Opening Coasts to Off Shore Drilling- Oops! Drilling in all the Wrong Places!

Here we go again!

First, nearly all oil will be for export simply to enrich executives and ownership of  oil companies. Secondly, we are once again exposing ourselves to enormous environmental and economic disasters and not in one place but all along our all our coasts. As we saw with Deep Water Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, the costs of cleanup cut across all scales of the economy from the small local business owner, particularly fishermen, to the entire local economy with devastating long term social damage as well.   

Lastly,  we are doing so ignoring the largest fuel reserves in plain sight and daily use.  It dwarfs in size off shore drilling with  totally beneficial long term effects in jobs and health across all sectors of our economy.  It is released by creating, drilling for, energy efficiency in buildings. There is documented enormous potential. It has been appropriately described as Negawatts, the energy no longer needed, negative energy.

In 2010 deeply disturbed by the Gulf of Mexico disaster,  I researched and published an article comparing the total energy from the Gulf to what could be achieved with building energy efficiency and did not even capture all building sectors. It dwarfed the amount of energy from the Gulf. A huge side benefit at that time with unemployment at 10% or more was a huge employment boost.

10 years later it is timely to revisit the article “Oops! We’ve been Drilling in the Wrong Place!”


Building sustainability into professional practice so it is like breathing air

I have met a few architects who never discuss "Green" or "Sustainability" with their clients. They simply design that way. Their clients may or may not be aware of the value they are getting.  The objectives discussed are the metrics of clean air, wellness, comfort and low energy costs as integrated with the aesthetics. This should apply to all members of the project team extending to all other consultants.

Architecture2030 posted a link to an article of the Living Building Chronicle that addresses the this concept for architects, but it applies to all of us in project development

Photo by AdirondackZack/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by AdirondackZack/iStock / Getty Images



For More Information: Herb Greenebaum, Ondamark LLC203-732-4775 Experts to Make a Case Why Energy-Efficient Building Makes Sound Financial Sense for Developers on “Greenwich Matters” Radio Program  Executive Director of Stamford Architecture 2030 Building District, Founder/Principal of Chandler llc developer of High Performance Buildings and Key Market Influencer Join Sustainability Advocate Mark Betz and


We are glad to be listed among the top 500 influencers/players on Twitter in the sustainable built environment!   Not only do we preach, we practice. This recent project for a client was redevelopment of tired New England farm with new energy efficient home for owners coupled with permaculture inspired organic farming.

Attract Tenants 

Attract Tenants

Today's tenants understand and are looking for the benefits that LEED-certified spaces have to offer. The new Class A office space is green; lease-up rates for green buildings typically range from average to 20 percent above average.

Cost Effective

  • Owners of green buildings reported that their ROI improved by 19.2% on average for existing building green projects and 9.9% on average for new projects.
  • Operating costs decreased by 13.6% for new construction and 8.5% for existing building projects.
  • Building value increased by 10.9% for new construction and 6.8% for existing building projects.
  • Increased asset valuation: New green building projects 5%; Green building retrofits 4%.

Increased Productivity and Worker Satisfaction

  • Recently conducted scholarly research in the field of behavioral psychology has also found that companies that adopt more rigorous environmental standards are associated with higher labor productivity—an average of 16% higher–than non-green firms.

Better Health Standards for Commercial Building Tenants

  • People in the U.S. spend about 90% of their time indoors23. EPA studies indicate indoor levels of pollutants may be up to ten times higher than outdoor levels
  • In terms of health care costs, building retrofits which improved the indoor environment of a building resulted in reductions of: communicable respiratory diseases of 9-20%; allergies and asthma of 18-25%; and non-specific health and discomfort effects of 20-50%.

Increased Rental Rates

  • A business case study examining the San Diego real estate market showed that the overall vacancy rate for green buildings was 4 percent lower than for non-green properties—11.7 percent, compared to 15.7 percent—and that LEED-certified buildings routinely commanded the highest rents.
  • Lux Research’s found that buildings with LEED Gold certification significantly outperformed their peers. In one prominent California example, LEED Gold certification resulted in $4.1 million in higher rental income to a model 80,000 square foot commercial building in Los Angeles.


"ICP creates a standard approach...The protocols will provide the investment community with the confidence that projects will yield actual benefits and results similar to those that were predicted.”  

- Andrew Brooks, AEA

ICP Protocols

The core of the ICP methodology are the ICP Protocols that define a standardized road map of best practices for originating energy retrofits.  The ICP Protocols leverage existing and commonly accepted standards such as ASTM-BEPA, ASHRAE Guideline 14, and EVO-IPMVP in conjunction with ICP specified elements, procedures, and documentation based on the various stages of a project life-cycle to create standardized projects with reliable returns.


Church Retrofit - Stamford, Connecticut

Apartment Retrofit - Berkeley, California


OIC of New London


542 Westport Avenue Shopping Plaza


Energy Efficiency in Building Design and Construction

Energy Efficiency in Building Design and Construction

Buildings are large, long-lasting investments. Efficient buildings provide better social and financial returns.

The construction sector represents 10 percent of world GDP, 10 percent of the workforce, and, in emerging markets, will likely make up 16.7 percent of GDP by 2025. This is a lot of money spent on buildings. These are good, long-term investments, especially because buildings last 40 years or more and construction creates more jobs than other sectoral investments.