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Ibis Philosophy Our goal is to build environmentally friendly and sustainable live/work developments that integrate a sense of community and respect for our earth's resources. At Ibis, we believe in our responsibility to develop building projects that conserve and create energy, utylize renewable resources and minimize the need for maintenance over the life of the project. We know the only way to do this is to have every person that's part of the cycle—from conception to end user—agree this is the right way to design, construct and use buildings. At Ibis, it's not just a financial decision, it's a life decision.


From the beginning of each project, we bring together all those involved in the development; investors, neighbors, architects, contractors, engineers, city officials, and other consultants to ensure we are all striving for the same goals. This integrative process fosters strong communication between all parties and expands the opportunities for creative new ideas to emerge.


In all of our projects we integrate environmentally sound building decisions, ecological materials and renewable resources. One of the key issues with sustainability is renewability. Non-sustainable practices lead to the long-term depletion of natural resources and, once they're gone, they're gone. To us, sustainablity means utilizing strategies that allow resources to continue indefinitely and that do not lead to environmental degradation. We work with green building criteria set forth by the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) program as well as with the Bay Area "Build it Green" Program. Florence Lofts has received LEED® Gold Certification.

Intelligent Building

  1. Our developments are built to be highly energy efficient. We design projects to consume as little gas and electricity as possible, and maximize opportunities for onsite energy generation. Appliances we use are selected for energy efficiency and functionality.
  2. We utilize a sophisticated graywater system to recirculate much of the water consumed in our live/work communities. For instance, water used for laundry and bathing is reused to irrigate the site landscaping.
  3. The materials we use in Ibis projects are purchased with the sustainable goal in mind: building frames are constructed of recycled steel; wood is cultivated from managed forests where there is no clear cutting; concrete contains Flyash, a byproduct of the coal industry that would normally be buried in the ground, replaces Portland cement (the production of which is very high in CO2 emissions); dual-flush toilets save water; permeable paving allows stormwater to drain back into the earth; and more.
  4. Good insullation plus radiant heating in the floors and a passive cooling design create buildings that are easily made comfortable no matter what the temperature.
  5. Bio-remediation techniques treat pollutants in stormwater runoff. The bio-remediation tanks are filled with plants, gravel and organic matter that host organisms which naturally digest pollutants and remove them from the water. After the natural filtration process, this cleaner water flows into the city storm drain system and beyond.
  6. Projects are designed with LEED® (www.usgbc.org) green building stratagies to insure a holistic approach to our decisions about design and construction.

Sustainable Sites

  1. Our projects create an ideal live/work environment.
  2. We develop sites that are in walking distance of downtown areas, parks and adjacent to public transportation.
  3. Public, landscaped, outdoor space is maximized.
  4. Paving is permeable allowing storm-water to recharge the aquifer.
  5. Storm-water not permeating into the site flows into a bio-remediation tank and is purified before exiting the site.

Water Efficiency

  1. Projects contain a greywater system which recirculates bathing and laundry water to irrigate site landscaping. Over a yearly irrigation cycle as much as 150,000 gallons are saved.
  2. Plumbing fixtures are water efficient including dual flush toilets.
  3. Outdoor environments and courtyards include water features and low-maintenance landscaping.

Renewable Energy

  1. Buildings are designed so that windows are in good positions for solar heat gain during the winter months and then in shaded postions during the summer.
  2. Roof surfaces are covered with a photovoltaic material which produces the majority of electricity consumed on site.
  3. In-floor radiant heating provide occupant comfort at lower air temperatures.
  4. In-floor radiant cooling provides a non-refrigerant solution for cooling modern commercial buildings.
  5. Energy efficient low-e2 glazing helps keep the temperature stable inside.

Materials and Resources

  1. Construction waste taken to the landfill is kept to a minimum and much of the waste is recycled back into the site in the form of biodegradable mulch and soil amendments.
  2. Many of the products used for construction are of high-recycled material content. The steel framing of building walls use 80%± recycled steel and countertops use 100% recycled paper.
  3. Concrete substitutes 15%-50% fly-ash for cement.
  4. Wood used for construction is FSC certified from sustainably managed forests.
  5. Materials have been selected to minimize needed maintenance over the life of the building.

Indoor Environmental Quality

  1. Interior spaces are designed with ample cross ventilation with operable windows.
  2. Materials selected have very low or zero VOC emissions.
  3. Spaces are designed to allow ample daylight for working and living activities.

Ibis Biographies At Ibis we realize how the consequences of our everyday actions directly affect the environment. Our team continually explores and evolves environmentally sound building strategies, and utilizes cutting edge sustainable materials to minimize the development's negative impact on local communities and the environment. We have all been immersed in the ideas and practical implications of sustainability most of our lives. Ibis is the realization of our common goals.

Joe Marshall is a financial consultant working primarily with companies in the natural organic foods industry to provide them a path for sustainable business success. Joe's business acumen has also been realized in his management of real estate investments for high wealth principals in private partnership ventures. He holds an MBA from Harvard University and a BS in Accounting from UC Berkeley.

Robert Nissenbaum is a pioneer in the natural organic foods industry. As a founder and CEO of Imagine Foods, one of the world's largest privately held natural food companies prior to its sale in 2002, he helped bring organic food products into the more widespread consumer consciousness.

Steve Sheldon is an architect, general building contractor and developer who has been making a "green" impact in Sonoma County for the last 30 years. The core principals from which Steven evolves his sustainable and environmentally sound designs include: energy efficiency and conservation of resources; economy of space while creating a sense of spaciousness; utilization of natural light; and the seamless integration of buildings with their surrounding landscape.

Gary Ratway is a landscape architect skilled in creating gardens that nurture the humans in them. Gary crafts climate specific, complexly layered compositions that truly integrate the buildings within the landscape forms. He is principal designer for Integrated Design Landscaping and Co-Owner of Digging Dog Nursery.

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