Jim Kleeman: Connecting with People Brings Opportunities

April 1, 2008
Jim Kleeman learns more about green initiatives at industry events

Portfolio: The world-famous, Pinnacle Award-winning Time Warner Center in New York City—2.8 million square feet combining office space with residential, retail, a hotel property and entertainment complex.

Challenge: The Time Warner Center is made up of multiple different ownerships that range from a 5-star hotel and jazz concert venue to a high-end luxury residential tower and the headquarters of one of the world's largest communications companies. While my role as GM is to manage the common areas and superstructure of the entire complex, the challenge is striking the right balance between the building's general needs and goals and those of the various ownerships. Moreover, we are New York's newest landmark and a major tourist destination open to the public, so our security challenges are unique.

Currently, we are focusing on reducing our energy costs and carbon footprint, and we have implemented an energy master plan in several phases over the next few years.

Strategy: It's a great time to be focusing on energy because of the technology and incentives out there in the marketplace. We were able to offset costs for the first phase through a NYSERDA grant. Knowing that more opportunities are out there for additional funding is a great advantage. We are utilizing the grant to install a metering system for monitoring our chillers. We're examining recommendations that should conservatively reduce our energy cost by 7-15 percent in the chiller plant. And we're partnering with a service provider to help us continually monitor our energy use through our automated building systems via a Web interface. Our master plan also calls for reutilizing condensate to cool domestic water. We're installing new motion detectors and we're doing a retrofitting, which will allow us to install more energy efficient lighting. Our second and third phases should produce even more reductions.

We've also gone beyond the New York City recycling requirements and implemented green cleaning, education and other steps to improve the environment. We take part in the ENERGY STAR program, we've registered for LEED-EB and we're considering other programs that will push us to the next level of excellence.

Conference Perspective: There are three reasons I'm looking forward to this year's BOMA International Conference and The Office Building Show. First, we've won the regional TOBY (The Office Building of the Year) award, so we'll be up for the international TOBY Award in June. The TOBY Awards program that culminates at the annual  conference is a great motivator-the entire program is a blueprint for how to manage at the highest level. It feels great to be recognized among our peers.

The second reason is to learn more about green initiatives. This is an important opportunity to hear from people who are working toward the same goals we're trying to reach. Learning from their perspective and experience is enormously valuable. Education gives us the capability and resources to get things done and achieve the highest standards possible of operations excellence.

And the third reason is the people. Participating on this international stage, you make connections with both the local professionals from your own market and also top people from around the world. My contact book is loaded  with people from the network of professionals that meet up at this conference. I've been fortunate to work with many of them on projects or through BOMA committees and I'm always impressed and inspired by the level of intelligence and experience these folks bring to the table. No matter where they're from or what type of property they oversee, these people are people I look up to. I always benefit from the feedback I get from them.

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