New York City claimed the No. 10 spot for the first time in this year’s Green Building Adoption Index study conducted by CBRE and Maastricht University. Atlanta, Houston and Minneapolis again claimed spots in the top five and San Francisco slipped to No. 2. Chicago claimed the top spot with 66% of its buildings qualifying as green certified. The Big Apple was part of a group of cities leading the charge in LEED and Energy Star certifications.
The study also looked at the impact benchmarking ordinances have on a city’s willingness to adapt sustainability standards. Among the top 10, nine cities have enacted policies that increase the transparency of a commercial property's green standing. Markets with these ordinances have seen 9% more Energy Star and LEED certified buildings and 21% higher Energy Star and LEED certified square footage. “While it is still too early to make a definitive correlation between benchmarking ordinances and the rate of growth in ‘green’ buildings, this year’s findings do begin to establish a link that will be studied closely in the future,” CBRE Global Director of Corporate Responsibility David Pogue said.
New York enacted its Greener, Greater Buildings Plan in 2009, requiring benchmarking and transparency as well as energy audits and “retrocommissioning,” building retuning, every 10 years for commercial buildings 50K SF and greater. In 2016, Mayor Bill De Blasio and the City Council extended the regulations to cover buildings 25K SF and greater, bringing an estimated 2.8B SF under the ordinance, the largest of any local jurisdiction in the U.S. The GBAI surveyed the number of green commercial buildings just in Manhattan, which has continued to improve its standing on the list, with 39.4% of the market certified.
The study did not include buildings in New York City's other four boroughs. Nationally, Manhattan has the highest percentage of Energy Star-labeled buildings, at 24.6%. It also has the highest percentage of LEED-certified buildings, at 11.3%. Manhattan leads overall in the percentage of green buildings, at 28.6%, compared to entire cities nationwide. The methodology behind the survey uses percentage of green certified square footage, placing markets with a large number of similarly sized buildings at a disadvantage to those with a broader mix of building sizes, putting the borough out of the running for the top spot.
The study found that institutional owners of office buildings continued to pursue green building certifications in the 30 largest U.S. markets, with 10.3% of all buildings surveyed bearing the Energy Star label, while 4.7% are LEED certified, both ahead of last year’s totals. Despite major policy shifts and reversals coming from the White House, many building owners in major markets are keeping their sustainability promises.
“Even though the current federal legislative agenda has shifted the focus away from energy efficiency and sustainability, the momentum in the commercial real estate industry toward improving building operating performance and enhancing building quality is hard to derail,” Maastricht University associate professor Nils Kok said. To read the full report, click here.
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Related Topics: CBRE, Energy Star, Green Building Adoption Index, LEED Certification, green building practices
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Monday, July 17, 2017
Tips for in-house facility managers tasked with making tough choices
It’s that time of year again—the time when you’re tasked with creating a budget that will take your facility through the next several months, or even the next year. There are many factors to juggle when setting up the budget, including allocating costs for hiring, supplies, equipment, special projects, and emergencies, in addition to demands for higher quality work.
To meet and exceed the standards set by your client (if you’re an outside contractor servicing a building) or your supervisor (if you’re an in-house facility manager), you may have to collaborate with outside contractors, make tough decisions regarding your employees, and work with shrinking operational costs. When you decide upon your budget, you must ensure that the
According to those in the cleaning industry, the biggest challenge faced by in-house facility managers is contending with lower budgets, while still maintaining standards. In fact, according to Cleaning and Maintenance Management’s 2015 In-House/Facility Management Benchmarking Survey, 90 percent of respondents said reducing overall cleaning and maintenance costs was important to their facility or organization in some capacity.
“There continues to be a cost-cutting focus in this industry,” said Anthony F. Maione, vice president of Core Management Services. “There is a tremendous amount of pressure when budgeting, which puts in-house facility managers in a financial squeeze. They are constantly tasked with figuring out how to continue to produce successful outcomes for stagnant or decreasing budgets.”
Sharon L. Cowan, a certified building service executive (CBSE) and owner of Cleaning Business Consulting Group, stressed a similar point. “They must increase productivity in employees, while often times not increasing wages,” she said. “They must keep on top of every trend and new process in the industry to keep their crews efficient and productive, while staying motivated.”
If you’re an in-house facility manager and having a difficult time coming up with your budget, or want to know how to make the budgeting process better, the following advice from cleaning industry experts may help.
Look at Your History
Whether you’re looking to create your general budget, or trying to figure out how much money to set aside for special projects, you should study your facility’s history.
Mike Koenig, vice president of sales and marketing at TMA Systems, LLC, said management software can help in-house facility managers more accurately predict costs. “You can trend your unexpected costs from prior years. You have the ability to see what your future capital planning needs will be moving forward in order to maintain your facilities at a certain level.”
Some maintenance management systems can allow in-house facility managers to plug in all their past and present information, and then predict funding for the next one, two, five, or even 10 years.
By investing in management software, an in-house facility manager may be able to make intelligent decisions and back up a budget with solid data; this can also help building service contractors (BSC) provide data to clients if they request the information to help with budgeting.
Reevaluate Your Cleaning Procedures
After you’ve recorded your history and processes into your computer, you can start to reevaluate how you perform duties and arrive at your numbers.
“The first step for obtaining the right number is to do an inventory of the space you're responsible for maintaining,” said Jim Peduto, Esq., CBSE, co-founder of the American Institute for Cleaning Sciences (AICS). “You want to look at all the particulars that relate to that space, including flooring, square footage, and types of rooms,” he said. “Step two is to develop a list of tasks for that space and frequencies of the tasks [associated with the space]. Then, apply production rates for each of the listed tasks. The fourth step is to arrive at labor hours required to do the work, and the fifth step is to compare labor hours to the budget you have.”
If you use software, it should calculate the labor estimates needed for any type of situation. For example, Koenig said, if you’re an in-house facility manager at a university and your boss wants you to increase the cleanliness from a two to a three, you can see how that would affect the bottom line. “Once our system is populated with cleaning matrices, you can go in and determine exactly what your impact will be for the labor to support those levels.”
Cut Down on Employee Expenses
Fortunately, and unfortunately, as a facility manager, you also have the role of hiring and firing employees. It is your job to determine employee hours, and how many you will need during the next several months.
When it comes to budgeting, Peduto said, employee expenses are going to be one area where you’re able to cut back. “In any operation, labor is going to be far and away the largest budgetary component where in-house facility managers can save money. Supplies, equipment, and other areas pale in comparison to labor.”
Deciding upon the number of labor hours needed to maintain a facility is a key starting point for your operation. “Many [in-house facility managers] face the fact that it’s been a long time since they reengineered or looked at the number of labor hours that go into task assignments,” Peduto said.
To do this, Maione suggested using a workloading tool “to determine how to achieve adequate work levels with [fewer] people. [That way], you will have the option of not replacing some positions when they become vacant. You’re still meeting cleaning needs because you’ve re-designed your task and frequency in anticipation of having [fewer] custodians in the future.”
Maintain Your Equipment
Equipment is another big cost. It can run you thousands of dollars, and, if it breaks down, you’re going to need to quickly find the funds to replace parts.
“Equipment is becoming more crucial to the industry,” Maione said. “Wide-area equipment, utilizing better technology, can cover more ground and help cleaners perform their duties more efficiently.”
In order to prevent machinery from breaking down, Maione said, in-house facility managers need to be proactive and keep detailed equipment logs. By instructing their employees to do preventative maintenance, they can avoid budgetary problems down the line.
Research Outsourcing Options
Outsourcing some or all duties can lead to your operation running smoother.
“By choosing to outsource, you can mitigate budget surprises by making it more predictable,” Maione said. “If you’ve done a good job drafting your contract [with the cleaning service contractor], you can effectively shift the risk associated with cost uncertainty to a contractor willing to operate under a firm fixed fee.”
If you’re an in-house facility manager and having budgetary issues, you may want to consider outsourcing some tasks. If you’re a BSC servicing a facility, explain to your client about the benefits of outsourcing some tasks and how it could help the operation run more smoothly. If you’re the client, you could let your team know that you’re toying with the idea of outsourcing some services.
Outsourcing only works, however, if both the in-house facility manager and the outsourced contractor are on the same page. They must know their roles, and work hand-in-hand to reach the same goal.
“For the in-house managers, much of their time is spent managing the employees, handling coverage when someone is out, getting the work completed, engaging with human resources issues, making certain of safety compliance, training, discipline, termination, [and] supervision of the work,” Cowan said. “For the outsourcing managers, much of the above mentioned processes are removed from their job descriptions. They deal only with the representative of the building service contractor. The BSC takes on supervision, staffing, training, deficiency issues, quality checks [of] equipment and supplies, and responses to immediate concerns. This allows the facility manager the ability to oversee the janitorial program, make recommendations, and focus on streamlining the operation.”
Construct Your Budget
This year, you’re probably going to be faced with more demands than ever. But by utilizing helpful tools, factoring in the correct costs, and taking the building’s history into account, you can set up a budget for success.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Investor and tenant demands are pushing real estate managers to make their properties more sustainable. Commercial real estate contributes 30% of global annual greenhouse gas emissions, a recent report noted, despite early and continuing efforts by real estate managers to make their properties more environmentally friendly.
That would cost roughly $11.5 billion between 2015 and 2050, according to the UNEP Finance Initiative.
Friday, July 7, 2017
Patricia Kirk | Jul 07, 2017
The healthy workplace movement got a boost a few years ago when the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) partnered with the International Well Building Institute (IWBI) to streamline certification processes and minimize paperwork to achieve both Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the WELL certifications simultaneously.
Launched in October 2014, WELL has registered or certified 450 projects, encompassing nearly 100 million sq. ft. of space in 27 countries, including 361 office projects.
“The rapid expansion of WELL worldwide underscores the fact that building and business developers, owners, and operators are taking notice of the need to harness the built environment as a tool to promote human health and wellness,” says IWBI President Kamyar Vaghar. He notes that IWBI is seeing increasing interest from core and shell building developers looking to achieve WELL certification, as well from tenants looking for buildings that facilitate a healthy fit-out.
WELL is an evidence-based system for designing, measuring, certifying and monitoring how buildings impact the health and well-being of occupants. It provides a 100 wellness features that impact 23 health pathways across seven concepts, including air, mind, water, nourishment, light, fitness, and comfort. Applicant spaces are evaluated for one year to ensure all necessary criteria are met before achieving certification and then are re-evaluated every three years for recertification.
In a 2014 Urban Land Institute study, which looked at the business case for developing healthy buildings, 13 developers reported that healthy buildings resulted in greater marketability and faster leasing and sales velocity, in addition to commanding higher rents than pro forma projections. They said the cost attributable to inclusion of wellness features represented a minimal percentage of the overall development budget.
An IWBI spokesperson told NREI that the cost to buildout the headquarters of Structure Tone, a New York City-based design firm, with WELL features came to less than $1 per sq. ft.
Dave Pogue, CBRE global director of corporate responsibility, who recently worked with a developer on a WELL-certified project in Vancouver, Canada, says that the cost to add WELL features to a building varies considerably, with ground-up projects usually costing less because healthy features can be incorporated into what the developer is already doing. For existing projects, the cost is determined by what types of features a building already has in place.
Developers Hines and Kilroy Realty are embracing the WELL standard for new buildings going forward.
Kilroy has started construction on its first WELL project, a $450-million, 680,000-sq.-ft. office campus at Mission Bay, a tech-centric master-planned community in San Francisco.
The Mission Bay project is a pilot for the company to demonstrate the value of WELL features, according to Maya Henderson, Kilroy sustainability manager. “This is a great place to start building this type of project into our portfolio going forward,” she says.
Hines’ first building to register for WELL is 609 Main in Houston, Texas, a one-million-sq.-ft., multi-tenant building, which is also pursuing LEED Platinum. Full the full article, click here.
#LEED #GreenBuildings #WELLCertification
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Guardian Service Industries, Inc., the leading provider of facility solutions, is now an ‘Official Partner of The Madison Square Garden Company!’ “Guardian is honored to begin this partnership with Madison Square Garden, which is a first-class organization,” said Matthew Bressler, Guardian Vice President, Window Cleaning.
“We take great pride in the fact that MSG ownership sought Guardian to ensure their building windows are spotless and cleaned organically, and we look forward to doing our part to provide MSG guests with a world-class facility and memorable fan experience for years to come.“
About Madison Square Company
As a world leader in live sports and entertainment, The Madison Square Garden company (MSG) sets a global standard for excellence in live experiences and forges deep and enduring connections with diverse and passionate audiences that span generations.
About Guardian Service Industries
Established in 1918, Guardian Service Industries is a 4th generation family owned Janitorial, Security, Pest Control and Engineering & Operations staffing corporation. We provide a comprehensive range of essential facility management services to over 1,000 clients across various sectors, inclusive of commercial and government buildings, residential communities, schools, industrial facilities, transportation hubs and retail outlets.