At our second virtual partners meeting we heard from Michael Parker and Emmeline Hoover about Ivory Homes wonderful sustainability efforts. We then turned the time over to Bryce Bird from the Division of Air Quality about an important air quality topic, summertime ozone.
Ivory Homes: Keeping Utah Green – Michael Parker and Emmeline Hoover, Ivory Homes
Ivory Homes has been Utah’s number one home builder for over 30 years. They build a variety of home from town homes, single homes to apartments and more. Over the last few years Ivory Homes has consciously made sustainability a priority. On a corporate level, their fleet has been converted to hybrids and will eventually all be electric. Ivory Homes is also committed to reducing emissions from area sources. Their consumer research shows that people want green homes across demographics and age groups. To make their homes greener LED light bulbs, a high efficiency natural gas furnace, upgraded insulation and dual-glazed windows are standard in all homes. These features can save homeowners up to $1200 a year on utilities. In addition to the other efficiency features, beginning in January 2020 basic infrastructure for charging electric vehicles will be standard in all new Ivory homes. Homeowners will also be eligible to receive a discounted EV charger through a partnership with Rocky Mountain Power.
Another exciting, sustainability project that Ivory Hoes is working on is their 30,000 tree initiative. The initiative was created to celebrate 30 years of being in business. The goal of the initiative, in partnership with TreeUtah and UCAIR, is to gift 20,000 trees to communities across the state and plant the remaining 10,000 in new and existing Ivory communities. These trees are intended to improve public green space, improve roadside tree plantings, replace dead or dying trees and contribute to ecological restoration. Ivory Homes staff is working with local nurseries to source local and native trees that are the appropriate size for the project. As of this spring 10,000 trees have been planted across the state, from St. George, Price, Logan and communities in between. All trees are planted by volunteers, often at planting events which build community and are a fun family activity. So far 60 projects, ranging in size from one tree to dozens, have been completed. If you have would like to propose a location for a tree planting or want more information on Ivory Homes sustainability efforts please visit their website.
Ozone Season Update – Bryce Bird, Executive Director, Utah Division of Air Quality
Ozone is a criteria pollutant along the Wasatch Front and the Division of Air Quality is required by the EPA to monitor ozone levels. Ozone forms as a secondary pollutant when precursor emissions of NOx and volatile organic compounds (VOC) are exposed to direct sunlight, temperatures above 90 degrees and stagnant conditions. Ozone has a diurnal pattern, when it is not actively being formed it reacts quickly and leaves the atmosphere leading to lower levels in morning and evening. High ozone levels can impact human health, animals, plants, fabrics, and rubber products. Areas of Utah along the Wasatch Front and in the Uinta Basin were classified as marginal nonattainment areas in 2015. The DAQ is monitoring ozone levels. However, monitoring ozone is different than monitoring PM2.5 levels. Ozone monitors are more expensive and complex than PM monitors because they are measuring a gas and must be calibrated daily by DAQ staff. While ozone levels had been trending down the last few summers have drier and warmer, conditions conducive to high ozone levels. You can find current ozone level and the ozone forecast on the DAQ website.
Following the presentation, partners shared what projects and initiatives they are currently working on. These included:
Thom Carter, UCAIR –
- UCAIR summer ozone campaign in partnership with DAQ launched Monday, June 15th.
- We partnered with several important organizations to launch a telework survey. We had good participation and are looking forward to seeing what we can learn.
- The 2020-2021 UCAIR Grant program is open. LOIs are due on July 31st. More information, including the RFP are on our website.
Annie Schneider, Office of Energy Development – They have partnered with Chevron to provide scholarships for STEM education at Utah schools and technical colleges. The scholarships are available to high school seniors. They are also working with Utah Clean Cities to have a virtual EV workshop conduct public survey on general EV awareness. The Utah Economic and Energy Summit will be held October 26 at the Grand America.
Kevin Emerson, Utah Clean Energy – Utah Clean Energy will be hosting training workshops for local governments on low and zero emissions buildings and EV planning strategies. These trainings will contain resources that will also be available to the general public.