From My Orlando BOMA Posts – Interview with CBRE Engineer Paul Carter

July 27, 2015

A driving force in commercial real estate around the world, CBRE is helping its corporate real estate clients achieve improved performance and competitive advantage through sustainability measures that include LEED certification.  Here in Central Florida, CBRE Lead Engineer, Paul Carter, is pushing that effort even further, demonstrating on a daily basis that small efforts can yield great results.  In a recent interview Paul shared a couple of ideas that are not only very effective, but also cost almost nothing to get started:

  • One device at a time – Paul knows that thermostats controlling buildings’ heating and air conditioning systems can be off by as much as several degrees.  By placing a reliable thermometer next to thermostats, one device at a time, Paul identifies controls that are not reading correct temperatures.  After recalibrating he’s seeing reductions, sometimes significant, in energy consumption.
  • Stagger your start times – When an entire building’s air conditioning system energizes all at once it consumes far more power than if separate zones are started one or more at a time. Paul staggers start times for each floor in every one of his buildings to easily prevent these large immediate power demands.

It’s instructive to note that Paul has achieved ENERGY STAR ratings at four buildings to-date by executing these simple steps, and he’s currently working on his fifth.

Once savings start occurring they can be reinvested in energy-saving equipment to further improve performance and reduce energy costs.  Three examples include:

  • Better lighting – Replace inefficient lamps with higher efficiency models.
  • Install variable speed drives – This is a great project to capitalize with savings from initial sustainability efforts. According to one well-known manufacturer, energy savings of up to 60% are possible through use of these relatively inexpensive components.
  • Building management systems – Higher on the cost scale, these systems enable further savings through greater regulation of heating and cooling systems.

Paul is making good progress, but he’s not done yet.  His next steps include exploring LEED certification for as many of his buildings as possible, as well as achieving LEED credentials for himself.  In doing so he is leveraging the largest organized effort in the world at promoting sustainability (LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) while further reducing his buildings’ energy consumption and operating costs, all through smarter management.

There are lots of ways to save money, reduce our carbon footprint and run our facilities more intelligently.  What ideas do you want to share?!

From My BOMA Orlando Posts – Interview with KMP Lexington Engineer Tim Arwood

June 8, 2015

Tim Arwood serves as Chief Engineer for Lexington MKP at their 6277 Sea Harbor Dr. facility. This Class A, 359,000-plus square-foot building is cooled by two 600-ton chillers.  The building was paying sewer charges on between 7,000 and 30,000 gallons of water per-day being used in its two cooling towers. Water costs an average of $1.43 per 1,000 gallons consumed, and the sewer fee charged to process that same 1,000 gallons averages an additional $3.47.  Since cooling tower water is consumed mostly through evaporation, the building was paying sewer charges every month for water that was not making its way back into the sewer system.

Tim asked his water purveyor to provide some relief on sewer charges for water consumed by his cooling towers, arguing that since this water was not going back into the sewer system his building should not be charged for that service.  The purveyor installed a device known as a Deduct Meter, which enables them to measure volumes of water passing into the cooling towers.  They are now using this data to deduct cooling tower water from total monthly sewer charges.  In Tim’s case that will possibly result an in immediate savings of between $200 and $1,800 per month!

There are lots of ways to save money, reduce our carbon footprint, and run our facilities more intelligently.  What ideas do you want to share?!


From my BOMA Orlando Posts – Interview with Luci Smith, EastGroup Properties, Inc.

July 14, 2015

EastGroup Properties, Inc. is a $3-billion owner/operator of industrial properties located in major Sunbelt markets including Florida, Texas, Arizona and California.  One of the company’s key attributes is a sharp focus on efficiency.  This is evidenced by the fact that the entire organization is run by a team of only 72 associates.  Senior Property Manager Luci Smith is well-known across the company and all of Central Florida as a property manager with deep experience in energy efficiency and sustainability.

In a recent interview Luci shared a few ways that EastGroup is reducing consumption to increase savings and efficiency.  As a starting point she noted that common sense can lead to significant savings.  Examples she cited include replacing inefficient exterior and interior lamps with more energy efficient models; re-roofing (when it becomes necessary) with white TPO (Thermoplastic polyolefin) materials that reflect heat more effectively, and requiring audits of irrigation systems every two years by her landscape contractors to ensure water waste is being kept to a minimum.

Reduced consumption results in lower operating costs.  One example given was lighting retrofits that are paying for themselves within 24 to 36 months.  Ratings for sustainability awareness also add value.  Luci stated that nine of 12 buildings at their Southridge Commerce Park development are currently ENERGY STAR rated, and they expect the remaining three to achieve that goal by end of this year.  According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website, ENERGY STAR certified buildings are more marketable, command higher rental rates and thus have increased asset value.

Luci noted that rebates and incentives are additional, important benefits of sustainability-oriented thinking.  For example, Duke Energy offers incentives ranging from rebates for annual recommissioning (servicing) of HVAC systems, to subsidies for re-roofing when energy-efficient materials are used.

There are lots of ways to save money, reduce our carbon footprint and run our facilities more intelligently.  What ideas do you want to share?!