From left, Blair Cunnings, Aharon Davoyan, Justin Fortmeyer, Tracy Kashian, Garry Bredefeld, Terry Broussard, Aric Olson and Richard Caglia. Photo by Breanna Hardy

published on May 18, 2022 - 1:46 PM
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Lance Kashian & Co. announced Wednesday plans to reduce the carbon footprint of its River Park shopping center with the help of several Central Valley businesses.

“We understood that we needed a team of experts, and that is when the carbon footprint reduction team was born,” said Tracy Kashian, vice president of marketing and public relations.

Goals include reducing water use, increasing renewable energy production, improving efficiency of the HVAC systems, recycling and landfill diversion, and increasing safety via lighting upgrades.

Jain Irrigation is heading up River Park’s water-use initiative and will install 38,000 linear feet of drip irrigation. 

River Park will plant more than 3,000 drought-tolerant trees and shrubs. These low-water-use plants will maintain the aesthetics of the property while aiding in water conservation amid the drought, according to River Park officials.

“This is a retail environment; it needs to be beautiful and saving the environment doesn’t translate into a desert scape,” said Terry Broussard, CEO of Broussard Associates, a landscape architecture firm.

He said the new landscaping will save 145,000 gallons of water per year. 

In addition, a smart-controlled drip irrigation system will allow remote water control based on changing temperatures and climate. Aric Olson, president of Fresno-based Jain Irrigation, said the company uses a cloud-based irrigation control system. This saves contractors from driving out to a property every time the settings need adjusting. 

“River Park continues to set the standard and we hope others will follow in their footsteps,” said Fresno City Councilmember Garry Bredefeld.

Energy-saving projects already undertaken include retrofitting the parking garage with LED lighting, which has not only saved money on energy bills, but also provides added safety as security footage is easier to see, according to River Park officials.

“They really are a leader in the industry when it comes to reducing their carbon footprint and when it comes to retrofitting their projects,” said Greg Race, senior manager for Fresno/Kern PG&E, about River Park.

Developers like Lance Kashian & Company can get PG&E involved early in the building development process in order to meet and exceed Title 24 requirements, which include energy-related building codes, he said.

“When we get involved early in the design, the engineering, the construction of the project — that’s where you see your big rebates and that’s where you see your big savings,” said Race. 

River Park will also install medical-grade HVAC units for cleaner air, headed up by Patton Air Conditioning in Fresno.

Blair Cunnings, president of Barrier Solar in Fresno, spoke of a new concept of combining solar panels and cool roofing just by painting the roofs white. By changing the color of the roof, the rooftop temperature decreases by up to 30 degrees – about 15% of the energy load. 

Solar has already been installed on Regal Cinemas, JoAnn Fabrics, Park View Plaza and soon, World Market. 

Trash compactors have already reduced energy spent on truck trips to pick up waste. It also reduces wear and tear on roads surrounding the businesses. 

Richard Caglia, CEO of Fresno-based Caglia Environmental, said the company’s main focus has been diverting waste from the landfills – and it is even on track to exceed state mandated diversion rates, he said.

“This type of commitment takes time, money and effort, but we recognize the importance and we’re committed to being a driving force,” said Kashian.

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