Akridge is a full-service commercial real estate firm in Washington, DC that endeavors to lead the industry in sustainability within its offices, building portfolio and community. The company has provided development, property management, construction management, leasing, acquisition and commissioning services since 1976, and currently manages more than six million square feet of office space with a value of over $3 billion. Numerous awards for smart growth and green practices chronicle the company's effective focus on conserving energy, reducing the waste stream, curtailing pollution and supporting ecologically sound development throughout the area. New projects utilize the latest building innovations to minimize resource consumption, safeguard air quality and reduce wastewater. Existing buildings are continually upgraded to reduce their carbon footprint, and building maintenance incorporates preferred status for vendors and contractors using green products and practices. Property management educates and supports building Clients in ways to green their offices and their activities. An internal Green Team explores, shares and implements new ideas in environmental responsibility. And the company is a major contributor to outside organizations that also promote sustainable initiatives.
Akridge has embraced the ENERGY STAR program and incorporated its benchmarking process across the company's 36-building portfolio. By the middle of 2009, Akridge had achieved an overall reduction in energy use of more than 12 percent compared to the baseline. The company had also achieved an average ENERGY STAR rating of 77 for its owned building portfolio an increase of 10 from baseline and reduced its average source energy intensity to 253 kBtu/SF, eliminating nearly 9000 tons of CO2 emissions per year and generating significant savings for Clients. Akridge conducts thorough reviews of each building, with the goal of identifying every opportunity to conserve. Among other initiatives, the company has optimized systems, changed light bulbs to energy-efficient compact fluorescents, adjusted operations times and ensured all equipment and appliances are ENERGY STAR qualified. Infrared testing is used to identify any areas of energy escape from the building, and thinning insulation is bolstered where gaps are found. To date, 11 Akridge-managed properties have achieved ENERGY STAR labels.
Akridge's successful pursuit of energy efficiency is due in large part to the commitment of the company's executives, including Chairman Chip Akridge, President Matt Klein and Senior Vice President Kathy Barnes, who manage this initiative with the support of Chief Engineer Eddy Alvarado, who serves as the company's Energy Conservation Leader and as primary contact with the ENERGY STAR program. Mr. Alvarado is Akridge's leading resource for information on new energy conservation technologies and the benchmarking process. An internal committee, the Akridge Green Team, further investigates, educates, communicates and activates green ideals and practices throughout the company and its portfolio to continually reduce consumption.
But the firm's efforts do not stop with changes to operations and technologies. Akridge also incorporates a comprehensive communications program to educate building Clients about reducing energy consumption reminding people to turn off lights, recycle or put computers in sleep mode, and delivering appropriate gifts like reusable shopping bags and compact fluorescent light bulbs. And nearly 200 Akridge employees maintain a focus on sustainability every day, incorporating environmental responsibility into their homes as well as their workplace.
Akridge is committed to a long-term vision in which commercial real estate uses new technology and conscientious planning to minimize negative environmental impacts on the city, the region and the planet.