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cincinnati s ultimate green guide Clean energy coming to a business school ...and zoo near you. Melink Solar Canopy at the Cincinnati Zoo Spring 2011 from above JOHN HUEBER HOMES is a Cincinnati based family operated Custom Home Building business founded in 1987. We specialize in LEED homes and high end custom homes ranging from 300 000 city infill projects to over 1 000 000 scattered lot estate homes. Whether your idea of home is a pastoral estate nestled among sprawling acreage or a LEED Certified urban loft within walking distance of Cincinnati s finest restaurants and attractions John Hueber Homes has the experience resources and attention to detail to make your project a reality. With a respect for traditional hands on craftsmanship functionality originality aesthetics and value we personally guide our homeowners through every step of the design build process tailoring every home to the individual s lifestyle and budget. We have the honorable distinction of being one of the first builders in Ohio and the first in Cincinnati to build and certify a LEED home and have received certification on 8 homes. Currently we have 9 residences at Westfalen Lofts four single family homes and seven town homes on Pleasant St. that are registered and awaiting certification with the LEED Green Building rating system. Constantly working to improve our processes and procedures maintaining the highest standard of quality guiding and assisting our customers and staying on the cutting edge of building trends are all hallmarks of our company. w w w.joh nh uebe rh o m e s.c o m 513.683.3080 Welcome to Wiseway. Where know-how meets can-do. Alto 1.28gpf At Wiseway Supply know-how really does meet can-do. And we prove that by being the most knowledgeable and accommodating distributor of trusted name-brand electrical plumbing and lighting supplies in the Greater Cincinnati area. Wiseway is the only professionally managed family-owned and operated distributor of its kind in the region -- serving commercial and residential clients at 6 convenient locations. For more than 35 years we ve been out-servicing the national chains and specialty distributors with a personalized approach and deep product expertise. We also keep a stock of specialty items that many other suppliers won t. We provide flexibility by providing one of the industry s largest company-owned and operated delivery truck fleets and we re the only locallybased supplier that specializes in all MRO lines -- electrical plumbing and lighting. Most companies provide one or the other. Providing you maximum flexibility. Wiseway offers a wide variety of the most efficient and sustainable plumbing lighting (CFL LED) and electrical products for the home and business. Polaris HighEfficiency Residential Gas Water Heater Turn to us for expert industry know-how. Count on us for can-do customer service. Making homes beautiful for over 35 years. Our plumbing and lighting showroom is one of the most complete in Greater Cincinnati with 4 000 square feet featuring all the latest name brands. Whether your style is traditional transitional contemporary or eclectic our knowledgeable and certified design specialists are here to guide you throughout your selection process. They ll walk you through our beautiful bath kitchen and dining vignettes. They ll help you choose the items that fit your space best. At the Wiseway Design Showroom you re sure to find the perfect design to suit your preferences and budget. Area locations 1 Florence Branch Design Showroom 8301 Dixie Highway Florence KY 41042 859.371.2211 2 Loveland Branch 433 Wards Corner Road Loveland OH 45140 513.576.1111 3 Dry Ridge Branch 800 Cull Road Dry Ridge KY 41035 859.823.8351 4 Harrison Branch 10051 Simonson Road Harrison OH 45030 513.367.6200 5 Franklin Branch 101 Miller Street Franklin OH 45005 937.806.0310 6 Main Office 7430 Empire Drive Suite 1 Florence KY 41042 859.283.9473 CELEBRATING First Certified LEED Platinum Home in Cincinnati The First Privately Funded LEED Platinum Home in Ohio 15 Year 100% Tax Abatement for the Homeowners A Healthier Environment Congratulations to all of those involved. Bona Decorative Hardware 3G CONSTRUCTION CONCRETE PROFESSIONALS EAGLE and ZUREICK MASONS KAMPHAUS Plastering Poured Foundations Inc. Mastercraft rogers lumber & millwork Trutschel Plastering inside Photo by Cathy & Mark Lyons BEING 14 15 18 21 32 34 40 45 48 50 60 62 66 70-95 INside IN GREEN cincinnati Real Cincinnatians who have gone green because it makes sense FEATURE STORIES Why be green In this issue A competition amongst genders -- the greenest man and woman in Cincinnati Committing to our urban core Green drinks -- one great combination Park and learn solar at the Cincinnati Zoo 300 miles per charge the Chevy Volt Greening the Heartland What is LEED and how it can save me money LEEDing the way from start to finish -- Stephanie & Cliff Labbe The end of the traditional lightbulb Gardening with Beth & Bruce Condo Living 2801 Erie in Hyde Park GREEN GIANTS -- 10 companies who have made their move to go green and why Cincinnati Parks Metro Turner Rumpke Cincinnati Public Schools Procter & Gamble Duke Christ Hospital GE PNC Bank Living Net Zero with Vicki Painter Appliances with a conscious What if Cincinnati s small businesses all went green Geothermal the story of one Clermont County neighborhood Nature s playground Green home rehab Building value and bettering lives Green is gold at KZF Design Finding your way with the locals Fia Cifuentes is a champion recycler Green is growing at two Clifton colleges What have we learned 98 102 106 111 119 122 127 132 138 144 148 155 For more info go to About the cover Tyler Hildebrand allowed us to use one of his colorful interpretations of the Cincinnati skyline. As the owner of Hilde s Gallery in the quaint historic city of Bellevue KY Tyler creates original paintings and custom art that range anywhere from sports to celebrities to sculptures and custom printed t-shirts. Visit his gallery at 400 Fairfield Ave. Bellevue KY 41073 513.417.0901 12 being green g Publisher JASON SANDHAGE Tel. 513-706-8575 jason Designer STEPHEN SULLIVAN steveco Writers MATT CUNNINGHAM TANYA BRICKING LEACH MICHELLE CRAWLEY LINDSAY KOTTMAN PAULA BRANDON JANET GROEBER BRYAN WILSON DOUG SANDHAGE JASON SANDHAGE Photographer GREG GRUPENHOF About Us Being Green in Cincinnati was conceived in 2009 because it made sense to us that someone needed to help channel green news of interest to those who would want and appreciate it. Hundreds of passionate professionals and everyday people throughout greaterCincinnati were consulted for their ideas and in some cases to contribute articles and or photos to this issue. With their help the gracious support of our advertising partners and more than a thousand hours on our part this issue was made possible. Distribution of Being Green in Cincinnati This issue of Being Green in Cincinnati was mailed in June 2011 to 17 500 homeowners in the eastern and northern suburbs of Cincinnati and portions of northern Kentucky. An additional 2 500 are available as singlecopy sales. See our website for locations where they can be purchased for 5 each. Statement of Accuracy We tried our best to be accurate and timely with every word in this issue. But being human beings we are far from perfect. We apologize if something got past us. We appreciate your understanding. Coming Up Next Visit our website This site will be continually updated to include the latest and best regarding Cincinnati area green news and places where you can buy the best in green products. The next edition of Being Green in Cincinnati will be published Spring 2012. Being Green in Cincinnati was published by ENVIROMOTIONS LLC 41 Locust Hill Road Cincinnati Ohio 45245 Being Green in Cincinnati was printed on recycled paper using soy-based inks. The grandeur of green The idea to create and foster sustainable efficient and eco-friendly behaviors is one that we all can agree with. However as most of us can attest change often comes slow and requires a new way of thinking. When it comes to living a greener lifestyle there can be hurdles to overcome. The first and perhaps the most important is awareness. People want to know who else is doing what why they did it how they did it and what their results have been. In tearing down some of these skepticisms reducing barriers answering the necessary questions and providing contacts to those that either have done or can do the idea of change starts to become a little less threatening and the possibility of change a little more likely. So here we are again with another installment of Being Green in Cincinnati. Hopefully someone or something in the 2010 edition planted a seed in your mind that has inspired you to make a change in your own life. If not maybe you can find something here. Many of the ideas in this issue remain the same only with a new and unique group of storytellers. Take from them what you will. You can either decide to listen to these stories and settle with doing nothing or you could open yourself up to the idea that green is no longer just a thing that your grandparents did out of necessity or a practice of those who traveled with the Grateful Dead. Green is now a reality that has grown from the individual and family into the corporate structure of our largest businesses. It is an idea that is here to stay and the reasons for doing so are plenty. Maybe you re like Vicki Painter and proclaim I am no tree hugger. Yet you ve decided to install a geothermal and solar system on your home because you ve done the math and it shows you saving a ton of cash. Perhaps you re more like Bob and Christine Scheadler and you ve realized that with a big life comes bigger problems. So you ve decided to move out of your big home get rid of a lot of your stuff and have relocated to a smaller certified green 14 property in Cincinnati s urban core providing you with a simpler community based lifestyle which also happens to cut down on your environmental footprint. Then again it s possible that the company you work for is similar to the Cincinnati Zoo or Cincinnati Public Schools where sustainable and efficient changes have been made not only because they create a healthier and more productive workforce but because they make good business sense and have a positive effect on the bottom line. In this issue you will find over a hundred more examples of what is green right now in Cincinnati and why. I wish there was enough room to thank everyone who committed their time and energy into making Being Green in Cincinnati a success. Without them we wouldn t have much to talk about. Most of all I would like to thank and dedicate this edition to my dad. As kids growing up in Anderson Township he taught my brother Rory and I about nature by simply showing it to us. We took many a trip to his hometown Seymour Indiana (the same small town as John Mellencamp) where we would drive out to Vogel s lake in my grandpa s old truck and spend the day fishing together. There were also those vacations to places like Yosemite National Park where we spent the day taking in the wonder of Half Dome and the night staring up at the clearest skies in search of shooting stars. I will never forget those beautiful days and I look forward to more that come. Thanks again dad for your continued love and support of me and this topic and for showing me how to create a magazine of substance. We hope that you enjoy and can learn from the pages ahead. Until next time... Jason Sandhage Publisher being green The 2010 Larry Feist Sustainable Leader of the Year The greenest zoo in America issue Melink in this Builder of the most certified LEED single family homes in Cincinnati John Hueber Homes The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens The 2011 Midwest regional conference for the U.S. Green Building Conference Greening the Heartland The largest builder of certified LEED buildings in the nation Turner Owner of more newly constructed certified green buildings (more than 100) than any company on earth PNC Bank The largest publicly accessible urban The team that created the first certified LEED Platinum home in Cincinnati Solar Canopy at the Cincinnati Zoo solar array in the country Camery-Hensley Construction & RWA Architects The first Chevy Volt in the Midwest Karl Perron solar-powered structures in the state Cincinnati Parks The largest residential recycler in Oh i o a n d t h e t hird largest privately owned waste and recycling firm in the United States Rumpke The owner of the largest number of The first construction company in Ohio Kentucky or Indiana to be named a Certified Green Contractor by ABC HGC Construction One of the top school districts in the nation with LEED registered schools CPS Owners of over a dozen hybrid buses and a total of 333 bike racks Metro One of the first schools in the nation to offer a renewable energy program Cincinnati State of Cincinnati The nation s most attractive tax abatement for building to LEED standards - The City Many other people businesses and ideas that can help you go green. cincinnati 15 Greening the Heartland 2011 June 22 - 24 8th Annual Conference BREAKING NEW GROUND Duke Energy Convention Center The Cincinnati Regional Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council is hosting the Greening the Heartland regional conference June 22-24 2011. More than 1 000 attendees from throughout the 12 state region and beyond will converge on Cincinnati for three days to learn share and connect on all areas of the green building industry. JOIN US FOR Continuing Education Credited Courses Exhibit and Trade Show Presentations and Tours throughout Greater Cincinnati FEATURED SPEAKERS R. Keith Harrison Jr. Global Product Supply Officer for The Procter and Gamble Company Julian Agyeman Professor and Chair of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University Scot Horst Sr. Vice President of the U.S. Green Building Council s LEED Program Cincinnati is home to more LEED projects than any other part of Ohio the first architecture engineering firm on the planet with a LEED Platinum office and one of the few Net Zero Retrofit commercial buildings in existence. To learn more about attending sponsoring or exhibiting at the Greening the Heartland conference visit lowest carbon cincinnati man in Living without a car in the world Don t Pollute campaign and Keep America Beautiful s iconic Crying Indian. Now that I look back on my life probably at a very young age there was something about it that really resonated with me from always wanting to be on my bike in the woods and then even writing papers in high school on wildlife conservation Korman says. All that messaging in the 70s made an impression on me. His dad Ron Korman doesn t remember the point when Dan became so passionate about environmentalism. He just remembers a kid who always loved nature. I m proud of what he s done and his outlook on everything says Ron who still enjoys hiking with his son. He has done a great job. Dan Korman was born on Cincinnati s west side and grew up on the east side a graduate of Madeira High School. He studied urban planning at the University of Cincinnati and his jobs locally have included working for the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce and for the city of Newport s Monmouth Street revitalization. He returned here four years ago to open his shop. There was something I was missing about being in Cincinnati he says. I felt moving back here I could do something tangible that contributed to the city in some way. Story by Tanya Bricking Leach Photos by Jason Sandhage Thinking Twice DAN KORMAN DOES NOT OWN A CAR. It is a point of pride for the 43-year-old owner of Park Vine a green general store in Cincinnati s historic Overthe-Rhine neighborhood. Korman who shares a one-bedroom apartment with his dog and cat sleeps on the same bed frame he has had since high school. And he still has some of the same passions he has had since childhood. For one thing he still loves riding his bike everywhere. I could literally go days without leaving Main Street he says whether it s being here at the store or in my apartment meeting friends for drinks practicing yoga or grabbing a bite to eat. While he has lived and worked in places like New York and Chicago he has settled back here and has become the poster child for conscientious living promoting conservation and treading lightly on the environment. It just feels right to me he says. Most if not everything that I do feels like it s on my terms and things that excite me and give me lots of good energy and connect me with people and places that mean something to me. One look at Korman and it s obvious that he s a man who believes in what he is doing. He walks or bikes everywhere he can. His experiment to not turn on air conditioning at home last year worked and he rarely if ever turns on the heat during colder months. He is a vegan who has been meat-free for 25 years and even his store has no animal byproducts in what it sells from its coffee bar to its baby section. He is invested in his community and in making his lifestyle an extension of who he is as a person. From his days working at the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation he knows 40 percent of most people s trips are less than 2 miles. So he talks up walking the walk and encouraging people to make a difference in terms of their environmental impact at least when it comes to transportation and food. Part of his success at least when it comes to his online reviews may be the fact that he s genuine when it comes to expressing his passions. I guess you do have to have a strong sense of self in order to maintain this lifestyle he says. In promoting conscientious living Korman has tried to become successful by living the lifestyle he s selling. More and more I think twice before I do something he says. His growing following of customers are following his lead and thinking twice before going anywhere else. Giving a Hoot Korman s convictions go way back. He remembers being struck by 1970s public service announcements like the U.S. Forest Service s Woodsy the Owl Give a Hoot -- 18 being green JOY LOHRER IS NOT ASHAMED TO BE CALLED A GARBAGE PICKER. The 52-year-old special education teacher at Norwood View Elementary is passionate about the trash. She can t stand to stand idle in the school cafeteria when students are tossing their lunch trays. She looks at what they are throwing away and helps them sort through what can be recycled. That s just how I am she says. You can t look at a garbage with bottles in it and not take them out. A couple of months ago at recess at her elementary school it was clear that Lohrer s habits are rubbing off on her students. We re composting at home now says 11-year-old Kendyl Goodin who spent many free moments during her fifth-grade lunch hours composting and working in the school s garden. But the great thing about Lohrer her colleagues say is that children and adults alike follow her lead without being told what to do. Everything she does is about reduce reuse recycle says Nicole Omiatek a school psychologist who works with her. I m just so impressed how she shares it with others and she doesn t do it in a preachy way. She just gives people the opportunity. She puts out recycle bins and kids use them. She s out there in the garden and kids flock to her. Instead of instructing kids on all of the reasons why to compost she just started doing it and kids just flow with it. her. Then she sold her car and started biking everywhere -- no matter the time of year. Her strong convictions about how she chose to exist in the world manifested in everything from her choices in clothing (mostly secondhand) to ideas about energy (that it shouldn t be wasted). From Worms to Grease Today Lohrer is known as the teacher who started Norwood View s school garden in what used to be a gravel lot. She is the one who started the schoolwide paper recycling program and the one who knows about composting with worms. Lohrer also is the teacher who usually bikes to work. Some days she makes stops at her students houses to help them bike to school on time. She helps find them used bikes and helmets and gives bike lessons to those who need it. On days when she drives her car to work it s usually because she s running errands such as donating clothes or transporting bikes. She calls her Volkswagen Golf her grease car. It is a diesel that runs on waste fryer grease she picks up twice a month from Arlin s Bar in Clifton and brings home to filter. At home she recycles hangs her clothes on the clothesline and is turning her Northside lawn into a garden. She has been composting with worms for nearly two decades. I do it because it makes me feel good she says. I just can t stand not to do it. Growing into the Role Shrinking her carbon footprint has been on Lohrer s mind for some time even when she didn t know what to call it. As a child she grew up with a garden but there was no thought then about being called an environmentalist. It was something you had to do before you got to go swimming she says. But working outside planted a seed that stuck with her. She started her own garden when she got to college and started to get involved in green politics. She felt a need to understand how things worked and how her actions affected the world around Practices but doesn t preach lowest carbon woman in cincinnati city Urban Dwellers Finding Their Fit tales Story by Tanya Bricking Leach Photos by Jason Sandhage Illustration by Tyler Hildebrand cincinnati 21 Before becoming urban dwellers Bob and Christine Scheadler had a big life. They had a big house a three-story 2 200-square-foot historic home in Norwood that they spent lots of time restoring. They had a big garage. And they had lots of room to store books and boxes and collections of clocks and cameras. Then it began to dawn on them that they had too much. I took this class and one of the topics was simplifying your life Christine says. That was probably about 10 years ago. But it takes a long time to shake your thinking and shift your habits. They began thinking small letting go of clutter not letting the mail pile up. After 15 years they decided to leave the trappings of a big house and buy a condo in the Trinity Flats building in downtown s Over-the-Rhine. When we changed our habits to simplify things it felt really good Christine says. It s really freeing. It takes that weight off. not wasting and accumulating too much. We swayed the accumulation way for a long time until we realized it becomes a burden. Stuff just weighs you down. They began giving things away through organizations such as Freecycle ( and they decided to consciously not buy what they didn t need. We ve tried to become less wasteful says Bob 47 a photographer. More than anything our whole green sustainable philosophy is just Be less wasteful. As an artist Bob used to have a darkroom in the basement and would keep lots of things he found just because he thought he might someday use it. Being a photographer I had all these old cameras just tons of them that I collected he says. But all you really do is just dust and move them around and clean them. They don t really serve any real purpose. DOWNSIZING FIT Their revelation was that living smaller and closer to other people was better than the dream of more land more space more house and more responsibility. We realized we weren t going to have kids says Christine a 44-year-old teacher at Cincinnati Country Day who specializes in helping kids read better. And we realized too that we didn t need as much stuff. You know there s that balance between BIT BY BIT The Scheadlers had to decide whether something being nice to look at or potentially useful someday made it worth keeping. So they downsized bit by bit. He s an artist at heart Christine says. So he d find cool things and keep them. We re both kind of savers. We learned to save and be frugal and make the best of things. 22 being green Opposite page Bob and Christine Scheadler center Trinity Lofts above the Scheadlers container garden. Initially they looked for a home where they could farm. But even that they discovered they could do in a urban setting even if they had to start plants on their balcony and transplant them to a bigger garden. Now in an 889-square-foot two-bedroom one-bath condo the Scheadlers have found a little Zen. They garden in containers on their south-facing balcony cook in their pared-down kitchen and embrace life in an efficient urban space. We didn t sell anything really Christine says. We just gave it all away and found good homes with people who appreciated things. Instead of hosting gatherings they meet friends at restaurants or at Findley Market Fountain Square or the library. The complications that came along with taking care of a 100year-old house were that there were always gutters (to clean) and constant regular maintenance and responsibilities Bob says. Here the house and home part of it make it a simpler lifestyle. EFFICIENT LIVING More and more homeowners are opting for the opposite of extravagance says Libby Hunter a real estate agent at Comey & Shepherd who specializes in urban living and green building. Hunter who grew up on an organic farm in Loveland and whose mother is from Clifton understood clients searching for something different. Her clients seeking urban living ranged from couples like the Scheadlers who wanted to downsize to young professionals who wanted to live close to work and even older people not yet ready to retire. They were all searching for a lifestyle that fit their sense of consciousness about their environment. Hunter saw both people who caught the buzz of buying local those who used buzzwords like being sustainable and those who realized that tighter green building standards were going to stick around for a while. Not to mention the City of Cincinnati offers a 15-year tax abatement for those who build to LEED standards within the city limits. But mostly she saw people dedicated to being part of a better neighborhood. It s a new sense of pragmatism she says. People are making these heartfelt emotional decisions because they believe it s the right thing to do. An urban lifestyle where people can walk to shops and restaurants or to Reds games and nightlife is part of what sells Hunter s clients on downtown neighborhoods. The other part that sells the homes are details like bamboo and cork floors community gardens and green revitalization. Very few of them are just about the dollars Hunter says of her clients. It s the lifestyle. cincinnati 23 TOO VALUABLE TO WASTE The spot where the Lofts of Mottainai stand at 1222 Republic in Over-the-Rhine was once known as the area where the city s race riots raged in 2001. A decade later the area is undergoing a revitalization as a walkable urban neighborhood and people are starting to think of it in a new light. The lofts named for the Japanese word for too valuable to waste boast eco-friendly features such as energy-efficiency recycled materials and prices that start around 140 000. The eight loft units quickly sold out. Mottainai s success has been driven not only by its one-ofa-kind historic shell that was transformed into modern style lofts but by its LEED approach of reduce reuse recycle says Bill Smith project manager at HGC Construction. Add in the fact that it s within walking distance to a major downtown metropolis and you have a product that was destined for success. Renting had sold Julie on the neighborhood already and she loved the modern feel of a condo with quartz countertops and contemporary cabinets in a building that dates back to 1830. When we looked for a place we didn t look anywhere outside of Over-the-Rhine says Julie Niesen Gosdin. I ve always liked the city despite growing up in the suburbs. I liked the fact that we could walk places there are lots of restaurants around and it has kind of a younger vibe. EASIER TO BE GREEN Julie a Cincinnati food blogger and a marketer for an educational publisher in Mason and Terry a teacher at Oak Hills High School weren t necessarily looking for a green lifestyle. They sort of fell into it. It is a happy coincidence that the space is green Julie says. We fell in love with the space. It didn t hurt that the condo is so well insulated that they can barely notice city noises or that there are decorative touches like recycled river rocks used as door markers and towel racks. They like shopping nearby at Park Vine for eco-friendly SOLD ON MODERN FEEL The Lofts at Mottainai were just what newlyweds Julie Niesen Gosdin 30 and her husband Terry Gosdin 50 were looking for. 24 being green Opposite page The Lofts of Mottainai left Terry Gosdin and Julie Niesen Gosdin below looking north across the rooftops of Over-the-Rhine cincinnati 25 A revitalized and growing business district on Vine Street. cleaning supplies and frequenting the farmer s market on Saturdays. They ll stop for bread at Shadeau Breads or gifts at MiCA and dine at spots such as Lavomatic or Senate. She still wishes for more grocery options a dry cleaner and a pharmacy with longer hours but Julie is content with life in the city s urban core. Living there is also making the Gosdins more aware of things that are not just convenient for them but ways they can do something for the environment. Now we take out recycling every day Julie says. It makes us think a little more about what we recycle versus what we throw away. We re actually as a building talking about composting. Central Business District and we feel pretty safe doing it Julie says. On weekends we often don t move our cars because we can do everything we need to right in the city with our own two feet. OTR S NEXT CHAPTER Both the Gosdins and the Scheadlers would like to see the city s oldest neighborhood be embraced by more people. Terry Gosdin has his elevator speech he tells people all the time about how they found their home. Bob and Christine Scheadler like to tell people how they can just walk around spending time admiring the architecture instead of having to spend time cutting the grass. The first step in building an even better community downtown -- particularly with developments projects going on along the riverfront at Washington Park Music Hall and with the casino -- is to get people to embrace what s there and what could be even better. So often Over-the-Rhine gets such a bad rap Julie says. A lot of people won t come down won t see what s going on. Once you come down here and you spend an evening out to dinner or maybe you catch a show or barhop or listen to bands -- whatever it is that appeals to you -- or even spend a Saturday and walk around and experience the neighborhood it s hard not to fall in love with it. A SENSE OF COMMUNITY For the Gosdins there s also a feeling that they can have a tightly knit community in an urban setting. Our whole building gets along really well and we have friends who bought the unit two above us Julie says. We see people we know everywhere we go. A lot of people in the building have dogs so every Friday there s doggy happy hour in our parking lot where people sit around and their dogs play. And often they leave their cars parked because they don t have to drive anywhere. We walk out of our front door and we can walk to restaurants or to Kroger or to Findley Market or to anywhere in the 26 being green green drinks great discussion and good fun Story and photos by Jason Sandhage The wine is flowing freely and the people are loose but amongst the casual smiles and the sips from their glasses there s a meaningful discussion going on. Their topic of choice Yep you guessed it - green Within the pages of Being Green we can only go so far to tell you about who is doing what and why -- motivations results cost process -- we discuss it all. But perhaps the best way to truly find your green calling is to talk to someone about it. Share ideas discuss successes and failures create connections with others of a like mind catch up with friends. From commercial to residential geothermal to solar networking opportunities to business ideas Green Drinks can be one of the many events in the greater Cincinnati area where you can go to learn more. What began in London in 1989 has since spread like the grapes on a vineyard to include 400 cities in the U.S. and thousands of attendees. The chapter that you see here is called Green Drinks Mason and over 30 people attended their February event at Awakenings Coffee & Wine in Hyde Park. Green Drinks also has a Cincinnati chapter that can be found meeting at Park Vine downtown on the first Friday of every month. When asked if it was more green or drinks the founder of the Mason chapter Eric Routenberg said It s a little bit of both...bringing people together who believe in the environment and want to make a change. Whomever would like to come and participate is more than welcome. The Green Drinks events are open to all and generally take place about once a month at a local coffee shop restaurant or bar. Those who organize the event and the attendees are very welcoming to newcomers and all that is asked is that you try and make connections with people you don t know and are open to green discussion. There is no membership and no fees. There are generally no agendas or themes. Nothing to hold you back from great conversation tasty treats and cold drinks but yourself. Laura Giesel a marketing and event specialist at the Iron Horse restaurant found out about the group in January and has attended the past 2 events. Laura says I embrace the concepts of environmentally safe products better use of our natural resources and the health benefits of organic foods. I wanted to meet other like minded professionals and...I love wine I keep coming back because the people are awesome. Mary Beth King attended her first Green Drinks event at Awakenings. As the founder of Sweet Peace Bakery she was asked to share some of her 100% vegan cookies. Veganism is an environmentally friendly way to eat and if here cookies are any indication of the variety and tastefulness of foods that can be enjoyed by vegans you can sign me up. Green Drinks events in your area can be found on Facebook LinkedIn Twitter and various other social media sources. The reasons for attending Green Drinks are plenty but one thing is certain. Cincinnati truly has a wide variety of progressive people and businesses who want to make a positive impact on the environment and save money in the process. So if you are curious about how you can green up your life it may be impossible to find a more interesting event than this. If you would like to find out more about Green Drinks and their events you can visit their website - 32 being green There s a new baby at the Cincinnati Zoo Story by Michelle Crawley Photos by Byron Photography The Melink Solar Canopy If you have visited the Cincinnati Zoo this spring you ve already noticed that the Vine Street parking lot looks completely different than it did last Christmas during the Festival of Lights. That s because it is now home to the largest publicly accessible urban solar array in the country. The 1.56 megawatt system consists of 6 400 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels installed on a canopy structure. It produces 20 percent of the Zoo s electricity which is enough electricity to power 200 homes each year while providing shade for nearly 800 of the 1 000 parking spots available at the main entrance. This solar PV array not only garners gasps of wonder from Zoo visitors it has people around the country taking notice. After all it is located in Ohio not Arizona. It s big and it s accessible meaning it is not out in a field surrounded by barbed wire fencing or even on a rooftop. This is located in uptown Cincinnati where families can see it touch it learn about what renewable energy looks like and how it works. The Zoo is after all an educational facility and known as the Greenest Zoo in America so it only makes sense the technology would be showcased here. If you took all of the advanced energy capacity of every other zoo in the U.S. and added it up it wouldn t equal this project said Mark Fisher Senior Director of Facilities Planning and Sustainability at the Cincinnati Zoo. That s how big this is. In our industry nothing comes close. And if we can do this here why not do it in other states The array is consistent with the Zoo s mission of conservation. The Zoo already boasts green buildings has cut their water usage in half and is reducing storm water runoff by collecting rainwater for reuse. The solar PV array is another big opportunity for the Zoo to be on the forefront while continuing to be the leader in the community on sustainability issues. The solar PV array was designed engineered and built by Melink Corporation of Milford which is also the owner and operator of the system. The Zoo as a host has no capitol tied up in the project which is important as a non-profit organization. As part of the arrangement with Melink the Zoo buys the power coming off the system at a locked-in rate for the next seven years. At the same time FirstEnergy Solutions buys solar renewable energy credits (RECs) generated from the array. By year eight Zoo officials can decide whether or not to purchase the system from Melink at a depreciated rate and then have free power or continue to buy the power from the array at a locked-in rate as they do now. The solar industry has been growing at a rate of nearly 30 percent each year. Steve Melink president of Melink Corporation pointed out that the biggest market for solar power is in Germany which has far less solar radiation than we do here in Ohio. If they are the largest market in the world and are able to be more energy independent and more energy secure certainly 34 being green we can make it work in Ohio. This project is unique in its scale and venue and it has put Cincinnati on the map as a national leader in the adoption and promotion of clean energy. HGC Construction assisted Melink with the installation of the solar panels onto the canopies and worked to ensure safety of Zoo patrons as they traversed through the site while the project was being constructed. The Cincinnati Zoo educates the public about what each of us can do to help the planet and save natural resources said Dawn Bardone marketing director at HGC. This project was another step in their onward push for sustainability. more economically feasible than smaller projects which have a longer payback. However costs continue to go down and Melink has addressed the issue by manufacturing a preengineered system that is more attractive when looking at solar solely from a financial payback. These panels are massproduced to bring the costs down. Federal tax incentives also make solar projects both big and small attractive. Cutting-edge The first word that comes to mind for Cincinnati is not usually progressive. Just remember how Mark Twain described our How does solar work Simply put the panels combine to make up the solar array. The array works by converting the sunlight into direct current (D C) energy. An inverter then converts the D C power into alternating current (A C) power which is sent directly back to the Zoo to run all its normal electrical loads and operate equipment such as lighting. Obviously on gray days it will not produce as much power as on sunny days when it works at its best. So the Zoo still needs to remain connected to the utility grid. It s not THE answer to the Zoo s power needs but is complimentary. Solar is a great way to supplement those conventional sources of power said Melink. On bright sunny days when the air conditioning is running and electrical loads are surging as a result that is precisely when the solar PV system is working at its best. For those who are thinking of pursuing a solar project realize that the opportunities to do a large-scale project are city. But this project truly is. As a city we are usually too modest said Fisher. Cincinnati needs to brag about this project if for no other reason than to encourage others to do it too. Melink pointed out that exploring alternate energy solutions does not mean relying on only one form. The more energy solutions that we can bring to market the more competitive we ll be in the world. More competition drives down energy costs. If you re an investor you diversify your risks. We should take that same approach with energy and not just be reliant on one source. This is about energy independence and security and ensuring a healthy clean air environment for future generations. So when you visit the Zoo this summer take a look at the array. Learn about the power it s generating. And appreciate going back to your shaded vehicle at the end of a hot day. And just maybe in the future you might consider this alternative form of energy to supplement your home or business. Many partners either invested or participated in this project including PNC Bank HGC Construction The Uptown Consortium The National Development Council FirstEnergy Solutions Protek Park Solar KLH Engineers B&J Electric The Greater Cincinnati Foundation The Cincinnati Park Board US Bank cincinnati 35 Home Security Climate Lighting Video Media Music Maximize the efficiency of your home with complete and customized automation. Your life made easy. 9469 Loveland-Madeira Road Cincinnati Ohio 45242 513-231-8555 Schmidt Heating & Cooling. Serving the Greater Cincinnati area since 1953. 513-531-6900 7323 Vine Street Cincinnati OH 45216 Jamis Xenith Elite We are cycling advocates. We are vehicles on the street and trail-users in the forest. We consider environmental responsibility paramount in all our business decisions and that is why we call ourselves BioWheels. The bicycle is a vehicle for physical mental and spiritual health. As practitioners everyone at BioWheels has over 15 years of experience working with bikes providing professional and customized fits that will get you dialed in and on your way to a healthier path. 6810 Miami Avenue Madeira OH 45243 (513) 861-2453 JAMIS FOCUS SCOTT NINER INDEPENDENT FABRICATION MOOTS BELL BLUE ELLSWORTH Volt s first spark hits the Tristate Story by Matt Cunningham Photos by Jason Sandhage Cincinnati has its share of head-turning automobiles tooling around local roads. Take a trip through downtown Hyde Park or Indian Hill and it s not unusual to see a handful of Ferraris a Lamborghini maybe a vintage Porsche and a Rolls or Bentley. But Cincinnati-based entrepreneur Karl Perron may have the lock on most unique ride at least for the moment. Perron made a seismic change in his driving profile earlier this year when he traded in his Hummer H3 Alpha for a Chevrolet Volt the American carmaker s innovative next-generation hybrid. Through a combination of timing luck and persistence Perron s quiet black sedan is the first of its type -- not just in Cincinnati but also in the Midwest region. The Chevy Volt Electrifying What s all the hype about the Volt In essence the car is a gaselectric hybrid in much the same vein as the small cars Honda and Toyota have been making for years. True it s a bit larger than Honda s Civic Hybrid or Toyota s best-selling Prius and it is American made. But while all three manufacturers hybrids use both electric and gas power for motivation the way the Volt approaches the equation is a game-changing shift in the world s move toward cleaner transportation. The Volt is a plug-in hybrid. Whereas the Prius Civic variant and other hybrid cars and trucks on the market use electric power to boost a small -- but efficient -- gas engine Chevrolet s innovative car flips the formula on its head. The gas engine in the Volt is treated as range extender instead of the vehicle switching between electric and fuel power as conditions dictate it will run on purely electric power until the 40 being green batteries are depleted. At that point the engine kicks in to provide more than 300 miles of range on a tank of fuel enough to accommodate longer trips or at least to get the car to a place where it can be charged (the Volt can charge off of 120- or 240-volt power outlets with higher voltage cutting charge time to as little as four hours) This approach while requiring an electric motor and batteries capable of handing a heavier load may be a more efficient option for the typical American driver. Statistics suggest 9-gallon reserve fuel tank. In fact the Volt features a pressurized gas tank that monitors gas age it will notify the driver if the gas in the tank is a year old or older. Earlier generation parallel hybrids by comparison are not programmed to run in pure-electric mode for more than a few miles doing so would either drain the battery or cost performance as the gas motor would not kick in to do its designed share of the work. Neither type of hybrid is a clean break from removing gasoline and internal combustion engines from the driving that most of our drive time is spent making short hops from place to place totaling less than about 30 miles per day. The Volt s batteries when fully charged can last for roughly 35 miles depending on conditions. A driver who doesn t have a lengthy commute and plans trips with a little forethought could conceivably drive on electric power all day without hitting the range limit and then charge the car overnight to repeat the process without burning a drop of gas from the car s equation but the Volt is being seen as a paradigm shift -- electric power is primary rather than secondary signaling that we may see the eventual phasing-out of the gasoline motor for some practical driving applications in the not-too-distant future. On the road ahead of schedule Josh Cummins is co-owner of Dan Cummins Chevrolet a three-generation family-owned dealership in Paris Kentucky. cincinnati 41 He explained that Chevrolet s graduated roll-out schedule means large numbers of Volts will likely not arrive in the region until the 2012 model year release later this year. But the cars are already available in some coastal regions and the dealership acquired what would become Perron s jet black Volt as part of a large out-of-state dealer inventory purchase. The car immediately became a showroom star he said. One of the best reactions was when someone drives it and pushes the accelerator and the batteries just launch that vehicle Cummins said. It s amazing just a straight-line acceleration launch. It s not something you expect to happen. The car was prominently featured on Cummins website and FaceBook pages. Thus it wasn t a huge surprise when Perron contacted the dealership. We were close enough he was able to come down and take a look Cummins said. Despite a likely lag time of several months before showrooms and dealers expected to see Volts in the area Cincinnati was about to get its first next-generation hybrid. VOLT than 100 miles per gallon. Cummins said Perron came to the dealership well informed on the Volt. He s a great customer Cummins said. He s a good guy and seems to be on the leading edge of technology. Neither party disclosed details of the transaction the car likely earned Perron a Federal tax credit in the neighborhood of 7 500 part of a long-standing government effort to reward drivers who purchase high-tech clean vehicles. Cummins added that while the car is based in Cincinnati his team has undergone -- and is continuing -- training to be ready to service it and the other Volts set to arrive later this year. The preparation for these high-tech cars was actually par for the course he explained. It doesn t matter what we re selling the cars are so hightech that it s constant training he said. For Perron there are likely a few more months of turned heads questions in parking lots and the minor celebrity that comes with owning a first-of-its-kind vehicle much less one as well-hyped as the Volt. But he said that one of the more Karl Perron s two sons were his reason for trading in the War Truck for a much more eco-friendly Volt. Tech-savvy and green focused Perron is the CEO of Transactiv a Cincinnati-based startup that facilitates commerce transactions by leveraging social networking technology. He has been involved with a number of other tech-oriented startups so taking on a high-tech solution in the name of green transportation wasn t a huge leap. In a world where more people think about Harry Potter than our planet every inch of progress towards increasing awareness counts he said summing up his philosophy on the shift from a truck with mileage in the low teens to a car that in electric mode at least can get the equivalent of more satisfying effects of the car has come from home his two children may have put the vehicle change into the best perspective. The Hummer with its boxy aggressive styling and rough ride got labeled the war truck in the Perron household. The Volt with its quiet ride and smooth low-vibration acceleration earned a sleeker nickname the stealth mobile. With that kind of praise from the back-seat audience it s safe to assume Perron s a happy driver in his -- for the moment -- one-of-a-kind ride. 42 being green Green Environment Green Home Whether you are looking to save money or to help the environment creating a green home will not only increase your home s sustainably but add value. LIVE GREEN...No matter how large or small the project you can do your part to create a more eco-friendly environment within your own home. To learn how you can increase the value of your home by going green contact any of our Coldwell Banker West Shell Realtors. Metro Link 513-886-4406 2011 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Coldwell Banker West Shell Office is Operated by Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate LLC. Learn share connect. Three words three days one city. Story by Jason Sandhage The Cincinnati Regional Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has been selected out of a 12 state region as the host for the 2011 Greening the Heartland Conference -- the Midwest regional conference of the USGBC. It should come as no surprise that Cincinnati has been selected as the host of this prestigious conference the first city in Ohio to do so. Cincinnati is home to the nations most appealing LEED tax abatement (p. 48) which has driven the creation of many or our LEED projects. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens which is widely regarded as the greenest zoo in America now has the largest urban publicly accessible solar array in the country (p. 34). Also CPS students enjoy the fact that Cincinnati has more LEED registered schools that any other city in the state and 20% of all LEED school projects are in Ohio (p. 85). The list continues and does throughout this magazine. The 2011 edition of Greening the Heartland will be it s 8th annual conference. Everyone is welcome to attend and according to the local chapter those who do will be presented with tangible real world information and proven accomplishments and approaches. Attendees will gain understanding of today s critical issues related to sustainable building and operations and learn how to apply this knowledge. There will be 3 featured key note speakers at the conference. Keith Harrison Global Product Supply Officer for Procter & Gamble will start things off on Wednesday. Julian Agyeman Professor and Chair of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University will address the conference on Thursday. To finish things off Scot Horst Senior VP of the USGBC s LEED Program will speak Friday. Throughout the conference over 36 educational sessions will also be held by 50 presenters. Subjects will range from A Real Life Net-Zero Energy Case Study to Developing an Energy Efficiency Workforce and everything else under the sun. The sessions are broken into 4 categories Residential New Buildings Existing Buildings Community. So no matter where you stand or what you would like to accomplish you will be able to find something to accommodate you your home or your business. If after all of this you still haven t filled your brain to the brim or if you have and you want a little something different tours will be lead in the evenings to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens Melink Co. the University of Cincinnati Over-the-Rhine and there is even a pub crawl where you can sample Cincinnati s wide-ranging collection of local handcrafted beers. The Greening the Heartland Conference will also feature an exhibit and trade show that highlights some of Cincinnati s national and international companies that have made a commitment to go green in the products and services that they provide to their customers. Stop by any one of them to learn more about your next project. Myron Rivers Executive Director of the Cincinnati Regional Chapter of the USGBC says that in coming to the city the conference has helped establish Cincinnati as a progressive city when it comes to green building and that it s a great way to spotlight our achievements. Such as the fact that during a recession we were able to create the largest LEED building in Cincinnati and possibly the Midwest the Queen City Tower. Whether you re involved with the green building community or not the issues that will be addressed at this conference have an effect on everyone here in Cincinnati and the world. If collectively we can understand the benefits of living a more eco-friendly lifestyle we can all work together to make our community a better place and that is why it s important that we continue to learn share and connect with others who can help us find our own way. Greening the Heartland 2011 June 22 - 24 8th Annual Conference Duke Energy Convention Center cincinnati 45 How to build a home in Cincinnati for 1 million and not pay 300 000 in taxes. No kidding. fied at the highest platinum level there is no maximum value limit. So if you built a LEED platinum certified home valued at 3 million the annual tax savings would be 64 090 or 961 350 for 15 years. The tax abatement program known as the Green Building Residential Property Tax Exemption started in 2007 and expires in 2017. As of March 2011 65 homes condominiums have qualified for the LEED tax abatement. It is important to note that many of Cincinnati s builders already include green features into the homes they build. But to meet LEED certification standards it requires additional work and training so it is a good idea to ask all questions upfront if you intend to take advantage of the city s tax abatement program. For more information on LEED refer to the next page. Much thanks to Eric Denson with the City of Cincinnati s Department of Community Development for helping us develop this article and to check it for accuracy. For more information on the tax abatement program contact the Department of Community Development at 513-352-6146 or communitydevelopment OK. Let s make sure we ve got this straight. If you 1. Build a new home within the city limits of Cincinnati. 2. Make sure the architect designs and or the builder constructs the home so that it meets what is known as LEED rated sustainable green building standards. Verification will be required. 3. File the proper paperwork. The City of Cincinnati will abate all or a significant part of your property tax on the value of the home for up to 15 years. There is a catch. The cost of purchasing and installing the green items in the house and paying for the required paperwork can add anywhere from 3-10 percent to the cost of the house. For example If it s a LEED platinum certified million-dollar home in Hyde Park and the extra green features (including geothermal heating and cooling) were 7 % of that total the extras cost 75 000. But the tax abatement savings alone over 15 years will exceed 300 000. There s more. The geothermal heating and cooling system will net the homeowners a 30 percent tax credit and collectively the green features mean less energy use over the years. It s a no-brainer. As long as you want to live in the city of Cincinnati. Why such a big give-a-way in financially tough times To either get people to move in or stay in the city of Cincinnati limits. The homeowners we talked to -- who took advantage of the city s program all agreed that the strategy worked on them. Here s how it works Follow the three steps noted at the beginning of this story. New LEED construction of one two and three unit residential structures including condominiums are eligible for a 15-year 100% tax abatement valued up to 546 400. Using the maximum amount the annual property tax savings would be 11 670 or 175 050 for 15 years. For renovated LEED residential dwellings (condominiums one two and three unit structures) there is 10-year tax abatement on improvements up to a maximum 546 400 market value. In both new and renovated homes the owners must still pay the tax on the land. The market value limit increases by 3% compounded each year. There are four levels to LEED certification certified silver gold and platinum. If the home or rehabilitated structure is certi- 48 being green What is LEED ... and why should I care You will see the word LEED appear close to a hundred times in this issue of Being Green in Cincinnati. You ve probably already seen it hundreds of times before. What does it mean Is it important If you plan on being green in your home it can mean a lot. Building to LEED standards costs money but it can also save you thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars if you want it to. Tax abatements and tax credits are both lying in wait to go to those who qualify. And for many energy savings can be 50 percent or more. Let s start very simply. You are standing on your lot the place where you want to build or remodel your home. You have already decided to become more green in the way that you live starting with the place you call HOME. If it s an older home chances are the insulation is weak or nonexistent the toilets consume more than four gallons of water per flush the appliances eat-up double the energy that they should the windows leak air like a sieve and the heating and air-conditioning system is so old it sounds like a freight train. Another word for this is MONEY PIT. You can start being green this afternoon by making a conscious decision to replace all of these money and energy wasters with green-related items all or one or one at a time as they die off. You want to build new Some Cincinnati builders have already been suggesting and installing green items for the better part of a decade. There is really nothing all that new about the intended purposes of each item they have only gotten more technically efficient and financially feasible as each day passes. For example solar panels and geothermal heating and cooling have been here for decades. What you are about to read will include the basics of LEED and our strong advice that you consult with the business you ve chosen - architects builders remodelers and designers - to do your new home or remodel and get their suggestions on how to proceed while always asking three questions How much will it cost How much will it save How will it help the environment tions. For homeowners it provides third-party verification and certification via USGBC raters that the green home being purchased meets select qualifications that it is what they say it is. For example if you live in the City of Cincinnati and want to receive a 15year tax abatement on your new home it must be documented LEED certified (this is where you can save up to hundreds of thousands of dollars see opposite page for more info). LEED measures items via the assignment of points that matter most to making a house green. They include energy savings water efficiency CO2 emissions reduction improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. It is a voluntary program but there are costs associated with it largely due to the price of green items such as geothermal heating and air conditioning or low-flow faucets and the associated paperwork that verifies compliance. Some of the measures don t cost anything. If the home is near shopping and public transportation or if it is built in an area (an in-fill lot for example) that does not require extra infrastructure such as road building sewer or water lines extra points are rewarded. For a new home there are four degrees of LEED certification Certified Silver Gold and Platinum. Each degree requires more levels of green Platinum being the highest level. Interestingly while it might be assumed that each level or adding any green features will cost more money sometimes that is not the case. Chad Edwards past president of the Cincinnati Regional Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council and his firm Emersion Design says for example that with a tighter and more insulated home the demand for heating and cooling is significantly reduced thus a savings on the front end cost of the mechanical equipment. LEED points are awarded on different scales depending on the type of project and whether or not it is residential or commercial. Credits are weighted to reflect their potential environmental impacts. A project must satisfy all prerequisites and earn a minimum number of points to be certified. Think of it like the nutrition label on a box of crackers LEED provides the same kind of important detail about the green aspects of a building that taken together deliver higher performance. What is LEED LEED is short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1998 LEED provides those in the building industry with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design construction operations and maintenance solu- For more info go to To learn about Energy Star please refer to pages 102 & 103 cincinnati 49 The Labbe House Project Living the Green Dream Story by Paula Brandon Photos by Greg Grupenhof Step inside a home filled with ideas inspiration and fun. From concept to completion we will guide you through the Labbe House Project telling the story of how a home achieves LEED certification and provides a healthy more financially feasible environment for the owners. The idea for the project came from Stephanie Labbe who served as its architect and her husband Cliff a staff packaging engineer at Ethicon EndoSurgery a young couple hoping to expand their family in the future. The Labbe house features sun-drenched modern spaces that echo the 1950s-60s modern iconic style but without the time capsule of energy inefficiency that accompanies existing homes from that era. The design began to take shape when after renovating their 800 sq. foot Madeira home Cliff and Stephanie knew that change was in the air. They were drawn to clean lines of mid-century modern homes and after all they would eventually need more room. With green building experience through her own firm SKL Architecture Stephanie knew she could incorporate their best ideas into a new sustainable home of their dreams while gaining valuable experience along the way. After finding an infill lot in an established Symmes Township neighborhood they took a leap of faith and jumped into The Labbe House Project in June 2009. As an architect Stephanie was well aware of the importance of working with an experienced builder and more specifically a builder who has worked on multiple LEED homes in the area. With a collection of 8 homes and another 20 registered and awaiting LEED certification at places like the Westfalen Lofts in Over-the-Rhine and town homes on Pleasant Street John Hueber Homes was an obvious choice. 50 being green cincinnati 51 The Pricing The Labbes worked with John Hueber Homes to tug and stretch their budget to accommodate the home of their dreams with the features they couldn t live without. John says Everyone is dreaming and wishing for specific things but when they come face-to-face with the budget that s reality. My job is to help get the dreams and the budget to match. We were thoughtful about timing and expenses since we had to choose what elements could be completed later Stephanie explains. Short of winning a jackpot on Wheel of Fortune the budget was in place and it wasn t budging. John Hueber Homes helped Stephanie fine-tune her plan. Immediately I figured out that John does not sugar-coat anything which I appreciate she says. He is straightforward and from the start made suggestions on how to get the costs down. When he built his own home years ago he incorporated many green qualities and I knew we would work well together. After decades of building custom homes the people at John Hueber have become experts at helping families crunch the numbers. Whether the customer is building a 3 million house or a 300 000 house everyone has budget considerations says John. Stephanie & Cliff Labbe 52 being green 54 being green LEED Silver SYMMES TOWNSHIP cincinnati 55 The Home During construction the decision to go for LEED Silver certification was a no-brainer since Stephanie had already incorporated so many green features into the home design. Andy Hueber Vice President of John Hueber Homes served as the on-site superintendent working at the job site every day and collaborating closely. Stephanie is a very intelligent person an excellent architect Andy says. She recognizes the value in green building and in fact she leads that lifestyle. It s important to understand that building a LEED home does not begin with a guarantee. A tremendous amount of paperwork documentation and testing takes place. It s not a small chore and takes someone dedicated to follow through with the different parts of the program. Stephanie just needed us to help guide her through it. Stephanie took on the daunting task of LEED paperwork. Homeowners usually pay someone to complete the paperwork but I wanted to know the process inside and out for future projects she explains. It was time consuming to track down the detailed information but now that I have seen the process through I won t have to look up everything in the nearly 400-page reference manual for future projects. Besides LEED paperwork and daily site visits Stephanie and Cliff tackled as many do-it-yourself projects as possible. They assembled the IKEA kitchen cabinetry purchased at a 10% discount insulated the garage and saved 300 in the process installed cabling on the back deck and worked on landscaping which continues to this day with the installation of planters that will save on yard work. Some of the features of their home are listed here and refer to the sketch beginning on p. 54 for a more visual representation of the green elements of the Labbe House Project A geothermal system using the earth s temperature to efficiently heat and cool the home with 25-50% less electricity than conventional heating and cooling systems. This system qualified for a 30% federal tax credit. Sealed ductwork was added as well. Dual-flush toilets allowing the right amount of water to be used. Low flow bathroom faucets and shower heads which reduce the strain on the water supply and energy usage. Energy Star and CFL (compact fluorescent) lighting. A thermal barrier approach to prevent thermal bridging for energy savings. Low-E (emissivity) windows designed for solar heat gain even while they are keeping out the cold. A 30% tax credit up to 500 is available until Dec. 31. Attention to indoor air quality with proper ventilation and attention to the materials and finishes in the home. This includes low-VOC (volatile organic compound) interior paints finishes and materials that don t emit harmful chemicals into the air of the home. Polished concrete floors. Natural lighting in every room reducing the need for electricity while providing heat gain in the cold winter months. Energy Star appliances in the kitchen. Enhanced insulation reducing the strain on the home s geothermal system. Enhanced natural ventilation Many low-maintenance recycled and or locally produced materials. While living in the home Stephanie and Cliff also seized an opportunity to conduct what they called The Vapor 56 being green Barrier Experiment in which they installed and tested several types of vapor barriers to determine the best solution for Southwestern Ohio. Nowadays there is so much information out there that it can be confusing to average home owners Stephanie explained on her blog. Since we happened to have this set of circumstances where we could test without causing any damage to our house any delay to the construction and without spending hardly any money it seemed like we should take advantage of it and show you what happened. The winner the plastic vapor barrier. so you can add those features when the time is right. Currently a conduit runs from the roof of the Symmes Township home down to the lower level for potential future solar panel installation. We settled on a 50 light fixture from IKEA for our foyer rather than the 900 light we really liked says Stephanie. We figure we can upgrade that some day. Like the countertops we feel that if we can t get what we REALLY want we might as well get the cheapest thing we can live with so it doesn t bother us whenever we replace it. The Future of the Project Many sustainable and efficient features to this home have contributed to the LEED for Homes certification at the Silver level and an Energy Star rating of 5 Stars Plus. But what if like the Labbes you don t have the budget to proceed with every dream element of your home It s simple. Construct the home The Conclusion Although it was perhaps the busiest six months of her life Stephanie found time to go online to share the process that accompanies the homebuilding experience. Decisions compromises budget constraints emotions and elements of nature (rain ) are all part of building a home. Blog readers cincinnati 57 followed along learned about being green and had an opportunity to cast their votes to help choose several of the home s aesthetic features including the kitchen sink faucet and countertop. Out-of-town family members visited the blog to keep tabs on the home s progress and readers took note when a ceramic rabbit nicknamed Keith showed up out of the blue appearing in different rooms as the work progressed. What makes a home a project For one thing the Labbe house continues to teach inspire and serve as a real-life laboratory for Stephanie s ideas and experiments. Her office space is located in the home right in the middle of the green features that interest her clients. To educate and spread knowledge about green building Stephanie and Cliff have welcomed tour groups from the Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy Green Energy Ohio and the United States Green Building Council s Cincinnati Chapter. The house was way more work than I ever thought it would be Stephanie admits but quickly adds that it was well worth the effort. There is no wasted space in this house. We have good-sized closets lots of storage. We have room to grow. I wouldn t change anything unless I d had more money. With Stephanie s blog providing a diary of the project their home s journey also proves to be a great resource to others who are interested in building green homes. I have at least one client who came to me strictly based on finding my blog Stephanie says. She is planning a green home in Northern Kentucky near the Alexandria area and is interested in many of the same approaches that we designed into our house. Two years have passed since the first scoop of dirt was moved to prepare the Labbe homesite and Stephanie is using the considerable knowledge she acquired to build modern homes for Cincinnati families. I am starting to build a solid niche with clients who want green homes within the same budget range as our home 300 000-400 000 Stephanie says. In that range you can t get it all but I can help homeowners make the most logical and green choices that will result in homes they will enjoy for years to come. For the complete story from start to finish with plenty of educational information about green building visit The Labbe House Project blog at http About LEED for Homes LEED for Homes is a voluntary third-party certification program developed by residential experts and experienced builders. LEED promotes the design and construction of high performance green homes and encourages the adoption of sustainable practices throughout the building industry. For more information visit homes Resources John Hueber Homes SKL Architecture 58 being green A better way to guide you CFLs and LEDs Story by Jason Sandhage Lighting is what guides our way at night. It will help us find our way if we are lost. With the proliferation of technology practically everywhere you look you will find one. It shows us the time on our digital alarm clocks. It tells us when to stop or go at an intersection. If you re on the computer reading this it is illuminating your screen. Many of these applications of light have already switched to more efficient and longer lasting options so why haven t you The vast majority of houses condos and apartments in America today are being lit using some sort of incandescent bulbs. About a hundred years ago this Thomas Edison style of light was the wave of the future and we couldn t live without it but times have changed. Today technology has improved so much that there s no longer the need to waste an exuberant amount of energy to heat up a filament when all that you re really wanting is light. According to the the U.S. Department of Energy a traditional incandescent wastes about ninety percent of the energy it produces as heat money that you are just throwing out the window. There are a few main bulb options out there today and it can be difficult to determine the best option for the the function and place that you would like to be lit. Because of that we have asked Drew Dearwester owner of Switch Lighting and Design to shed some light on and compare the more energy efficient options -- halogen CFLs LEDs -- to the more traditional outdated incandescent. Halogen Incandescents About 25% more efficient Still an incandescent these bulbs hold a gas around the filament which increases efficiency and can last up to three times longer. Halogen has maintained its foothold as a residential light source. It is still common in decorative light fixtures such as dining and kitchen pendants as well as living room torchieres. It is also preferred in functional lighting- whether in miniature recessed downlights directional trackheads or task lamps. CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) About 75% more efficient Smaller curly versions of the long tubes we all know these bulbs can last up to ten times longer. Many come available with dimming options and the typical CFL can pay for itself in 9 months or less. Fluorescent has historically been the workhorse of lighting. They typically have been used to light up large commercial rooms -- warehouse and office spaces- where focused light is not necessary and energy savings is relevant. Yet considering the popularity of compact fluorescents and narrower T5 fluorescent tubes residential decorative lighting has gradually been re-designed to accommodate the demand for this more efficient light source. LEDs (Light Emitting Diode) About 75-80% more efficient The future of lightbulbs. They will cost you more at first but these bulbs can last up to twenty five times longer. Recent technology has allowed this traditionally directional light source to diffuse light in multiple directions making it more appealing to the residential arena. Although LED light fixtures may be more expensive than an incandescent or fluorescent option on the front end their lower cost and lower maintenance in the long term definitely means LED is the best buy. And as the technology advances and the LED becomes more popular the prices will undoubtedly fall making it the bulb of choice for most applications for the home and office. Green lighting is no longer cold clinical and boring. Manufacturers have taken note of the fact that their customers are looking for more efficient options so they have adapted their offerings and have created comparable alternatives which fit the needs of their clients. Thus as with the likes of geo-thermal solar and other more eco-friendly options the market will adapt to fill our needs and as a result the price of these options will decrease as production rises. Within this issue the reduction of waste is the single largest theme. And since traditional incandescent bulbs waste about ninety five percent of the energy they use it only makes sense to explore better bulbs for our homes and businesses. So the next time you need to change a light choose CFL or LED and continue that process until all of your lights are replaced. Not only will you be reducing the energy on your utility bills but you wont have to climb up all those dang ladders. 60 being green Digging in the dirt Story by Michelle Crawley for a good cause Bruce and Beth Murray at their home garden in Newport Kentucky Gardening is a labor of love for Newport Ky. residents Bruce and Beth Murray. When Bruce retired from his sales job in 2003 one of the first things he did was enroll in a Master Gardener Volunteer course through the Hamilton County Extension Office of The Ohio State University. Through the Master Gardening Program Bruce received intensive training in horticulture. After completing the coursework master gardeners are expected to volunteer their time assisting with educational programs and activities through their local county extension offices. That was how Bruce learned about the Volunteers for Veggies program an Ohio State University-Hamilton County Master Gardener Volunteer Project located at Greenacres Farm in Indian Hill. Since 1998 the volunteer group has been raising organic produce for weekly delivery to the Freestore Foodbank. The program has been led by Greenacres coordinator Michele Dragga since 1999. Greenacres provides the land supports the garden financially and serves as another source for volunteers. Bruce began participating in the project in 2004 after completing his master gardening course and Beth joined him a year later. Each Wednesday evening during the growing season (from April through October) the Murrays join 20 other volunteers some master gardeners and some not working on the Volunteers for Veggies garden. Their work begins in April potting seedlings that Dragga prepared at home. Soon the plants grow large enough to be planted in 20 raised 4 x 10 foot beds. The group grows hardy greens like collard kale mustard turnip and Swiss chard. They also produce tomatoes jalapeno peppers green peppers squash and garlic. Throughout the summer and into the fall the group tends the plants by weeding watering and harvesting. It s very casual said Dragga. People join us when they can and when it fits their schedule. Everyone is welcome. Each week after the volunteers harvest the food Dragga takes the bounty to the Mayerson Food Distribution Center of the Freestore Foodbank on Tennessee Avenue in Bond Hill. Some of the produce like the garlic gets used by Cincinnati Cooks a program that prepares students looking to improve their lives for work in the food service industry. But Dragga Photo by Jason Sandhage said the greens are the most sought after produce she brings. When Michele gets to the Freestore generally there are people waiting for her said Bruce. They know they are receiving something exceptional. This food really helps a lot of people. In 2010 Dragga said that the 20 volunteers put in a total of 230 hours. Through the Volunteer for Veggies program they were able to donate a whopping 1 080 pounds of food to the Freestore Foodbank. Bruce and Beth Murray said it has been enjoyable getting together with other gardeners at Greenacres to share their mutual labor of love. Beth said that while they certainly work hard it s really fulfilling to know where all of the food is going. At the same time the Murrays enjoy learning more about organic gardening at Greenacres. Organic gardening continues to be popular said Dragga. Grocery stores are increasing their stocks of organic produce 62 being green A young girl playing at Greenacres Farm in Indian Hill Photo by Bruce Murray Right a collection of produce harvested and ready to be delivered to the FreeStore Foodbank. as people are becoming more conscious of what they are eating and where their food has been. Ultimately organically grown food is also good for the environment because pesticides which would normally sink into the ground are not used. As more people take an interest in going organic in their gardens they are learning what being organic means and how to be successful. Organic gardening has certainly been an education for us said Bruce. There is extensive bed preparation and at Greenacres we fertilize with Marvin s organic fertilizer and fish emulsion. We also use a lot of compost. We have learned about covering crops to prevent pests and about a natural bacterium (Bacillus thuringiensis BT ) that we use to kill the caterpillars to prevent them from eating the greens. There is a lot to learn. Beth plans to continue her gardening education by taking the master gardening course this winter through the Campbell County Cooperative Extension Office of the University of Kentucky. In the meantime the Murrays will stay busy this summer in their own garden and at the volunteer garden at Greenacres. In addition Bruce is involved in The Greater Cincinnati Master Gardener Association s (GCMGA) Purple People Bridge Landscape Project where he is both a gardener and project photographer. The GCMGA brings together all Master Gardeners in the region regardless of the county in which they are certified and the Purple People Bridge is their signature project. So most weeks Bruce Murray can also be found on the bridge. The Murrays are members of their neighborhood s East Row Garden Club in Newport. Bruce is photographer and volunteer for the group s East Row Garden Walk which takes place June 25 & 26 2011 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). The Garden Walk features 11 gardens and profits go to charity. The Murrays have had their own garden featured twice in the tour both in 2002 and 2009. They are looking forward to again sharing the beauty of their neighborhood with residents of the Greater Cincinnati area. There s certainly nothing greener than digging in a garden. And it has been said that there can be no other occupation like gardening in which if you were to creep up behind someone at their work you would find them smiling . ( English writer Mirabel Osler). The Murrays are indeed smiling. They are spending their retirement working on their favorite projects while sharing their passion with others. For more information Greenacres Volunteer for Veggies Program http Master Gardener Volunteer Program http topics master-gardener-volunteer-program Greater Cincinnati Master Gardener Association http East Row Garden Club of Newport Ky. http gardenwalk Join the East Row Garden Walk in Newport KY on June 25 & 26 2011 Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati http cincinnati 63 What do you call it when a condo complex goes green A great start Story by Douglas E. Sandhage Being green doesn t mean being ugly. To the uninitiated that is often the first thought -- that a green built building is a block structure built of bamboo devoid of any extra creature comforts any sense of style. Not meant to be looked at but lived in solely for the benefit of our environment. Jos Garcia though didn t see it that way. He was given a mandate by the developers of a new condo building in Hyde Park to make it green and to make it a looker. Garcia was the architect of record for 2801 Erie located on a corner just down the street and on the same side of Erie as the Firehouse on Hyde Park Square. 2801 is both the address and the name of the project. 2801 tends to turn heads because it is of a contemporary design. The structure includes 13 units from 2 100 to 4 000 sq. ft. that sold between 700 000 and 1.5 million each. One of the marketing themes used to sell the units possible because the project received LEED certification status and because it is within the city of Cincinnati boundaries was that each unit owner became eligible for a 15-year tax abatement on the first 500 000 of appraised value. That meant a savings of at least 10 000 a year from the Hamilton County taxman or in the neighborhood of 150 000 over the abatement period. The building was started in 2006 and completed in 2009. Bloomfield Schon was the developer of the project Garcia the architect and Turnbull-Wahlert the general contractor. Stewart Turnbull president of Turnbull-Wahlert says that it was about six years ago that his company began to take 66 being green notice of the green market trend that it was positive and that we should follow it. The company has completed or is in the process of completing its seventh green building. Two have already been LEED certified green (see page 49 for story about LEED) one is Children s Home of Cincinnati the other is 2801 Erie. Another the Veterans Affairs Eye Clinic on Highland Avenue is currently registered for LEED certification. Construction by Turnbull s company of medical buildings in New Richmond and Eastgate will hopefully earn gold or platinum LEED certifications says Turnbull. I love it says Turnbull talking about 2801 Erie. We use it (for marketing) not only as a prime example of a successful building project but as a successful sustainability project. His company is primarily a commercial general contractor but it also does designbuild projects. Garcia says that 2801 Erie was envisioned to be green from the moment the lots were first secured to start construction. It was a concerted effort to do this. The strategy and the budget was to make it happen. Creativity innovation and technology were essential as well he adds. In particular says Garcia was the way the building was designed with rain-screen cladding on its exterior. The combination wood and stone surface (the outer skin) is separated by 1 of space from the building s shell. The result is an air chamber that enhances air circulation thus better inside temperature control and improved ventilation for the overall structure and helps in stopping potential mold growth and surface deterioration. The entire system is a higher performing system rather than an all-inclusive wall system says Garcia. The wood portion of the rain-screen came from controlled forests and the metal rods that help affix the cladding to the building were manufactured in Cincinnati. Garcia had already been one of the first in Cincinnati to do rain-screen cladding when he helped design the Mayfield Clinic in Norwood. One of the most visible green aspects on the inside of the building and one of Garcia s favorites is the way each unit Left 2801 Erie in Hyde Park. The exterior is rain-cladding designed to allow the building to breathe so that temperature control and ventilation are improved. Right Every unit in 2801 Erie was designed by architect Jos Garcia to maximize the amount of natural light that enters. I spent an enormous amount of energy to be sure natural light would reach nearly everywhere in each condo thus reducing the need for electricity. was designed to maximize the amount of natural light that enters. I spent an enormous amount of energy to be sure natural light would reach nearly everywhere in each condo thus reducing the need for electricity. Another green element of 2801 Erie says Garcia is that all materials used in the building are of low or no emissions (gases that harm the environment). The cost to go green says Jose varies considerably not only because of the products that might be needed but also because of architectural design. He guesses that 15 percent is an average additional cost. Turnbull says that those who have already made decisions to go green will not be alone in the future. I think we are on go primarily because of limited natural resources. I am very convinced that the future of green initiatives sustainability is here Photo by Cathy & Mark Lyons to stay. It will drive the market (the cost of power). However he adds green is not always the answer in every aspect of the design-build process. Every job we have to understand the process of the business the mechanisms of job flow says Turnbull. We have to analyze the finances of going green vs. not building green. Some things can be counterintuitive. If there are advantages to going green we tell them the advantages. We help the client understand what can can t be done not just from a green standpoint but economics as well. Turnbull goes on to say that being green is still largely a younger person s vision. Younger people embrace it they want to better the planet. That s why I think in the future it is going to hold. Marketing (of green) has changed because the market has changed. 2801 Erie says Garcia is one of the first multi-family buildings in Cincinnati to be LEED certified. cincinnati 67 green and what they are doing to go 10 of Cincinnati s forward thinkers green S T O R I E S B Y M AT T C U N N I N G H A M 70 being green Duke Energy Procter & Gamble Cincinnati Public Schools Metro PNC Bank Turner GE Cincinnati Parks The Christ Hospital Rumpke These are our titans the names that earn instant recognition -- and respect -- throughout Cincinnati. These are the leaders of industry the foundational institutions that support much of the region s economy. In the worlds of business education and civic services these are the Queen City s giants. And by and large they re going green. Some of Cincinnati s most notable names from Procter & Gamble to Cincinnati Public Schools are the driving forces behind large-scale environmentally-focused initiatives. Some have a uniquely local focus. Others reach across the globe. And still others set the stage for a sustainable future. The city is brimming with environmental innovation. Read on and discover how the names you know -- our city s giants -- are quickly becoming truly green giants. cincinnati 71 Cincinnati Parks Step out of your front door and look for the trees. Very likely they re in a park and are wards of Cincinnati Parks the greenest of the city s green giants. It s in our DNA said park superintendent Gerald Checco. He explained that the Cincinnati Park Board was established as an environmental organization during the American industrial revolution an era when the writings and speeches of John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt went head-to-head with the oftenabysmal working conditions that many city-dwellers faced. Long before anyone coined the phrase nature deficit disorder parks advocates successfully lobbied to protect green space as a soothing escape for the urban workforce. We were created to make sure the whims of the political winds would not sway us and we would stay steadfast in our mission protect the land and make sure we have enough greenery for the people of Cincinnati to be healthy. Green to the core In the landscape of Cincinnati s green sustainable and environmentally conscious entities there is one organization that cannot go without mention. This large vital part of the city s public service network is likely as green as an organization can get -- and has been that way for more than a century. Over time that mission has encompassed more and more protected land and green space around Cincinnati to the point where Cincinnati Parks arguably has the largest geographic footprint of any organization in the city The five regional parks 70 neighborhood parks 34 nature preserves and countless miles of street-side greenery under its stewardship make up approximately 10 percent of the city s land area. NATURE S LABORATORY Checco noted that Cincinnati Parks mission -- and the mission of public land management in general -- has evolved beyond its original purpose of preserving green space. Parks he said play an important role in the nation s understanding of the environment. When you look at all of the major environmental laws such as the creation of the EPA and the Clean Water and Air Acts All have a laboratory which is parks he said. Parks are Solar panels in Eden Park Photo by Gary Kessler Solar Big Belly receptacle near the Krohn Conservatory promotes the local economy by hosting farmer s markets in Hoffner Sayler and Stanberry parks. This is a very systematic effort Checco said. It has to do with educating not just ourselves but our citizens on what are the issues and how do we solve them. He added that part of fulfilling that role means keeping pace with innovation in green technology and sustainable practices. It s not uncommon to look at a problem several times over a few years to make sure that if the solution was not possible five years ago it doesn t mean a solution isn t possible now. GOOD FOR THE EARTH GOOD FOR BUSINES S Checco explained that much of Parks impetus to innovate comes from its people. People do not come to parks because of a random path of life he said. They come to parks with a sense of mission. They know a healthy environment is something important. But an equal motivator for its green innovation is similar to other of the city s green giants in many cases sustainable practices are good for the bottom line. Environmentally friendly policies are way to reduce waste he said. When we talk about reducing waste we talk about reducing money. One of the most visible of Parks cost- and energy-saving measures comes in the form of 30 new trash receptacles that have begun popping up around city parks. The Big Belly receptacles use solar power to compact refuse letting them hold nine times as much trash as a similarly sized trash bin. When these smart bins are full they send signals to Parks offices by only making trash runs when the cans are full Parks can save fuel and wear on its trash trucks. Parks is taking the concept even further combining the smart cans with a bring it in take it out public education campaign to reduce the amount of trash visitors leave in the parks. Again the move cuts down on litter cleanup and trash collection saving time money and energy for the public organization. Checco said that the trash bins are but one of many initiatives Cincinnati Parks is investigating or implementing to keep itself on the cutting edge of parks management. It s a good business strategy he said but also ties into the organization s central mission unchanged for a century. Our mission is about quality of life he said. For downtowners being able to walk from anywhere a very short distance and get to a park that s a quality of life issue. the lab of all the environmental laws that have passed throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Checco said Cincinnati Parks continues to play this role most notably through a wind generator pilot program at Eden Park as well as a 20-kilowatt photovoltaic solar panel array at its operation headquarters in Avondale. The solar array is projected to provide 20 percent of the facility s solar needs and Checco noted that it has become a sure-fire conversation starter both as Parks employees share the message about their mission in the community and with other organizations looking to go solar. I don t spend a month without talking to a school or community group about solar he said. Parks has a long list of other projects focused on reducing energy use maintaining nature in the urban environment and promoting a more sustainable way of life in Cincinnati. Alms Park for example is home to the first city-owned building to use geothermal heating cooling. Likewise Parks hillside landscaping and meadowlands restoration efforts reduce the acres of public land that need to be mowed while also mitigating soil erosion and landslides during wet weather. And Cincinnati Parks cincinnati 73 Metro Beyond the buses For Metro Cincinnati s public transit provider adopting environmentally sustainable projects produces and practices is more than just a PR move or a case of keeping up appearances. Metro s green moves are about fulfilling the mission that underlies their essential purpose. It s about saving a substantial amount of money and protecting a valuable public service from an increasingly volatile energy market. And it s very likely that Metro s green initiatives are some of the most visible such innovations in the Greater Cincinnati Region. I ve been here 20 years and we ve been into a lot of things said Sallie Hilvers Metro s executive director of strategic communications. As a service organization we feel a responsibility to our community to keep lean and green. In a sense explained Metro Public Relations Manager Jill Dunne any public transit authority is going to be an inherently green business. Many know that buses cut down on an area s greenhouse gas emissions as drivers leave their cars at home and make use of public transit. Nationwide public transit cuts U.S. CO2 emissions by an estimated 37 million metric tons. And the savings go beyond just emissions Metro s website features a rider savings calculator that shows users how much money they ll save. A driver with a 20-mile-each-way commute and a car that gets 22 mpg (roughly the equivalent of someone commuting downtown from Mason or West Chester in an efficient SUV) could save more than 350 per month by taking the bus to work according to the form. economical one that happens to have environmental benefits. Those are pretty standard in the industry Hilvers notes. But there have been -- and continue to be -- other more dramatic steps in Metro s efforts to be an environmentally conscious organization. THE BIODIESEL EVOLUTION Biofuels gained popularity among individual drivers in the past few years but they re anything but new news to the folks at Metro. The transit authority was one of the first in the nation to experiment with biofuels in the 1990s. From biofuel-petroleum diesel blends to pure vegetable oil -- and even used cooking oil -- Metro has conducted enough biofuel experiments and tried enough initiatives to make a college chemistry lab proud. After Hurricane Katrina pummeled the Gulf Coast in 2005 Metro quickly upped its biofuel use to run blends of as much as 80 percent biofuel in the buses. The move was economically based diesel prices skyrocketed as Gulf Coast refineries worked to get back online. But thanks to Metro s long history of experimentation with biofuel the switch was painless. Because we knew how the fuel acted in our engines we didn t hesitate Hilvers said. She added that the move actually had benefits for the buses as well as for local air quality. Biofuel has detergent properties that helped flush petroleum impurities from the engines and fuel systems. The buses ran better and made short work of Cincinnati s famous hills while on the diet of cleaner-burning biofuel. MORE THAN THE BASIC S But Metro s energy- and resource-saving efforts go far beyond the basic benefits of a citywide transit system. Many of the procedures in the complex web of Metro s maintenance scheduling and operational tasks are adjusted to conserve resources. In one example the buses are washed with rainwater rather than water from the municipal system. This reduces the load on that resource but the practice says Hilvers stems from practicality with a lot of buses to wash Metro needed an alternative to running up a huge water bill every month. Likewise Metro has vast garages in Bond Hill and Queensgate where off-duty buses are maintained and serviced. Those garages need to be heated in an economical way to combat Ohio s frigid winters so for many years Metro has reused waste oil from the buses to operate its heaters. The move again is an 74 THE FUNDING ANGLE So how does a publicly funded transit authority find the money to conduct energy-conscious experiments with biofuels According to Hilvers the innovation actually makes it easier for Metro to obtain funding. being green Part of the of new hybrid-electric Metro fleet. Two words are magic for environmentally conscious organizations Federal grants. Metro s leadership knows this and a full-time grant identification and grant writing staff stay up-to-date on the government s efforts to financially support public transit initiatives. As a result many of Metro s more visible green initiatives happened with the aid of Federal grants. Hilvers explained that a large part of Metro s continuing grant success comes from simply listening to its constituents the people who count on buses to get to work school and the city s various amenities. In a very visible example of this she described how in the early 2000s Metro worked with bike and pedestrian advocacy group Cincy Bike PAC to evaluate riders desire for bike racks on buses. Thanks to that research and a successful bid for grant funding All of Metro s buses now sport folding bike racks on their front bumpers. Though it s not directly an environmental move it actually is Hilvers said noting that bus riders who ride their bikes to bus stops save even more gas while freeing up parking spaces around popular bus stops. A HYBRID FUTURE When asked about the most exciting advancements in the works at Metro Dunne had one word hybrids. Thanks again to grant support and Metro s track record as a green innovator the transit authority is rapidly integrating diesel-electric hybrid buses into its fleet. Metro currently operates 13 hybrid buses. Although this first round of hybrids are somewhat experimental -- Hilvers said Metro is using them to evaluate factors such as maintenance and hill climbing ability - they are projected to reduce Metro s greenhouse gas emissions by about 823 tons in 2011.That s likely music to the ears of many smog-sensitive Cincinnatians but it s only scratching the surface of the green innovation these high-tech buses are bringing to the city. Dunne said Metro is adding 14 more hybrid buses to its fleet in early 2012 further helping improve air quality around the region. Cincinnati like many large established cities has a long history of public transportation. Whether by rail streetcar or bus residents have counted on these services to get them to work home and entertainment destinations when driving has been impractical or unaffordable. Now as more commuters wake up to the reality of rising gas prices and increasing traffic congestion bus transit is once again the most practical available non-car option. Metro s leadership knows this and works to ensure that Cincinnatians have affordable convenient access to as many bus routes as possible. And thanks to a long tradition of seeking efficiency in all forms Metro is quickly becoming one of the greenest alternatives for getting around the Queen City. cincinnati 75 Turner Green culture shapes a green world A commitment to sustainable building Nationwide commercial construction firm Turner Construction which has offices in Cincinnati is on a bit of a roll these days. The company has built 589 green projects nationwide with 446 of them either earning registration or certification with the U.S. Green Building Council s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The company has 10.7 billion in LEED certified projects under its belt and has routinely won Best of the Best recognition from the Engineering News Record the journal of note for the construction industry. Much of this success -- and Turner s growing reputation as an innovator -- comes from its commitment to mastering environmentally friendly construction practices said Shannan Plogsted sustainability manager for Turner s Cincinnati office. I feel we made that decision [to focus on sustainability] early on and have been successful because we jumped in early and quickly she said. The Great American Insurance Group Tower at Queen City Square A COMMITMENT TO EDUCATION So how did a nationwide company in an industry known for producing large amounts of waste -- in some cases as much as 90 percent of the material brought to a construction site goes out in a dumpster -- transition into a green leader Education said Plogsted was the key. Corporate-wide in 2004 we made the commitment to sustainable practices she said. That was the kick-off for us to look at sustainable practices both in the field and our own offices. The move required a serious push to educate the company s nationwide workforce. Over the course of seven years 1 246 Turner employees have earned accreditation or certification Photo courtesy of Vivienne Bross 78 being green Photo courtesy of Tim Jeffries Artist rendering of Mercy Hospital West project Courtesy of Champlin Architecture and AECOM (Ellerbe Becket) through LEED educational programs. It became imperative that our staff was trained on sustainable practices and how to manage that in the field Plogsted said. We re still working on getting everyone up to speed. As Turner s workforce became more familiar with sustainable construction practices the company began taking steps to make its job sites more environmentally friendly. For example Plogsted said the company first experimented with bringing multiple dumpsters to job sites to collect the metal wood and plastic products that could be recycled. It was a big job just to keep everything sorted properly she said. It was a pretty cumbersome task. But as the local recycling companies started getting onboard it became easier for them to do commingled recycling. Now many Turner job sites only have two dumpsters One holds a mix of the material that can be recycled and another holds the small amount of waste that must go to a landfill. Plogsted said the cost of the recyclables dumpster often only adds 25 to 40 to dumpster rental costs for a project a negligible amount when compared to the tons of material it keeps out of the landfill. FROM LEARNING TO LEADERSHIP But sustainable construction practices go far beyond simply recycling waste. To obtain LEED certification for a construction or renovation project the builder must thoroughly document the environmentally conscious steps it takes and then report them to LEED evaluators. Everything from site preparation to materials selection and installation involves an extra level of scrutiny and a building owner hoping to obtain LEED certification can quickly become overwhelmed with the paperwork and documentation. Here again Plogsted said Turner s commitment to educating its workforce is paying off. As construction managers Turner s on-site staff members are expected to take the lead in managing the LEED certification process. It s a lot of oversight to make sure the process is in place Plogsted said explaining that Turner s involvement often starts when the architect is designing the building then continues through construction and into post-construction monitoring to ensure the green building performs as designed. A lot of other construction managers don t get involved until the design is done and as soon as the building is done they re out of there. That extra level of involvement helps too when clients face the choice between traditional construction materials and more sustainable -- but potentially more expensive -- options. Turner s staff stays up-to-date on the latest in sustainable construction letting them explain the cost-benefit tradeoffs better than construction managers who only occasionally build to LEED standards. As more and more buildings earn LEED certification Plogsted said it s becoming easier to get architects vendors contractors and clients onboard with Turner s sustainable mindset. I think people are becoming more sustainable in their thinking she said. When we first started talking about this people had the impression it s another fad it s going to go away and it was reluctantly accepted. But as we move forward and people are seeing everyone looking at sustainability and being stewards of the environment it s catching on everywhere. It seems the more energy we get behind it the more willing people are to make changes. cincinnati 79 Rumpke But some got into the game earlier than others. In fact Rumpke Cincinnati s primary waste services provider and one of the largest such companies in the nation was also a very early adopter of recycling as a business strategy. One could argue in fact that Rumpke was an old pro at recycling before most people had ever heard of the concept. Rumpke s founders William and Bernard Rumpke may have been unwitting environmental innovators in 1932 when they began collecting trash from Carthage Ohio residents to feed animals on their hog farm. The brothers who also owned a junkyard used a conveyor system to sort edible trash from scrap metal and rags which could be recycled and reused. It would take more than a half-century before what the brothers were doing -- essentially providing single-stream waste collection and recycling services for their customers -- would catch on as an environmentally beneficial service. Rumpke has expanded significantly since then to become a company of more than 2 000 employees 1 600 vehicles and landfill and recycling facilities throughout Ohio and Kentucky. And according to Amanda Pratt Rumpke s director of corporate communications there s a strong focus on environmental awareness that has grown and evolved with the company. Green from the start For decades America has been aware on a wide scale of the benefits of environmentally-conscious living. We ve been recycling turning off the lights and moving toward more fuel-efficient cars for a long time. RECYCLING ON A GRAND S CALE Recycling more and more is the core of our business Pratt said. We believe it s the future -- there are a lot of opportunities in recycling. Rumpke made a major move to capitalize on Cincinnati s recyclables in 2009 when it invested 6.5 million to upgrade its recycling facility on Vine Street. Whereas the old facility used mechanical and hand sorting to separate recyclables into metals paper and various grades of plastic the new one uses optical scanners to refine the process Rumpke s Cincinnati facility can accept more grades of recyclable plastic than many other facilities reducing the amount of trash that ends up in Rumpke landfills and increasing the amount of material that gets recycled back into the industrial stream. I like to say recycling is a partnership Pratt said. The consumer buys recycled products Rumpke invests in the technology to process recyclables and manufacturers buy recycled materials and reuse them. It very much is a cycle. Pratt added that recycling is very much as commodity business the cost of recycled material fluctuates with demand and Rumpke doesn t make a killing off its recycling operations. Esentially every type of material we accept has been researched and we found a market for it Pratt said. Over the Some of the cans cardboard plastic bags and bottles paper and glass that pass that Rumpke processes every day. 82 being green William F. Rumpke company founder and father of current President & CEO William J. Rumpke Sr. The photo taken in 1942 shows William baling tin cans for recycling at the family s original dump site on Seymour Ave. in Carthage. years we ve probably broken even but it is a vital component to our business. Vital perhaps because it helps Rumpke make the most of its other resources. Pratt said that up to half the trash Rumpke processes can be recycled. That s a lot of material that can potentially stay out of Ohio s landfills and Rumpke works to make its customers aware of facts relating to recycling in Cincinnati. The company regularly conducts tours educational presentations and public information campaigns to spread the word about recycling s benefits. It s an integral part of our mission and I don t see that changing Pratt said. FROM TRASH TO FUEL Rumpke s public education efforts and its ubiquitous green recycling bins have made many in the Cincinnati area aware of recycling opportunities in the region. But a less-visible initiative underway at Rumpke s landfills has the company on the very cutting edge of waste management and environmental energy generation. When trash hits a landfill it begins a slow decomposition process that produces large amounts of methane. In a facility as large as Rumpke s Colerain Township landfill the amount of methane being produced is significant enough to be put to commercially viable use. While many landfill operators simply vent and burn off methane from their facilities Rumpke works with a contractor to drill into the landfill and capture that methane. An on-site processing facility directs the natural gas into the local utility grid and Rumpke s landfill can provide natural gas energy for more than 25 000 local homes. Pratt noted that Rumpke s Colerain township facility is the largest landfill-to-pipeline natural gas operation in the world. Now Rumpke is planning to make even more use of its natural gas resource. Pratt said the company is planning to purchase a pilot fleet of 10 natural gas-powered garbage trucks and plans to break ground in June for a natural gas filling station at the landfill. Eventually if the test goes well the company hopes to expand its use of natural gas as a clean economical fuel for its trucks. The parallels are striking Rumpke got its start making the most out of clients refuse. The company has class-leading recycling facilities to make the most of Cincinnati residents recyclables. And the company s forward-thinking plans could soon have it recycling a previously unuseable resource to reduce one of its major operating expenses. The nation s take on recycling and environmental awareness may have changed since the 1930s but it appears that the Rumpke brothers were not only good businessmen but also had a good sense of how to make treasure from others trash. cincinnati 83 Green innovation through partner ship Going green in a substantial fashion is neither a small nor easy step for many companies. Add the complexities of government regulation and public funding -- as is the case for a school system -- and the steps to making real sustainable changes seem even larger if not insurmountable. But Cincinnati Public Schools has become the standard for green development on an institutional scale. The school system has 23 LEED certified or registered schools as of May 2011 the third highest number in the nation. The secret Partnerships. There are just a lot of good feelings about this project said Michael Burson director of facilities planning and construction for CPS. The story of CPS s green building initiative began with the creation of the CPS facilities master plan in 2002. Burson said the LEED program which was in its infancy at the time motivated planners to incorporate high performance design guidelines thought not initially planned with LEED certification in mind the guidelines would later make many schools LEED candidates. The plan funded by a 480 million bond issue in May 2003 has changed over the years the number of schools incorporated has shrunk to better match current student populations for example. But a very eco-noteworthy change took place in late 2007 when the CPS board passed a resolution encouraging LEED certification for the buildings. Burson said that so far 12 schools are working to achieve LEED Silver status and 11 are attempting to achieve the higher Gold standard. Pleasant Ridge Montessori is the first school in the state to achieve LEED Silver status. a decision to use local architects at GBBN as the facilities plan manager. Basically leveraging resources has been a role ALI has played she said. The whole country is looking at the process and how it happened. And they re likely still watching given the results CPS has experienced so far. Burson said the school system is on track to achieve a fairly significant measure the new CPS building portfolio with up-to-date amenities will use the same amount of energy per square foot as its predecessor which included multiple buildings with a fraction of the amenities. But more important than the cost savings is the impact on students. Burson explained that the schools are incorporating their green features into class curricula often with the help of major partners. Duke Energy for example provided software that allows teachers and students to monitor Pleasant Ridge Montessori s solar array online opening the doors for in-class study and exploration. I believe young folks really do embrace this topic and want to know more about it Burson said. To me that s the greatest part of CPS s role in this. The new Pleasant Ridge Montessori School Cincinnati Public Schools WORKING TOGETHER FOR GROUND BREAKING RESULTS So how does a school system innovate on such a grand scale in an era of shrinking funding and sharp budget cuts Again partnerships play a significant role. Ginny Frazier is executive director for the Alliance for Leadership and Interconnection (ALI) a Cincinnati-based nonprofit that promotes the development of green schools. She said ALI began working with CPS in 2004 to help it evaluate green building practices and later to incorporate green awareness into school curricula and coordinate advocacy efforts. Basically we wanted people to learn LEED build LEED and live LEED Frazier said. Frazier said ALI helped connect CPS with the local chapter of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) which then led to Photo courtesy of Douglas E. Sandhage cincinnati 85 P&G Thinking green big and small The Future Friendly initiative In the Queen City you don t get much bigger than Procter and Gamble. The consumer products giant has more than 127 000 employees a history that dates back to before the Civil War and a product line that reaches consumers in every corner of the globe. The company reported more than 78 billion in sales last year and its massive product design and branding operation in Cincinnati has spawned a whole community of design marketing and branding businesses all competing to help the giant produce and sell its products. P&G doesn t do things halfway or in small measure. And in the realm of environmental awareness the company holds true to its reputation the company s four-year-old Future Friendly initiative is a major international push that mixes the company s marketing prowess with a commitment to environmental stewardship. Future Friendly launched in Europe and Canada in 2007 and expanded to the U.S. in 2010 takes a different approach to blending environmental and product messages. While some manufacturers have gone green by offering green versions of their products Future Friendly focuses on basic steps consumers can take to use resources more efficiently. P&G products are prominently integrated into the message as one might expect but the focus is less on the products themselves than on ways to use them in a more environmentally friendly manner. Future Friendly spokesperson Glenn Williams said the approach grew out of the company s research into consumer attitudes toward green products. While roughly 15 percent of the population is deep green willing to purchase an environmental solution regardless of cost and another 15 percent simply doesn t care about environmental matters a large middle group of the population -- Williams calls them the sustainable mainstream -- care about the environment but care more about product performance and price. These are the consumers Future Friendly targets. If we can show them how to use our products in environmentally friendly ways that can be a tiebreaker he said. Clearly there are two tasks he added. We need to make sure we re doing everything we can internally in formulations and production shipping to do the right thing environmentally. P&G s compacted Tide powder laundry detergent offers the same number of loads as the previous non-compacted version but with 20 percent less total packaging. 86 being green We have been doing that for decades. What s new is that we re now telling consumers you have a role in this too. There are simple changes you can make in your household to save energy water or waste. SMALL STEPS BIG GAINS One of the examples of Future Friendly s mix between small consumer steps and bigcompany technology has to do with that unenviable weekly chore laundry. He explained that P&G researchers learned that heating water for hot laundry cycles is the largest energy consumer in most households if consumers washed laundry on cold cycles only they would cut energy use by about 80 percent per laundry load. If everybody in the U.S. washed clothes in cold water they would hit eight percent of the country s Kyoto energy target he said referring to the greenhouse gas reduction and energy efficiency targets proposed in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. P&G formulated a version of Tide that can clean clothes without the need for hot water. The company features the detergent on its Future Friendly website but the product takes second-stage to the overall message that changing laundry habits can save energy. Likewise the Future Friendly site presents the message that not pre-washing dishes before putting them into a dishwasher and then filling the dishwasher before running it will save energy. Along with this message comes information about P&G s Cascade dishwashing detergent tying the product to the message but not forcing consumers to change their buying habits for solely environmental reasons. This combined message also notes cost savings as well as environmental benefits a move Williams said resonates with the targeted sustainable mainstream. The added benefit of sustainability actually improves the value equation for our products he said. GET TING THE WORD OUT P&G STYLE There s no doubt that the Future Friendly initiative is designed to highlight P&G products and their environmentally sound use. But it s also becoming a major widespread voice to teach consumers about sustainable living. We re bringing the full arsenal of P&G marketing tools to this Williams said. From TV spots to a comprehensive website and social media campaign the company is spreading the Future Friendly message with the same powerful reach it uses to sell Tide and Pampers. The company has also partnered to present more educationally focused messages most notably in a partnership with National Geographic. They re not going to endorse P&G products but they are endorsing the idea of Future Friendly and making small changes Williams said. While Williams didn t discuss specific future plans for the Future Friendly program he did note that P&G stands apart from many other consumer product manufacturers in its approach to green. In consumer packaged goods most of our competitors have come out with green lines he said. We think a better approach is to show consumers hey these existing brands can be used in a sustainable way -- you don t have to change brands. One can well argue that P&G will maintain its market dominance regardless of how much or little it promotes Future Friendly. But the initiative goes beyond sales beyond market competition thanks to the giant company s support it could be a voice that helps alter the pattern of environmental awareness in the U.S. Sustainability seems to ebb and flow in the minds of consumers. Some years it s a hot topic and some it s not Williams observed. I think that now it s becoming part of the mainstream conversation and we need to find ways to make that relevant to consumers even as interest grows and wanes. P&G s Cascade Action Pacs save up to 2 600 gallons of water per year cincinnati 87 Duke Energy Duke Energy s Ohio and Northern Kentucky operations fit in with this philosophy. The regional energy utility has a number of initiatives in place to enhance its environmental friendliness and energy efficiency. While some balance the need to meet regulatory standards with a desire to maintain a healthy bottom line others work to not only make Duke a more efficient company but also to make its broad consumer base more conscious of one of the easiest -- and most effective -- aspects of sustainable living efficient use of electricity. ADAPTING TO REGULATION The energy industry has been under scrutiny by environmental advocates for years and for some sensible reasons Coal-fired power plants if unchecked can create significant amounts of greenhouse gases. Hydroelectric dams when built wrong can wreck ecosystems and damage river basins. And nuclear power facilities while offering massive amounts of electricity with relatively little waste carry their own risks stigma and regulatory burden that make them an expensive option for much of the U.S. It makes sense as America demands easy access to more and more electricity that power companies must walk a fine line between making more power and making clean power. Duke spokesperson Andrew Ritch explained that the company is required by law to incorporate an increasing percentage of renewable sources in its electricity generation operations. By 2024 Duke will need to provide 12.5% of its electricity through renewable or environmentally sound resources. But in a region where coal and natural gas have long been the most economical energy sources its difficult -- if not impossible -- to bring enough renewable energy sources online to keep pace with legislation and demand while realizing an acceptable return on investment. Enter renewable energy credits. Instead of building new generation systems Duke buys credits sold by renewable energy producers in Ohio and the five contiguous states to mitigate the less-clean energy it generates. We ve found that s a more cost-effective and risk-averse approach to meeting our obligations Ritch said. We don t Approaching green from multiple angles Going green can mean many things from a business perspective. Clients vendors standards of operation and the very nature of a product or service could all be changed to make a business more efficient. And truly sustainable change is likely to take on a multifaceted form when it has to work in harmony with the bottom line. think it s ideal because it doesn t encourage as much construction of assets in the state. But as long as there are sufficient resources to buy then we re going to do that. But doesn t that mean that Duke is simply buying its way out of having to innovate and shift to cleaner technology Not necessarily. The credits it buys come from -- and produce income for -- clean energy providers in the five-state region. It s an injection of funds to support their investment in newer riskier technologies explains Ritch. It s basically a market mechanism to reward an entity that is in a financial position that they want to build (renewable sources) and it compensates them for taking that risk with the payments being made by those that aren t necessarily able to do that he said. Since the credit-market model doesn t put new clean energy production facilities on the ground in the Cincinnati area it isn t a perfect situation. But it does help expand the region s percentage of clean energy generators helping reward those who could eventually build enough experience and infrastructure to bring renewable sources to the local area. 88 being green A Duke Energy field technician installs a bank of smart meters. THE SMART GRID AND A SMARTER CUSTOMER BASE Consumers who use Duke for gas and electric service may not be all that concerned about regulatory matters. But they are interested in getting the most out of what they pay each month for electricity. And thanks to a technology and education initiative the utility is starting to give users more options -- and control -- than they ve ever had over how they use energy. Duke is upgrading its Ohio electric grid with so-called smart grid technology. Unlike a traditional electric grid in which power runs from line to line with little monitoring or measurement smart grid technology allows Duke staff to monitor and control precisely where and how electricity gets routed from a generation station to the end users. If a tree falls in a storm and knocks out a power line for example sensors in the smart grid identify the precise location of the problem and staff can often route power around the break to keep the lights on for as many users as possible. The smart grid has tremendous potential for energy savings as well. The network of sensors and measurement devices make it easy for both Duke staff and end users to monitor how much energy they use. For a user who upgrades to so-called smart appliances this can go so far as to mean he or she can track every bit of electricity used by each appliance in the house over the course of the day. This is a wealth of information which can point users to- ward the best ways to save energy and reduce their electric bills. A user could program his or her smart appliances to run when load on the grid is at its lowest cutting energy costs and reducing demand at peak energy generation times. From personal savings to reduced wear and tear on generation facilities the technology produces a win-win situation if adopted on a broadenough scale. But that information -- and the ability to manipulate it -- is only effective if end users understand how the smart grid can work to their benefit. Duke is addressing this key component of the smart grid with a one-of-a-kind educational facility the Envision Center in Erlanger KY. Using theatrical effects that would make a theme park proud the center lets visitors experience different smart grid technologies in a house of the future setting and shows them how smart grid technology can reduce both energy use and the severity of a storm-induced blackout. Since it opened in 2009 the Envision Center has hosted thousands of visitors and company spokesperson Sally Thelen reports the number are rising. It s certainly starting to increase as we open it up to new groups she said. And with Duke on track to complete its fiveyear Ohio smart grid rollout (Thelen said the project is 25 percent complete as of May 2011) the utility is well on its way to serving the Cincinnati community s desires for both more power and cleaner more environmentally conscious electricity. cincinnati 89 Christ Hospital Green from the inside out Visitors to Christ Hospital s campus on Auburn Avenue in Uptown may not immediately notice the difference. The hospital s exterior has not changed nor are there any drastic alterations to be seen once a visitor enters the facility. But a series of noteworthy changes have taken place -- and are still taking place -- at the 120-year-old hospital. Christ Hospital is an innovator in improving sustainability through operational changes and it s earning attention for that fact. In August 2010 it became the first hospital in the nation to receive certification through the LEED for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance program. We have been running on a path toward sustainability since 2003. At that point we started doing various energy saving projects said Rick Perkinson divisional director of facility management. He explained that thanks to a standing top-down commitment from leadership to improve the hospital s environmental footprint the efforts required to gain LEED certification had as much to do with documentation as with doing anything out of the ordinary. That s not to say that the hospital hasn t done something noteworthy. Hospitals by their very nature are hard places to make sustainable. Surgical tools are often highly packaged and often can t be recycled due to sterility concerns. High tech medical equipment is designed first and foremost to save lives and often pays little heed to energy efficiency. And when lives depend on around-the-clock intervention using monitors and medical machinery the total amount of energy and resources that it takes to keep patients on the road to recovery adds up in a hurry. Perkinson explained that the hospital formed a volunteer green team to explore how they could meet patient needs while reducing their impact on the environment. Many of the resulting solutions have been relatively simple fixes that when combined add up to significant energy savings. The green team emphasized energy conservation he explained. Occupancy sensors installed in rooms made sure lights weren t left on longer than needed. Hospital-wide lighting upgrades allowed the use of more energy efficient lighting and a sequencing system for the hospital s chillers improved the efficiency of how these vital pieces of equipment are run. Perkinson added that the changes helped mitigate the energy demands of new medical equipment. Christ Hospital s green team also explored and implemented a series of steps to conserve water. Using waterless urinals drought-tolerant and rain garden landscaping and an irrigation system that measures temperature and humidity before determining how much to water hospital landscaping means the hospital has become a better steward of that resource as well. 92 And there are other more unique approaches to enhancing sustainability on a smaller scale underway throughout the hospital Perkinson said. Operating room staff developed a waste stream to minimize trash from their part of the hospital. Kitchen staff planted a kitchen garden to enhance patients food with fresh herbs. And a team of nurses is converting non-sterile patient draping fabric into handbags -- a simple step but one that makes use of material that would otherwise end up in a landfill. The support for the green team and volunteerism is amazing Perkinson said. I think in general it becomes a natural culture for us. Perkinson added that Christ Hospital is investigating using sustainable design processes and materials at a number of offsite projects. The hospital has also committed to making future improvements using sustainable materials. We adopted this philosophy that anything that goes in has to meet these criteria he said. That attitude will help Christ Hospital remain an example of sustainable innovation for other hospitals. And according to Perkinson it can also be seen as a striking reflection on the strength and vision of the hospital s leadership. There s got to be top-down support he said. That s one of the benefits we ve had here. being green Green innovation for the wild blue yonder It s a hard fact of modern life that some of our most basic vital services -- the transportation that moves people and goods across the globe -- also carry some of the highest environmental costs. Aircraft container ships trains and trucks burn unfathomable amounts of fossil fuel every day to keep the world economy flowing. Many Cincinnatians may not realize it but the Queen City is home to a long-time pioneer in the transportation efficiency game GE Aviation is helping airlines freight organizations and manufacturers make commercial aviation more fuel efficient than ever. GE Aviation FORWARD-THINKING ENGINEERING A GE TRADITION In an industry like aviation improved efficiency quickly translates to a boost for the bottom line. And as an industry veteran GE Aviation has had efficiency as one of its main engineering missions for decades. The company invests about 2 billion per year in research and development with 700 million of that going into the company s EcoMagination line of products that focus on efficiency and more responsible resource use. We ve got a lot of discrete technology that we re looking at to try and roll into future dramatic fuel burn reduction architectures he said. Since the company s engine development hinges on aircraft manufacturers new airframe designs it stocks the new technology for use when a new project is announced. So not only is GE Aviation taking steps to improve resource today it s also laying the groundwork for the next generation of efficiency GEnx-1B engine S OLUTIONS BEYOND THE ENGINES Steve Csonka GE Aviation s director of environmental strategy and its EcoMagination program said some of the company s products are already making air transit surprisingly efficient. Boeing s GE-engine-powered 787 airliner he notes provides roughly 50 passenger miles of travel per gallon of jet fuel burned -- on par with hybrid car economy. But inefficient operating standards can undermine the technology. As an industry we understand we need to be better he said. GE Aviation is playing its part in this effort with its OnPoint Fuel and Carbon Solutions program. The company provides consulting and data management services for aircraft operators seeking to enhance efficiency. We can go in and basically audit their entire operation then set up data capture and analysis and project management to try and tackle their issues Csonka said. An airline may find that it is more efficient to use tow vehicles to pull its aircraft from the gate to the taxiway at a certain airport for example saving fuel time and ultimately money. We have some pretty good evidence that we can help operators identify about three percent fuel savings he adds. In an industry where fuel costs often account for 30 percent of an airline s overall operating budget that s no small figure. GE Aviation is also helping improve fuel efficiency through its TrueCourse Flight Management System. Air traffic controllers explained Csonka can affect an aircraft s fuel usage through routing -- route a plane into a high-traffic point at the wrong time and it will burn excess fuel as it circles in a holding pattern. TrueCourse provides onboard navigation that can improve air traffic flow efficiency by up to 10 percent he added. That s what GE s all about he said. Bringing technology to bear on the world s problems. cincinnati 93 PNC Bank But PNC s efforts go beyond the buildings highlighted last year. In fact says PNC Director of Corporate Real Estate Financial Services Gary Saulson being environmentally aware is a significant part of the company s culture. We don t have a green building initiative Saulson said. After 13 years it s part of our DNA it s part of what we do. Beyond the buildings PNC s green culture PNC Financial Services the parent company of well-known PNC bank earned attention in last year s issue of Being Green in Cincinnati thanks to its commitment to green building. The company has 77 LEED certified green buildings -- more than any other on the planet with seven green bank branches in the Cincinnati area. A COMMITMENT TO REDUCING WASTE Saulson explained that the company has a holistic approach to sustainability from its highly visible building efforts to less visible in-house steps aimed at reducing Cincinnati Reds Ryan Hanigan and Jay Bruce unloading e-waste resource use. The efforts essential boil at a PNC Player s for the Planet event at Hyde Park Kroger. down to one mission managing and reducing waste. These internal waste reduction efforts come in many forms. The company s investment in effi- AT TACKING WASTE IN ALL FORMS cient lighting for its facilities for example has shown to be a PNC s commitment to reducing waste has a more personal level solid one-time investment that has had a quick payback in terms too. Saulson said that the company is attacking paper waste with of energy saved. Other steps such as investment in water- a mix of technology investments and internal education initiatives. We re letting (staff) know the importance of reducing conserving utilities helped PNC Financial Services shave 6 paper waste he said explaining that PNC encourages its million off its total energy expenditures last year. The company is looking to continue that efficiency trend as employees to use double-sided printing and to think before you part of its effort to reduce its overall energy expenditures 30 print to reduce the amount of paper used in its many locations. percent by 2020. Part of that effort noted Saulson is ongoing In addition the company has installed projectors in all of energy monitoring of every square foot of the company s 30 its conference rooms to eliminate the need for printed presenmillion square-foot building footprint. He said the company is tations. How many times have your been in a meeting and there s assessing all of its buildings identifying those with the least efficient energy profiles and targeting them for the first rounds a PowerPoint presentation that someone has handed out that everyone throws away he asked. of improvements. But the inherent nature of a bank means that certain docu We ll go through the entire portfolio he said adding that the company has hired an energy manager to oversee the pro- ments -- often containing sensitive information -- must be printed. In these cases Saulson said PNC has deployed secure gram. That s how important this is to us. recycling and document disposal. Every employee in an office may have a non-secure recycling bin at his or her desk and has a secure 94 being green Largest green living wall in North America. Located on the south side of the bank s Pittsburgh headquarters. personal lives have integrated concerns about the environment and those same concerns follow people to work. PNC Financial Services Vice President and Senior Media Relations Manager Terri Wilson works in one of the offices that features the fruit of the company s sustainability efforts. Along with a 100-percent recyclable desk chair and air conditioning units that improve indoor air quality she said the office s sustainable design offers something unexpected and wholly appreciated -- quality light. The natural light -- that to me is the best thing she said. It feels good to be in the light bright environment. It feels good and comfortable. Saulson said the company has no plans to stop making these comfortable sustainable workplaces though no plans were confirmed he predicted that the company would build its first net-zero branch location in the next year. The effort will undoubtedly garner media attention and spread the word about truly sustainable building. But for Wilson the message has already hit home and changed her life for the greener. She said her family has upgraded utilities at home cutting about 125 a month from their energy bills and improving their lives through easy steps many inspired by her employer. Before I never thought how easy it was to make small changes that have a big impact she said. If everyone did that just imagine. PNC presently has over 77 certified green buildings and is the largest single LEED owner in the country. recycling bin located in the office. At PNC it appears there are few if any reasons to throw a piece of paper in the trash. CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT FROM THE GROUND UP Saulson said PNC s environmentally focused efforts are truly led from the ground up. While the company did hire a director of sustainability in 2010 Saulson noted that many of the company s current efforts result from employee initiatives. The company has green teams throughout its structure and Saulson said he s seen company staff embrace the idea of sustainability in a personal committed manner. At the beginning we were pushing employees to do things. Now they re pushing us he said. I think people in their cincinnati 95 net zer Solar home rings up zero utility costs Story by Michelle Crawley Photos by Jason Sandhage The first thing Vicki Painter will tell you when asked about living the green life is that she is no tree hugger. Painter is the market manager at Cincinnati s Potterhill Homes. She has been in the homebuilding industry since 1994 and was honored at the 2010 Sales and Marketing Awards by the Homebuilding Association of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky for having the greatest number of transactions for single family homes in Greater Cincinnati. So she knows her stuff when it comes to selling new homes. And she practices what she preaches. But would she build a home just to be green She d tell you no. Until she found out about how much money she could save with a little upfront investment in green technologies. In fact Painter was so impressed with Potterhill Homes first Net Zero (energy cost) house built at the Northwind community located in Northside that she decided to build her own Net Zero home in Miami Township (Milford). Why -- To save some serious money on her energy bills. How much money you ask -- All of it Net Zero Energy Cost homes are just that. The home produces energy as it uses energy so much so that over the course of a year the utility cost is nearly zero. Who wouldn t want to spend 0 on their utility bills especially with energy costs rising This definitely appealed to Painter. The reason a Net Zero home sees so much energy savings is not just a result of the 92 percent high efficiency furnaces the blown cellulous insulation the Low-E windows programmable thermostats and high-efficiency appliances. Certainly all of those things make a big difference but what really brings the energy costs down are the upgrades that were on the Northwind model that Painter ultimately chose to add to her own home including a geothermal heating and cooling system and solar panels. But Painter had to first see solar technology in action before she desired it for her own home. When we built the model home last June at Northwind I was already sold on geothermal -- that made sense to me -- but I was not a believer in solar energy said Painter. I just didn t think it would work in Ohio. I thought that to have solar you would need sun all the time. Then Painter started noticing the electric meter at the Northwind home would run backwards while the sun was overhead and move little the rest of the time. She also started counting the number of solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) they were earning from Duke Energy when that meter ran backwards. By October I was convinced that solar works she said. We were way ahead of the game as far as earning SRECs. It was amazing. I thought -- my goodness you don t have to be in Florida -- solar works right here in Cincinnati Certainly in winter the rate at which SRECs were earned at the Northwind model began to slow down compared to summer but by the first of May with one month left in the first year of the Northwind home being up and running they only owed Duke 27 for 11 months of energy. Money that Painter predicted would net to zero by the first of June due to the sunny days typically seen in May. Sold on the energy efficiency of this model home Painter built her own sustainable home for what she said was purely financial motivation. It too has a geothermal system and includes 14 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that run lengthwise across the roof. Knowing that her energy bills will net to zero at the end of the year was reason enough for Painter to go this route. She just loves watching her meter run backwards on sunny days. She s now a believer. Initial Costs Pay for Themselves Painter said that building a green home cost her an additional 50 000 in her mortgage. But she also got a 30 percent fed- 98 being green cincinnati 99 eral tax incentive back. For her that meant 7 500 back for the geothermal system and 9 500 for the solar PV array. Painter said that each month she pays her gas and electric bill to Duke Energy like everyone else. While her meter is running backwards she earns the SRECs. At the end of the year Duke sends her a check for the SRECs she has earned. What she paid Duke versus what Duke pays her back should net to near zero. The solar PV array requires very little maintenance and Painter said that the deductions for the tax incentives can be easily made at tax time. She does say that purchasing solar is not for someone who has little to put down on their home such as a first-time home buyer. Homeowners have to be ready to pay extra at closing for the upfront costs of installing the solar and or geothermal equipment. Painter says that while home appraisers understand geothermal systems they have not yet learned enough about solar to properly appraise the value of adding the technology to a new home. Painter knows that will change as more people put in solar but for now she keeps a record of her monthly savings There s a big market for this energy efficiency out there and the fact that it s tied to the internet is exciting she said. It s very motivating. Potterhill Homes claims to be one of the area s first green builders selling green LEED and NetZero energy cost homes. As a company they strive to build homes to keep energy costs down reduce waste during construction and improve indoor air quality. The homes include a combination of green products and processes that include the ones mentioned above as well as low flow toilets and sinks low VOC paints high-efficiency light bulbs and fireplaces with blowers (to name just a few). Fitting her Lifestyle While Painter admits she didn t build the home to be green it certainly fits into her lifestyle from a savings standpoint. She loves to travel and intends to use the money she is saving from her 0 energy bills to put toward her vacations. She plans to ultimately retire to St. Croix imagine the solar potential there Had you asked me before if I would increase my mortgage payment each month to save the environment I would have told you no said Painter. While I m certainly happy that my energy footprint is going to be smaller I m even more excited that I won t have a big energy bill. Even though my mortgage went up to fund the upfront costs of the solar and geothermal systems I m saving more on my utility bill each month than the amount my my mortgage payment went up. to show the next buyer of her home the incredible benefits of having these systems. She predicts good resale value of homes with these technologies. In the meantime her neighbors like to come by and look at the solar PV array. She points out that it is not ugly laying flat on the roof and blending in nicely. No one has complained. I look at them as a badge of honor she said. A tree hugger No. But is Painter now a believer in solar technology you bet Resources Potterhill Homes Solar system EcoEnvironments Geothermal system NRG Solutions Furnace Del-monde Heating & Air Conditioning Immediate Payback Painter loves making money by selling her SRECs to Duke Energy. Solar and geothermal are the only options that you can put in your house that start paying for themselves immediately she said. Your utility bill will be evidence of this the first month you re in your house. Sure hardwood floors are pretty but they don t pay for themselves like these solar and geothermal options do. The solar PV array is set up in a way that links it to the internet. Painter can be anywhere in the world and bring up a website showing how many SRECs she is generating. When she turns off her lights the SRECs increase. 100 being green COMMERCIAL Reduce your energy bills and increase your comfort. 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(513) 821-5008 8060 Reading Road Suite 9 Cincinnati OH 45237 RESIDENTIAL Appliances reign king as easy energy savers Remember when Dad yelled Close the fridge door By Douglas E. Sandhage As kids we all remember at least those of us now in our middle to later ages being told by our parents to get in and out of the refrigerator quickly so that the energy used to create the cold air wasn t wasted. It was in fact true. Every opening to hunt for the ketchup meant more pennies on the monthly bill to the energy company. It s no different today except that because refrigerators are so more energy efficient leaving the door open an extra five seconds won t make much difference. In this second annual edition of Being Green in Cincinnati we are focusing a lot of attention on two things that homeowners can do to be more green and save lots of money especially when it comes time to replacing two of the larger energy hogs in every home. One appliances and two the heating cooling system. See story about the latter starting on page 111. Appliances include but are not limited to clothes washers and dryers dishwashers refrigerators ovens and water heaters. All have come a long way since the refrigerator talks of yesteryear especially since Energy Star ratings were advocated and approved by federal agencies starting in the 1990s. Today any device that is certified with an Energy Star rating means that it uses 20-30 percent less energy than is required by federal standards. Even entire homes can be awarded an Energy Star rating. One study says that more than 14 billion in energy costs was saved in 2006 alone due to Energy Star standards. Any device receiving an Energy Star rating must have affixed a sticker that shows the annual energy costs to operate compared to other models. to buy. For example the Energy Star label does not mean that a given appliance is THE most energy efficient model it just means it meets the standards. Generally an Energy Star rating means the appliance will cost you more to purchase. On average says Rieman expect to pay 5-15 percent more. More specifically he says an average side-by-side non-rated 25 cu. ft. refrigerator will cost just under 1 000 an Energy Star rated model will be over 1 000. Per the Energy Star website ( annual energy savings will be about 100 a year if you re buying an Energy Star rated refrigerator to replace a 1980s model 200 if replacing a 1970s model. If this is your first refrigerator buy and have nothing to compare it against you can expect to save about 165 over the lifetime of your Energy Star rated fridge vs. a non-rated model purchased today. Even Sub-Zero the gold-star standard of refrigerators has models that use less energy in a day than a 60-watt light bulb or as little as 43 worth of electricity in a year. Rieman says he has other brands in the 25 cu. ft. range that can cost as little as 20 a year to operate. About those Refrigerators Ken Rieman president of Custom Distributors Inc. located in Fairfield says that consumers need to clearly understand Energy Star ratings before making a final decision on what Ken Rieman of Custom Distributors Inc. says Energy Star-rated refrigerators can now operate on as little as 20 in energy in a year. 102 being green Kevin David of the Appliance Loft says front loading clothes washers offer the best in green features less water less soap less drying time and they cause less wear and tear on the clothing. Most of the energy savings in refrigeration come from building models that use more or better insulation more efficient compressors (meaning less running time) improved heat transfer surfaces and that include more precise temperature and defrost mechanisms. Interestingly Rieman says that most homeowners coming into his store do not have green as a priority when buying an appliance. Price is their first consideration. But when the opportunity presents itself and the homeowner appears receptive Rieman says he is glad to highlight the green features of his products. If the long-term payback looks good to the customer they will often decide in favor of being green. Rieman tells us that demand response appliances are coming soon. The appliances will include refrigerators that automatically delay the defrost cycle until rates are at their lowest clothes dryers that reduce their wattage usage during peak hours and hot water heaters that operate in their highest efficiency modes during periods of high electricity demand. One study says General Electric found that refrigerators delaying the defrost cycle from occurring during peak hours showed a more than 20 percent reduction of energy used during that time. About those Clothes Washers The all-around winner for going green in the appliance industry are the makers of clothes washers says Kevin David president of The Appliance Loft in Oakley. Many of today s clothes washers Use up to 50 percent less water. Use up to 30 percent less detergent. Use different technology to spin the clothes consuming 30-40 percent less energy and use sensors to match the hot water needs to the load. Spin very fast to extract as much water out of the clothes as possible to make drying time quicker. Cause less wear and tear on the clothes meaning longer use and more money to buy other things. The bad news for die-hards who only like top loaders it s the front loaders who provide most of the advantages listed above. Top load launderers are generally insistent in thinking that they can pack far more clothes in a load of wash. Au contraire says Kevin. Just as many clothes can be done with a front loader at one time as with top loaders in some models as much as two-times more. And less water less soap does as good as if not a better cleaning job. Texas A&M University says in its web report about Energy Star appliances that a typical household does nearly 400 loads of laundry per year using about 40 gallons of water per full load with a conventional washer. In contrast a full-size Energy Star clothes washer uses 20 to 25 gallons per load thus saving as much as 7 000 gallons of water per year. Not to mention saving the energy needed to heat all that extra water. As with the case in buying a new Energy Star-rated refrigerator David says buying an Energy Star rated clothes washer will also cost you more. At his store you can buy a basic clothes washer from 350 to 500 but the high efficiency models will cost 600 to 1 200. David adds that better than 90 percent of his customers want to save money first green ranks second in priority. But at the same time he says 99 percent of our sales are front loaders. They realize that they can do both save money (in the long run) and be green. Dishwashers are similar to clothes washers in their Energy Star characteristics says David. A basic dishwasher at Appliance Loft will cost about 400 the high efficiency models will range from 600 to 1 700. About the Water Heaters Anyone who has a hot water heater knows that it must always be ready to deliver a hot shower. Which means that energy is nearly always being consumed whether the shower taker is a daily user or weekly. For years a thermal blanket to wrap around the hot water heater was deemed a good answer to saving money. Custom Distributor s Rieman says there are now other alternatives to heating hot water including an Energy Starrated 50-gallon hybrid unit that GE manufactures. The tank portion of this particular electric water heater includes two electric heating elements a pressure relief valve an internal porcelain-lined tank and an anode rod. But on the top of the tank is a compressor and an evaporator integrated into the electric water heater unit. The evaporator draws in ambient heat from surrounding air using two variable speed fans. The condenser coils wrap the tank all the way to the bottom to transfer this heat into the tank and heat the water. The result is said to be an operating cost savings of more than 60 percent. In effect it is a hybrid electric heat pump water heater. cincinnati 103 reduce 80% Contact us today to find out how. 513.474.2454 Cincinnati Home of the Reds and the Greens A Small Business Plan By Douglas E. Sandhage What if all or most of the new small businesses sprouting up in Over-the-Rhine rehabbed their buildings to be certifiably green Or for that matter any of those on Hyde Park Square Or just one business in a strip mall in Anderson Township It would be a great start to what could arguably be a new beginning to brand Cincinnati as Home of the Reds and the Greens. The greens being all the entrepreneurs who know that green is no longer a fad that it should be a part of their business plan and that people will come if they build it. Our city is already home to the greenest zoo in America John Hueber Homes the state s leader in building green homes Cincinnati Public Schools with one school certified green seven under green review and another 10 in construction and offices for Turner Construction and PNC Bank locations the first the largest builder of green buildings in the USA and the latter having more newly constructed green buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council than any other company on Earth. And multiple other green projects buildings that are making us the envy of outsiders. The city of Cincinnati is already green-light aggressive. If you build a house in the city and make it LEED green certified you ll be free and clear of all or most of your property taxes for 15 years. If you buy an existing building and turn it into a business the property taxes on the value of your improvements will be abated 75 percent for 12 years (providing it too is green certified). So what if small businesses needing boosts just like the big businesses started their own green movement on a 106 being green cincinnati 107 Andrew Schaub President of Architects Plus and Mark Crew consultant architect. Being Green thanks Mark for drawing the rendering used in this story. collective scale and the nation started to take notice They can and there is more incentive than ever to do so. Painting a Picture A Case for Rehab Let s start with a basic must-have of all small business a place to do business. One can start fresh and build to exact specifications or one can find an existing building and modify it accordingly. Either can be done to green standards but an existing building has a huge advantage. One of the primary commandments of green is to use existing infrastructure to recycle what already exists and to locate where customers can access easily. We asked Architects Plus one of Cincinnati s top residential and commercial architectural firms to help us develop the storyline to imagine us a start-up business and meeting their team of designers for the first time at a neighborhood bar. Basic concepts are sounded ideas are espoused and after a few rounds of drinks there on a bar napkin is the first sketch of Being Green in Cincinnati s new business in Over-the-Rhine. Andy Schaub president of Architects Plus and Mark Crew an architect consultant for the firm accepted the task to present this imaginary plan but didn t listen well to the final directive. The bar napkin became a large rendering of a 4story building similar to many of the existing structures in Over-the-Rhine. The first floor they designed for retail the other floors living space. The best way to imagine this plan is to take the prior page of the magazine with you to most any street in Over-theRhine or Hyde Park Square hold it out in front of you and peer over at a similarly styled building. You can quickly picture yourself parking your bike out front and if a bit of earth adjoins the building planting a tree or two some vegetables or a flower garden. You won t have to truck your weekly recyclables bin very far since pickup is outside the front door. Now walk inside. You ll immediately notice that it doesn t look like any old business. The walls the doors the windows the flooring the countertops the displays the ceiling all look like they belong to the building. Perhaps many of the items were already in the shell when it was purchased just refurbished (recycled) to begin a new life. Or others were maybe taken out of buildings in Cincinnati to be torn down but scavenged for useful goods prior to the wrecking ball. Customers to the building will feel at home. They ll tell their friends about their unique find they ll feel they can trust you they ll feel that the goods services you have to offer are of goodold-fashioned quality and value. Green does that to people. Now walk upstairs to the living quarters. Perhaps one tenant has all three floors or maybe each has their own floor space. Out of necessity the windows needed to be replaced throughout as the old ones were huge energy wasters. The new ones are Low-E windows that feature invisible glass coatings vacuum-sealed spaces filled with inert gas between the panes and designed to reduce undesirable heat gain and loss. 108 being green The toilets are all low-flow fixtures (yes they do flush just fine) and the appliances are all Energy Star rated. You can buy a 25 cu. ft. refrigerator these days that runs on 20 worth of energy a year. Lots of energy savings too with the clothes washer and dryer the dishwasher the water heater and the biggest energy hog of them all the furnace and air conditioner. With the latter if the building has land adjoining it geothermal wells can be dug and within seven to eight years the system will pay for itself and reduce energy consumption by up to 60% for another 20 years. If no land a heat pump can be purchased not as energy efficient but far more than a natural gas or propane device. Another option though not shown in the rendering would be the placement of solar panels on the roof. Technology has come far in the transformation of the sun s free rays into electricity but you just have to remember that when the sun isn t on energy isn t on. Cincinnati is home to one of the largest solar arrays in the nation at the Cincinnati Zoo. Earlier this year the zoo contracted with the Melink Corporation (located in Milford) to install 6 400 solar panels that will generate more than 1.5 megawatts of energy or enough to meet about onefifth of the zoo s power demands. We asked owner Steve Melink about our project and he said that if the rooftop on our rendering were 1 250 sq. ft. it would accommodate about 50 solar panels that would generate about 9 000 watts of electricity. The potential for the grid he says is that it could provide all of the building s power needs at least during the peak period of each day s sunrays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. He also noted the number of windows in the building and said that a new product using photovoltaic glass is now available. Our rendering example shows a more natural approach a garden rooftop with operable skylights. It s easily done and the benefits include reducing water runoff longevity (up to 50 years of life) and a reduction in energy consumption. They re also a lot prettier than tar and for those who like to garden well you got it. Green roofs in Cincinnati include several PNC banks the Civic Garden Center the new Red Cross building on Smith-Edwards Road the Zoo and the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) on Galbraith Road. The latter understands the benefits of green roofs quite well since less water runoff means less wear and tear on the sewer pipes. Green roof installation is more expensive but the Ohio EPA the MSD of Greater Cincinnati and the Office of Environmental Quality has created the first Green Roof Loan Program of its kind in Ohio. The program made 5 million available at below market rate loans to install green vegetative roofs within the service area of MSD. Installation can be on residential commercial and or industrial buildings. The operable skylights on the roof reduce some need for daylighting and help ventilate the interiors. Furnishings for the interior can also very much be green. Cincinnati Public Schools has used timber saved from the Emerald Ash borer to build bookshelves for classrooms and Steve Bloomfield who developed the LEED certified 2801 Erie condo project in Hyde Park recycled a dead tree during excavation into a desktop for his home office. All it takes is some extra thinking outside the box. To Build or Not to Build Green To build new or to rehab usually depends on what type of business you have access needed by your customers your desire to go green and the available incentives in terms of loans grants and tax incentives. Per Andy Schaub the green packages he and Mark Crew put into the example in this story can be placed into any building anywhere new or rehabbed. As stated earlier it could be in Over-the-Rhine Hyde Park downtown Mason or in a strip mall on Beechmont Avenue or Montgomery Road. Schaub says that all things considered the cost to build new using conventional materials vs. the cost to take an old building to green standards are going to be close to the same. So why aren t more people taking the green option given the chance According to Schaub it s mostly because of the hoax. By that he means that still too many people believe that going green means you subscribe to global warming science as opposed to doing it simply because it makes sense. While in some ways it may be a slow movement for now Schaub says that building codes are increasingly headed toward enforcing the use of more green and high-efficiency type products. He adds that many contractors builders have already been building more energy efficient buildings for years. And certainly architects have taken the lead in thinking green. As much as the city helped the Reds build their new stadium they are also willing to help you get your business its playing field as well. Eric Denson an official with the City of Cincinnati s Department of Community Development says that should you buy an existing building for your business and get it green certified (see LEED story pages 48 and 49) your property taxes will be abated 75 percent for each of 12 years based on the value of your improvements. For example Let s say you buy the building for 50 000 and put in 250 000 worth of improvements and the building gets LEED green certified. The property taxes on the 250 000 would be about 2 100 a year vs. 8 400 without the green. Savings on the 12-year abatement would be about 75 000. Going Green in Cincinnati It s easy to spot a Reds fan in Cincinnati. It s hard to spot a Green aficionado unless you announce it. And many are now doing so. Hardly a day goes by that the Cincinnati Enquirer isn t announcing a green project of some sort. After reading each story you can usually see that it was instigated by someone in the green industry an architect or builder or the homeowner who has clearly seen the benefits of being green and often saving money in the process. Hanging a shingle outside your place of business that you are green should be considered a badge of honor. And for consumers it should mean that it s a good place to spend their money. cincinnati 109 STE WART & JERVIS Building classic homes in Cincinnati s finest neighborhoods for more than 25 years Dan Jervis & Joe Stewart Whether it s on a lot you ve chosen or one we have available to us you can be sure that we will carefully consider the impact on the neighborhood and the environment in the design and construction of your new home. Stewart & Jervis will work together with you and an architect of your choosing to design and specify a home that fits your needs and is compatible with other homes in your new neighborhood. A classic home of enduring value is one that doesn t scream new home. Stewart & Jervis will assist you in choosing the right top line brand products which will provide years of service and energy efficiency. Stewart & Jervis has a proven track record for LEED certified new construction. Ask us about the City of Cincinnati s 15 year tax abatement program for LEED certified construction that can save thousands of property tax dollars. Ste wart & Jervis builders 4410 Brazee Street Oakley 513.531.7676 geothermal gone wild Homeowners in one Clermont County neighborhood who are doing it why the math how it works and the companies who believe in it. By Douglas E. Sandhage It s a ge thermal day in the neighborhood Going green at home other than recycling nearly always starts either with the building of a new place or the wearing out of a key component of what makes the house comfortable in all seasons. Components usually include the furnace air conditioner windows insulation roofing or the kitchen appliances. Replacement of any of these can make you green in an instant. Some will cost more than conventional products some less mostly depending on the long-term payback in terms of energy use. Tapping geothermal energy to heat and cool your home does all the above. You will be green and you will save a lot of money in the long run. This writer lives in a Pierce Township Clermont County neighborhood where six of the 52 homeowners have installed geothermal heating and air conditioning units all within the last several years. It is a well-above-normal ratio that on the surface suggests that one lead to another. But as we found out nearly all of the decisions were made independently with little to no consult with neighbors. What if these six got together with the other 46 in the neighborhood and talked up the benefits of geothermal would the others consider it An informal survey of many of the others suggests that nearly all would do so. But first they would want to know the facts. For the benefit of those 46 and the more than 50 000 readers of Being Green in Cincinnati we present the facts. The Neighbors Homeowners David and Sherry Stanforth Home size type 5 500 sq. ft. Propane gas used prior. Date geothermal installed November 2010 Who installed Arronco. Eight wells drilled. Cost of system and installation 41 000 prior to 30% federal tax credit received. Reason to go geothermal To be green and the payback. David expects the geothermal system to pay for itself within 5-7 years. Prior heating cooling costs Electric November 2009 203 December 239 January 2010 295 February 265 March 255 April 197. Owner adds that during that same period he had three propane tank fills costing 4 026. Total approximate costs for that period for energy use 5 480. Cost now with geothermal Year 2010 Electric November 2010 166 December 540 January 640 February 626 March 362 April 288. Total actual costs for that period for energy use 2 622. Temperature favored by homeowners Summer 74 winter 70. Biggest positive so far The 30 percent federal tax credit not having to purchase propane. Moisture level in the house is significantly better. Heat is more uniform. Biggest negative so far Having to repair the yard from the well drilling. Advice to others about going geothermal Right now I would recommend to others to go geothermal says David. No known issues yet. I ve been happy with it so far. The Stanforths 112 being green Homeowner Scott Ward Home size type 4 500 sq. ft. Date geothermal installed 2006 installed as part of his new home construction. Seven wells drilled. Who installed Peak Heating and Air. Cost of system and installation 40 000. He did receive a several hundred dollar tax credit available at the time. Reason to go geothermal I sat down and did the math says Scott. I planned for a payback of 7-8 years but I believe it will be about six. Prior heating cooling costs NA Cost now with geothermal Year 2010 Scott provided Being Green the amounts he paid Duke for each month from May 2010 through to April 2011. The prices average 390 for spring and summer months 300 for fall and winter months. Temperature favored by homeowner 65 degrees in winter 72 in summer. Biggest positive so far Cost savings and aesthetics (no external conditioner or heat pump is required). Biggest negative so far It s better than a heat pump but not as good as natural gas he says. Advice to others about going geothermal Scott says it is very important to talk to the installer to know how the system works how to operate it in the most efficient manner and how to maintain the system. If you ve got the cash upfront to pay for the system and you re going to be in the house long enough to get the payback you will make out says Scott who says he is close to doing so since he had the home built in 2006. Homeowners Nick & Donna Smith Home size type 4 000 sq. ft. Date geothermal installed 2009 five wells drilled. Who installed Did not disclose. Cost of system and installation 35 000. No tax credit received. Reason to go geothermal Our old (propane) unit kept breaking down and we knew we were going to have to replace it. Nick says he was aware of geothermal benefits through research. I liked the idea of being more efficient a more green type of energy. He adds that not having to depend on propane deliveries was another factor. Cost now with geothermal Year 2010 Nick says that his December 2010 bill from Duke Energy was about 500 and that bills for summer months average between 350 and 400. Biggest positive so far On pace to meet expected payoff in 5-7 years. Particularly if building a new house you d be stupid not to put one of these in. Biggest negative so far Initial trouble with installation of wells and some maintenance issues but all is now up to expectations says Smith. Homeowners Mark and Lindsay Bibler Home size type 5 500 sq. ft. Date geothermal installed 2005 when home was built Who installed Peak Heating and Air. Nine wells drilled. Cost of system and installation About 40 000. Reason to go geothermal Mark says that while going green with the home s heating and cooling system was the plan as their home was constructed he was unaware of the benefits of geothermal until their architect Chris Knoop recommended they install it based on previous experiences he had on other homes he designed. Mark says that the timing couldn t have been better because shortly after they moved in propane and electric rates rose dramatically. Prior heating cooling costs NA Cost now with geothermal Year 2010 For the months October through March Mark says his energy bills average 500 a month for April through September 300. Total annual energy bills about 5 000. He figures that he has probably already reached the point of payback for his system based on energy savings. Temperature favored by homeowners 65-68 in winter 72-75 in summer. Biggest positive so far Lower energy costs. Biggest negative so far One of the two furnaces installed have experienced multiple hardware failures but the other none. All have been under warranty. Also more biannual maintenance that he had expected. Advice to others about going geothermal Yes would recommend others doing it. Homeowners Joe and Nadine Ostermann Home size type 5 000 sq. ft. two-story. Date geothermal installed Not sure geothermal had already been installed when they bought the house in 2006. However they did need the two originally installed furnaces replaced since they ve been in the house. Who installed Bill Spade Electric Heating & Cooling. Cost of system and installation NA Reason to go geothermal NA Cost now with geothermal Year 2010 Joe provided Being Green the amounts he paid Duke Energy for each month from January through December. The bills were as follows 647 514 461 270 235 305 215 320 296 215 205 348. Total cost for 12 months 4 031. Temperature favored by homeowners 72 degrees in winter 78 degrees in summer. Biggest positive so far We re not using as much electricity and saving a lot of money. Biggest negative so far It s not as warm as gas heat. As a supplement the Ostermanns had a fireplace insert installed a few years ago that Joe says will heat about half of their home when it is in use. Advice to others about going geothermal Geothermal makes a lot of sense if you plan on being in your home for many years. If not you are probably not going to recoup your investment. The Ostermanns Homeowner Name withheld by request Home size type 2 500 sq. ft. brick ranch. Date geothermal installed 2008 Who installed RineAir Heating & Air Conditioning. Six wells drilled. Cost of system and installation 18 000. Homeowner says he got a tax credit but doesn t remember exact amount. Reason to go geothermal Old oil furnace needed replacing and I thought oil isn t getting any cheaper. He had read numerous articles about geothermal before making decision to buy. Prior heating cooling costs Homeowner says that since he had a 1 000 gallon oil tank prior to the change and because his electric bill at the time included energy use for lights and for air conditioning it is difficult to state exact costs but he estimates that it was 3 000-plus a year for heating and cooling only. Cost now with geothermal Year 2010 1 800 estimated heating and cooling only. He is sure that he cut expenses in half. Temperature favored by homeowners 66 degrees in winter 78 degrees in summer. Biggest positive so far Expense savings. Biggest negative so far Heat doesn t feel hot like it did coming out of the prior owned oil furnace. Advice to others about going geothermal You re going to save money and if you can live with the heat not coming out real hot then do it. cincinnati 113 the math Cost Equation The numbers tell the story Read the assumptions and then follow the chart from left to right. The payoff begins between Year 7 and 8 (when your savings starting at installation equal the cost of the system). By year 30 cumulative savings pass 76 000. 30% tax credit Duke Save a Watt rebate Adjusted cost 7 500.00 400.00 17 100.00 0 New system for 4000 sq. foot home 25 000.00 Includes new furnace geothermal heat pump (3) 300 vertical wells YEAR 1 2012 2 2013 3 2014 4 2015 5 2016 6 2017 7 2018 8 2019 9 2020 10 2021 11 2022 12 2023 13 2024 2011 Current annual electric and gas cost with annual 2.25% projected increase Adjusted annual cost with geothermal Annual savings with geothermal Cumulative total savings with geothermal 2900.00 2965.25 3031.97 3100.19 3169.94 3241.27 3 314.19 3 388.76 3 465.01 3 542.97 3 622.69 3 704.20 3 787.54 3 872.76 1 160.00 1 186.10 1 212.79 1 240.07 1 267.98 1 296.51 1 325.68 1 355.51 1 386.00 1 417.19 1 449.08 1 481.68 1 515.02 1 549.11 1 740.00 1 779.15 3 519.15 1 819.18 5 338.33 1 860.11 7 198.44 1 901.96 9 100.41 1 944.76 11 045.17 1 988.52 13 033.68 2 033.26 15 066.94 2 079.01 17 145.95 2 125.78 19 271.73 2 173.61 21 445.35 2 222.52 23 667.87 2 272.53 25 940.39 2 323.66 28 264.05 tips save_energy.cfm the big payback How geothermal does its job Heating and cooling your home using geothermal energy is on the surface very uncomplicated. Even below the surface hundreds of feet underground near your home it s a fairly easy process to understand. Bore holes are dug near the house plastic pipes are inserted as loops so that liquid can flow through to be heated by the ground in summer cooled in summer and a compressor inside the house extracts the heating and cooling molecules to the temperature desired by the homeowner. Just a few feet underground the earth stays a consistent 50-60 degrees which makes the process easy to manage. Most homes of 4 000 square feet will need 5-7 bore holes (also known as wells) dug but the number may vary if one or more can be dug deeper than others. If dug vertically each borehole generally averages about 150 ft. deep and are placed about 15 ft. apart. If land is available and accessible holes can also be dug as trenches in a horizontal layout. A horizontal layout generally saves some money on labor costs. The liquid that is forced through the plastic pipes is water with methanol added to keep it from freezing. HEATING During the heating season geothermal technology forces the water through the loop field which is warmed to the temperature that is in the ground about 55 degrees. Enter the heat pump a common fixture in homes built since the 1970s. Standard heat pumps extract from the outside air whatever warm molecules they can find but if the air is zero you can imagine they are not as easy to come by. Thus combining the heat pump with earth-warmed fluid you re going to come out ahead. Spelled out technically in exactly 93 words here it is The ground-heated fluid goes into the system s compressor where the fluid is compressed thereby raising its pressure and temperature transforming the 55 degree temperature into a temperature over 100 degrees. The hot refrigerant is then circulated through the finned tubing within an air handler where the cold return interior air absorbs the heat. The heated air is supplied via a fan to the interior air space. With the heat now removed from the refrigerant fluid it becomes very cold and is re-circulated into the ground to absorb more naturally occurring and renewable heat. The ground supplies your heat for free. The same heat energy can be used for a radiant floor system or domestic hot water heating. COOLING Basically the opposite technology does the job. The hot refrigerant (over 100 degrees) exiting the compressor is sent directly into the approximate 50 to 60 degree range deep earth which now absorbs and takes the heat away. The cooled refrigerant fluid is then circulated through the air handler where it absorbs and removes unwanted heat from the interior air. The heated refrigerant travels to the system s compressor unit where the process is repeated. In the cooling mode the ground removes your heat for free. 114 being green ( the works Assumptions to the math 17 2028 Based on a 2.25% annual projected utility cost increase each of 30 years. Based on a projected 60% annual savings in energy over conventional heating and cooling systems vs. geothermal. 14 2025 15 2026 16 2027 18 2029 19 2030 20 2031 21 2032 22 2033 23 2034 24 2035 25 2036 26 2037 27 2038 28 2039 29 2040 30 2041 3 959.90 4 049.00 4 140.10 4 233.25 4 328.50 4 425.89 4 525.48 4 627.30 4 731.41 4 837.87 4 946.725 058.02 5 171.83 5 288.20 5 407.1 5 528.84 5 653.24 1 583.96 1 619.60 1 656.04 1 693.30 1 731.40 1 770.36 1 810.19 1 850.92 1 892.57 1 935.15 1 978.69 2 023.21 2 068.73 2 115.28 2 162.87 2 211.54 2 261.30 2 375.94 30 639.99 2 429.40 33 069.39 2 484.06 35 553.45 2 539.95 38 093.41 2 597.10 40 690.51 2 655.54 43 346.04 2 715.29 46 061.33 2 776.38 48 837.71 2 838.85 51 676.56 2 902.72 54 579.28 2 968.03 57 547.32 3 034.81 60 582.13 3 103.10 63 685.23 3 172.92 66 858.15 3 244.31 70 102.45 3 317.31 73 419.76 3 391.94 76 811.70 Illustration courtesy of WaterFurnace International. Frequent answers to good questions Geothermal isn t new. Home-based systems have now been around for more than 30 years. On average it will cost about 25 000 to buy and install a geothermal system onto a 4 000 square foot home. About one-third of that cost will be to drill the boreholes. If you buy a standard heat pump system the cost will be 12 000 - 15 000. Geothermal provides 3-4 units of energy for every one unit used to power the system. The IRS allows a federal tax credit of 30 percent on the cost of buying and installing a home-based geothermal system. The credit expires at the end of 2016. Another way of putting it If you spend 25 000 on a system Uncle Sam will return 7 500 of that to you as a tax credit. More than a dozen Cincinnati area heating and cooling firms install geothermal systems. Four of the firms who are included within this article are sponsors of the 2011 edition of Being Green in Cincinnati and all were recommended by sources contacted by the magazine. The average life span of a geothermal system is 20 years. Only routine inspections and maintenance are required during its expected lifespan. Some loop fields come with 50-year warranties. Your existing heating and cooling system (with the exception of duct work) cannot be used if you convert to geothermal you have to buy all new equipment. If your home has been 15-20 years without a new furnace or air conditioner you are a great candidate to go geothermal. Thanks to Chuck Pfaehler from Peak Heating and Air for helping Being Green in checking the facts. cincinnati 115 the summary Geothermal is here to stay the energy savings are proven and the federal tax credit of 30% through 2016 will only grow homeowner acceptance exponentially. But does it make sense for everyone No but pretty close. Prime candidates for geothermal heating and cooling are those who Need a new system to replace an aging heating cooling system or need one for a new house being constructed. Have the cash or credit equivalent to the cost or more of a new car to buy a system. Plan to be in their homes for a while so that they can at minimum get a payback on the cost of the system (about 7 years). Want to be green. Have the land to install the wells needed to convert the earth s heat to home heat. Don t mind heat-pump type heat vs. conventional electric or gas based systems. Want to be considered cool (in summer) and hot (in the winter). This you can tell your friends. Plus if you happen to live within the city limits of Cincinnati and your home receives a green LEED certification due in part because of a geothermal installation you may be awarded a tax abatement for up to 15 years. Being Green in Cincinnati asked several of Cincinnati s top heating and cooling contractors who install geothermal units what they think about the future of geothermal and why it makes sense for so many. the players Bill Spade Electric Heating & Cooling 7181 Wesselman Road Cleves Ohio 45002 Tel. 513-941-0075 Web Owner Bill Spade Years in Business 33 in the industry 40 years Geothermal Future It s a very inexpensive system to operate says Bill Spade. With the 30 percent tax credit it gives a payback in 4-5 years which has really boosted installations. The technology is very good. Spade adds that he is currently testing a new variable refrigerant flow compressor which will help boost the current for every 1 you spend on energy you get 5 in energy back up another 30 percent. Why Go Geothermal The energy savings. You can knock 60-70 percent off your energy bill. That s a big difference says Spade. Rineair Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. 485 Ohio Pike Cincinnati Ohio 45255 Tel. 513-474-2454 Owner Ron Rineair Years in Business 9 in industry for 30 years Geothermal Future Geothermal is the highest efficiency system in the market. There is little to no maintenance. It s a user-friendly technician-friendly system. And with the federal tax credit the price is in line with what a conventional type system would cost says Rineair. The 1 Fact That a Homeowner Should Know Before Deciding to Go Geothermal With a 6- to 7-year payback projection you re going to save a lot of money especially if you plan to stay in the house for awhile says Rineair. Peak Heating Air Geothermal 2043 Alexandria Pike Highland Heights Kentucky 41076 Tel. 859-635-8899 513-321-8899 Web Owner Chuck Pfaehler Years in Business 11 in the industry 32 years. Geothermal Future It is definitely here to stay. The (geothermal) units will get more efficient in the future based on what I m hearing from the manufacturers. And competition and technology will help bring pricing down says Pfaehler. The 1 Reason Why a Homeowner Should Go Geothermal The energy savings. It s an investment one can make in their home especially in lieu of other investments that are out there says Pfaehler. Schmidt Heating & Cooling 7323 Vine St. Cincinnati Ohio 45216 Tel. 513-531-6900 Web Owner Steve Hutzel Years in Business 57 years Hutzel for 22 years Geothermal Future While Hutzel says that the 30 percent federal tax credit is currently playing a huge role in the success of geothermal he adds that even after the program expires in 2016 he suspects it will continue to grow especially for homeowners who plan to stay in their homes after the expected payback period. With a 60% savings it s hard not to see the benefits he says. What s New in Geothermal Hutzel says a dual-fuel system that incorporates both the benefits of a propane or natural gas furnace and a back-up heat pump for both winter and summer air conditioning is a great alternative for many 116 being green Story by Michelle Crawley hw p s Nature s playground Grandma was right. send the kids outside to play q h cincinnati 119 A group of kids enjoying the environment at the Cincinnati Nature Center s Playscape in Milford. GRANNY S GARDEN SCHOOL Roberta Paolo was to her grandkids granny nanny when they were just starting in a suburban elementary school nearly a decade ago. She would pick them up from school and let them pick flowers from her garden. Soon their friends and friends of friends wanted to get in on the picking. Paolo s flower garden was large and she didn t mind sharing. She also wanted to help spruce up the grounds of Loveland s Primary and Elementary schools with more flowers. I approached the school just because I wanted to give the kids a chance to pick flowers she says. I wasn t thinking anything about curriculum. Little did she know then that Granny s Garden School would take off and become the largest and most comprehensive school garden program in the Midwest. What began as an all-volunteer effort is now a growing nonprofit with a board of directors and a small staff. Nine parttime seasonal employees work with 1 700 first- through fourth-graders each week as part of an outdoor classroom. The school s gardens on the 24-acre campus are made up of more than 100 vegetable gardens a nature trail and lots of flowers. Kids get their hands dirty digging weeding and exploring. It all fits into the school s established curriculum which encourages even the youngest little gardeners to match count grow and harvest the fruits of the world around them. From finding insects to picking tulips Granny s Garden offers something textbooks do not Children can see taste touch and smell their assignments. They also grow vegetables for their school cafeteria and a local food bank and soup kitchen. I see the impact the garden has on the children Paolo says. They re learning without even realizing it. A National Leader Paolo the granny nanny is now something of a folk hero in school garden circles nationwide. More than 250 educators have visited her gardens to learn how to follow her example and establish sustainable school garden programs. People get inspired to do a school garden program she says. But no matter their knowledge about gardening or working with kids they don t have a clue about how to run a sustainable school garden program. That s why Granny s Garden School launched the Southern Ohio Schoolyard Nature Network last year offering howto workshops and networking opportunities to get other schools started on gardens of their own. School gardens is the clich du jour but none of them take the approach of Granny s Garden. Granny does not teach gardening says Pope Coleman project manager of Eco-mentors teaching CPS students about the benefits of green living. Roberta Granny Paolo the Over-the-Rhine Foundation who says he hopes for a granny-style teaching garden at the old Rothenberg school on Main Street in Over-the-Rhine. The key he says has been getting each teacher involved in having a class be responsible for a garden and learning about science by getting their hands dirty. Paolo has found that beyond the academic reasons for having a school garden it gets kids interested in gardening just by seeing other people do it. So even adults who never had a green thumb are getting involved helping to tend gardens run plant sales and raise money. Paolo is as thrilled seeing her flowers grow as she is seeing people enjoy the gardens -- especially the ones who remind her of her grandchildren and how they loved growing up in her backyard. They just know they re getting to play she says. They love it. ECO-MENTORING RECONNECTING WITH KIDS In the more urban Cincinnati Public School district leaders embrace the idea that kids learn better in green schools. They buy into the fact that test scores go up and absenteeism goes down when a school is green inside and out. In fact Ohio leads the nation in schools that meet or exceed standards for environmentally sustainable design. It has more green registered schools (255) than the next five states combined. That means from its indoor air quality to its rooftop gardens and recycling efforts Ohio schools are way above average. But cultivating ecological stewardship demands more than a beautiful green building or a garden outside says Ginny Frazier executive director for Alliance for Leadership and Interconnection (ALI) an eco-mentoring program that partners with Cincinnati Public Schools to integrate greenness into the curriculum. To teach our children about the benefits of nature we have to reconnect them with it Frazier says. The eco-mentoring program aims to do just that through hands-on projects that align with each school s academic standards. Students use the school building grounds and operations as teaching tools for environmental sustainability. Frazier got involved because it was personal. She is a professional recording artist and songwriter whose experience has included recording traditional Shawnee Indian music for Walt Disney s animated Pocahontas movie. She and her group Circles & Arrows provide music programs and concerts for schools universities and community centers through the Cincinnati Arts Association and Art Links. But she started having respiratory and other health problems in many of the venues while performing. Eventually I figured out that I was reacting to the chemicals in the venues she says whether it was the new building smell fresh paint or new carpeting cleaning products or personal care products of the audience. When she heard Cincinnati taxpayers had passed 1 billion worth of tax levies to build new public schools she decided to get involved with educating stakeholders about the importance of building schools that were non-toxic and environmentally friendly especially given the high rate of asthma in children at Cincinnati Public Schools. Eight years later she is spreading the message to students that they have a part in the green movement as well. 120 being green 4th graders are treated to Granny s Harvest Soup day in the cafeteria. Bill Hopple executive director of the Cincinnati Nature Center in Milford which will open the 400 000 Marge and Charles Schott Nature Playscape in August. We need to be more intentional about providing natural playscapes for children says Hopple who remembers being told as a child to go out and play and be home for dinner. That s not happening today primarily because of parental concern he says. Experiencing the Outdoors This project paid for in part by a grant from the Harriette Downey foundation attempts to erase parents fears by creating an entirely fenced and pet-free area where kids can play under their parents supervision -- like a backyard they might not have at home. The play space designed by renowned designer Robin Moore of the Natural Learning Initiative at North Carolina State University is meant to be a regional model for getting kids to play outside again. The 1.6-acre play environment is a habitat of native plants fallen logs boulders rocks water and dirt all meant for kids to explore in unstructured play. The trails woods and fallen trees -- all details many adults have fond memories of but many kids have not had an opportunity to explore -- are the inspiration behind what landscape designers and academics are calling a playscape. Cincinnati s Playscape has already gotten rave reviews from Richard Louv author of the 2005 national bestseller Last Child in the Woods which links the lack of nature in the lives of today s wired generation to disturbing childhood trends such as obesity attention disorders and depression. Too Much TV Louv says kids today spend up to six hours a day in front of the television or a computer and only minutes outside unstructured play. Louv co-founder of the Children & Nature Network recently visited Cincinnati and praised the Cincinnati Nature Center s effort to jumpstart the campaign here to get kids outside. He said the playscape is the kind of thing that ought to be on the grounds of every school in America. The change in nature centers over the last decade is toward actually connecting kids to nature as their primary purpose Louv says. Look and touch rather than look and don t touch is the new philosophy of nature centers. Hopple plans to offer training for play facilitators -- adults who help connect kids with nature again. Have we become so disconnected that we really need that Hopple says yes we have forgotten how to promote a sense of play and wonder. We have got a generation of kids spending less time in the outdoors he says. We all remember growing up and mom saying Be back by 5 o clock and we d go off and play. That s not happening today. So we want to be intentional about it and have it be something families go home and copy in their own backyard. Cultivating Careful Consumers The eco-mentoring program aims to open students eyes to productive careers. Leaders encourage students to be thoughtful citizens and careful consumers by bringing community business and higher-education partners into the classroom to connect with the younger generation. ALI s pilot program two years ago at Pleasant Ridge Montessori allowed kids to teach adults about the sustainable features in their school such as solar panels rain gardens and bike racks. Eco mentors range from industry leaders to government officials or parent volunteers who spend a couple of hours a week helping students learn about sustainable practices that relate to the school and the community. The real-world contextual learning encourages connections that get kids to think differently Frazier says. It gives them opportunities to solve real problems and develop sustainable projects. Results so far indicate that 71 percent of students demonstrated a greater awareness of environmental sustainability Frazier says. And parents are even getting involved signing pledge cards to reduce vehicle idling. NATURE PLAYSCAPE LEAVE NO CHILD INSIDE The best real-world example of how to connect with kids and get them to appreciate nature may simply require going outside and taking a look around. Cincinnati is part of the growing movement across America focused on leaving no child inside. Adults worried about kids tethered to TVs and computer screens are finding more value in connecting to nature says cincinnati 121 Your next green home is your current home Story & photos by Jason Sandhage In reading this magazine you will For the de Lacy s the first step find many examples of new conof this process included taking care struction projects using the most of the obvious improvements for advanced green ideas and techtheir home -- installation of new nologies. Many of which you can windows a more efficient furnace learn from. Most of which will help and the replacement of their old you save a lot of money. All of garage door. The existing furnace which will benefit the environment. was over 10 years old and very inOne thing that shouldn t be forefficient says Jeremy. It was a gotten however is that your next simple decision to upgrade the green home doesn t have to be a HVAC system to the most efficient new home at all. You may be livsystem available and also (so the ing in it right now. homeowner s could) take advanNiall and Carolyn de Lacy live tage of the 30 percent (federal) tax with their two young daughters Lily credit. The furnace they decided and Olivia in a typical two-story on is said to be 95-96 percent 1940 s style Mt. Lookout home. efficient and works well with the Carolyn and her two daughters Lily and Olivia Niall works for a local company upgrades they have since made to sitting on the steps of their newly efficient home. while Carolyn is a stay at home the insulation. mom. The de Lacy s are your aver The client knew right away age happy family but there was simply one thing they couldn t that they wanted to take advantage of all the federal and local bare living with anymore -- the inefficiency of their home. tax incentives and credits that had become available. We All of us want a house and home that we can feel com- completed the initial improvements and the de Lacy s started fortable in and that comfort is more than just the indoor air to wonder what their next logical improvements would be. temperature. In 2008 the winter utility bills (of this nearly That is when we had the audit completed Jeremy explained. 3 000 sq. ft. residence) were around 500 a month explains Due to the recent influx of green building projects in CincinNiall. A price that would make most of us sweat. Dissatisfied nati Barb Yankie president and owner of both Homes and with their bills the effect they were having on the environment Green Building Consulting has seen her businesses boom. For and their overall comfort the de Lacy s decided to make a those of you who have completed a certified green property in change. One of their neighbors referred them to a company the area you may recognize Barb as the third-party auditor who that is no stranger to working on green homes. came in and inspected your home or or business to check for Camery-Hensley Construction is a local home building compliance. A equally important aspect of her business comes and remodeling company with a focus on sustainability. They in the form of performing energy audits. were a large part of the team that constructed the first LEED One of the most common problem we see is a leaky Platinum home in Cincinnati and much of the experience home says Barb. Fixing air infiltration problems may improve which led to that accomplishment came in working with fam- your energy efficiency by 15-20 percent. She goes on to say ilies who wanted to increase the efficiency of their homes. that air filtration solutions such as caulking around windows The de Lacy s were a pleasure to work with says and doors filling gaps in the foundation and eliminating voids Jeremy Hensley Vice President of Camery-Hensley Con- in the attic and basement are also one of the least expensive struction. They wanted to learn about and be involved in improvements one can make. every step of the process. So after the initial set of improvements had been made 122 being green on the de Lacy residence a energy assessment performed on their home confirmed that the homeowners did in fact have a leak. The culprit Insulation. We knew the house was lacking insulation but it was not until Barb completed the audit that we found out how much money the lack of insulations was costing the de Lacy s says Jeremy. After discussing the options with the homeowners Jeremy decided to go with a combination of spray foam and blown fiberglass for the attic. The use of spray foam creates a great air barrier because unlike long pieces of fiberglass insulation spray foam will find it s way into all of those tiny nooks and crannies and expand to fill the voids that traditional insulation simply cannot. Yet as with anything good spray foam is generally a more expensive option. So with cost in mind and understanding the need not to sacrifice quality for the sake of short term payback Jeremy and the homeowners decided to combine the two using spray foam sense for them. The single pane leaky windows that at one time could be found with ice forming on the inside were replaced. Insulation was added in the attic and above the garage. The old furnace was swapped for a more efficient version. A new garage door was installed. Vents were sealed a programmable thermostat was bought and the edges of doors and windows were caulked and insulated. According to Barb Yankie these energy efficiency improvements should have improved the efficiency of their home by as much as 32 percent. The de Lacy s are very happy with their decision to make these improvements. According to Niall the 500 a month utility bills they received during the winter months of 2008 have shown a dramatic decline. In 2009 bills taken during these same months have averaged out to about 250 cutting their home s utility bills in half. One thing to remember is that every home and every homeowner is unique. What has worked for the de Lacy s may not work for you so it s important that you approach the One can see the spray foam underneath the fiberglass insulation. By combining the two the de Lacy s have found a cost-effective solution to fixing their air infiltration problems. improvements of your own home with an open mind. Get a energy assessment. This will give you a clear understanding of where you stand and what needs to be done. If you don t have the finances to take care of everything right now that s ok. If you handle those low-hanging fruit such as replacing incandescent lightbulbs with more efficient CFLs or adding to the insulation in your attic you will eventually find the funding for those future projects in the savings you will see from what you have started on today. first to find its way into the cracks and then topping it off with fiberglass pieces. The result is a relatively inexpensive insulation with a high R-value. When it was all said and done the de Lacy s made improvements to the areas of their home that made the most Resources Camery-Hensley Construction Green Building Consulting and Homes cincinnati 123 Go green Larson-Juhl is proud to partner with Frame & Save Hyde Park in presenting its Forest Friendly FSC & PEFC Certified frame collections. Forest Friendly Certifications provide a credible link between responsible production and consumption of forest products enabling consumers and businesses to make purchasing decisions that benefit people and the environment. Save some green. Mention this ad for 20% off your custom framing order. 2940 Wasson Road at Paxton Tel. 513-531-9794 Not vailid with any other coupons or offers Building value. Building relationships. Building careers. Story by Lindsay Kottmann Photos by Jason Sandhage The standard procedure for removing a building from your property used to be quite simple Find a demolition crew to level it and haul the rubble to the landfill as quickly as possible. As attitudes toward the environment have changed over the past decade though property owners have sought alternatives for their project waste. In Cincinnati today one extraordinary alternative is Building Value a nonprofit that turns construction waste into valuable opportunities for others. Building Value collects used building materials and resells them at their retail store on Spring Grove Avenue in Northside. Their operations provide practical job skills for Cincinnatians on their road to self-reliance. Building Relationships Building Value was founded by Easter Seals Work Resource Center a local nonprofit that helps provide employment for people with disabilities and disadvantages. When West-sider Scott Beard heard the new organization was hiring in 2004 he jumped at the chance to apply. A long-time high school baseball coach Beard loved teaching others and he had more than 20 years of hardware retail management experience. Having a sister with Down Syndrome also made him especially interested in helping those with special challenges. Today Beard lays the foundation for Building Value s reuse efforts as their Acquisitions Manager. He establishes relationships and lines up projects with organizations and businesses that typically handle building waste such as construction companies remodeling companies architects and local governments. He works with plenty of private homeowners on renovation projects as well. While the moral incentive to save waste and help disadvantaged people is compelling Beard assures new partners that there are also plenty of practical benefits associated with working with Building Value. First of all Building Value s rates are lower than those of a private company Beard says. Additionally when property owners hire Building Value to clear their construction sites they save the money it would cost to rent additional on-site dumpsters to collect waste. However the biggest incentive for most property owners is the tax deductions they receive from the donation of their used materials. At the end of the project property owners receive itemized receipts detailing the materials removed from the site. cincinnati 127 Building Careers Building Value takes part in a wide range of jobs from clearing residential kitchens for remodeling to completely gutting expansive retail stores. Some of Building Value s most interesting projects however involve deconstructing entire homes. Alex Underwood found himself working on one such project two years ago as part of a Building Value deconstruction crew. Underwood 19 at the time had just earned As the deconstruction project unfolded Underwood absorbed all the knowledge he could. He learned how to remove doors windows interior fixtures and hardware how to tear down walls to preserve the wood beams inside and eventually how disassemble the home s innerworkings such as its heating and cooling systems. In the process he also learned how to use several new construction tools and even found himself helping lift the some certifications from the city of Cincinnati s Brownfield Job Training Program and also had some experience with welding. However without several years of experience finding a steady job proved difficult. He found out about Building Value and soon became one of about six trainees on a deconstruction crew working under the direction of an experienced manager. entire roof off the house so it could be disassembled on the ground for recycling. (Even the house s foundation gets recycled Building Value has a relationship with a company that grinds it into aggregate.) Building Value deconstruction crews like Underwood s collect up to 80 percent of an entire building slated for destruction saving tons of material from the landfill and often 128 being green preserving historic architectural elements which you can find in their shop. As for Underwood he felt confident with his new knowledge of how a house is built. That knowledge and his behavior on the Building Value deconstruction site landed him a steady job with Cincinnati Heating and Air Conditioning. Building Confidence The material that Building Value crews collect from project sites is delivered to Building Value s retail store in Northside where another group of trainees learns to take inventory display items for sale in the store and complete customer purchases. The store offers a variety of home necessities such as doors windows lighting sinks cabinets toilets and paneling. It also sells raw building material like wood brick and coun- to customers in the store and abrupt when they asked her questions. Over the weeks as Beard observed her work every day he saw her begin to reach out to customers ask them what they needed and finally complete sales. Beard still stays in touch with the woman who has now had a job at a local hardware store for a year and a half. She still checks in with Beard when she needs a little advice or direction and for Beard that s just another aspect of what makes his job at Building Value so fulfilling. It also helps to know that he has helped divert around 15 000 tons of materials from the landfill since 2004 and that as word continues to spread about Building Value those numbers are likely to increase. Building Value accepts donations of building materials which are considered charitable contributions. They are accepted at the retail outlet Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to Alex Underwood in front of the American Can building. The American Can building is being developed by Bloomfield Schon and Partners and this mixed-use project will apply for LEED certification. Alex is working on the building with his new employer Cincinnati Heating and Air Conditioning. tertops furniture like chairs and desks and heavy duty commercial equipment like ovens and refrigerators. Some of the more unique items in the store are detailed antique mantels and fireplace inserts and porcelain fixtures from historic building renovations. Building Value s retail store attracts landlords seeking bargains artists seeking supplies rehabbers of historic buildings seeking vintage building elements and more. As they shop they re assisted by Building Value s trainees. In fact those going through Building Value s training program typically start their training in the retail store. It s here that they are able to learn the soft skills necessary for any job that involves customer contact. Beard recalls one new trainee who had struggled to hold down a job in the past. In the beginning she was standoffish 4 30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Building Value can also collect items from your home for just 25 for locations inside the I-275 loop and 35 for locations outside the loop. Call (513) 475-6783 to have your donation approved and schedule a pickup or delivery time. Building Value also seeks volunteers who are experienced in construction retail or design to help out for 2 to 4 hours a week. Call (513) 475-6783 for more information. To find out more about Building Value visit their website cincinnati 129 Turning green into gold Story by Janet Groeber KZF Design remakes a 1915 vintage downtown LEED Gold Nearly 20 years ago a sleepy looking building at the corner of Eighth and Broadway became infamous as the home of local sportscaster Wildman Walker. The WEBN personality promised to live on the billboard atop the three-level building until the Bengals scored its first win of the 1991-92 season. For two full months it was a near non-stop media and fan frenzy until the Bengals prevailed. After the team s win it didn t take long for the Wildman his makeshift camp and local news crews to pack up and for the building to return to its relative obscurity. That is until last year when after a lengthy rehab it reopened as the new LEED Gold certified headquarters of KZF Design. KZF is one of Cincinnati s largest architectural engineering and design practices known locally and nationally for its expertise in green and sustainable architecture. Currently KZF is humming with new projects such as a correctional facility for the state of Pennsylvania and the Tallgrass Prairie Visitor Center in Cottonwood Falls Kansas for the National Park Service. And for the 26th consecutive year KZF has been named to Interior Design magazine s Interior Design Giants list. (KZF also maintains an office in Orlando Fla.) Practically speaking its new home works as a 3-D business card for KZF whose local clientele includes E.W. Scripps Great American Insurance and Procter & Gamble all of whom have built to LEED standards or are actively working on LEED projects. As KZF s President CEO Bill Wilson believes that With our LEED Gold certified headquarters we can now show our clients in a very real sense how sustainable design can benefit them as well. ...this building is a showcase of KZF s commitment to and talent in sustainable design. The firm has now returned home to downtown where it once occupied space in the historic Ingalls Building at Fourth and Vine Streets. KZF Vice President Tim Sharp underscores that point. KZF was formed in 1956 in downtown Cincinnati he explained So we were looking to get back here to where it all began. The building and its location he continued Were attractive to our employees who live downtown and to our younger workers who use public transportation. (KZF is within walking distance to 20 bus lines.) On the business side Sharp added Both the option to buy a building for long-term investment and investing in Cincinnati s urban core were also compelling. The story picks up in 2009 as KZF then based in the Baldwin Building in Walnut Hills searched for new digs in downtown Cincinnati. Stephen Sendelbeck Director of the Workplace Design Studio at KZF was intrigued by the turn-of-the-century cast-concrete building that occupies space on the eastern edge of the downtown business district. It s a unusual wedge of a site bounded by the Gilbert Avenue viaduct Broadway and 7th Streets. Despite its drab exterior the building with its north and south banks of windows had good bones. Explains Sendlebeck I saw all sorts of potential when I looked at the building. He envisioned a structure flooded with daylight perfect for the company s 70-plus employees but KZF s multi-million dollar head-to-toe renovation would go well beyond opening up those windows. The long slender building type was perfect for retrofitting to LEED standards. In gutting the 1915-era structure built to house the US Shoe Machinery Company the original structure of the 36 000-sq.-ft.- building remains. Everything else is clean contemporary and energy efficient. In clearing and cleaning the building KZF diverted 421.8 tons of construction waste from area landfills. KZF replaced the existing mechanical and electrical systems with state-of-the-art technology employing many sustainable design principles and techniques. KZF Design s headquarters is one of fewer than 10 LEED Gold certified projects in Cincinnati. 132 being green What was once the US Shoe Machinery Company is now called home by KZF s headquarters. One can see the recycled carpet much of the original bones of the building and the use of natural light. All of which contributed to this project receiving a LEED Gold certification. Photo courtesy of Joe Ruh cincinnati 133 Photos courtesy of Joe Ruh Top left The lobby faces downtown Cincinnati s Broadway St. and the Eighth Street Design District. Top right Many of the old doors taken out during renovation have been recycled and refurbished as tabletops for their conference rooms and common areas. Bottom right The first floor lobby leads to one of a few meeting spaces at the office. The corridor in the background leads to a large open workspace. 134 being green KZF Design has been recognized for their commitment to sustainability as can be seen in two of their local projects. The Student Rec Center at the University of Cincinnati is Certified LEED and the Metroplitan Sewer District obtained LEED Gold certification. Photo courtesy of KZF Design Photo courtesy of J. Miles Wold Today Wildman would barely recognize the place starting with the roof. It s cool to use the non-technical term. Actually the new 17 900-square-foot roof is covered with material designed to reflect the sun s heat back into the atmosphere rather than transfer it to the building below. It s the same idea as wearing a light colored T-shirt in the summer sun reflecting more sunlight and absorbing less heat. The saw-tooth skylight previously covered with layers of roofing material was revealed and treated to energy-efficient glazing which increased natural daylight to the open-concept office spaces below. Former employees or visitors to the building will now find the front door relocated from Gilbert Avenue to Broadway. Unlike the previous entryway KZF added an entrance that s well signed and easy to find. Once inside KZF greets you with an open concept office formerly a warren of cubicles private offices and lots of wood paneling. All of which are bathed in natural light which translates into energy savings when artificial light becomes unnecessary on bright days. Coupled with the addition of lighting sensor systems which turns lights off in unoccupied spaces KZF estimates the firm is saving 27 700 annually. There s also a dramatic palette of materials and colors. The building s newly exposed brick and concrete walls are coated with low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paint in pale shades. KZF s design team used local materials in construction -- 61 percent in fact were manufactured within 500 miles. A full 27 percent of the materials used feature recycled content. For example kitchen and reception area countertops are made of recycled glass floors have been treated to white-toned terrazzo and they even reused a number of the building s doors as large-scale tabletops. Allin-all 84 percent of the wood that was used to construct the headquarters came from sustainable sources. It helps that KZF also possesses expertise in preservation. The firm has several awards from the Cincinnati Preservation Association for local restoration work. KZF is becoming better known for a number of LEED certified buildings around the country. These structures range from ground-up construction to old buildings being renovated and adapted for new use. Sendelbeck adds One of the dominant strategies in sustainability is reuse. We re coming to grips as architects who like to build new buildings with the fact that we re probably not going to be building (new) buildings anymore. We have a terrific stock of buildings that exist in this country already and we should be finding ways to reinvent what s already been built instead of tearing them down. (Publisher s Note -- refer to story starting on p. 106 for an example of how architectural firms s are beginning to turn their focus toward the renovation of older historic structures). A quick survey of the surrounding area finds new life in many of the century-old buildings and storefronts. The area just north of Procter & Gamble s headquarters is growing organically into the Eighth Street Design District attracting Cincinnati s creative class. From industrial interior and graphic design businesses to packaging and architectural design firms companies have been drawn to the neighborhood s century-old buildings many stocked with loft-like spaces and reasonable rents. Across the board our employees love it down here Sharp explained. We think others will as well KZF Design cincinnati 135 S Locally grown Two small businesses making a big impact Story by Bryan Wilson The world grows smaller while the Cincinnati community seems to be growing stronger and stronger. Over the last few years Cincinnati has been one of the top cities at the forefront of the nation s green initiatives. And thanks to this more than ever we are looking inwards when choosing where to allocate our hard earned spending power. Educated consumers are beginning to ask important questions that were virtually unheard of just a few decades ago. How was this product made How long will it last Where is it from Is this purchase good for the community The more that we question our suppliers the more answers we will find and the better our products will become. As a result of this Cincinnatians are being offered smarter and more environmentally friendly products and services. Procter & Gamble in fact has taken note of the concerns of their customers and created the Future Friendly Program an initiative designed to make small changes to their products and product packaging. Thus a small change that goes a long way in reducing the unnecessary waste of materials. Procter & Gamble s program shows that a green way of thinking is seeping into the corporate structure of businesses Photos by Jason Sandhage worldwide. But what about those smaller 100% locally owned businesses around town. Are they making concentrated efforts to go green and provide locally produced products in their stores Let s see. Greener Stock Located on Columbia Parkway in Columbia Tusculum Greener Stock provides Cincinnati s homes and businesses with eco-friendly and sustainable building products. Greener Stock s owner Heather Curless is no stranger to the local area. Having practiced architecture in Cincinnati for nearly a decade Heather started to become more and more aware of what environmentally friendly products were available and when she became comfortable enough that the products offered met the demand she decided to open her own shop in 2010. Coupled with the fact that Heather had her own concerns about the environment it was a match made in heaven. Greener Stock provides a number of locally produced products which include glazed sinks by local potter Scott Kelley art by Charley Harper and glass sun catchers by the Glass Refactory. But perhaps the the most important local resource 138 being green at the store is not a product. As an active member of the Cincinnati community Heather Curless says that a proprietor of a locally owned business has a higher stake in the viability of its surrounding community and will work hard to help build and maintain that viability. To this point Greener Stock offers a number of altruistic services from working with the Cincinnati Zoo s Saving Species program and providing a drop-off for electronics (ewaste) recycling to offering seminars and workshops on how you can create a more sustainable and efficient home and business. Almost as equally as important is the community building that takes place through locally owned businesses says Curless Not only is there a community created between the business owner and his her clients but also with the business owner and the surrounding community. Greener Stock also offers a wide variety of suppliers within a five-hundred mile radius who can provide you with the resources points that are needed when trying to achieve LEED certification in your home or business. Cincinnati community providing their loyal patrons with an array of eco-friendly merchandise. Offering products that range from coffee and tea to non-toxic baby gear Park Vine shines a large spotlight on locally produced products from such vendors as Beiersdorfer Orchards Marble Hill Provisions Melt Picnic and Pantry La Terza Phro Zen and many more. We emphasize our local ownership and community roots. It s an essential part of our identity says Korman. From its colorful hand painted mural greeting customers as they walk in the door to the cozy energy bar Park Vine is more than just a source for local fare. The store has become a gathering point for Cincinnatians looking for positive change in the community. Active in such initiatives as Cincinnati Earth day and Cincinnati Unchained Park Vine is doing more than just providing a place to shop. Buying local is always great for the economy but buying from local green businesses is even better. Greener Stock and Park Vine are just two Cincinnati businesses doing their part in helping to create a better Cincinnati. With their ongoing efforts in local initiatives and purchasing as many of their products from local providers they are ensuring that a consumer s purchase has more positive local impact than compared to a purchase from a large chain retailer. Plus the pleasure of walking into a local unique business and seeing a friendly and recognizable face is something that some of those other stores cannot offer. Support the growth of Cincinnati the strength of our community and the quality of our products by supporting local green companies. Park Vine For those of you who don t already know Dan Korman he is the owner of Park Vine on downtown s Main Street. Dan has been crowned by us as the lowest carbon man in Cincinnati (story p. 18) because he bikes everywhere he s a vegan he lives in a small small yet suitable apartment and as if that isn t enough he owns a green convenience store where he supplies the people of Cincinnati with local products and advice. If a business is only as green and as local as it s owner there is no need to look any further. Open since 2007 Park Vine has been very visible in the cincinnati 139 The fusion of comfort science & savings. Guaranteed. The GREENERGY Pros Matt Bryant and Bart Ash Energy Efficiency is More Accessible Than Ever. Going geothermal or solar is one of the best things you can do for yourself your home your wallet and the planet. Today geothermal and solar home systems are now more accessible and affordable than ever. Best of all the payoffs are immediate and long-lasting. Every Situation is Different. At Greenergy we understand every home and every situation is different. In understanding how everything works together we offer a balanced home energy saving solution that takes into account all of the factors of you your lifestyle and the place you call home. This approach gives our customers superior results over single source contractors seeking to provide only their particular product. If you follow our energy improvement recommendations you will save money -- guaranteed Complete Customer Satisfaction is Our Number One Goal. Greenergy works hard to make sure becoming more energy efficient is effortless and worry-free. With a combined 30 years of experience in the building material construction and HVAC industries we offer a variety of energy efficient and energy saving products and services including the Lennox SunSource Home Energy System and ClimateMaster Geothermal Heat Pump System. We will provide a unique solution customized to fit your family s needs now and years into the future. Additionally we provide all of the information you need concerning available tax incentives and credits as well as short-term and long-term paybacks. Green Energy. Two linked words that are no longer a contradiction in terms. OH OFFICE 513-446-8138 NKY OFFICE 859-652-4817 GEOTHERM AL SOL AR EN ERG Y EF F I C I EN C Y I M PROV EM EN TS INS ULAT ION Master license OH-46289 Master license KY-M05076 Extending the life cycle Fia recycles at the Cincinnati Zoo Story and photos by Jason Sandhage The act of recycling can be as simple as creating or buying a container and placing recyclables into that bin instead of the trash. Such a trivial pursuit that an explanation shouldn t be necessary and something so easy our children have no problem understanding and doing it. Yet according to Rumpke over 60% of materials that end up in the landfill could have been recycled. If it were up to Sophia Cifuentes all of this would change. Sophia is a champion recycler. In fact she recycles so much that she has even recycled her legal name and now prefers to be known as simply Fia. As the Sustainability Outreach Specialist at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden s Fia serves to educate the community about the benefits of being green and in using the greenest Zoo in America as a learning station she has a perfect working environment that others can learn from. With an increasingly long list of improvements the Cincinnati Zoo has certainly earned the title of the greenest Zoo in America. First of all the Zoo has reduced their water consumption from 225 million gallons to 98 million gallons a year via rain gardens pervious pavers fixing leaks vegetated roofs changing behaviors using rain water to wash and provide drinking water for their animals. Secondly they have obtained LEED certification on four of their projects including the LEED Platinum entryway. Finally by changing all their nearly two million lights for the Festival of Lights to more efficient LED options and with the newly constructed 1.56 megawatt Melink Solar Canopy the largest publicly accessible urban array in the Fia Cifuentes is a champion recycler both at home and the Cincinnati Zoo. 144 being green nation the Cincinnati Zoo has dramatically reduced their energy consumption and their reliance on non-renewable energy sources. Any single one of these efforts would be a huge accomplishment for another organization but combined words simply can t explain how bright a light the Cincinnati Zoo shines on Cincinnati s green accomplishments. It s really no surprise that Fia is doing work to decrease the environmental impact of the zoo and at her own home. I started to realize our impact when I was in the fifth or sixth grade and we visited the Cleveland Zoo. There was a rainforest decimation exhibit that really struck a chord with her and ever since she has not only been trying to recycle everything she could but while at Miami University she would urge her roommates to recycle by placing a bin right next to the trash and getting after them if they didn t follow suit. For many the thought of recycling doesn t even cross their mind until they ve used a product and it s time to get rid of it. But with Fia recycling begins before an item is even purchased. You can do the same by asking yourself 3 simple questions. 1. Is it recyclable 2. Is it reusable 3. Is it compostable The Saving Species program at the zoo encourages visitors to save a gorilla by recycling their old cell phones. If all of the answers are no check and see if there is a comparable product that you can answer yes to. If not maybe you don t need it. After all one of the best ways to reduce waste is to lessen one s overall consumption in the first place and by reducing the need for packaging visits to the store by buying in bulk. Back at the Cincinnati Zoo recycling continues. One of the most interesting and funny efforts is the Zoo Doo program. According to Executive Director Thane Maynard the elephant yard alone creates nearly 800 lbs of poop per day and that overall they figure there s around a million pounds of poop to clean up each and every year collected from some of the larger animals exhibits -- elephants giraffes rhinos camels horses. What used to be sent to the landfill is now being sent to the compost yard at Marvin s Organic Gardens in Lebanon. Making the Cincinnati Zoo number one at number two. Showcasing one more creative achievement that adds to their efforts. In addition to the millions who visit the Cincinnati Zoo every year the zoo has many employees and it goes without saying that there is also a lot of waste. As part of her job as the Sustainability Outreach Specialist Fia encourages and handles their recycling efforts. She collects plastic bags and lids newspapers styrofoam electronic waste (e-waste) batteries CFL and florescent tubes and more then delivers or sends those items to the appropriate recycling locations around town. One of which is Whole Foods who has a program called Gimme 5 where they accept and recycle 5 plastics usually found in the containers of yogurt cottage cheese hummus medicine bottles etc.. These products are then recycled into common household products. As part of their Saving Species program the Cincinnati Zoo has a eco-cell initiative in which they ask visitors to help save a gorilla by bringing in their old cell phones and recycling them at one of the drop off bins located next to the entryway and in the gorilla exhibit. Cell phones contain a mineral that is mined where gorillas live so by recycling a cell phone you can help to preserve their natural habitat. Most of us don t like to bring our work home with us but Fia doesn t mind. In fact she enjoys it. Fia figures that through composting recycling reuse and a little bit of thought on the front end that 85% of what she buys is not sent to the landfill. Well above the national average. When my husband and I lived in Fairfield explains Fia we could go 2-3 weeks without putting out the trash. As Fia and the Cincinnati Zoo have shown there are a variety of ways that we can extend the life of our products our rain and even the zoo s poo past their conceived usefulness. While you re reading this picture Fia striding into her kitchen and performing a 180 degree turn away from her trash can and slamming that recyclable into the 3 foot rim that is her recycling bin. Fia smiles. The crowd cheers. She s a champion and so is the zoo. cincinnati 145 The B ES T RO O F S of C I N C I N N AT I When contractors or homeowners want the best in quality and workmanship they call D.M. Norris Roofing. Specializing in sustainable roofing solutions. D.M. NORRIS ROOFING has been owned and operated by Dave Norris since 1984. We specialize in commercial and residential roofing using materials that many other roofing companies will not use such as slate tile and terra-cotta and in sustainable (green) roofing solutions. Our number one priority is quality. The core of our employee force has been at our company for the last five years which is a rarity in our industry. We are also fully insured and offer a labor guarantee for five years at the completion of every project. OUR CLIENTS INCLUDE Hundreds of homeowners HGC Construction Company Dallman and Bohl General Contractors RWA Architects St. Ursula Academy Summit Country Day School Paul Muller Architect St. Mary s Cincinnati Public Schools University of Cincinnati Carnegie Arts Center Cintas Storage Center Kenwood Country Club J.A. Smith Construction Company Allen Builders Tim Jeckering Architects Inc. F.W.B. Construction St. Monica and St. George Church Greater Cincinnati International Airport Coldstream Country Club D.M. NORRIS ROOFING Telephone 513- 941-3600 Check us out with the Better Business Bureau and Angie s List. New tools A person acquainted with old regional stereotypes might assume that the centers of knowledge learning and training for America s shift to sustainability would be on the East or West coasts. Things happen slower in the Midwest -- or so the reasoning goes -- so would there really be much innovation taking place in a city like Cincinnati In fact the old stereotype is the furthest thing from the truth in the realm of sustainability education. Some of the city s best-known institutions are stepping up in a big way to train a workforce of experts and thought leaders in sustainable practices. Whether in practical job training design and theoretical investigation or in the actual practices of their campuses Cincinnati State Technical College and the University of Cincinnati are fostering education in all aspects of sustainable culture and industry. for the toolbox major program but industry professionals are enrolling to sharpen and update their skills. It s a mix he said. The younger ones learn from the experience of the older and the older ones get introduced to the new technology. Feist noted that his programs have also seen shifts in the types -- and numbers -- of students attending. The traditional two-year engineering students - early- to mid-20s white males -- have been joined by a mix of men and women of all races and ages some coming from as far away as Cleveland and Oregon for the hands-on applied training. The demographics are definitely different he said. Cincinnati State does a really good job at diversity but these programs are doing even more. It s exciting. Wells program is in its first year of operation but he noted that the college s strong focus on developing marketable skills is already making it pay dividends a number of the students scheduled to graduate in June have landed jobs with area companies. They re doing very well he said but it s not just design firms. Local firms that have design divisions see the value in this as well. Feist added that many electro-mechanical engineering graduates take more traditional positions but quickly find ways to put their green technology skills to use. They might work at a traditional facility with the ability to apply their skills to cut energy bills. It adds value to them as employees. Education for a sustainable future Story by Matt Cunningham Accessibility and opportunity Over the past five years Cincinnati State has expanded its degree and certificate programs to include majors covering everything from energy efficiency to storm water management and smart grid technology. Larry Feist chair of electromechanical and power systems engineering programs said the programs take a very practical approach to environmentally conscious technologies they re simply new tools to go into students toolboxes. I don t think anyone s allowing the technology to be as accessible as we are he said. At a community college we can make it tangible and accessible. Feist explained that Cincinnati State classes treat green technology such as photovoltaic arrays and wind generators in the same way they ve treated power transmission equipment for years. The fundamentals of electro-mechanical engineering ring true for both he said one could argue the new programs and classes are simply adapting to the changing work environment that students will face when they graduate. This (technology) is part of the equation from here on out he said. These are new tools or tools that are re-emerging -- let s address them. Ralph Wells program chair for the college s sustainable design and architecture program said he has seen a new type of student enrolling in his classes. Not only are students moving into it after completing Cincinnati State s two-year architectural Industry takes note Interest in these types of employees is also generating new support for Cincinnati State students. Milford-based Melink Corporation which installed the Cincinnati Zoo s massive solar array has established a scholarship program with Cincinnati State to cultivate a solar-savvy technical workforce. There s kind of a bottleneck in the sink right now said Melink CFO Donna Jones. She explained that to qualify for grant funding many solar projects need to be run by a certified installer. But installers can only be certified after completing both classroom and field-experience training. Consequently some solar projects have been put on hold despite the availability of interested-but yet-to-be-certified-installers. 148 being green Green space at Cincinnati State s campus in Clifton. Melink s scholarships -- which are available to applicants from Cincinnati s Uptown area -- help support students as they go through the training process that could lead to their becoming certified installers. The first three recipients recently took their certification exams said Jones and have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working on the largest publicly accessible photovoltaic array in the nation. We wanted to have a larger impact on the community to help create and develop a supply chain around renewable and solar technology she said. Our hope is people who go through the program will go on to create their own businesses so they can become future installers. Feist added that another boost to graduates job prospects comes from the state level. There are currently about 163 companies in Ohio that manufacture components for photovoltaic wind and solar-thermal systems. Many of those companies are working to meet utility demands in the wake of Ohio Senate Bill 221 which requires utilities to incorporate an increasing amount of renewable energy sources into their portfolios. All of these things are being made in normal electromechanical facilities Feist noted. Some (students) are going to companies that are researching this technology and they re getting jobs over someone else. 150 being green Commitment through action Cincinnati State s job- and skill-oriented approach to green isn t the only tactic local universities are using to address sustainability. At the University of Cincinnati being green is as much about what s happening outside the classroom as it is about what s being taught. One needs only to take a walk through UC s main campus to see some of its most prominent commitments to sustainability. Since 2004 the university has built or renovated six buildings that meet or exceed LEED certification standards. The university s 2010 renovation of the Teacher s College building earned LEED Silver certification and the CARE Crawley building located on UC s medical campus earned not only LEED Gold certification but also awards and commendations for its innovative architecture. The drive to invest in sustainable building design stems Opposite top Learning about horticulture in the greenhouse at Cincinnati State. Opposite bottom left Solar installation at Mt. Airy Park putting their training to use in the field. Opposite bottom right Larry Feist explains the benefits of solar power in the Renewable Energy Lab on campus. Below The Joseph A. Steger Student Life Center at more than 800 feet in length and only 40 feet wide is one of the most interesting buildings on UC s main campus. Student groups and organizations that meet here enjoy the shading provided by the Certified LEED building. from the University s Sustainable Design Policy adopted in 2001. The policy specifies that all new construction and renovation should be built to LEED Silver standards or higher whenever possible. Campus landscaping is also changing with sustainability in mind the university is in the process of developing a storm water management master plan which will help the urban campus better manager runoff reducing the amount and rate of water that flows into the city s storm drains and sewers. The extracurricular sustainability at UC also goes beyond the buildings and grounds said Sustainability Coordinator Shawn Tubb. Sustainability is a concern for incoming students he said noting a recent study that 7 of 10 incoming freshmen polled said environmental awareness factored into their choice of school. And the university is adapting to meet these expectations. Some initiatives are mostly coming from students such as expanded recycling. That was largely because the students demanded it he said. Other projects such as composting and the incorporation of locally sourced food in menus also came out of student initiatives. The university has responded in kind he said by creating a number of sustainable opportunities. One of the most visible on campus is UC s bike-sharing program. Launched in 2010 the program gives students access to a no-cost source of zeroemissions transportation. Bikes are available for checkout from six -- soon to be seven -- locations on the main and medical campuses and UC s Bike Kitchen provides a resource for bike Photo courtesy of UC cincinnati 151 Photo courtesy of Brad Feinknopf maintenance on the university s main campus. The program helped UC earn an honorable mention in the League of American Bicyclists 2011 list of Bike Friendly Universities. Other UC initiatives include purchasing standards that encourage departments to buy products such as paper from sustainably harvested sources the elimination of food trays -- and the water and energy wasted cleaning them -- from campus dining halls and food planning that promotes items such as sustainably caught fish in campus menus. Tubb said the entire UC community has embraced these moves. The students are very receptive he said. It s a pretty synergistic relationship between students and the administration. Education to match the innovation UC s green initiatives don t stop at its impressive grounds or the forward-thinking programs that earned it a spot in the Photos on these pages courtesy of UC except where noted. 152 being green Above Van Wormer Hall the university s first library building saw a 10.7 million restoration which helped it achieve LEED Certified status. Opposite top left Overhead view of UC s main campus. In front of the football field one can see The Student Rec Center. The thin curved building to it s right is the Joseph A. Steger Student Life Center. Both buildings are LEED Certified. Opposite top right The CARE-Crawley Building located on UC s medical campus was designed with sustainability in mind and has earned not only LEED Gold certification from the USGBC but also awards and commendations for innovative architecture. A significant accomplishment for a energy intensive laboratory research building. Opposite bottom right A student is deep into her studies at the Starbucks attached to the Steger Student Life Center. Opposite bottom left Launched in 2010 UC s bike-sharing program gives students access to a no-cost source of zero-emissions transportation. Princeton Review s 2010 and 2011 Guides to 311 Green Colleges. The university also is home to a number of academic programs -- some long-standing and well known -- that prepare students for leadership roles in sustainabilityrelated careers. The UC College of Engineering s Center for Sustaining the Urban Environment launched a sustainable urban engineering minor in 2008 after survey research showed that a large number of students -- especially those in the College of Engineering -- wanted a program that focused on sustainability issues. The 30-credit-hour course covers a broad range of topics ranging from planning and management to economics and policy analysis. Its final capstone course involves students taking part in a multidisciplinary project such as working with Habitat for Humanity or Engineers Without Borders. And then there s the College of Design Architecture Art and Planning (DAAP). The past part of the acronym -- the School of Planning -- is ranked as the top such program in Ohio and 12th in the nation. It offers undergraduate graduate and doctoral degrees in urban planning urban studies and regional development and is one of the largest such programs in the U.S. Planning -- the profession of developing innovative ways to manage communities -- inherently takes on a green aspect in areas such as resource use sustainability and protection of environmental resources in a given community. The programs certainly cover topics that go beyond green and sustainable practices but their commitment to staying on the forefront of this rapidly growing field means that sustainability and environmental awareness are an integrated part of the courses of study. Something for everyone UC and Cincinnati State offer their sustainability environmental engineering and green technology courses almost within walking distance of each other. So does that mean there s fierce competition for green-minded students in Clifton Not necessarily. Feist explained that most four-year programs that touch on environmentally related topics focus on theoretical approaches to the subject while Cincinnati State s focus is more on application Planners may develop new ideas at UC while technicians at Cincinnati State will learn the nuts and bolts -- literally -- of making those ideas a reality. For industry to fully adopt sustainable practices it needs both sides of that equation. And from that perspective there are few places in the Midwest that can offer green opportunities for students quite like the two institutions in Clifton. cincinnati 153 What is green To a zoo it s harnessing the power of the sun. For a kid it s going fishing For an architect it s sustainable design For a company it makes good business sense To gardeners it s digging around in the dirt For a teacher it s riding a bike To a college it s education and training For a couple it s living downtown To brothers it s a cool new car Green is a lot of things to a lot of people. What is it to you cincinnati 155 K E E P I N G C I N C I N N AT I G R E E N S I N C E 1 9 2 3 Most people in Cincinnati know us for our Virgin MULCH Shredded Topsoil and Midnight Magic Mulches but that s not all we do. For the past 87 years we ve been at the forefront of recycling construction and TOPSOIL demolition waste in Cincinnati. In 2009 alone we diverted over 225 000 tons of material from local landfills. These reclaimed materials helped fuel COMPOST our local economy by providing recycled aggregate for roadway and foundation construction reusable G R AV E L lumber for new construction and remodeling and scrap steel that entered the world market through local buyers. W W W. H A F N E R S . C O M WHETHER YOUR NEXT PROJECT INVOLVES LANDSCAPING NEW CONSTRUCTION OR REMODELING HAFNERS CAN HELP YOU KEEP IT GREEN. H. Hafner and Sons Inc. 5 4 4 5 Wo o s t e r P i k e Cincinnati OH 45226 513.321.1895