Monday LEEDoff: BOMA Celebrates 100 Years & Gotham Green Milestones

Last week, the Building Owners and Managers Association (“BOMA”) International celebrated its 100th anniversary by holding its annual convention here in New York City. The Citicorp Building, Time Warner Center, and 1 Madison Avenue were all lit up green during the four day event- attended by over 2,300 real estate professionals from all over the [...]

Last week, the Building Owners and Managers Association (“BOMA”) International celebrated its 100th anniversary by holding its annual convention here in New York City. The Citicorp Building, Time Warner Center, and 1 Madison Avenue were all lit up green during the four day event- attended by over 2,300 real estate professionals from all over the world- as BOMA recognized some important Gotham green achievements, including the thirty million square feet of Big Apple office space either completed, under construction, or registered with USGBC under LEED. Anthony S. Lifrieri, President of BOMA-NY (which marks its fortieth anniversary this year), also noted that New York’s 7.1 metric tons per capita of carbon emissions are second only to London among global cities (and are less than one third of the U.S. average) and that over 500 MW (1 MW = 1,000 homes) have been pledged in the New York Independent System Operator (“NYISO”) load-shedding program.

gbNYC contributor Paul McGinniss (whose July Upstate New York Green Real Estate Report will appear here tomorrow) checked in with the following after attending one of the BOMA events last week:

On Tuesday, July 24, I attended a press conference and media breakfast at the LEED Gold Hearst Tower where BOMA announced its 7-Point Market Transformation Energy Plan for member organizations (consisting of over 90 associations and organizations with 16,500 members that own or manage over 9 billion square feet of global real estate) and the commercial real estate industry. I was invited as a guest of Jonathan Schein, publisher of New York House Magazine and founder of Schein Media. The event took place on the building’s stunning 44th floor, and included a tour with Brian Schwagerl, Vice President of Real Estate & Facilities Planning for the Hearst Corporation. (I also ran into Brian Clark Howard, Home and Eco-Tips Editor at The Daily Green). BOMA’s Plan challenges its members to take a variety of sustainable steps, including aiming for a thirty percent decrease in energy consumption across their respective real estate portfolios by 2012, benchmarking energy and water use through the federal ENERGY STAR program, provide equipment operating and maintenance education to building managers, owners, and engineers, and performing energy audits and retro-commissioning in order to assess and improve energy efficiency.

Unquestionably, these are important, yet achievable, goals for BOMA’s significant membership, and hopefully the organization will actively push its members to release performance data from properties that implement the 7-Point Plan, both to gauge the effectiveness of such measures, as well as assist other operators as they attempt to increase their own efficiency. One other convention session deserves mention- Steve Bushnell, product director for Fireman’s Fund, presented “It’s Not Easy Being Green: Are You Prepared for the Risks?” Bushnell noted that “[g]reen buildings do present a different set of risks than traditional buildings. You have to think of green risks in terms of the physical, the operational and the enterprise aspects.” While Globe St.’s article about the presentation was lacking in real detail about its substance, I’ve written about the Fireman’s Fund green building insurance package before, as well as the necessity for strong green contract language (particularly with respect to LEED projects) and the specific types of sustainable scenarios that might lead (and in fact have led, in some cases) to claims against design professionals.

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