Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why Green Office Buildings Make Financial Sense

Margot Crosman, BOMA San Francisco President

BOMA San Francisco's advocacy team attended a panel presentation yesterday that focused on the financial sense of 'greening' an office building. The panel included Kirsten Richie with Gensler who shared the variety of LEED ratings for commercial office buildings as well as new regulations/legislative measures facing the commercial real estate industry, and Lloyd Mariner with Glumac and Andy Canto with Siemens who discussed building operations and efficiency.

BOMA San Francisco President Margot Crosman (Unico) provided an enlightening real-life example of 100 Pine Street--the first LEED EB multi-tenant office building in the Western Region. Ms. Crosman's efforts in 'greening' 100 Pine reflect her commitment to sustainable building practices and to the bottom line. Here are a few of the highlights from her presentation, all of which have significant cost savings:
  • Working with tenants, Margot and her property management team have achieved a 75% waste diversion rate, and they have partnered with Green Citizen to properly recycle electronic waste. In 2008, trash costs were reduced 68% via a 75% discount for 'clean' recycling loads.
  • All natural, environmentally friendly landscaping was planted. Margot shifted from annuals to native perennials to not only save on costs, but to protect the environment as well.
  • Low-flow water fixtures have been installed which reduces water consumption by approximately 40%, saving 1.5 million gallons of water a year. This action also reduces water costs.
  • To save energy, motion sensors in emergency stairwells and high efficiency motors were installed.
  • LEED compliant tenant improvements are also a priority for Margot and her management team.

The overall message was that making these 'green' investments can pay off quickly. You'll not only be saving the environment, but saving money as well.

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