THE BIGGEST LOSER
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|Being a loser in the real estate market can be a good thing. Hines'522 Fifth Ave just joined the EPA's first national competition to âwork off the wasteâ by improving energy efficiency. (The building that sheds the most waste on a percentage basis wins.)|
|Hines VP of property management Andrew Cooke wasted no words in telling us that before the contest, 522 Fifth was already on a strict energy diet. Running a new 900-ton centrifugal chiller during off-peak hours (when electricity is more plentiful, less expensive, and generated more efficiently) is a more effective way to freeze the water in the 40 Calmac ice storage tanks that provide cold water to the building, he tells us. The building is one of 14 finalists among 200 in the contest. Monitoring began Sept. 1 and runs through to Aug. 31 this year, and winners will be announced in October. The judge is the EPA's online measurement and tracking tool, Portfolio Manager.|
|The efforts equate to removing 128k lbs. of carbon dioxide from the environment, 41 cars from the road, or reducing electricity use by 172,578 kWh—enough to power 15 homes annually. These initiatives were imperative to Hines and tenant Morgan Stanley, which several years ago stated that it was committed to "enhancing the conduct of our internal operations and minimizing our direct impact on the environment." The building has already seen an Energy Star benchmarking score increase of 70% over the past 18 months, equal to a rating of 69—only six points more for recognition. This reduction is significant, Andrew tells us, given the building houses the financial institution's trading operations.|