While green building rating systems treat operations as one aspect of sustainability, another building rating program takes the opposite approach: It looks as sustainability as one aspect of overall operations. BOMA 360 does include a sustainability component, but sustainability is not the main focus of the system. Instead, BOMA 360 approaches operations from more of the human side than the building side. The system encompasses everything from package management to security to how visitors move through the facility.
The goal, says incoming BOMA chairman Joe Markling, is to operate efficiently in every area, not just things like HVAC and lighting. The program has criteria in six categories: Building Operations and Management; Life Safety/Security/Risk Management; Training and Education; Energy; Environmental/Sustainability; and Tenant Relations/Community Involvement.
"The fact that you're saving a lot of money on lightbulbs is great, but if you can't change a tenant's lightbulb that's burned out quickly, that's a problem," says Markling, who is managing director, strategic accounts, CB Richard Ellis. "You can have a terrifically designed air conditioning system, but if the tenant is constantly hot and cold and you can't get there to fix and regulate that, that's not a well-run building."
The actual operations of the building and how they can be streamlined is often overlooked. BOMA 360 hopes to show that by taking a hard look at those processes, time and money can be saved.
"If I come to visit you in your building, how do I get from driving in the parking garage to your desk?" says Markling. "There's a lot of people you touch from Point A to Point B. How does all that work?" And can it be done in a more efficient manner?
"That's the kind of stuff we're looking at — every little detail of how people interact with the building. While the green is really, really important, buildings are people — people occupy the buildings, people come and visit the buildings — and how every person interacts with that building is critical. We're measuring those things."
From the facility manager's perspective, it's another way to show that the facility is being run in the most efficient manner possible, says Susan Hammer, property manager, Prime Group Realty Trust. Her building, 330 North Wabash, has a BOMA 360 designation.
"It's important to have that if you're going to be competitive between different property management companies, but it's also an opportunity to explain to prospective tenants what it means to come into a BOMA 360 building," Hammer says.
The idea of BOMA 360 is to address the full range of issues that tenants are concerned about. "The building only exists to service people," Markling says. "They're not that focused on how much it costs for them to occupy that space. They want it to be the right temperature, they want to have the light to do their job, and they want to know that they're safe."
— Casey Laughman, managing editor
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