July 2022
There’s a strong business case for including renewable energy assets in real estate development plans, according to a new report from the Urban Land Institute (ULI). Investments in renewable energy have the potential to unlock billions in new real estate value, helping owners reduce long-term energy costs and in many cases generate supplemental income from their existing assets.

Renewable Energy Strategies for Real Estate is the latest report from ULI’s Greenprint Center for Building Performance. As momentum builds for decarbonizing the built environment, the report provides a comprehensive framework for implementing renewable energy both on- and off-site. By prioritizing renewable energy in their projects, real estate organizations can reduce their carbon footprint and add value for buildings, tenants, investors, and communities.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing its annual “Top Cities” list, spotlighting the cities with the greatest number of ENERGY STAR certified commercial and multifamily buildings in 2021. Los Angeles leads with nearly 650 ENERGY STAR certified buildings. Close behind is Washington, D.C., with nearly 500 buildings, followed by Atlanta in third place. Orlando makes its debut on this year’s list, ranking in 24th place with 54 ENERGY STAR certified buildings.

"Right now, our cities and urban areas are experiencing the costly impacts of climate change, but there are steps we can take to reduce emissions and tackle this crisis," said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.

With more than 10,000 engineers and 1,750 maintenance technicians on the road, ABM is one of the largest providers of onsite engineering solutions in the U.S. With the addition of engineers and operational excellence from its recent acquisition of Able Services, ABM has brought together the best practices from industry leaders to deliver a new level of solutions with ABM Engineering+.

ABM engineering managers, chief engineers and engineering teams provide comprehensive services, including on-site facility maintenance, HVAC, lighting and climate control along with specialized technical services in Electrical Power, Lighting, Energy, HVAC & Mechanical and EV Charging. ABM Engineering+ is purpose-built to be more comprehensive, customized, responsive and valuable to help facility managers meet the needs and expectations of your building and occupants.

Click here to download the ABM+ e-book.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has approved the introduction of the safety and performance standard ANSI/BIFMA X6.5-2022 Home Office and Occasional-Use Desk, Table and Storage Products, as recently announced by the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA).

The BIFMA Sub-Committees for Desks, Tables and Files worked diligently to introduce this ANSI standard, which is a revision and re-designation of ANSI/SOHO S6.5 2008(R2013) Small Office / Home Office. Numerous participants worked on extensive reviews and improvements, with special emphasis on the Stability, Leg Strength, and Height Adjustable Desk/Table Surfaces tests.

The Fermo Bench accommodates large open spaces that seek statement pieces or long, meandering corridors that need a resting place. Kwalu's design team created a functional and luxurious curved design with an optional surprise benefit of integrated power/USB technology so users can rest and also recharge their phones or tablets. Kwalu's Fermo Bench is offered in three sizes: 6-, 8- and 10-feet, comfortably seating two to five people with curves that subtly define each cushioned seat. Constructed atop two or three block legs, depending on the size, the bench is backless and armless for use in more locations than traditional chairs and sofas.

A space saver with a low profile, combine several Fermo Benches for flexibility in lobby seating.

Commercial interiors manufacturers who are presenting unique solutions and products for facilities managers, interior designers and architects for workplace, education, and healthcare environments are recognized by winning Best of NeoCon 2022 Awards.

The winners were announced June 13 at NeoCon, the hub for the commercial design community and trade show for new commercial interiors products held annually at theMART in Chicago. Davis Furniture's Helio table (shown above) won the Gold award in the Tables: Occasional category. Now in its 32nd year, the program annually attracts hundreds of groundbreaking product submissions from leading manufacturers in the commercial design industry, which are judged in an intensive multi-day, in-person evaluation by an esteemed jury of influential architects, interior designers, facility managers, specifiers, and enterprise clients. The Best of NeoCon is directed by Eileen McMorrow, editor of The McMorrow Reports.

The Gridd adaptive cabling distribution system enables a building to adapt to inevitable technology changes, remain highly functional and operational, and saves money at every stage of its life cycle. An original contributor to the circular economy, Gridd’s fluid, modular design enables moves, adds, and changes without the mess of traditional cabling methods. If a facility manager can avoid contributing to the waste stream, that’s also an added benefit to the company’s ESG commitment.

The Gridd Mobile App makes it even easier for FMs, IT teams, electricians, and maintenance
personnel to make power and data cabling. Gridd Mobile provides augmented reality (AR),
technical support, as-built drawings, how-to videos, original site pictures, and product
information conveniently accessible on a smartphone or tablet.

The responsibilities of facility managers have been growing and evolving rapidly. With its global study, the 2022 FM Training Outlook Survey, the Professional Facility Management Institute (ProFMI) explored the need for FM training and credentials from both the management and staff points of view.

When it comes to addressing the FM skills gap, ProFMI identified 24 cross-functional competencies and FM knowledge areas required of FMs today. Many of these skills can be developed over time with on-the-job experience, but as the need for job-ready FMs grows, time is a limiting factor. Benchmarking existing knowledge and filling the gaps with training is an efficient path to a skilled workforce.

Our AI-powered platform provides you with the most comprehensive and accurate workplace utilization insights so you can design spaces that attract and retain employees and right-size your portfolio to make your CFO smile.

VergeSense workplace analytics are powered by deep-learning sensors that count people across the office. With this spatial intelligence platform, you can understand usage and occupancy of buildings, floors, seating areas, conference rooms, all the way down to individual desks. That data is analyzed in a workplace analytics dashboard and integrated into essential hybrid work software applications, like room and desk booking, room availability, employee mobile apps, IWMS and BMS tools and more. Companies use VergeSense to reduce or reinvest real estate, improve building operations, and create spaces where employees can thrive. The impact is reduced costs, higher productivity, improved culture and employee retention and better sustainability.
Mohawk Group's award-winning Social Canvas modular carpet collection speaks to the triumph of the human spirit. Using the work of artist Charlie French as a point of departure, this collection is a result of a collaboration with ArtLifting, an organization which champions artists who are impacted by disabilities or housing insecurity. ArtLifting provides a platform and creates opportunities for underrepresented artists to amplify their voices and participate in the contemporary art market.

Social Canvas conveys the expression and poignancy of Charlie French’s abstract painterly style, depicted in multiple styles, each viewed as a different canvas. This collection serves as a focal point, or artistic accent, to bring the warmth of the human spirit into spaces for all to feel welcome and supported.

This collection was awarded two Best of NeoCon awards: Gold and Sustainability, a HiP Award and Metropolis Likes Award at NeoCon 2022.
CoreNet Global has conducted a survey of its membership to gain insight into diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in corporate real estate (CRE). More than 400 respondents completed the survey, representing a mix of corporate real estate end users and service providers.

"We believe the results demonstrate that while the corporate real estate profession has not traditionally been diverse, it is moving forward in a positive direction," said Angela Cain, CEO of CoreNet Global. "Only by examining the issue and being honest with where we have been and where we are, can we implement solutions that will create greater positive change moving forward."

More than two-thirds of survey respondents (68 percent) think that the CRE profession has become more diverse in general over time.

Fast reads . . .
HMTX Industries debuted an innovative flooring product concept during NeoCon: SRP™ rigid core flooring, an alchemy of responsible beauty that will transform waste plastic bottles into innovative, responsible flooring. Approximately two waste plastic bottles (PET) are upcycled into each square foot of SRP flooring.
HMTX collaborated with Huntsman, a global manufacturer of differentiated chemicals and global leader in MDI-based polyurethanes, to create this groundbreaking solution in the flooring industry. Together with innovative chemistry, HMTX and Huntsman help alleviate the challenge of single-use plastics by integrating end-of-life waste plastic bottles into a fully recyclable, environmentally conscious solution.
HMTX will pursue multiple third-party certifications for SRP such as Declare labels, Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and Healthcare Product Declarations (HPDs), and FloorScore. The product is intended to enter the marketplace in 2023.
The national nonprofit Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings Alliance recently announced the 2022 Green Lease Leaders. Launched by IMT and the DOE Better Buildings Alliance in 2014, the Green Lease Leaders program sets the industry standard for what constitutes a green lease. Each year, the program recognizes U.S. and international landlords and tenants who modernize their leases to spur collaboration on energy efficiency, decarbonization, cost savings, health, and a range of other environmental and social issues.

This year the program expanded by 23% — a new record, according to IMT — and it released a new Platinum tier that recognizes companies for integrating high performance leasing and social equity practices into building operations. The Platinum requirements address five core areas: Health; Resilience; Economic Inclusion; Social Justice and Racial Equity; and Scope 3 Emission Reduction and Embodied Carbon. There are nine companies in the inaugural Platinum cohort.