Energy and Sustainability
Creating Value Through Efficiency, Cost Savings and an Eye on the Future
First Potomac’s Energy and Sustainability team drives efficiency and environmental consciousness across the company by working with the Development and Construction team to implement property improvements and with the Property Management team to fine tune everyday operations.
“We can’t manage what we don’t measure” is the mantra that drives First Potomac’s approach to measurement and verification. An understanding of the value of information in analyzing assets to improve efficiency is behind the company’s commitment to establishing an advanced benchmarking and monitoring program throughout the portfolio. Energy Star is the first priority, with the team currently working to obtain ratings for each of the company’s buildings where energy data is attainable.
Development projects at First Potomac are designed and built to the highest standards of LEED certification possible, with an emphasis on energy and water efficiency, alternative transportation, waste management, and occupant health and comfort. Over a quarter of FPO’s multi-story office portfolio by square footage is LEED certified, and an additional million square feet of development projects planned to achieve LEED certification within the next 5 years will increase that figure to nearly 60%. Current projects are on urban infill sites located in downtown Washington, D.C., providing ideal conditions for environmentally preferable development and alternative transit.
Improving the efficiency of First Potomac’s existing portfolio is one of the greatest challenges and opportunities for the sustainability team. Operational changes, capital improvements, and occupant behavior are crucial to this goal, including lighting retrofits, building re-tuning, and tenant engagement efforts. Lighting, mechanical, and plumbing upgrades have been completed at several properties. More are in progress and will continue to be initiated.
Sustainability goes beyond efficiency. The team also focuses on initiatives for waste reduction and recycling, alternative transportation, occupant health, green cleaning, sustainable purchasing, and native landscaping. Annual indoor air quality tests are performed at multi-story office properties to ensure optimal occupant comfort and well-being. Several properties offer convenient access to metro stations, and First Potomac works to provide infrastructure to support bicycle and efficient vehicle use, including electric car charging stations installed at some properties.
The department’s leadership works with the Acquisitions team to evaluate the efficiency and sustainability potential of future properties, with the Leasing team to communicate sustainability features to prospective tenants, and with the Asset Management team to ensure that sustainability and energy performance are accurately factored into building valuations.