Building Sustainability Through Tenants

Promoting building-wide sustainability is often a two-pronged process.

“In addition to pushing forward common area and building system initiatives, we also reach out to tenants and stakeholders at the same time,” explains Anna Dengler, Great Forest’s director of sustainability. ”

As part of Great Forest’s sustainability management program at 650 Fifth Avenue, Great Forest is conducting sustainability reviews for tenants and providing recommendations in five categories related to sustainability: waste reduction, recycling, energy, purchasing, and water.

The sustainability reviews take into account each tenants’ internal sustainability initiatives and offers suggestions on improvements.

For example, one tenant at 650 Fifth Avenue has a corporate policy that mandates double-sided printing, a good waste reduction technique. However, they used single serving coffee machines and bottled water was readily available in their offices. In this case, Great Forest recommended installing a water filtration machine to cut down on costs and waste associated with bottle use, and using “bean to cup” machines, which produce higher quality coffee in large batches.

During one office tour, Great Forest noticed that if some of the tenant’s lighting fixtures were changed, they would see immediate reductions in their energy use and costs. Consultants noted that:

  • if the tenant replaced their 17 halogen fixtures with LED lights, they would save an estimated $450 in annual electricity costs.
  • if they replaced their incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, they would save over $1200 a year.
  • if they changed their fluorescent fixtures from 3-bulbs to 2-bulbs and a reflector, they would see a 33% savings in energy costs.

Such individual tenant sustainability reviews add up to increased overall building efficiency, and that’s a win-win for everyone working under the same roof.

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