With hundreds of thousands of jobs being created through recent federal legislation plus an increased focus on climate action planning and net zero building, our industry is poised for rapid change. These changes come quickly. With an industry in such high demand, employers struggle to keep up and find affordable training options. Yet, continuing education is often what sets an employer apart and supports employee retention

Benefits for the Employer

As the sustainability and net zero industry grow so do the qualifications and demands placed on employers. Architecture firms and municipalities must keep up with code changes, infrastructure funding opportunities, and community demand for more sustainable building practices.

Continuing education programs are beneficial in all industries and offer a wide range of benefits to employers and employees. Continuing education decreases mistakes that may result in company audits and decreases turnover rates. It also aids employees in career advancement, helps maintain job security, and increases overall workplace satisfaction. 

Benefits for the Employee

Continuing education is increasingly important as millennials, the largest generation in the workforce, further their career. According to a report by Gallup, 59% of millennials prioritize being able to learn and grow when considering a job position. According to the same report, 87% of millennials surveyed expressed that professional or career growth and development opportunities are important to them while actively working in a job position. 

The Cost of Continuing Education

Costs for employer sponsored learning and development continue to rise, with the average employer spending $1300 per employee annually. In sectors of the sustainability industry, continuing education units must be acquired annually to retain a certain level of certification. Managing this process can be cumbersome and if you are in human resources for an architecture firm or municipality, you may be pressured to stretch your learning and development budget. 

Enterprise programs can be the solution. Our own ID360 Academy Enterprise Learning Program is packaged for firms and municipalities to train employees at scale. On-demand, and entirely online, the ID360 Enterprise Learning Program includes all the benefits of quality, on-demand green education with the convenience and flexibility today’s workforce demands. Gone are the days of spending thousands of dollars on travel for employees to attend conferences for credits or to have them miss out on valuable billable hours. The courses offered through ID360 Academy all carry continuing education units (CEU) and are entirely on-demand. The ID360 team also manages the CEU process, relieving the stress and time management burden that often comes with company-wide programs.  

The industry changes so quickly, and with so much growth predicted, we must continue to invest in continuing education to stay a step ahead. To view a full list of courses available through ID360 Academy Enterprise Learning Program visit www.id360.green/Academy

The California Climate Commitment, a 54 billion-dollar investment towards efforts to combat climate change, has firmly solidified California’s position as number one in the race to net zero. Further bolstering their position, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law bold new legislation on September 16, 2022, that will decrease pollution, provide restrictions for California’s biggest polluters, and accelerate the state’s transition to clean energy. 

Governor Newsom collaborated with legislative leaders to draft the legislation that will be a meaningful addition to the California Climate Commitment. Over the next twenty years, the California Climate Commitment will: 

  • Create 4 million new jobs
  • Cut air pollution by 60%
  • Reduce state oil consumption by 91%
  • Save California $23 billion by avoiding the damages of pollution
  • Reduce fossil fuel use in buildings and transportation by 92%
  • Cut refinery pollution by 94%

The latest additions to the California Climate Commitment are a series of bills that will support state-wide carbon neutrality, protect communities from oil drilling, lay the pathway towards a 100% clean electric, remove carbon emissions, and work towards carbon removal of natural and working lands. 

In addition to this new legislation, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has greenlit a statewide plan to meet EPA regulations that limit ozone emissions to 70 parts per billion. To help further this effort, CARB will ban the sale of new gas furnaces and water heaters as of 2030. 

Efforts towards a greener California are also being made by the California Public Utilities Commission as they have voted to do away with subsidies that encourage builders to install gas lines into new buildings starting in 2023. 

These changes will have a huge impact on our industry creating a tailwind of changes at the city and community levels. ID360 will continue to keep you updated on California’s innovative push for clean energy as well as how legislation impacts those in the architecture, construction, design, and code enforcement industries. 

To learn more about the legislation we are watching, recent changes, and code updates subscribe to our quarterly newsletter. 

Menlo Park, CA, September 28, 2022. ID360, a leading sustainability consulting company, announced today the launch of its expanded Enterprise Learning Program for code compliance professionals, architects, engineers, contractors, building owners, and policymakers.

This announcement follows sweeping federal and regional legislative action related to climate change and decarbonization. The Inflation Reduction Act is being hailed as the most significant climate legislation in U.S. history with $369 billion in climate-related spending. The climate provisions are projected to reduce America’s carbon emissions by nearly 40% by 2030. The California Climate Commitment invests $54 billion to fight climate change. In an ongoing effort to slash ozone pollution, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted Thursday to ban the sale of new gas furnaces and water heaters beginning in 2030.

The educational criteria in the Enterprise Learning Program directly support this climate change legislation and is ready to support the industry in masses. The platform includes all the benefits of the quality, on-demand decarbonization education offered through ID360’s ID360 Academy now packaged for organizations to train employees at scale. Popular course topics include Decarbonization, Resilient Building Design and Strategies, Electrification, Green Building Codes including CALGreen, Construction and Demolition Waste Compliance, and LEED certification.

“In response to rapidly changing legislation and requests from our clients, we developed the Enterprise Learning Program for those organizations looking to provide continuous learning and development organization-wide,” said Melanie Jacobson, Principal, and Founder of ID360. “Organizations can choose a selection of courses most relevant to their line of work. We do all the heavy lifting from the management of continuing education units (CEUs) to staying current on all legislative and code changes.”

Access to the Enterprise Learning Program is best for teams and businesses looking to train fifteen or more employees. Enterprise learning packages are customizable and learners will have access for one year. All coursework available through the Enterprise Learning Program is eligible for CEUs from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), International Code Council (ICC), and Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). ID360 will track, manage and provide CEU certificates for all enterprise learners. The coursework is also available entirely online and on-demand allowing for maximum flexibility.

“This is a critical time for our industry. New legislation and codes are going into effect and our coursework will help industry professionals stay a step ahead,” said Jacobson. “The days are gone of one lone staff member retaining all the ‘green’ knowledge. Decarbonization and green codes are now a part of everyday construction and design.”

Pricing for the Enterprise Learning Program is based on the number of participating learners. For more information contact support@id360academy.com. To view a complete list of courses available through ID360 Academy, visit www.id360.green/Academy.

To register your organization for the Enterprise Learning Program, visit the Registration Page to get started.

21st of September, 2022, ID360, a leading sustainability, and decarbonization consulting company, has been selected by the City of South Lake Tahoe to support the policy development and adoption of a local energy reach code ordinance for new residential and commercial constructions.  

The City of South Lake Tahoe is in a continued state of economic growth and development opportunity with a focus on innovation, technology, and sustainable development. The City has set local targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions based on the trajectory necessary to meet and exceed the statewide goals. ID360’s work will support the city’s commitment to adopting policies to meet these targets.

The City of South Lake Tahoe has adopted a local Climate Action Plan (CAP) with goals to establish Renewable Energy and Carbon Emissions Reduction and improve the livability of the City. The CAP also aims to provide numerous co-benefits such as new green jobs and improved air quality.

“The new Energy Reach Code goals align with South Lake Tahoe Climate Action Plan and commitment to sustainability and carbon reduction. Our team is looking forward to working with the City in adopting this new policy in support of their Climate Action plan,” said Melanie Jacobson, Principal, and Founder, ID360.

ID360 has a long history of supporting California communities with energy reach code adoption and implementation. In addition to their role with city government and city building officials, ID360 supports continuing education for professionals in the industry through their on-demand training via ID360 Academy.

To learn more about ID360’s work, ID360 Academy, and other decarbonization and green code services please visit www.ID360.green.

The Inflation Reduction Act is being hailed as the most significant climate legislation in U.S. history with $369 billion in climate-related spending. The climate provisions are projected to reduce America’s carbon emissions by nearly 40% by 2030

Many of the provisions will directly impact consumers in terms of clean energy tax credits, rebates, and other financial incentives. For the building electrification and decarbonization industry, the legislation means additional funding for renewable energy technology, progress toward a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, significant infrastructure investments, and more green jobs.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Renewed emphasis on sustainable power solutions in the form of new, expanded, or extended tax credits for the manufacturing of wind turbines and solar panels.
  • Funding for federal projects constructed with low-carbon building materials.
  • Tax credits and incentives for developers building new highly efficient and electric homes that meet the U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home qualifications.
  • 1.3 million new jobs including more than 250,000 jobs in the construction industry.
  • Potential for an additional $25 billion to $128 billion each year for financial risks related to climate change.

What does this mean for the decarbonization and building electrification industry? 

The Inflation Reduction Act marks a significant investment in low-carbon buildings and materials. Large amounts are allocated to support constructing greener buildings for federally funded projects. There is also support to advance efforts to standardize the labeling of low-carbon concrete and construction materials. Specifically, $250 million was directed to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to advance the development of standardized and transparent environmental product declaration of greenhouse gas emissions for construction materials. 

Many of the climate provisions in the Inflation and Reduction Act will begin this year which means significant opportunities for developers and architects to build healthier buildings with sustainable materials. Additionally, this may mean increased oversight and green codes for municipalities. Finally, these new incentives have the potential to positively impact the climate action plans of many cities throughout the country. 

At ID360 we will continue to monitor the implications of this historic legislation on the industry and its specific impacts on California’s green codes. Connect with us anytime with your questions. 

Construction materials can carry significant environmental impacts. Certain materials can deplete natural resources and contribute to habitat destruction. The extraction and acquisition of raw materials can also lead to serious environmental harm.

Sustainable materials are often broken out into three categories: 

Natural Materials

These are materials that occur naturally and can generally be safely disposed of. Examples include wood, clay, and metals. 

Renewable Materials

For something to be renewable, it must be able to naturally replenish at a rate that allows for the resource to be maintained and not depleted over time. The most common example is bamboo.

Harmless and Non-toxic Materials

Many modern materials are manufactured or treated with chemicals that can be harmful to people, animals, and the environment. Yet, there are man-made non-toxic alternatives such as non-toxic paint, drywall, and plaster.

Architects and engineers will design with these materials in mind or renovate and update using sustainable building materials. Selecting environmentally sensitive materials can be the most challenging and rewarding part of the design process. Some of the most common sustainable building materials include:

  • Recycled metal
  • Reclaimed wood
  • Bamboo
  • Cork

Building with sustainable materials not only supports the environment, but it leads to healthier humans through the reduction of respiratory diseases, allergens, and asthma. Choosing construction materials and interior finish products with zero or low emissions also contribute to improved indoor air quality. 

What about cement?

The cement industry is responsible for about a quarter of all industry CO2 emissions. They are also one of the world’s most difficult-to-abate sources of CO2 emissions.

Concrete is the most consumed construction material because of its availability, workability, and durability. In 2019, their production, transport, use, and demolition were estimated to account for roughly 9-10% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, including carbonate decomposition, fuel combustion, and electricity use.

Across the country, new ordinances are being implemented that limit carbon on concrete. So how do we decarbonize cement material? In recent years, the cement sector has progressed significantly in regard to energy efficiency and CO2 mitigation by adopting conventional technology options targeting the thermal efficiency, electrical efficiency, and low-carbon fuel utilization of cement kilns.

Reducing the clinker-to-cement ratio is another conventional low-carbon lever, which has historically been pursued for economic reasons since clinker substitutes cost less than pyro-processed clinker or can enhance concrete’s properties.

Monitoring and Compliance

In California, we have explicit guidelines around what materials can be used in new build and renovation projects for both residential and commercial properties. CALGreen or the California Green Building Standards Code outlines the requirements for sustainable materials and serves as a guideline in the context of code enforcement.

At ID360, we work with those on both sides of sustainable building materials- the architects and engineers designing and building greener buildings as well as those responsible for enforcing CALGreen and other local green code ordinances.

Sustainable building materials and the inspection process under CALGreen can be highly complex but by increasing awareness of logistical impacts regarding plans, specs, permitting, documentation, inspection, and local enforcement we can make the best choices in sustainable building materials.

Committing to use the most sustainable materials available benefits us all. The choices and regulations can seem overwhelming, but at ID360 we are here to help architects, plan checkers, building officials, and engineers navigate the options and make the most sustainable choices for people and the environment. 

Menlo Park, CA, June 07, 2022. ID360, a leading sustainability consulting company, announced today they have been selected by the City of Agoura Hills to support the design and implementation of a local green building ordinance focused on electrification.  

The City of Agoura Hills is in a continued state of economic growth and development opportunity with a focus on innovation, technology, and sustainable development. ID360’s work will support the city’s commitment to adopting policies to meet the energy reach code goal.  

“Agoura Hills is committed to environmental sustainability and climate action planning,” said Melanie Jacobson, Principal, and Founder, ID360. “We look forward to supporting city staff to implement a local Energy Reach Code to meet the Climate Action Plan goals.”

ID360 has a long history of supporting California communities with reach code design and implementation. Most recently they supported the Clean Energy Choice Program in San Luis Obispo, Energy Reach Code development in the City of South San Francisco, and the Green Building Program for the City of Palo Alto.

The City of Agoura Hills has adopted a local Climate Action Plan with goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. ID360’s work will align, support, and further this work.

In addition to their role with city government and city building officials, ID360 supports continuing education for professionals in the industry through their on-demand training via ID360 Academy.

To learn more about ID360’s work, ID360 Academy, or other green code design services please visit www.ID360.green.

Working on the demolition of structures in California built between 1950 and 1980 requires careful attention to Polychlorinated Biphenyls or PCBs. PCBs are considered a legacy pollutant and consist of materials such as caulk, thermal or fiberglass insulation, adhesive mastics, and rubber window gaskets.

PCBs are extremely harmful to our environment and historically stormwater serves as a significant pathway for PCBs to travel to water sources. 

There are several methods to manage PCBs containing building materials during demolition:

  • True Source Controls focuses on the original source or use of a potential pollutant with regulations and laws to minimize risk.
  • Source Controls intercepts the pollutant before it is discharged to a receiving water body.
  • Treatment Controls remove pollutants via physical, biological, or chemical processes.

At ID360 we work with many local officials, architects, and engineers to understand and enforce compliance regarding PCBs. We closely adhere to the protocol developed and managed by Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association (BASMAA). BASMAA is a nonprofit organization representing 103 agencies, including 88 cities and towns, 8 counties, and 7 special districts. BASMAA focuses on opportunities to improve the quality of stormwater flowing to local creeks, the Delta, San Francisco Bay, and the Pacific Ocean.

We have found the biggest key to success in PCBs projects is to begin communications early! We review materials with appropriate departments, support regulation compliance, and engage municipal leaders early and often. 

Significant progress has been made to better understand and control PCBs in the last couple of decades mainly due to BASMAA and other organizations committed to keeping California waterways clean. This area of green building is constantly changing. It is critical for those working in building construction and demolition management, city code enforcement, design, and engineering to stay current in their understanding of the construction impacts of PCBs abatement. 

For more information about our work in PCBs building regulation in California, to take our PCBs course via ID360 Academy, or for information regarding any of our other green consulting services visit ID360.green

Construction and demolition (C&D) materials are generated when new buildings are constructed or when existing buildings are renovated or demolished. C&D materials often contain bulky, heavy materials such as concrete, asphalt, metals, and bricks. 

600 million tons of C&D debris were generated in the United States in 2018 and demolition represents more than 90 percent of total C&D debris generation. This waste has profound implications for climate change by contributing to rising levels of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. 

What can be done?

Local government officials, architects, contractors, and engineers play a key role in mitigating the impact of C&D. The design phase is the best opportunity to address waste management. Resilient design will not only take into consideration the impact of the materials now but also future scenarios if the structures were to be dismantled. 

In our work at ID360, we help local government officials, architects, contractors, and engineers navigate the complex Construction Waste Management requirements within the California Green Building Code. Local ordinances can greatly change the requirements of a project. If not prepared, projects can be significantly set back in terms of time and budget. We work with teams to increase knowledge of the logistical impacts of C&D and how this impacts a typical construction schedule.

Where to turn for more information?

The Environmental Protection Agency has resources for sustainable management of construction and demolition waste. You can also learn more specifically about regulations in California by participating in our course: Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste Compliance at ID360 Academy. 

C&D waste and material management can greatly impact climate change. Through smart, sustainable choices and thorough planning, we can mitigate some of these effects.

Resiliency means the ability to endure. In green building, this translates to designing and building for longevity, withstanding extreme weather, and consideration for social equity. 

In recent years, resilient building has become the response to major environmental stressors. It is about building in harmony with the environment but also about how community wellness is affected. Resilient design is the process of designing buildings, landscapes and entire communities to mitigate the impact of extreme weather and other external threats.

Resilient design focuses on practical and realistic solutions with
  • Robustness
  • Resourcefulness
  • Rapid Recovery
  • Redundancy

Climate change and extreme weather have propelled resilient building design to the forefront of green building conversations. Extreme weather events such as power outages and wildfires are fueling the resilient design movement.

Resilient building design applies to projects of all scales and is best when synched with local climate action plans and disaster preparedness. What is unique about resilient building design is the anticipation of challenges and the careful consideration for the use of locally available, renewable, or reclaimed resources. 

Where to turn for more information

The movement to resilient design is exciting and complex. Best practices for a successful resilient design project include designing for flexibility and future adaptability, designing for disassembly, and always remember to consider risk and vulnerabilities. For more information about resilient building design check out our webinar: Resilient Building Design Strategies.

We recently attended the League of California Cities annual City Managers Conference. There were many topics on the agenda, however, conversations steered to preparedness and concern for municipalities’ ability to deploy and manage the influx of funding from the massive national infrastructure package. In particular, the expansive vehicle charging infrastructure. 

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes $5 billion in funding for states with a goal to build a national charging network. The total amount available to states this year is $615M. Additionally, 

  • 10% is set-aside each year for grants to states to help fill gaps in the network
  • $2.5 billion is available for communities through a competitive grant program

At ID360, we have worked with cities to structure and deploy complex local EV Charging Policies. Here are a few things to keep in mind for this upcoming influx of funding:

  • EV Infrastructure Deployment Plans must be submitted at the state level before funds become available
  • California is slated to receive the second highest amount of state funding for 2022
  • More green jobs and knowledge of green codes will be necessary to successfully implement these projects

The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation is providing data, tools, and technical assistance to city and state officials via DriveElectric.gov. For those interested in getting current at the state and local level, we offer several online, on-demand courses through ID360 Academy. 

The Infrastructure Law also includes funding for many areas of green building and sustainability. To stay current on changes impacting California subscribe to our newsletter The Green Scene or contact us for more information.

Melanie Jacobson is sworn in as Secretary for the Northern California Chapter

MENLO PARK, CA. January 26, 2022  — ID360, a green consulting firm, announces their Founder and Principal has been named Secretary of the International Code Council’s Peninsula chapter. The International Code Council is the world’s leading source of model codes and standards and building safety solutions. The ICC Peninsula Chapter provides members an opportunity to keep up to date on the activities of the ICC as well as a forum to discuss code changes, interpretations, and updates. 

“I am honored to serve as Secretary of the ICC’s Peninsula chapter,” said Melanie Jacobson, Founder and Principal, ID360. “I have been involved with ICC for nearly a decade. I have built my career in sustainability and energy efficiency. After spending 15 years working in green building and energy policy, plan check, and inspection, taking a board position with the ICC is a natural next step.”

The ICC Peninsula Chapter provides unique networking opportunities and access to the latest updates and changes relative to the area. The chapter has a packed calendar for 2022 including collaborations with several other ICC Chapters in Northern California.  

To learn more about the ICC Peninsula Chapter visit www.iccpeninsula.org. To learn more about ID360 visit www.ID360.green