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3. Leading Practices for Building Energy Efficiency: Metrics, Monitoring & Incen

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Hear how key performance measures, monitoring, and incentive structures have helped Adobe Systems achieve an ENERGY STAR rating of 100 and save $4.4 million annually at their two million sq. ft. headquarters complex.


Leading Practices for Building Energy Efficiency:
Management Metrics, Monitoring, and Incentive Structures


  • George Denise,Global Account Manager for Cushman & Wakefield, at Adobe Systems
  • Michael Zatz,Chief, Market Sectors Group, ENERGY STAR® Commercial Buildings Program
  • Don Bray,President, AltaTerra Research


Building energy efficiency has become a priority for many large organizations, representing an excellent way to improve both financial and environmental performance. Yet an effective program for improving efficiency requires a detailed understanding of how and where energy is used, and relative measures of energy performance.

Energy use baselines and benchmarks are critical first steps. And key to on-going success are effective management metrics, monitoring processes, and incentive structures – that work for the parties involved – owner, manager, and tenant. Successful commercial practitioners utilize multiple metrics, ranging from simple intensity measures to those based on sophisticated energy monitoring and trend analyses.

Presenting in this independent online conference are George Denise of Cushman & Wakefield, global facilities management account manager a tAdobe Systems, and Michael Zatz, Chief, Market Sectors Group, ENERGY STAR® Commercial Buildings Program. They will discuss how key performance measures, monitoring, and incentive structures enable year-over-year efficiency improvements and financial savings.

In 2011, each of Adobe System’s three office towers at its 2 million sq ft headquarters location in San Jose, California achieved a U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR Rating of 100, up from an average score of 78 when first entering the ENERGY STAR program. Through efficiency improvement efforts over the past several years, Adobe has achieved $4.4M in annual savings across 140 different energy and sustainability projects, with an average 2.4 year payback. In addition, the three towers are each LEED-EB Platinum rated, and have been recognized by California'sFlex Your Powerprogram as "Best Overall" for Best Practices in Energy Management for Commercial Office Buildings in the State of California.

George will present on the comprehensive energy efficiency program at Adobe, and discuss how new facility performance metrics can be incorporated into existing facility management processes. He will describe a set of 14 key management measures and data monitoring processes that have helped Adobe become a recognized leader in building energy efficiency. He will also share perspectives on incentive structures, and describe Cushman’s performance-based bonus model where employees are rewarded for hitting specific metric-based targets.

Mike will discuss the foundational role of the US EPA’s ENERGY STAR program in advancing energy efficiency in buildings. He will describe adoption and certification trends for ENERGY STAR in commercial buildings, significant development plans for the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager™ platform, and the role of Energy Star ratings in emerging state and local disclosure requirements. He will also offer his perspective on potential future developments related to water metrics and benchmarking.

In this online conference, the following questions will be addressed:

  • What are the ‘business drivers’ for energy efficiency in facilities?
  • How is building energy efficiency and relative performance effectively measured? At what levels of ‘granularity’?
  • What are critical first steps? And what are advanced practices?
  • What tools are available for tracking energy use and benchmarking building performance, at summary and detailed levels?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of these approaches?
  • What type of information is most useful in supporting current/proposed energy efficiency investments? Verification?
  • What are the trends in state and local disclosure requirements, and implications for building energy management?
  • Are new metrics emerging for tracking and encouraging efficiency? How are these metrics measured?
  • Does it make sense to tie employee/manager compensation to meeting efficiency metrics? Has this been done successfully? What are the risks?
  • How are facility efficiency leaders measuring their performance? Can I realistically do the same?
  • What is the value of continuing to improve an ‘Energy Star Certified’ building?

The briefing will be moderated by Don Bray, president ofAltaTerra Research, who provide an overview of energy management processes in facilities, and set context for the presentations by George and Michael.

Time will be reserved at the end of the session for questions and moderated discussion.

Who Should Attend

Professionals in:
  • Corporate Facilities/Infrastructure Management
  • Facility Managers
  • Corporate Sustainability
  • Enterprise Environmental Policy
  • Efficiency Experts

    Reference Materials

    After the event, you will receive a full copy of the presentation slides in PDF format and on-demand access to an event recording.

    About the Presenters

    George Denise is global account manager for Cushman & Wakefield, providing facility management services for Adobe Systems Incorporated, overseeing a portfolio of 55 properties totaling 3.2 million square feet. As an advocate for energy conservation, sustainability and operating efficiency in buildings, George has been instrumental in the certification of nine Adobe buildings through the USGBC’s LEED program, seven at the Platinum level. He and/or the buildings under his management are recipients of the BOMA International Earth Award, the CoreNEt Global Susstainable Leadership Award, the IFMA Sheila Sheridan Award for Sustainability, the AEE Environmental Project of the Year Award, and the California Governor’s Energy and Economic Leadership Award. Mr. Denise is an LEED-accredited professional through the USGBC. He is a former President of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Silicon Valley; he was a member of the BOMA Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP) Task force, and a member of BOMA International’s Green Lease Task Force that created BOMA’s Green Lease Guide.

    Michael Zatz is a manager with the U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR Commercial Buildings Program, where he oversees the development and implementation of activities aimed at improving the energy efficiency of a wide variety of building types, including office buildings, K-12 schools, multifamily residences, retail stores, healthcare facilities, hotels, data centers, congregations, and others. Mike is responsible for oversight of ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager energy benchmarking tool, which has been used by nearly 300,000 buildings across the U.S. to evaluate and track their energy use. Mike joined ENERGY STAR in February 2006, and prior to that he spent nearly 14 years with ICF Consulting, a private environmental and energy consulting firm. He has an M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.S. in Engineering and Public Policy from Washington University in St. Louis.

    Don Bray is cofounder and president of AltaTerra Research. He has led a broad range of market research and consulting engagements in corporate sustainability, green IT, carbon management, and renewable energy systems. He is a frequent author, speaker, and discussion moderator on emerging solutions for energy efficiency and corporate sustainability. Prior to AltaTerra, Don served as a managing partner for Accenture. He continues to be actively involved in energy and environment related initiatives with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. Don earned a master’s degree in engineering management from Stanford University, and a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of California at Davis.

    Can't Attend?

    Unable to participate in the live event? Go ahead and register now and receive access to the presentation materials and on-demand access to a recording of the live event at the same time as other registrants (often the same day as the event itself, or shortly after). Information for accessing the presentation materials and on-demand recording will be emailed to you directly. You'll also receive login and dial in information for the live event, so if your plans change, you can join us live. And, when you register early, you'll save money with our reduced early-bird registration rates.

    Event Registration Fees

    Registration is free to this event.

    System Requirements

    PC-based attendees
    Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

    Macintosh®-based attendees
    Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

    About AltaTerra Research Briefings

    AltaTerra Research Briefings are designed to provide independent professional education on critical market developments in efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable business. Recognized experts from the business community, institutions, and government share information and insights in an accessible conference session format that is interactive and non-sponsored (unless otherwise specified). Briefings typically begin with an overview, then move into greater detail, and close with a moderated audience question-and-answer (Q&A) period. After the live briefing, on-demand access to the recording, including audio and presentations, is provided to registrants and available for sale.

    About AltaTerra Research

    AltaTerra Research is an independent market research and education firm focused on high-value solutions for resource efficiency, clean energy, and sustainable business. We help forward-looking organizations leverage the latest marketplace developments, to achieve real operational savings and capitalize on new growth opportunities. More information is available at

    Photo Credit: Adobe Systems Headquarters, San Jose, CA; William Porter, Photographer

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