Alec Manfre AlecManfre

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Los Angeles has presented its own version of the Green New Deal.The sustainability plan is to increase the city's current energyreduction goals. Overall, the plan aims to move the city's power to55% renewable energy sources by 2025, 80% by 2036, and 100% by2045. For commercial real estate specifically, the plan requiresproperty owners reduce building energy consumption by 22% persquare foot by 2025, 34% by 2035 and 44% by 2050.

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“As cities are passing or contemplating passing legislation todrive efficiency in buildings, from the owners' perspective thebase of goals is within a reasonable framework and can help themachieve attractive returns back from those investments,”Alec Manfre, CEO of smart building softwarecompany Bractlet, tells GlobeSt.com. “Overall, thegoals that cities are setting out are exciting, and I think thatowners can view them as a win-win for the city and its goals aswell as the building and the value that is attached to them.”

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Local green legislation is becoming more popular, but Manfresays that cities need to make sure to balance the needs ofenvironmental efforts and goals with the goals of the owner.“Something that cities need to keep in mind when draftinglegislation is that not all buildings are the same,” he says. “Ithink that a lot of times, if you are not within the industry, youthink it is easy or reasonable to reduce building consumption by20% or 30%, but it is important to understand how the building wasdesigned, the infrastructure and the demand on the buildings.”

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Understanding the building usage is among the most importantdetails for cities to consider. Office buildings are becomingdenser and tenants need access to a broad range of tools andtechnology. “The type of tenant that owners have to satisfy haschanged, and the density within the space has changed,” addsManfre. “That has put different loads on the systems. When you arelooking at ways to enact policy, you have to keep that inmind.”

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While the new legislation would make energy reduction arequirement, many owners have already started down that path,largely because they see the benefits of more efficient systems.However, for some owners, implementing changes can be challenging.“In large commercial buildings, there are many ways that equipmentand systems can be run more efficiently and more effectively,”Manfre. “For building owners looking at buildings, that can be adaunting task. The technology that they have at their disposable todrive those types of optimizations can be challenging.”

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Companies like Bractlet, however, are on hand to help guideowners through energy upgrades and the new legislation. “We set outto create a business that created value despite regulation. Thatcan always help,” says Manfre. “To truly solve reduction inemissions or to create energy efficiency, you have to be able tomake a strong economic argument. The focus of our business ishelping them understand how to use energy efficiency and costsavings to drive better value. If you can impact those economics,that makes what we are trying to do scalable.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.