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]





Why Go Dark?

1 08 2007

Urban Core International BlogSince we launched our redesigned our Urban Core International website last month, people have been asking us about the untraditional darkness of our site. Why go dark? After a lot of research and great advice from some of our colleagues, we found that having a dark background instead of a light one helps reduce precious energy. Basically, what you read through your monitor takes more energy to display websites featured with “light” settings rather than “dark” ones. At Urban Core, we feel that having a “dark” website is in step with our beliefs of energy conservation, both on-line and in our projects.

Visit our site at: http://www.urbancoreintl.com





Recommended Reading To Promote “Green” Education

25 07 2007

Urban Core International BlogPanama City, Panama; July 25th, 2007:

Urban Core International, SA, announced today it has added a “Recommended Reading” section to the Urban Core International blog. The blog is located at urbancore.wordpress.com <https://urbancore.wordpress.com> . This new section highlights important books and texts Urban Core feels will enhance reader’s understanding and education of green practices today. Books include The Lazy Environmentalist by Josh Dorfman, Live Earth’s Global Warming Surviving Handbook, and The SmartCode V8.0, a guide to urban development and planning by Duany Plater-Zyberk and Company. New books and texts will be updated consistently. Urban Core hopes that by keeping readers informed of up-to-date information, they will be better consumers and live and work greener lives.

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.





Real Estate Execs Land ‘Responsible Property Investing’ Strategy

25 07 2007

Real Estate Execs Land ‘Responsible Property Investing’ Strategy

WASHINGTON, July 5, 2007 — More than 80 percent of real estate executives said their organizations are committed to going beyond the minimum legal requirements to address social or environmental issues according to a recent survey, and 90 percent of respondents said pursuing responsible property investing (RPI) strategies are an increasingly important business strategy.

The survey, conducted by the Urban Land Institute, shows that the real estate industry, including investing companies and developers, is increasingly adopting a “triple bottom line” business approach that measures success in terms of economic, social and environmental value.

RPI is an outgrowth of socially responsible investing that started several years ago and has grown into a broad movement encompassing far more than the financing and development of buildings that meet energy efficiency standards, according to Stephen Blank, a research at ULI. “This goes way beyond buying ‘green,'” Blank said. “RPI is about making a conscious decision to conduct all business operations in a way that contributes to the long-term well-being of the community and environment.”

Blank said the survey reveals just how many in the real estate industry have concluded that they can “do well by doing good” in terms of property investment choices, and that RPI is bringing about a definite shift in attitudes.

A company applying RPI practices might be willing to invest in existing structures and retrofit them to cut energy use and reduce their environmental footprint; Blank said that a firm working along those lines would also be apt to encourage environmentally responsible and community minded behavior by employees and tenants.

In a report documenting the survey results, University of Arizona professor Gary Pivo writes, “(RPI) encompasses a variety of efforts to contribute to ecological integrity, community development, or human fulfillment in the course of profitable real estate investing. A sustainable and responsible investor seeks to be an employer of choice, to improve neighborhoods, to conserve natural resources or to promote a more just society.”

The survey responses show that conservation is the most widespread RPI management strategy now being implemented.. Fifty-seven percent of the participants said they are promoting energy conservation, water conservation or recycling in properties they own or manage; 47 percent said they are engaging stakeholders with some connection to the properties, such neighborhood organizations, labor unions or environmental groups. Forty-four percent include references to community, human resource or environmental issues in their values or mission statement; and 43 percent pay attention to social or environmental issues in their strategic planning.

The survey also found that:

  • 63 percent said they have invested in urban infill or redeveloped properties and 16 percent said they are considering such investments;
  • 53 percent have invested in transit-oriented development, and 15 percent plan to do so;
  • 36 percent have invested in green buildings and 31 percent plan to;
  • 33 percent have invested and 16 more percent are considering investing in brownfields;
  • More than 35 percent of the respondents said they are aware that RPI practices are beneficial in terms of increased efficiency and lower costs for overall business operations;
  • More than 30 percent view RPI as providing a potential competitive advantage and are pursuing these practices primarily as a wise business strategy.

According to the survey, some of the biggest motivators behind the growth of RPI are increased potential ROI for enhancing social and environmental well-being, gaining a business advantage over competitors, and fulfillment of a moral obligation.

The survey was conducted between November 2006 and January 2007 by Pivo. It was sent to nearly 1,500 chief executive or real estate investment officers of U.S. pension funds with real estate holdings, real estate investment trusts (REITs), real estate operating companies (REOCs), fund managers and development companies.

The full survey is available from the Urban Land Institute [PDF].

Source: GreenerBuildings.com





Major Investors Take On Responsible Investment Strategies

25 07 2007

GENEVA, July 10, 2007 — A survey of the world’s biggest investors conducted by U.N. agencies has found that environmental, social and governance issues are now a key feature of investment policies and engagement strategies in global finance.

The Principles for Responsible Investment’s 2007 progress report is the first-ever global study to capture in great detail the ways that investors are integrating ESG issues within investment decision making practices. It found that 88 percent of investment managers who have signed the Principles for Responsible Investment are conducting at least some shareholder engagement on ESG issues, while 82 percent of asset owners are doing so.

“These findings demonstrate that a sea change in global investing is underway,” said James Gifford, Executive Director of the PRI Initiative, which includes more than 200 institutional investors representing more than $9 trillion in assets. “More and more mainstream investors understand that ESG issues can be material to long-term results and therefore must be factored into investment processes.” He added, “This report is ground-breaking. Never before have the responsible investment practices of institutional asset owners and managers been evaluated in such a systematic way.”

The PRI, which were created as a joint effort of the United Nations Environment Program’s Finance Initiative and the U.N.’s Global Compact, are a set of best practice, voluntary guidelines for institutional investors, helping them integrate ESG principles into daily operations.

PRI Chair Donald MacDonald said, “While signatories are making significant progress in implementing the Principles, we recognize that there is still a lot to be done. What is especially pleasing is that signatories are committed to increasing their responsible investment activities considerably during 2007. This year’s assessment is the beginning of an ongoing annual process that will be improved over time”.

Among the report’s other findings are:

  • 67 percent of asset owners and 83 percent of investment managers have adopted a formal policy on responsible investment – typically this is integrated within core investment policy statements. A further 15 percent of asset owners and 5 percent of investment managers plan to develop a policy in 2007.
  • Signatories have performed best in implementing Principle 2 (active ownership), followed by Principle 1 (integration of ESG issues into investment processes). Implementation of the other Principles is not as progressed.
  • 80 percent of asset owners report that they have communicated responsible investment issues and the PRI to their beneficiaries.
  • More than half of asset owner signatories made some reference to PRI-related requirements in requests for proposals, with another 23 percent planning to add PRI-related requirements in 2007. 18 percent of asset owner signatories are planning to ask their service providers to sign the PRI in 2007.

Source: GreenBiz.com





Urban Core International Launches Redesigned Website

12 07 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 12, 2007; Panamá City, Panamá: Urban Core International, SA, announced today the launch of the redesigned Urban Core International website, located at http://www.urbancoreintl.com. Based in Panamá City, Panamá, and with projects throughout Florida, Urban Core International’s site brings together all of the company’s accomplishments and information in a sleek, streamlined environment. The site contains a “Featured Projects” section, News and Press, interactive blog, and podcast as well as a thorough library and resource guide. A Spanish website is also in development as well.

Urban Core is a premier developer of boutique residential buildings and communities, and continues to be a leader in sustainable development. Among Urban Core’s current featured projects include Urban Vista , Panamá City’s first LEED-certified residential building. Located in the beautiful Bella Vista neighborhood, Urban Vista features smarthome technology, modern architecture, and luxurious, eco-conscious features as a zen garden deck, green roof, greywater recycling and recycled materials throughout. This is all contained within stunning 360 degree views of Panamá City, the Amador Causeway and lush surrounding countryside.

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 a 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 building’s owners and future occupants. Our work is guided by our values, which enable us to ensure a project’s success.





LEED Energy Performance Requirements to Increase

11 07 2007

JULY 11, 2007

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) membership has passed a vote to increase the standards that all projects must meet in order to become certified by the organization’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program.

Now, the projects must achieve at least two “Optimize Energy Performance” points, which the organization expects will improve energy performance of all LEED-certified buildings by 14 percent for new construction and seven percent for existing buildings. The change was sparked by USGBC’s desire to create solutions for climate change.

To help projects achieve the new energy reduction requirements, a prescriptive compliance path is currently under development as an alternative to energy modeling.

“Improving energy performance will immediately increase the LEED Green Building Rating System’s impact in reducing building energy related greenhouse gas emissions,” says Tom Hicks vice president of USGBC’s LEED program.

According to the organization, buildings are an important—and often overlooked—solution to climate change. They are responsible for nearly 40 percent of CO2 emissions in the country, due to energy use, water consumption and other operations. CO2, a greenhouse gas that is thought to be a contributor to climate change, has increased 18 percent since 1990 due to the rise in energy consumption, USGBC says.