EIA Updates Jan04

EIA Updates

This is the latest of our periodic updates on the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. Department of Energy’s statistical and analytical agency. EIA collects, analyzes, and disseminates energy information for the benefit of energy policymakers, analysts and consumers. Winter costs on the rise The EIA expects higher wholesale electricity prices this winter in every region of the country, with increases ranging from 33% higher in California to more than 60% in the mid-Atlantic and Central regions. Electricity price could peak more than three times higher in New England than elsewhere in the U.S., due to limited pipeline capacity for liquefied natural gas coupled with stronger global demand for LNG. In one encouraging sign for consumers, the EIA does not “expect retail electricity prices to increase as much wholesale prices this winter,” said Administrator Joe DeCarolis. Batteries on growth curve through ‘25 Developers and power plant owners plan to significantly increase utility-scale battery storage capacity in the U.S., reaching 30 gigawatts by the end of 2025. Batteries store extra energy produced by intermittent resources such as wind and solar. Battery storage capacity in the U.S., negligible prior to 2020, grew to 7.8 GW by October 2022, with 1.4 GW more capacity expected by the end of the year and an additional 20.8 GW through 2025, more than 75% of which will be in California and Texas. Developers have scheduled more than 20 large-scale battery projects to be deployed by 2025. The 409 megawatt Manatee Energy Storage in Florida is currently the U.S.’s largest operating battery storage project. Uptick in commercial building efficiency A recently released U.S. commercial buildings energy consumption survey report shows that the average total amount of energy used per square foot in commercial buildings decreased by 12% from 2012 to...

ENERGY STAR Impact Dec01

ENERGY STAR Impact

A recent report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency traces 20 years of energy efficiency progress enabled by ENERGY STAR® and proposes a framework for achieving a zero-carbon economy. ENERGY STAR originated in 1991 as part of the EPA’s Climate Partnerships Programs initiative, which sought ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote carbon pollution-free electricity and achieve net-zero emissions targets. ENERGY STAR certifies businesses and consumer products that conform with energy-efficient solutions that protect the climate and public health. Documenting ENERGY STAR’s impact The EPA report notes that energy benchmarking enabled by ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® has grown from 2,000 office buildings initially to more than 280,000 buildings encompassing over 27 billion square feet of space across 15 building types. More than 36,000 buildings – including the Yardi headquarters buildings in Santa Barbara, Calif. – have earned ENERGY STAR certification for excellence in energy performance. Key findings in the new report, which includes survey findings from 2019, include: ENERGY STAR-certified offices are 18 times larger than similar buildings, representing an opportunity to expand certification to smaller and mid-sized buildings. EPA incentives plus expanded state and local benchmarking, performance and disclosure mandates are expected to expand certification among smaller buildings Almost 40% of ENERGY STAR office buildings are all-electric, up from 30% in 1999. The report notes that efficiency of fuel use, rather than the mix of fuels used, drives ENERGY STAR-level performance. Furthermore, efficiently using electricity to meet energy needs positions buildings to leverage onsite renewable systems HVAC and lighting system upgrades are a priority, with 72% of ENERGY STAR buildings pursuing HVAC enhancements and 83% implementing lighting systems upgrades. Such upgrades were a priority for only about a third of the buildings reported in a 2012 survey ENERGY STAR buildings deploy more sophisticated...

Building Energy Nov11

Building Energy

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) sponsors corporate and academic institutions in a variety of energy-related projects. Here’s the latest of our periodic reviews of recent developments at the agency, which serves as the U.S. Department of Energy’s R&D arm. Buildings as carbon storage facilities In June, the DOE announced 18 contract awards for its Harnessing Emissions into Structures Taking Inputs from the Atmosphere (HESTIA) program, which aims to develop technologies that can transform buildings into net carbon storage structures – meaning they absorb more carbon from the atmosphere than is released during construction. The HESTIA projects “will develop and demonstrate building materials and whole-building designs from a wide range of potential feedstocks (e.g., forestry and purpose-grown products, agricultural residues, direct carbon utilization) that are net carbon negative on a life-cycle basis by using atmospheric CO2 in the production process,” according to ARPA-E. “This is a unique opportunity for researchers to advance clean energy materials to tackle one of the hardest to decarbonize sectors that is responsible for roughly 10% of total annual emissions in the United States,” Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said in a press release. HESTIA project team members receiving contracts include the National Renewable Energy Lab in Fairbanks, Alaska; Purdue University; Aspen Products Group of Marlborough, Mass; Biomason, based in Durham, N.C.; and the University of Pennsylvania. Another HESTIA project, announced in March, awarded contracts to the University of Washington and UC Davis to evaluate materials and designs and generate lifecycle assessments for the project. Learn more about the HESTIA projects. Forward-thinking tech projects net funding Twenty small businesses received contracts in July under ARPA-E’s Supporting Entrepreneurial Energy Discoveries (SEED) program, which seeks to develop forward-thinking energy technologies ranging from revamped biofuel manufacturing, newly efficient extraction of metals from e-waste, sustainable...

EPA Buildings Report Nov09

EPA Buildings Report

A report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency illustrates how race and income impact the energy performance of a community’s buildings. The DataTrends research and analysis report shows that ENERGY STAR® scores for buildings in communities of color averaged 2% lower than buildings in majority-white communities. Buildings in low-income communities scored an average of 4% lower than moderate- and high-income community buildings. The EPA report, which summarizes ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® data and ENERGY STAR scores from 242,098 build­ings spanning 85 building types, found that: The average ENERGY STAR score – a 1-to-100 rating that compares a building’s energy performance to similar buildings nationwide – in communities of color was 57.5 vs. 58.8 for buildings in majority-white communities ENERGY STAR scores in buildings in low-income communities averaged 56.5 vs. 58.8 recorded in moderate to high income communities K-12 schools and multifamily buildings show the largest differences in average ENERGY STAR scores as measured by both race and income level The proportion of fully electrified buildings in cold and moderate climates was 15.2% for communities of color and 20.6% for majority-white communities. The prevalence of electrification in similar low-income communities was 15.3% vs. 20% in moderate- and high- income communities 9.1% of buildings in communities of color in moderate and cold climates are reliant on heating oil – which has the highest carbon emissions intensity among the most common fossil fuel heating sources – whereas only 5.8% of white-majority community buildings are. The gap is narrower between low-income communities and moderate- to high-income communities: 6.5% and 6.8%, respectively The proportion of buildings equipped with onsite solar energy is virtually the same in all racial and income strata – 1% for communities of color and 0.8% for white-majority communities, 0.8% for low-income communities and 0.9% for...

A Single Solution Nov03

A Single Solution

A growing need for transparency among real estate managers, tenants, regulators and investors is expanding the value of automated property management technology platforms that centralize operational and financial data. “You need a consistent process to allow investors to access timely information,” says Chris Barbier, senior director of investment management at Yardi. “The new generation of investors has an expectation to access data anytime, anywhere, on any device.” That’s true with environmental, social and governance issues as well. “Clients need to be able to report ESG data to investors and regulators. They want aggregated data that can be used for multiple purposes,” adds Joe Consolo, director of Yardi Energy. “Investors want access to their energy information on the same system as the investment data.” Real estate investment and energy consumption management systems capable of integrating all data are starting to supersede manual systems that rely on email, spreadsheets and other less-efficient tools, according to Barbier and Consolo, who offered their insights in an interview published in PERE magazine. Why adopt a platform that connects accounting, operations, investment activities and ancillary services? Because, Barbier says in the article, it produces a single source of the truth that encompasses “the underlying asset, rolls into whatever the investment structure is and then ultimately out to the investor, all in one ecosystem.” A similar rationale applies to ESG compliance, Consolo notes. Accurate assessments of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are crucial to property owners’ ability to meet emissions targets, prompting many to seek technology platforms that consolidate governance documentation and measure energy, water and waste data in one system. Risk mitigation is the greatest value proposition for adopting a single connected solution for investment and environmental performance, Barbier and Consolo say. Such a platform enables decision-making informed by...

Energy Benchmarking Laws Nov02

Energy Benchmarking Laws

New energy benchmarking and reporting requirements requiring use of ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager are soon going into effect as cities, counties and states in North America work to reduce environmentally harmful emissions and combat global warming. Examples include: Montreal, QC. A city bylaw supporting the Climate Plan’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2050 requires owners of large buildings to disclose the sources and amounts of energy their buildings use. This information will help the city understand greenhouse gas emissions from its commercial, institutional and large multi-unit residential sectors and develop programs to improve buildings’ energy performance. The bylaw went into force this year for any building with a floor area of at least 15,000 square meters that is not exclusively residential and for any city-owned building of 2,000 square meters or more. The bylaw’s criteria will expand in 2023 and 2024. The program will “reduce buildings’ energy costs by improving energy consumption [and] show that Montreal building owners are leaders in energy transition, a major competitive advantage in the real estate sector,” the city says. Honolulu County, Hawai’i. An ordinance enacted in July established a Better Buildings Benchmarking program that requires large commercial and multifamily buildings in Honolulu County, which encompasses the island of O’ahu, to benchmark and report their energy and water usage annually. The requirement begins in June 2023 for buildings 100,000 square feet and larger, then phases in smaller buildings over 2024 and 2025 as part of a goal to achieve net negative emissions by 2045. With the building sector accounting for about one-third of O’ahu’s greenhouse gas emissions, “this benchmarking program is expected to reduce the electricity consumption of large buildings by nearly 7% by 2030 and curb greenhouse emissions on the island,” according to the county’s website. New Jersey. Under a state law enacted in 2018, commercial buildings over 25,000 square feet will be required to benchmark their energy and water usage annually. The deadline for initial reporting, using data from the 2022 calendar year, is Oct. 23, 2023. This action is “critical to increasing the transparency of this usage and consumption and to promoting market-driven increases in energy efficiency. It also elevates the public’s understanding of energy usage, allowing consumers to make well-informed decisions,” according to New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program. Yardi, the 2022 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award winner, helps hundreds of commercial building operators across North America benchmark energy and water in thousands of buildings annually. See how Yardi Pulse Energy Benchmarking simplifies ENERGY STAR data collection, reporting and certifications. The Yardi Energy team stands ready to help building owners benefit from the industry’s most advanced energy management technology and stay up to date on evolving reporting...

NYC Local Law 33 Oct24

NYC Local Law 33

In December 2017, the New York City Council passed Local Law 33. The administrative code and a subsequent amendment require owners of buildings over 25,000 square feet to post the building’s energy usage and efficiency scores on the premises. The Oct. 31 deadline for building owners to post their Energy Efficiency Rating Label for 2022 is fast approaching.  Scores for 2022 are scheduled to posted on the New York City website by Oct. 1.  Similar to the health code ratings seen in many restaurants, the system assigns a letter according to the building’s ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® score, which is required annually. Buildings with a score between 85-100 earn an A, 70-84 a B, 55-69 a C, and 1-54 a D. (A score of 75, for example, means that a building performs better than 75% of other buildings.) Building owners who fail to post their grades are subject to fines and receive an F grade. Building owners and operators concerned about their scores can confirm that the listed square footage, the number of bedrooms and units for their properties are correct. They can also hold an energy audit to identify potential improvements including measures to reduce carbon emissions, which impact compliance with Local Law 97, and involve building tenants and residents in energy efficiency measures. Learn more about Local Law 33 and its compliance criteria and see a sample label. Need help benchmarking or preparing for an energy audit? Looking for ways to improve your property’s energy efficiency? Your Yardi Energy Team is available to...

EIA Updates Jul07

EIA Updates

Here’s the latest of our periodic updates of news and trends reported by the Energy Information Administration, a statistical and analytical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy. Conflict spurs fuel price uncertainty Fuel price projections are uncertain, due in part to the Russia-Ukraine war’s potential impact on nations, energy producers and markets. With global inventories of crude oil, natural gas, and coal below average before the war, U.S. gasoline and diesel prices hit multiyear highs in March. EIA forecasts that the average inflation-adjusted prices of gasoline and diesel this summer will be the highest since summer 2014. Production could temper prices in ‘23 EIA projects that U.S. oil production will average 12.4 million barrels per day in 2023, surpassing the record high for domestic crude oil production set in 2019, with domestic crude oil production increasing steadily between 2021 and 2023. Crude oil inventories will reach 465 million barrels at the end of 2023, which is about 11% more than inventories at the end of 2021. “We expect global demand for petroleum products to return to and surpass pre-pandemic levels this year, but crude oil production grows at a faster rate in our forecasts,” said EIA Acting Administrator Steve Nalley. “We expect that as crude oil production increases, inventories will begin to replenish and help push prices lower for gasoline, jet fuel, and other products in the short term.” By September 2023, U.S. natural gas production will hit an all-time high daily average. Coal consumption, meanwhile, will fall by 2% in 2022 and remain relatively unchanged in 2023. Home appliances getting smarter EIA’s recently released 2020 Residential Energy Consumption Survey offers a look at electricity-consuming devices used in American homes. The survey reveals that nearly half of U.S. households used LED lighting in...

ESG Ready

According to Naseem Wenzel, Executive Director and Head of Real Estate Assets at Lionpoint Group, “ESG is coming fast and furious, which leaves investment managers, real estate owners and operators and service providers in a position of either being reactive or proactive.” What position is your company in? In OSCRE’s May 25 Innovation Forum, ESG: Insights to Assess Your Readiness, the panel, moderated by Wenzel, discussed what’s needed to move the industry forward. The speakers represented “a mix of perspectives from change leaders in the industry” including Chris Devine, head of client analytics, Cushman & Wakefield, Rick Ferrino, senior VP technology, Blackstone and Soheil Pourhashemi, senior VP business technology, Brookfield Properties. When asked individually about their company’s approach to ESG, the panelists touched on creating long term strategies, dealing with resource issues including staffing and training to focus on ESG and the overall need to automate data collection, analytics and reporting. The speakers agreed that evolving practices and focusing on how data flows — including real-time reporting from assets, are important initiatives. With regard to governance, the panel discussed measuring and normalizing data, creating data standards and developing organizational maturity. One speaker commented that ESG practices are integral to building a resilient business and creating value for investors. ESG is also a critical aspect of capital fundraising. For service providers, the focus is on the occupier side and how to get data standards in place, with information flowing from investors to occupiers. All the panelists agreed that automating data collection and reporting is key. Survey responses on ESG readiness   In OSCRE’s recap of the session, the audience’s answers to the polling questions included these key takeaways: 53% of respondents described their organization’s level of preparedness as just getting started and 0% reported that...

National Stars Jun28

National Stars

Yardi recently earned the 2022 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award, the highest honor bestowed by the ENERGY STAR program, in recognition of its longstanding commitment to protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. The company’s accomplishments over the past year include helping more than 200 clients benchmark energy in 5,000+ buildings, sharing ENERGY STAR data to help clients access green financing for buildings, earning ENERGY STAR certification for two corporate headquarters buildings in Santa Barbara, Calif., and providing energy classes for more than 6,000 client representatives during its virtual Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference. Yardi shared the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year spotlight with organizations that also distinguished themselves in energy stewardship in 2021. They include: Industry associations including BOMA International, a trade association for commercial real estate professionals. BOMA International promoted ENERGY STAR resources to help its members meet sustainability objectives. BOMA’s Georgia chapter also received an award for promoting ENERGY STAR values in articles, videos and website content. IREM, an international commercial real estate organization, earned recognition for launching certified sustainable property programs and courses. Yardi has presented its smart energy solutions at BOMA and IREM conferences and provided a grant for BOMA’s Water and Waste Challenge program.Commercial building interests such as global real estate services and investment firm CBRE, which achieved ENERGY STAR certification for 174 properties and benchmarked 5,941 buildings in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®; real estate investment manager Nuveen Real Estate, which delivered sustainability and ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager training to 100% of its internal staff; professional services provider and investment manager JLL, which delivered ENERGY STAR messages to 1.3 million people through its social media channels; and Vornado Realty Trust, a fully integrated REIT that benchmarked 100% of its assets for energy, 99%...

Energy Honors May08

Energy Honors

Each year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) honors a group of businesses and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. As a Service and Product Provider, Yardi is honored to receive the 2022 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award from the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy after being named Partner of the Year for four consecutive years. The award celebrates companies that offer energy services and products in the commercial, institutional or industrial markets for successfully assisting their clients in strategic energy management and building design. Highest EPA Accolade The Sustained Excellence award is the highest honor bestowed by the ENERGY STAR program. Its winners have made a long-term commitment to fighting climate change and protecting public health through energy efficiency. They are among the nation’s leaders in driving value for the environment, the economy and the American people. Partner of the Year winners are not only promoters of ENERGY STAR, but also are especially adept at operating within the programs and work with ENERGY STAR to make ongoing improvements. The award acknowledges Yardi’s efforts to educate and support clients with benchmarking services and technology solutions across a variety of real estate sectors. Energy wins According to the EPA, in 2020 alone, more than 270,000 commercial properties used EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® tool to measure and track their energy use, water use, and/or waste and materials. These buildings comprise more than 25 billion square feet of floorspace more than a quarter of all the commercial floorspace in the nation. In 2021, Yardi helped more than 200 clients benchmark energy in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for over 5,000 buildings, a 42 percent increase from the previous year. Yardi helped clients benchmark water in over 4,000 buildings, a 33 percent increase from 2020. In addition, Yardi actively promotes ENERGY STAR benefits, publishing 70 articles and providing resources for benchmarking energy performance and energy management such as webinars, client conferences courses, executive briefings sessions and other activities. “We’re so proud to receive this top honor from the EPA for the fourth consecutive year, and we again applaud our clients’ success. We look forward to continuing to help our clients and the real estate industry reap the benefits of using ENERGY STAR to meet their business and sustainability goals,” said Akshai Rao, vice president at Yardi. Learn more Find out how Yardi empowers real estate companies to meet energy and sustainability goals. See the complete list of 2022 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award...

Earth Day 2022 Apr22

Earth Day 2022

Earth Day began on April 22, 1970, as a response to environmental deterioration. Inspired by the 1969 Santa Barbara offshore oil spill and other catastrophes, U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.) teamed with Rep. Pete McCloskey (R-Calif.) and activist Denis Hayes to organize a series of college teach-ins. The inaugural event went far beyond campuses, drawing 20 million Americans – 10% of the population – to demonstrations and teach-ins at schools, parks and auditoriums. “Pogo” cartoonist Walt Kelly created a promotional poster. New York City Mayor John Lindsay closed Fifth Avenue to cars and gave an impassioned speech. President and Mrs. Nixon planted a tree on the White House grounds. April 22 became affixed on calendars as Earth Day. Happy earth day banner to celebrate environmental safety One of Earth Day’s enduring legacies is providing a common frame of reference for a disparate range of animal conservation groups, anti-pollution activists and others. “I think the most important thing that Earth Day did was to take all of those different threads and weave them together into this fabric of modern environmentalism, to help them understand that they were operating from similar sets of values,” says Hayes, who remains active in environmental causes. “Earth Day has grown into a secular holiday recognized by billions of people and which has no goal beyond building a better world,” Rolling Stone writer Jeff Goodell said in a 2020 profile of Hayes. This year on April 22, under the theme of “Invest in Our Planet,” millions of private citizens, business leaders, government officials, academics and students around the world will recognize “our collective responsibility and to help accelerate the transition to an equitable, prosperous green economy for all,” according to EARTHDAY.org, a nonprofit that arose from the initial event. EARTHDAY.org will...

Milestones + Deadlines Apr20

Milestones + Deadlines...

In 2019 we reported on Local Law 97, a key element of the Climate Mobilization Act enacted in New York City in May of that year. Described by the Urban Green Council as “the most ambitious climate legislation for buildings enacted by any city in the world,” Local Law 97 aims to drastically reduce carbon emissions from buildings, which account for more than 70% of the city’s emissions. With the 2024 initial compliance milestone on the horizon, the time seems right for a recap. The ordinance imposes stringent carbon emission limits for most commercial properties over 25,000 square feet. It will impact more than 57,000 buildings and mandate reductions of 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050 through caps, energy upgrades and retrofits. The first set of emissions caps carry stiff financial penalties for noncompliance – potentially millions of dollars in some cases. The first cap will go into effect in 2024. The city is responsible for setting new rules and regulations by the beginning of 2023. A new Office of Building Energy and Emissions Performance will clarify building categories, calculate emissions formulas before the first caps take effect and establish emissions limits for 2035-2039, 2040-2049 and beyond. The city also created a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program to help building owners finance energy retrofits and renewable energy projects, such as green roofs, solar energy systems, window insulation, upgraded HVAC systems, improvements to sealing and air ventilation. By the time the law’s tougher requirements take hold in 2030 and later, more labor- and capital-intensive upgrades will be necessary. Some easy fixes Some of the mandatory fixes are fairly easy, such as replacing incandescent light bulbs with LEDs, insulating heating pipes, covering or removing window air conditioner units in the winter, tuning and operating boilers correctly,...

Mining ESG Data Apr13

Mining ESG Data

How can property owners meet the growing demand for environmental, social and governance performance accountability from residents, tenants and investors? Yardi client representatives who lead ESG reporting for their organizations and an official from GRESB, the ESG benchmark for real estate assets, recently offered some insight. Juliette Apicella, director of sustainability for Atlanta-based apartment owner and manager Gables Residential Services, was one of three industry experts who appeared on a YASC Global panel. “More investors are interested in details about our ESG policies and achievements,” she said. That prompted the company to use ESG as “a tool that helps us monitor our assets’ environmental performance as a driver of returns.” Gables has stepped up its recruitment of employees, partners and residents in the effort to incorporate environmental priorities into its operations. Another panelist, Jennifer Plesnicar, vice president for Chicago-area industrial developer and manager CenterPoint Properties Trust, sounded a similar note: “ESG is becoming more important each year” among multiple company stakeholders. “How a company responds to ESG expectations can impact operations ranging from borrowing rates to talent attraction and tenant retention,” she said. The widespread attention to ESG is “pushing the real estate industry forward,” said the third panelist, Dan Winters, head of Americas for GRESB, which collects and validates data and disseminates it to more than 150 institutional real estate investors around the world. “Getting accurate ESG data, rolling it up to the portfolio level and sharing it with the industry increases insight for a company, which appeals to its institutional investors, and also provides better outcomes for GRESB participants.” Overcoming data gathering challenges All panelists agreed that the principal challenge to managing an organization’s ESG performance is gathering, tracking and disseminating the consumption data necessary to formulate ESG actions. “A lot of...

Yardi Buildings Earn Mar15

Yardi Buildings Earn

Yardi has successfully incorporated energy efficiency at multiple locations across the property management industry – including the home front, where the company recently earned separate ENERGY STAR® certifications for two office buildings at its corporate headquarters campus in Santa Barbara, Calif. ENERGY STAR, a voluntary U.S. government program that certifies buildings and consumer products as meeting certain standards of energy efficiency, rated one building a score of 86, signifying that it’s more energy efficient than 86% of similar properties nationwide. The second building received a score of 80. The certification threshold is 75%. Yardi benchmarked the two buildings, which encompass 170,000 square feet, in Portfolio Manager®, an ENERGY STAR interactive online resource management tool that measures and compares building energy use. On average, certified buildings use 35% less energy and generate 35% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than their peers, according to ENERGY STAR, which is jointly managed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. The buildings’ certifications continue a years-long series of Yardi energy efficiency achievements. For example, the company helps hundreds of clients benchmark energy and water consumption in thousands of buildings, participates annually in Energy Efficiency Day, and promotes  energy optimization software in client conferences, industry publications and other educational venues. In 2021 Yardi received a Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award, the ENERGY STAR program’s highest honor, after earning Partner of the Year designation for three consecutive years. Also that year, the company earned a regional Energy Project of the Year award from the Assn. of Energy Engineers for helping to optimize HVAC performance in a 58-story building in New York City. Referring to the building certifications, Joe Consolo, industry principal for Yardi, said, “Yardi is pleased to meet ENERGY STAR standards in its own operations using...

Sports Arenas Mar10

Sports Arenas

Sports arenas attract vast attention with their aesthetic qualities, luxurious amenities, association with high-profile teams and iconic imprint on city skylines. But did you know that beyond their opulence, many modern arenas represent leadership in sustainability? “Many sports venues have jumped on the sustainability bandwagon to construct or renovate their structure in a race to minimise their carbon footprint, preserve their green legacy and take the lead in innovation,” says London-based Climate Action, which partners with business, government and public entities on sustainability projects. Sports arena sustainability is a global trend. Examples include: The Johan Cruijff ArenA (formerly Amsterdam ArenA), home of the Ajax football club. The Netherlands’ largest stadium employs more than 4,200 solar panels and a wind turbine. Its main building includes an energy-generating escalator and an energy system powered by second-life batteries from used electric vehicles.Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons play their home games. In November 2017, soon after it opened, Mercedes-Benz became the first professional sports stadium to receive a platinum Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certificate for meeting rigid standards for carbon, energy, water, waste, materials and other factors. The arena’s energy consumption is reportedly 29% less than what the average stadium consumes thanks to LED lighting and 4,000 rooftop solar PV panels. A stormwater management system can store over 2 million gallons onsite, preventing flooding in surrounding areas.Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The home of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers since 2014 has earned two LEED certifications, including the first Gold LEED certification awarded for a stadium that hosts a professional team, plus a second Gold certification for operations and maintenance. Levi’s also incorporates 1,000 solar elements and sources 78% of its food from within 150 miles of the stadium. Seattle’s Climate Pledge...

ESG Insights Feb25

ESG Insights

Are you ready for new ESG regulatory requirements and increasing investor demands? OSCRE Innovation Forum’s recent webinar, Constructing an ESG Framework for the Future, provided expert insight into this critical initiative. Moderated by Lisa Stanley, CEO at OSCRE, the panelists were Dan Winters, Head of Americas at GRESB, The Global ESG Benchmark, Naseem Wenzel, Strategy + Innovation Lead Partner at Cohn Reznick and Daniel Egan, Senior Vice President, Energy and Sustainability at Vornado Realty Trust. Read on for some important takeaways. Top ESG challenges A polling question during the webinar asked participants to identify the top challenge they face for ESG initiatives. 42% cited inconsistent data across platforms, tied with 42% that stated building skills to implement ESG initiatives are the top challenges. In its January e-newsletter, OSCRE responded to the polling results, “Inconsistent data across platforms is not a new phenomenon for organizations…While investment funds report their activities including zero-carbon targets and other environmental impact initiatives through their Annual Reports and GRESB benchmark reports among others, the information that’s reported is gathered at the property level. This need for information confirms common ground — the need for standardized information for property owners, occupiers and investors that inform decisions and provide insight for risk assessment.” Clearly, there’s a need for not only impeccable data from a centralized location (a single source of truth), but also the ability to automatically extract and properly analyze it for meaningful application. This applies to ESG efforts as for all other operational processes. Good corporate governance Organizations must assess where they are today — including the level of responsible corporate leadership, to create a roadmap for where they want to go. Having an “ESG culture” across your business is key, meaning ESG is part of everyone’s job, as is...

Commercial Retrofits Feb15

Commercial Retrofits

It’s never too late to give an existing structure a greener lease on life. Retrofits offer commercial building managers an opportunity to improve efficiency and drive cost savings. If you’re just getting started, the four retrofit methods below are a great starting point for sustainable practices. Observe, benchmark and improve your energy consumption. Monthly bills are not enough to accurately determine the efficiency of a commercial site. Retrofits connected to the internet of things (IoT) provide real-time insights into energy consumption. Explore usage based on subleased portions or the entire building. What’s best, you can implement IoT retrofits at a speed that matches your budget. Commercial managers often begin with submeters. Submetering offers insights into building performance while facilitating average savings of 2-5%. Implement supportive technology such as energy benchmarking to help you meet compliance regulations for ESG platforms like ENERGY STAR®. Promote water efficiency regardless of your location. Dry, arid regions have long prioritized end-user water conservation. Interest has grown nationwide: efficiency offers economic benefits to all managers regardless of the site’s location. Retrofits for cooling towers and chillers are a great place to implement efficiency measures. Such retrofits will have the most notable impact since they can consume tens of thousands of gallons each day. Smaller projects, such as fixtures, may follow. Streamline HVAC operations to reduce waste and increase comfort. The efficiencies of HVAC systems decline naturally over time. Promoting optimal operation and occupant comfort requires consistent maintenance and smart controls. Networked controllers and cloud-based management software enable you to monitor and manage usage. Smart thermostats and monitoring technology can offer up to 30% energy savings while slashing future maintenance costs. Improve indoor air quality (IAQ). Americans spend about 90% of their time inside. Indoor air contains a higher concentration of...

Looking Ahead Feb14

Looking Ahead

We compiled predictions from expert observers to get a sense of what’s in store for the real estate industry in 2022. Excerpts follow. Foreseeing a ‘whirlwind housing market’ Pandemic-ignited home-buying, driven by supply shortage and low mortgage rates, shows no signs of slowing down. “We expect a whirlwind 2022 for the housing market,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, with home sales increasing 6.6% and home prices 2.9% above 2021 highs despite a small uptick in inventory. While affordability, rising interest rates, and supply and labor shortages will continue to pose challenges, “home buyers should find the coming months to be more advantageous than any time in 2021. While sellers remain in a very strong position, price stabilization and the continuation of competitive interest rates may bring some welcome relief to buyers in the new year,” notes Nick Bailey, president of RE/MAX LLC. Home living tops investment U.S. real estate remains among the most attractive and largest asset classes for investors and families alike. “For the second year, homeowners have told us that their main reason for taking on projects around the home is to better meet their needs. Before the pandemic, return on investment was the primary motivation. This is a huge shift and something we know will continue throughout 2022, especially as people continue to spend more time at home,” says Robert Morgenstern, principal of New York City-based Canvas Property Group. Tech amps up Property management technology’s capabilities and use will continue to grow for reasons of convenience and social distancing. “With the right data collection tools and overall acceptance by industry professionals, real estate will greatly benefit from the increased use of technology in 2022,” according to Paul Ryll, owner of Oscar Mike Mobile Appraisers of Greenville, S.C. And with...

22 Energy Outlook Feb04

22 Energy Outlook

Global energy demand surpassed pre-COVID 19 levels in 2021. Energy was the top-performing S&P 500 sector that year. With energy demand still on the rise, the energy sector stands to grow even more in 2022. The Balance Sheet sampled expert predictions of what’s ahead for renewables and the rest of the energy industry in 2022. We will keep tabs on key developments throughout the year. Economist Intelligence, a policy analysis and consulting group, predicts that global energy consumption will rise by 2.2% in 2022 as economies recover from the pandemic. All types of energy except nuclear power will benefit, although “energy companies will need to undertake an urgent review of their strategies next year, as governments and investors ramp up pressure to cut emissions.” Kathryn Downey Miller, president of energy industry analysis firm BTU Analytics, echoes that assessment. “Despite a strong profit outlook heading into 2022, enormous pressure is coming from providers of capital and other stakeholders to evolve business models for the new energy economy,” she said in an editorial published in December. That pressure is a principal reason that “renewable energy growth is poised to accelerate in 2022, as concern for climate change and support for environmental, sustainability, and governance considerations grow and demand for cleaner energy sources from most market segments (residential, commercial, and industrial consumers) accelerates,” according to an energy industry outlook report prepared by Deloitte. Renewable generation expands Renewables were the only energy source for which demand increased in 2020, according to the International Energy Agency. Renewable electricity generation in 2021 expanded by over 8% in 2021. Record levels of wind and solar generation additions are expected to come online in 2022, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence, which studies energy markets. The adoption of renewable energy sources will be...