“Performance” Buildings Mean Business

June 08, 2011

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is an elite body to which owners of many of the world’s iconic and architecturally dramatic commercial buildings belong. Such buildings include the Time Warner Center in New York, which looms magnificently over Central Park’s south-west corner and neighbors the likes of Trump Tower and the Museum of Arts & Design. The Time Warner Center is also New York’s first BOMA 360 Performance building.

BOMA 360 is a “groundbreaking new program to recognize the industry’s best practices in building management and operations” according to BOMA.org, and in today’s cut-throat property climate, standard building management won’t do anymore. Savvy building managers know that to attract the best clients, they must meet the highest possible standards, which, among other things, means seriously reducing the building’s environmental footprint. This not only makes their clients look good, it also saves the building managers and their clients enormous amounts of money.

Launched in April 2009, BOMA 360 is an assessment tool that evaluates a building on six key criteria:

  • building operations and management
  • life safety/security/risk management
  • training and education
  • energy
  • environmental sustainability
  • tenant relations/community involvement.

Taking a holistic approach to building design, function, space, consumption, and use, BOMA 360 performance evaluations incorporate multiple industry standards into one evaluation tool, creating essentially the mother of all industry standards for building management.

While voluntary, the process is no picnic. BOMA uses a points system to evaluate a building’s eligibility, with 67 points out of 100 qualifying a building for the “Performance” rating. That may sound low, but in order to meet the maximum 100 points, you would have to submit at least 70 separate documents indicating compliance with either an industry standard or a best practice guideline. We at Rivanna are particularly pleased to see that nearly half of all documents (29) and half of all points (46) relate to environmental compliance, from Energy Star® benchmarking to traffic reduction policies.

It’s just another reason we’re so proud to be the suppliers of BOMA 360’s award plaques for the buildings that make the grade. The Time Warner Center was such a success it was written up as a case study for emulation by aspiring building operators. It also won BOMA’s Pinnacle award in 2007 and the international The Office Building of the Year (TOBY) award in 2008. And, as James Kleeman, General Manager for the building, notes, recognition for environmental responsibility has an added silver lining; it’s a way to win more business:

“Everything [the BOMA 360 program] consists of:  fire and life safety, security, operations, tenant relations, sustainability, energy management—those are all great things that you can’t find together in any other program. The plaque and all the marketing materials that come along with the designation are very helpful, particularly in these tough times.”

Likewise, BOMA reports, “BOMA’s market research shows that building owners and managers are looking for ways to make their buildings stand out from the crowd and be more attractive to tenants. That’s even more important as the commercial real estate sector faces today’s tough economy.”

Clearly, recognition for excellence in your industry as a pioneer of environmental performance is one of the best ways to demonstrate leadership, differentiate your business, and add value to your properties.

We commend BOMA’s bold new program to challenge its members to become industry leaders in environmental building management, and proudly supply its awards. We hope you’ll look for a space for the BOMA 360 plaque on the wall of your office building, too, and make every effort to fill it.

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