Ronald Becker is senior vice president, operations and sustainability, at Brandywine Realty Trust (NYSE: BDN). He is a Certified Real Estate Executive (CRX), a Certified Shopping Center Manager (CSM), and became a Fitwel ambassador in March 2020. Becker will be a panelist at Nareit’s REITworks: 2023 Conference in Las Vegas June 28-29. View the agenda and register today.
You are on a REITworks panel looking at sustainable solutions and real estate innovation. What are some key reasons to attend this session?
I think that given the amazing participants in this session, the attendee will be treated to an array of interesting case studies focusing on how we as industry leaders drive change and value through stakeholder engagement and, most importantly, through partnerships with our tenants. This subject matter, which is the driver of how we accomplish our corporate as well as personal missions for equitable change, is sure to spur strong discussions and leave attendees informed and inspired.
How would you describe Brandywine’s approach to sustainability, and how has it evolved?
Brandywine’s focus and mission is driven by the thought that “The value in what we do lies in the difference we can make.” This motto informs how we make decisions, interact with our stakeholders, and create impact through multiple avenues of socioeconomic change. We prioritize healthy buildings as well as the health and wellness of our employees, tenants, and all who visit our spaces.
All this is bolstered by a program driven by constant reduction of utility consumption and a thoughtful approach to green investments in our buildings. These approaches and priorities have been woven into the fabric of Brandywine’s being and we have been doing it well before it was popular or a corporate requirement.
What are some innovative trends in sustainability that you are watching?
I think the most interesting happenings in our industry right now are the almost daily technological and monitoring advancements. Whether it be advancements with solar glass, natural gas used for non-combustible power supply, EV charging, or tech that allows for a much more granular and real-time monitoring of our utility consumables, it’s an exciting time as we incorporate these practices into our frameworks with a fervent focus on achieving ever-greater environmental and social impact.
Is there a Brandywine development that truly embodies the REIT’s commitment to social responsibility and sustainability?
Our newest building, 3151 Market Street, which is presently under development right here in University City,Philadelphia, is a fully dedicated life science building designed to market-leading healthy building standards. Seeking LEED Platinum and Fitwel certifications, this building will feature fully solar dynamic glass, rainwater harvesting for use in the lavatories, and, like all our buildings in deregulated markets, will also be driven by wind generated power supply contracts.
From an occupant standpoint, the design prioritizes human wellness. Every other floor features an ‘eco porch’—flexible spaces with access to natural ventilation and operable windows—and tenant open-air terraces on alternate floors provide direct access to outdoors. At street level, 3151 Market will adjoin the future Grove Park, a public space with deciduous trees and flexible seating that connects to a network of 6.5 acres of greenspace throughout our Schuylkill Yards neighborhood.