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How Sustainability In Development Can Impact The Bottom Line

A constant buzzword in the industry, developers are trying to figure out the best way to implement and embrace sustainability while maximizing property value. Bisnow gathered some 250 real estate pros at the Wharf Room of the Boston Harbor Hotel this week to find out the latest.


Here's Bisnow's own Tyler Fisher addressing the crowd.

Bergmeyer president Mike Davis asked the pressing question: Where is the commercial market on green building and how is it capitalized? Mike has been LEED AP certified since 2001 and was at the original LEED conference, but the game has changed since then. "It used to be that sustainability design consulting was a special expertise and now all the architects know this.”


AHA Consulting Engineers managing director Robert Andrews (here with Sphere-E founder Deborah Dunning and Eversource Energy account executive Patrick McDonnell) said LEED certification has now become extremely important to the community and investors.

He stresses LEED has value because within certain target locations, it determines whether or not you even get your project completed.

Deborah said she wants to expose the myth sustainability is not profitable through data collection and shared technology. She referenced the Index of the 100 Most Sustainable Cities in the World and shared there was not one single American city, but when you get into the next 10 Boston was the top city out of all of North America. 


In 2014, Samuels & Associates regional portfolio manager Jason Bansfield spent 18 months developing the LEED Gold Certified Landmark Center.


Our property management panel consisted of moderator Luka Matutinovic from WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, Federal Realty SVP Jeff Mooallem, Baroo founder Lindsay Hyde, Cummings Properties EVP Eric Anderson, Bozzuto Management president Stephanie Williams, and Related Beal GM Mark Giampa.

Eric said his company hasn't seen meaningful value in obtaining green certifications. "Our feeling is that companies will gain more from taking the funds they would spend on certifications and investing them instead on additional sustainable features,” he said.


Jeff (right with Luka) said for his company it all comes down to the intersection of what’s good for the environment, what’s good for the tenant, what’s good for customers, and the bottom line.

Stephanie said one of the most important factors in Bozzuto's success as property managers is accessibility. "Our clients can reach anyone at any level within the company most any time of the day. We answer our own phones and we do not screen calls or visitors," she said.