Message from Former United States President Bill Clinton

I was deeply saddened by Sonny’s passing, and my heart goes out to all those gathered in Potomac to honor his legacy of service and philanthropy.

Sonny’s life was guided by an abiding vision that our tomorrows will be brighter than our yesterdays. He brought this belief-along with an unshakable strength of will-to his brilliant planning of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Thanks in large part to his devoted efforts, the Museum stands today as an eternal monument to the triumph of hope over hatred, reminding millions of visitors of our common humanity and our profound obligation to the future.

It was a true honor to award Sonny the Presidential Citizens Medal in 1998, and I will be forever grateful for his contributions to our nation and world. As you remember a selfless leader, I join you in celebrating his remarkable lifetime of accomplishment.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Bill Clinton

Tower Companies Accepts President Obama’s 2020 Better Buildings Challenge

By: David Borchardt, Chief Sustainability Officer at The Tower Companies

President Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge requests that companies volunteer to commit to reducing their energy consumption by 20% by the year 2020. Many large organizations with a much larger portfolio have risen to the challenge. We fully support this initiative. However, as a small business leader with a 4.5 million SF portfolio, we’ve been implementing energy reduction strategies since 2000.
Before I joined Tower in late 2005, this is what the company had achieved.

At The Millennium Building at 1909 K Street in DC, we added 4 floors and did not increase energy use.
In 2003, we achieved Energy Star at 1909 and Tower 1. In 2004, Blair Towns was the first apartment in the US to be LEED certified, which required a certain level of energy efficiency.

When I joined Tower, in late 2005, our first year with Climate Leaders, we began auditing our record of energy efficiencies. Prior to that, everything had been done manually. Since late 2006 early 2007, we began reporting all the commercial office buildings in Energy Star, which now tracks every building. This is what we’ve been able to accomplish:

  • We are carbon neutral.
  • We offset our brown energy.
  • We performed energy audits of all our buildings.
  • We certified under EB every office building that qualified. This required retro commissioning.
  • We are in the process of certifying our multifamily portfolio.
  • We are tracking all LEED buildings using Energy Star.
  • We have used and continue to use PEPCO rebates to fund VFD drives, lighting retrofits, refrigerators, and 1 chiller replacement.
  • We have initiated a real time energy monitoring program.
  • Our commercial leases require exceeding the lighting energy code requirement by 16%.
  • Our commercial leases require Energy Star rated Appliances.
  • The Blairs only use Energy Star rated appliances for replacements.
  • When we replace equipment at building we look to use energy efficient equipment.
  • We have used tax deductions to help fund chiller and boiler replacements at 3 Blairs buildings.

Also, we are working with our commercial and residential tenants to teach them how to save energy and are tracking those who have volunteered to report their success. When we combine our past efforts with additional work we’re undertaking, we will achieve the President’s goal as we are well underway and more than half done!

Real-Time Energy Management – What’s the buzz all about?

By: Eugenia Gregorio, Sustainability Manager at The Tower Companies

As the Sustainability Manager for The Tower Companies, I am very fortunate to be part of an exciting new initiative that will help us to meet company goals and continue as a leader in the industry. “Real -time energy management” is a buzzword, just like the term “green building” about 10 years ago. A real-time energy management program allows a building owner, operator, or manager to track energy usage on a daily, 15-minute (or less) basis. The ability to monitor energy usage at the same time in which a building is consuming energy is extremely helpful in determining system inefficiencies and areas for improvement to building operations as a whole. Otherwise, you have to wait until utility bills arrive, which can be up to 60 days after energy is consumed.

After over a year of researching different vendors, installers, and technology available, we selected our hardware and software team in August 2011. HVAC Concepts, Inc. of Ijamsville, MD is responsible for installing all of the required hardware, connecting to our existing building automation systems (BAS), and coordinating with the software team. DC-based AtSite, Inc. is responsible for collecting and analyzing our electricity and gas usage and managing the software. AtSite will also be meeting with our building engineers on a monthly basis to help set energy reduction goals and implement best practices for each building in our portfolio. Our engineering team and building owners will be able to view this energy data online at anytime with a username and password.

We’re kicking off this program the week of January 16, 2012. It’s a great way to start off the New Year and everyone involved is eager to see significant results!

We’ll keep you posted on our progress!