Progress in 2019

This year, a better environment and solutions to climate change were pursued locally, nationally, and internationally. In 2019, more lands were protected, more renewable energy was generated, and improvements in environmental design were experienced by more people than ever.


A new law extends protection to more land and waterways

The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act protects more than two million acres of public lands. Its name honors a recently-deceased member of Congress who had served for 59 years.

Among the protected areas, Joshua Tree National Park has been enlarged by 4,518 acres.  New national monuments were designated in four states, and more than a million new acres of western wilderness lands have been reserved.

The legislation also extended the Land and Water Conservation Fund and assured further protection to hundreds miles of designated Wild and Scenic Rivers.

A National Wildlife Federation article describes ways that the legislation protects public lands and waterways.


More renewable energy installations are brought on-line

In just three years, the number of solar installations in the United States doubled — from one million to more than two million today. The U.S. also ranks among the top three countries worldwide in wind turbine production. Those and other renewable energy sources have expanded as costs have decreased and environmental awareness has increased.

As of this year,  73% of the public acknowledges climate change. At least 156 global corporations have responded with their commitments to 100% renewable energy. Congress increased the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy budget to 2.38 billion.

PreScouter, a research intelligence firm, has published further details about wind and solar installations and the trends likely to cause continued growth in renewable energy.


Entire cities and communities seek better environmental design

The U. S. Green Building Council (USGBC) provides a framework for creating and maintaining healthy, energy-efficient, and cost saving buildings. That framework, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, is used in certifying more than 2.2 million square feet of buildings every day.

Beginning in 2016, LEED frameworks were implemented beyond buildings, for entire cities and communities. More than 160 cities and communities had certified or registered as USGBC LEED projects by July 2019. The benefits of environmental design now extend to the places where nearly 53 million people live.

The National Conference of State Legislators website describes the varied ways that bottle bills work, state-by-state.


Environmental design of an historic building is enhanced during renovations and repurposing

Constructed in 1926, the Grand Avenue Elementary School in Orlando, Florida served many generations of children. The now-historic building is being repurposed as a recreation center. Future generations will experience enhanced after-school programs, recreation, and sports activities.

Renovations will also enhance the historic building, making make it more energy-efficient and a healthier place for recreation.  LEED BD+C certification is in-progress.

Plans for new and expanded programs at the Grand Avenue Elementary School building are described on the City of Orlando Government website.


25th UN Climate Change Conference (COP 25)

December 2 – 13, 2019

Headquarters for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Bonn, Germany)

This year’s U.N. Climate Change conference — the 25th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 25) — convened in Madrid, Spain. Attendees reviewed progress toward goals and specified further implementation of the Kyoto Protocol (1997) and the Paris Agreement (2015). International negotiations considered vast, multi-faceted climate-related issues. These included technological developments, forestry and agricultural strategies, and concerns over impacts to oceans, indigenous peoples, and cities.

A Joint Statement and further reports from COP 25 are posted on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) website.

A Chief Sustainability and Resilience Officer (CSRO) is appointed for Orange County, Florida

Mayor Jerry Demings created the role of Chief Sustainability and Resilience Officer (CSRO) for Orange County. When announcing the appointment, Mayor Demings called for “work across the organization to develop a clear and compelling vision for community resilience and sustainability.” He further expressed that “measurable progress toward that vision” will be required.

As of December 16th, Jeff Benavides is  CSRO for Orange County. His pioneering work in launching award winning sustainability programs includes many projects with ecoPreserve over the last 10 years.

Mayor Demings announced the selection of Orange County’s CSRO in this press release.

Even after the many achievements of 2019, global environmental concerns will require response from countries, citizens, and organizations everywhere!

This year, ecoPreserve, LLC committed to carbon neutrality by 2030. Has your organization found ways to support U.N. Sustainable Development goals , reduce Greenhouse Gases (GhG), or achieve carbon neutrality? Those learnings and doings merit at least a mention in a future Sharing Sustainability newsletter. Please let us know about them by leaving a note on this website’s Contact page.

Alexa Stone
LEED AP, Sustainable Facility Professional, Envision Sustainability Professional - - Alexa has more than 25 years of experience in sustainable and Smart Cities development. Her strategic planning work has served local, state, and federal government, higher education, and private industry. Alexa founded ecoPreserve in 2009 as a team of 3 and has grown the company to over a dozen of the brightest sustainability and project management professionals in the industry.
Alexa Stone


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Facility Condition Report

The report is prepared in accordance with the recommendations of ASTM E2018-15, Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments. This is a partial list of contents:

    • General condition of the building, grounds, and appurtenances
    • Physical deficiencies, their significance, and suggested remedies
    • Photographs
    • Safety issues observed
    • Potential operating efficiencies
    • Electricity and water use reductions
    • High-efficiency interior and exterior lighting
    • Recommended interior finishes
    • Construction costs

Risk Mitigation Improvements

  • IAQ
    • Airflow
    • Temperature and humidity
    • Vertical transportation (escalators and elevators)
    • Settings
    • Conditions
    • Capability
    • Filtration
    • Traffic patterns
    • Placement for social distancing
    • Clear barriers where social distancing is not possible

Interior Elements

  • Foundation
  • Building frame and roof
  • Structural elements
    • Floors, walls, ceilings
    • Access and egress
    • Vertical transportation (escalators and elevators)
  • HVAC equipment and ductwork
  • Utilities
    • Electrical
    • Plumbing
  • Safety and fire protection

Grounds and Appurtenances

  • Façades or curtainwall
  • Topography
  • Storm water drainage
  • Paving, curbing, and parking
  • Flatwork
  • Landscaping
  • Recreational facilities
Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

AWARE of CDC and NIH guidelines

The Baseline Property Condition Assessments described in ASTM E2018-15 do not specify consideration of infectious disease transmission concerns. In a pandemic and post-pandemic environment, that inspection and documentation is essential.

Buildings open to the public must comply with local regulations. For best results and greatest public acceptance, any planning for building repairs and maintenance should not overlook current CDC and NIH guidelines.

Optionally, ecoPreserve's can assist with a comprehensive GBAC STAR™ Accreditation which extends beyond the building to include the goals, actions, equipment, and supplies needed to implement best practices for outbreak prevention, response, and recovery.

An OPTIMIZED Assessment

Certified Sustainability Consultants on a facility assessment team can discover ways to lower energy costs. Their understanding of HVAC equipment suitability and condition along with the specifics of LED lighting retrofits can provide offsets for needed investments in upgrades and replacements.

Knowledge of water systems can bring further savings while averting water waste. It can all be part of an assessment which might otherwise overlook water fixtures and irrigation schedules.

How should a facility be ASSESSED?

A thorough facility assessment finds the issues - on the surface or below - which have a potential negative impact on the building. That brings the facility to meet building codes. Beyond that, the assessment proactively addresses the deficiencies not covered by code.

The occupants of a building benefit as the assessment reveals conditions having a potential impact on their health or safety. The assessment must not overlook those conditions, nor fail to consider the frequency and duration of occupant visits.