New Hub will connect the local real estate community to help build and operate better buildings, comply with Building Energy Performance Standards, and create local jobs.
WASHINGTON, DC (October 27, 2020)—As the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the business of commercial real estate across the country, the District of Columbia is preparing to not only reopen its buildings safely, but is also laying the groundwork for many longer-term community benefits via first-in-the-nation legislation that requires building performance improvements. To help, today the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) is launching the Building Innovation Hub to provide critical support for the District’s real estate community to improve buildings across the District and substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Created with support from the administration of Mayor Muriel Bowser and the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), the Hub will provide peer connections and actionable resources to help real estate professionals:
- lower energy-related operating costs
- increase market competitiveness
- create more resilient and healthier properties
- comply with first-in-the-nation building energy performance laws
- meet the District’s ambitious climate and green building goals
“For more than 10 years, the District has led the nation in passing innovative, first-of-their-kind policies that challenge building owners and property managers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build a more sustainable city,” said DOEE Director Tommy Wells. “Our support of the launch of the Building Innovation Hub reinforces our commitment to helping the real estate community maintain its competitive edge while meeting our joint climate goals, investing in local projects, creating robust local jobs, and creating the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the United States.”
““Our support of the launch of the Building Innovation Hub reinforces our commitment to helping the real estate community maintain its competitive edge while meeting our joint climate goals, investing in local projects, creating robust local jobs, and creating the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the United States.Tommy Wells, DOEE Director
“IMT is pleased to be part of this ground-breaking effort to help the District’s real estate community connect to each other and to local experts to overcome barriers to creating high-performing buildings,” said Lotte Schlegel, executive director of IMT. “We know that strategic building improvements can not only lower energy use, but also save critical operating dollars while making buildings healthier for their occupants, adding jobs to our city’s economy, and lowering associated pollution. It’s time for buildings to support the people in them and the community around them, and we’re excited to be helping the DC community take the lead.”
“IMT is pleased to be part of this ground-breaking effort to help the District’s real estate community connect to each other and to local experts to overcome barriers to creating high-performing buildings.Lotte Schlegel, IMT executive director
Building Innovation Hub supports new building energy standards and pandemic recovery
When the District of Columbia passed the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018, a key pillar was creation of the first-ever Building Energy Performance Standards—which establish thresholds of minimum energy efficiency—for large commercial and multifamily buildings across the District. To support the commercial real estate community in meeting these standards, DOEE funded IMT to create and launch the Building Innovation Hub. IMT has been engaged in the development of the District’s BEPS from the start and is a nationwide leader in developing this new policy type with additional cities across the U.S.
Led by Director Lindsey Falasca, a former architect with a decade of experience in District commercial real estate, the Building Innovation Hub intends to help the District’s real estate owners and operators not only deliver on lower building emissions, but also on long-term recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have an opportunity to fundamentally transform the business of real estate in DC. Through the Building Innovation Hub, my goal is to make District buildings better in ways that also make them more resilient for the future and more responsive to community needs,” Falasca says. “We have already received tremendous support from local commercial real estate professionals, and we look forward to continued collaboration and ideas exchange.”
The Building Innovation Hub will provide resources on building performance improvements and maintenance tailored to building owners, developers, contractors, designers, operators, and tenants. Resources range from concept overviews to detailed action guides, including equitable procurement guides and case studies in market leadership. In addition, a core focus of the Hub is to facilitate industry conversations. This will include several targeted kickoff events with organizations including the Apartment & Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington (AOBA) and the U.S. Green Building Council National Capital Region.
As part of its kickoff, the Hub will be forming an Advisory Board comprised of the people it serves: building owners, operators, designers, service providers, contractors, and other building industry professionals. To learn more about the nominating process, visit www.buildinginnovationhub.org/getinvolved.
In addition, IMT is now hiring an Associate Director of Outreach and Engagement for the Building Innovation Hub to help lead the Hub’s educational programming, resource development, and community engagement. To learn more, visit imt.org/jobs.
The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that aims to decarbonize buildings by catalyzing widespread and sustained demand for high-performance buildings. Founded in 1996 and based in Washington, D.C., IMT leverages its expertise in the intersection of real estate and public policy to make buildings more productive, affordable, valuable, and resilient.
A trusted, non-partisan leader, IMT focuses on innovative and pragmatic solutions that fuel greater investment in high-performance buildings to meet local market priorities. IMT offers hands-on technical assistance and market research, alongside expertise in policy and program development and deployment and promotion of best practices and knowledge exchange. Its efforts lead to important policy outcomes, widespread changes in real estate practices, and lasting market demand for energy efficiency—resulting in greater benefits for all people, the economy, and the environment.