As part of the North American Commercial Real Estate Congress® and The Office Building Show in New York City in late July, BOMA Intl. held a press conference at the Hearst Tower to announce its new energy initiative.
BOMA Chairman-Elect Brenna Walraven presented the organization's Market Transformation Energy Plan to the attending members of the press; she was later joined by panelists (including Karen Penafiel, vice president of advocacy at BOMA; Brian Schwagerl, vice president of real estate and facilities planning at Hearst Corp.; and Stuart Brodsky, national program manager, commercial properties ENERGY STAR® at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) to discuss ways to green buildings through proven no- and low-cost energy-efficient strategies.
BOMA's Market Transformation Energy Plan includes a "7-Point Challenge" for its members to reduce the use of natural resources, non-renewable energy sources, and waste production, and to work in coordination with building management, ownership, and tenants to achieve the following goals:
- To continue to work toward decreasing energy consumption by 30 percent across portfolios by 2012.
- To benchmark energy performance and water usage through the EPA's ENERGY STAR benchmarking tool.
- To provide education to building managers, building owners and operators, engineers, and others involved in building operations to ensure that equipment is properly maintained and utilized.
- To perform an energy audit and/or retro-commissioning of buildings, and implement low-risk, low-cost strategies to improve energy efficiency with high returns.
- To extend equipment life by improving the operations and maintenance of building systems and ensuring that equipment is operating as designed.
- To positively impact the community and planet by reducing the industry's role in global warming through leadership.
- To position themselves and the industry as leaders and solution providers to owners and tenants seeking environmental and operational excellence.
"The challenge before us is ambitious, but achievable," said panel moderator Kurt R. Padavano, chief operating officer at Bedminster, NJ-based Advance Realty Group and former BOMA Intl. chairman and chief elected officer. "Current research estimates that energy consumption in commercial buildings accounts for 18 percent of U.S. greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. Responsible building operating and management practices can significantly reduce energy consumption, lower GHG emissions, and, thus, diminish a building's carbon footprint."
BOMA believes that, increasingly, the market will demand energy-efficient sustainable buildings; the 7-Point Challenge supports the industry in making the business case for implementing sustainable practices, thereby bringing value to owners and operators. By working with real estate professionals through the BOMA network of 91 local associations, all levels of government, and the myriad public and private groups with similar goals, BOMA Intl. believes that market transformation will be realized. Learn more at (www.boma.org).