Taking advantage of a relocation to go green: Brandywine Realty Trust and Reed Smith LLP

Photograph of room at Reed Smith

Reed Smith is optimizing lighting and HVAC, as well as plug and process load management

Landlord Challenge:

Brandywine Realty Trust wanted to maintain a top-performing, competitive building.

Tenant Challenge:

Reed Smith LLP, an international law firm, wanted to differentiate itself as a thought leader by committing to the health and wellness of its employees, its community, and its environment in a fiscally responsible way.


Three Logan Square, Philadelphia, PA Lease Type: Modified Gross (Tenant is billed by landlord for actual energy use)

Lease Type:

Modified Gross (Tenant is billed by landlord for actual energy use)

International law firm Reed Smith’s search for new office space in Philadelphia began primarily as a business move, motivated by the desire to reduce costs with a more efficient floor plan in a smaller space. Reed Smith soon found that leasing space in Three Logan, a premier Class A building in Philadelphia’s Center City, offered much more than an opportunity to reduce operating expenses – it had the potential to position Reed Smith as a sustainability leader and to set an example for the community.

"Innovators like Reed Smith who understand the connection between energy efficiency and providing the highest quality environment for their employees allow Brandywine to maintain and create competitive properties that are well positioned currently and for the future."

– Brad A. Molotsky, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Brandywine Realty Trust

After talking with Brad Molotsky of Brandywine, Reed Smith’s new landlord (and an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year in 2013 and 2014), leadership at Reed Smith in Philadelphia understood that relatively small changes in the design and build-out of the space could have a big impact on its energy efficiency and sustainability. Their vision for the Philadelphia office  included the health and wellness of employees, a positive impact on the company’s brand, and bottom-line benefits. With support from senior management and a clear goal of establishing Reed Smith’s office as a high-quality, sustainable workspace, personnel from all levels of the Firm – partners, associates, other professionals, and administrative staff – offered their support and ideas for the project.

Lessons Learned

  • Take advantage of a move or lease renewal to design and build a green, high-performance space.
  • Leverage the direct financial benefits of green, efficient space and, more importantly, the potential positive impact on employees, organizational brand, and community relations.
  • Designate a motivated and knowledgeable sustainability advocate who is adept at communicating benefits to all levels of the company.
  • Tenants: Consider asking your landlord for help in finding guidance and partners in your green build-out.

"Everyone benefits by embracing a new, better approach to designing space. When you consider that these opportunities only come up every decade or so, you have to really seize the moment before it passes."

– Len Bernstein, Managing Partner, Reed Smith, Philadelphia Office

To help guide the green build-out process, Reed Smith partnered with NRDC’s Center for Market Innovation (CMI) High-Performance Tenant Demonstration project. CMI prepared a package of recommendations,  including lighting, HVAC optimization, and plug and process load management, offering a projected 35% reduction in energy use compared to standard, code-compliant systems. The recommended best practices package included daylighting, occupancy sensors, ENERGY STAR equipment, smart power strips, variable frequency drives, and a high-performance lighting package. CMI estimates that it will take Reed Smith less than 2 years to earn back in energy savings the less than $300,000 initial investment, with savings accruing every year after that through the remainder of the 16-year lease.

For Brandywine the benefit is a strong relationship with a new  tenant and a more sustainable and valuable tenant space within an ENERGY STAR certified building (one of 114 for which Brandywine has earned ENERGY STAR certification in the last three years). Reed Smith’s highperformance, green build-out should also help Brandywine maintain Three Logan’s ENERGY STAR certification.

Reed Smith LLP interior