CHICAGO, IL - Arden Realty lnc.'s decision to put Siemens Building Technologies Inc.'s energy management expertise to work in over 30 of its building properties has resulted in record-level energy savings while helping to earn the real estate firm national recognition in the federal government's Energy Star program.

To date, Arden, Southern California's largest commercial office landlord with over 20 million square feet in 253 buildings, is saving $3,500,000 annually in energy costs across its portfolio. The savings derive from a combination of energy saving initiatives and operating efficiencies designed to reduce energy consumption. The energy program was designed and directed by Arden's own staff, including Robert C. Accomando PE, first vice president, asset management, Greg Husebye, vice president of engineering, Duane Lappinga, senior project manager and James Bryan, regional engineer. Implementation was made possible by the contributions of 124 regional, chief, and building engineers.

A strategic alliance with Siemens Building Technologies, which included the installation of energy management systems in many of Arden Realty's buildings, played an important part in the savings achieved. The combined initiatives, says Accomando, have provided the firm with a sizable return on its investment. "The measures we have implemented," he says, "have reduced our net operating expenses significantly, while arming us with powerful information about the way we operate our facilities. The lighting control measures alone, Accomando says, "are showing a drop in lighting costs of 65% when and where they are applied. As a result, we've strengthened our competitive edge and widened the distance from our competitors."

The energy conservation measures included the installation of numerous System 600 building automation systems (BAS) to integrate the control and monitoring of various building systems, such as HVAC, lighting and fire/life safety. Siemens also made extensive mechanical equipment modifications and retrofits to each facility as needed, including after-hour tenant billing systems, to achieve the optimum in both energy efficiency and overall building performance.

A major benefit of choosing Siemens as Arden's service provider of choice, says Husebye, is the value of one, reliable system throughout Arden's five regions and 1 1 9 operating engineers. As Husebye explains, "We want to consolidate BAS throughout our facilities; it makes good business sense for us. We can then apply successful energysaving techniques from one building to another, which is what we're doing now. Technical training for our engineers is also much simpler and less costly. But, we had to be comfortable that Siemens was the right choice, with the reputation and resources to meet our needs. As a result, consolidation has proved to be extremely beneficial for us."

Bryan explained that Arden Realty's achievements received national recognition through the "2000 Buildings - Commercial Real Estate Owner of the Year" Energy Star Program label presented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) earlier this year. "Arden Realty earned the federal government's highest recognition for energy efficiency and environmental conservation by owning the most energy-efficient buildings in one portfolio," Bryan said. Under the Energy Star program, buildings must meet rigorous performance criteria, monitored through a formal computerized program and compared against over 4,000 buildings in terms of use, climate, occupant density, loads and operating hours. To date, Arden Realty has earned 60 energy star awards.

Lappinga sees these latest results as the tip of an energy-conservation iceberg for Arden. "I believe we're on the brink of a controls revolution," he concludes. "We've made major strides in developing new strategies for data acquisition, many of which are counterintuitive. The most useful tool is the information we're building on facility control and management. We're very excited about the potential for future gains."

For more information, visit the Siemens Building Technologies Website at

Publication date: 02/19/2001