Living green, by design

4 08 2007

Urban Core International BlogOne home is efficient and thrifty. The other is stylish and opulent.

DONNA SIDER painstakingly renovated her 1,000-square-foot Pasadena home to be more energy-efficient as a way to save money and help the environment at the same time.

Jeffrey Eyster built an eco-friendly, 2,200-square-foot dream house in the hills above Laurel Canyon, in tune with his appreciation of fine architecture, superior materials and healthful living.

Eyster’s home demonstrates that luxury and cutting-edge design can be integral to environmental construction.

Sider’s is proof that going green doesn’t require a lot of gold. Their efforts can serve as examples to homeowners who want to fight global warming or trim their household expenses, or both. And the payoffs in both areas are substantial, environmental leaders say.

“Forty percent of America’s carbon emissions comes from buildings — almost half — and utility bills are a major factor in household bankruptcy,” said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club. “You can reduce your utility bill by 50% or 60% relatively easily. That’s one-fifth of the total carbon emissions today. It’s a huge part of what we have to do.”

Making those eco-friendly changes at home has become simpler and more affordable.

“Five years ago, the environmentally healthier or higher-performing building materials and products were harder to find. It was still a niche market, and they were more expensive,” said Charles Lockwood, a Santa Monica-based environmental real estate consultant. “Now, you see Home Depot offering eco-options.

“This brings it down to everyday Americans. You don’t have to go to a special place to find it. It’s right there and at a good price.”

Home builders and buyers also have a better way of identifying environmentally friendly homes, thanks to the U.S. Green Building Council’s seal of approval.

The group’s residential Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System will be formally launched this fall after a two-year pilot program. It was designed to encourage builders to keep the costs of green homes similar to those of traditional new houses, the council said.

To get the group’s most basic certification, a builder would have to spend about 3% more, or $10,000 on a $300,000 home, the national average price for a new house. Amortized over a 30-year mortgage, that extra $70 a month is easily made up in energy savings, said Jay Hall, acting director of the homes program.

“If they cost the same on a monthly basis, which one would you rather have?” Hall asked.

Sider already has answered that one. “I wanted to be a part of doing what I could in my own home to make these changes,” she said.

Sider’s long road to transforming her two-bedroom home began shortly after she bought it in 1999. With a limited budget, the 49-year-old registered nurse saved up and attacked her projects as she could afford them, doing much of the work herself and enlisting the aid of friends and family.

When she began her energy-saving projects, she paid about $200 every two months for water and power. When she finished, this summer, her bill had dropped to about $60.

Eyster, a 36-year-old architect, became a green believer when he was evaluating the costs of building a home on a 5,700-square-foot lot just off Laurel Canyon Boulevard near the Mount Olympus neighborhood. His wife, real estate agent Alla Furman, bought the lot five years ago for $30,000.

Eyster opted to save money by constructing beams from small pieces of Douglas fir pasted together with environmentally friendly glue. The engineered wood was easily carried up the steep hill, unlike large, old-growth timber, which would have required a crane.

“It didn’t start from a philosophical position,” Eyster said. “It just made sense.”

His bright and airy but compact house is all about making sense. The tiny 6-by-3-foot downstairs powder room with low-flow electric toilet maximizes space and water efficiency; LED track lamps throughout the house will last 40,000 hours, as opposed to old-style 2,000-to-5,000-hour bulbs.

By the time the couple and their two children moved in two months ago, the house’s cost had swelled to about $1.2 million, financed with a $600,000 construction loan and round after round of refinancing to free up cash for the project.

“I feel better knowing that paying for building and installing green products leads to a healthier lifestyle for my family, the greater community and the environment,” Eyster said.

Sider began her eco-renovation with the front yard. A landscape architect friend charged her a couple of hundred dollars to draw a plan that included adding more drought-tolerant plants and putting in trees to better shade the yard and the house.

Later, a landscaper added sod and sprinklers for a total cost of about $2,500

“Even that happened in stages, for affordability,” she said.

With a relatively small, hilly lot, Eyster designed a house that would bring the outdoors in. Twenty-foot-wide accordion glass doors on the north side roll away to give the living room a treehouse feel; a wall of windows on the west side provides a cross-breeze and helps to fill the house with sunlight.

Shades automatically rise and fall along with the sun’s placement in the sky to maximize sunlight and minimize heat, part of a $15,000 automation system.

The house’s “brain” — Eyster’s favorite eco-feature — also controls the electric lighting and the four-zone heat and air-conditioning scheme so that each is used only when needed.

“It can take some really complex things like exhaust fans, air conditioning and solar shades and juggle all of it when you’re not home,” he said, “so that the energy savings happen automatically.”

Sider’s version of power-saving lighting and windows consisted of switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs and double-pane windows — two of the cheapest and easiest green changes.

Fluorescent bulbs use up to 75% less energy, last about 12 times longer, stay cooler and, thanks to technical improvements in recent years, offer the same quality of light as incandescent bulbs.

Retail powerhouse Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which has thrown its weight behind the push for compact fluorescent light bulbs, says they save an average of $35 in energy over the long term. That means changing 30 bulbs in your house will save more than $1,000.

For Sider, replacing eight louvered windows in 2002 with energy-efficient dual-pane insulated glass cost $2,700, not including rebates from Pasadena Water & Power totaling about $200.

Sider made other changes that were equally at home in Eyster’s dream house.

She used the same hot-water technology as Eyster even before he did, adding a tankless heater in 2003 that cost about $500 at Home Depot. The device heats water as needed, rather than making it hot only to store it in a giant tank. No city rebate there, but Sider thought it was worth it anyway.

“Europe has had this for years,” she said. “The price got within range, and it was doable.”

Eyster’s tankless heater has yet to run out of steam, he said, despite frequent heavy use, such as two showers and a washing machine running simultaneously.

Not all of his cool enviro-features worked out quite so well, he acknowledged.

The drip-irrigation system on his hillside, designed to slowly leak water underground to feed the plants rather than spraying it in the air, has blown through the pipe joints more than 10 times, he said, most likely as a result of high water pressure.

“It’s been the biggest headache. The point is to save water, and yet when they explode, they spray water everywhere,” he said. “I probably just need to get a better regulator.”

Sider has no regrets about her environmental upgrades, which included a “dual flush” toilet, added in 2005. That new generation of commode lets users select one flush level for solid waste and another for liquids — an acknowledgment that some flushes require more water than others.

That change cost Sider about $320 and earned $80 from the city utility. She also added a new refrigerator for $650 and got a rebate of $150 from Pasadena because of the appliance’s Energy Star rating.

Replacing appliances as needed with those granted the Energy Star label by federal regulators is a simple step with dramatic potential upside. A home fully equipped with Energy Star products uses about 30% less energy than a home with standard appliances, the program’s administrators say.

Both homeowners also employed cotton-fiber insulation, Sider in her attic and Eyster through his entire house, including underneath the structure and between rooms.

Because the material doesn’t contain fiberglass, installation doesn’t require protective gloves, a respirator or goggles. So Sider and a friend were able to fit the insulation among her attic’s beams themselves. That cost her $900 but earned a $130 rebate from Pasadena.

Eyster spent about $5,000 on his material, as opposed to the roughly $2,000 it would have cost for traditional fiberglass insulation, he said.

But because he didn’t need special protective gear or skills, installation was much less expensive, bringing the total cost roughly in line with what he would have paid to go the standard route, he said.

In at least one area — solar power — the budget-minded Sider is ahead of Eyster.

For most people, the costs of photovoltaic panels are prohibitive, even with generous utility rebates and federal tax credits, said Hall of the Green Building Council.

“There’s a huge fad right now for photovoltaic systems, so any luxury home that’s considered green almost must have PV on it,” Hall said. “The irony is that PV is probably the least cost-effective thing you can do.”

Retrofitting a house to run entirely on energy from solar panels isn’t cheap, about $40,000 for a 2,000-square-foot property, Hall said.

Eyster designed his roof to accommodate solar panels but is waiting to install them until the price comes down.

But for Sider’s under-1,000-square-foot house, the investment in solar was big, but so was the payoff, she said.

Sider’s 12 low-profile PV panels take up about one-sixth of her roof. Sider said she paid for only half of the $12,500 system because she received a $4,400 city rebate and a $2,000 federal tax credit.

Now, she said, she uses only about half of the energy the system generates, even after adding a forced-air heating and cooling system to replace an aging, inefficient furnace.

“I have the meter on my back porch, and it’s fun to see how much I can save,” she said. “I like to see how little I can use.”

That’s the perfect attitude, said Lockwood, the Santa Monica consultant.

“It is a real disservice to give average Americans the idea that the only way to build an environmental house is in some kind of eco-chic,unattainable, unaffordable way,” he said. “That’s just not true.”


By Abigail Goldman, LA Times Staff Writer
abigail.goldman@latimes.com





Primer edificio verde de Panamá

1 08 2007

Urban Core International BlogFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Josef Newman, Urban Core International, S.A.

+507.399.9901

info@urbancoreintl.com

July 31, 2007, Panamá City, Panamá: Urban Core International announced today their premiere green building in Panamá, called “Urban Vista,” has been featured in the “lo nuevo” section of the July/August issue of espacios, one of the most highly respected real estate, construction, and design magazines in Panamá. Titled “Primer edificio verde de Panamá” (“First Green Building in Panamá”), the article continues,

“Estará en el barrio de Bella Vista. Se basará en los principios del programa LEED del Consejo de Edificios Verdes de Estados Unidos (United States Green Building Council). Cada apartamento permitirá respirar aire puro y reciclar agua. Contarán con acondicionadores de aire, electrodomésticos de alta eficiencia energética y tecnología inteligente: cableado estructurado para internet de alta velocidad, controles de iluminación y home automation.”

Urban Vista was carefully designed to provide residents with the latest in sustainable building techniques, smarthome technologies, and to promote a higher quality of life. Each apartment stands alone, a privileged home in the sky. The penthouse, the crown of the building, features two floors of pure luxury. With both interior and exterior social areas, a pool deck, fitness center and large gardens, Urban Vista residents will be the first in Panamá to truly experience the benefits of sustainability, privacy, and a healthier way of life.

About Urban Core:

Urban Core International, S.A. is focused on the development of boutique residential and commercial property in and around Urban Cores. Our mission is two fold; to develop sustainable, quality projects with a focus on strength through design and collaboration, and to provide project owners whom we represent with unparalleled project management services through hard work, collaboration, discipline and attention to detail.

 

At Urban Core, we believe that a building is more than simply the sum of its parts. It is a well-founded idea, one that has been reviewed from all angles, by all disciplines involved in the project. It is a home, and a part of a larger community that it impacts. Our goal is to make sure our buildings are not only successful projects, but are constructed in a manner that contributes to the community, while meeting the needs of the buildings owners and future occupants. Our work is guided by our values, which enable to ensure a projects success.

 

http://www.urbancoreintl.com [Web Site]

https://urbancore.wordpress.com [Blog]





Healthcare Sector Lags in Green Building Practices

11 07 2007

$28 billion worth of healthcare facilities are under construction in the United States here in 2007, but only six percent of those buildings will go green. In a report that was recently released by McGraw-Hill in cooperation with Turner and USGBC, practitioners cited a variety of factors for this unacceptably low statistic in such an enormous sector of the construction industry. While a majority of the participants in McGraw-Hill’s report “perceive[d] an energy cost savings of more than 10% in green facilities over traditional buildings,” seventy-six percent agreed with the statement that “green building creates an unjustifiable cost premium,” eight-two percent agreed with the statement that “we are not convinced on the ROI from green building,” and fifty-seven percent of respondents stated that “lack of knowledge about green techniques [is] the biggest obstacle to green building.” The American population is aging in an unprecedented fashion, and it’s absolutely imperative that industry professionals work to address- and ultimately dispel- these perceptions about green building in the healthcare context as the industry continues to expand dramatically over the course of the next decade.





Coming Up – World’s First ‘Zero-Carbon’ City

19 06 2007

Coming Up – World’s First ‘Zero-Carbon’ City

A city free of cars, pedestrian-friendly, powered by renewable energy and surrounded by wind and photovoltaic farms — all in the middle of a petroleum-rich desert. This five billion US dollar plan, which might do credit to a sci-fi film set, is envisaged for Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). When complete, in 2009, it will be the nearest thing yet to a zero-carbon, zero-waste city.

Using the traditional planning principles of a walled city, together with existing technologies to achieve sustainable development, this six sq km expanse will house an energy, science and technology community.

Called the Masdar (meaning ‘source’ in Arabic) Initiative, this ambitious plan for a ‘Green City’ is being driven by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, a private, joint stock company established and wholly-owned by Mubadala Development Company.

‘‘As the first major hydrocarbon-producing nation to take such a step, Abu Dhabi has established its leadership position by launching Masdar, a global cooperative platform for open engagement in the search for solutions to some of mankind’s most pressing issues — energy security, environment and truly sustainable human development,” Masdar chief executive Sultan Al Jaber said.

Abu Dhabi accounts for more than 90 percent of the UAE’s oil resources, and the country’s reserves, exceeding 100 billion barrels, ranked third largest in the world.

The ‘Green City’ will house the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, a graduate science and research institute that will be established in cooperation with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; world-class laboratories; commercial space for related-sector companies; light manufacturing facilities and a selected pool of international tenants who will invest, develop, and commercialise advanced energy technologies.

It will also host Masdar’s offices, residences for its staff, as well as a science museum and edutainment facilities. It is expected to house at least 50,000 people initially and as many as 100,000 eventually.

‘‘We are creating a synergetic environment; it is a true alternative energy cluster with researchers, students, scientists, business investment professionals, and policy makers in the same community. It will combine the talent, expertise and resources to enable the required technological breakthroughs,” Jaber explained to IPS.

To encourage people to be a part of this setup amid harsh weather conditions that witness temperatures soaring up to nearly 50 degrees Celsius during July and August, a pedestrian-friendly environment has been planned with narrow streets and shaded walkways. The maximum distance to the nearest transport link and amenities is likely to be no more than 200 m and will be complemented by a rapid personal transport system.

This self-sustaining city is expected to provide up to 1,500 companies with an attractive incentives package, including a one-stop shop programme for government services, transparent laws, 100 percent foreign ownership, tax-free environment, intellectual property protection and proximity to nearby manufactures, suppliers and markets.

Mohammed Raouf of the Gulf Research Centre, said the Abu Dhabi plan could be replicated and improed upon. ‘‘We need more than just ideas, thoughts and studies; we need ways to implement them effectively. Hopefully this initiative will trigger others in the region to follow suit.”

Though the Dubai-based environmentalist was sceptical about achieving ‘zero levels of carbon emissions’, he said, ‘‘There is no doubt this project will cut emissions drastically.”

According to a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the greenhouse effect on climate change in the Middle East region will increase the region’s temperatures by 1-2 degrees Celsius during the next 25 years. The ‘Green City’ plan is a part of Abu Dhabi’s decision in April 2006 to embrace renewable and sustainable energy technologies.

In another rsponsive initiative in March, the UAE signalled the commencement of a major national carbon dioxide emission reduction programme by announcing an initiative aimed at delivering a national carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) network.

It is estimated that the CCS network could reduce UAE’s carbon dioxide emissions by almost 40 percent, increase oil production by up to 10 percent and liberate large quantities of natural gas. This could be achieved through the separation of the gas from industrial and energy related sources and its transportation to oil reservoirs for enhanced oil recovery.

Announcing the plan, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, told the media, ‘‘We are a leading provider of energy for the world. As such we must, and do, recognise the responsibility to constantly seek out and incorporate technologies to make that provision more environmentally efficient.”

Abu Dhabi also plans to invest 350 million US dollars in a 100 megawatt solar power plant and hopes to tap into a growing global trend among environment-conscious investors. The plant will be expandable to 500 Mw with a target to generate enough power for 500,000 households.

‘‘As an environmentalist I am ready to pay more to live in a place where the quality of life is better. But, ordinary citizens, especially those in the low income group, do not care or understand this. Hence, it is important to keep the price of ‘green’ development affordable,” Raouf told IPS.

‘‘By attempting the first carbon neutral city in the world, Masdar is demonstrating its commitment to change the way the world understands energy and sustainable resource utilisation. One day all cities will be built like this,” Jaber added.





Basis Retains Urban Core as Owner’s Rep

12 06 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Urban Core International, S.A. 011.507.399.9901, info@urbancoreintl.com

June 12, 2007, Panamá City, Panamá: Urban Core International, S.A. announced today that it has been retained by BASIS International to provide owner’s representation and development services for two ocean-front developments in Panamá.

“BASIS has found amazing and unique properties, to which they have a vision to develop in an environmentally sensitive fashion by implementing sustainability and New Urban principles and practices in every aspect of their projects,” said Aaron Newman, Managing Partner for Urban Core International. “We are extremely excited to work with BASIS, a company that shares our vision and unwavering dedication to New Urbanism and green building,” Newman continued.

“We are looking to the future by investing and developing in socially responsible projects throughout Panamá,” said Brian Wagner, CEO of BASIS International. “Our belief is that there is an extremely large market of buyers who would prefer that their next property investment be conscious of social and environmental impacts that will provide significant value to their investment,” Wagner continued.

“Urban Core has the experience and resources to assist us in launching sustainable projects, critical to achieve energy efficiency and to lower operational costs,” said Jonathan Bernstein, Partner and CFO of BASIS International.

About Urban Core:
Urban Core International, S.A. is focused on the development of boutique residential and commercial property in and around Urban Cores. Our mission is two fold; to develop sustainable, quality projects with a focus on strength through design and collaboration, and to provide project owners whom we represent with unparalleled project management services through hard work, collaboration, discipline and attention to detail.

At Urban Core, we believe that a building is more than simply the sum of its parts. It is a well-founded idea, one that has been reviewed from all angles, by all disciplines involved in the project. It is a home, and a part of a larger community that it impacts. Our goal is to make sure our buildings are not only successful projects, but are constructed in a manner that contributes to the community, while meeting the needs of the buildings owners and future occupants. Our work is guided by our values, which enable to ensure a project’s success.

http://www.urbancoreintl.com [Web Site]

https://urbancore.wordpress.com [Blog]

http://podcast.urbancoreintl.com [Podcasts]

About BASIS:
BASIS International brings environmental and social accountability to real estate development. Our mission is to specialize in and offer highly sought-after, profitable investment and property ownership options that leverage the latest “green” technologies to be self-sustainable and to significantly reduce utility costs.

Working with local partners, BASIS brings innovative planning and creativity in designs centering on profit maximization while contributing and distributing benefits widely into local communities — in employment, education, health and business development. This social and profit-driven mandate attracts a broad range of public and private financial partners in a win-win strategy to achieve a unique return on investment (ROI) and social accountability.

Basis Retains Urban Core as Owner’s Rep





El nuevo de la plaza

17 04 2007

El nuevo de la plaza

Está dispuesto a tomar riesgos y enfrentar cambios. A sus 29 años, Aaron Newman quiere adueñarse del concepto de “construcciones verdes” en Panamá

Yolanda Sandoval
ysandoval@prensa.com

Aaron Newman es un hombre que no le teme a los cambios radicales. A finales de la década de 1990 abandonó Nueva York para vivir en Miami, y dejó el negocio de la publicidad por el de bienes raíces.

Con estas referencias no era nada raro que en esa búsqueda de más retos le diera a su vida un giro de 180 grados y su brújula apuntara hacia un pequeño país latinoamericano.

Su empresa, Urban Core International, se había identificado en Estados Unidos como una promotora de proyectos residenciales tipo boutique, y Panamá, de acuerdo con su filosofía del negocio, era el “paraíso” de las oportunidades.

“El mercado de bienes raíces en Estados Unidos estaba debilitado, mientras que en Panamá el negocio se veía cada día más fortalecido”, afirma.

Llegó al país hace nueve meses y dice que a diferencia de algunos especuladores, ha venido a quedarse. “Echaré raíces. No pretendo ganar dinero e irme”.

Su decisión de instalarse en el país estuvo respaldada por el crecimiento económico, las construcciones de talla mundial que anuncian que algo bueno tiene la ciudad, el proyecto de ampliación del Canal en ciernes y la consolidación y presencia de los bancos más importantes del mundo.

Hay sobradas ventajas para su negocio, pero también mucha competencia, sobre todo para alguien que aunque hizo un nombre en Palm Beach, Boca Ratón y Fort Lauderdale, localmente es casi desconocido.

La propuesta de Newman es

desarrollar proyectos sostenibles y proporcionarle a los dueños de estos proyectos un servicio de administración.

Hace dos meses anunció que se encuentra en las primeras etapas del desarrollo del primer edificio verde de la ciudad de Panamá, en el corregimiento de Bella Vista. Estaría localizado a unas cuadras de la avenida Balboa y el Parque Urracá.

Se conoce que el edificio sería el primero en ofrecer la integración de los principios expuestos por el programa LEED del Consejo de Edificios Verdes de Estados Unidos, un estándar reconocido para el diseño sostenible. Sin embargo, faltan los permisos reglamentarios de construcción, lo que impide que Newman hable con soltura del proyecto.

Como fundador y socio administrativo de Urban Core International, ha estado involucrado en la adquisición de tierras y asesoría para la urbanización de zonas especiales en Estados Unidos. Uno de sus desafíos será introducir el concepto de “construcciones verdes”, con el que localmente estamos poco familiarizados.

Se trata de edificios que causan el menor uso posible de energía no renovable, producen menos contaminación y residuos y, por ende resultan más cómodos, saludables y seguros para las personas que viven y trabajan en ellos.

El tema es que estas edificaciones, aunque a la larga generan ahorro de energía para sus habitantes y mejor calidad de vida, salen algo más caras que las construcciones tradicionales.

Es la primera vez que su empresa promueve un edificio con estas características, pero Newman afirma que ha hecho consultorías para de-sarrolladores que ponen en práctica el mismo modelo de ingeniería.

Su experiencia incluye el cargo de secretario del distrito de Desarrollo Comunitario de Midtown, Miami, en donde ayudó a la ejecución y

desarrollo de proyectos. Adicionalmente estuvo en el comité consultor de la ciudad de West Palm Beach, donde participó en el establecimiento de planes de revitalización de la ciudad a largo plazo.

“Nuestra meta es que nuestros edificios contribuyan positivamente a la comunidad. Al mismo tiempo deben cumplir con las necesidades de los dueños de edificios y ocupantes futuros”, subraya.

Antes de entrar en el negocio de bienes raíces, Newman fundó y sirvió como principal administrativo de WaxDigital, Inc., una firma de mercadeo y consultoría de publicidad localizada en Nueva York. De esa etapa de su vida quedan buenos recuerdos. En WaxDigital formó numerosas relaciones con compañías de Fortune 500 y Fortune 1000.

Ahora su reto será probar que vale la pena pagar por un apartamento amigable con el medio ambiente. Su intuición le indica que en Panamá encontrará clientes.

Perfil

Trayectoria

Newman es miembro activo del Congreso para el Nuevo Urbanismo. También es simpatizante del Urban Land Institute en Estados Unidos.

Es corredor de hipotecas y administrador de propiedades con licencia para operar en Florida.

Fue nombrado como uno de los mejores empresarios por Crain’s New York Business.

Según Newman las ideas se realizan cuando grandes personas se unen.





Urban Core retains Sequil Systems, Inc. to certify Panamá’s first LEED certified building

13 04 2007

April 13, 2007, Panamá City, Panamá:  Urban Core International, S.A. announced today that it has retained the services of Boca Raton, Florida based Sequil Systems, Inc., to commission and certify the “Urban Vista” project in the Bella Vista neighborhood of Panamá City, Panamá. Urban Core is striving to achieve the USGBC LEED Silver certification. Aaron Newman, Managing Partner of Urban Core International, S.A., as well as the project developer and owner, stated that Urban Vista is slated to be Panamá’s first LEED certified project and that “bringing Sequil on-board was like putting one of the most important pieces of the puzzle into place.” “We are very excited to work with Sequil,” Aaron Newman continued. “Sequil is a company with tremendous experience in LEED commissioning and certification.  Their talent and integrity speaks for itself.”

About the USGBC LEED Program:
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

About Sequil Systems, Inc.:
Sequil brings together over 20 years of experience in Architecture, Engineering, Design and Program Management.  Our LEED Accredited Professionals have proven knowledge, skills and experience to guide your project to sustainability in a cost- effective manner.

Sequil’s Mission is to transform the built environment to sustainable, responsible, healthy structures to minimize the use of precious energy, materials and resources in buildings today.

About Urban Core International, S.A.:
Urban Core International, S.A. is focused on the development of boutique residential and commercial property in and around Urban Cores. Our mission is two fold; to develop sustainable, quality projects with a focus on strength through design and collaboration, and to provide project owners whom we represent with unparalleled project management services through hard work, collaboration, discipline and attention to detail.

At Urban Core, we believe that a building is more than simply the sum of its parts. It is a well-founded idea, one that has been reviewed from all angles, by all disciplines involved in the project. It is a home, and a part of a larger community that it impacts. Our goal is to make sure our buildings are not only successful projects, but are constructed in a manner that contributes to the community, while meeting the needs of the buildings owners and future occupants. Our work is guided by our values, which enable to ensure a project’s success.