Industry News

Industry News

Understanding Your Tenant’s Sustainability Needs

Tara Hughes November 19, 2014 Industry News No comments

Understanding Your Tenant’s Sustainability Needs (and how you can help!) by Stephen Bushnell

lightbulb with question markAs a building owner your reasons for going green are pretty obvious; reducing expenses and improving ROI, increasing the value of your property, ensuring that your building is competitive, managing your environmental foot print and making the property more attractive to tenants. But, have you take the time to understand why your tenants want to be in a green building and how you can help them realize their green objectives?

Controlling the costs of energy and water are two important issues for any business. Tenants pay as much attention to this aspect of green and sustainability as do building owners. There are a variety of ways that owners and tenants share energy and water costs, many of which are spelled out in the lease or, especially for residential buildings, determined by how the building is metered. No matter how the costs are allocated both owner and tenant(s) have a vested financial interest in reducing overall energy and water use.

bottle recyclingAnother green practice with bottom line impacts is waste management. Recycling and reducing waste bound for landfills are key goals of many tenants. Building owners can help by making the building recycling friendly with convenient areas for recycling inside and outside the building. However, remember that many recyclables are flammable. Exterior storage and pick up sites should be away from the building so any accidental fires will be confined to the container.

A growing number of cities require or incent restaurants to compost their food waste. Building owners with restaurant tenants should consider adding pest resistant compost facilities for food waste.

A fundamental element of LEED is the reduction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the interior of the building. Douglas emmett lobbyCombined with occupant friendly ventilation, reduced VOCs can result in a healthier indoor environment. Green buildings can result in improved employee health and wellbeing and reduced absenteeism. “Daylighting” is another hallmark of green buildings. Design of the interior space, wall placement, windows and full – spectrum lighting systems create more efficient and comfortable environments like AGPOM Member Douglas Emmett’s lobby pictured here.

These features can result in one of the most significant benefits for tenants, improved employee productivity. People working in green buildings are healthier, happier, and more productive. In a recent DOE study, it was shown that worker productivity in a green building increased by 15%. In another study by The Rocky Mountain Institute, air quality improvements fostered increased productivity of up to 20% and reduced absenteeism by up to 25%.

apartment kitchenImproved health is important for your residential tenants as well. Who wants to live in a poorly ventilated box full of a toxic stew when there are alternatives? Our own experience backed by several studies reveals that parents are motivated by issues impacting the health of their children.

Finally, many commercial and residential tenants have a strong desire to make the world a greener place. Whether driven by personal values or corporate sustainability programs, tenants take a very big step to realize this goal by leasing green space. Supporting your tenants as they green their space is a win for both of you. Taking a little time to understand their plans and how you can support them goes a long way to realizing your green and sustainable goals.

AGPOM Welcomes New Education Partner – BOMI International

Tara Hughes November 14, 2014 Industry News No comments

AGPOM recently partnered with BOMI International (the Independent Institute for Property and Facility Management Education) to bring AGPOM members 10% savings on a variety of sustainability courses, competency-enhancing certificate programs, and industry-recognized designations.


With several course delivery options and a selection of programs proven to increase job performance:

  • 98% of graduates have become more efficient as a result of their education-and add value to a company
  • 68% of graduates have experienced a decrease in monthly expenses-both individuals and employers benefit from a BOMI International education.* 


About BOMI International

BOMI International, a nonprofit educational organization founded in 1970, provides critical education and expertise to industry personnel with property, facility, building systems management, and sustainability responsibilities. More than 27,000 industry professionals hold one or more BOMI International designations, and over 90,000 property and facility management professionals have turned to BOMI International for their continuing education, professional development, and staff training needs.

Educational Offerings

BOMI International offers several courses that are approved by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) for the LEED Credential Maintenance Program (CMP). Designed by industry leaders and subject matter experts, BOMI International’s course curriculum delivers new concepts that can be applied to your job right away. All courses may also be applied to one or more of BOMI International’s programs, making it easy for you to start with a course, earn a certificate, and achieve your designation.


Certificate Programs
BOMI International’s five certificate programs help you gain recognition from employers and coworkers for your expertise in key subject areas and begin your journey toward earning a BOMI International designation.

BOMI-Badge-HP-Electronic Version

  • Building Systems Maintenance Certificate (SMC)
  • Facilities Management Certificate (FMC)
  • High-Performance (HP) Certificate
  • Property Administrator Certificate (PAC)
  • Property Management Financial Proficiency Certificate (PMFP)


Designation Programs
BOMI International designation programs are recognized as marks of distinction and excellence throughout the property and facility management industries. Earning a designation will give you a better understanding of how to increase the value of your properties and operate your sustainable buildings and facilities at peak efficiency.

  • Facilities Management Administrator (FMA®) Designation
  • FMA|High-Performance (FMA|HP) Designation
  • Real Property Administrator (RPA®) Designation
  • RPA|High-Performance (RPA|HP) Designation
  • Systems Maintenance Administrator (SMA®) Designation
  • Systems Maintenance Technician (SMT®) Designation


Course Delivery Options
As an AGPOM member, you have the option to select a study method that works best for your budget, schedule, and learning style. Choose from the following course delivery options:

  • Instructor-Led Online: 15-week interactive online course led by an expert instructor.
  • Self-Study: Convenient, self-paced course to be completed within six months.
  • Corporate Onsite Instruction: Tailored to meet the needs of an organization. **

Learn More and Register

Additional information regarding program requirements, course schedules, and registration is available at, or by calling Laney Solomon, 1.800.235.BOMI (2664) x1320.

 * Statistics based on a recent survey of BOMI International graduates.** Corporate Onsite Instruction is only available for groups of 10 or more.

Featured Member – Tellus Apartments

Tara Hughes October 4, 2014 Industry News No comments


LIVE BRILLIANTLY. It’s easy being green at LEED Gold Tellus Apartments, where smart living is the new norm. From start to every hand-selected natural finish, the building is thoughtfully designed with sustainability and environmental friendliness top of mind.

TELLUS APARTMENTS. Even the building’s name is inspired by a green theme – Tellus is the Roman goddess of the earth – reflecting the property’s overt commitment to existing in harmony with the world around it. From its integrated roof terraces and garden patios to inspired feature elements – like a custom constellation wall and centering yoga studio – and its multi-modal connectivity, this is the definition of an idyllic retreat in an ideal location.

Learn more below about what makes us the leading edge of LEED.


  • LEED Gold certification
  • Walkable, urban location
  • Non-smoking building
  • Centralized, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems
  • Low VOC paints, stains, and sealants throughout
  • Energy-efficient windows and exterior building materials
  • Water conserving, low-flow faucets and fixtures
  • Energy Star rated appliances and light fixtures
  • 100% rainwater recycling
  • Native and drought-resistant landscaping
  • Motion-activated lighting in common areas
  • 20%+ of building materials regionally-sourced / recycled
  • 35%+ of energy from green providers
  • 90%+ of construction debris diverted from landfills

LEED Certified


The Tellus is the city’s first LEED Gold-certified mixed-use building, offering an uncommon variety of amenities and sustainable building features in a landmark setting.

Featured Member – The Orchard Hotel and Orchard Garden Hotel

Tara Hughes September 5, 2014 Industry News No comments

Orchard Hotel and Orchard Garden Hotel


The Orchard Garden Hotel was built in 2006, using eco-friendly construction materials including concrete made from fly ash, a byproduct of recycling coal, and wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as harvested in a sustainable manner.

Orchard Garden Hotel

This hotel offers California’s debut of a guestroom key card energy control system – after opening the guestroom door with the key card, the guest places the card in a discreet box in order to turn on the lights and other room systems. When exiting the room, the guest simply takes the key card, automatically ‘turning off’ the entire room, with the exception of an outlet for charging guest’s electronics. This system has saved nearly 20 percent in energy consumption, paying for itself in less than two years.

LEED Certified


These properties set the standard for truly ‘green’ hotels. Both hotels are LEED certified, which is of the world’s most prestigious ‘green’ accolades. The Orchard Garden Hotel was first hotel in California to be LEED certified.


In addition the following sustainability practices are in place at both the Orchard Garden Hotel and the Orchard Hotel:

  • Orchard interior lobbyWhen possible, local/organic ingredients are used.
  • Both properties are EnergyStar Rated.
  • Both properties purchase Verified Emissions Reductions to offset their carbon impact.
  • Both are 100% non-smoking hotels.
  • Organic, citrus-based cleaning products are used throughout the hotel.
  • Water faucets and toilets are ‘low-flow.’
  • All lighting is halogen, compact fluorescent or LED.
  • Menus/collateral/paper is 100% recycled and soy-based inks used on all collateral and stationery.
  • All kitchens compost all waste materials and are meticulous about grease recycling.orchard garden hotel interior
  • All fabrics are made with recycled polyester and other textiles without chemicals.
  • Fabrics are machine-washed to avoid the chemicals that come with dry cleaning.
  • They have eliminated small plastic bottles for amenities and replaced them with bulk dispensers.
  • They plant a tree for each review posted on TripAdvisor through Plant a Billion Trees.
  • Strong supporters of alternative transportation: Commuter checks provided to employees, and bike racks are available.


green-sealTo demonstrate and verify their sustainability leadership, the Orchard Garden and Orchard Hotel have achieved GS-33 (Silver) Certification by Green Seal – a nonprofit, independent sustainability organization. The Orchard Garden Hotel meets Green SealTM Standard based on waste minimization, water and energy efficiency, hazardous substance handling, and an environmental purchasing policy.


These properties set the standard for truly ‘green’ hotels.


Featured Member – Rivers Casino

Tara Hughes August 14, 2014 Industry News No comments

Rivers CasinoLocated in Des Plaines, River Casino is the first casino in the world to have been awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification.

LEED Gold Certification of Rivers Casino is based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact both the project and the local community.


Some of these sustainability features include:

  • 70 percent of the electrical energy consumed by the building over a two-year period is being offset with green power.Rivers_Chicago_Exterior_v7s_SM1
  • Skylights and Clerestory windows add natural light for guest and employee comfort while saving on lighting costs.
  • Casino operations include a single-stream recycling plan, reducing the amount of waste delivered to landfills.
  • Occupant sensor-controlled lighting provides lighting when needed and saves energy at other times.
  • LED light fixtures in the parking garage and other areas throughout the Casino building save on energy usage as well as maintenance costs.
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures and sensor-controlled faucets reduce water usage by 40 percent.
  • Paint and adhesive materials with low levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) provide a healthier environment for workers and future inhabitants.Rivers Casino Interior
  • HVAC system upgrades are intended to provide 16% energy savings, more fresh air supply above a standard design and more comfort for occupants for this building which operates 24 hours a day.
  • Systems commissioning is provided to realize operational savings planned in the design. Measurement and verification methods are planned to confirm and assure continued efficient operation of building systems.
  • Interior living green walls provide better air quality and comfort.
  • The Casino is close to public transportation to promote efficient travel.
  • Bike racks are provided for workers and customers and preferred parking is provided for alternate fuel vehicles.


  • The stormwater treatment system removes 98.6 percent of total suspended solids from site runoff.
  • Installation of landscaping, a multi-level parking structure and white roof reduce the urban heat island effect.
  • Complimentary electric car charging stations are provided for customer use. Free valet parking is available to low-emissions and fuel-efficient vehicles.
  • Landscaping is largely made up of native and drought tolerant plant species, eliminating the need for irrigation and saving both potable water and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Featured Member – Hotel Terra

Tara Hughes July 14, 2014 Industry News No comments

hotel terra logoThis past weekend our Executive Director had the opportunity to make a personal visit to this Teton Village property located in the heart of scenic Jackson Hole, WY.

As their website states, “Hotel Terra Jackson Hole offers the exceptional amenities and services expected from boutique hotels, combined with environmentally sustainable building and operating practices to provide guests with a relaxing yet eco-friendly vacation experience.”  We totally agree!


Hotel TerraIn addition to the natural landscaping, the hotel boasts many wonderful sustainable features such as a living green moss wall in the lobby and cruiser bikes available for hotel guests’ use.

Some of their other eco-features include:

  • 100% electric power and natural gas is offset with purchases of clean energy sources via BEF.
  • Heating/cooling systems are computer controlled and hotel rooms are powered down when not in use or calibrated for specific occupancy expectations.
  • Large amounts of outside air are circulated into the guestrooms and energy recovery technology recoups 81% of the heat from the exiting stale air. Hotel-Terra-Guest-Room-10
  • Hotel soap dishes and bathroom counter tops are made from recycled glass, including glass reclaimed from skyscrapers.
  • Mattresses are organic, including a salt-water based flame retardant.
  • Pillows in guest rooms are composed of recycled plastic bottles.
  • Sheets, towels, bath mats, and bathrobes are all made from 100% organic cotton.
  • Many of the furniture pieces have been crafted using salvaged, recycled and natural materials.

LEED Certified

Hotel Terra is both LEED certified and Trip Advisor GreenLeader-Platinum Level

They are continually implementing new eco-friendly operational practices. Learn more here

Featured Member – Architect of the Capitol

Tara Hughes June 13, 2014 Industry News No comments



The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) has cultivated a legacy of sustainability by promoting a culture of resource conservation, increasing energy and water efficiency, promoting health and wellness, sustaining the Capitol’s natural sites and practicing one of the highest forms of sustainability, historic preservation.


 Through a successful sustainability and energy program, the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) has annually exceeded its energy reduction goals. The AOC is on pace to meet its 30 percent energy intensity reduction by the end of Fiscal Year 2015.In 2013 the AOC saved enough energy to power the Madison and U.S. Capitol Buildings (over 3 million SF of space) for an entire year!


Additional Sustainability AccomplishmentsArchitect of the Capitol Int.

* $2.7 Million: Saved through new energy reductions
* $14 Million: In building energy improvements re-allocated from utility accounts
* 20%: Reduction in our greenhouse gas footprint
* 25%: Energy reduction exceeding the 2013 goal
* 6 Million: Square footage of buildings retro-commissioned
* 85 Million: Gallons of water saved
* 230: Meters installed


Featured Member – Campus Apartments’ Homewood Suites by Hilton

Tara Hughes May 5, 2014 Industry News No comments

campus apartments logoCampus Apartments,  a national leader in the development and management of university-affiliated real estate, announces that its first hotel development, Homewood Suites by Hilton – University City, was awarded the Silver level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It is currently the only LEED Silver Hotel in Philadelphia.

Campus Apartments
This property provides residential-style accommodations for visitors to area universities and medical facilities. It opened in May 2012 and was designed and constructed to meet green building standards with sustainable systems. It boasts an energy-efficient envelope and is 25 percent more efficient than the current building code. By reducing energy consumption and incorporating a multitude of green features in the hotel’s design, Homewood Suites by Hilton® – University City achieved Silver-level certification from LEED®, the nation’s most widely recognized and accepted green building rating system.


Homewood-Suites-University-City-Green-Rooftop-600To achieve its LEED® Silver certification, Campus Apartments developed the building’s interior and exterior with various energy-efficient elements that reduce consumption, optimize performance and control costs. The building features an energy-efficient water-loop heat pump system to power heat and air conditioning, as well as a smart control system to monitor the building temperature. In addition, lighting from energy-efficient fixtures is controlled by occupancy sensors in common areas and card-control systems in the guest suites. Additional sustainable elements include a green roof, high-efficiency MEP systems, on-site storm water management and low-flow fixtures.

By incorporating these green features into the design of the building, the hotel serves as an example for progressive sustainable architecture within the hospitality industry.