Responsible Development

Responsible Development

Increase the value of real estate through responsible development, management, and capital improvements.

We recognize that our assets and business practices have an impact on the natural environment.  We share a responsibility with our property managers, tenants, and communities to make balanced, responsible decisions that create value for our environment, our society, and our business.

In order to meet this objective, we focus on the following strategies:

  • Reduce the energy and water consumption of our assets by partnering with our third party operators to effectively monitor and manage consumption, evaluate opportunities through audits, and target cost-effective retrofits.
  • Utilize a data management system to track, analyze, and report the resource use at our assets.
  • Invest in renewable energy projects at our assets to reduce risk of increasing energy prices and support clean energy development.
  • Minimize the environmental impact of our assets by evaluating design and construction practices and prioritize third-party certified properties during acquisition, new development, and/or existing building operations.

Utility Management

Utility Management
Utility Management

Goal: To improve the energy efficiency of properties tracked by 20% over their hold period. 

In order to monitor and manage the resource use at our properties we are using EnergyPrint, a data management solution that evaluates energy and water use in commercial buildings.  By utilizing this platform to gather and analyze the resource consumption at our assets, we are able to effectively prioritize efficiency retrofits and opportunities for savings.  Finally, through ongoing trend analysis, we measure success and financial return of efficiency investments. 

 

Solar Investments

Solar Investments
Solar Investments

The recent decreases in the price of solar production coupled with the incentives and rebates available make investment in solar attractive for many property types. Solar provides a hedge against increases in energy prices and increases asset value.

We believe that renewable energy is a key driver of value and an important hedge against rising energy prices. In 2013, we installed our first 120 kW photovoltaic system at Storage America, which meets more than 80% of the energy needs of the property. In 2015, a 128.5 kW system was installed at SpaceMax Emory. There are four main factors that influence the returns on an installation: (1) the current cost of electricity for the building, (2) availability of state and local rebates/incentives, (3) the access to rooftop sunlight and rooftop orientation and (4) duration of hold period of asset. 

We are actively analyzing each Core Fund investment and select opportunistic fund
investments to determine the economic viability of additional solar installations. Four
new solar projects are actively being pursued in 2016 and will be online in 2017.

Certified Properties

Certified Properties
Certified Properties

As of December 2015, LEED or Green Globes Certified properties represented 21% of the total square footage in the Core Fund (14% of NAV). 

In order to best evaluate the environmental impact of our assets, we look to third-party certifications like the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system.  This comprehensive evaluation measures the design and construction practices of buildings and recognizes achievements by awarding levels of certification. The Marquee, a LEED Silver Certified off-campus student housing development in Orlando, Florida is a premier example of integrating environmental stewardship into the design, construction, and operation of an asset. See more about The Marquee.

When evaluating new acquisitions, we see third-party certifications as indicators of quality assets. For properties that are not certified, we utilize energy benchmarking and operation-based rating systems to pursue higher efficiency and operational excellence. We seek to increase the number of third-party certifications in our portfolio over time.