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One Orlando Office Tower recently received kudos from federal officials. The U.S. Department of Energy program which advocates on energy efficiency commended One Orlando Center’s green upgrades with a federal recognition. One Orlando Center Office Tower is a 9-story office tower located in Orlando. The tower received the recognition for its effort to reduce water and energy usage. One Orlando Centre is located at 800 North Orange Avenue. The U.S. Department of Energy noted One Orlando Centre as a “Showcase Project” of the Better Buildings Challenge which was launched five years ago by President Barack Obama.

“As a country, we spend about $200 billion a year to run our commercial buildings,” stated Maria Vargas, director of the Better Buildings Challenge. “We know that on average buildings can use 20 percent less energy cost effectively with really simple pay back and easy opportunity.”

One Orlando Centre first started its efficiency overhaul in 2014. The revamp cost $2.5 million, with an emphasis on upgrading its air-conditioning. The overhaul is forecasted to reduce annual water use by a million gallons and its energy use by 33 percent, stated Jayson Lipsey, chief operating officer at Parkway Properties, owner of One Orlando Centre and also the Orlando towers Bank of America Center and Citrus Center.

Greenprint’s latest Performance Report, indicated that 3,446 properties showed a 3.3 percent decline in energy consumption and a 2.7 percent decline in greenhouse gas emissions from 2013 through 2014. There were close to 1,000 Greenprint properties which cut energy consumption by 11 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 10.8 percent between 2009 and 2014.

It’s nice to see developers stepping up their energy efficiency efforts. “When people start paying attention to energy use, they tend to find little things that they can do for very little cost—or sometimes no cost at all—that will reduce their consumption and save them money,” says Zachary Hart, a senior program associate at the Institute for Market Transformation. Commercial real estate firms have gotten better and integrating benchmarking with energy. “When this data is available, it allows the real estate market to start including the value of efficiency as they make decisions about where they want to rent space or space that they want to buy,” Hart said. “Embedding efficiency into the real estate evaluation process is the crux of benchmarking and transparency, and that’s where a lot of the benefits will come from in the future.”

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