The solar company she worked with saw that the upper floor in
the two-story building had only one window, “we looked not
only at solar panels but solar tubes through the roof to provide
more lighting,” Belenchia says.
Photovoltaic (PV) project costs were estimated at $48,500,
she notes, but Federal tax savings covered 30 percent of that
and South Carolina covered 25 percent. By taking advantage
of a state green initiative for the renovation of a minimum of
$250,000 for a building that had been vacant more than five
years, a 25 percent tax credit was earned — leading to a total
tax savings of about $39,000.
After inputting energy savings, the annual return on investment
was calculated at 17. 4 percent. “Do they like me? Do they
tell people about me? I don’t just show a building,” says
Belenchia. “I want them to do better in terms of cash flow and
keep running their project successfully.”
KEEPING UP WITH TRENDS
With all of these emerging trends it’s clearly important to keep
up- to- date with new developments, and SIORs have a number
of strategies for doing just that.
“I have really good relationships with environmental attorneys
and consultants,” says Hurley.
“We utilize a variety of resources (i.e., DOE’s Energy Star and
Green Lease Leaders), memberships (i.e. USGBC), credentials
(i.e. LEED AP and Energy Star Partner), conferences and
educational events (i.e. GreenBuild), partnerships (i.e. Green
Lease Leaders), and beta testing of select, vetted software (i.e.
Portfolio Manager), and related products,” adds Kasselman.
“I keep up to date by speaking to architects and developers and
contractors in the market,” Riorda says.
“My company is a member of the UN Global Compact/RICS
Steering Group; I got involved as a representative for FIABCI,”
Belenchia shares. “We look at environmental stewardship,
health and safety in the workplace, and supply chain. I was
also the only real estate person in the world to be an industry
representative on the working group for ISO 26,000 (for
corporate social responsibility), which came out in 2010.”
A WIN-WIN SITUATION
Staying on top of these trends, SIORs agree, not only benefits
clients, but also enhances the relationships they have with
“It reduces project costs and ongoing operational expenses
while preserving a property’s utility,” says Hurley. “If the client
doesn’t know about the tools available and you are the one that
makes them aware, you’ve just strengthened the relationship
and added a ton of value.”
“It substantially lowers occupation costs, and companies like
to be green,” says Riorda. “It’s also a benefit to us.”
“Clients pay me a fee to provide incentives, structure the deal
to make things happen, and save them money,” adds Belenchia.
“Our sustainability clients are saving money, respecting
the environment, investing in the future, gaining worker
productivity, and enhancing their attractiveness to new
recruits; they have a great story to tell to their investors, clients,
prospects, and others in their respective local and business
communities,” says Kasselman.
“Real estate and energy have always been — and will continue
to be — inseparably bundled,” he continues. “By strategically
servicing the bundle, our clients are relying on us more than
ever and in more places; sustainability and environmental
considerations have no geographic boundaries and aggregate
across entire portfolios of properties whether the portfolio is
investor or user oriented.”
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