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Thomas Properties Group, Inc. Finds ``It's Good to Be Green;'' Gains Two More Major Green Awards for Joe Serna Jr.-Cal/EPA Headquarters Building

First Highrise Platinum Certification from U.S. Green Building Council and Governor Schwarzenegger's Environmental Leadership Award

The Joe Serna Jr.-Cal/EPA Headquarters Building in downtown Sacramento, developed and operated by Thomas Properties Group (Nasdaq:TPGI), has won two additional major green building awards -- the first highrise platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design -- Existing Building category, and California's highest and most prestigious environmental recognition, the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award.

The 25-story, 950,000-square-foot building earlier this year won the 2004 Earth Award from the Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA) and was designated as one of the most energy efficient highrises in the nation by Energy Star, a program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"This project has shown us that green practices are not only good for the planet but for the State's bottom line," said Randall L. Scott, executive vice president of Thomas Properties Group, who leads its asset management team. He notes, "The California Environmental Protection Agency actively encourages our efforts by helping coordinate sustainability initiatives and by being flexible in its utilization of the building." He further pointed out that the City of Sacramento, as owner of the building, provides the necessary sponsorship to try new ideas.

Since development of the project began, Cal/EPA, the City of Sacramento and Thomas Properties Group have viewed the building as a working laboratory for green practices in a Class A highrise, Scott added. "This is the type of building most often occupied by corporate and professional America and we can offer solid evidence that being green pays," he said.

"This is the greenest highrise in the nation," according to the announcement from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's office citing the building's leadership in state-of-the-art green operating practices. The Cal/EPA headquarters not only received an award, but also hosted this year's Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership awards ceremonies.

Green building practices have significantly reduced operating expenses and management challenges at the Cal/EPA facility, according to Scott. He said that bottom line savings are approximately $1 per square foot compared with other downtown Sacramento building averages, or more than $1 million annually. In addition, according to a report commissioned by the State of California, productivity gains resulting from green building strategies should bring significant, long-term dollar savings to the building's tenant.

The Cal/EPA Headquarters is Sacramento's largest highrise. A public/private partnership between the City of Sacramento and Thomas Properties Group, the project development team included architects AC Martin Partners, mechanical-electrical engineers Levine Seegel Associates, interior designers IA Corporation, and construction manager Turner Construction Corporation. The building was designed and built using sustainable, yet economically competitive technologies, materials, methods and processes, such as advanced cooling and ventilation systems, photovoltaic co-generation, high-efficiency glass and curtain wall components and low-gas and recycled construction products.

Thomas Properties Group enhanced the green building design and construction by implementing an aggressive program of green operating techniques, reported Craig Sheehy, director of property management for Thomas Properties Group. "We hope that this example will lead to serious consideration by major tenants to use green building techniques and materials for construction of their office and industrial spaces and to implement green building management practices for long-term savings and employee health," concludes Sheehy.

Green operating features at the Cal/EPA headquarters include:

  • A comprehensive indoor air quality program involving janitorial, landscape and maintenance practices that use non-toxic, odor-free and biodegradable products enabling the EPA to lead by example;
  • A daytime janitorial system, lowering electrical consumption, reducing the number of tenant service calls, and reducing janitorial staff turnover substantially;
  • An aggressive recycling program that reduces the building's waste hauling costs and serves as a source of non-rental revenue; and
  • A vermi-composting system -- using worms that last year devoured 10 tons of organic materials generated during food preparation in the on-site cafeteria -- that creates a nutrient rich soil amendment for the building's landscaping.

About Thomas Properties Group, Inc.

Founded in 1996 by James A. Thomas, Thomas Properties Group acquires, develops and manages commercial real estate throughout the United States for its own portfolio as well as third party and institutional investors. The firm owns and manages more than seven million square feet of office and retail space with an additional five million square feet in pre-development. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Thomas Properties Group maintains offices in Philadelphia, Sacramento, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. More information is available at www.thomaspropertiesgroup.com and www.calepa.ca.gov.

SOURCE: Thomas Properties Group, Inc.

Thomas Properties Group
Barbara Casey, 310-396-2400

 

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