A Holistic Approach to Performance Audits

Many of our clients have attained LEED, WELL, WiredScore, or other comparable certifications. We’re proud of our clients for these individual achievements, and proud of our role in making these achievements possible.

I talk a lot about smart buildings, and those are always a worthy goal.

Our newest effort, however, reflects a more holistic view of building performance: We are introducing an auditing program that measures four criteria ­– indoor air quality, building automation systems (BAS) and telecommunications infrastructure, sustainability, and execution (workflows and use of data).

Real estate owner Third Millennium Group served as the program’s “guinea pig.” We compiled a team of experts in building automation systems, sustainability, and facilities management to conduct inaugural audits at two Third Millennium properties in Chicago: 540 West Madison and 300 South Riverside.

Senior principal Val Loh represented Syska’s information and communication technology (ICT) practice on the auditing team, and he explains the thinking behind the new program: “I talk a lot about smart buildings, and those are always a worthy goal,” he says. “But an exceptionally smart building will seamlessly integrate its energy tracking and conservation measures with its air quality initiatives, IoT applications, ICT, and BAS. We’re aiming for genius buildings these days.”

The audits revealed that the two Third Millennium buildings are close to ‘genius’ standard. Syska issued “scorecards” with grades of one A and three A-minuses for 540 West and two As and two A-minuses for 300 South. Third Millennium is now applying lessons learned to further improve the metrics. For instance, operations staff at both buildings are tracking kilowatt hours and water usage more closely and reviewing recycling initiatives with tenants.

Prospective and existing tenants have shown great interest in the metrics, notes Celeste Villanueva, assistant general manager at Third Millennium. “It’s a tenants’ market,” she points out. “They have their choice of space. And when they compare buildings, they’re looking beyond aesthetics and location. They want to see strong performance across systems and infrastructure – along with proof of that performance. That’s why we love the scorecards.”

Third Millennium plans to repeat the auditing process yearly. For more information on the auditing program, please contact Tom Grimard or Christian Nazon at Tgrimard@syska.com or cnazon@syska.com

We’re aiming for genius buildings these days.