The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International has issued a list of top-10 ways commercial real estate professionals can make energy efficiency and sustainability a priority, as follows:
- Measure and Manage. Benchmark energy and water consumption through Energy Star Portfolio Manager.
- Audit Yourself. Perform regular energy audits to identify opportunities for cost-effective energy reductions. Remember to perform midnight evaluations to make sure lighting and HVAC aren’t running when the building is unoccupied.
- Get the Word Out. Institute a tenant energy awareness program, using your company newsletter and/or building announcements to keep tenants informed about energy management goals and how they can help. Provide them with energy savings tips.
- Become Enlightened. Replace incandescent lights with CFLs, which use less energy, have a longer lamp life and produce less heat.
- Go Low Flow. Install low-flow/flush fixtures and hands-free fixtures in restrooms.
- Don’t Forget Electronics. Hold an e-waste day and collect old printers, computers and electronics for recycling.
- Use Sensors. Install occupancy sensors and photo sensors that monitor daylight. Occupancy sensors also work for HVAC controls.
- Be Shady. Install solar shades to block heat.
- Encourage Eco-Friendly Transportation. Install bicycle racks and electronic vehicle chargers.
- Improve IAQ. Use high-efficiency HVAC filters and change them often. Use low-VOC paints, sealants and adhesives for building improvements.
Although BOMA International recommends energy benchmarking, the BOMA Boston branch opposes Mayor Menino’s efforts to require mandatory benchmarking in Boston using Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager. A spokeswoman for BOMA International said, “BOMA International fully supports voluntary benchmarking and actively promotes it, as evidenced by our numerous Energy Star awards. The City of Boston, however, is proposing mandatory benchmarking and reporting.”
BOMA’s top-10 list mentions CFLs, but not LEDs, as replacements for incandescents. But a Department of Energy Caliper report says that in a test comparing 24 pairs of fluorescent and LED-based ceiling troffers, generally the LED lighting was more energy efficient than the fluorescent. However, some energy managers say the return on investment for LEDs still isn’t as good as for CFLs.