Hines REIT’s 321 North Clark Earns LEED Gold Certification

Hines REIT’s 321 North Clark has received LEED Gold certification following its recently completed green retrofit. The 896,502-sq.-ft. building, located at Riverfront Plaza and completed in 1987, was acquired by Hines in 2006.

With an Energy Star rating of 83, the building is 32 percent more energy efficient than the average U.S. office building. Green features implemented at 321 North Clark include low-flow aerators and water closets; efficient LED lighting; green cleaning services; optional Saturday HVAC requests to minimize heating and cooling when tenants are not occupying their space on weekends and the Hines Green Office for Tenants program, which offers tenants options for reducing their carbon footprint. The building is more than 76 percent leased; tenants include the American Bar Association and Littler Mendelson.

Lot 24 in Pittsburgh’s Strip District Commences Construction

Lot 24, a new 96-unit apartment residence in Pittsburgh’s Strip District commenced construction in December. McCaffery Interests and Pitt Ohio, previous developers of The Cork Factory, a neighbor to the new building, have teamed up again for Lot 24.

Named for its location within the Strip District, Lot 24 will rise from a former surface parking lot. The four-story residential building will seek LEED certification, and will feature a red brick and corrugated metal façade.

Antunovich Associates of Chicago has designed the façade; Susan Caruso of Intr-Spec Hospitality Design in California designed the interiors; and Massaro Corporation has been selected as general contractor and will employ only union labor on the project.

Brandywine Realty Trust Receives 16 Energy Star Awards

Brandywine Realty Trust earned nine new Energy Star labels and seven recertifications for 16 projects during the fourth quarter: 2355 and 2411 Dulles Corner Park, Herndon, Va.; 2275 Research Boulevard, Rockville, Md.; 7101 Wisconsin Avenue, Beltsville, Md.; 220 Commerce Drive and Christiana Corporate Center, Newark, Dela.; and 17 Campus Blvd., Newtown Square, Penn. All earned first-time 2011 awards. 2011 recertification awards were earned by Lake Merritt Tower, Oakland, Calif.; One and Two Logan Square, Philadelphia; 3130 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church, Va.; 401 Plymouth Road, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.; Spyglass Point, Austin, Texas; and Peter Jefferson parkway Building Five, Charlottesville, Va.

These projects bring Brandywine’s total of Energy Star-rated owned and managed buildings to 60, totaling over 10.4 million sq. ft.

Miami’s 800 Brickell Office Tower Earns LEED Certification

The downtown Miami office tower 800 Brickell has achieved LEED Silver certification and ended 2011 being 83 percent leased.

The 208,325-sq.-ft. multi-tenant office building, owned, managed and leased by Stiles, incorporates energy-efficient and sustainable features, including a computer-operated energy management system that controls heating and cooling and monitors indoor air quality, electricity-reducing technology, water-conserving plumbing features, low-VOC paints and sealants, recycling systems and green cleaning products.

In the past six months, the 15-story, glass office building has also seen a recent flurry of leasing activity, signing new tenants totaling almost 31,000 sq. ft. of space, including Swett & Crawford global insurance broker; Employee Mobility Solutions international immigration and relocation services; The Sol Group international resort and hotel management company; and Portfolio Resources Group, a full-service international private brokerage and asset management firm. The building, which boasts a glass-walled, three-story atrium and circular courtyard plaza, is already home to Banco de Brasil, Ferragamo, Conde Nast America and the Chilean Trade Commission.

Hilton Concord Hotel’s Renovation Infuses Smart Upgrades

The Hilton Concord Hotel in San Francisco’s East Bay is incorporating environmental and sustainable systems into its multimillion hotel renovation, to be completed in the first quarter of 2012. The hotel is owned and operated by Interstate Hotels & Resorts, the largest U.S.-based global management company.

The Hilton Concord offers 11 floors with 329 guest rooms and 19,000 sq. ft. of function space. The renovation has reconditioned the hotel specifically to promote waste and energy reduction, and includes the following programs: recycling; lower temperature dishwasher with eco-friendly disinfectants; pillow renovation, reducing wasteful disposal of older pillows by sterilizing and renovating them; food waste reduction, converting food waste into liquid; water conservation through TOTO Eco 1.28 gallon flush toilets to conserve water and minimize noise; well irrigation for hydrating landscaping; and lighting efficiency by conversion to LED bulbs and high efficiency fluorescent lighting.

DAVACO Expands Sustainable Services with Ecoxera Acquisition

DAVACO Inc., a national real estate sustainability services company headquartered in Dallas, has broadened its operations to include comprehensive multi-site sustainability and resource reduction solutions to help retail and restaurant establishments optimize operational performance. This new service comes as a result of DAVACO’s acquisition of Austin-based Ecoxera, a retail sustainability consulting firm.

DAVACO tailors its sustainability services to each individual client, with many of the programs complementing their clients’ existing facility upgrade initiatives. The full range of services includes facility benchmarking, site and asset performance surveys, data analysis and planning, program data collection and aggregation, system automation and optimization, waste management programs, executive reporting and multi-site LEED credit compliance execution.

SmartBuildings Detroit Energy Conservation Program Expands Project Area

The Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit plans to expand the reach of its successful SmartBuildings Detroit energy conservation improvement program, which has been active for one year, by allowing commercial building owners to apply for matching grants.

The eligibility area will expand beyond the downtown area, including New Center and Eastern Market, to include East Jefferson and Riverfront Corridor, the Detroit Works Demonstration Areas, and other specific areas and municipal institutions. Commercial building owners may apply for grants and loans totaling up to $100,000 for eligible energy-saving projects.

Environmental Data Resources Reports Growing Demand for Environmental Due Diligence

Environmental Data Resources Inc. (EDR), a property-specific environmental information and risk management solutions company based in Milford, Conn., reports that demand for Phase I environmental site assessments on real estate projects involving 10 or more properties was up 13 percent in the third quarter of 2011. The score was the highest in five quarters.

In 3Q11 the aggregate Phase I environmental site assessment (ESA) volume in the top five highest-volume states in the nation grew by 13 percent vs. 3Q10, outperforming the national average of 7 percent, according to EDR’s ScoreKeeper model. California was the leader with 18 percent quarterly growth, followed by New York (17 percent) and Texas (13 percent), with Georgia and Florida following. These five states collectively accounted for 37 percent of Phase I ESAs in the U.S. in the third quarter.

NRG and Kraft Group Announce Tripling of Solar Power at Patriot Place

NRG and the Kraft Group have forged a comprehensive sustainable energy supply agreement for Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots and the New England Revolution, and Patriot Place, the Kraft Group’s shopping, dining and entertainment destination in Foxborough, Mass.

Under the agreement, NRG will triple the amount of solar power generated at Patriot Place. The Kraft Group and NRG will also install a full-sized wind turbine which will elevate Patriot Place to be one of the largest renewable power installations at a major sports venue in the U.S. NRG will also provide all the additional power for the nearly 70,000-seat stadium and the more over 1 million-sq.-ft. retail and entertainment complex.

Hines Warner Center’s 5820 Canoga Avenue Awarded LEED-Gold

Hines, the international real estate firm, announces that 5820 Canoga Avenue, Los Angeles, has received LEED-Gold certification. The 92,125-sq.-ft., three-story office building, located in Los Angeles’ Woodland Hills/Warner Center submarket, was designed by Poloquin Kellogg Design Group and completed in 2002.

The building, one of five that composes the Warner Center property, was acquired in 2006 by Hines, and has earned Energy Star status every year since then. With a current rating of 98, the building is 48 percent more energy efficient and annually saves $1.80 per sq. ft. in energy costs compared to the average U.S. office building. This translates to an estimated annual greenhouse gas reduction equivalent to removing 196 passenger vehicles from the road.

Malkin Properties’ Metro Center Attains Energy Star Status for Second Time

Metro Center in Stamford, Conn. has earned the nationally recognized Energy Star designation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy for the second consecutive year.

An eight-story, 285,000-sq.-ft., multi-tenanted trophy building at the Stamford Inter-Modal Transportation Center, Metro Center is located within Stamford’s Enterprise Zone. The complex features ongoing enhancements, including upgrades within the fitness center, dining facility and conference center; in-house concierge service; Metro Grille dining facility and catering service; tenants-only fitness center with locker rooms; tenants-only multimedia conference center; free on-site management office and parking with 24/7 card access; sundry shop; 24/7 on-site security; telecommunications systems; ATM; and tenants-only shuttle service between Stamford Town Center and downtown shopping areas.

Washington, DC Commercial Experience Center Awarded LEED-Gold Certiication

Lutron’s Washington, D.C. Commercial Experience Center has been awarded LEED Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Lutron Experience Centers are showcases of Lutron’s most impactful residential and commercial products and solutions. The Washington, D.C. facility specifically showcases commercial products in use in a variety of vignettes (conference rooms, offices and more).

The Experience Center was designed by Washington, D.C.-based architectural firm Interplan Inc. to achieve LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use and incorporation of a variety of other sustainable strategies.

LEED certification of the Lutron facility was based on several green design and construction features, including optimization of energy performance through the use of lighting power, lighting controls, HVAC and the use of daylight.

Constellation Energy and Lucid Create Alliance

Constellation Energy and Lucid, a provider of real-time energy monitoring and display systems for buildings, have formed an alliance to provide automated load response and energy use monitoring to commercial and educational facilities in the mid-Atlantic, New England, New York, Texas, California and Ontario.

The load response program allows customers to apply load response revenue earned toward the installation of Lucid’s Building Dashboard software and Constellation Energy’s VirtuWatt energy management system. Building Dashboard facilitates energy conservation by enabling users to view energy and water use information and modify their behavior to reduce consumption. VirtuWatt works in concert with existing building automation systems to track real-time electricity usage and pricing, bid directly into demand response markets and automate load curtailment strategies.

Forest City Enterprises Joins Better Buildings Challenge

Forest City Enterprises Inc., a national real estate company, has joined the Better Buildings Challenge, part of the Better Buildings Initiatives, which was launched in February 2011 by President Barack Obama and is being spearheaded by former President Bill Clinton and the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

As a Better Buildings Challenge partner, Forest City is committed to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020 across a 14 million-sq.-ft. segment of its portfolio.

The firm’s current range of energy-saving initiatives includes a comprehensive efficient lighting retrofit at Cleveland’s Tower City Center, a 2.8 million-sq.-ft. mixed-use property and installation of a 355-KW solar array at Midtown Towers apartment community in suburban Cleveland. Approximately 17 percent, by cost, of Forest City’s total portfolio of over 210 retail, office and apartment properties has already achieved some form of sustainability certification, including Energy Star and LEED.

Prologis, SCE, Kimberly-Clark Install Rooftop Solar Power System at California Distribution Center

Prologis Inc., Southern California Edison (SCE) and Kimberly-Clark Corp. have installed one of the largest single rooftop solar installations in the U.S. at Kimberly-Clark’s Redlands, Calif. distribution center.

Built in 2005, Prologis Park Redlands #5 is a 700,000-sq.-ft. facility owned by Prologis, which managed construction of the solar facility. The project was designed and financed by SCE, which owns the solar installation and will use the power to service customers in the community. Kimberly-Clark has been the building’s sole tenant since 2007, and receives power from the original 100-KW solar installation.

Expanding on a 100-KW solar array installed in 2009, the 4.9-megawatt (DC) solar installation now covers 350,000 sq. ft. of rooftop. The array will produce up to 6.6 million kWh of clean energy annually, offsetting 4,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year and providing enough electricity to power 925 average Southern California homes per year.

Aventura Tops Off Newest LEED-Gold Office Building

Aventura Optima Plaza, a class-A office and medical development at 21500 Biscayne Boulevard, Aventura, Fla., has topped off and is scheduled for delivery in July.

The 117,000-sq.-ft. office project, managed by Colliers International, consists of a nine-story office tower and a four-story medical building connected by a covered parking structure. The complex is the first in South Florida to have a double-skin façade with hurricane-proof glazing.

The building’s southern side will feature solar panels that are decorative and produce 48 KV of electricity daily. A 20,000-sq.-ft. landscaped green roof will top the garage building, with a jogging trail, exercise rooms, juice bar and restrooms. The terrace on the fifth level of the garage will connect the two buildings and will feature fountains and reclaimed wooden decks with seating areas. The project was designed by Mexican firm Arquitectos Brom Asociados in association with Behar Font and Partners.

Sacramento’s Gateway Oaks I and IV Earn LEED-Gold Certification

Gateway Oaks I and IV, located at 2150 River Plaza Drive and 2520 Venture Oaks Way in Sacramento, respectively, have received LEED-Gold certification. Gateway Oaks I contains four stories and 122,720 sq. ft. of class-A office space, and has a current Energy Star score of 88, meaning it is 39 percent more energy efficient and saves $0.96 in energy costs per sq. ft. compared to the average U.S. office building. Gateway Oaks IV contains four stories and 81,998 sq. ft. of class-A office space, and has an Energy Star score of 90, meaning it is 42 percent more energy efficient and annually saves $1.06 per sq. ft. in energy costs.

Green features and programs for both buildings include reducing electrical consumption through retrofitting HVAC controls and equipment; installing new lighting controls; reducing water usage by retrofitting plumbing and irrigation systems; and improving indoor air quality through a comprehensive green cleaning program. Owner/ manager Hines also offers its proprietary Green Office for Tenants program, which helps tenants find options to reduce their carbon footprint.

Two Green Masthead Buildings Sold to Private Equity Firm

Masthead I and Masthead II, located in the Journal Center Business Park in Albuquerque, N.M., have been sold by Titan Development to Easterly Partners, a privately held management firm based in Washington, D.C. Both buildings have long-term leases to the U.S. Forest Service, and are jointly occupied with more than 1,000 government employees. The sale was arranged by Maruc & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services and was in excess of $50 million.

Masthead I is a 92,455-sq.-ft. three story building constructed in 2006 on 5.62 acres and is Energy Star labeled. Masthead II, completed in 2011, is a 98,720-sq.-ft. three-story building on 4.43 acres with a two-level parking garage and surface parking totaling 498 spaces. The building is Energy Star labeled, LEED-Gold certified, and will generate 150 KW of solar energy to sustain the building.

Shorenstein Properties Takes on U.S. Energy Efficiency Challenge

Shorenstein Properties LLC has signed on to President Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge initiative, calling on commercial real estate companies to reduce energy usage by 20 percent by 2020 in their national portfolios.

Shorenstein’s commitment is the latest phase of aggressive efforts to be more energy-efficient in operating and managing its portfolio. Steps taken to reduce consumption include a national engineering tour in 2010 which yielded savings of 12.3 kWh or $1.7 million, a five percent reduction over the previous year, as well as a recent Flip the Switch tour, aimed at educating tenants regarding energy efficiency.