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News release

CHICAGO, IL

Commercial Real Estate Managers and Brokers Focus on Sustainable Trends to Reduce Energy Consumption and Costs

Jones Lang LaSalle property managers and landlord leasing agents take hold of sustainable building marketplace to better serve property owners and investors.


CHICAGO, April 4, 2012 – Sustainability initiatives that were once considered “far out” concepts are quickly becoming trends at commercial properties, as property managers and leasing agents seek to meet their owners’ and tenants’ goals of cutting energy costs and acting socially responsible.

“Sustainability is no longer an after thought or some lofty cause,” Gregory Green, President of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Agency Leasing business. “It’s at the forefront of the real estate industry, necessitating comprehensive sustainability plans that integrate ‘green’ practices into property management and landlord leasing efforts.”

A few initiatives gaining steam include:
  • Green Leasing: Although not new, green leasing practices have become more established and transparent—exploiting all opportunities to reduce operating costs and maximize green space in an existing leased portfolio.

Jones Lang LaSalle has taken green leasing a step further, with its Tenants Go Green program. Tenants, employees and building managers collaborate and commit to developing environmentally friendly and energy-saving initiatives. Through a comprehensive assessment, the program helps identify and improve upon inefficiencies in a tenant’s space—such as lighting, plug load, water efficiency and waste management.

At vested properties, the program also supports building-wide Green Tenant Committees, comprised of building managers and tenant representatives that develop and implement sustainability initiatives. Jones Lang LaSalle will also evaluate whether a tenant’s green lease is adequately aimed at splitting incentives with landlords for energy upgrades.

“Since tenants and their employees are the people coming in and out of the building all day, we need to help them go green,” said Bob Best, Executive Vice President of Chicago operations and Product Lead for Jones Lang LaSalle’s Energy and Sustainability Solutions Group in the Americas. “They can have the biggest impact on a building’s sustainability.”

  • Solar Power: Solar power is one of the four sustainability trends to watch in 2012, said Dan Probst, Chairman of Energy and Sustainability Services at Jones Lang LaSalle. U.S. solar energy installations soared by 109 percent between 2010 and 2011, according to the report U.S. Solar Market Insight 2011 Year-in-Review from the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Solar energy's easy financing, local incentives and low risk have propelled its popularity, said Dave Gralnik, Senior Vice President for Jones Lang LaSalle’s Southern California engineering and operations department. He said solar power’s highly proven technology has further enticed investors. Probst said as payback periods grow shorter and fossil fuel costs continue to rise, interest in solar energy will continue to grow.

Still, many building owners need advisement on solar power opportunities and alternatives, since not every solar option is financially viable for every user and location. Jones Lang LaSalle has identified two structures that are well-suited for property owners interested in optimizing solar energy opportunities, but do not wish to invest in the systems themselves:

  1. Roof Rental Program: This is an income generating strategy where building owners collect rent for the use of their roofs by solar system developers
  2. Power Purchasing Agreement: A building owner purchases solar energy generated onsite by the solar developer at or below the local utility’s costs of brown power.

“Solar power offers a greater opportunity to reduce energy costs and carbon footprint, while also producing more profitable properties and portfolios,” Probst said. “With the right guidance, building owners can often find a workable solution that doesn’t even require a capital investment.”

  • Energy Efficient Lighting: Resolving lighting inefficiencies is especially important since lighting represents 40 percent of energy consumption at commercial buildings in the United States. While LED lighting might seem like “old news,” mass adoption has still yet to happen despite this proven technology that has continually improved and consistently results in notable energy savings.

However, LED lighting is projected to capture 52 percent of the commercial market by 2021, according to the report Energy Efficient Lighting for Commercial Markets, from Pike Research. Property Managers cannot afford to ignore this energy cost-savings trend if they want to remain competitive and win business from cost-conscious owners.

Miami Tower, a prominent 47-story office building in the heart of Miami, Fla., is undergoing the replacement of its entire 23-year-old, inefficient lighting system with LED-based arrays. The project, under the advisement of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Energy and Sustainability Solutions group, is about 50 percent complete. Energy used for the property’s exterior lighting is expected to decrease by more than 90 percent upon project completion.

A lighting retrofit at Chicago Union Station is another success story, whereby the $200,000 capital project is expected to reduce energy costs by 40 percent and have a payback period of two to three years.

“Lighting may not be a glamorous topic for discussion,” Best said, “but lighting retrofits are effective, and owners want solutions that work. We can’t overlook potential solutions because they weren’t in yesterday’s news. LED lighting is not new, but its advances are new and its effectiveness is proven. That could make all the difference to a client.”

While green leasing, solar power and energy efficient lighting are all sustainable initiatives that can have a big impact on their own, the greatest impact on energy consumption and costs comes from comprehensive sustainable plans and a true commitment to going green.

In 2011, Jones Lang LaSalle increased the number of LEED-accredited buildings it manages to 55 properties; and the firm increased the number of properties it manages with an Energy Star score greater than 75 to 143 buildings. Further, Jones Lang LaSalle has more than 900 LEED Accredited Professionals and Green Associates worldwide, and more than 800 LEED Accredited Professionals and Green Associates in the U.S.
 
“We are committed to sustainability and maximizing sustainable operations at the property level,” said Dan Pufunt, President of Property Management for Jones Lang LaSalle. “The variety of sustainable initiatives we’ve implemented reflects our dedication to improving the efficiency of our clients’ assets, as well as answering the call to be responsible citizens of the environment.”

For more news, videos and research resources on Jones Lang LaSalle, please visit Jones Lang LaSalle’s U.S. media center web page.

About Jones Lang LaSalle
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate. The firm offers integrated services delivered by expert teams worldwide to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying or investing in real estate. With 2011 global revenue of $3.6 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle serves clients in 70 countries from more than 1,000 locations worldwide, including 200 corporate offices.  The firm is an industry leader in property and corporate facility management services, with a portfolio of approximately 2.1 billion square feet worldwide. LaSalle Investment Management, the company’s investment management business, is one of the world’s largest and most diverse in real estate with $47.7 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit our website, www.joneslanglasalle.com.