LEED Certification – Good for Buildings, People, and the Planet

Based in Portland, Oregon, experienced real estate executive Barclay Grayson serves as senior vice president of BPM Real Estate Group. In this capacity, he directs the firm’s operations in property acquisition and development of commercial, hospitality, and multi-family residential construction. Barclay Grayson of Portland also maintains a strong interest in obtaining LEED certification for the firm’s properties. The development at the Radisson Blu hotel in Anaheim, California, which earned BPM a 2020 award from the Anaheim, California Chamber of Commerce, is set to become a LEED Silver-certified property.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification program has received international recognition as the major standard in environmentally responsible building design. A range of residential and commercial building types are eligible to receive LEED certification.

The system is a product of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). It offers third-party, independent verification that a structure’s design and construction meet standards for reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, energy and water usage efficiency, and other aspects of environmental quality. LEED strategies are continuous over the life cycle of a building, from initial design and materials, to ongoing maintenance and logistics, to future retrofitting.

The USGBC works to create healthier, more secure, and more sustainable communities all over the world. The USGBC team believes that a long, healthy, enjoyable life is a basic right to which every human being is entitled, and that the quality of the buildings humans inhabit contribute immeasurably toward that effort.

Broadway Tower – A Dynamic Mixed-Use Asset in Downtown Portland

Barclay Grayson of Portland, Oregon, oversees a diversified portfolio of commercial properties as a senior vice president of BPM Real Estate Group. In 2015, Barclay Grayson’s firm moved into the office ownership, development, and asset management sphere. Having acquired or developed more than $250 million in Portland Class-A office buildings over the past five years, core BPM assets include Willamette Oaks, Pearl West, and Broadway Tower.

With construction started in June of 2016 and completed in late 2018, Broadway Tower encompasses 19 stories and 430,000 square feet. It inhabits a footprint previously occupied by the locally owned Oregonians Credit Union building. In addition to office space totaling 175,000 square feet, it includes a 180-room Radisson RED, a hotel brand that is particularly attractive to millennial professionals. The tower also offers 247 underground parking spaces.

When it comes to office space, financial, law, and IT firms have been the primary drivers of demand in Oregon. In April of 2020, the LEED Gold-certified building was in the news, with the office portion of the tower acquired for $132.5 million by Principal Real Estate Investors. The Radisson RED hotel, which occupies the building’s first eight floors, was not included in that sale.

LEED Building Rating System Factors in Health and Well-being

Based in Portland, Oregon, Barclay Grayson has an extensive property investment and development background and has built a portfolio that spans diverse verticals, from hospitality to commercial space. Focused on next-generation building practices, Barclay Grayson and his colleagues at BPM Real Estate Group in Portland have earned Leadership In Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification on various projects.

As detailed in an American Institute of Architects article, the LEED green building rating system has expanded over the years from one focused on resource and energy consumption, to one that also considers individual health impacts.

One direct way in which LEED credits reflect physical health is the category of Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ). This has traditionally included prerequisites such as Tobacco Smoke Control and credits for Indoor Chemical and Pollutant Source Control. The latter centers on the inhalation of chemicals that are documented as being noxious and harmful.

Another type of credit focuses more on the mental aspect of wellbeing and includes Daylight and Views; Thermal Comfort; Open Space; and Public Transportation Access. These fall under the LEED v4 Impact Category “Enhance Human Health and Well-being,” which was instituted in 2017.

A recent area of focus for the US Green Building Council has been launching the Integrative Process for Health Promotion. This pilot credit incentivizes project teams to start in the pre-design stages by systematically defining relationships between traditional environmental and health outcomes.

Opportunity Zones as a Way of Jumpstarting the US Economy

Based in Portland, Oregon, Barclay Grayson guides the BPM Real Estate Group and has oversight of the company’s acquisitions and divestitures, as well as property development financing. A regular attendee at the Opportunity Zone Expo, Portland executive Barclay Grayson has an in-depth understanding of how the federally mandated Qualified Opportunity Zone (OZ) program operates.

A recent opinion piece in Global Trade drew attention to the potential of OZ programs in turbocharging the US economy after pandemic-related lockdowns subside. Created by Congress in 2017, the OZ program provides an incentive for investments in underserved communities. With 8,000 opportunity zones existing nationwide, among the qualification thresholds are median family income and poverty rate.

Tax-advantaged investments toward developments and improvements within such communities both provide an economic lifeline to those in most need of gainful employment and social amenities. Those who rise to better salaries tend to invigorate the regional economy through local spending. Given the need for extensive rebuilding, it is a critical time to harness the power of opportunity zones in ways that substantially improve lives in the community.

Recognizing this potential, a recent Executive Order mandated federal agencies to start identifying ways of translating the OZ concept to new industries, through the creation of aquaculture opportunity zones.

LEED Certification – Sustainability and Benefits to the Bottom Line

A senior vice president with BPM Real Estate Group in Portland, Oregon, Barclay Grayson oversees a diversified portfolio spanning commercial, multifamily, and office holdings. Committed to reducing costs and the company’s carbon footprint, Barclay Grayson and his Portland team have achieved Leadership In Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification on a number of projects.

With the US Green Building Council handling the certification process, LEED programs exist across a wide range of categories, from single-family residences to entire urban areas. The programs cover new construction as well as existing buildings that owners want certified for management and operations purposes.

The current iteration is LEED v4.1, which was introduced in 2018 and updated the program in ways that reflect emerging sustainability issues, with a focus on material use. In addition to traditional areas of LEED credits, such as water conservation and energy efficiency, elements taken into consideration include waste reduction, site selection, and even how natural light is used.

LEED certification is not only a proven pathway to both good public relations and energy conservation; it can also generate significant tax credits. An added benefit is that local municipalities are often more willing to approve projects that can attain LEED certification.

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