Building Optimization

Gerding Edlen’s approach to analyzing, tracking and optimizing performance of properties

Energy efficiency optimization is a key focus in the design, construction and operation of our properties. Whether constructing new buildings or managing existing properties, we use a variety of tools to analyze, track and optimize each asset.

Analyzing Performance

For new construction, Gerding Edlen follows a diligent process that begins with an integrated design approach. We conduct eco-charrettes with the design, construction and operations teams to identify, debate and solidify specific sustainability goals. We also incorporate energy modeling to drive design and building systems decisions, and to create benchmarks against which future performance is evaluated.

For existing and operational properties, we conduct an analysis of current energy efficiency practices and closely monitor and track building performance to see where we can make improvements. In addition, we implement operational standards and policies that align with Gerding Edlen’s goals and objectives. These include standards for pest management, landscape maintenance, facility renovations and janitorial services that seek to minimize environmental impacts, conserve resources, and which align with best-in-class standards for high performance, green buildings.

The benefit of energy modeling is that each building’s envelope design and mechanical systems are measurably more efficient than required by current building code.

Tracking Performance

On an on-going basis, Gerding Edlen monitors each property’s utility usage including its energy, water and waste consumption and its carbon emissions. By collecting, tracking and analyzing this data, we consistently identify opportunities for improvement. Three important tools drive this process:

  • Livable Place Index (LPI).  Gerding Edlen’s LPI is a proprietary methodology for quantifying the environmental and community impacts of our properties.
  • Portfolio Manager. We Portfolio Manager, an EPA-sponsored platform, to track each buildings’ monthly utility bill data. The usage data is collected, uploaded and then compared to other buildings of similar size, vintage, use and climate zone to generate a comparable score from 1 – 100. Buildings with a score of 75 or greater are eligible for ENERGY STAR certification.

Neponset Landing (pictured), Jones Chicago, Troy Boston, 200 W. Adams and Allston/Stadium received ENERGY STAR Certifications in 2018.

  • Real-time Utility Monitoring Systems. For new construction, Gerding Edlen installs real-time utility monitoring systems, which monitor electricity, gas and water use throughout the year. Under this system, building data is uploaded in 15-minute intervals, providing unparalleled insight into every property’s performance.

Optimizing Performance

Based on regular analysis of each asset, Gerding Edlen evaluates the performance of operational properties relative to its past performance, performance expectations and/or the performance of similar buildings to see where improvements can be made. We also look for opportunities for assets to participate in utility-funded retrocommissioning programs. Additionally, we believe that achieving these objectives is not possible without collaboration with our tenants; and we use a number of tenant engagement strategies to drive stronger performance results, while also building community within our properties. All of these efforts ensure that each property is functioning as efficiently and as cost-effectively has possible.

In 2017, 200 W. Adams underwent a retro-commissioning effort and several major capital projects were completed to increase energy efficiency and improve performance. The chiller, which provides air conditioning throughout the building, underwent a major overhaul. A fan was installed that allows the chiller to respond to the building’s AC demand throughout the day. This ensures the system is operating at peak efficiency.