More Developers Are Targeting Aggressive Sustainability Goals

From green roofs to renewable energy production, sustainability has become an integral part of development. Investors, tenants and cities are pushing developers for more environmentally friendly and energy efficient projects. Developers, such as Prologis, Boston Properties and Kilroy Realty, have responded with sustainable business practices and environmentally friendly buildings.

Distribution Center 1 (449,370 SF) in Rancho Cucamonga, California, produces 2.27 megawatts of solar.

Courtesy of Prologis  Distribution Center 1 (449,370 SF) in Rancho Cucamonga, California, produces 2.27 megawatts of solar.

Given Prologis’ global footprint of over 3,000 buildings in 19 countries, the company felt it had a responsibility to offer greater sustainability, which has been a part of the corporate culture for the last 10 years. It also created an economic benefit for the company, according to Prologis Vice President of Sustainability Jeannie Renné-Malone.
“In terms of a competitive advantage, we see opportunities to improve and maintain high-quality assets that attract good customers and good employees,” Renné-Malone said.
She said customers often find LEED certified buildings to be more comfortable and better for employees than non-LEED certified spaces.
When Prologis began its sustainability efforts, it tracked its progress and created data that has allowed the company to set aggressive goals. Prologis’ investors ask a lot of questions about their programs, and Prologis continues to advance these programs to attract investors and more investment dollars. Boston Properties has had similar interest from its investors and shareholders, according to Boston Properties Vice President of Engineering Danny Murtagh, who spoke at a recent Bisnow event.
In California, Title 24, energy-efficiency standards set by the California Energy Commission, is helping set the direction of how buildings are constructed, according to Murtagh. He said these codes have helped drive the industry to be more efficient through better lighting controls, improved water consumption and better HVAC systems. To have a successful building in the Bay Area, you have to have the highest water efficiency, especially because the area is prone to drought, he said.