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“We cut energy use at 522 Fifth Ave by 18% in one year.” – Hines Property Management

Categories: General, Grocery, HVAC

Hines Property Management

New York, NY

Hines Property Management

Hines property management takes a pragmatic approach to energy efficiency at its properties. “We adopt practices if they make economic sense, which you could call a sustainable approach to sustainability,” Jeff Hines, the company’s president and CEO recently told One such approach is currently on display at 522 Fifth Ave, a 23-story 110-year-old building in midtown Manhattan that is owned and fully occupied by Morgan Stanley.

In late 2008, Hines assumed management of the property and immediately began to seek long-term energy savings. Hines initially focused on low-cost operational changes with lighting, temperature adjustments and HVAC system optimizations. These actions cut energy use by 10 percent in year one. A new set of initiatives in year two drove an additional 18 percent reduction in energy use while improving the employee work environment.

“Every building has its own profile, but we consistently see common opportunities that generate quick rewards about 95 percent of the time. Of all the things, lighting is one of the largest – almost all office buildings are overlit. And overcooled - changing the temperature set point brings both savings and comfort. And then we look at the building’s sequence of operations – how we run our fans, our economizer modes, optimizers, etc.” explains Rob Thompson, Hines Assistant Director of Engineering.

The changes have had a positive effect on those working in the building. “We raised the building temperature two degrees, from 72 to 74° F, and we actually started seeing fewer temperature related calls – it helped with our service metrics,” reports Frank Gennarelli, General Property Manager for the building. Lighting intensity was also reduced, eliminating some bulbs altogether and swapping out the remaining bulbs for a cooler more even light, better suited for computer-facing work.

The 522 Fifth Ave team took advantage of financial incentives from NYSERDA and also participated in EPA’s 2010 National Building Competition,  earning fifth place out of 14 diverse competitors. The building also recently received its ENERGY STAR® rating.

“Ultimately,” says Steve Giangrande, a Hines Chief Engineer, “it’s the people who make this happen and keep it going. You’ve got to get this from the abstract to the concrete. Seeing is believing, and seeing the savings has really motivated our team.”

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