sewers (e.g., storm sewers that discharge directly to receiving waters).   The Port and the SFPUC invite you to participate in the development of the Design Guidelines.

Is San Francisco required to develop Stormwater Design Guidelines?

Yes - a Clean Water Act discharge permit administered by the State Water Resources Control Board requires local agencies to develop programs for the control of stormwater runoff for the life of a project (“post-construction control” of stormwater).  The Design Guidelines will comply with the mandate of this permit, while at the same time providing a vehicle through which planners, designers, engineers and developers can work together toward a more sustainable city.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fix Muni Now - Sign the Petition!




BOMA San Francisco Members:

Thanks to the tenacious efforts of Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, the campaign to Fix Muni Now has officially begun to collect signatures to place the Muni reform measure on the November 2010 ballot. San Franciscans from all across the City are clamoring to sign the petition that will finally lead to better service and a more stable transit system for all residents.

Certainly, San Francisco can be proud of its work to provide a world-class transit system that delivers riders to almost every corner of our City.  But all too often, the rules that govern the funding, the routes and whether your bus arrives on time, get in the way of providing the transit services riders need.  San Franciscans have put up with late buses, the threat of fare hikes and service cuts for far too long without the recourse to make real changes that will improve service.

Until Now.

To protect against unjust fare increases and unnecessary service cuts, Supervisor Elsbernd is asking those San Franciscans who are registered voters to take matters into their own hands by gathering signatures to place this Muni reform measure on the November 2010 ballot.

In short, he needs your help to collect signatures!  If you're a resident of San Francisco and a registered voter here are some of the ways you can help:
  • Ask your family, friends and colleagues who are registered to vote in San Francisco to sign the form.
  • Grab a friend and gather signatures outside your favorite grocery store, coffee house or neighborhood gathering spot.
  • Join their Facebook page or follow the group on Twitter to get the latest news or meet up with other signature collectors.
The petitions are due on July 6 at the latest, and should be returned to PO Box 192023, San Francisco, CA 94119. 

Go to www.fixmuninow.com to sign a petition and help Supervisor Elsbernd collect the signatures needed to get this on the ballot.

You can also call the Fix Muni Now coordinator at (415) 640-7278, or via email at info@fixmuninow.com, and petitions will be sent out to you right away.

How Will This Ballot Measure Improve Muni Service?

The ballot measure will help improve Muni service in a number of ways.  It would:
  • Require collective bargaining between labor and management to set pay, benefits, and work rules--exactly the same process that every other union in the city follows; 
  • Will give the SFMTA the ability to negotiate work rules that have led to high rates of absenteeism resulting in missed runs; 
  • Will make Muni run more efficiently to avoid fare increases and service cuts to routes;
  • Lastly, it ill eliminate the current City Charter provision requiring the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) to set operator wages at the average rate of the two highest paying transit agencies in the country.  

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Energy Deregulation: Direct Access - APRIL 16th DEADLINE




BOMA San Francisco Members:

BOMA held a workshop, sponsored by Glacial Energy, on April 1, 2010 entitled 'Direct Access: How Electricity Deregulation Could Impact Property Operations & Profitability.'  The presenters were:
The workshop was held to inform BOMA San Francisco members about how the current iteration of Direct Access (or retail purchasing of electricity) will work in California and what the requirements are to participate--possibly saving BOMA members money on energy costs. Please click here to review the history of retail energy deregulation in California.

You can download the presentation, here.

Please reference the timeline below for important information--note the April 16th deadline if you choose to participate in a Direct Access program.  For more information on Direct Access and the requirements to participate, please contact Mr. Neeley at Tad.Neeley@glacialenergy.com or Mr. Perry at ron.perry@commericalenergy.net.   



UPDATE: San Francisco Ordinance Prohibiting Smoking in Enclosed Areas and Certain Unenclosed Areas - EFFECTIVE DATE April 24, 2010

BOMA San Francisco Members:

We recently posted information on the blog in regard to a measure recently introduced by Supervisor Eric Mar that would, according to the legislative digest, amend the San Francisco Health Code to prohibit smoking in certain enclosed areas, certain unenclosed areas and sports stadiums.  The ordinance will have an impact on all commercial buildings in San Francisco.

The prohibited areas include:
  • Business establishments and bars regardless of whether owner-operated;
  • Unenclosed dining areas of restaurants;
  • Service waiting areas;
  • Areas outside entrances, exits and operable windows and vents of all buildings except at the curb of the nearest street, sidewalk or alley.
UPDATE! - As of January 22, 2010

Supervisor Mar has agreed to amend the measure, which you can read here, to address the signage requirements on pages 14-15 of the ordinance to now reflect these changes:
  • The sign will read: 'Smoking only at curb or at least 15 ft. from entrances, exits, operable windows.'
    • Letters will be 1/2" as opposed to 1".
  • No Smoking Symbol included
    • 3" in diameter as opposed to 6"
  • The sign will also include 'SF Health Code 19F.'
    • Letters 1/8"
  • The sign size will now be to 4" by 9"
UPDATE! - As of February 18, 2010

We recently invited Lin-Shao Chin, Legislative Aide to Supervisor Mar and representatives from the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) to talk with BOMA San Francisco's Government and Public Affairs Committee (GAPAC) and Political Action Committee (BOMA SF-PAC) members on February 12, 2010 about the ordinance's requirements--as they are currently written--and the impact they will have on BOMA San Francisco members.  

After a healthy discussion, GAPAC members suggested that the committee submit amendments to the ordinance to better reflect their concerns, and allow for reasonable compliance by the aggregate BOMA San Francisco membership.  A knowledgeable attorney member of the GAPAC, Horace Green of Green & Humbert, kindly drafted the suggested amendments for Supervisor Mar's review.  

The GAPAC and PAC members' immediate concern with the ordinance is the potential liability and fines building managers and commercial property owners might face if they do not personally interact with smokers outside of their properties and verbally tell them to cease and desist.  This scenario does not sit well for BOMA San Francisco members, due to the unpredictable behavior of strangers today--especially if you tell someone to stop smoking.  The committee members believe that posting a sign (as indicated in the last update on January 22, 2010, above) 15 ft. from entrances, exits and operable windows (or 25 ft. to earn a point towards LEED certification), is sufficient to cover BOMA members' responsibilities to help diminish the effects of second-hand smoke.

UPDATE! - As of February 22, 2010

Your BOMA San Francisco Advocacy Team attended the San Francisco Land Use and Economic Development Committee hearing on Monday, February 2010 where Supervisor Mar's measure was under consideration.  We were successful in submitting Mr. Green's amendments to the committee and spoke in support of striking the language that would require our members to become, in essence, smoking police (see our last update, above).  The committee was considering no less than 24 amendments to the ordinance at the committee meeting--most of which were focusing on language that did not directly affect the BOMA San Francisco membership.

The ordinance is currently being revised to reflect the amendments passed in the Land Use and Economic Committee meeting and the measure will, most likely, be voted on by the Board of Supervisors at their March 9, 2010 meeting.  In the meantime, we will continue to request that the members of the Board of Supervisors take our suggested amendments--the net effect of these changes is to require building owners and operators to give notice to tenants of the ordinance, but does not make them liable for failing to physically prevent people from smoking--and we'll  post the most recent version of the ordinance here once we receive it from Supervisor Mar's office for your input.

UPDATE! - As of March 22, 2010

At their regular meeting on March 16, 2010, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved the final version of Supervisor Mar's ordinance that expands on San Francisco's smoking ban that was passed in 1994.  Although this measure did not contain all of the amendments requested by BOMA San Francisco members, we appreciated the opportunity to work with Supervisor Eric Mar's office, as well as his staff's willingness to speak to BOMA's GAPAC and PAC members about their salient concerns on this measure.

Assuming the Mayor signs this ordinance, the effective date is 30 days after it was passed by the Board on March 16th.

UPDATE! - As of April 6, 2010

Mayor Newsom signed this legislation on March 25, 2010; the effective date is April 24, 2010.  Please click here to review the signed copy of this measure.

Please take a moment to review the ordinance and email Ken Cleaveland, Director of Government and Public Relations for BOMA San Francisco at kenc@boma.com with your comments.

CPUC Zero Net Energy Use Proposal - New & Existing Buildings


BOMA San Francisco Members:

Please click here to read a draft proposal regarding zero net energy use by new and existing buildings in California, and when such an energy standard should go into effect. Our BOMA California staff is working on this issue with the California Public Utilities Commission but they need to hear from BOMA San Francisco members as to what they think of Goal 1: all new developments to be zero net energy users by 2030; and, Goal 2: half of existing buildings must be retrofitted to be zero net energy users by 2030.  Click here to read a draft copy of the Zero Net Energy Strategic Plan for the Commercial Sector.

BOMA California is also seeking a better clarification on the California Energy Commission's definition of zero net energy, because, as it now stands, it would mean onsite energy production. If we can broaden the definition to include off-site clean energy such as solar, wind, hydro, biomass, etc., it might become a lot more palatable and achievable for the BOMA San Francisco membership to accomplish.

Please email Ken Cleaveland, BOMA San Francisco's Director of Government and Public Affairs, with your thoughts at kenc@boma.com.

Monday, April 5, 2010

San Francisco's Three-Year Budget Projection Through 2013




BOMA San Francisco Members:

The joint report by the Controller’s Office, Mayor’s Office, and Board of Supervisors’ Budget Analyst on San Francisco's three-year budget projection, FY 2010-11 through 2012-2013, was posted online on Friday, April 2. 2010. You can read and download the report here.

In reviewing the study, the city's budget outlook continues to look grim (using the FY 2009-2010 budget as a comparison):

FY 2010-2011 projected budget deficit: $483 million

FY 2011-2012 projected budget deficit: $712 million

FY 2012-2013 projected budget deficit: $787 million

Some key assumptions in the report:
  • No major changes to service levels and number of employees;
  • Economic downturn effect on revenues continues through 2010, followed by slow recovery;
  • Preliminary estimate of state budget reduction;
  • Federal Stimulus Funds assumed extended;
  • No change in closed labor agreements and inflationary increase on open labor agreements;
  • Retirement plan employer contribution increases;
  • Average growth rate on health and dental insurance.

All the details can be found in the report.

The News Links - April 3-5, 2010


Reis via Calculated Risk: U.S. office vacancy rate highest since early '90s.



Mayor Newsom's YouTube Update: April 3, 2010


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