Since September of last year, the EPA has been going through a review period of the ENERGY STAR scoring methodology that was updated back in August 2018 for commercial buildings. The review period consisted of three phases: gathering feedback, analyzing the models and evaluating the updated score changes on buildings benchmarked within ENERGY STAR, and during this time ENERGY STAR Label applications were not accepted. The EPA has completed its review period and has re-adjusted the scoring methodology to better account for heating energy use. The new scoring model went live in ENERGY STAR on July 22nd and buildings in colder climates may see a score increase. No buildings should experience decreases in score as part of this scoring adjustment.
On July 31st, the EPA also reinstated ENERGY STAR Label certification for office buildings, and eligible buildings will be able to apply for 2018 (if not already) and 2019 Labels by December 31st, 2019. Buildings will need to have an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or above to apply for certification.
Contact CodeGreen's benchmarking team if you’re building has achieved an ENERGY STAR Score of 75 or above and you are interested in applying for certification from the EPA. If your building is below 75, contact us so we can help you improve the energy performance of your building and lift your ENERGY STAR Score.
CodeGreen has benchmarked over 300 million square feet of property in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and is a proud 3 time winner of the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award.
As you have probably seen in the news, New York City Council passed their own “Green New Deal” in late April that includes a number of environmentally-focused initiatives. The piece of the “deal” that impacts building owners most directly, Intro 1253, is a complex law that creates carbon emissions limits for most buildings over 25,000 square feet and alternative compliance paths for certain types of buildings.
On May 18th Intro 1253 was passed into law as Local Law 97 of 2019.
This law, the most ambitious in the world to tackle emissions from existing buildings, impacts over 57,000 buildings across the city with the goal of reducing building-based emissions 40% by 2030 from a 2005 baseline.
What does it require and when?
Local Law 97 sets detailed requirements for two initial compliance periods: 2024-2029 and 2030-2034 and requires the City to clarify the requirements for future periods through 2050. Buildings over 25,000 gross square feet must meet annual whole-building carbon intensity limits during each compliance period based on building type or prorated for mixed-use buildings. Certain building types including city-owned buildings, affordable housing, hospitals and houses of worship will have alternative compliance options if they cannot hit the carbon intensity limits. To comply, building owners must submit an emissions intensity report stamped by a registered design professional every year starting in 2025 or pay substantial fines.
Carbon emissions intensity limits by building/space type
What happens if I don’t comply?
The City has set steep fines for buildings that do not comply. Buildings must pay $268 per metric ton that their carbon footprint exceeds the limit, annually. There are also fines for not submitting a report and for submitting a false report.
How does my building emit carbon?
At first glance many may ask how does a building even emit carbon dioxide? I have been asked if we need to bring some “carbon meter” to the building to measure carbon emissions. As most of you know, that is not how building-based carbon emissions are measured.
Carbon emissions, or the “carbon footprint” of a building is measured by totaling the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere during the production of the energy that is consumed by a building to heat, cool, light and power the activities of its occupants. These emissions are typically the result of fuel combustion and can occur onsite as a result of an oil or gas boiler or offsite like at a power plant that burns natural gas to generate electricity. The carbon emissions intensity limits set by Local Law 97 include onsite and offsite emissions in a single limit so reductions in lighting, heating, cooling and plug loads all contribute to reaching the goals.
How do I measure my building’s carbon intensity and know if it’s in compliance?
This is actually more complicated than you would think. The US EPA’s free Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool is a good place to start. All buildings over 25,000 square feet should have submitted their Energy Star Benchmarking data to the City by May 1, 2019 for Local Law 84 compliance. Energy Star Portfolio Manager, the tool required by the City for building owners to store and submit energy data for LL84, is able to convert a building’s energy use into carbon emissions. However, it should be noted that the emissions displayed in Energy Star is slightly different from how it will be measured by Local Law 97, but it is a good starting place to see how your building compares to the 2024 and 2030 limits. Just make sure you are using the same units. Energy Star typically displays emissions in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent (KgCO2e) and the law lists the limits in metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (mtCO2e).
Once you’ve found your total carbon emissions in Portfolio Manager, you’ll need to calculate your carbon emissions limit to find out if you comply or not. To calculate your emissions limit, find your type of building in the table above and multiply the limit by the gross square footage of your building. This is the carbon emissions limit for each compliance period. If your total is higher than the limit, you are not in compliance. To calculate your annual fine, first convert your building’s carbon footprint from Kg to metric tons by dividing by 1,000, then multiply the difference between the limit and your actual carbon footprint by $268. If this sounds too complicated, call an expert like CodeGreen for help.
How does this impact a typical commercial building?
The 2024 and 2030 emissions intensity limits were set to impact the worst 20% and worst 75% of carbon emitters respectively, so statistically, an average building will meet the initial 2024 requirements, but will need to reduce emissions to meet the more stringent 2030 limits. But that doesn’t mean that building owners can sit back and do nothing for ten years. Identifying and implementing energy upgrades is a multi-year process, and even if you plan to sell the building before 2030, buyers will start to bake in the costs associated with meeting the emissions limits, so building owners should start planning for compliance now.
How do I reduce my carbon emissions and prepare for compliance?
While there are still a number of details to be worked out within the law, all buildings should start developing long-term energy and carbon reduction strategies today to meet or exceed the emissions performance targets. This process takes time and to be successful, requires input from numerous stakeholders including internal and external experts, tenants, building operations, ownership and management.
A proper energy and carbon management plan should evaluate all potential energy and carbon reduction initiatives in the near-, medium-, and long-term:
• Base building HVAC
• Common area lighting
• Sensors and controls
• Tenant lighting, plug loads and HVAC
• Retail and ground floor tenants
• Operator and occupant training
If you are completing or recently completed your Local Law 87 energy audits, that can be a good place to start. If you haven’t started Local Law 87 yet, ask your provider to consider longer term energy savings strategies in their analysis even if it expands the scope or cost of the energy audit. It’s worth it since your LL87 provider will already be analyzing your systems looking for energy saving opportunities.
What about my tenants? They represent at least 50% of my building’s energy use?
Tenant energy consumption plays a big role in overall energy use and therefore also represents a huge opportunity for savings. Reducing your building’s overall energy and carbon intensity will not be possible without collaboration with your tenants. Meet with tenants to discuss energy efficiency when they are moving in and building out their spaces. Also meet with existing tenants to discuss energy upgrades that can be performed mid-lease that could lower their energy bills. NYSERDA has a great program, the Commercial Tenant Program, that will pay for some or all of the cost of identifying energy reduction opportunities in new and existing tenants spaces. CodeGreen is an approved vendor for the CTP and we’re happy to discuss providing these services to your tenants.
It seems like there are lot of details that still need to be worked out. Should I just wait until more info is released before doing anything?
Don’t wait. Especially if you’re above the 2024 limits. Building owners should get started now, at least with developing a plan. It is true that the City will be issuing rules and additional studies on their approach to carbon trading, peak demand, renewable energy credits and carbon offsets among other items, but none of these negate the value of reducing energy waste in your building. You don’t need to undertake massive projects right away, but you should engage a professional and start creating a long-term plan. If you have a responsible long-term energy/carbon reduction plan you will be able to fold in the various rules and adjustments as they are issued by the City, but many of these issues won’t be resolved until 2023 which is too long to wait if you need to make changes for 2024 compliance.
So get started now. Talk to your inhouse engineer or call an expert like CodeGreen to help you develop a strategic compliance plan.
Contact us for more info on how this law will impact your portfolio LL97@codegreensolutions.com
On April 18th, 2019 New York City Council passed the Climate Mobilization Act that included the ambitious carbon emissions limits for existing buildings (Intro 1253). This Act also included a revision to the Letter Grade Law LL33. The revision updates the Energy Star Scores associated with each letter grade. The new letter grade assignments are below.
Local Law 33 will require all buildings in NYC over 25,000sf to publicly post their letter grade annually beginning in 2020. The first letter grades will be based on the 2019 calendar year Energy Star Scores that are submitted to the DOB by May 1, 2020 and every year thereafter. Buildings that are not eligible for a score will receive an "N" and may be required to post the building Energy Use Intensity (EUI).
Contact us to find out how to improve your Energy Star Score before it's posted on your front door!
On April 18, 2019 New York City passed groundbreaking legislation that establishes carbon emissions limits for all buildings in New York City over 25,000 square feet.
This bill is the largest and most ambitious emissions bill for existing buildings in the world and will require buildings, which constitute 70% of New York City’s carbon footprint, to reduce emissions 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050 from a 2005 baseline. The city expects building owners to meet the carbon reduction goals through whole-building energy use reductions (retrofits) and switching to renewable energy sources.
Compliance with the bill will require building owners to measure their carbon emissions per square foot per year (mtCO2e/sf/yr), and meet two emissions limits based on the building's DOB occupancy class: an initial limit during 2024-2029, and a second more stringent limit during 2030-2035, or pay substantial annual fines for non-compliance. Based on the fine structure, some buildings may have annual fines of $1M or more! (An advisory group will set limits beyond 2035.)
The carbon emissions (footprint) of a building is a measure of the CO2 released into the atmosphere in order to heat, cool and power the activities in the building. Some of this emissions occurs onsite, like during consumption of oil or gas for heating and cooking, and some of this emissions occurs offsite, at the power plants that generate electricity or steam that is used by the building. The proposed bill requires that both onsite and offsite emissions be included in the building’s carbon measurement.
So what does this all mean for you and your buildings? There are still many details that need to be worked out, but the bottom line is that building owners across the city should start planning for major energy reductions in the next 5-10 years and beyond. Complying with these limits will require a long-term holistic energy management plan, and the involvement of multiple stakeholders including building owners, operations staff, and tenants.
INTRO 1253 HIGHLIGHTS:
You can read the full text of the bill HERE
Contact our Local Law 97 team at LL97@codegreensolutions.com to learn how this bill will impact your portfolio and how to develop a strategic and cost-effective compliance plan.
We are excited to announce that CodeGreen has been awarded the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year 2019, the third year in row, placing the firm in the category of Sustained Excellence alongside other leaders in the energy efficiency industry. CodeGreen’s accomplishments were recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on April 11, 2019.
We work with over 800 million square feet of property across the country to improve energy efficiency and sustainability and the ENERGY STAR program forms the foundation of this work. For building owners, understanding your energy performance relative to other similar buildings is the best way to evaluate the efficiency of your systems and the impact of your energy saving initiatives.
This year EPA highlighted the following areas that contributed to CodeGreen’s award:
● Benchmarking more than 970 individual properties in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® in 2018 and performing ENERGY STAR certification for 157 buildings, including 42 percent of all office buildings certified in New York City.
● Achieving ENERGY STAR Charter Tenant recognition for their headquarters, as well as for client offices in the Empire State Building in the ENERGY STAR Tenant Space pilot.
● Performing energy audits encompassing 26 million square feet, identifying over $5.5 million dollars in energy savings in 2018.
● Communicating the value and application of ENERGY STAR tools and resources in local legislation, benchmarking, and energy efficiency initiatives and participating in 10 panels across the country and in Mexico.
Read the full press release HERE:
In the ever-shifting world of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) measurement and reporting, it can be quite difficult to know how to understand and compare the efforts undertaken by the many different players in the industry. Who’s doing what and how effective are they at making any kind of difference? How do they rate and how do they compare? The S&P Dow Jones Indices have responded to these questions by releasing a series of indices that focus specifically on ESG performance amongst Real Estate Investors and Managers.This week the S&P Dow Jones Indices has announced its partnership with The Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) to create the U.S. Green REIT Index (DJSERUUP), among others, to measure the performance of publicly traded Real Estate securities with an Environmental, Social, and Governance focus here in the U.S. This Index will assign an ESG score to every REIT based on their GRESB score. REIT’s that have not participated in GRESB and do not have a GRESB score will receive a score of 0. CodeGreen helps over 800 million square feet of real estate across the country improve and report ESG performance. We have worked with GRESB since it’s inception and help billions of dollars of funds respond to the survey each year. As investor focus on ESG increases, the importance of preparing accurate and complete response to surveys such as GRESB increases in lockstep. And now with a public index ranking all REIT’s based on their GRESB score, investors will have a very clear picture of how these managers are tackling ESG across their portfolios. Whether you are new to GRESB and ESG performance or a veteran looking to push your performance even further, CodeGreen’s team of expert consultants, engineers and data scientists can help you evaluate, improve and report your ESG performance to GRESB and other ESG programs so you can focus your efforts on implementing the necessary change in your organization that moves the needle. Either way, we’re here to support you. Give us a call!!
2018 has been a remarkable year for sustainable real estate and the global and local forces that drive demand for energy efficient, healthy, resilient, Sustainable buildings.
Continued climate disasters showed us a glimpse of what is to come if we do not act quickly and decisively. International and domestic experts laid out in scientific detail the grave social and financial impacts of climate change if we continue on the current path.
Not surprisingly, real estate continues to be one of the most cost-effective sectors to combat climate change. Energy efficient, healthy and resilient buildings have lower utility costs, higher occupancy and higher values. Each dollar spent to improve sustainability creates value for all stakeholders: building owners, operators, investors and occupants.
And the financial sector has discovered the serious risks of ignoring climate science, and the reputational and financial benefits of embracing it. More than 85% of the S&P500 now report ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) performance and over 61% of major listed real estate funds report sustainability performance through GRESB.
Twenty cities and 3 states are driving energy efficiency with policies covering over 10 billion square feet of property, and two cities, Washington DC and New York City have proposed mandatory energy performance requirements for existing buildings, the first in our country.
Leading real estate organizations are pushing for deeper carbon reductions, coupling energy efficiency improvements with creative renewable energy purchases to set aggressive science-based targets. And a US real estate firm became the first in the country to announce a carbon neutral pledge.
And of course, the demand for green buildings continues to grow. Millennials, the majority of whom value sustainability over salary, will be 75% of the workforce by 2025, further expanding the demand for sustainable buildings in which to work, live, and play.
We are excited, but not surprised, to see this rapid growth in the value of sustainable buildings. This momentum will only accelerate as investors, policy-makers and tenants continue to demand more energy efficient, healthy and resilient buildings.
We are proud to be part of this exciting and important industry, working with some of the most impressive and passionate clients, peers and policy makers to improve the built environment for this generation and generations to come.
Happy Holidays and here's to an exciting 2019!
So the long-awaited Energy Star changes have finally arrived.
The commercial real estate industry was quite surprised when they woke up Aug 27th to see what had happened to their coveted Energy Star Scores. Here’s what you need to know and what you can do to try to get your scores back up.
On August 27th EPA completed their planned updates to the Energy Star scoring methodology and all scores within Energy Star Portfolio Manager (current and historic) now reflect the updated methodology. EPA said the average drop in office building scores would be 12 points, but the average drop we have seen for our large office building clients is closer to 16 and sometimes even higher.
The score changes are the result of EPA updating the data set that all buildings are compared to from 2003 data to 2012 data, and the average building has gotten more energy efficient over that time. They have also lowered the site-to-source ratio used to calculate the environmental impact of electricity used by buildings (this shift actually helped large electricity users). These updates typically occur every 5 years, but this time there was a much longer gap between updates making the impact of the change much more drastic. The updated scores now reflect a more accurate assessment of building performance across the country reflecting more modern and efficient building stock.
I’m sure this is disheartening to building owners across the country, but this is not a reflection of any changes in the operations of your buildings. And remember that this change has affected all building types (each to a different degree) across the country so the entire industry is going through the same thing.
What to do next
The next logical step is to ask how to get the scores back up again. Of course, the most direct way to increase your Energy Star Score is to reduce the amount of energy your building consumes, including landlord and tenant equipment, lighting, HVAC and plugloads.
In addition to reducing energy use, the best way to optimize your score is to make sure every aspect of a building’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager profile is accurate and up-to-date including space uses, occupant and computer counts, and operating schedules.
How CodeGreen can help
Our team of benchmarking experts and engineers will work with you to determine the best approach to help you save energy and improve your Energy Star Score. We have helped over 350 million square feet of property optimize Energy Star Scores through profile updates and energy saving ideas.
Our team of benchmarking experts get the most accurate information from your building to optimize the profile and score as much as possible.
Our engineers work with your building operations team to identify energy savings opportunities through energy audits, commissioning, smart building solutions, occupant education and more.
And if your building is no longer eligible for an Energy Star Label, we can help you achieve recognition for your energy and sustainability performance through programs such as LEED, BREEAM, WELL or Fitwel certification.
Due to the dramatic drop in scores and the response from building owners, EPA is performing an additional review of the new scoring methodology. More information on their review process can be found on their website HERE.
Call us to find out how to optimize your building’s energy performance, reduce your energy costs, and lift your Energy Star Score!
New York City has been a leader in sustainability for many years and has already passed numerous laws related to energy efficiency in existing buildings dating back to the 2009 Greener, Greater Buildings Laws. The “GGBP” included LL84 Benchmarking, LL87 Energy Audits and Retro-Commissioning and LL88 Lighting and Submetering requirements. Since these laws were passed, buildings over 50,000 square feet across the city have collectively reduced energy use by over 5% since 2010. But these laws have not moved the needle as much as the city hoped towards the ambitious 80% carbon reduction target set for 2050. So to accelerate carbon reductions in buildings, the City has decided to move beyond the prescriptive approaches of the GGBP towards absolute energy use caps for buildings.
In November 2017 the Mayor’s Office proposed a law (Intro 1745) to limit fossil fuels in buildings by 2030 based on square footage and to develop whole building targets by 2020. (See our previous blog about intro 1745 HERE). This bill proposed an overly simplified model for assigning energy use caps that the real estate and environmental industries agreed was not going to be successful, cost effective or fair for numerous reasons.
Soon after Intro 1745 was introduced, Urban Green Council convened a group of over 80 stakeholders across real estate, engineering, labor unions and environmental advocates to improve and/or replace the bill. The findings of this group have been consolidated into a formal report, the “80x50 Blueprint for Efficiency” that was published today.
The report outlines 21 recommendations on how Intro 1745 should be revised to be more effective, fair and equitable for building owners across the city while still targeting ambitious climate goals. There is more work to be done to fill in the details of how this legislation will mandate efficiency, but this is a thorough report that outlines the major areas that need to be addressed. CodeGreen is proud to have been involved with the development of these recommendations and we look forward to collaborating with the NYC real estate industry and the NYC government to push successful legislation forward.
Highlights of the report include:
- Requiring each building sector to save 20 percent in source energy use from 2020 to 2030
- Creating a metric based on Energy Star calibrated to NYC building data
- Regulating all energy sources together, with smaller reductions required of more efficient buildings
- Including flexible compliance pathways, such as green power purchase and efficiency credit trading
- Dramatically expanding support and financing options to help owners comply, with particular focus on sectors that need more help
See the press release HERE
See the full report HERE
In 2016 as part of the Los Angeles City plan to reduce citywide energy use by 30% by 2035, the city passed the Existing Buildings Energy and Water Efficiency Ordinance (EBEWE) to encourage buildings to reduce energy and water use. EBEWE requires buildings over 20,000sf in the City of Los Angeles to submit ENERGY STAR Benchmarking annually and beginning in 2020 buildings will be required to meet specific energy and water performance targets or perform audits to identify savings measures. Below is an outline of what is required to comply. Contact CodeGreen to create a successful compliance plan for this new ordinance that will improve the energy, water and financial performance of your property.
What buildings are impacted by EBEWE:
All privately owned buildings in the City of Los Angeles over 20,000sf
Includes residential, commercial, and industrial buildings (including structured parking and condominiums)
What is required:
Energy and Water Benchmarking (annually)
Applies to: All buildings over 20,000sf
Deadline: June 1 every year
How to Comply:
Submit the building’s ENERGY STAR Benchmark Score to LADBS annually.
The ENERGY STAR Benchmark uses the EPA’s online Portfolio Manager Tool to calculate a building’s relative energy performance compared to buildings of similar size and function across the country.
Energy and Water Performance (every 5 years)
Applies to: All buildings over 20,000sf (occupied for at least 5 years)
Deadline: First Compliance Deadlines as follows based on last digit of AIN and every 5 years thereafter: 0, 1 = 2020 | 2, 3 = 2021 |4, 5 = 2022 | 6, 7 = 2023 | 8, 9 = 2024
How to Comply:
Energy Performance Compliance
Achieve one of the following:
- Achieve ENERGY STAR Labels (2 out of 3 years preceding deadline year)
- Energy performance is 25% better than median performance of similar buildings
- Weather normalized energy use intensity reduced by 15% compared to 5 years prior
- If no central cooling system, meet prescriptive requirements
Perform an ASHRAE Level II Energy Efficiency Audit and Retro-commissioning Study of base building energy-consuming systems
Water Performance Compliance
Achieve one of the following:
- Water use intensity reduced by 20% compared to 5 years prior
- If no central cooling system, meet prescriptive water fixtures requirements
- Meet Los Angeles Municipal Code in effect during 5-year compliance cycle
Perform Water Audit and Retro-commissioning of base building systems per ASHRAE Guidelines
CodeGreen is excited to announce that we are have been awarded the ENERGY STAR Charter Tenant Space recognition by the US EPA for our New York City headquarters. We are proud to add this recognition to our recent ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award.
On June 12th the US EPA awarded the ENERGY STAR Charter Tenant Space recognition to the first group of tenants across the country who successfully completed this new 10-month pilot program aimed at improving energy efficiency in commercial office spaces. CodeGreen is proud to be among these industry leaders and supporting the development of this groundbreaking program.
Commercial tenants can consume 40-60% or more of the energy used by office buildings and a similar portion of the carbon footprint. In the US buildings represent 40% of the nation’s carbon footprint, and in New York City buildings represent 70% of citywide emissions. In order to meaningfully reduce carbon emissions in large cities around the world, buildings must be a part of the solution, and commercial tenants must also get involved.
To support and recognize energy efficiency within commercial tenant spaces and leverage the EPA ENERGY STAR brand, the EPA launched the ENERGY STAR for Tenant Spaces pilot program in September of 2017. The objective of the pilot was to evaluate the program with a small group of tenants and refine the program structure before launching it to the public. A group of almost 50 tenants across the country volunteered to participate in the pilot, which included joining webinars and feedback sessions, and providing data to the program’s administrators. Feedback and quantitative data from the pilot program participants will be used to inform the further development of the program before it is made available to the general public. On June 12th, participants who completed the pilot program were officially recognized by the EPA.
“Congratulations to all the ENERGY STAR Charter Tenants for their hard work improving energy efficiency in tenant spaces,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum. “These organizations demonstrate how tenants and landlords can work together to cut energy costs and reduce waste, while creating a healthier environment.”
As participants in the program, CodeGreen evaluated our operating procedures, surveyed our office equipment and lighting to ensure alignment with the program guidelines, and tracked our monthly sub-metered electricity consumption using the EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool. The program helped us identify areas of high performance and areas with opportunity for improvement. As a result of the program we are reevaluating our lighting needs and researching the latest technologies in lighting and controls.
CodeGreen Associate Director Josh Berengut, who managed CodeGreen’s participation in the pilot and oversaw the documentation of our energy efficiency practices added, “this pilot program was really great to be a part of. Having watched the program since the concept was proposed several years ago, we were glad to be a part of the group shaping its structure for future use. Now tenants, in addition to landlords, can earn recognition for their dedication to energy efficiency.”
Read more about commercial tenant energy efficiency programs in our recent blog post.
Join IFMA NYC for a discussion on energy efficiency best practices, case studies and resources for tenants to kick start their energy efficiency initiatives in their own office space.
The event will feature presentations from representatives of NYSERDA & ConEdison on the latest energy efficiency rebates and incentives; The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability on the NYC Carbon Challenge; and tenants / landlords from BlackRock, Rudin, Bloomberg and Vornado who have collaborated to collectively save energy through coordinated energy upgrades and improved communication.
Wednesday, June 13th, 5:30pm-8:30pm at BlackRock, 40 East 52nd Street.
Click HERE for more information and to register.
Since 2015, CodeGreen has been working with California's Department of General Services (DGS) to improve sustainability performance across their portfolio by improving energy and water efficiency, reducing waste, improving recycling rates and indoor air quality. And over the past two years, they have achieved LEED certification for 25 buildings through the LEED Volume program, totaling over 8 million square feet.
CodeGreen's process included performing energy audits, on-site inspections and training and education sessions with building operators and occupants to help improve the overall efficiency of these buildings, which include a wide variety of building types and ages, ranging in age from 10 to 93 years including the iconic Caltrans District 7 Headquarters and the historic Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Buildings above.
The LEED Volume program allows DGS to take advantage of efficiencies gained by managing the portfolio as a whole, while reviewing each building's performance against standard operating protocols. These LEED certifications also provide third party verification of DGS' rigorous green building program and focuses building management on contributing to the state's broader goals around greenhouse gas reductions, waste management and sustainable purchasing. CodeGreen will continue to support DGS’ ongoing sustainability program through engagement, ongoing data management and LEED certification for eligible buildings.
One of the buildings to achieve LEED Gold certification was the California Energy Commission (CEC) building in Sacramento. Collaboration with the CEC team led by Executive Director Drew Bohan was an essential part of the successful certification. “Achieving LEED Gold certification is a testament to the good work our team provided and the seasoned guidance supplied by our partners.” said Executive Director Bohan. “The Department of General Services helped improve the efficiency, sustainability and health of our building, while CodeGreen provided the expertise and hands-on support needed to manage the certification process.”
CodeGreen worked with the operations and management teams of each building individually to understand operational and procurement practices, measure baseline performance and identify opportunities for improvement. Building improvements included HVAC, lighting system and controls upgrades, operational and procurement improvements and water efficiency measures. They also worked with the team at each building to reduce waste production and increase recycling. Throughout the process, CodeGreen tracked monthly building performance across dozens of metrics using their online ProAct tool.
Patricia Lee, Principal at CodeGreen, added, "We have been thrilled to work with the State of California and the Department of General Services as they lead by example on achieving sustainability goals for their buildings. We look forward to supporting the DGS team and their dedicated Facility Management staff as they continue their efforts to achieve aggressive sustainability targets."
On Thursday April 19th, Adam Fisher, Senior Project Manager at CodeGreen Solutions, participated in Cushman & Wakefield’s Earth Month Speaker Series, “The New Frontier in LEED Certification.” This panel, which was simul-cast to the Cushman & Wakefield Tri-State Region, detailed the certification process for LEED 2009 for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance through the lens of the recent LEED Gold Certification at Heron Tower (70 East 55th Street, New York, NY 10022). CodeGreen Solutions managed the LEED process for this Cushman & Wakefield property from initial feasibility through final certification by the USGBC.CodeGreen was joined on the panel by the Heron Tower property management team as well as Cushman & Wakefield managing directors in asset services. Adam served as the LEED subject matter expert, explaining to the audience of brokers and asset services professionals the steps of establishing sustainability policies, executing sustainability assessments, and measuring sustainability performance, all in the context of a LEED certification. Given his background as a Certified Energy Manager, Adam also detailed opportunities as a part of the LEED certification process to achieve points while identifying energy and operational efficiency opportunities through ASHRAE Energy Audits or Existing Building Commissioning studies. CodeGreen is proud to work with the team at Cushman & Wakefield to support this great achievement. CodeGreen has managed the LEED certification of over 55 million square feet of property across the country and provided energy benchmarking and analysis to over 330 million square feet of property.
On March 26, 2018, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released the first beta for LEED v4.1 for Existing Buildings and Spaces. The new version of the LEED EB:O+M has a simplified scorecard and aims to streamline the LEED certification process, while switching to an annual recertification cycle. Previous iterations of the LEED for Existing Buildings rating systems have been on a 5-year recertification cycle. LEED v4.1 builds on the momentum from the LEED Performance Score alternative compliance path in LEED v4, which focuses on the real-time performance of buildings, as opposed to meeting a series of prescriptive measures of previous versions. Below are some high-level takeaways from the newly released version. Building owners still have the choice to pursue the traditional LEED EB:O+M v4 certification pathway, but this will not utilize the Arc platform.
One Certification Path
LEED v4.1 has shifted to an entirely performance-based path. In the previous version of LEED EB:O+M (v4), project teams were able to choose to either follow a prescriptive path, one that teams may be most familiar with, or follow the performance path. Many of the previously available credits from LEED v4 have been included as Base Points in LEED v4.1, which can contribute to a project’s score over its lifespan.
Certification Now Available for Existing Interiors
Marking a major shift for the LEED EB:O+M program, interior spaces are now eligible to seek LEED certification for an existing space. This LEED EB:O+M v4.1 certification is treated as a first-time certification, and is separate from any LEED for Commercials Interiors certifications. Following the same criteria as existing buildings, interior spaces can track and report their performance in energy, water, waste, transportation and human experience. To determine consumption values, interior space projects can either install submeters on all energy and water sources, or prorate the building’s total consumption for the project space based on occupancy.
The updated scoring system within LEED v4.1 measures, monitors, and reports real-time performance scores for buildings and interior spaces, allowing occupants to visually understand the building’s overall performance. Individual scores are produced for each of the following six metrics:
The previous twelve months of consecutive energy use is entered into the LEED Performance Score portal. Energy use includes all utility types, including data from electric, steam, natural gas, and more.
The previous twelve months of water consumption data is entered into the Performance Score portal.
The tonnage of diverted and landfilled waste is entered monthly into the LEED Performance Score portal, and points are awarded to the building based on the building’s annual waste division rate and total tons of waste generation.
A transportation survey will need to be conducted at the building to confirm the percentage of tenants that use alternative transportation. A minimum number of each building’s occupants must take the survey to earn any points. The average carbon footprint of the commuting behavior is compared against the USGBC data set, determining the points awarded.
Human experience is rated on two factors: occupant comfort, and indoor air quality. Air quality testing will need to be performed on an annual basis to assess the air quality in CO2 and Total Volatile Organic Compounds. Additionally, an occupant comfort survey must be conducted each year in order to determine the exact number of points earned in this category.
The project teams can also pursue various base points to add to the total project score. Base points may be earned by achieving a select group of the credits listed below. Once base points are awarded, they continue to contribute to the project’s overall score and are not subject to variation year-over-year like the above credit categories.
Next Steps for LEED V4.1
It's important to note that this rating system is currently in beta and is now open for proposals on recommended changes before it becomes finalized. Additional details on LEED V4.1 and beta guidance can be found here. Please also reach out to CodeGreen for more information on this new this new LEED Certification option.
Earth Day 2018
Today is a chance for us to pause and take stock of what we as a society are doing to preserve and rebuild our natural environment. On this day we at CodeGreen celebrate the leaders in the private and public sectors who have recognized environmental sustainability as core to the long-term health and success of their organizations. From city and state governments to private and public investors and real estate managers of all sizes, organizations have made bold public commitments in the past year to reduce energy and resource use, prioritize renewable energy and use their influence to ensure their stakeholders do the same.
In 2018, CodeGreen joined over 2,700 business and government leaders representing over 127 million Americans in signing the "We Are Still In" pledge to support the carbon reduction targets outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement. This is the largest consortium of leaders in the US dedicated to climate action and we are proud to be a part of this historic initiative.
We are also proud to receive the US EPA's Energy Star Partner of the Year Award this year - the second year in a row - for our dedication to supporting energy efficiency throughout the real estate sector and working in partnership with policymakers across the country. This award is a great honor and recognizes the hard work of our dedicated team of energy and sustainability professionals.
In the past year more than 100 global companies have joined the RE100 and committed to use 100% renewable energy. The collective energy use of these organizations totals over 146 terawatt-hours per year, the equivalent of taking the entire state of New York off the grid.
In the real estate sector, investors, managers and developers have made impressive strides to build more efficient buildings and, even more importantly, to improve the efficiency of the existing building stock, which represents 40% of the country’s carbon footprint and 72% of its electricity consumption. Institutional real estate investors with long-term capital are at the forefront of this effort and are driving asset and property managers to prioritize sustainability. GRESB, the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark, which ranks real estate firms for environmental, social and governance performance, has seen rapid growth since 2010 and now represents over 850 funds totaling over $2 trillion in gross asset value across the globe. And this global portfolio of properties recently reported a 2.2% annual reduction in carbon emissions, on track for reductions of over 20% over 10 years.
Commercial tenants have also recognized the value of sustainability for their organizations and in their office spaces, which is driving demand for green buildings and for sustainable and energy efficient fit-outs. Numerous programs around the country have been developed to support this growing market. In addition, many large tenants purchase their own energy and have joined the RE100 renewable energy initiative.
And on the legislative front, more cities and states are developing and expanding codes that require responsible management of energy, water and waste. Over 25 cities and jurisdictions now require annual energy use disclosures, which are the first step toward widespread improvements in efficiency and reducing our impact on the environment.
And closer to home, we are proud of our amazing clients, totaling over 330 million square feet of property across the country, that have undertaken energy saving initiatives ranging from education and training, operational improvements all the way to onsite renewable energy and major building retrofits.
We are encouraged by the impressive progress we have seen recently, but know there is still much work to be done. We look forward to partnering with our clients, partners and legislators to continue to improve the sustainability performance of the built environment and demonstrate the value this brings to all stakeholders.
Wishing you an inspiring Earth Day.
-The CodeGreen Team
In August 2018, the EPA will be updating the underlying data set and other calculation methodology that determine building ENERGY STAR Scores. These changes will most likely cause dramatic drops in the ENERGY STAR Scores of most buildings. Take action now to certify your eligible 2018 ENERGY STAR Labels and prepare for the upcoming changes.
The ENERGY STAR Score is calculated by comparing a building’s energy use to a group of similar buildings based on factors such as occupancy type, building size, operating schedule and climate zone. The building’s resulting score represents how the building’s energy use compares to the data set. If the building uses less energy than the median of the comparison set, the building will score better than 50, if it uses more than the median it will score below 50. Buildings that receive a score of 75 or higher, reflecting the top 25th percentile of performers, are eligible for the Energy Star Label.
For the last decade, the ENERGY STAR Score has used a data set of buildings from 2003. Since 2003 the average building has become more energy efficient, but the data set has not been updated. That is all about to change.
In August 2018 EPA will replace the 2003 data with data from 2012 and simultaneously update other aspects of the scoring methodology. Since buildings will now be compared to the more efficient set of 2012 buildings their resulting ENERGY STAR Scores will likely be lower. On average, the EPA estimates that “office” buildings will see a 12-point decrease, while other space types will see similar changes.
Be Prepared: New Energy Star Scores go into Effect August 27th, 2018
On this date, all scores (both forward looking and historic) will change and there will be no way to view prior scores
Apply now for your 2018 ENERGY STAR Label (DEADLINE HAS PASSED)
The EPA is allowing all eligible buildings to apply for ENERGY STAR labels between April 1, 2018 and July 26, 2018 even if it is less than 12 months from the prior label date. This is a one-time courtesy that is being granted given the significance of the changes.
Given that these changes may lead to your buildings’ scores dropping below 75 in August, we highly recommend taking advantage of this allowance and apply for ENERGY STAR Labels for all eligible buildings between before July 26th.
Call or email us to ensure you get the ENERGY STAR recognition you deserve before scores change in August.
For more info on the upcoming changes, see the EPA website HERE.
As part of California's ambitious environmental program, the state has set a goal of reducing waste from public facilities by 75% by 2020. To help state facilities identify waste stream issues and create a successful waste program, CodeGreen led a training on proper waste audit techniques. You can download our brief guide on waste audit best practices from the event HERE.
California AB802, passed back in 2015, requires owner of all "covered buildings" over 50,000sf across the state to benchmark their energy use annually using EPA's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Tool. This is the largest benchmarking ordinance of its kind, covering over 36,000 buildings across the state.The first deadline for submission is June 1, 2018. The definition of a "covered building" is more nuanced than other benchmark requirements. You can see detailed definitions and the text of the law HERE.
July 1 Los Angeles Energy Star Benchmarking Deadline Approaching for Buildings over 50,000sfMake sure you have started the process to collect your 2017 energy, water and occupancy data so you don't miss the submission deadline. Buildings over 20,000sf will have to submit July 1, 2019.
SF Environment has extended the 2018 deadline for submission of 2017 Energy Benchmarking data Revised Compliance Calendar is as follows:March 15, 2018: New Confirmation of Energy Audit Reporting Template will become active - See: Recording of CEA Reporting Template webinar March 28, 2018: Release Annual Energy Benchmark (AEB) reporting template - SF Environment to email 2017 AEB template link to all parties that have previously submitted a benchmark March 26-30, 2018: SFE to send ECBO Notification Letters April 1, 2018: 2018 Confirmation of Energy Audits Due (Audit deadlines have not changed) May 1, 2018: 2017 Annual Energy Benchmark Due
Buildings are responsible for nearly half (46%) of the country’s carbon footprint and consume 75% of the country’s electricity. Since the 1970’s environmental and energy efficiency industries and groups like NRDC, EDF, IMT, DOE, EPA and ACEEE have worked tirelessly with the real estate sector to reduce energy use, save money and improve the environment. And it has worked. Since 2000, commercial buildings nationwide have reduced energy intensity by over 20% and buildings in New York City have lowered energy intensity by 5% since 2010. The bulk of these reductions, however, come from investments made by landlords and owner-occupied buildings who have in-house operations teams dedicated to reducing energy and saving their organizations money. Most commercial tenants, however, have largely been absent from this energy efficiency renaissance. That is finally changing, and landlords are beginning to engage with tenants to reduce energy use with mutually beneficial results.
Commercial tenants consume on average 40-60% of the total energy used in large office buildings. Tenant equipment, operations, and behavioral patterns have a significant impact on the overall performance, energy use and carbon footprint of the buildings they occupy. As a result, they represent a significant opportunity to reduce building-wide energy use, prolong equipment life and improve a building’s overall performance in rankings like EPA’s Energy Star Score that is published in many cities across the country. And these energy reductions translate into substantial carbon footprint reductions that align with an organization's broader corporate sustainability goals.
Over the past 25 years, with the rapid expansion of technology, the amount of energy-consuming devices in commercial tenant spaces has ballooned with powerful PCs, impressive AV equipment, and even data centers within their offices that require 24x7 cooling. Many tenants have also installed dedicated HVAC systems to heat and cool their spaces without having to rely on landlord systems. As a result, tenants now consume a substantial portion of whole-building energy, and some even operate like a “building within a building”. In addition, recent advances in energy metering technology and the simultaneous drop in the cost of sensors have shed more light on this issue as more tenants are able to accurately measure the energy that they consume separately from the energy consumed by their landlords.
For many tenants, energy efficiency is a relatively new topic, and there are number of reasons for this, most stemming from a mere lack of information. For most organizations that lease their office space, operations and energy management are not a priority. They are focused, understandably, on running their primary business. As a result, most tenants do not have specialized in-house energy and operations staff to measure, manage and improve the efficiency of systems like lighting, HVAC and plug loads. Organizations typically have someone responsible for paying the utility bill if there is one, but they may not know or have time to evaluate it or to know if they are using more or less energy than they could be. In addition, many tenants, even large ones, do not have a meter that measures the energy used by their space or receive their energy usage in a clear format on a regular basis.
Once clear data on energy use is collected, there is huge potential to find and eliminate energy waste. Some metering systems can measure not just monthly energy use, but energy use down to every minute and separate the energy used by lighting, cooling and plug loads to further identify savings opportunities. By comparing this data to historical trends or industry standards, or even other tenants in the same building, tenants can benchmark their performance and implement savings measures to equipment, controls and even staff behavior that can reduce energy use, save money and improve the environment.
For tenants who focus on energy efficiency, there are huge savings to be found. The financial leader BlackRock, working with CodeGreen, was able to reduce energy consumption by over 35% in just 4 years, saving over $300,000 per year at their New York City headquarters through upgrades to lighting, controls, motors, PC settings and data center upgrades. CodeGreen continues to identify energy saving opportunities by reviewing their monthly and 15-minute energy use. For more details on BlackRock’s energy reductions, see the case study HERE.
In the past 12-18 months numerous programs at the local and national levels have been developed to facilitate a market transformation in tenant energy efficiency and to support collaboration between tenants and landlords to improve the energy efficiency of new and existing tenant spaces. These programs include voluntary resources as well as mandatory requirements in some areas. Below are a few of key programs helping to drive this effort.
ENERGY STAR, the federal program that manages the free online tool Portfolio Manager, that buildings in dozens of cities across the country use to track and submit their energy use data for local law compliance, has created a new pilot program called “ENERGY STAR Tenant Space” to increase awareness of energy use in tenant spaces with the eventual goal of giving tenants an ENERGY STAR score much like total buildings receive. The scores are still a few years away, but tenants are able to use the current Portfolio Manager tool to record energy use, set goals and track progress over time. Contact us to learn more about using Portfolio Manager for tenant spaces.
Many of you are familiar with the term “split incentive” which refers to the scenario in many buildings where the entity who must pay for an energy upgrade may not be the entity that will save as a result, if the tenant pays and landlord saves, or vice versa. This obstacle is typically a result of old boilerplate language in most commercial leases. To overcome this issue, industry groups led by the US Department of Energy developed what is called a “Green Lease” or “Energy Aligned Lease” which allows a landlord to recover portions of the cost of energy upgrades from the tenants, who will ultimately save as a result. The DOE has created a program around this initiative called the Green Lease Leaders, that supports landlords and tenants with sample lease language and highlights organizations that are implementing these leases as well as other collaboration with tenants around energy efficiency.
Urban Land Institute has developed a step-by step program to help tenants successfully incorporate sustainability and energy efficiency into the planning, development and design of new office spaces. CodeGreen worked with program participant Global Brands on their new office space in the Empire State Building, managing the energy efficiency financial incentives. See the case study HERE.
IFMA, the International Facility Managers Association supports facility managers with resources that span the entire industry, but one of their greatest resources for managers at all levels who are interested in operating sustainable facilities is their How-To Guides. These in-depth guides across a number of sustainability topics from recycling to energy reduction provide insight into the benefits of sustainability in the workplace and nuts and bolts steps to implement a successful program. IFMA's ESUS (Environmental Stewardship Utilities and Sustainability) Committee is further expanding its role to become the "voice of the tenant" with regards to sustainability and energy efficiency. CodeGreen is a member of this great committee.
In early 2017 the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability launched the NYC Carbon Challenge for Commercial Owners and Tenants that challenged participants to reduce the carbon footprint of tenant and landlord spaces by 30% in 10 years. Over 58 million square feet of landlords and tenants signed up for the challenge. The group meets quarterly to discuss current barriers to tenant/landlord collaboration on energy efficiency and best practices for accelerating energy efficiency improvements in tenant and landlord spaces. CodeGreen is proud to support the City on this program and to be working with many of the participating landlords and tenants to identify opportunities to work together to save energy.
In New York City, in order to increase transparency and accelerate the discussion of tenant energy use in commercial buildings, the City passed a law in 2009 that goes into effect in 2025 that requires owners of buildings over 25,000sf to install electric sub-meters for all tenants over 5,000sf. The law also requires building owners to issue monthly statements to these tenants showing them monthly energy consumption. This law should dramatically increase tenants’ awareness of energy use. Some specifics of the law are still in development and we are hopeful that the final details will encourage energy efficiency collaboration between landlords and tenants. But putting energy use information into the hands of tenants is only the first piece of the puzzle. Helping tenants to decipher the information and use it to take action to improve efficiency is critical to reducing the impact that buildings have on our environment. Monthly energy statements will allow tenants to see large changes in usage from month to month and season to season. The statements will also help tenants evaluate the effectiveness of energy saving initiatives like replacing lighting, controlling PC sleep modes, etc.
Congratulations to the team at JFK Terminal 4 for becoming the first airport terminal in the country to achieve LEED-EB Gold! CodeGreen is proud to be part of the team that made this happen! Click here to read this article
Patricia Lee is a featured Master Speaker at LA's Existing Building Energy and Water Efficiency Ordinance Workshop taking place at La Kretz Innovation Campus, Los Angeles on January 26th, 11am. Click this link to register for the workshop Speakers will be available for one hour following the free workshop to provide one-on-one support - please join the workshop and bring your questions! For more information on the Existing Buildings Energy & Water Efficiency Program, click link.
Over the past few months New York City has proposed a number of new bills that will greatly impact existing and new buildings across the city. For more information about how these will affect your properties, contact your CodeGreen account manager or Harry Etra at 646-380-7649 firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read the article visit GRESB's website: Click here to read article
CodeGreen's own James McGlynn presented at Skyposium 2017 in front of 150+ engineers & Skyspark programming experts November 14th. Excited to be part of this collaborative community of programmers. https://skyfoundryevents.com/
CodeGreen is thrilled to be part of the inaugural Fitwel Advisory Councils. The Fitwel LAB and Councils bring together pioneering companies across the finance, healthcare, real estate, design and sustainability sectors to advise CfAD on maintaining Fitwel’s vision and strength of product by providing strategic direction for its continued impact and growth. We look forward to working with this amazing group to drive health and wellbeing in the workplace!
James McGlynn, of CodeGreen, will be speaking at SkyPosium in Dulles, VA November 14th to 15th. SkyPosium is the first ever community event for all SkyFoundry partners and users. James will speak during a segment in which community members will be giving brief presentations on how they are using specific new features of the software. Click here to find more information on SkyPosium 2017.
Jordan Chan, of CodeGreen Solutions, delves into the wisdom of leveraging stakeholders engagement to maximize sustainability strategies read GRESB article here.
Join CodeGreen Solutions and GRESB December 5th at REBNY for the GRESB ESG Master Class. And join us for happy hour following the class! Details on Class Here
The average office building in New York City is 70 years old. Many of these buildings have great potential and can compete against new buildings, but you need to be creative and focus on what the market wants. CodeGreen’s Chris Cayten will be speaking about how to make older buildings competitive in today’s market at the RETHINK Office Conference November 30th.
CodeGreen is proud to be presenting at the ENERGY STAR® Commercial Buildings Partner Meeting at the Sheraton Grand Chicago on October 24th-25th. During this interactive meeting, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss trends and best practices in energy efficiency, hear from leading energy experts and connect with building owners, managers and service providers dedicated to improving efficiency. And join us October 24th, Tuesday evening in Chicago. CodeGreen is co-hosting a cocktail reception for conference attendees! To view the full agenda and register for the event, visit the ENERGY STAR Commercial Buildings Partner Meeting homepage.
To read the article visit GRESB's website at: Climbing the Tree of Energy Efficiency.
To read the article visit GRESB's website at: Rethinking Waste Management.
Harry Etra, Director of Sustainability, CodeGreen Solutions
As the second GRESB Health and Well-Being module submission cycle deadline nears (July 1, 2017), well- being in real estate is not a fading trend. Rather, it is an investor, tenant, and employee driven consideration for real estate owners and operators.
In 2016, 174 entities (over 20% of respondents) voluntarily completed the GRESB Health and Well-Being module. An interesting data point from the report was that 60% of respondents said that the most senior decision maker for health and well-being issues was different that the senior sustainability decision maker.
At Code Green, we use our own office in a laboratory for testing new technologies and initiatives. In true office-of-the-future, millennial form, we’ve embraced everything from standing desks to yoga balls to mini-elliptical machines. In one of our conference rooms, we are testing out a green wall solution and monitoring the impact on air quality in the space. At the same time, our team is piloting off-the-shelf and self-made standing desk solutions. We also encourage our team to get out of the office and schedule walking meetings.
As sustainability and energy efficiency consultants, we have seen an increasing demand for services and solutions around health and well-being. Though new to the ESG space, we’ve already been a part of project teams helping building owners and tenants across the country pursue Fitwel and WELL certifications. As part of L&L’s 425 Park Avenue project that is pursuing LEED and WELL Core & Shore Certification, we have seen tenants sign record setting leases. We expect that over time, the tenant and broker community will become more familiar with the impact of office spaces on employees’ health and well-being.
It will be interesting to see if health and well-being decisions remain separated from other environmental, social, and governance topics or if they end up following under the control of the same decision makers. We are in the early days of investors and tenants figuring out the questions to ask and metrics to track around health and well-being to inform investment and leasing decisions.
Join Bisnow as they explore the future of commercial real estate tech! They'll cover how sustainability has made its way into the industry, and how its shaping the NYC skyline.
To find out more about the event click here. Apply code CGS20IZ8HE to receive 20% off the price of admission.
On May 15th Patricia Lee joined women from across the country to discuss promoting women in the green economy. We are proud to be a part of this important discussion for our industry.
In the continually evolving and growing landscape of green building certification programs, BREEAM USA In-Use has emerged as one of the newest players in the US market. BREEAM USA launched in October 2016 to provide an affordable option to benchmark sustainable building performance against global best practices. BREEAM identified a need to engage the 5.6 million existing commercial buildings in the U.S. market on issues of sustainability. The program benchmarks performance across 9 environmental sections: Management, Health & Wellbeing, Energy, Transport, Water, Materials, Waste, Land Use & Ecology, and Pollution.
BREEAM is owned by BRE, the Building Research Establishment, which has been developing standards for the built environment for nearly 100 years and is based out of the United Kingdom. BRE is owned by the BRE Trust which uses the profits from BREEAM and other BRE products to fund scientific research that helps improve the built environment, the BREEAM standard and other BRE components. Interestingly, BRE history began with research on fire prevention and extinguishing as well as construction methods for rebuilding after the First World War informing BREEAM’s coverage on value protection which other standards lack. BREEAM In-Use is a methodology backed by scientific research to rate existing buildings based on performance benchmarks. There are also no prerequisites to get started.
While the BREEAM program is new to the US, it is the most widely used program in Europe and globally, with over 2,200,000 registered projects and over 550,000 certified assets globally. The retailer Macerich has paved the way by earning the first BREEAM certification in the US for its Oaks Shopping Center in Santa Monica in March 2017.
The BREEAM standard is developed and administered by BREEAM USA team; however, certification is awarded by BREEAM Assessors through a rigorous review process and site visit. CodeGreen is thrilled to be the first BREEAM Assessor organization in New York and among the first in California. CodeGreen’s experience as a market leader and inclusive provider of services positions our team to provide comprehensive BREEAM Assessor and consulting services to our clients.
The BREEAM USA In-Use program may be a good fit for clients looking to understand how their assets are performing, provide value protection against early obsolescence, and gain environmental recognition where budget and resources are limited. We respect the inclusivity of the program and its focus on best practice as well as health and safety, which can have a large impact on value protection for any asset.
To learn if BREEAM is a good fit for your building, contact us at email@example.com.
How are developers adapting to the modern tenant? Are co-working spaces a passing fad, or a sign of changing times? What innovations are design firms implementing to accommodate the explosion of tech companies?
To find out more about the event that will discuss these questions click here.
On May 5th, 2017 CodeGreen Solutions' Lisa Bolle and Jonathon Matle will appear on a panel to discuss unconventional LEED-EB case studies, while Harry Etra moderates.
Pushing the Boundary of LEED: Unconventional LEED-EB project case studies East Coast building stock is primarily existing. Many of these buildings have unique attributes that some considered to be barriers to entry from the LEED for Existing Buildings rating system such as project type, size, or age.
Attendees will learn from sustainability consultants on how they were able to navigate the LEED-EB Rating System for unusual existing buildings. The presentations focus on JFK Terminal 4 (airport terminal), 485 Lexington Avenue (LEED-EB v4), and a building pursuing the LEED Performance Score recertification path. Attendees will leave with the ideas and tools of how to make unusual buildings work within the LEED-EB and LEED Performance Scores programs.
To register or learn more about the program, click here.
On February 28, 2017, Christopher Kinlen Senior Commissioning Engineer for CodeGreen Solutions presented at the NYC Energy Conservation CODE. The Master Class covered building mechanical systems He presented on analyzing and optimizing building systems by ensuring they are installed, operated and functioning as intended. To learn more about the event click here.
The NYC Mayor's Office of Sustainability launched the NYC Carbon Challenge for Commercial Owners and Tenants today. This program builds off the successes of prior carbon challenges for universities, hospitals, hotels and multifamily buildings and includes 10 large landlords and 12 large commercial tenants totaling over 58 million square feet of property in the city who have pledged to reduce their carbon footprints by at least 30% over the next 10 years. CodeGreen is proud to be working with many of these landlords and tenants to reduce their carbon footprints, lower energy costs and improve the environment. The aggregate reductions in this program could save landlords and tenants over $50 million. See the full press release HERE
The Title-24, Part 6 – 2013 Lighting Acceptance Test is required for projects with New Construction, Additions, or Alterations of a space involving >10% of total lighting fixtures or >40 ballasts or luminaires,
The Acceptance Testing process consists of Plan Review, Construction Inspection, and Functional Testing before the Certificate of Occupancy is issued to the space and typically takes a few hours to complete. A certified Lighting Acceptance Technician is required to complete the Lighting Acceptance Forms to ensure the new fixtures and controls are installed properly and meet all Title-24 requirements. The Lighting Acceptance Technician certifies documentation, verifies installation certification, and completes acceptance tests on indoor and outdoor lighting equipment and controls.
It is the last step to obtain the Certificate of Occupancy for a space. Failure to complete a lighting acceptance test may cause a delay in the ability to occupy the completed building space.Other parties involved in the Acceptance Testing process:
Design Engineer – Designs the space to T24 code and generates the Certificates of Compliance.
Lighting subcontractor – Installs lighting equipment and fills out Certificate of Installation.
General Contractor – Provides Certificates to Acceptance Technician for review, submits Certificates of Acceptance forms after AT to permitting agency.
There can be up to 4 parts to the Acceptance Test depending on the type of lighting present in a project, each involves an inspection and test component –
Call CodeGreen Solutions to schedule your Lighting Acceptance Test today!
The city-wide study to identify cost-effective ways to reduce New York City's carbon footprint by 80% by 2050, known as the "One City Built to Last: Technical Working Group Report" was awarded a Platinum Award in the category of Studies, Research, and Consulting Engineering Services from the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York. CodeGreen applied our experience from benchmarking over 30% of the commercial property in New York City for Local Law 84 and over 80 million square feet of energy audits. We contributed to this study with our analysis of data from energy audits and retro-commissioning studies of over 3,000 properties and energy benchmark data from over 30,000 submissions over the past 3 years in New York City. CodeGreen was part of the project team led by HDR and including Terrapin Bright Green, Accucost, CSA and Jon Dickinson. We are proud to be a part of this ground-breaking and award-winning study. See here for the complete list of winners. See HERE for the complete TWG Report.
LEEDing the Way Forward: Revised LEED Pricing
LEEDing the Way Forward: Revised LEED Pricing
As of December 1st 2016, U.S. Green Building Council has updated the pricing schedule for LEED registration and certification across all active programs & versions.
--Project Registration Fee: $300 increase from $900 to $1,200 for USGBC Silver members
--Project Review Fee: New minimum fee thresholds by project gross floor area
If a project was registered on LEED Online before December 1st 2016, a building team has until March 1st, 2017 to submit for certification or prepay the certification review fee using the pre-December 1st 2016 pricing schedule. After March 1st, the new pricing schedule will apply to all projects including building submissions on the LEED Dynamic Plaque/ Arc platform.
The new pricing schedule applies to all projects registered after December 1st, 2016.
New Pricing Schedule vs Old Pricing Schedule
As part of the new pricing schedule roll-out, USGBC introduced a minimum fee threshold by project size. Think of it as a stairwell, with each landing representing the minimum review fee and the stairs representing the scaling cost as soon as you clear the minimum fee value (see above image). There are now four different rates for Building Design + Construction, Interior Design + Construction and Operations & Maintenance projects that change depending on project size (Under 250,000 SF; 250,000 to 499,999 SF, 500,000 SF to 750,000 SF; Over 750,000 SF). Building teams working on projects over 750,000 square feet are asked to contact USGBC for pricing.
We have included a sample cost comparison table for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance projects under the old and new pricing schedules:
With the new pricing schedule, Interior Design + Construction projects experience an overall lower review fee compared to the old pricing schedule. The overall rate has decreased significantly, so larger projects (> 250,000 SF) should experience the greatest reduction in the review fee.
However, Building Design + Construction and Operations & Maintenance projects experience an overall higher review fee compared to the old pricing schedule. While all project sizes will notice the increase in the review fee, smaller projects (< 250,000 SF) should experience the greatest increase in the review fee.
Do you have a project already registered on LEED Online? Do you have upcoming LEED projects? We are here to help you better understand what this pricing change means for your project. Do you have a project already registered on LEED Online but cannot prepay the certification review fee before the March 1st, 2017 deadline?
We are here to help! For further information on specific projects or other LEED programs, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-921-4262.
The event is a follow-up to GRESB's Health & Well-being summer event series, and will present insights from academics and non-profit leaders, explore valuable techniques and strategies of industry leaders, and present the latest innovations to achieve effective results that increase health and well-being in the real estate sector. To find out more about the event and register, click here.
Navigating the Corporate Sustainability Disclosure Landscape
By Jeremy Capungcol, FSA
Assistant Project Manager, CodeGreen Solutions
Companies that are sustainability reporting veterans need only to dip their spoon into the familiar alphabet soup of three to four-letter acronym reporting programs. As the demand for further transparency increases, these reporting programs continue to proliferate, each with its own intended disclosures and target audience. A company wishing to disclose sustainability metrics for the first time may be met with “disclosure overload:” Given the wide breadth of required metrics, the company may lack the bandwidth to both disclose the information and apply it in a way that increases its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance before the next reporting period.
In the wake of the recent growth spurt of corporate sustainability reporting, a new program has emerged that addresses this issue. Building upon the framework of traditional financial accounting, the SASB standard, or the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board standard, integrates ESG and sustainability disclosures back into core business practices by providing a method to account for a company’s intangible assets. With a strict desire to keep disclosures “decision useful,” SASB streamlined reporting in a way that is accessible and has the potential to add long-term value to a company.
To understand how SASB can provide long-term value, it is important to differentiate SASB from other reporting programs. Focused on US markets and geared towards investors, SASB is a reporting standard. Consider CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) and GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), two of the most well-known global reporting programs. The former is considered a reporting program, or a structure/model for reporting with best practices, while the latter is a framework, or a recommended practice that allows some leeway in its use or implementation. A standard however, consists of requirements and specifications that serve to ensure reports are issued with consistent content.
The approach in SASB’s reporting requirements should come as no surprise. Related to the FASB, or Fundamental Accounting Standards Board standard, SASB disclosures are imbedded within a company’s financial reports, such as the annual 10-K and the quarterly 10-Q. Given that these documents are heavily regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, both CEOs and CFOs for any public company are held legally responsible for any improper disclosures.
While this legal responsibility can be considered a potential liability, it helps ensure that disclosures are accurate and that multiple parties are engaged in the reporting process. Companies reporting for CDP and GRI, which do not face legal penalties for incorrect disclosure, may engage only analysts and sustainability professionals, whereas a company reporting for SASB needs the collaborative involvement of accountants, analysts, middle management, and the executive suite. With involvement required at all levels of an organization, a company is more likely to be aware of sustainability initiatives and potential for improvement throughout the organization.
Back to the Core
The value of the SASB standard can be seen in its accessibility and familiarity of existing metrics. Per SASB research, 74% of metrics required are already being disclosed by different companies within their respective industries. The notion of disclosing only “decision useful” information drives SASB’s desire to favor the quality of data over the quantity. Per further SASB research, of the companies that already collect data on required SASB metrics, only about 40% are using that information in a “decision useful” way. To ensure added value to a company’s investors and management, SASB standards apply SICS, or Sustainable Industry Classification System models, for a predetermined subset of industries. SICS models indicate the required disclosures for a company given the industries it is primarily involved in. With such specific requirements, generic boiler plate language is avoided, and recipients of the company’s financial reports have all the information that would potentially influence their investment and management decisions. Additionally, by sticking only to the relevant metrics, both the reporting body and the report recipients will not be inundated by the collection and publication of irrelevant information.
With such targeted disclosures, reporting bodies are less likely to face legal liabilities per SEC rulings due to the omission of data. Internally, SASB disclosures may provide a company with insight on which resources are managed, what the company’s main cost drivers are, and areas in which operational efficiency can be improved.
Externally, however, SASB disclosures may also have the potential to bridge the gap between investors and customers/end-users. Take for example, the Real Estate Investment Trust (or REIT) industry:
Per a recent Bloomberg article, "Real estate investors might have more reason to care about the air conditioning in your office than you do. As energy-related emissions from buildings creep higher, property investors are starting to worry that regulators and politicians will come down hard on the sector for its contribution to climate change."
In this case SASB standards can provide the concrete data investors need to pressure the landlords managing their assets to take a more involved approach. This is turn, may directly involve building tenants through the implementation of energy efficiency clauses in subsequent leases.
However, the REIT industry is just one of many that have begun to show a trend towards SASB's approach to corporate disclosure. Companies such as Bloomberg LP, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, and Motorola Solutions have begun to incorporate SASB metrics into their non-SEC corporate reports. When considering the dissimilarity between these large companies’ industries and their position in their respective markets, it is apparent that the SASB standard continues to trend towards future growth and adoption.
Join Building Energy Exchange for Big Data, Small Data: Managing building energy data at different scales. Josh Kace will be speaking, along with other experts in the field. You may find out more about the forum, and how to register by clicking here.
Chris Cayten to speak on “Building our Smart City with Smart Buildings” Panel at the NYC Real Estate Expo September 29th. Click here For more information and to register.
Last week Joshua Kace presented to a packed room of more than 100 energy professionals at the 29th annual World Energy Engineering Congress in Washington, D.C. Josh spoke about a case study of a complete energy retrofit and metering solution that CodeGreen’s team implemented at a large commercial office building in NJ. After taking over management of the property, CodeGreen’s client was interested in upgrading the HVAC and other mechanical and lighting systems, which were original to the 1980’s vintage building and were in need of a major overhaul. CodeGreen worked through the NJ Clean Energy program to procure what is expected to be over $500,000 worth of incentive dollars for the $1.8m project. The project included the following major upgrades: -All fluorescent and incandescent lighting to LED -Replacement of all package units to more efficient units -Addition of an Energy Recovery Ventilator with a gas furnace -New controls sequences designed to work with the ERV to limit the use of electric resistance heating -Projected to save over $250,000 a year in electricity costs
The summit will be held on October 28, 2016 at Convene's Midtown West location in New York, New York. Click here to register, and learn more about the event.
Joshua Kace, Director of Engineering will be speaking about, "Sub-Metering & Energy Conservation in Existing Buildings: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach & Case Study", at the 2016 WEEC Conference. As buildings evolve over their lifespan, through tenant fitouts, electrical/HVAC upgrades, etc, meter systems have historically ‘fallen behind’ these changes to the building, reducing accurate meter coverage of various end-uses, including tenant and base building loads. Compounding the issue, retrofits to existing metering systems (or new metering systems to existing buildings) can prove incredibly costly and disruptive to tenants and other building occupants. This leads to buildings that either mis-allocate energy use to tenants (with certain tenants paying more or less than they should), or flat-fee rent-inclusion which dis-incentivizes energy conservation among tenants. It also hampers the ability to properly measure the effectiveness of energy efficiency upgrades in buildings. Advances in metering technology and multi-disciplinary analysis offer hope to property management clients looking to take back control of their cost allocations and re-incentivize electricity conservation amongst tenants. This case study and technical presentation will review a recent project completed by CodeGreen Solutions at a 270,000 Sq Ft commercial office building in Woodbridge, NJ. The project scope included retrofit and commissioning of an existing submetering system (installed in 1984), in addition to a holistic energy reduction plan (in accordance with NJCEP’s P4P Program) including lighting switchouts, gut HVAC retrofits, and the installation of an energy recovery ventilator. We will address some of the challenges faced by buildings looking to retrofit metering systems, both for the purposes of measurement & verification of energy conservation measures and proper cost allocations to tenants. We will also cover the advantages of an integrated approach to building performance improvements (from metering to energy auditing), and how a multi-disciplinary approach to energy use in buildings proves critical when the costs of direct sub-metering prove cost prohibitive.
On October 5, 2016, CodeGreen Solutions, Patricia Lee will be speaking at the LEED Volume Connect & Learn session during Greenbuild 2016. This session will include a panel of project teams that have been successful in creating a program and prototype for LEED Volume. USGBC and GBCI staff will provide an overview, changes to come, answer questions, and collect feedback from participants. Click here to register for Greenbuild 2016.
After years of serving the private sector, CodeGreen is excited to be approved by the GSA for energy and water efficiency and sustainability services. CodeGreen is approved for the following services:
CodeGreen’s Harry Etra will be presenting at GHNYC’s Corporate Social Responsibility Sustainability Career Tracks on Tuesday, 8/9 at 6:30 pm at the Grohe America Showroom Click here to register
CodeGreen’s Harry Etra will be on a panel at the City & State Reports’ CSR Awards Thursday (7/28/16) morning at NYU Click here for CSR Awards Event Details
CodeGreen Discusses Energy Efficiency Legislation with Bloomberg Business.Read More here
GRESB publishes Karen Mahrous' steps for creating an ISO compliant Environmental Management System. Read More Here
We are proud to be participating in Daylight Hour (Friday, 6/17 at 12 pm EST) again this year. In 2015, #daylighthour reached nearly 6 million people on social media in 14 countries. In one hour, we saved enough energy to power fifteen New York households for a year. Sign up by clicking here.
We are excited to announce that CodeGreen’s mobile energy app has been updated with the latest published energy performance and compliance information for buildings in New York City and San Francisco. Download the app here – Iphone – Android.
CodeGreen contributes to NYC’s 80x50 Technical Report to reduce citywide carbon footprint by 80% by 2050 and our work with BlackRock to reduce energy by over 35% is highlighted as a case study. View the full report HERE and the CodeGreen/BlackRock Case Study HERE.
CodeGreen’s expert staff to help teach GPRO Green Building Operator Training Courses in NYC. Read more HERE.
CodeGreen's GRESB clients receive GREEN STARS from the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark placing them in the top quartile for performance among their peers. View the press release HERE
Adin explains the benefits of Holistic Sustainability and Energy Management. Read the article Here
State of CA General Services selected CodeGreen to help over 60 buildings meet the energy and sustainability requirements of the state’s Green Building Executive Order. Read the press release HERE.
CodeGreen’s Jessica Handy is a contributor in the latest issue of California Buildings News. Her piece, titled “Data-Driven Systems Will Improve Functionality,” can be found on page 28, within the larger “Buildings of the Future,” article.Read More here
CodeGreen’s Adin Meir is pleased to have worked with Columbia University in preparing an analysis of multi-family energy efficiency programs in New York City – prepared for the Building Energy Exchange. View the report here: Advancing Energy Efficiency in NYC Multifamily Buildings
This year, CodeGreen became an executive member of ENERGY STAR certification nation by helping clients earn certification for 50 properties. Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR are verified to perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency, and CodeGreen has been involved with the EPA program since 2007.Read More here
CodeGreen’s Adin Meir is pleased to have worked with Columbia University in preparing an analysis of multi-family energy efficiency programs in New York City – prepared for the Building Energy Exchange. View the report here: Advancing Energy Efficiency in NYC Multifamily Buildings
Patricia Lee will be speaking in the session, “CDP, GRI and GRESB Reporting: Who is Doing It and Why?” discussing these programs and the role that they play in today’s sustainability reporting and finance landscape. Come to hear her speak and also visit CodeGreen’s booth at the event!. Read More here
CodeGreen’s Harry Etra is featured in the July 2015 edition of the New York Real Estate Journal where he discusses his accomplishments and interests both professionally and personally. View the article here: Professional Profile: Harry Etra 2015
CodeGreen has been proud to work with a number of clients who have responded to GRESB and this year, all respondents working with CG earned the “Green Star” award – exceeding North American average scores. During the presentation, CodeGreen reviewed how to build an effective sustainability platform that addresses the three pillars of Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG).
New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio’s report on improving city buildings’ energy usage, “One City Built to Last,” features CodeGreen in one of its case studies. CodeGreen was the energy services firm hired to work on CBRE building 1440 Broadway and as a result, the building has saved $300,000 from lower energy bills since 2011.Read More here
CodeGreen Director, Patricia Lee appears in Heineken’s 2012 Sustainability Report, having helped the Heineken USA headquarters in White Plains, NY achieve LEED Gold certification. Heineken’s newly renovated space uses 32% less water, more efficient lighting, and recycled more than 85% of the materials from the original building.Read More here
That is a quarter of all LEED certified space in NY last year alone! A few highlights of our 2014 LEED certifications: SL Green Realty Corp.’s 100 Park Avenue, recertified as LEED Gold; Rockefeller Group’s 1221 Ave of the Americas, recertified as LEED Silver; and LF USA Headquarters: Empire State Building, floors 4 and 5, LEED Gold.Read More here
Jessica Handy will take part in a thought leading interactive discussion about technology’s impact on real estate. Discussion topics include the internet of things, the state of the real estate + tech sector, opportunities within real estate + tech, and more.Read More here