Return to ENERGY
Find More Facilities
ENERGY STAR Labeled Buildings & Plants
Facility Profile ENERGY STAR Logo

ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile

185 Commerce Drive
185 Commerce Dr.
Ft. Washington, PA 19034
Map It!


185 Commerce Drive in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania is a single story 42,000-square-foot commercial office building. The building, constructed in 1958, is owned and managed by 185 Whitemarsh Partners, L.P. The tenants include corporate and commercial offices, an internet/retail book store, and a ministry. The cornerstone tenant is CM3 Building Solutions, Inc., an energy management firm that operates in six primary business segments ? Energy Services Contracting (ESCO); Building Automation Systems; Security Systems; IT Solutions; HVAC/Building Automation Services; and Parts Sales.

The facility was acquired by 185 Whitemarsh Partners in 2010 and was in need of a new roof, exterior renovations, significant interior remodeling, and mechanical and electrical systems repairs. The commercial offices were vacant for an extended period of time prior to the acquisition.

Recognizing the potential to improve the energy efficiency and financial performance of the facility, 185 Whitemarsh Partners and CM3 developed a plan to renovate the building. As an ESCO, CM3 was able to apply their expertise in energy conservation, develop a strategy, and implement energy conservation measures (ECM's) and renovations to enhance the occupied space and achieve superior energy performance. Implementation is ongoing and some of the ECM's follow.

The first measure implemented was the roof repairs. The roof was in seriously poor condition requiring a complete deconstruction of the old membrane and wet wood fiberboard insulation. New polyisocyanurate insulation was applied and white membrane was installed to improve the summer cooling insulation.


Before the commercial spaces could be occupied, lighting repairs were necessary. Any defective fixtures were repaired or replaced. CM3 opted to upgrade the lighting in their suite to energy efficient lighting that also provides higher light levels. The goal was to improve efficiency, work environment, and aesthetics while creating a showcase that CM3 could use to demonstrate various lighting options to their prospective clients.

Solar Light Tube technology installed during the roof renovation allows CM3 to harvest daylight in areas that otherwise have no exterior exposures. This technology utilizes a lens on the roof that allows sunlight to be collected and transmitted through a metal tube with a highly reflective interior surface. On sunny days, the solar tubes produce more than sufficient light so that occupants can work with no need to turn on their lights. Even on cloudy days, the solar tubes produce a significant amount of ambient light. Future plans include installation of a lighting control system to maintain consistent light levels and reduce energy consumption when daylight can be utilized to light the space.

When the property was acquired, the heating and air conditioning equipment was in a state of disrepair. Each of the rooftop HVAC units were serviced and re-commissioned. This involved refurbishing the units to operate within the original design parameters, including complete diagnostics, sealing ductwork, coil cleaning, belt replacements, filter replacements, and upgrade of existing equipment where feasible.

Refrigeration compressors and burners were metered and checked for efficiency. Defective equipment was replaced. Because there had been many tenant changes over the 50 years before the acquisition, the air distribution needed to be evaluated and modified to meet the requirements of the new and current tenants.

Since one of CM3's core businesses is the installation and service of Building Automation Systems (BAS) and Automatic Temperature Control Systems (ATC), installation of a Web-based Building Automation System is ongoing. The system will include comprehensive energy management, tenant metering of utilities, both gas and electric, centralized temperature control, scheduling of all building systems, remote monitoring, and equipment alarms. Plans include the complete integration of all building systems on the IT platform. With this level of integration, CM3's suite will truly be a "Smart Suite," allowing all systems to be coordinated, monitored, and controlled in order to automatically maximize energy efficiency.

185 Whitemarsh Partners and CM3 utilized or plan to utilize environmentally friendly products when renovating the space. Low-maintenance plants were incorporated into the landscaping to prevent the need for excessive watering. Instead of purchasing bottled water for the refrigerated water coolers, CM3 chose to utilize self-contained water purification coolers that provide filtered and sterilized hot, cooled, and room-temperature water. This technology uses regular tap water filtered and sterilized with a U-V lamp.


185 Whitemarsh Partners and CM3 Building Solutions welcome inquiries and visitation to observe the energy-conserving equipment and protocols that have been implemented at 185 Commerce Drive.

CM3 has hosted meetings with local business associations and has given tours of the facility.


"We constantly monitor the energy and technology marketplaces in an effort to position ourselves to provide the best advice, services, and product offerings to our clients. To meet these ends, we strive to utilize state-of-the-art energy efficient technologies and operational procedures in our own business plan." -- Bruce Michelson, President, 185 Whitemarsh Partners and CM3 Building Solutions

Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by 185 Whitemarsh Partners, LP or a representative of this facility. Other building information was verified and submitted to EPA at the time of application. Building energy performance, operating characteristics, and ownership/management may be subject to change over time.

Service Provider:
CM3 Building Solutions, Inc

Building Owner:*
185 Whitemarsh Partners, LP

Property Manager:*
185 Whitemarsh Partners, LP

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2011 (89)

Facility Type: Office

Total Floorspace: 42089 sf

Year Constructed: 1958

Contract Type: Internal Resources
Financing Type: Internal Capital

Technologies Used:
   Stage 1-Recommissioning
   Stage 2-Lighting
   Stage 3-Load Reductions
   Stage 4-Fan Systems
   Stage 5-Heating and Cooling Plant
   Other Technologies/Strategies