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Energy Plaza: Rarest Building in the World

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DALLAS—The first building ever has been officially awarded the IREM Certified Sustainable Property certification—Energy Future Holdings' Energy Plaza, a 49-story, I.M. Pei-designed office tower in downtown Dallas. (The only thing they don't conserve is letters in the name of that award.)

Energy Plaza: Rarest Building in the World

While it already has LEED Gold and BOMA 360 certs, the IREM backing shows that Energy Plaza is sustainable right down tenant engagement and culture, says Transwestern's David Bryant, the building's senior property manager. "Without tenants' support and cooperation, we wouldn't have been able to do any of this," he says. (The building is 92% leased to mostly energy and government-related firms.) It's already achieved a 50% recycling rate and a 50% reduction of interior water consumption. He's aiming for even higher numbers, especially as local government and the EPA start requiring more solid numbers. For one, the building conducts regular waste stream audits to identify areas that need additional tenant education and help those occupants use the system effectively.

Energy Plaza: Rarest Building in the World

Energy Plaza has undergone vast improvements over the past few years, David says: It installed low-flow aerators throughout, retrofitted the chillers to last another 10 years, swapped in a new environmentally friendly refrigerant, and replaced cooling towers on the roof. The next upgrade: more LED lighting. David is IREM Dallas' secretary treasurer and tells us the org is making a big push to educate members and property management companies on the certification (which has 12 required core activities to meet, such as education, outreach, and water conservation, as well as eight out of 12 electives). The building will formally receive its certification in a ceremony next Thursday.