Environmental Stewardship

We recognize and understand the impact that our buildings have on the environment and are taking steps to reduce our carbon, waste and water footprints through local and national programs implemented by RMR. Our leasing efforts include collaboration with all our tenants to develop space fit-out programs that align with their environmental sustainability goals and that meet their LEED and ENERGY STAR certification requirements. These programs help reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions, waste to landfills and water use. We and our stakeholders benefit from improved indoor environmental quality, lower energy and water costs, reduced exposure to energy rate volatility and improved tenant engagement.

As our business manager and our primary property manager, RMR integrates GOV’s environmental sustainability awareness through its Green Building Policy.

Green Building Policy

Policy Statement

We continue to work to improve the performance and indoor environment of our managed properties through energy management and sustainable operations strategies. As part of this work, we continue to develop and refine responsible policies and practices to allow us to better assess our positions, set performance goals, identify and implement improvements, track results and bring awareness to our employees and the tenants we serve.

Policy Guidelines

  • Establish effective energy management programs that improve and maintain energy efficiency.
  • Promote energy awareness through employee training and tenant education.
  • Support sustainable projects through analysis and budgeting.
  • Encourage employees to contribute best practices ideas.
  • Reward company leaders that drive successful results and meet energy targets.
  • Purchase materials that reduce negative impacts on our assets, our tenants and the environment.
  • Recognize tenant preferences for a sustainable office environments and develop shared cost/incentive models and green leases that are beneficial to both the tenant and GOV.
  • Operate and develop commercial real estate responsibly to preserve our environment and maintain a high-level of occupant safety and comfort.

Green Building Initiatives

Our green building initiatives, which RMR spearheads, include:

  • Energy audits.
  • Energy and water benchmarking.
  • ENERGY STAR certification program.
  • LEED certification program.
  • BOMA TOBY and BOMA 360 programs.
  • Capital budget allocation for energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives.
  • Demand response program.
  • Real-time energy monitoring and analytics.
  • Green Lease Leaders participation and recognition.

Energy Audits

Energy audits are conducted when possible at our properties in order to:

  • Identify buildings that are consuming excess energy as compared to the national average.
  • Reduce energy consumption to meet ENERGY STAR certification requirements.
  • Comply with energy disclosure laws.
  • Meet prerequisites or earn credits toward a LEED certification.
  • Identify energy reduction-related capital project opportunities.

The results of energy audits often include identification of immediate and extended return on investment (ROI) opportunities. These opportunities are communicated to management through audit reports to aid in prioritizing energy conservation measures.

Energy & Water Benchmarking

Energy and water benchmarking helps establish a baseline for goal setting as well as an indicator of performance improvements as a result of implemented conservation measures.

Annual whole-building energy and water use disclosure is law in some cities and states. In these jurisdictions, RMR’s property management team engages with tenants to collect and report any direct tenant-paid energy and water consumption.

Energy and water benchmarking is primarily performed through the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager online platform.

EPA’s ENERGY STAR Certification Program

The EPA’s ENERGY STAR benchmarking program provides a 1-100 score that indicates how a building is performing relative to peer facilities nationwide. With a score of 50 being the national median, a building that receives a score of 75 or higher may be eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR award for a given 12-month period. Once the ENERGY STAR has been awarded, a facility is not eligible for another ENERGY STAR award for 12 months. A building must reapply each year to maintain the ENERGY STAR certified status.

As of September 30, 2017, 50 of our buildings containing over 6.0 million rentable square feet achieved ENERGY STAR designations in 2016. Together with RMR, we continuously focus on opportunities to expand our ENERGY STAR-certified holdings.

We and RMR, are ENERGY STAR Partners. In partnership with ENERGY STAR, we will:

  • Measure and track the energy performance of our facilities where possible by using tools such as those offered through ENERGY STAR.
  • Develop and implement a plan consistent with the ENERGY STAR Energy Management Guidelines to achieve energy savings.
  • Help spread the word about the importance of energy efficiency to our staff and community.
  • Support the ENERGY STAR Challenge, a national call-to-action to help improve the energy efficiency of America's commercial and industrial buildings by 10% or more.
  • Highlight our achievements with recognition offered through ENERGY STAR.

LEED Certification Program

LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. There are five major sections that encompass the LEED rating system:

  • Sustainable Sites.
  • Water Efficiency.
  • Energy and Atmosphere.
  • Materials and Resources.
  • Indoor Environmental Quality.

Credits can also be earned for regional priority initiatives and innovation. Our buildings primarily achieve LEED certification through one of three certification paths: New Construction (NC), Commercial Interiors (CI) or Operations and Maintenance (O&M). Buildings that achieve certification under CI or O&M must recertify every five years to maintain current certification status.

We prioritize our LEED certification/recertification projects by reviewing a variety of sustainability and leasing criteria. For instance, a higher priority is given to properties that have been LEED certified in the past, have earned superior ENERGY STAR scores and/or have tenants that strongly prefer or require such certifications in order to renew leases.

As of September 30, 2017, we owned 17 buildings containing a total of 2,446,935 rentable square feet that were LEED certified or were under LEED certification review as follows:

Name

City

State

Rentable Square Feet

Certification Level

LEED Version

12795 W. Alameda Parkway

Lakewood

CO

166,745

Gold

LEED EB O&M v2009

65 Bowdoin Street

S. Burlington

VT

26,609

Silver

LEED NC v2.2

11411 E. Jefferson Avenue

Detroit

MI

55,966

Gold

LEED NC v2.2

711 14th Avenue

Safford

AZ

36,139

Silver

LEED NC v2.2

Liberty IV at Park Place

Milwaukee

WI

29,297

Certified

LEED NC v2.1

5000 Corporate Court

Holtsville

NY

264,482

Silver

LEED EB O&M v2009

One Georgia Center

Atlanta

GA

443,892

Gold

LEED NC v2.2

One Montvale

Stoneham

MA

97,777

Silver

LEED EB O&M v2009

20 Mass Avenue

Washington

D.C.

340,119

Gold

LEED EB O&M v2009

4344 Carmichael Road

Montgomery

AL

49,370

Silver

LEED NC

10949 N. Mather Boulevard

Rancho Cordova

CA

93,807

Gold

LEED NC

130-138 Delaware Avenue

Buffalo

NY

60,603

Silver

LEED CI v2009

7850 Southwest 6th Court

Plantation

FL

135,819

Silver

LEED EB O&M v2009

5353 Yellowstone Road

Cheyenne

WY

122,647

Silver

LEED EB O&M v2009

915 L Street - Capitol Place

Sacramento

CA

163,840

Gold

LEED EB O&M v2009

801 K Street

Sacramento

CA

338,876

Platinum

LEED EB O&M v3-2008

603 San Juan Avenue

Stockton

CA

22,012

Silver

LEED EB O&M v2009


We use two main avenues to achieve LEED certifications for our buildings. Buildings that are top energy performers meet an initial eligibility criterion and are positioned to earn more credits than average energy performing buildings. We prioritize these buildings for additional eligibility screening. Many new and renewal leases for federal and state government tenants call for meeting the requirements of the LEED program. In some instances, these requirements stop short of achieving a certification for the building. We believe that taking the extra initiative to submit for and attain LEED certification adds value to our buildings and enhances tenant satisfaction. This additional effort reflects our commitment to environmental sustainability.

BOMA TOBY and BOMA 360 Programs

BOMA International sponsors the BOMA 360 Performance Program®. This performance program recognizes owners and operators for managing and operating buildings to the highest standards in the industry. The program evaluates operations and management practices listed below. For more information on the BOMA 360 Performance Program®, visit their website at www.boma.org/awards/360-program/pages/default.aspx.

  • Building Operations and Management.
  • Life Safety/Security/Risk Management.
  • Training and Education.
  • Energy.
  • Environmental/Sustainability.
  • Tenant Relations/Community Involvement.

GOV has achieved the BOMA 360 Performance Program® for the following building(s). The designation is good for three years.

Name

City

State

Rentable Square Feet

Year Recognized

330 South Second Avenue

Minneapolis

MN

193,556

2016

7850 Southwest 6th Court

Plantation

FL

135,819

2016

711 S 14th Avenue

Safford

AZ

36,139

2017

7401 Corporate Center

Lakewood

CO

700,884

2017

 

Capital Budget Allocation for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Initiatives

Each year, we review and approve capital projects that aim to reduce energy use and achieve sustainability goals. This allocation of capital funds contributes to reduced costs for our portfolio. Examples of this kind of capital project include:

  • Interior/exterior lighting upgrades.
  • Lighting controls.
  • Variable frequency drives.
  • High-efficiency HVAC equipment.
  • HVAC controls optimization.
  • Retro-commissioning.
  • Water use reduction measures.
  • Building improvements for LEED certification.

Where available, we apply for incentives and rebates through local utility company programs. These programs provide financial support for energy studies and implementation of energy conservation measures.

Demand Response Program

Beginning in 2014, several of our properties registered in demand response programs offered through their local utility companies. Demand response programs provide incentives for businesses to reduce their electric demand during periods of high energy costs or electric grid congestion. These programs are designed to reduce electric grid peak demand or avoid system emergencies such as brown-outs or temporary disruptions in power.

When a demand response event is triggered, either through the grid operators or as a result of increased energy costs, participating buildings voluntarily and automatically adjust their normal electricity consumption pattern to reduce their contribution to excessive grid demand. In return, participating buildings earn revenue while also realizing energy savings during the event.

Real-Time Energy Monitoring & Analytics

We are also realizing the benefits of today’s integrated building technologies through real time energy monitoring and analytics of some of our buildings. Real-time energy monitoring provides high visibility into the energy use of a building. Energy data is collected every few minutes and saved locally or to the cloud. The data is used to identify and troubleshoot operating anomalies that may be contributing to excess energy consumption.

Where real-time energy monitoring is employed, building managers and engineers no longer have to wait for their next monthly electricity invoice to learn that the building may be operating outside its typical consumption patterns. Alarms can be set when certain thresholds are exceeded, and the appropriate persons can be automatically notified.

Green Lease Leaders

Green Lease Leaders is a recognition program developed by the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), with support from the Department of Energy’s Better Building Alliance. The Green Lease Leader designation is the official recognition of Green Lease Library, the leading resource for green leasing information on the web. For more information on the Green Lease Leaders program, click here.

In 2014, we were one of 14 companies recognized as a Green Lease Leader for our efforts in implementing green lease language into new or existing leases. Click here for our press release. We were also recognized as a Green Lease Leader in 2015 and 2016.

Green Operations

RMR’s property operations principles and professionals promote clean, healthy and efficient working environments for our tenants. RMR understands the importance of best-in-class property operations and endeavors to exceed tenant expectations and encourage continual tenant engagement that promote long-lasting relationships. RMR’s Green Buildings Policy sets the framework for operating properties with an environmentally friendly priority.

Many RMR employees also benefit from continuing education programs and seek out green credentials and association memberships that offer opportunities to enhance their skillset and bring increased value to their role within property operations. Credentials and associations that connect RMR employees with industry best practices include:

  • LEED Green Associate and Accredited Professional.
  • Certified Energy Manager (CEM).
  • Certified Energy Auditor (CEA).
  • Certified Property Manager (CPM).
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
  • Hotel Asset Managers Association
  • Certified Indoor Air Quality Professional.
  • Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) membership and event participation.
  • USGBC local chapter participation.
  • NAREIT Leader in the Light Working Forum participation.
  • National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP).
  • Urban Land Institute (ULI).
  • Real Estate Sales and Brokerage licenses.
  • Real Estate Property Administration (RPA).
  • Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM).
  • Systems Maintenance Administrators (SMA).

Waste hauling and recycling is managed by RMR through a national waste/recycle management program. This program seeks to improve the effectiveness of waste handling through the following initiatives:

  • Waste expense management.
  • Continuous right-sizing of containers.
  • Landfill diversion optimization.
  • Sustainability reporting.

Green cleaning and environmentally friendly pest control policies and programs are implemented at LEED certified properties. These policies and programs cover several aspects of property operations including:

  • Purchase of sustainable cleaning products and materials.
  • Purchase and use of sustainable cleaning equipment approved by Green Label, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB).
  • Strategies for promoting and improving hand hygiene.
  • Guidelines for safe handling and storage of cleaning chemicals.

Water use reduction in our properties supports operating cost reductions and has a positive environmental impact. From 2012 to 2015, RMR reduced our like-for-like water consumption by more than 13%, equating to a savings of nearly 25 million gallons over the same time period. Projects that support water reduction efforts include:

  • Indoor plumbing fixture efficiency: low-flow water closets and urinals, low-flow flush valves, low flow automatic faucet controls, low-flow faucet aerators and shower heads.
  • Water-efficient landscaping.
  • Cooling tower water management.

RMR utilizes a third party utility bill pay and energy procurement service for our properties. This service provides many features that aid in the invoice management and energy purchasing in regulated and deregulated markets, including:

  • Data management.
  • Invoice audits and fee recovery.
  • Strategic sourcing.
  • Rate analysis.
  • Budget development.
  • Risk management.
  • Market intelligence.
  • Online reporting.
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