A Business-Friendly Approach to Urban Sustainability

Moira Quinn takes a look at Charlotte, North Carolina, where businesses and local government have teamed up to keep office buildings green as the central business district grows.

Over the past two years, a handful of major players in Charlotte have been developing a program intended to "demonstrate its leadership as a sustainable, progressive, cost-efficient place to do business," Quinn writes. Formed by institutions in the public, private, academic, and nonprofit sectors, Envision Charlotte provides building owners with hard data on resource consumption to help steer their tenants toward greener habits.

The first model program within Envision Charlotte, dubbed Smart Energy Now, pools the resources of Verizon, Cisco, and Charlotte-based Duke Energy to monitor energy use in 70 buildings in the Uptown area. Each property owner will receive a report outlining building-specific energy use, and aggregated numbers will be released to the public.

"The information gained will have a profound impact on how a community, property owner, tenant, and individual will view and utilize electricity," said Michael Delev, property manager for a 25-story, Class A office tower located in Uptown.

Smart Energy Now includes commercial spaces as small as 10,000 square feet. "Individual building owners have the ability to make an impact in our community in a significant way," said property owner and businessman Dan Roselli. "Taking a building built in 1928 as a parking garage and turning it into a LEED building shows that every building has the potential to decrease its environmental footprint.

Model programs monitoring water usage, waste, and air quality are soon to come.

Full Story: Envision Charlotte

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