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This Week’s Top Stories: Canadians Are “House Poor,” And A Big Bank Suggests Cooling Real Estate Demand – Better Dwelling

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When it comes to cutting carbon emissions, the real estate industry is running out of time – CNN

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Diane Hoskins is co-CEO of Gensler. The opinions expressed in this commentary are her own.

Extreme weather events — including heat waves, droughts and floods — have unfolded all over the world this summer. The grave impact of climate change is upon us and will continue to have a profound impact on human life. But there are still largely untapped actions we can take to reduce the damage.

Achieving global policy ambitions like the ones set in the 2015 Paris Agreement will require leadership from the private sector, but individual companies with strong internal climate commitments can’t go at it alone. They are hamstrung unless other businesses in their ecosystem follow through with similar pledges. To accomplish this, companies need policies that require the cooperation of external stakeholders at every step of the value chain.
For those of us in the real estate sector, the concern always seemed to be less about the cause of our manmade carbon footprint and more about cost. For years, we have seen rising sea levels and extreme weather events happening around us, putting property portfolios at risk. The economic and physical changes have affected insurance industry volatility, impacting construction and long-term investment prospects.
However, many in the industry have yet to admit that buildings are as responsible for carbon as cars. The real estate industry makes up 49% of global carbon emissions when accounting for construction and building performance. Most carbon reduction efforts in the building sector have focused on operational efficiency — energy sources for keeping buildings at an ideal temperature, lighted, ventilated and powered — so that properties consume as little energy as possible. And while these efforts have furthered the industry’s goal of getting buildings closer to net zero operationally, we can no longer ignore that building materials account for half of a building’s total lifetime carbon footprint.
We are out of time. And the real estate industry’s wait-and-see approach is no longer acceptable. Embodied carbon — emissions associated with the manufacturing, transport, construction and disposal of building materials — must become a priority for the entire industry value chain.
With commercial buildings, concrete and steel have traditionally been used for construction, along with other frequently used carbon-intensive materials like foam insulation, plastics and aluminum. However, building with structural wood has increasingly gained traction as an alternative, given that it sequesters more carbon than it emits. Developers are becoming aware of its versatility and sustainability, and if adopted on a global scale, mass timber could challenge steel and cement as the preferred materials for construction. Additionally, structural engineers have already successfully used recycled steel and low-carbon cement consisting of alternative mixtures. This, combined with using more unpolished and salvaged materials, has already proven to lower buildings’ carbon footprints.
And since nearly 75% of all raw materials in the US are used for the construction of buildings, the conscious decisions about the sourcing, construction and finishing of our development projects will have a lasting environmental impact.
At Gensler, a global architecture and design firm, we recently issued letters to our structural engineers, vendors, suppliers, construction and general contracting leaders asking for their partnership in shaping their policy to change the value chain. Together, we are developing an agreed-upon approach for specifying quality products that align with our company’s carbon neutrality promise. In early 2022, Gensler is launching new green specifications that focus on reducing high-carbon materials, using the most efficient structural solutions to reduce material quantities, sourcing materials that are extracted and manufactured locally, and minimizing waste. These specifications will be used on all of our projects. From then on, we will prioritize working with partners who meet those specifications and use materials that significantly reduce construction-related emissions, such as low-carbon concrete, steel, cross-laminated timber and alternative materials that absorb rather than emit carbon. With Gensler’s design impact and its global scale, this change in demand for sustainable materials will have an immediate ripple effect across the building sector.
If all parts of the real estate ecosystem — including architects, owners, developers, investors, constructors and material suppliers — move toward a net zero ambition, together, they could save 10 billion tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere. This is the equivalent of removing nearly 2.2 billion gas-powered cars from the road for an entire year. There must be global net zero building standards across major market participants, investors, developers, designers and occupiers to drive demand. We must also create policies that demand energy suppliers provide access to low-carbon alternatives.
This era of reducing the embodied carbon in building materials will change construction and real estate development. We have entered a critical period for humanity. Carbon-neutral statements, science-based targets, and promises at international forums like the UN Climate Change conference will not suffice. Tangible and immediate action is the only solution.

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What Sold: 19 Newport County real estate sales, transactions (Sept. 18 – 24) – What'sUpNewp

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Peoples Credit UnionPeoples Credit Union

Real estate, like any industry, is based on the foundation of supply and demand. Sellers are seeing premium prices for their homes due to low-interest rates and even lower inventory; which makes for a very competitive environment from a buyer’s perspective.

If you’re considering selling or simply want to know what your home may be worth in today’s market, I am offering confidential, complimentary, and no-strings-attached home value analyses to anyone interested. If you have any real estate questions, please give me a call directly at 401-241-1851 or email me at TylerB@remaxnewportri.com.

In the meantime, here’s what sold in Newport County last week.

Newport

26 Brown and Howard #201 sold for $2,275,000 on September 24. This 2,556 sq. ft home has 2 beds and 3 baths.

11 Harrison Avenue #D4 sold for $2,295,000 on September 23. This 2,446 sq. ft home has 3 beds and 3 baths.

529 Bellevue Avenue sold for $6,600,000 on September 24. This 7,624 sq. ft home has 5 beds and 8 baths.

14 Homer Street sold for $611,000 on September 24. This 1,573 sq. ft home has 3 beds and 2 baths.

15 Hammersmith Road #14A sold for $775,000 on September 24. This 1,956 sq. ft home has 3 beds and 3 baths.

31 Bowery Street sold for $5,200,000 on September 22. This 6,613 sq. ft home has 11 beds and 10 baths.

11 S Baptist Street sold for $690,000 on September 21. This 1,536 sq. ft home has 4 beds and 2 baths.

13 Holland Street #2 or B sold for $415,000 on September 20. This 1,018 sq. ft home has 2 beds and 2 baths.

14 Brinley Street #1 sold for $300,000 on September 20. This 631 sq. ft home has 1 bed and 1 bath.

154 Eustis Avenue sold for $1,200,000 on September 20. This 2,160 sq. ft home has 3 beds and 2 baths.

11 Sagamore Street sold for $459,000 on September 20. This 1,852 sq. ft home has 3 beds and 3 baths.

Middletown

109 Wolcott Avenue sold for $1,060,000 on September 23. This 3,800 sq. ft home has 6 beds and 6 baths.

Portsmouth

3 Fox Run sold for $399,000 on September 22. This 1,600 sq. ft home has 2 beds and 3 baths.

30 Moitoza Lane sold for $650,000 on September 21. This 1,026 sq. ft home has 2 beds and 1 bath.

297 Glen Road sold for $1,105,000 on September 21. This 2,402 sq. ft home has 4 beds and 3 baths.

66 Rebels Way #BH 26 sold for $586,000 on September 21. This 2,321 sq. ft home has 2 beds and 3 baths.

26 Cherokee Drive sold for $530,000 on September 21. This 2,194 sq. ft home has 3 beds and 3 baths.

12 Ann Avenue sold for $413,000 on September 20. This 1,908 sq. ft home has 3 beds and 2 baths.

Jamestown

Nothing to report.

Tiverton

2156 Main Road sold for $379,000 on September 20. This 1,008 sq. ft home has 2 beds and 1 bath.

Little Compton

Nothing to report.

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Real estate could reap climate action dividends – REMI Network – Real Estate Management Industry Network

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The global urgency for climate action has an upside companion in global opportunities for strategic investment that could improve people’s lives and yield sustainable returns. Delivering the keynote address during the recent online commercial real estate sustainability trailblazers (CREST) awards, Dr. Richard Munang, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) climate change coordinator for Africa, underscored how the pursuit of net-zero emissions could open up new markets, create jobs and richly reward investors who move in advance of regulatory mandates.

“Not everybody who chased the zebra caught it, but he who caught it, chased it. This African proverb describes a critical asset that precedes success and it is summed up in two words: Taking chances,” Munang submitted. “Environmental sector players regularly need to take chances and seize opportunities.”

While the landlord-tenant teams participating in the race2reduce — a climate action initiative of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Greater Toronto aimed at finding energy and water savings and curbing solid waste output within commercial buildings — might not define themselves as direct environmental sector players, they fit into Munang’s broader philosophy of moving key economic sectors onto what he terms the net-zero emissions pathway.

Real estate, he maintains, is particularly well positioned to realize the “economic, social and environmental dividends” of operational savings, enhanced asset value, market influence and emerging new investment asset classes such as energy retrofit and affordable housing. Citing the findings of the recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the physical factors of climate change, he reiterated that real estate’s current quotient of 40 per cent of total global emissions also gives it the weight to lead the transition to net-zero status. Projections for a required USD $4.7 trillion global investment in green buildings over the next eight years represent critical leverage.

“The real question that all of us need to ask today, and also need to answer, is how the process of reducing these emissions can actually unlock more investment opportunities for the real estate industry as we drive inclusive economic growth,” Munang asserted. “Real estate can enhance the chances of realizing and attracting capital in green developments. This comes with a reorientation where focus shifts from ordinary markets and investments to niche markets and investments that place a premium on green sustainability.”

Along with the tangible reduction achievements gained through low-emission technologies, passive design principles and renewable energy options, he credits “soft” attributes such as passion, inspiration and boldness for generating interest, drawing participation, bolstering commitment and helping to overcome obstacles. That’s also central to the race2reduce and CREST strategy, which harnesses friendly rivalry while creating a context for collaborative efforts toward a larger shared goal.

As Munang affirmed, that shared goal is a momentous one:

“In the cycles of life, it happens that big challenges befall one generation which must be solved to guarantee the existence of future generations,” he said. “Climate change is the challenge of our generation. And we have all of 10 to 30 years with which to change the cause and narrative for present and future generations.”

The 2021 CREST winners are:

Performance Leadership, Electricity

  • ≤ 100,000 square feet: 15 Toronto Street, Toronto; owned by 15 Toronto Holdings Limited; managed by Madison Properties Inc.
  • 100,000 to 500,000 square feet: 40 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto; owned and managed by Colliers International
  • ≥ 500,000 square feet: 100 Wellington Street West, Toronto; owned and managed by The Cadillac Fairview Corporation

Performance Leadership, Gas

  • ≤ 100,000 square feet: 480 Progress Avenue, Toronto; owned by CIBC; managed by BGIS
  • 100,000 to 500,000 square feet: 95 Moatfield Drive Toronto; owned and managed by Colliers International
  • ≥ 500,000 square feet: 3381/3389 Steeles Avenue, Toronto; owned and managed by CentreCorp

Performance Leadership, Water

  • ≤ 100,000 square feet: 154 University Avenue, Toronto; owned and managed by Colliers International
  • 100,000 to 500,000 square feet: 1, 3 & 4 Robert Speck Parkway, Mississauga; owned and managed by Colliers International
  • ≥ 500,000 square feet: 100 Wellington Street West, Toronto; owned and managed by The Cadillac Fairview Corporation

Performance Leadership, Waste

  • ≤ 100,000 square feet: 154 University Avenue, Toronto; owned and managed by Colliers International
  • 100,000 to 500,000 square feet: 390 Bay Street, Toronto; owned by Munich Reinsurance Company of Canada; managed by Avison Young Real Estate Management Services
  • ≥ 500,000 square feet: RioCan portfolio; owned and managed by RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust

Performance Leadership, Landmark Buildings

  • Greater Toronto Airports Authority portfolio; owned and managed by Greater Toronto Airports Authority

Climate Champion

  • 100,000 to 500,000 square feet: 90 Sheppard Avenue East, Toronto; owned and managed by Crown Property Management Inc.
  • ≥ 500,000 square feet: 25 York Street; owned by Menkes Developments; managed by Menkes Property Management Services

Collaborative Excellence, Landlord

  • ≤ 500,000 square feet: 390 Bay Street, Toronto; owned by Munich Reinsurance Company of Canada; managed by Avison Young Real Estate Management Services
  • ≥ 500,000 square feet: 1800 Sheppard Avenue East, Toronto; owned and managed by The Cadillac Fairview Corporation

Collaborative Excellence, Tenant

  • ≤ 500,000 square feet: 250 The Esplanade, Toronto; Tenant, Energy@Work; Owner, Berkeley Castle Investments

Innovative Excellence

  • ≤ 100,000 square feet: 15 Toronto Street, Toronto; owned by 15 Toronto Holdings Limited; managed by Madison Properties Inc.
  • 100,000 to 500,000 square feet: 4711 Yonge Street, Toronto: owned by Menkes Developments & Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP); managed by Menkes Property Management Services
  • ≥ 500,000 square feet: 999 Upper Wentworth Street, Hamilton; owned and managed by The Cadillac Fairview Corporation

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