BOMA Bay Area Earth Awards Celebrate Green Building

When the 2013 BOMA Bay Area Earth Awards were announced on May 16, the event offered yet further proof that San Francisco is well on its way to becoming America’s first zero-carbon city. Already the city has the country’s largest urban concentration of Energy Star-certified commercial office buildings on a square-footage basis and is the sixth in the nation in the number of Energy Star-certified buildings—despite being smaller than many other major American cities.

With the Earth Awards, BOMA’s San Francisco and Oakland/East Bay chapters have joined forces in making Bay Area commercial officeproperties arguably the greenest in the nation, measuredby many standards.

BOMA’s Earth Awards recognize commercial property owners and managers for the most comprehensive resource management practices—including recycling, energy and water conservation, air quality and toxic reduction programs, support for public transit and tenant education programs that promote sustainability. The BOMA Earth Awards, along with their preceding recycling competitions and other sustainability initiatives, have encouraged sustainability in San Francisco’s commercial real estate community by spreading knowledge of how to operate greener buildings in numerous ways, from parking garages to rooftops gardens. Buildings that have competed for green distinctions have elevated their value to all stakeholders. 

This year’s First Place winner in the Large Commercial Property category went to One Front Street, managed by Jones Lang LaSalle. The building, also known as Shaklee Terraces, is a 38-floor office tower located at 444 Market Street in San Francisco’s Financial District. The building was completed in 1979, and is now LEED and Energy Star certified. Since 2011, as part of City Park's green initiative, One Front Street has featured rooftop solar panels producing enough power for 394 houses and with the equivalent offset of 211 trees.

Winning an Earth Award, says Nicole Hom, JLL’sgeneral manager for the building,“helps establish One Front Street and strengthens Jones Lang LaSalle as an energy-efficiency and sustainability leader in the commercial real estate industry.

“Best practices to ensure building efficiencies are constantly evolving,” notes Hom, “which is why the BOMA Earth Award Competition is so important because it helps member buildings stay informed of the latest practices and raises awareness within the industry.”

The Russ Building, a neo-Gothic office tower constructed in 1927 at 235 Montgomery Street in San Francisco’s Financial District, took the top prize for a Medium Commercial Property. The 32-story California Historical Landmark building was the tallest in San Francisco from 1927 to 1964 and boasted the city’s first indoor parking garage. The Russ Building’s sustainability initiatives include having been retrofitted to Energy Star specifications, maintaining LEED-compliant cleaning procedures, offering tenant sustainability and education programs and meeting BOMA’s 7 Point Challenge.

“Even though the Russ Building is over 80 years old, energy efficiency and sustainability are important to our daily operation and it was an honor to be recognized for our efforts,” says Bill Whitfield, the building’s general manager for Shorenstein Realty Services LP.  The property management team at the Russ is passionate about doing our part to minimize negative environmental impact and consistently strives to demonstrate our commitment. Shorenstein encourages and supports a focus on sustainability at the Russ and at all of its properties across the nation. The BOMA Earth Award is acknowledgment that we are running at peak performance and a reminder to remain focused and creative as we continue to evaluate ways to be green.”

The BOMA Earth Awards are grouped according to building size (large, medium and small), with additional recognition for innovative practices. The winners of the 2013 BOMA EARTH awards are:

Large Commercial Property Winners (over 500,000 sq. ft.):

1st Place: One Front St., San Francisco, Jones Lang LaSalle

2nd Place: Hills Plaza, San Francisco, Jones Lang LaSalle

3rd Place: One Maritime Plaza, San Francisco, CBRE Inc.

Medium Commercial Property Winners (300,000 to 500,000 sq. ft.):

1st Place: The Russ Building, San Francisco, Shorenstein Realty Services

2nd Place: 650 California St., San Francisco, Tishman Speyer

3rd Place: 2100 Powell, Oakland, Hines Interests Ltd. Partnership

Small Commercial Property Winners (under 300,000 sq. ft.):

1st Place: 150 California St., San Francisco, CBRE Inc.

2nd Place: 501 Second St., San Francisco, The Swig Company

3rd Place: 633 Folsom St., San Francisco, The Swig Company

Innovation of the Year:

Landscaping for the Community: 101 California St., San Francisco, Hines Interests L.P.

Recognition of Innovation:

Cleaning with Orbio: 101 California, San Francisco, Hines Interests L.P.

A Garden for the Tenants: 1001 West Cutting Blvd., Richmond, Wareham Development

Tenant Loop Condenser Water Retrofit: One Maritime Plaza, San Francisco, CBRE Inc.

Temperature Sensors for Steam Traps: The Mills Building, San Francisco, The Swig Company

The Earth Awards are just one of many innovative green programs offered by BOMA to its members. Other past and current programs include the High-Rise Recycling Program, BOMA Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP) seminars that teach principals of energy management and use of the Energy Star Portfolio Manager Tools, BOMA 360 Performance Program to measure and improve management of six distinct operational domains, BOMA International’s Experience Exchange Report, which has been benchmarking building performance for more than 90 years, and classes towards LEED accreditation.

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