Black Oak believes that sustainability is a strategy which drives returns, creates value, and defines the organization. Black Oak’s sustainability guidelines are focused primarily in the areas of corporate office operational efficiency, energy reduction, sustainable building practices, waste management, tenant education, and renewable energy. Below are some examples of sustainability improvements Black Oak has implemented and is working on implementing in the near future.
Black Oak installed two electric vehicle charging stations at the College Square Shopping Center and installed another station at the Hastings Marketplace Shopping Center. Black Oak was the first shopping center developer to install charging stations in the Mid-Atlantic. In addition to installing the electric vehicle charging stations, Black Oak also retrofitted the parking lot lights at the College Square Shopping Center with a satellite-controlled lighting system that reduced energy use by 46%.
Black Oak and its tenants benefit from efficient waste stream management services and improved operational performance that focuses on waste stream optimization and landfill diversion, including the recycling of used grease for biofuel production.
Black Oak is currently working with the City of Baltimore and Blue Water Baltimore on a storm water management pilot project at the Belair Edison Crossing Shopping Center. This project would allow Black Oak to modify existing storm drains with trash interceptors in order to improve the water quality that flows into the Chesapeake Bay.
Black Oak replaces all of its properties’ roofs with white TPO, a synthetic rubber compound that limits the “heat island effect” and solar heat gain due to its reflective nature. By limiting solar heat gain, the energy load on the HVAC units is decreased and thus, energy costs are reduced and energy efficiency is increased.
TPO roof replacements can be found at several of Black Oak’s shopping centers, including Belair Edison Crossing, Hastings Marketplace, Unity Village Shoppes, South York Value Center, and Eldersburg Marketplace.
Black Oak is working to help meet state renewable power and energy efficiency guidelines – i.e. the IECC 2012 – by entering into renewable energy power purchase agreements and committing to energy efficient programs with utilities. To date, Black Oak has entered into renewable energy purchase agreements totaling approximately 650,000 kWh at four of its shopping centers.
Black Oak’s management team also reviews tenant construction plans for new leases and recommends building efficiency upgrades with a focus on efficient HVAC, roof insulation, and lighting. Collaboration is critical to facilitate long-term energy reduction goals, and Black Oak is committed to working with tenants to allow for greater flexibility and cooperation on efficiency improvements to tenant spaces and common area spaces.
Black Oak is in the process of developing Eldersburg Commons in Eldersburg, MD. This development fully demonstrates Black Oak’s sustainability efforts:
1. Brownfield redevelopment
2. Potential solar PV installation
3. Storm water management upgrade
4. Green-focused demolition, which includes recycling pavement asphalt
5. IECC 2012 energy compliance
6. LED lighting and TPO rooftops
7. Highly efficient HVAC and insulation
Black Oak has already increased its corporate sustainability efforts by using a cloud server that is being hosted by the greenest cloud infrastructure provider in the market – Green House Data – and by incorporating recycling programs and motion-sensing lighting. Additionally, Black Oak employees own fuel-efficient vehicles, supporting the company’s mission at the office and outside of the office.
Besides Black Oak’s current corporate sustainability efforts, Black Oak is in the process of developing and implementing a corporate office operational efficiency plan in the coming months. This plan will emphasize energy efficiency methods, such as plug-load management, and waste management. Black Oak will also be developing a tenant education program to educate tenants on sustainable and energy efficient processes