Glenborough's Long-Term Goal Is To Be Industry Leader In Sustainability

By Ron Wilkinson  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Glenborough Uses Energy Star As Guide For Extensive Energy Efficiency EffortsPt. 2: Glenborough's Next Project is Energy Retrofits at Corporate HeadquartersPt. 3: This Page

Although Glenborough is known nationwide for its pursuit of building efficiency and low carbon footprints, the firm's corporate strategy does not stop at simply reducing energy expenses. The overriding goal is to become an industry leader in energy efficiency and sustainability practices, to use this position to fill office space, and to combine environmental sense with business sense to transform the way the company looks at buildings.

Deep energy retrofits are a part of this transformational strategy. These retrofits require large investments and pay back over long periods. They take commitment, planning and teamwork, but the results are a profitable bottom line, better energy security, and a doubly powerful statement to the leasing community.

This long-term approach is reflected in the corporation's commitment to the BOMA International Seven Point energy challenge. Starting in 2007, Glenborough was one of dozens of firms joining the challenge to cut 30 percent off their Energy Star baseline. Now, in 2012, it is one of only 10 firms left, and has made its goal. The next step is to share lessons learned and successes with the rest of the industry.

Glenborough is willing to adopt new technologies, but Carlos Santamaria, vice president of engineering services, knows due diligence is required to separate the wheat from the chaff in today's high-tech market. He has spent the past decade looking for the best new ideas for Glenborough's national portfolio. "The recent economic downturn over the past four to five years has made energy investment dollars more precious than ever before," he says. "Only the surest, most proven fit-outs survive."

— Ron Wilkinson

Technology Aids Efficiency

Glenborough has taken advantage of advances in technology to trim energy use. Specific technologies include:

  • Converting chillers to units with oil-less, variable speed compressors with non-ozone depleting refrigerants.
  • Using primary-only, variable-volume pumping central plants with optimization programming.
  • Using the energy management system and wireless pneumatic thermostats to synchronize with local utility peak-shaving demand-response programs.
  • Using submeters to provide facility staff with trend data at 15-minute intervals to enable them to respond quickly if current use is higher than past use.
  • Utilizing daylighting, daylight harvesting and automated lighting controls.
  • Piloting an integrated energy information program to provide operator information in real time.

— Ron Wilkinson

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  posted on 3/22/2013   Article Use Policy

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