THOMAS PROPERTIES GROUP

Sustainability in Action

Cal EPA
The courtyard at Cal EPA

Sustainability has become a source of competitive advantage for corporations, individual buildings and real estate portfolios.

It also plays an increasingly important role in business and regulatory relationships, such as real estate investments by companies with environmental screening criteria, requirements for development entitlements and construction project permitting and perhaps most critically, office tenant space selection decisions.

The vision of the Asset Management team is for TPG “to become the global leader in green” through certifying the entire TPG portfolio of properties, mapping their carbon baseline and reducing it, exceeding current standards and enhancing competitiveness of company and buildings.

Benefits of green operation include:

  • Maximize energy & water efficiency
  • Reduce operational costs
  • Constitute a higher quality product
  • Reposition property to attract and retain tenants
  • Stay ahead of pending government regulations
  • Appeal to tenants who are increasingly demanding healthy & sustainable work environments
  • Increase NOI & Value
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EPA Courtyard
Green Policies

TPG has developed a series of company-wide Green Policies to be implemented across its Portfolio of Existing Buildings.

TPG’s Green Policies include:

  • Building Exterior & Hardscape Management Plan
  • Integrated Pest Management, Erosion Control, and Landscape Management Plan
  • Cooling Tower Management – Pending
  • Sustainable Purchasing Policy
  • Solid Waste Management Policies
  • Green Cleaning Policy
  • High Performance Cleaning Program

These policies will become an integral part of day-to-day operations at TPG properties.

Innovative strategies are continually being developed by TPG in the effort to maximize efficiencies, create healthier environments for its tenants, minimize environmental impacts of their building operations and reduce operating expenses.

INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES

TPG and Cal/EPA are jointly constructing a new transportation web site that will:
• Act as a clearinghouse for carpool and shared commute opportunities.
• Feature a section for longer, non-routine trips. For example, the itinerary of upcoming trip to Portland in October could be posted in advance, with the opportunity of sharing costs with other riders. When a match is made, typical environmental impact reductions are calculated, including gasoline and carbon output reductions.
• Routinely update public transportation schedules, including both local and regional systems.
• Assist with timely responses to public transportation inquiries.

guidelines
Developing guidelines that work
Green Tenant Guidelines

Thomas Properties Group has developed Green Tenant Guidelines to help educate and encourage tenants about the variety of strategies they can use to green their interior spaces, minimize the environmental impacts of tenant improvements and create healthy and productive working spaces for all building occupants. It includes technologies and best practices guidelines that reduce energy and water consumption, minimize waste, and create productive, healthy workspaces.

Thomas Properties Group is committed to environmentally responsible building design, construction and operations and they encourage their tenants to pursue the green building strategies and LEED CI Certification as identified and explained in the manual. TPG’s tenant improvement guide outlines design, construction and operational practices and resources that can significantly reduce the negative impact of tenant improvements on the environment. Their expectation is that this guideline will be a starting place for tenants to learn more about the benefits of green building, inspiring them to explore the many ways they can provide a healthy work environment for their employees and achieve a positive image as a leader in sustainability.

By implementing the Tenant Improvement Guidelines at TPG properties they hope to influence positive development and operational practices. Tenants are encouraged to strive for resource efficiency and are also given information about suppliers who offer green products such as materials made with recycled content, low-emitting interior coatings, carpets, sealants, rapidly renewable and formaldehyde-free materials.

GREEN TENANT GUIDELINES

Thomas Properties Group is committed to environmentally responsible building design and construction. The purpose of the Tenant improvement Guidelines is to educate the tenants about the variety of strategies they can use to green their interior spaces.

TPG encourages their tenants to pursue the LEED green building strategies identified and explained in the manual. Their hope is that the Guidelines will be a starting place for tenants to learn more about the benefits of green building and to inspire them to explore the many ways they can provide a healthy work environment for the building occupants and a positive image as a leader in sustainability.

Green Leases

As Green leases are gaining momentum, tenants and landlords are in the throws of defining what this means for lease negotiations. TPG is taking the following steps in regards to their green leasing efforts:

1. Incorporating green leasing provisions into their master lease for new green buildings and evaluating tools and strategies to address the split incentives dilemma;

2. Utilizing a proprietary set of green tenant improvement (TI) guidelines that will be incorporated into future leases early in the lease negotiation process. Compliance is still voluntary for tenants as TPG wants to avoid adding restrictions that will make its buildings less competitive in the marketplace; TPG’s vendors, however, are required to comply with TPG’s sustainability policies and TI guidelines;

3.In their existing buildings TPG is educating stakeholders about TPG’s LEED certification goals, sustainability policies, and green operation strategies; and

4. In new buildings that are pursuing LEED Core and Shell certification, TPG is including certain lease restrictions (such as lighting levels) that are necessary for the building to meet its sustainability targets and maintain its current high performance LEED rating.

TPG’s green tenant improvement guidelines and sustainability policies as well as the education of their brokers are critical elements in green lease development since they help tenants understand green building features and its benefits.

As an example TPG conducted a training seminar in Austin about LEED and green buildings. The seminar was accredited through the Texas Real Estate Commission to meet mandatory Continuing Education requirements for licensed brokers and salespeople. PG’s green tenant improvement guidelines and sustainability policies as well as the education of their brokers are critical elements in green lease development since they help tenants understand green building features and its benefits.

SPLIT INCENTIVE

The real estate world experiences “split incentive” dilemmas that hinder energy efficiency or green building investment.

Building owners who lease out space often have little incentive to build or renovate green or beyond minimum energy code because many of the benefits accrue to the tenants.

Tenants have little incentive to improve a leased space, since they are temporary in the space and the benefits may accrue to the owner or to the next tenant.