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Tenants may embrace the ideal of reduced energy use and like the romanticism of producing as much electricity as is being consumed, but human behavior—their workers and their own’—is critical to finding success. Net zero buildings require occupants to accept a wider range of indoor temperatures, a band of about 5 degrees to 10 degrees greater than has been typical, said Chris Heimburger, vice president of development for Kilroy. “So on a cold day, in a net-zero building, you can’t wear shorts to the office and crank up the heat,” he said.
“While most companies want to be more environmentally friendly in their operating practices, they are just starting to understand the measures to get there. The tenant space is largely uninformed about the trade-offs. Our job is to figure out what the tenants of the future expect and try to deliver a space that meets that expectation while also encouraging the adoption of more sustainable, eco-friendly measures,” he said.
Kilroy’s goal for its portfolio as a whole is to reduce its energy consumption by 10 percent of 2010 levels by 2015, Neff said. The landlord hopes to start construction at 333 Brannan by the end of the year.