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Sustainability Sells

Sustainability Sells
What's the new face of green building? Yesterday, some 300 of you ventured to our Bisnow Sustainability Summit, for a standing-room-only expert panel discussion on the topic at the Hyatt Regency ballroom.
Sustainability Sells
Two panels—practitioners and owners—discussed technological advances, property values, client demand, the value of LEED, and future focus of green programs.
Nelson Black Cow?s Michael Bourque moderated the first panel with Gilbane?s Deb Pereira, Nexamp?s Scott McClintock, WSP Flack+Kurtz? Allan Montpellier and Nitsch Engineering?s Lisa Brothers
Nelson Black Cow?s Michael Bourque moderated the first panel with Gilbane?s Deb Pereira, Nexamp?s Scott McClintock, WSP Flack+Kurtz? Allan Montpellier, and Nitsch Engineering?s Lisa Brothers. They agree that knowledge of sustainability issues and technology, once an extra attraction on resumes, is now arequired skill set for designers, estimators, builders, engineers, and other professionals. Scott says these days clients assume sustainable features will add value to their buildings. A challengefor contractors, Deb tells us, is to continually upgrade skills to be able to employ the latest green technologies.
Allan Montpellier (far right)
Allan (right) says that one key to a successful green project is to conduct a full life cycle energy analysis of the physical structure. In assessing value, companies like Microsoft look at the total costof ownership. That includes balancing the cost and benefits of sustainable work environments (think operable windows and lots of natural daylight for the staff). Do these features enhancetheirproductivity or extend their tenure with the firm?
Lisa Brothers
Lisa says engineers have come a long way since the ?70s when they focused on the ?conveyance? (that means installing pipes). Now, she says, the profession has its own green engineeringrating standards for public infrastructure as well as for land and buildings. As a firm, Nitsch encourages its staff to be LEED accredited and works to green its leased office space in theLeather District. She tells us that the city has green building programs worth accessing. While there may be flaws in the LEED approach, Allansays it's been a ?great tool? to increase awareness of sustainability issues.
Prince Lobnerl?s Craig Tateronis moderated the second panel with the GSA's Glenn Rotondo, Normandy?s Justin Krebs, Leggat McCall's Levi Reilly, and Boston Properties Byran Koop.
Prince Lobel?s Craig Tateronis moderated the second panel: GSA's Glenn Rotondo, Normandy?s Justin Krebs, Leggat McCall'sLevi Reilly, and Boston Properties Byran Koop. They talked about the business drivers for green buildings, the attitude of theinvestment markets, and other stakeholders in sustainable properties, and how the focus of sustainability will shift in the future.
Sustainability Sells
As GSA commissioner for New England, Glenn manages 92 owned and 400 leased facilities totaling 11M SF. It's one of the largest real estate users in the US and has a goal of zeroenvironmental impact in its buildings and the supply chain that supports its various functions, he says. As an owner: ?We're agreen proving ground.? As a tenant: ?We drive the market.?
Justin Krebs (left)
Justin (left) says that from his owner/investor perspective, tenants will spend extra money to lease sustainable space if it helps attract, retain, and boost the productivity of the workforce. He says they consider the cost of talent to be 10 times greater than the cost of the space. Levi (right) notes that at one time, a building's green features were added on after the fact. Now, they're an integral part of the design and construction program. Justin says going forward, he?d like to see public incentives to make existing buildings sustainable. Capital, he tells us, places a premium on green. While he hasn?t yet seen the metric on how green features boost resale values (and called upon anyone with the data to contact him), Justin says that he knows the demand for green is there.
Byran Koop (right)
Bryan (right) says that the private sector has ledthe public sector in valuing green. In its own research, Boston Properties finds that green buildings achieve better occupancy and rental rates. For sure, tenants and the community greatly value green. Bryan tells us that with this clear and overwhelming demand, Boston Properties now aims to produce more energy on-site. When considering wind as an alternative energy source, he says Boston Properties has not yet found the right wind product but is seriously investigating the options. And that's about as close as we can come to a cliffhanger. See you at our next event!