Crown Plaza, a 280,000 square foot office building in the Melvin Mark Companies real estate portfolio, has earned a 3 Globes award from the Green Building Initiative for achievements in sustainable operations. This is Melvin Mark Companies’ second green certification from the Green Building Initiative in less than one year.
“Crown Plaza was built in 1970 and is a great example of how an older building can be operated in a sustainable manner,” said Jim Mark, chief executive officer, Melvin Mark Companies. “It has long been our policy to use management practices that create high performance work environments for tenants, use energy efficiently, and help us manage our operating costs, which keeps our buildings profitable and competitive.”
Crown Plaza, Oregon
Since 1994, the Crown Plaza ownership group has invested more than $800,000 in Crown Plaza to lower its carbon footprint, improve its energy efficiency to lower operating costs and improve the building’s performance to enhance tenant comfort. Mark estimates that these improvements are saving 1,308,849 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, which equals roughly $104,707 in cost savings.
Located at 1500 SW First Avenue, Crown Plaza is home to 38 tenants, including SAIF Corporation, Oregon’s state-chartered, not-for-profit workers’ compensation insurer, which selected the building in 2009 as the site of its Portland office. SAIF chose Crown Plaza in part because of the building’s commitment to sustainable management practices. SAIF itself received a Climate Champions Award from the City of Portland’s BEST Program, which recognizes businesses that have gone above and beyond in their efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
To earn the 3 Globes rating, Crown Plaza received an overall score of 79 percent. The building was evaluated in six categories: energy, water, resources, emissions, indoor environment and environmental management systems. Among the company’s most notable achievements at Crown Plaza: a reduction in ozone-depleting refrigerants through the installation of a more efficient chiller; a comprehensive lighting retrofit in the garage and in the building with high efficiency fixtures, motion detectors, and LED lights; and a Building Automation System to adjust the building’s heating and cooling with the outside temperature. The building takes part in Portland General Electric’s Clean Wind-Green Tags program, which purchases clean wind power, and is ENERGY STAR® certified. A strong recycling program to reduce building waste allows tenants to recycle paper, metal, glass, e-waste and construction waste. Right now, recycling programs at Crown Plaza keep 55-65 percent of these materials out of the waste stream.
“Reaching our state’s environmental goals can be met through these types of conservation measures,” continued Mark. “And by seeking green certifications, we let tenants know we’re making smart choices in building management. Plus, we’re able to benchmark and monitor building environmental performance to make sure we’re doing our part and find ways we can continue to make improvements.”
Melvin Mark’s Columbia Square building was its first Green Globes recipient in July 2009, and was the first existing building in the nation to be awarded the highest 4 Globes rating.