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How to Green Your Warehouse

Houston Industrial

Industrial real estate has been the last to delve into sustainability, and with good reason—it can be really tricky to get tenants on board. But the paybacks can be huge. Newmark Grubb Knight Frank executive managing director Geoff Kasselman (who leads the firm’s national industrial practice from Chicago) says lighting is the low-hanging fruit in warehouses. (Except for warehouses that store berries, those are the low-hanging fruit in those warehouse.) It accounts for 30% of all energy use and more than 60% of total electricity use. The EPA’s Clark Reed (national program manager for Energy Star) says a basic T8 or T5 lighting retrofit alone can yield 40% savings with a less than two-year payback.


Here’s Geoff, Liberty Property Trust sustainability analyst Jonathan Payne, and Clark with moderator JDM Associates principal Deborah Cloutier. The panel agrees that the first step to any sustainability initiative is benchmarking, but it can be amazingly difficult to get tenants to share their utilities data. Jonathan says many are skeptical about why you want the info or just don’t think it’s worth their effort (lead with cost savings rather than sustainability to get around this, Jonathan advises). Even if they agree, the Privacy Act can make it tough to get the data. But Geoff shared his secret weapon to participation—ice cream socials.