BOMA Georgia Becomes First Nonprofit Association to Achieve ENERGY STAR® Tenant Space™ Certification

June 13, 2023 | By: CRE Insight Journal

The Building Owners and Managers Association of Georgia (BOMA Georgia) has become the first nonprofit association in the United States to be awarded ENERGY STAR® Tenant Space™ certification by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). To achieve this recognition, BOMA Georgia met EPA’s office energy design criteria; implemented measures to effectively track and reduce energy consumption; and adopted an environmentally sustainable office equipment and materials procurement policy.

“BOMA Georgia has been an environmental sustainability leader for decades, and we are honored to have our leadership recognized by EPA as the first nonprofit association to achieve ENERGY STAR Tenant Space certification,” said Gabriel Eckert, FASAE, CAE, of BOMA Georgia. “We will leverage this recognition to create new opportunities for BOMA Georgia members and other real estate professionals to learn more about the ENERGY STAR Tenant Space program and provide resources for building owners and managers to collaborate with tenants to reduce energy consumption and strengthen our environment.”

The BOMA Georgia office is in Sandy Springs, Georgia, in Palisades, a LEED Gold, ENERGY STAR certified development managed by Atlanta Property Group.

What is ENERGY STAR Tenant Space?

EPA began development of the ENERGY STAR Tenant Space program in 2018 and it was officially launched in 2020. It was created as a new way to assess and recognize environmentally friendly and energy efficient tenant spaces in office buildings by providing energy-efficiency criteria to help organizations overcome barriers to improving the energy performance of leased space.

ENERGY STAR Tenant Space criteria addresses efficient lighting and plug loads, which are typically the main tenant-controlled drivers of energy use. Office spaces that achieve ENERGY STAR Tenant Space recognition are verified to have lighting systems that are about 25 percent more efficient than lighting found in typical office spaces. Tenant Space criteria also requires tenants to separately meter their space and share energy data with their landlords upon request, which is the foundation for benchmarking and understanding both tenant and whole-building energy performance.

To earn ENERGY STAR Tenant Space certification, BOMA Georgia collaborated with Mayberry Electric and Baker Engineering. Mayberry Electric installed a new electrical panel and submeters to track energy use in BOMA Georgia’s leased office space and Baker Engineering calculated lighting and equipment loads and verified all information submitted in the ENERGY STAR Tenant Space application.

“The ENERGY STAR Tenant Space program is a great way for tenants to get involved with their building’s environmental sustainability programs,” said Scott Baker, PE, president of Baker Engineering. “Efficient technologies and sustainability initiatives are always evolving, and tenants are now able to take a direct role in these programs while continuing to save energy, reduce emissions, and decrease building operating costs.”

How can Tenants Apply for Recognition?

The ENERGY STAR Tenant Space program is coordinated through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Tenants create a portfolio manager account and then create an entry for their office. Then, tenants enter information on the building they reside in, including the year it was built, an estimate of the building’s occupancy, and other information. Next, information on the tenant’s space is entered. This includes total size in square feet, lighting, equipment, submeters, and more.

Collectively, this information is used to calculate metrics including estimated source energy; estimated site energy; target tenant space lighting energy use intensity (LEUI); and estimated tenant space LEUI. Once the calculations are complete, ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager then indicates if the tenant space is eligible for ENERGY STAR Tenant Space recognition.

“The metrics and data produced through the ENERGY STAR Tenant Space program provides tenants with the tools to make informed decisions on how to best manage and reduce energy consumption within their office space,” said Lisa Hollingshed, president of Mayberry Electric. “This is an incredibly important aspect of the Tenant Space program.”

If a space qualifies for recognition, data entered in portfolio manager is automatically populated into an ENERGY STAR Tenant Space application that is ready for submission. The tenant must also adopt and implement an energy efficient equipment procurement policy and a licensed professional engineer must verify and sign off on all information submitted to EPA.

ENERGY STAR Tenant Space is the next step in environmental sustainability for commercial real estate, as it directly engages tenants in support of the sustainability efforts of the property at which they reside.

Additional Resources from EPA

Additional Resources from CRE Insight Journal

Want to learn more about the ENERGY STAR Tenant Space program? Join CRE Insight Journal on July 18 at 1:00 p.m. ET for the ENERGY STAR Tenant Space: The Next Step in Sustainability webinar, and join CRE Insight Journal and EPA officials on October 12 at 1:00 p.m. ET for Engaging Your Tenants in Sustainability – ENERGY STAR Tenant Space, an in-depth discussion of this program.

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