A RECORD-BREAKING LIGHT INDUSTRIAL BOMA BEST SCORE
In December 2018, Kennedy Matheson Industrial Complex achieved BOMA BEST Gold Recertification, breaking the record for the highest-scoring light industrial property in Ontario. The three-building complex, consisting of 624,245 square feet of warehouse and office space, recertified with final scores of 88.2%, 88.6%, and 89.5%. The complex went on to win the BOMA Canada 2019 Earth Award at the 2019 BOMEX Awards Gala in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Challenges with Industrial Assets
Managed by Menkes Property Management Services Ltd. (Menkes), Kennedy Matheson Industrial Complex is a typical industrial property, where tenants are responsible for managing building equipment maintenance and operations while Menkes oversees and maintains external features along with the building envelope. Despite this delineation of responsibility, Kennedy Matheson Industrial Complex earned a very high BOMA BEST score.
“Even where building manager involvement in a building is limited, there is value in pursuing a BOMA BEST certification. The Light Industrial module recognizes the unique characteristics of tenant/landlord relationships and rewards what the building manager can impact while also encouraging increased engagement.”
– Hazel Sutton, BOMA BEST Program Director, BOMA Canada
It is common for commercial office buildings and shopping centres to pursue Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum levels of BOMA BEST Certification, exceeding the mandatory BEST Practices. However, there is a growing trend within the light industrial asset type of also pursuing such levels.
Menkes sees tremendous value in pursuing BOMA BEST and benchmarking its buildings against an industry standard. It is well known that certified ‘green’ buildings are aligned with tenant attraction, retention, and satisfaction. With additional benefits such as cost savings from utility reductions, public perception of corporate stewardship and social responsibility, reduced environmental risks and liabilities, and continuous improvement, participating in the program was an easy decision.
Tenant Retention: Kennedy Matheson Industrial Complex sustains a 100% lease status and consistently receives excellent tenant survey satisfaction scores.
Utility Savings: Menkes completed the initial BOMA BEST Certification at Kennedy Matheson Industrial Complex in April 2015, achieving a score in the Silver level. Since initial certification, annual electricity consumption has decreased by 60.4% while annual water consumption has decreased by 18.4%. These positive results motivated the team to continue with the program and strive to achieve an even higher level during Recertification.
“The BOMA BEST program provides an excellent road map for maintaining best practices and monitoring our environmental programs. These programs can sometimes fall off the radar, especially in an industrial property where our team isn’t present onsite. Recertifying every three years helps us keep track of these best practices and ensures we are operating an environmentally-friendly property”
– Elena Muto, General Manager, Menkes Property Management Services Ltd.
Additional Savings & Benefits
Menkes implemented various environmental and sustainability programs in line with BOMA BEST Recertification as well as to help with tenant engagement and health and safety. With the goal of achieving Gold, the team was encouraged to set new standards and implement environmental programs and practices that go above and beyond those that are typical of an industrial building.
In 2018, Menkes initiated annual tenant fixture plumbing audits to identify leaks and reduce unnecessary water consumption. Following the first assessment and after working with tenants to rectify the issues, water consumption decreased by 29.6% compared to the previous year (equivalent to approximately 1.4 Olympic swimming pools or 6.8 million bottles of water). Menkes also installed water-efficient irrigation systems and implemented an innovative remote monitoring program, yielding a 57% decrease in exterior water consumption, which is equivalent to approximately 2.3 Olympic swimming pools or 11.5 million bottles of water. Together, the programs resulted in $11,900 of annual savings for the tenants, as they are charged back for water consumption.
In addition, lighting in all management-controlled areas was retrofitted with LEDs that are ENERGY STAR or DesignLight Consortium-certified, as per BOMA BEST requirements. The retrofits provide $20,305.52 of annual savings and 76% reduction in annual electricity usage. This project allowed the complex to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 103 metric tons per year, which is equivalent to removing 22 passenger vehicles off the road for one year.
Tenant engagement can be challenging in an industrial property, but Menkes has been able to maintain quality tenant relations through various programs. Menkes provides tenants with quarterly sustainability tips as part of their Energy & Water Communication Plans (BEST Practices 2 and 5) as well as a comprehensive sustainability manual outlining BOMA BEST standards for green cleaning programs, green purchasing, refrigerant management, and more. Every year, Menkes organizes tenant spill cleanup demonstrations, as the likelihood of a spill is higher in an industrial property. In line with the 2018 BOMA BEST Recertification, Menkes also completed an updated tenant satisfaction survey and the first indoor air quality assessment in tenant spaces, which many tenants appreciated.
The team is already preparing for it’s 2021 Recertification with plans to increase the score. . A BOMA BEST gap analysis was developed to plan for initiatives that will be completed in the next three years. Property condition assessments were completed in 2019, while completion of a radon risk assessment and thermal imaging scans of walls and roof are planned for the next two years.
CD SONTER Ltd. is an industry leader that has been partnering with property managers and owners across Canada on their sustainability programs for over 29 years. Having managed over 450 green building awards and certification projects, the team specializes in project managing the entire process, saving buildings valuable time with their submission through a turn-key approach while identifying opportunities to maximize scoring and program efficiencies. As an independent consultant, CD SONTER’s only vested interest is that of their client. For more information, please visit www.cdsonter.com or call (416) 248-4881.