Friday, May 29, 2015

BOMA San Francisco Drought Coverage: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Orders Mandatory Water Reduction on July 1, 2015

UPDATE - May 29, 2015

BOMA San Francisco Members:

In response to the drought and to State-mandated outdoor water use restrictions the SFPUC implemented a Mandatory Irrigation Allocation Program in 2014 that required a 10% reduction in outdoor water use for all potable irrigation customers. This first mandatory reduction applied to all billing periods beginning on or after October 1, 2014 through June 2015 with water allocations determined using 2013 baseline water use data and is expressed as gallons per day (gpd).

Allocations from October 2014 – June 2015 will be totaled and compared against your actual usage during the mandatory reduction period. If total water use exceeds the total allocation, an Excess Use Charge of 100% of your applicable water rate will be charged for each unit of water exceeding the allocation. For the October 2014 to June 2015 restriction period, the Excess Use Charge is a one-time assessment that will be added to your July 2015 bill and will be in addition to normal charges.

Due to continuing drought conditions and the State's expanded outdoor water use restrictions, the SFPUC's Mandatory Irrigation Allocation Program will be extended through 2016 and require customers to reduce irrigation water use by 25%. The SFPUC will provide each irrigation customer with their water use allocations for the next restriction period including billing periods beginning on or after July 1, 2015 through February 2016. Water use allocations will continue to use 2013 as the baseline.

Additional information


UPDATE - April 1, 2015

Following the lowest snowpack ever recorded and with no end to the drought in sight, Governor Jerry Brown Jr. announced actions that will save water, increase enforcement to prevent wasteful water use, streamline the state's drought response and invest in new technologies that will make California more drought resilient.

"Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow. This historic drought demands unprecedented action," said Governor Brown. "Therefore, I'm issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state. As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible."

High resolution photos of previous snow surveys are available here.

For more than two years, the state's experts have been managing water resources to ensure that the state survives this drought and is better prepared for the next one. Last year, the Governor proclaimed a drought state of emergency. The state has taken steps to make sure that water is available for human health and safety, growing food, fighting fires and protecting fish and wildlife. Millions have been spent helping thousands of California families most impacted by the drought pay their bills, put food on their tables and have water to drink.

Click here for the full executive order issued by the Governor.

Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at


UPDATE - August 4, 2014

In response to the ongoing severe drought, the State Water Resources Control Board recently passed emergency regulations beginning on August 1, 2014 to ensure all Californians reduce outdoor water waste or face potential enforcement. The SFPUC is continuing its ongoing and comprehensive water conservation programs and educational efforts to ensure that citations are issued only as a last resort.

Californians can be cited for:
  • Washing down driveways and sidewalks except when needed for health and safety purposes.
  • Watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excess runoff. 
  • Using a hose, without a shut-off nozzle, to wash motor vehicles; and, 
  • Using drinking water in fountains or decorative water features unless the water recirculates. 
The State’s requirements are similar to water waste restrictions the SFPUC already has in place and are consistent with water saving tips and guidance we provide our customers rain or shine. 


Image credit: Randall Benton, Sacramento Bee

Original Post - February 20, 2014

Like most businesses and households, BOMA San Francisco members are acutely aware of California's declared drought and are looking at ways to further conserve water during this unprecedented dry winter.  Indeed, BOMA members have been at the forefront of energy and water conservation for some time though our Energy and Environment Committee and the Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance.

BOMA San Francisco's Energy and Environment Committee (E&E)

BOMA's E&E Committee is one of the organization's most active member groups focused specifically on energy and environmental sustainability in commercial high-rise buildings.  At the committee's most recent meeting, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) representatives presented on water-saving tips for commercial properties:
  • Determine how and where your water is used on site. If you need assistance, the SFPUC provides free Water-Wise Evaluations.
  • Assign a conservation champion to develop and monitor water conservation efforts.
  • Educate tenants and visitors about water conservation practices; put up signs encouraging water conservation in kitchens, restrooms, locker rooms, and other public areas.
  • Inform vendors that water efficiency is a priority (cooling tower maintenance, landscape, laundry and dishwasher)
  • Install water-efficient fixtures and plumbing devices, such as high efficiency toilets and urinals, faucet aerators, and pre-rinse spray valves. The SFPUC provides fixture rebates and free devices (details below).
  • Identify water conservation opportunities specific to your facility or business and prioritize no or low cost options. 
  • Use a broom, pressure washer, or hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle to clean sidewalks, driveways and pavement.
  • Conduct preventative maintenance to ensure water-using fixtures are working properly.
  • Assess your irrigation system to identify inefficiencies such as leaks, broken sprinkler heads and run off. 
  • Track water consumption through meter reads or monthly water bills to measure water savings achievements and monitor for leaks.
There is not a mandatory water reduction for San Francisco at this time although there is a request from the SFPUC that businesses and households reduce their consumption voluntarily by 10%

Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance (2009)

Our members are fortunate to have had the foresight to work with the City and County of San Francisco on the Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance that applies to any commercial property owner.  The law requires that a building owner repair plumbing leaks and install water efficient plumbing fixtures to obtain a Certificate of Compliance either upon major improvements or by January 1, 2017.


Inefficient plumbing fixtures manufactured and installed prior to 1994 must be replaced with efficient fixtures. The SFPUC offers financial incentives and technical assistance for the replacement of inefficient plumbing fixtures. The Ordinance established the following water efficiency guidelines for commercial properties:
  • All showerheads have a maximum flow of 2.5 gallons per minute (fpm);
  • All showers have no more than one showerhead per valve;
  • All faucets and faucet aerators have a maximum flow rate of 2.2 fpm
  • All water closets (toilets) have a maximum rated water consumption of 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) or the flush volume set by updates to the San Francisco Plumbing Code. Effective July 1, 2011, new toilet fixture installations may not exceed 1.28 gallons per flush, the maximum rated water consumption established in the San Francisco Plumbing Code, Chapter 4, Section 402.2;
  • All urinals have a maximum flow rate of 1.0 gpf. Note: To achieve compliance with the Ordinance, new urinal fixture installations shall not exceed 0.5 gpf, the maximum rated water consumption established in the San Francisco Plumbing Code, Chapter 4, Section 402.3;
  • All water leaks have been repaired.
Click here for more information on how you can help to conserve our most precious resource.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

U.S.Energy Department Update: Better Buildings Alliance Indoor Lighting Campaign & Better Buildings Challenge Saves $840 Million in Energy Costs; Adds New Water Savings Goal

Better Buildings Alliance Indoor Lighting Campaign

The United States Department of Energy has launched a new indoor lighting campaign to increase the use of high efficiency lighting technologies in commercial buildings. Through the Better Buildings Alliance, the Department is working with key stakeholders and end users in both the public and private sectors to install and demonstrate advanced technologies. Additionally, the Department recognized Advanced Roof-top Unit Campaign (ARC) partners and Green Lease Leaders for collaboration between building owners, landlords, and tenants to improve energy efficiency.

Currently, interior lighting accounts for 20% of U.S. commercial buildings energy use. More energy efficient troffer lighting offers savings of 25% (57 kilowatt-hours) or $6 over a typical T8 troffer used today. The Better Building Alliance's Interior Lighting Campaign (ILC) will support building owners as they commit to upgrade current fluorescent lights. The goal for the first year is for partners to install 100,000 high efficiency troffers and share their success and learning with others. Upgrading 100,000 fixtures can reduce energy use by 5 million kWh, cut greenhouse gas emissions by 3,000 metric tons of carbon, and save $500,000 in electricity bills annually.

Similar to ILC, the Advanced Roof-top Unit Campaign (ARC) is part of a suite of efforts designed to accelerate the adoption of new technologies. Today, the Energy Department announced ARC results of building owners that are replacing or retrofitting the aging heating and cooling technologies installed on roofs of many of U.S. commercial buildings. Since 2013, ARC has spurred over 190 public and private sector organizations to replace or retrofit 40,000 high-efficiency commercial building roof-top units, saving 4 trillion BTUs of energy or $37 million dollars.

In 2013, the Better Buildings Alliance deployed the Green Lease Leaders program. On average, about 10-20% can be saved each month on a building's energy and water bills with a green lease. This year, Green Lease Leaders signed leases representing 415 million square feet, with the culminated square footage totaling 800 million square feet.

The following organizations were recognized as Green Lease Leaders for their leadership as landlords, tenants, and brokers. More information on winners is available here.


Bentall Kennedy
Boston Properties
Cadillac Fairview
Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management*
Forest City Enterprises*
NEO Realty Group
Shorenstein Properties*
Weingarten Realty Investors


TD Bank
Capital One


Laurie McMahon, DTZ
Sally Wilson, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Greta Garner, Green Coast Realty
Meade Boutwell, CBRE - A BOMA San Francisco Leader!
Randolph (Randy) Harrell, CBRE
Brant Smith, NEO Realty Group

* These noted organizations are also committed to achieving a 20% energy savings goal in ten years through the Energy Department's Better Buildings Challenge.

As a cornerstone of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, Better Buildings aims to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20% more energy efficient over the next decade. This means saving billions of dollars on energy bills, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating thousands of jobs. Through Better Buildings, public and private sector organizations across the country are working together to share and replicate positive gains in energy efficiency and catalyze change and investment in energy efficiency. Read more about Better Buildings partner results, and the innovative solutions being shared with others in the Better Buildings Solution Center.

Better Buildings Challenge Saves $840 Million in Energy Costs, Adds New Water Savings Goal

As part of the Administration’s effort to advance energy efficiency and combat the harmful effects of climate change, Better Buildings Challenge partners have cut energy waste by 94 TBTUs since President Obama first launched the challenge in 2011. The energy savings announced recently have saved partners a total of $840 million dollars in energy costs and avoided 6 million tons of harmful carbon emissions, equivalent to cutting the emissions of 1 million cars. To continue this progress, the Energy Department is expanding the Better Buildings Challenge to include water savings goals and Senior Advisor to the President Brian Deese today called on existing partners to recruit one new partner to join the program and set a goal of reducing energy use across their respective building portfolios by at least 20 percent in the next 10 years, effectively doubling down on Better Buildings.

The Better Buildings Challenge now has more than 250 partners representing 3.5 billion square feet, 650 manufacturing plants, 50 cities and states, and $5.5 billion in financing investments.

Better Buildings Challenge to Include New Focus on Water Savings

Based on progress made working with its pilot partners in 2014, the Energy Department is expanding the Better Buildings Challenge to include a new water savings goal. Interested partners can work directly with the Energy Department to advance data collection and analysis practices and share more solutions to common water saving barriers. The Energy Department will coordinate with other federal agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as work with experts from non-governmental organizations, to lend additional technical expertise.

As a cornerstone of the President's Climate Action Plan, the Better Buildings Challenge is aimed at achieving the goal of doubling American energy productivity by 2030 while motivating corporate and public sector leaders across the country to save energy through commitments and investments. More than 250 organizations are partnering with the Energy Department to achieve 20 percent portfolio-wide energy savings and share successful strategies that maximize efficiency over the next decade. Across the country, partners have shared energy data for more than 32,000 properties and are reporting energy savings of 20 percent or more at 4,500 properties, and 10 percent or more at 12,000 properties. Read more about Better Buildings Challenge partner results, showcase projects and innovative solutions being shared with others in the 2015 Progress Report.

Friday, May 22, 2015

San Francisco Department of Building Inspection's Customer Satisfaction Survey

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The San Francisco Department of Building Inspection is currently in the process of surveying their customers' satisfaction with the Department's services. If you interact with SFDBI on a daily basis, once a month, or annually, they want to hear from you. Your valuable feedback will help them improve how they serve you.

Please take a few minutes to complete a short and anonymous survey that will remain open until May 31st.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

San Francisco Safer Market Street Representatives Speak to BOMA San Francisco Members

UPDATE - May 20, 2015

BOMA San Francisco Members:

BOMA's Government Affairs Committee members have been meeting with public officials to represent your interests.
Recently, representatives from the SFMTA Safer Market Street initiative spoke to our members about the project. Please click here to review the project fact sheet and here for the presentation.

Questions or concerns? Feel free to contact Kate Elliott at or at (415) 701-2483.

Original Post - March 4, 2015

The Safer Market Street team is planning changes to the way various modes of transportation move up and down on Market Street.  These updates will commence in the Spring/ Summer of this year and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is hosting a public hearing next Friday March 6 to solicit public feedback on the project.

Safer Market Street is one of over 24 projects to be expedited to address the disproportionately high number of severe and fatal collisions along high-injury corridors such as Market Street. Safer Market Street will help achieve the Vision Zero goal of eliminating all traffic fatalities citywide by improving safety across all transportation modes. The extension of transit-only lanes and turn restrictions between 3rd Street and 8th Street on Market will reduce conflicts between pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.

To date they have held two Community Workshops to receive feedback on the proposed transit-only lanes and turn restrictions as well as informational signage as you approach Market Street and potential new loading zones. Click here for the Public Hearing Notice that provides details on the location and conditions of the transit-only lanes, turn restrictions, loading zones and parking changes incorporating public and SFMTA feedback. Additionally, an updated fact-sheet can be found here with more details and graphics regarding the proposed conditions.

The Public Hearing is Friday, March 6, 2015 @ 10:00 am City Hall Room 416 (Hearing Room 4) 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Place.

Safer Market Street website


Kate Elliott
Public Information Officer
SFMTA | Municipal Transportation Agency
1 South Van Ness Avenue, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone:  415-701-2483

Monday, May 18, 2015

BOMA California Advocacy Update: Emergency Water Reduction Standards, ADA Reform & AED's in Commercial Buildings

Emergency Water-Efficient Landscaping Building Code

The California Building Standards Commission (BSC) will meet on May 29, 2015 to adopt emergency building standards to significantly reduce the amount of potable water that can be used for outside landscaping irrigation purposes.

These emergency building standards will apply to new residential and commercial building construction for which the initial permit application is submitted to the local building department on or after June 1, 2015. This emergency action was prompted by the Governor’s recent Executive Order on the drought emergency and subsequent rules issued by the State Water Resources Control Board.

Among other things, the emergency building standards will require the calculation of a water budget for the site using a modified version of the Department of Water Resources’ Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO). This is the water budget calculation tool that has been required in most local jurisdictions for the past five years.

The modified tool results in a 20%-25% reduction in landscape water consumption.

BOMA California staff members are still seeking advice and comment from the BOMA membership on detail, we are working with the Governor and BSC and have let it be known that our industry is generally supportive of these changes.

A copy of the emergency standards can be found by Clicking here.

ADA Reform Bill Passes Two Committees

An industry supported bill that incentivizes disability access and education passed two Senate policy committees this week.

SB 251 is a balanced approach between preserving the civil rights of those who are disabled to ensure access to all public accommodations, and limiting the number of frivolous lawsuits threatened or filed against businesses that do not improve accessibility.

The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Governance and Finance Committee this week with unanimous support.

SB 251 seeks to incentivize businesses to proactively take steps to become accessible by providing them with 90 days from receiving a Certified Access Specialist (CASp) report to resolve any violations identified without being subject to statutory penalties or litigation costs. This proposal will assist businesses that are trying to ensure they are compliant with the law from being subject to frivolous claims or litigation.

SB 251 also provides a limited time period for businesses to resolve minor, technical construction-related standards that do not actually impede access to the public accommodation. Specifically, SB 251 provides businesses with 15 days from the service of the summons and complaint to resolve any alleged violation regarding signage, parking lot striping, and truncated domes.

This limited period will provide a business owner the opportunity to devote financial resources to resolving these minor issues before being subjected to statutory penalties and attorney fees.

Click here to read an analysis of the bill.

BOMA California is part of a coalition working to move this bill forward.

AED Bills Move Forward

Two bills in the California State Legislature addressing the issue of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) in commercial buildings passed the Senate Judiciary Committee this week and will head to the Senate Floor.

SB 658 Hill – Addresses onerous training requirements. BOMA California testified in support of this bill which is intended to reform requirements that need to be met in order to for a property owner to receive limited liability protections under the law. BOMA members feel this is a priority as it is the main reason that AEDs are not more widespread.

SB 287 Hueso – Mandates installations in new buildings with 200+ occupancy. BOMA California testified in opposition to this bill for a number of reasons, but most importantly we do not believe the state should mandate these devices when it knows that property owners currently cannot comply with many of the issues addressed in AB 658.

This bill passed committee with the minimum number of votes needed, 4-2. Both Republicans on the committee opposed the measure and one Democrat chose not to vote.

We will continue to work with both authors and hope that we can work out some of the technical issues related to building occupancy related to SB 287.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

BOMA Protects the Commercial Real Estate Industry - Proposition 13/Split Roll Property Tax

BOMA San Francisco Members: 

A new effort to change Proposition 13 protections for commercial real estate has manifested. 

Indeed, a group has formed to engender public opinion in support of changing Proposition 13 to include split roll and advance legislative efforts to introduce a bill in the California State Legislature to change existing property tax law. As leaders of the commercial real estate industry in California, please remain vigilant and conversant about the issue to help counter the political hyperbole. 

Sign-up for updates from Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes - a BOMA California partner organization, to stay appraised of the latest news.

Original Post - May 16, 2014

L to R: Asm. Ammiano; Asm. Bocanegra
California State Assemblymembers Tom Ammiano (San Francisco) and Raul Bocanegra (Pacoima), announced an agreement recently to amend the change of ownership rules under California’s Proposition 13 through Assembly Bill AB 2372. The amendments are supported by a diverse group of stakeholders including the California Business Roundtable, the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Business Properties Association, which includes BOMA California, and the California Tax Reform Association.

Over the years, a few complex property purchase deals have given the appearance of an attempt to avert  the Proposition 13 change of ownership rules.  The transactions have been highlighted and used to commove the reform proponents of the property tax law.  This current agreement between stakeholders is meant to update some of the laws implementing statutes to address this viewpoint.

Currently, a property is reassessed when it is sold and/or changes ownership.  However, if none of the purchasers acquires more than a 50% interest, reassessment may not necessarily be triggered.  AB 2372 will be amended to clarify that as long as 90% of a property is sold, a reassessment would be triggered, regardless of whether any individual buys more than 50% of the property.  Safeguards are being negotiated by your BOMA California advocates in Sacramento now to clarify that the change of ownership amendments do not apply to normal turnover of stock for publicly traded companies.

As our organizations have done in the past, BOMA San Francisco and BOMA California will continue to defend Proposition 13 - an initiative that protects both residential and commercial properties.  However, part of an effective defense of the property tax law is to recognize that the intent of the original language may need to be updated to assure the voter approved goals of the initiative are being met.  BOMA believes this agreement does just that.

Split Roll Measures Still Loom

For 2014, various members of the California State Legislature continue to pursue public policies that would undermine the intent of the property tax protections approved by voters under Proposition 13.  Indeed, there are upwards of nine California Constitutional Amendments seeking to lower voter thresholds to amend the initiative's tax protection on properties from 2/3rds (66.66%) to 55%.

Rest assured that your fellow BOMA California members are working hard to protect the industry's interest.  Stay tuned for updates in future blog posts.

Monday, May 11, 2015

San Francisco Formula Retail Establishments - New Laws Take Effect on July 3, 2015

UPDATE - May 11, 2015

BOMA San Francisco Members:

San Francisco Formula Retail establishments must comply with two new laws beginning July 3, 2015. The Formula Retail Labor Protections Ordinances include provisions which impact scheduling, on-call work, employee retention and treatment of part-time employees. The new laws cover employers who meet the definition of Formula Retail in the San Francisco Planning Code with 20 or more locations worldwide and 20 or more employees in San Francisco.

Covered employers include bars, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, financial services companies, massage establishments, janitorial and security contractors of Formula Retail businesses and more.

To learn more about your obligations under the law please click here.
UPDATE - November 25, 2014

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed both measures at their meeting on November 18th and it's expected that the members of the Board will do the same today as they consider these items for a second and final vote.

Even so, BOMA San Francisco members and staff will be working with the Board of Supervisors and our business community partners in the next month to address our members' concerns as detailed below. More information on our efforts will be reported to you.

Questions or concerns?   Please email and

Original Post - November 17, 2014

Legislation is being fast-tracked at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors that, until this afternoon, didn't impact your industries (janitorial/security contractors), now requires your immediate attention. Please contact the San Francisco Board of Supervisors – details below.

There are two ordinances for you to review:
  • Supervisor Eric Mar
    • Police Code - Hours and Retention Protections for Formula Retail Employees
      • Abstract
        • Ordinance amending the Police Code to regulate the operation of Formula Retail Establishments, including requiring employers to offer additional hours of work, when available, to current part-time employees; and requiring successor employers to retain employees for 90 days upon a change in control of the business.
  • Supervisor David Chiu
    • Police Code - Fair Scheduling and Treatment of Formula Retail Employees
      • Abstract
        • Ordinance amending the Police Code to require Formula Retail Establishments to provide employees with two weeks notice of work schedules, notice of changes to work schedules, and compensation for schedule changes made on less than seven days notice and unused on-call shifts; and to provide part-time employees with the same starting rate of hourly pay, access to time off, and eligibility for promotions, as provided to full-time employees.

Both measures respectively address employee management and retention at Formula Retail (chain store) establishments and, until recently, did not affect the janitorial/security industries. Amendments that were inserted - without consultation to BOMA or representatives of your industries - were approved today at a special meeting of the Budget and Finance Committee and the Board of Supervisors will consider both measures tomorrow at their meeting at City Hall.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Both pieces of legislation now apply to janitorial and security contractors who contract with formula retailers, even if those contractors do not qualify as formula retailers.

What Should I Do?

Please contact (call and email) the following San Francisco Board of Supervisors and tell them to send both measures back to the Budget and Finance Committee for further review and discussion with employers directly impacted by the legislation:

Mark Farrell
Katy Tang
Scott Weiner
London Breed
Malia Cohen

Special thanks to Dee Dee Workman, Vice President of Public Policy with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, who alerted us to this change. She’s worked tirelessly on this issue and we are appreciative of her efforts.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

BOMA SF-PAC Slate Card for the November 3, 2015 San Francisco Municipal Election

BOMA San Francisco's Political Action Committee's Slate Card

The BOMA SF-PAC is looking forward to the November 3, 2015 election and our members have already endorsed candidates for elected office in San Francisco. The PAC will consider any propositions that may be on the November ballot as they are known and assessed by the Committee.

UPDATE: The BOMA San Francisco & BOMA Oakland East/Bay Innovative EARTH Award Ceremony

UPDATE - April 30, 2015

There's a lot more to share but here's a sneak peak at our winners from the recent BOMA San Francisco & BOMA Oakland/East Bay Innovative EARTH Award Ceremony. Please expect a synopsis of every entry that applied for the award in the near-term.

THANK YOU to our sponsors for helping to produce this event:



UPDATE - April 22, 2015

Today is Earth Day and what better way to celebrate the innovative ways that the Bay Area commercial real estate industry promotes environmentally sustainable building practices than to attend our luncheon tomorrow, April 23rd: BOMA's Innovative EARTH Award Ceremony.

Details on what to expect can be found in previous post, below. Indeed, there are a number of exciting entries this year so don't miss this fun and informative event.  Thank you to the BOMA San Francisco Energy & Environment Committee Leaders who have organized tomorrow's luncheon.

Original Post - February 20, 2015

Applications Due March 2, 2015 - Apply Today

BOMA's Innovative EARTH Award highlights the unique, innovative measures members are implementing in pursuit of environmental sustainability. The application is short, easy to complete, and limited documentation is required. Any BOMA member may enter.
  • Innovations should seek to address these issues within the building: 
    • Energy conservation; 
    • Waste diversion; 
    • Water conservation; 
    • Hazardous materials management; 
    • Transportation; 
    • Tenant education; 
    • Or, any other new and interesting sustainable practice. 
An example of an innovation might be a vegetable garden for tenants, or a tenant carpool or vanpool coordinated by the building. Not sure what projects to submit? Click here to view all 2014 entries and view our motivational video, below.

Applications for BOMA's new Innovative Earth Award are due March 2, 2015, and will be reviewed by the Energy and Environment Committee. Winners will be announced at the BOMA Innovative Earth Award luncheon on April 23, 2015.

APPLY TODAY - Submit completed application to Nicole Cui. For assistance in completing the application, please contact Jenna Hattersley.

BOMA California Advocacy Update: Governor Meets with BOMA and Business Leaders Regarding Drought; New Water Appliance Standards Adopted

Governor Jerry Brown Meets with BOMA and Business Leaders Regarding Drought

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. convened officials representing a broad array of leaders that impact water usage at non-residential properties, including landscape, golf, home and garden, spa and pool, cemetery and mortuary, building and manufacturing, retail, restaurant and hospitality industries. Rex Hime, President and CEO of California Business Properties Associations (including BOMA California), was included and represented the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate industry.

The Governor set the stage for the discussion by noting, “the key challenge here – aside from getting the water – is to be able to collaborate together. We’re going to rise to the occasion as Californians first and as members of different groups second.”

The meeting was meant to address the state’s first ever 25 percent statewide mandatory water reductions and a series of actions initiated by the state to help conserve water

Hime made it clear that our industry believes that water conservation is not just good public policy but it makes good business sense. He pointed out that numerous internal and external changes have already been done to reduce water needs and that the industry has in some instances already met the reductions sought by the Governor.

Brown stressed it was going to be important to work with the local water agencies in adopting appropriate policies.

The Governor’s initial Executive Order includes measures to help: replace lawns with drought tolerant landscaping and old appliances with more water and energy efficient models; cut water use at campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes; prevent potable water irrigation at new developments unless water-efficient drip systems are used; and stop watering of ornamental grass on public street medians.

Members of the press came into the room at the end of the meeting and asked the Governor and participants questions.

Click here for the news story about the meeting.

New Water Appliance Standards Adopted

California Energy Commission recently approved standards for water appliances (faucets/urinals/toilets) which they estimate will save more than 10 billion gallons of water in 2016. Over time, they estimate water savings to reach 105 billion gallons per year.

The energy efficiency and water standards approved this week requires water appliances to consume less water. Details for each appliance are as follows:
  • Toilets and urinals. Toilets shall not consume more than 1.28 gallons per flush and shall have a waste extraction score of no fewer than 350 grams. Urinals shall not consume more than 0.125 gallons per flush.
  • Residential lavatory faucets shall not exceed 1.2 gallons per minute flow rate.
  • Kitchen faucets shall not exceed 1.8 gallons per minute flow rate and may have capability to increase to 2.2 gallons per minute momentarily for filling pots and pans.
  • Public/commercial lavatory faucets shall not exceed 0.5 gallon per minute flow rate.

These standards are effective as of January 1, 2016.

One of BOMA California's main concerns as an industry was to assure that product would be available to meet the demand of new construction. Working with the CEC staff and the manufacturing group, we have been assured that there are almost a dozen companies that are currently producing these products.

Additionally we have an ongoing concern about the impact of low water usage toilets in some older buildings. In some cases the lower water volume does not work efficiency with lateral lines and plumbing that was built for much higher flows. If you are doing a retrofit project you must take care to assure that your facilities can indeed handle the lower water flow.

Click here for a video produced by the CEC explaining the adoption.

Friday, May 1, 2015

BOMA San Francisco Advocacy Leaders Meet with Supervisor Jane Kim

BOMA San Francisco Members:

BOMA's Government Affairs Committee members have been meeting with public officials recently to represent your interests.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors member, Jane Kim, spoke to BOMA members recently at San Francisco's City Hall. Representatives from Urban Solutions joined us as well to detail that organization's efforts to strengthen underserved neighborhoods in District 6 by supporting small businesses, job creation, diversity, and sustainability.


This meeting was held to update Supervisor Kim on the fast-paced commercial real estate market in San Francisco - specifically in her district. Proposition M , the Office Development Annual Limitation Program, was mentioned and Kim was receptive to our member's concerns. Even so, Kim aptly suggested that a larger conversation with all stakeholders would be necessary in the near-term to make sure that any amendments to the existing law were equitable.  

Meeting attendees informed Kim of the economic benefits for all of San Francisco, i.e., taxes and jobs generated, from our industry and from the tenants that lease space from BOMA building members.
Lastly, our members' effort to address an imminent labor shortage via the BOMA Foundation and our partnership with San Francisco State University was detailed.  The Foundation's effort to introduce underprivileged youth to the commercial real estate industry through our partnership with Juma Ventures was also discussed.

BOMA San Francisco members appreciate Supervisor Kim's time and are honored to be a resource for her constituents.