The green building movement has been learning a valuable lesson in recent years – regardless of plaques and certifications, a sustainable building requires participation and engagement from tenants, visitors and management.
This lesson is being put to work at The Terry Thomas. While the building has historically used about 50% less energy than a comparable building, in its sixth birthday Stephen Grey & Assoc., the property manager, and Weber Thompson are launching an awareness campaign aimed at engaging tenants and visitors, with a goal of decreasing the building’s energy usage another 17% between 2013 and 2015.
There are two key components to this new campaign. The first is tracking utility data (electricity and natural gas aggregated with EPA’s online tool EnergyStar Portfolio Manager, normalized for weather) and sharing this data in a public place with the tenants of the building each quarter.
The second is a set of environmental graphics and wayfinding signage that has been installed to communicate energy performance data, and encourage use of the internal stairs rather than the elevator – the “low-hanging fruit” for common area electricity use reduction. Most importantly, the awareness campaign is intended to start the conversation and reinforce the welcome statement in the lobby: “This high-performance building is driven by user participation.”