The green bandwagon is rolling, and now there are more and more ways for owners to climb aboard.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is becoming more widely known and standards are becoming more energy efficient. There are also numerous LEED designations now for both the buildings as well as the experts who guide the LEED process.

Many buildings are going for the US Energy Star certification and the Building Owners and Managers Association International has a BOMA 360 Performance Program (see story, page 44).

“We’ve implemented 27 initiatives ranging from simpler things like attending a training session on using the Energy Star Web site to using green cleaning methods,” said Lisa Mize, senior vice president for Shorenstein on the East Coast.

For instance, Shorenstein educated the building managers as to the specifics of green cleaning. The company also created an amendment to its contract form which lays out the requirements for the janitorial companies as to what they need to buy to be in compliance for the LEED certification. “The managers just have to fill it in and give it to the janitorial companies,” said Mize.

This year, Shorenstein will be meeting with all of the tenants to discuss what they can do to be more energy efficient in their own spaces. They also ask new tenants to consider using green products.

Tenants are also asking a lot more questions about the green condition of the building. “They are a lot more educated about sustainability,” said Jean Savitsky, Chief Operating Officer of Jones Lang LaSalle.

Savitsky has found that simple things, like tweaking operating parameters, “Can save energy right off the bat.” She is focused on what she calls “the low hanging fruit” — for instance, if the occupancy of a building has changed along with tenant requirements but the air conditioning is still found to be on for all 24 hours. “A lot of stuff can be reset to save to 10 to 12 percent right off the top,” she said.

Michael Phillips, managing director, Jamestown, said going green is central to their mission. “Any buildings we build in the future would have sustainability at the forefront of the development,” he noted.

Jamestown already has a LEED gold rating for 1250 Broadway and has done a green analysis at some of their other buildings.

A re-lamping program in the lobby of 1250 Broadway that cost $400,000 will pay itself back in just seven months. “That’s phenomenal,” said Phillips. “The green doesn’t necessarily have to cost more.”

At Chelsea Market, changing the light bulbs on an old-fashioned arrow sign pointing to the bathrooms is saving $1,300 a year. “We have recycling programs and are working through and trying to improve efficiency in all the electrical systems,” said Phillips.

Ten years ago it was much more difficult to migrate towards green, said Frank Edwards, executive managing director of Colliers International. “It was very expensive at the time and few of the supporting suppliers were offering products that you could utilize cost effectively to run everything green as the energy and manufacturing were costly,” said Edwards. “Now materials are more readily available and the consultants are better educated.”

Edwards said a lot of tenants are requesting green build-outs at the same time a lot of building owners are requiring green build-outs. “You don’t hear people say, ‘No, we don’t want to be green.’ Instead it’s, ‘Right now, we don’t want to spend more money to be green’.”

But he says going green is healthier and reduces energy use. “On top of all of that you are saving money,” said Edwards. “You satisfy the employees and create a corporate charter that recruits good people and ties back to the corporate mission statement.”