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NEWARK-Advance Realty’s One Gateway Center was among 23 properties honored recently by BOMA International in its first class of 360 Performance Buildings. The award recognizes high achievement in property management and operations.

To attain the designation, buildings are evaluated on life safety/security/risk management, training and education, energy, environmental/sustainability, as well as tenant relations/community involvement. The process rates a building and its management on everything from water usage to evacuation drills and professional development plans.

“With this recognition, these designees are sending a message to their owners, tenants, prospective tenants and communities that they are optimizing building performance at every level,” says BOMA International vice chair Ray H. Mackey Jr., chief operating officer and partner, Stream Realty Partners LP, in a statement.

Rick Zack, general manager of the 26-story, 466,919-square-foot building, tells GlobeSt.com that in the past two years, the property has instituted a number of cost savings measures, such as installing a $50,000 optical turnstile that eliminates the need for security guards. Instead, workers and visitors can check in via badges. “It creates additional security for us,” he notes. “Tenants also have the ability to pre-clear all their visitors through the Internet. It also helps with our emergency preparedness because we are able to see how many visitors are in the building, including guests of vendors, contractors, delivery people–it’s all linked together.”

Regarding sustainability, Advance now employs a recycling system that allows tenants to commingle their refuse, which “makes it easier for everyone to participate,” Zack says. Also, the firm purchases green cleaning supplies and uses energy saving cleaning techniques, such as cleaning one floor at a time and shutting off the lights as the cleaning crew moves from floor to floor. “There is a perception with green initiatives that there is large upfront costs or increased ongoing costs, but I haven’t seen that,” Zack says. “With a little homework, you can get a lot of these items for the same or less” than non-green products. Advance has also partnered with NJ Transit to promote commuting options, taking advantage of the building’s connection to Newark Penn Station.

In an overarching sense, these programs are an outgrowth of property managers trying to provide services while protecting the bottom line in recessionary times. “Property managers right now are being put under the microscope more than we used to be,” Zack says. “Everybody is being asked to do more with less.”

Consequently, properties managers can employ strategies such as running only one elevator at night or replacing mechanical components with more efficient models, thereby driving down utility costs, “which are extremely high,” Zack states. “That is a line item in everyone’s budget that is being scrutinized.”

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