D.C. Retains No. 1 Ranking at 2016 Better Buildings Summit

Monday, June 6, 2016

By Scott Pomeroy

For the second consecutive year, Washington, D.C. retained its first place ranking at the 2016 Better Buildings Summit held in Washington, D.C. by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), where a major announcement was made involving a new partnership for the CoStar Group.

Home to nine of the 168 buildings recognized by DOE's Better Buildings Challenge (BBC) as Showcase Projects, it was the District of Columbia that had the most Showcase Projects in the country, followed by Houston (6) and Atlanta(5). Showcase Projects are buildings that have achieved and been verified as meeting the goal to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020, as outlined by the BBC.

Hotel Monaco, located at 700 F Street NW in the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID), was featured this year in a Summit building tour, in recognition of Hotel Monaco being the first Showcase Project in the country to meet both the energy and the new 2015 water challenge thresholds. Hotel Monaco was recognized in 2013 for achieving the BBC energy reduction goals.

The Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA), as a component of their overall Global Real Estate Sustainability Initiative (GRESI) and their commitment to the BBC, added two new Showcase Projects in the DowntownDC BID in the past year:

  • 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue:  Here, TIAA realized an annual savings of $797,000 over their 2010 baseline by working with their sustainability consultant and the Hines property team   to enhance HVAC controls, improve building pressurization and upgrade interior and exterior lighting through no-and low-cost measures and those requiring capital. When aggregated, the projects yielded an overall payback period of 3.5 years and an ROI of 29 percent.
  • 1401 H Street (CityCenterDC): TIAA, working with the Cushman & Wakefield property team, reduced water use by 35 percent annually by improving the efficiency of plumbing fixtures and reducing the frequency of sidewalk cleanings by one-third. When aggregated, these measures yield an overall payback period of 1.8 years, an ROI of 56 percent, and an annual savings of $28,000.

News was made at this year's Summit when U.S. DOE Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hogan announced  an official partnership with the CoStar Group to advance and promote three key pieces of information from each commercial and industrial building. Buildings' Energy Star scores, energy use intensity and greenhouse gas emission numbers, will be displayed in the CoStar Property® database.

Washington, D.C. and Chicago will be the first two cities to appear in CoStar's system. This arrangement is expected to be in place this year, with other cities that require reporting of building energy usage to be later added.

Additionally, both CoStar and DOE agreed to partner on joint research topics that will leverage CoStar's extensive databases of building information and the DOE research capacity available at the national labs.