Posts by Alexa Stone

Plastic bags in ocean water
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Where on Earth are plastic bags banned?

As plastic bags pollute shorelines, landfills, and the oceans, communities and entire countries are taking action. In the U.S., some states and localities have bans or limited restrictions. Worldwide, 77 countries regulate them. Here’s an update as of Q3, 2021: China led the way more than a dozen years ago when it outlawed thin plastic […]
Recycling line

Keeping recyclables three steps away from landfills

Approximately 4.5 trillion pounds of trash is generated annually, and it’s getting worse. Annual trash accumulation is expected to reach 7.5 trillion pounds by mid-century. Landfill trash pollutes water supplies and the atmosphere. Methane emissions from landfills are often overlooked yet they emit more Greenhouse Gas than 21.6 million passenger cars. To achieve the nation’s […]
Charleston
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Meeting the challenge of building energy use and CO2 emissions

Commercial buildings consume 35 percent of the electricity generated in the U.S. They send 826 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the troposphere. That volume is 16 percent of all U.S. CO2 emissions. It’s expected to grow 1.8% by 2030.[1] The trend is not inevitable. Best practices in the construction, renovation, commissioning, and certification of better buildings can […]
Water Infrastructure
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Water system funding may soon pour in

The U.S. has significant water problems. More than 15% of wastewater utilities have reached or exceeded their design capacity. There is a water main break every two minutes. Those problems, and others, have earned low marks on the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. The U.S. gets a “C-” for its drinking water. […]
Power distribution
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Bringing energy costs into community-wide balance

In recent  years, 33% of U.S. households have confronted energy insecurity. As their energy bills accumulated, over 25 million families have had to cut back on food and medicine purchases.[1] But why should energy costs have greater impact on low-income households? Among the possible reasons, they pay a greater portion of their earnings for utility costs. Also, […]
Children's Hospital
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Here’s where hospitals find energy cost savings

Energy costs at U.S. hospitals average $1.67 per square foot for electricity and 48 cents per square foot for natural gas. Lighting, heating, and hot water typically represent 61-79% of total energy use. The numbers vary with climate. Regardless, energy cost savings can be claimed in every state, in any season.[1] Quick fixes The return […]
Electric Cars
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Will tomorrow’s autos take us beyond the climate crisis?

We hear so much from auto manufacturers about Greenhouse Gas (GhG) reduction goals for 2030 and beyond! Auto manufacturer goals are important and commendable, but many other sectors must be involved to take us beyond the climate crisis. Achieving the original Paris Climate accords goal (50% below 2017 emissions) will require significant consumer and corporate […]
Landfill in 2021
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As the pandemic burdens landfills, greenhouse gases increase

Landfill waste and recycling burdens have significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent study found medical waste to have increased up to 425%, Other increases were seen due to discarded Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), home food waste, and plastics.[1] As of 2019, landfills were the third-largest source of US methane emissions, producing the equivalent […]
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Science and strategies for working from home

While vaccines become more available and infection rates trend downward, pandemic challenges continue. Even the most fortunate in health and security have had their lives disrupted. In the new normal, they may work from home or manage a team online. Over the past 12 years, assignments have brought ecoPreserve team members to many remote locations […]
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Three routes to resilient communities

In 2020, 16 of the weather and climate disasters in the U.S. each brought losses exceeding $1 billion. Eleven severe storms devastated lives and properties in more than 30 states. Further billion-dollar losses were the result of fires, drought, and cyclones.[1] Warnings of these climate change impacts have been published – and at times disputed, […]
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The persistent perils of climate change

Shutdowns in the first months of the Coronavirus pandemic initially reduced greenhouse gases (GHG) by 17%. After nine months of phased reopening and shutdowns, CO2 has resumed its annual increase, erasing all but a scant percentage of earlier reductions.[1] Over the next four decades, annual averages dipped below 13.9° C. Overall, the annual changes have revealed a predictable […]
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Airlines respond to pandemic concerns

The COVID-19 pandemic brought immediate and severe economic impact to the aviation industry. Second and third quarter air travel decreased by 353 million passengers in 2020. April brought a 95.3% drop in air travel. The good news is that travelers are coming back. In fact, September 2020 passenger numbers are within 67.7% of September 2019.[1] […]
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AWARE of CDC and NIH guidelines

The Baseline Property Condition Assessments described in ASTM E2018-15 do not specify consideration of infectious disease transmission concerns. In a pandemic and post-pandemic environment, that inspection and documentation is essential.

Buildings open to the public must comply with local regulations. For best results and greatest public acceptance, any planning for building repairs and maintenance should not overlook current CDC and NIH guidelines.

Optionally, ecoPreserve's can assist with a comprehensive GBAC STAR™ Accreditation which extends beyond the building to include the goals, actions, equipment, and supplies needed to implement best practices for outbreak prevention, response, and recovery.

Tools tailored to location and need

Disaster resilience requires a select toolset, identified, adapted, or created as needed based on planning calls and inclusive workshop participation.

Business and government organizations today are confronted by threat categories that range from drought to flood, from fire to hurricane, and extend globally to pandemics and sea level rise. Threat categories are broad and diverse, but ecoPreserve and collaborating organizations design resiliency tools for specific local context.

Local needs are identified and verified. Building from that essential understanding, tools are designed, tested in pilot programs, refined, then implemented through action plans.

Today's challenges/
tomorrow's potential

ecoPreserve collaborates with major community and private organizations in optimizing the resiliency and resource efficiency of their workplaces, venues, and public spaces.

In response to ever-increasing environmental, sociopolitical, and public health challenges, we advocate for and participate in assessment and planning actions that directly address disaster preparations, recovery activities, infrastructure improvements, and smart building/city design.

Online and in-person workshops

ecoPreserve designs and leads workshops in varied formats, to achieve varied goals.

Often an event is held for skill and knowledge development, but some needs of an organization or community are better resolved through collaboration to identify requirements and to design solutions. A range of Disaster Resilience workshops are available for solutions planning and development, as well as for training and communication.

Disaster Planning and Recovery Workshops

  • Identify technical and business process gaps
  • Define stakeholders, recovery teams, and processes/functionalities necessary for operation
  • Highlight missed expectations from a data loss and recovery time perspective
  • Address compliance with regulatory agencies and industry standards
Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

Facility Condition Report

The report is prepared in accordance with the recommendations of ASTM E2018-15, Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments. This is a partial list of contents:

  • PHYSICAL CONDITION
    • General condition of the building, grounds, and appurtenances
    • Physical deficiencies, their significance, and suggested remedies
    • Photographs
    • Safety issues observed
  • INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPREAD POTENTIAL
  • OPPORTUNITIES
    • Potential operating efficiencies
    • Electricity and water use reductions
    • High-efficiency interior and exterior lighting
  • ORDER OF MAGNITUDE RENOVATION BUDGET
    • Recommended interior finishes
    • Construction costs

Risk Mitigation Improvements

  • IAQ
    • Airflow
    • Temperature and humidity
    • Vertical transportation (escalators and elevators)
  • HVAC EQUIPMENT
    • Settings
    • Conditions
    • Capability
    • Filtration
  • FLOORPLAN
    • Traffic patterns
  • FURNISHINGS
    • Placement for social distancing
    • Clear barriers where social distancing is not possible

Interior Elements

  • Foundation
  • Building frame and roof
  • Structural elements
    • Floors, walls, ceilings
    • Access and egress
    • Vertical transportation (escalators and elevators)
  • HVAC equipment and ductwork
  • Utilities
    • Electrical
    • Plumbing
  • Safety and fire protection

Grounds and Appurtenances

  • Façades or curtainwall
  • Topography
  • Storm water drainage
  • Paving, curbing, and parking
  • Flatwork
  • Landscaping
  • Recreational facilities
Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

AWARE of CDC and NIH guidelines

The Baseline Property Condition Assessments described in ASTM E2018-15 do not specify consideration of infectious disease transmission concerns. In a pandemic and post-pandemic environment, that inspection and documentation is essential.

Buildings open to the public must comply with local regulations. For best results and greatest public acceptance, any planning for building repairs and maintenance should not overlook current CDC and NIH guidelines.

Optionally, ecoPreserve's can assist with a comprehensive GBAC STAR™ Accreditation which extends beyond the building to include the goals, actions, equipment, and supplies needed to implement best practices for outbreak prevention, response, and recovery.

An OPTIMIZED Assessment

Certified Sustainability Consultants on a facility assessment team can discover ways to lower energy costs. Their understanding of HVAC equipment suitability and condition along with the specifics of LED lighting retrofits can provide offsets for needed investments in upgrades and replacements.

Knowledge of water systems can bring further savings while averting water waste. It can all be part of an assessment which might otherwise overlook water fixtures and irrigation schedules.

How should a facility be ASSESSED?

A thorough facility assessment finds the issues - on the surface or below - which have a potential negative impact on the building. That brings the facility to meet building codes. Beyond that, the assessment proactively addresses the deficiencies not covered by code.

The occupants of a building benefit as the assessment reveals conditions having a potential impact on their health or safety. The assessment must not overlook those conditions, nor fail to consider the frequency and duration of occupant visits.