Tuesday, January 8, 2013

BOMA Bay Area EARTH Awards – What’s New for 2013? Applications Due February 8, 2013

By Zachary Brown, Chair of the BOMA Bay Area EARTH Awards Program

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The greatest edition of the BOMA Bay Area EARTH Awards application is now available on the BOMA San Francisco website.  The application, now in its seventh year, raises the bar on what defines sustainable Bay Area commercial real estate.

With over 60 active principal and associate members, the BOMA San Francisco Energy & Environment Committee lends its expertise annually to update the EARTH Award application to represent the newest and best practices in waste diversion, energy conservation, responsible purchasing, indoor environmental quality, alternative transportation, and tenant education.  This year, the Energy & Environment Committee made many notable changes to improve upon the 2012 EARTH Award program.  For example, the size categories have been updated to make them more consistent and competitive for applicants.

New for 2013 – Innovation Questionnaire

In addition to the application improvements, the Committee has drafted a new, separate Innovation Questionnaire. The Questionnaire, an optional addendum, is a separate recognition opportunity for applicants that can be completed with or without the 2013 EARTH Award Application.

The Innovation Questionnaire can be submitted by any BOMA member building regardless of obstacles or preclusions to enter the competition as an applicant. The Innovations Questionnaire addresses the issue of commercial property owners and managers that may not qualify for the auditing stage of the application process but have had an operational innovation or unique physical retrofit worth the attention of the greater BOMA membership.

Prior to the 2013 application, an interesting innovation would have been overlooked by the EARTH Awards auditors when evaluating the top-performing applicants. The 2013 Innovation Questionnaire addresses this issue by highlighting a specific 2012 innovation to be featured in the 2013 EARTH Award ceremony and associated BOMA San Francisco and Oakland/East Bay publications and marketing.

Moreover, regardless of how many points scored on the EARTH Award application, every unique operational program or retrofit can be submitted in the Innovations Questionnaire. Innovations will be considered and recognized for their own unique contribution to the Bay Area’s Sustainable Real Estate Industry. Also, for those high-performing buildings that may score well on the application, it behooves property owners and managers to submit at least one unique project using the Questionnaire as it will add a point to the total application tally.

If you are a BOMA member building, you should apply for the EARTH Award! Why?
  • The application has evolved since 2012 and features new and revised questions
  • This is a peer to peer competition; each year the field of competition changes 
  • For 2013, unique innovations will be recognized separately from the application and judged upon their own merit 
  • The BOMA Bay Area EARTH Award is the ONLY building competition celebrating the consummate in green and sustainable buildings 
Unsure if you have a unique innovation for the Questionnaire?  You probably have had at least one innovative project in 2012. 

Examples include:
  • Incorporated new, state of the art technology to an existing building system 
  • Used rebates and/or incentives to retrofit old equipment with high-efficiency units 
  • Found a unique path to achieve a LEED credit to certify or re-certify 
  • Collaborated on a sustainability program with a tenant 
  • Addressed a unique building feature or system with a equally unique solution and/or retrofit 
  • You can find more examples of innovations at the BOMA San Francisco Advocacy blog
Applications are due Friday, February 8, 2013. The EARTH Awards ceremony will be on May 16, 2013 at the Intercontinental Hotel, a certified LEED Gold facility. If you have any questions about the EARTH Award application please direct them to the BOMA SF Energy & Environment Committee.

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