CASA Header
In This Issue
Green Building Summit - A Success
More CASA News
Global Warming Climate Report
Time Magazine; April 28, 2008
The Clean Energy Scam
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Green Building Summit - A Success
2008 -APRIL 11-12

This year's program was called Green Building Summit, which is the third of the Open-Space programs, but it was decided to begin an annual event with a new name that would take place for the building community as a way to monitor success and new issues.
Sponsors included CASA, AIA New Mexico, USGBC, NAIOP and BuildGreen New Mexico.
Planners were Jean Gibson, Exec. Director, AIA New Mexico, Chris Kerlin, Exec. Director, USGBC New Mexico and myself.
On Friday evening at the reception, Lt Governor Diane Denish gave a keynote speech about her hopes for a continued Building Sustainability Program, and touted her work with Green Mortgages. She wants to make them available to many more income levels to encourage a discount for building energy saving homes.  Her campaign for Governor is just getting started and hearing about her ideas and hopes was important. This presentation was well received with many of the industry's leaders responding with high praise for her future ides.
On Saturday, we began with a discussion by the organizers, CASA, USGBC New Mexico, and AIA New Mexico reviewing successes of the past year; the issue of a state mandated energy savings increase by another 5% by 2015, Albuquerque Green Building Codes, Santa Fe Building Codes. The importance of unifying the Building Community to speak with one voice is a vision of this body in creating a blueprint for the future of New Mexico's built environment.
The program was divided into two distinct types of processes, with the morning session following the classic open-space technology format.
 Areas of concern in the morning session covered were varied, with areas discussed: water resource, water supply for building, clean energy, and metrics for the progress of green buildings. The other sessions related to education of the building owner, sustainability for existing buildings, and how to change values to embrace green issues.
The afternoon session was focused on making specific choices for subsequent actions about Building Codes, Education, and Legislative, and Making Green Building the Norm. Following the afternoon session a measure was taken to decide which actions were most important to focus on. Both sessions were full of important ideas and solutions.
Please go to our website for more information.
More CASA News

We have been asked by Steve Fischmann, a Las Cruces Green Building activist, and President of the Southwest Energy Alliance to bring another Green Building Summit to their city. We hope that it will happen in the late fall.
CASA has been awarded a grant from the Coalition for Clean and Affordable Energy (CCAE)to continue to work on the state's revision of the building codes and support the development of a Green Bureau at the Construction and Industry Division of the state's Licensing and Regulation Agency. This is a great challenge, and we are looking forward to making this a reality.
Howard Kaplan CASA Board President has been asked to give a presentation at the Lorman Sustainable Development Seminar, on August14th. He will present the issues associated with developing a Green Building Code in New Mexico. This AM presentation includes discussions on zoning, incentives, and the New Mexico Tax Credits. He will be presenting with Dale Dekker, AIA, and Katherine Martinez, Attorney. Other topics in this day long program include legal issues and the financial aspects of sustainable architecture and green building performance expectations.
Global Warming Climate Report
National Resource Defense Council and Rocky Mountain Climate Organization publish a report on the impact of global warming on the West's climate.

This report basically states that the climate in the western half of this country is warming by as much as 1.70F. The Rocky Mountain Climate Organization (RMCO) and the NRDC published a report in March that claimed that the" American West has heated up even more than the rest of the world as a whole. For the last five years (2003-2007), the global climate has averaged 1.0 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than its 20th century average. According to RMCO during this period, the 11 western states averaged 1.70F  warmer than its 20th century average- a 70% higher warming than for the world as a whole, along with more heat waves and more hot days increasing by up to four days per decade since 1950.
Other statistics include: California heat waves in 2006 killed at least 143 people with suspicions of higher numbers being investigated by the state government: Arizona diminished water volume at Lake Powell reservoir dropped by two-thirds between 2000 and 2005, and currently less than half-full; Washington's snowpack at Snoqualmie Pass did not reach is usual level of 92 inches, with no snow reported at all in 2005; Idaho had to cancel it's annual sage grouse hunting season after wildfires, in 2007, destroyed much of the bird's habitat; Wyoming has had a treacherous invasion of mountain pine beetles in the high country at Yellowstone, this threatens to eliminate the whitebark pines that provide an important food source for the grizzly bear in the area; New Mexico experienced a great loss of revenue due to lost livestock production from a record drought in 2002.
Water supplies in the semi-arid areas in the west affected by global warming conditions, such as heat trapping pollutants, have reduced snowpack with less snowfall, earlier snow melt, and more winter rain events with reduced summer flows. The Colorado River Basin has warmed more than any other area in the country. The lower volume of water for at least six states is now at half of what is was in the late 1970's.
See the full report.
Promote Green Buildings for Biggest, Easiest cuts in North American CO2 Emissions, says CEC Report

In March, in Vancouver, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) proclaimed that the promotion of green design, construction, renovation and operations could cut North American greenhouse emissions more cheaply and quickly than any other measure available.  North America's buildings, they say, cause a release of more then 2,200 mega tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, about 35% of the continent's total. They claim that a reduced CO2 emission of at least 1700 fewer megatons could be reached by 2030, employing sustainable measures.
The report "Green Building in North America: Opportunities and Challenges", is the outcome of a two year study by this organization, a committee established under NAFTA. Their efforts came from the urging of a body of international advisors of architects, developers, real estate appraisers and brokers, local and national governments representatives, and experts in the energy and sustainability areas. Executive Director, Adrian Vazquez is quoted as saying that using these tools and technology, "Green Building represents some of the ripest 'low-hanging fruit' for achieving significant reductions in climate change emissions."
Report authors feel that there are a number of disincentives to green building that must be overcome for developers to incur the marginal cost of green building features that the owner will then realize as an energy saving and therefore reduced energy cost in time. There are recommendations for accelerating the market uptake of green building and make it the standard practice for all new construction and renovation in North America. Among these they call upon governments, industry and nongovernmental leaders to:

  • Create national, multi-stakeholder task forces charged with achieving a vision for green building in North America;
  • Support the creation of a North American set of principles and planning tools for green building;
  • Set clear targets to achieve the most rapid possible adoption of green building in North America, including aggressive targets for carbon-neutral or net zero-energy buildings.
The entire report can be found on
This report is a project of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC)
Time Magazine; April 28, 2008
Why Green is the New Red, White and Blue

This is a great piece. It is full of statistics, and insights by Bryan Walsh, the author. He describes the challenge that Global warming poses to this country, where we stand in the international arena. There are terrific resources for some very sensible strategies to address CO2 reductions. He quotes Fred Krupp president of the NRDC as saying" I'm not saying the challenge isn't almost overwhelming, but this is America, and America has risen to these challenges before".

We produce 25% of all GHG! Just a reiteration to see it in print.
He is very pro cap and trade. He feels that putting a price on the ceiling of carbon output is as great way to make some research money, investment money. If the Warner-Lieberman bill gets passed, it would be a great beginning, however small, but something. The EPA said that the loss of only 1% from 2020 to 2030from the GDP would occur if this bill gets passed.
In April,  the International Monetary Fund  put out a study that claimed that smart carbon-cutting policies could contain climate changer without seriously harming the global economy.
See more at:,28804,1730759_1731383,00.html

The Clean Energy Scam

Again this article from Time Magazine is another good overview.
It deals with the Biofuel issue, and ethanol in particular. The piece talk about the "savannization" possibilities of the Amazon due to severe deforestation.

Phyllis Kaplan
CASA: A Center Advancing Sustainable Architecture