The Leader Magazine

DEC 2017

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18 DECEMBER 2017 th E l E a DER F E A T U R E A R T I C L E Focus on flexibility The increased prevalence of telecommuting, hoteling, and flexible scheduling presents CRE executives with the opportunity to reduce leased floor space and/or increase occupant density. Employers no longer have to guarantee a desk space for every employee and can, instead, focus on providing flexible workspaces that allow employees to rotate through, depending on their work schedule. Combining smart, connected technologies with a flexible workplace strategy allows building operators to target lighting, heating, and cooling needs to a specific space. For example, smart power strips can sense when a workstation is not in use and turn off unnecessary devices to limit energy use. If building operators know that many employees telecommute on Fridays, they can optimize HVAC and lighting to expected occupancy. The U.S. General Services Administration has implemented a system that schedules telecommuting and hoteling to concentrate on-site employ- ees within specific HVAC zones, allowing them to essentially shut down HVAC zones that are unnecessary. The Edge, Deloitte's new office building in Amsterdam, demonstrates some particularly innovative strategies by using a smartphone app to direct employees to an available workstation that has sensed the impending occupancy and adjusted lighting levels and temperature to their preferences. The building continually adjusts to space-use needs using more than 28,000 sensors that help to prevent the unnecessary use of resources. Measure your impact Boosting tenant comfort while reducing energy bills is not a point-in- time proposition and requires continuous evaluation and improvement. Understanding and tracking key performance metrics like energy use, oc- cupancy, and employee satisfaction and comfort are key to learning which strategies work, which don't, and which ones might work with tweaks or improvements. The first step is to ensure that your tenant space is separately metered for energy use and your landlord or utility is providing you with actual consumption information so that you can benchmark energy use. ENERGY STAR ® Portfolio Manager is a free, online tool that allows you to track energy, water, and waste over time. Many of the smart technologies entering the market will provide even more detailed real-time data and analytics that help inform future improvements. Companies are also using employee surveys to measure and track satisfaction and solicit recommendations for the future. For example, Anthem, Inc., regularly distributes employee satisfaction surveys that collect feedback on workspace comfort, flexibility, and connectivity and even ask employees to rate things like access to healthy food options and workout space. For more information on leveraging sustainable real estate strate- gies to boost workplace comfort and reduce energy bills, there are great resources available. Green Lease Leaders (www.greenleaseleaders.com) is a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Build- ings Alliance and the Institute for Market Transformation. It provides many tools for both tenants and landlords to use the leasing process to drive energy efficiency and sustainability in leased space. Templates and examples of successful green leasing applications can be found here. Also, EPA ENERGY STAR Tenant Space (www.energystar.gov/build- ings/tenants) provides resources and recognition for tenants seeking to improve energy efficiency during the tenant build-out. 4 5 Deborah Cloutier, CRE, is a principal and co-founder of JDM Associates and brings more than 25 years of leadership experience consulting with clients in commercial real estate, energy management, and environmental sustainability. Jake Dowling is an associate manager at JDM Associates, where he directs partner engagement for commercial real estate organizations in support of the Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative.

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