201 Third Street: A Master Class in Sustainable Excellence

By: Tanner Johnston

The secret behind 201 Third Street’s operational success is a strong partnership between the property management team and its tenants, especially when it comes to sustainability. “We really want to be leaders in our industry and promote healthy and sustainable practices for our team and our tenants.” That’s what Laura Mullaney, property manager for Kilroy Realty Corporation, says her team strives to uphold as their management philosophy—a philosophy that helped 201 Third Street earn the BOMA 360 designation.

Less than ten years ago, 201 Third Street was an unassuming office property in downtown San Francisco with outdated building systems. That began to change in 2011 when Kilroy Realty acquired the property and began making sweeping renovations. The effect was truly transformative; Kilroy Realty brought in architecture firm Gensler to oversee a refresh of the lobby and façade, and the renovated interior of the building featured large, almost 30,000-square-foot floorplates. Throughout the building, energy efficient LED lighting was installed, the HVAC system was overhauled and the elevators were upgraded. In 2014, a fan wall ventilation system was installed, which helped circulate fresh air into the building and brought the building’s electricity usage down by 18 percent.

But, Kilroy Realty wasn’t done yet: The company realized that building systems, no matter how new, are only as good as the property team that oversees and operates them. So, the Kilroy team began a comprehensive review of their operational and management practices, using the BOMA 360 application as their guide. This strategy of constant improvement is emblematic of the excellence required for BOMA 360 designation, which the building received at the end of 2016.

201 Third Street’s mixture of passion for sustainability and solid operational support for its sustainability efforts create a thriving environment for creative solutions. The Kilroy team established a wide array of successful sustainable building practices thanks to their holistic approach to building operations, which allows them to exceed their tenants’ expectations while making smart choices for their bottom line. Just some of the of sustainability-focused programs they have implemented at the building include quarterly e-waste and battery recycling, drought-friendly landscaping and regular training sessions for tenants on the benefits of proper waste sorting and recycling. This ambitious array of initiatives requires careful planning, and their success relies on a partnership with the tenants. “We’re constantly looking for ways to improve our practices and leave the world in a better place,” says Mullaney. “It’s cliché, but us doing our small part can go a long way.”

Another key to 201 Third Street’s success is its focus on occupant health and well-being. The Kilroy team knows that their tenants are their strongest ally in their quest for sustainability, and the building provides tenants many opportunities to make environmentally and socially conscious choices. Amenities such as bike parking and bike tune-up events encourage biking to work; annual indoor air quality audits allow tenants to provide feedback to the property team on their work environment; and periodic food and blood drives give the building and its tenants opportunities to give back to their community. The property team also actively encourages tenants to submit suggestions for ways the building can improve its efforts. “People do care. They trust us, and they want to get involved,” Mullaney explains.

One of the most notable results of this type of tenant input is the goBIN, a special textile recycling container whose contents are regularly collected by Goodwill. The goBIN allows the tenants of 201 Third Street to responsibly dispose of items they no longer need, including clothing, shoes, belts and handbags. 201 Third Street was the first property in Kilroy Realty’s portfolio to establish such a program, and its success inspired the company to roll out the program at their other buildings.

When Mullaney learned that her building had received the BOMA 360 designation, she knew she and her team had accomplished something worthy of celebration. Simply the act of applying to the program provided her team with a valuable opportunity to keep all of the different requirements of keeping 201 Third Street running smoothly at the forefront of their minds. “The BOMA 360 application is a great tool because it allow us to look into how we can grow,” Mullaney shares. “It definitely promoted teamwork and a better understand of the building.”

201 Third Street’s unique mixture of smart sustainability programming, first-rate property management teamwork and dedicated tenant relations, along with its BOMA 360 designation, has placed it on the forefront of the movement towards true sustainability in commercial real estate. “This is an ever-changing industry, and [the BOMA 360] designation holds us accountable to that,” Mullaney says.