“You have to try things out,”
Sheehy said. “People can’t recognize
a two-degree temperature difference
as long as there is air flowing. And if
the tenants don’t like it, they’ll call.”
In a continuing effort to cut energy
usage—and by extension save money
—Sheehy examined janitorial servic-
es. Nighttime cleaning meant lighting
as many as 13 floors simultaneously.
Switching the majority of janitorial
tasks to daytime hours reduced ener-
gy costs by about $100,000 per year.
Further examination of building
hours can lead to additional savings. Some building leases require
services on Saturday and Sunday, but
buildings are often empty on weekends, making ventilation and lighting unnecessary. Considering hours
of operation was an important step
for Stolatis. He discovered buildings
with Saturday hours, but no Saturday
activity. He checked with tenants
and was able to leave some buildings
turned off over entire weekends. He
calculates a resulting 3- to 5- percent
savings on energy operations.
Stolatis participated in the Energy
Star Change a Light, Change the
World Campaign 2007–2008, passing out 255,000 compact fluorescent
bulbs to tenants and residents. Put
into use, these could save 117-million
kilowatt hours, the equivalent of taking 16,700 cars off the road for a year.
“Too many people today look imme-
diately for a capital project when they
are looking for ways to save energy,”
Stolatis said. “With small changes,
the savings may not amount to more
than a couple of percentage points,
but in aggregate you can get savings
without spending any money in the
normal course of business.”
On the residential side, sensors
placed around buildings and connected to microprocessors can regulate heating and cooling. That way half the
residents won’t be opening their windows to cool off while
the other half is shivering, Martin said.
Once sustainability measures are in place, education
comes into play. Martin educates employees about using
cleaning products that are environmentally friendly. He
also reminds them that using more isn’t always better.
Martin has put together an awareness program to teach
residents about recycling.
Recycling is one of the more pressing sustainability
issues to address, Wiseman said. Once a commitment is
made to set aside areas for recycling, managers must reinforce its value, educate tenants and send memos reminding them to recycle.
Ring uses meetings over morning coffee, and his company newsletter to educate tenants. He would like to take
these efforts a step further by setting up building kiosks
providing questions and answers about sustainability
“Recycling is a group effort between landlords and tenants,” Ring said. “It’s the tenants’ habits that really make
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