NORWALK, CT-Three of the six buildings at the Merritt 7 Corporate Park here have received the Energy Star award from the US Environmental Protection Agency, according to the property’s managing and leasing agent Albert D. Phelps. The other three buildings at the 1.4-million sf office complex are expected to reach levels shortly that would qualify for the Energy Star designation.

Merritt 7 received Energy Star awards for Buildings 201, 301 and 401. Buildings 101, 501 and 601 are expected to reach Energy Star levels sometime this month. To receive the Energy Star Award, Merritt 7 is using approximately 35% less energy than average buildings. Company officials say that Merritt 7 is the first office property in the State of Connecticut to earn Energy Star status.

“We are pleased to accept EPA’s Energy Star in recognition of the energy efficiency efforts put forth at Merritt 7,” says John Crosby, chairman and CEO of Albert D. Phelps, Inc. “Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs.”

Albert Phelps, and ING Clarion, the property owner and asset manager of the Merritt 7, initiated a program several years ago to make the buildings more energy efficient. A number of building upgrades and property equipment maintenance programs were completed, including replacement of HVAC fans, water pumps, garage and common area lighting and lighting fixtures with new tenant installations, as well as generator and elevator mechanical equipment upgrades and replacement of the cooling towers at Buildings 101, 201 and 301. Merritt 7 Corporate Park is owned by Merritt 7 Venture, LLC, a joint venture between New York State Teachers’ Retirement System and Fairfield Investors Inc.

In addition, company officials add that Merritt 7 participated in a demand response program with Connecticut Light & Power, part of an effort to avoid summer energy brown outs. It requires each building shed 100 kilowatts of electricity within 30 minutes notice and in exchange, CL&P provides Merritt 7 with credit based on the decrease in kilowatt-hours.

Merritt 7 also installed CL&P data recording/metering devices to enable the landlord to monitor electrical consumption and provide control of unusual conditions or spikes in electrical usage. The property is also part of the CL&P RCX Project, another energy-saving initiative that involves further analysis of the energy requirements of the park.

“The desire for environmentally friendly buildings is expanding rapidly and energy efficiency is a critical element of green buildings,” says Margaret Egan, VP of ING Clarion. “We are proud to be a part of this new generation of office buildings that make sense for our environment and the bottom line. The Energy Star label is a great way for Merritt 7 to be recognized and awarded for our proactive energy efficiency efforts.”

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