Lance Miller, director of policy and planning for the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, outlined the board's plan to reduce energy consumption in the state by 20 percent by 2020. This will theoretically be achieved by legislating better building and appliance standards, relying less on coal-based power imported from nearby states, and using more renewable energy sources, such as wind power.

John Crandall, senior vice president of development with the Mack-Cali Realty Corp., offered another assessment. He presented sobering statistics on just how un-green New Jersey's commercial real estate landscape really is. 

Crandall used the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environment Design, or LEED, as a benchmark. The LEED system awards points for features that promote conservation and good indoor air quality.

There are just 13 commercial office buildings in New Jersey that are certified with the LEED program, and only one currently under construction. This may be because of expense. Crandall said it can cost more than $1 per square foot for an office building to earn LEED certification.

Richard Johnson, senior vice president of Cranbury-based Matrix Development Group, told the developers in the audience that while LEED certification is "an event, sustainability is a process," one that every developer should embrace.

Johnson said that there are many levels of LEED certification. Developers should start small and aim first for lower levels of LEED, rather than getting paralyzed by the more difficult process of winning gold or platinum certification, he said.

Matrix develops and manages primarily industrial real estate. It will soon implement pilot programs on its own buildings to test the viability of several cost-saving measures, such as solar arrays on the roofs of large warehouses. This may be the best way for developers to measure results themselves, and then educate clients about the benefits, Johnson said.
Source: Author: James Quirk


SJP Properties New Commercial Construction Going Green:  SJP Properties Chairman & Founder Steven J. Pozycki announced the company will seek LEED certification for its two Class-A office towers on both sides of the Hudson River - its flagship 11 Times Square in New York City, which is currently under construction, and Waterfront Corporate Center III in Hoboken, NJ.  Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.  Source