Commercial, Energy Efficiency - September 24, 2018
U.S. Steel Tower upgrades energy efficiency
The U.S. Steel Tower, Pittsburgh’s tallest skyscraper, has achieved a 40% decline in electricity and water usage since 2010, thanks to energy efficiency upgrades from both building management and tenants.
A report by WESA, Pittsburgh’s NPR news station, said a host of upgrades have been implemented, including installing LED lights in 60% of the facility and new bathroom fixtures such as dual-flushing toilets. Sustainability designations such as LEED and Energy Star certifications have also been pursued.
"What those things all add up to is a lower operating cost, which is great from the point of view of investors, as well as a more attractive space, which is great from the point of view of potential tenants,” said Marc Mondor, principal and co-founder of Evolve, a Pittsburgh-based green building firm that helped with the upgrades. He added that while the 64-story building, completed in 1970, was not designed with energy efficiency in mind, it became a focus when UPMC decided to move its headquarters to the facility in 2007. The company has since achieved LEED certification on 27 floors.
The participation of both tenants and landlord has been key to the success of these programs. “By bridging this gap of tenants and landlord, which is typically much more formal through lawyers and accountants and brokers, instead we are making a more collegial atmosphere where we are able to discuss these things and determine common ways forward,” said Mondor.
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