Terrell Place: A Dazzling Approach to Energy Management

By Caroline Pomilla

This is the third in a series of articles exploring the six different categories in the updated BOMA 360 2.0 criteria for the BOMA 360 Performance Program.

When visitors step through the door of Washington, D.C.’s landmark building Terrell Place, they are instantly immersed in an experience unlike any other. The lobby walls of the 425,000-square-foot office property are covered in reactive LED displays that broadcast a variety of familiar scenes—like the district’s beloved cherry blossoms or the local cityscape—and deliver a sense of connection between visitors and their surroundings.

This light display is especially impressive given that Terrell Place serves as an example of an exceptionally energy-efficient building. The property scored particularly highly in the energy management category of the BOMA 360 Performance Program criteria, which covers everything from benchmarking using the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® platform to communicating with tenants about energy reduction. A major player in this success is the owner, an affiliate of Beacon Capital Partners— a recipient of nine ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Awards. “We have an integrated, comprehensive energy management strategy that we use at Terrell Place, along with all of Beacon’s properties,” explains Managing Director Al Scaramelli, PE. This includes real-time energy tracking software that allows team members to check for anomalies throughout the day. “That’s a big part of our strategy,” says Scaramelli, “in addition to energy auditing and upgrading our equipment to more energy-efficient versions.”

“This is part of why they chose to pursue the BOMA 360 Performance Program designation in 2016; sustainability is one of six categories of building operations and management evaluated by the program, and the designation demonstrates to stakeholders that City National Plaza is meeting industry best practices across the board.

“Everyone is vying for the same tenant in a market like downtown Los Angeles, and BOMA 360 plays a critical part in our efforts to show prospective tenants that their values and needs are in alignment with our operations,” says Corey. “Tenants want to know that their building team takes their work just as seriously as they do.”

While their work in energy management is exceptional, it’s Beacon’s focus on a comprehensive program that has led many of their properties—including Terrell Place—to fulfill each component within the BOMA 360 designation criteria, according to Scaramelli. “When you do the right things, it all comes together,” he explains. “We are performing well in every category measured by BOMA 360, and the whole is even greater than the sum of those parts.”

Plus, the BOMA 360 designation signifies to those less familiar with the property that they are indeed “doing all the right things.” Garrett Chang, RPA, who leads the Cushman & Wakefield management team at Terrell Place, recalls one particular leasing tour where this was made apparent. “A prospective tenant asked me if Terrell Place was a BOMA 360 building. We were proud to be able to answer affirmatively, and I believe it was an important factor in their decision to proceed,” says Chang. “Our tenants are very aware of what it means to be a BOMA 360 building and it’s a significant value-add for us.”

According to Chang, that buy-in from tenants isn’t only handy when it comes to leasing; it’s also important to have occupants who are interested and engaged in the building’s energy efficiency and sustainability efforts. The management team openly communicates with tenants and occupants about opportunities to make greener choices, whether it’s encouraging them to opt for ENERGY STAR-rated appliances or to participate in the building’s recycling program.

“Tenants can play a dramatic role,” echoes Scaramelli. He references Beacon’s Made in the Shade program, which asks occupants to roll down their shades at the end of the day to reduce solar radiation and save the building from using extra energy. “Occupants generally like to be a part of these things. It’s a nice extension to what they do at home, where they typically are already monitoring their energy use,” he says.

For some Beacon properties, like Terrell Place, the journey to sustainability is especially sweet, thanks to Beacon’s honey program with The Best Bees Company, which delivers, installs and manages bee hives. Spearheaded by Scaramelli, the program involves the installation of honey-bee hives on building rooftops to aid researchers studying the crucial role bees play in our natural ecosystems. “It’s very popular with tenants,” says Scaramelli. “We engage them in this important environmental dialogue through fun events like ‘name the queen bee’ contests, honey tastings or educational seminars led by beekeepers.”

From the lobby art to the honey-bee program, the Terrell Place team might closely monitor its energy levels, but it’s clear that they place no cap on the power of creativity.

This article was originally published in the May/June 2020 issue of BOMA Magazine.