objectives with your in-house
team and others who can advise
you, including colleagues who
have achieved certification for
their buildings and your project
engineer and architect.
Consider questions like:
Certification scope: Do you
want to focus on achieving the
best in one area (such as energy),
fine-tune the whole building or
expand your green goals over the
whole property? Are you certifying
one building or an entire portfolio?
Certifications like Class-G (a reference to the office space grading
system) are portfolio-driven, while
others focus more on certifying
one building at a time.
"Imagine you have 543 stores
and you want them all to ramp up
and manage those facilities more
sustainably," posits Joe Blattner,
president of Class-G. "What does
that mean? How do you get there?
What do you do with the certification if you pursue it? We created a
platform to disseminate education
and measurement and meet corporate sustainability goals at a low
cost and in less than 35 minutes."
Newcomers vs. established
systems: Some of the original
certifications like LEED are more
instantly recognizable, but that
doesn't mean a younger certification is the wrong choice. Lesser-known programs may offer additional opportunities for consumer
education, so compare the requirements closely.
Complexity, cost and benefits:
Your engineers or consultants
can explain what's required for
you to hit mandatory targets and
earn credits, then help refine your
budget and project plans, says
Stan Samuel, director of sustainable construction for the Society
of Environmentally Responsible
The certification may require
application fees, and some also
mandate third-party inspection.
The cost of the inspector may be
included in the certification cost
for programs such as Green Globes,
while other certification bodies
levy a separate fee for assessment.
The tallest building in Dallas, Bank of America Plaza was originally
built in 1985 and is now triple-certified with LEED, ENERGY STAR and
BOMA 360. Here’s how it earned the three designations:
• Engaging property management, corporate team, service partners
and building tenants to participate in the certification process
• Emphasizing energy efficiency, saving about 67,000 k Wh annually
and operating more efficiently than 76 percent of similar buildings
• Saving 2,515,000 gallons of water annually with water efficiency
• Diverting over 582,000 pounds of consumables from landfills
• Using low-impact cleaning products and efficient janitorial
• Meeting outdoor air supply standards
• Using high-quality filtration to limit particulates in the air
E L O T O N Sustainable
Bank of America Plaza – Dallas
"If you're looking at certifications, you've got to do a realistic
assessment of your building and
say 'What do I have in place here?
What have I already achieved
and what do I need to do to get
there?'" advises Dan Cote, chair
of the BOMA 360 Performance
Program and general manager of
THE BLOC, owned by National
Real Estate Developers LLC.
"Once you know what your
goals are and where you are
already on that metric, that helps
you decide where to go from there
and what direction to pursue."
3 Check the Building's Current Condition Obtain concrete data about
your building's performance, poli-cies and other benchmarks. When
the building is operational, you
can compare its performance with
"Do a full assessment of your
project and look at what you have
already and how far you have to go
to get to the next step,” Cote suggests. “Look at the criteria for each
certification and then assess what
you have. That makes it a lot easier to decide which certification
makes sense for you to go after."
4 Get Creative with Sustainable Solutions Budgetary concerns and
certification requirements heavily shape the areas your team will
tackle, but making specific game
plans requires you to further delve
into the details.
Assess the cost vs. benefit of
pricy and highly visible green technologies, but don't forget to include
more affordable ones like dimmable
lighting or tightening the envelope.
"Water conservation strategies are
becoming increasingly affordable
and are becoming a preferred way
to make incremental improve-ments," explains Shaina Weinstein,
vice president of engagement
for the Green Building Initiative,
which administers Green Globes.
Baker advises plucking the low-hanging fruit first.
"Almost all of our clients are
doing LED lighting, and the first
cost has come down substantially in the last five to seven
years," Baker says. "We look at
the building envelope to make
sure it's highly efficient and high-performance. We always want
to use low-VOC materials in the
building, and there's very little
upfront cost associated with that.