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PATHWAY TO SUSTAINABILITY IN NORTH TEXAS, PRIVATE AND PUBLIC ENTITIES ARE DISCOVERING INNOVATIVE WAYS TO IMPROVE THE EFFICIENCY OF BUILDINGS— SAVING BOTH RESOURCES AND MONEY IN THE PROCESS. BY JEFF BOUNDS

Water is vital to AT&T. “The network that forms the core of our business requires a controlled and cooled environment,” explains Shannon Carroll, director of sustainability operations, and citizenship at the Dallas telecom services provider. “Water is oftentimes a critical input to the cooling equipment we use to create those conditions.” For the past three years, the company has been working to cut its own water use, and has saved some 236 million gallons since the beginning of 2013. Now, AT&T is taking the next step by helping its customers and other businesses conserve water as well. In 2012, AT&T teamed with the Environmental Defense Fund to build a framework to identify potential savings for water, energy, and other expenses in buildings—and to thus help build stronger business cases for investing in water efficiency in those structures. The result was a Water Management Application, or WaterMAPP, a toolkit for managing water and finding opportunities for conserving it. “If adopted by all companies nationwide, the toolkit could help save an estimated 28 billion gallons of water annually,” Carroll says. “That’s as much water

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as more than 750,000 Americans use at home in a year.” AT&T is not the only North Texas business concerned with conserving natural resources in the buildings they occupy. Companies are increasingly putting sustainability high on the list of attributes they consider in their commercial real estate decisions in this region. “For the smart businesses, the focus is less on the resource-saving technologies, and more on the results,” says Betsy del Monte, North Texas-based principal at Transform Global, an England-based concern that is creating an investment fund to address economic, social, and environmental issues worldwide. “Knowing there are more efficient options,” del Monte says, “businesses are realizing it is foolish to pay more for electricity.” For developers, landlords, and tenants alike, conserving natural resources in commercial real estate starts long before dirt goes flying on construction. “The idea of outfitting the building with technologies is the idea of applying technological solutions, rather than starting

WINTER 2015

Dallas-Fort Worth Real Estate Review - Winter 2015  

What's next for the Design District; Dallas-Fort Worth as an international hub; Sustainability; The Crane Report

Dallas-Fort Worth Real Estate Review - Winter 2015  

What's next for the Design District; Dallas-Fort Worth as an international hub; Sustainability; The Crane Report