SRCC GreenUp

College of Marin Academic Center expected to receive LEED Silver Green Building Cert. (NBBJ)

Calling all Building Owners, Corporate Lessees, Commercial RE & Facilities Managers, Architects, Developers & Sustainability Champions!GB

's Top Building Performance Experts will provide a briefing on how to cut operating costs and your carbon footprint, while growing building value and tapping new incentives and financing vehicles.

JOIN us Wednesday, January 27, from 5:30-7:30 pm for GREENBRIEF: BUILDING VALUE on Lessons from Marin's Top Performing Buildings
San Rafael Corporate Center, 750 Lindaro Street, San Rafael

Chris Yalonis, Chamber Green Business Committee Chair, Sonoma State Sustainability Professor
Steve Sheldon, President, USGBC Redwood Chapter
Alex Stadtner, President, Healthy Building Science
Dana Armanino, Marin County Green Building Programs Expert
Chris Robbins, Financing Expert and Managing Director, CleanFund
Presented by the San Rafael Chamber's Green Business Committee, with support by our great promotion sponsors: the City of San Rafael, Marin Builders Association, USGBC Redwood Chapter, CleanFund, Direct Current Solar, and Sustainable San Rafael.                 
Details and RSVP here
In This Issue:

Alex Stadtner, Sustainable San Rafael

Nicole Tai, GreenLynx

Upcoming Events:

January 25th

January 27th

February 10th 

March 3rd

Most agree, sticking to New Year's resolutions is a challenge.  So, keep it simple. 
If you could secure only one thing for you and yours' - wouldn't it be good health?
Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) is a critical element of sustainable buildings that was long overlooked. Like the evolution of building codes after significant building-related disasters, the design-build industry developed best practices for healthy buildings largely as a response to building-related illnesses and sick building syndrome. Now that we understand the importance of IEQ it should no longer play second fiddle to energy conservation.
Back to business. Studies have shown that shoppers will shop longer and spend more in stores with greater daylight. Shoppers are turned-off by chemical or musty smells, loud noises, and dusty environments. Retail stores wish for good sales just as service companies pray for high productivity. Investing in good IEQ delivers a strong ROI for every business type, and the returns often far outweigh investments in energy efficiency.
Now get back to your family. Between the office, home, and car, the average American spends more than 90% of their life indoors. We are more productive, happy, efficient, and sleep better with improved IEQ. 
Follow these 3 tips to improve your IEQ this year:
  • Stick to natural odorants and avoid the chemical cocktails in common plug-in odorizers and scented candles.
  • Ensure proper ventilation via an energy audit or a CO2 meter.
  • Address leaks or musty smells as quickly as possible.
And lastly, as much as a building consultant hates to say it, likely the single best thing you can do for your health is to go outside!

PG&E Savings by Design Program PGE

Savings By Design is an incentive program that pays owners to design and build a new space that exceeds Title 24 by 10% or more. New Construction includes: new buildings (Whole Building Approach), and gut rehabs and tenant improvements projects (Systems Approach) - no retrofits or replacements. Whole Building projects touch lighting, mechanical, and envelope. Design team incentives available in addition to the owner incentive. 

Systems Approach projects touch lighting or mechanical or envelope, design team incentives not available. Ideal project size is over 30,000 square feet of new construction and designs not yet submitted for permit. 

To submit a savings by design project complete and sign an application and turn it into your PG&E Account Representative. 

If you don't have an assigned PG&E contact, send an email to [email protected] and PG&E will help you get set up. You can visit the Savings By Design website at
Purposeful DeconstructionGL
Nicole Tai, GreenLynx

In addition to creating high performance buildings, the latest energy or water saving gadgets used in remodels or tenant improvements create a lot of waste when they are replaced. Recycling does occur for many items made of metal, but oftentimes removal of items coincides with gut remodels, resulting in materials with mixed material types that cannot be easily recycled and will be landfilled. Depending upon factors such as age, condition and quality, your discarded materials may be wanted and useful in another office or home.  Discarded materials can be upcycled into flooring, art or other useful products.
Deconstruction is an alternative process to demolition that seeks to salvage materials for reuse -- a higher and better use than recycling resulting in the reduction of more greenhouse gas emissions. Materials salvaged include: lumber, cabinetry, lighting and plumbing fixtures, flooring, doors and windows.  Deconstructing an entire structure typically results in one full tractor-trailer load of lumber and possibly another filled with interior finishes and fixtures!
Materials reuse on-site as well as the use of reclaimed materials is excellent green additions to any project. Many companies now incorporate some elements of reuse into their design, whether it is an accent wall of reclaimed wood or a counter made from historic doors.  In addition to saving an item from the landfill, putting reclaimed materials on display reminds us of our past and requires little energy input to reuse - think of all the logging or mining that was prevented when you reuse an item already in existence.
Your project can easily incorporate deconstruction:
  • Specify reuse as a goal in your contract with your Architect, Contractor or Project Management Company.
  • Determine whether you can benefit from a tax deduction of the materials.
  • Prioritize what materials should be / you would like repurposed.

Ways to Finance Your Green Building ProjectWays

PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) is an innovative financing structure to provide low-cost, long-term loans to residential and commercial properties paid through one's annual property tax bill.  PACE loans are tax deductible and owners may transfer repayment upon sale, and under most leases, costs can be shared with tenants.  
What kids of projects are eligible for financing?  Installing solar on the roof of your building, improving the energy efficiency of your home or office, converting outdoor space from water-intensive lawn to an attractive drought-resistant design are a few examples. 
These kinds of investments are terrific multi-win opportunities.  They make living and working in buildings more comfortable and improve productivity, increase a property's value, reduce maintenance costs, lower energy and water bills, conserve natural resources, and employ local workers to install the improvements.
Here is a list of the 5 PACE providers available in Marin: California FIRSTCSCDA / Open-PACEFig Tree FinancingHero ProgramYgrene Works

CleanFund Commercial PACE Capital is headquartered in Sausalito.  

Managing Director, Chris Robbins, will be speaking at our January 27 GreenBrief. CleanFund is a direct lender focused exclusively on the commercial property sector.  Visit CleanFund to learn more.

Commercial ratepayers comprise less than 10% of MMWD's customer base but consume 25% of the water produced. Water use varies greatly from business to business. MMWD's water conservation experts can work with you to find water savings based on your unique needs.

Schedule a free onsite
water-use assessment for your business. Did you know that the water bill for your business is directly related to your meter's water budget and entitlement level? Learn more about water entitlements.  Learn more about water efficient appliances rebates.

WaterSense at Work: Best Management Practices for Commercial and Institutional Facilities

This online guide from the U.S. EPA can help facility owners and managers better control their water use. The guide offers water-efficient options for equipment retrofits and replacement, tips to reduce a facility's water use, evaluation methods, case studies, and more.


For more information, contact Dan Carney, Water Conversation Manager at 415-945-1522 or [email protected]



Marin Clean Energy (MCE)

Greener business means better business, and the first step to a greener business is to use MCE's energy programs to save money and make a contribution to your local and global community

Small commercial properties in MCE's service territory may be eligible to receive:

  • No-cost energy assessments (valued at $300 - $400)
  • Rebates ranging between 40-100% of project costs
  • Pre-negotiated contractor discounts
  • Start-to-finish project management
  • Post-project quality assurance
  • Low-cost loans and PACE financing

On-Bill Repayment Loans

Through MCE's partnership with River City Bank, MCE offers Energy Efficiency Loans (ranging from $10,000-$265,000) that remove upfront costs typically associated with energy upgrade projects and can be paid back via your PG&E bill.  It's easy, it saves you money, and it helps your bottom line!

For more information, contact MCE's Energy Efficiency Team via email at [email protected] or call (415) 464-6033.



Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E)

Energy Efficiency Financing from PG&E includes small- and medium-sized businesses like yours with 0% interest loans of between $5,000 and $100,000. That means you can upgrade lighting, HVAC, electric motors, refrigeration, food service equipment, water pumps and more without needing to use your own funds. Your terms and the total repayment period (up to a maximum of 5 years) are based on your estimated monthly energy savings and there's no early payment penalty. After you pay off the loan, the benefits of new equipment and long-term energy savings are yours to enjoy. All of which suggests that it's time you consider joining the hundreds of companies that have already taken advantage of this program; visit New Construction, Energy Efficiency Financing, Retrofit Incentives, Rethink HVACfor more details or contact Lindsey Knaebel at (415) 320-4182 or [email protected].




SmartLights is specially designed to help small businesses become more energy-efficient. This program offers free start-to-finish technical assistance and instant rebates to help defray the cost of upgrading and/or repairing existing equipment. SmartLights can help with comprehensive lighting retrofits, refrigeration tune-ups, controls, and seals replacement, replacing domestic hot water heaters, and referrals to appropriate HVAC programs.


Services include: a no cost, no obligation energy-efficiency assessment, instant rebates (typically range from 25%-75% of total project costs), negotiated volume pricing with qualified installation contractors, free start-to-finish project management and quality control, rebates paid directly to your contractor to help defray your out-of-pocket costs, and referrals to other energy efficiency programs as needed.


To learn more about SmartLights, contact Joanna Perez-Green, CESC - Marketing Manager [email protected].
The Zero Waste GYM Bag is here!  Kiss those Single-Use Plastics GOODBYE!
(Green Your Meeting)

Ready to be checked out by your department for your next meeting or small event
Contains everything you need for a Zero Waste meeting:
12 plates, 2 large serving plates, 12 forks, 12 spoons, 2 knives, 2 serving spoons and 1 dirty-dishes tote
And all in a stylish, ready-to-go tote!
So, get ready to impress your friends and agency partners,
And check out the Zero Waste GYM Bag for your
Office whenever you host a meeting with food!
Contact the City Manager's Office to reserve it.
Your Employee Green Team
Green Resources + AnnouncementsResources
Please see our Calendar of Events for a full event listing
January 8-February 26
Climate Change Exhibition at Art Works Downtown

Receptions: January 8, 5-8pmFebruary 12, 5-8pm

Climate Change aims to inspire stewardship of the planet by showcasing artists' visions of adaptation and responses to our changing environment.

January 29
Business Environment Breakfast
Armando Quintero on Water: Statewide + Marin
McInnis Park Clubhouse
350 Smith Ranch Road, San Rafael

Marin Green Drinks 2016
Schedule to date:

February 9, 2016 (Mardi Gras)
IPM Integrated Pest Management
Tara Cahn

March 8, 2016
Save the Bees!
Chris Conrad, Bee Conscious

April 12, 2016

Located at:
Lotus Cuisine of India Restaurant
704 4th Street, SR
(415) 456-5808

March 3
Peacock Gap Clubhouse
333 Biscayne Drive, San Rafael

This annual event features the State of City address by Mayor Gary Phillips and an awards ceremony to celebrate Citizen of the Year, Employee of the Year, and the Small and Large Businesses of the Year and Green Business of the Year. "A Taste of San Rafael" includes samples of culinary creations by Chamber member restaurants and caterers.
Last year, the State of the City brought together nearly 500 business owners, organization presidents, CEOs, elected officials, regional community leaders, and Chamber Board members. At this event, you will hear firsthand the key issues important to San Rafael and Marin County businesses from Mayor Gary Phillips.
February 8-10
Environmental Youth Forum of Marin
California Film Institute, Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center

Click here for more information.

Environmental Forum of Marin Lecture Series
 Wednesday evenings: $10* in advance / $15* at the door. 
Saturday sessions: $20* in advance / $25* at the door.
Admission free to students with a high school or college ID.
* Lecture discounts based on membership status.

Lecture Series 2016 Schedule

Beyond Emissions Reductions: Carbon Capture Strategies, a Deeper Dive
Saturday, January 23 | 9:00-noon
Location: Bay Model Visitor Center
2100 Bridgeway Blvd., Sausalito, CA

Sea Level Rise Adaptation in Marin pilots, possibilities, and pitfalls
Wednesday, February 10 | 7:00-9:00pm
Location: First Presbyterian Church

Making Progress in Renewable Energy
Wednesday, March 23 | 7:00-9:00 pm
Location: Corte Madera Community Center
498 Tamalpais Dr, Corte Madera, CA 94924

Waste Not Want Not: Taking Responsibility
Wednesday, April 6 | 7:00-9:00 pm
Location: First Presbyterian Church
1510 5th Avenue San Rafael, CA

Take Action to Make a Difference
Wednesday, April 27 | 7:00-9:00 pm
Location: Corte Madera Community Center
498 Tamalpais Dr, Corte Madera, CA 94924

For more information, contact Ann Bauer at