Franchot Certifies Maryland's Greenest Office Building

2000 Tower Oaks Blvd. Project one of first to earn Green Building Tax Credit

Rockville, MD (August 11, 2009) – Emphasizing his commitment to promoting green building technology in Maryland, Comptroller Peter Franchot today congratulated the Tower Companies and Lerner Enterprises as he certified their 2000 Tower Oaks Boulevard project as one of the first commercial LEED Platinum office buildings in the State of Maryland. As such, the project qualifies for the Maryland Green Building Tax Credit and will earns credits of over $1.6 million. The Comptroller was joined at the event by Montgomery County Council President Phil Andrews, Council Member Nancy Floreen, Rockville Mayor Susan Hoffman,The Tower Companies partner, Jeffrey S. Abramson and Lerner Enterprises principal and CEO, Theodore N. Lerner.

“As Comptroller, I know both the economic and environmental benefits of green construction and have worked on the Board of Public Works to make it a priority to see green techniques integrated into state construction projects,” said Comptroller Franchot. “I applaud and congratulate The Tower Companies and Lerner Enterprises for being green building pioneers and for leading the way on this issue. Their combined green vision is evidenced by their exceptionally beautiful, LEED Platinum and Vedic building, which helps make Maryland healthier and attracts more business. This project is a tremendous accomplishment and a role model for both the private and public sectors.”

Over the past few years, Maryland has become a national leader in promoting green technology and providing incentives for green projects. At the Board of Public Works, Comptroller Franchot has worked with Governor Martin O’Malley and Treasurer Nancy Kopp to push for more green building in state construction projects.

“If the Federal government takes the lead like Maryland has, and they create more tax incentives for the largest consumers of energy, the commercial building industry, they would stimulate a green industrial revolution throughout America, that would create jobs, save energy and save the environment. We congratulate the State of Maryland for their foresight,” states Tower partner, Jeffrey S. Abramson.

The Maryland Green Building Tax Credit was created in 2001 with the goal of encouraging more environmentally friendly and energy efficient construction across the state. Administered by the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), the Green Building Tax Credit provides a credit against a taxpayer’s personal or corporate income tax. The credit varies from 6-8 percent of total allowable construction costs for a building that meets specified green building standards. The current standard is LEED based; however, a building does not have to be LEED certified in order to qualify. As new standards become available, MEA will incorporate those standards, along with future editions of LEED, into the tax credit program.

In this case, MEA gave the developers the Green Tax Credit because they fulfilled their obligation for the Initial Credit Certificate filed in 2004, completed the building in 2008, and qualified them to receive the Final Certificate in summer 2009. The Final Credit Certificate issued is based on actual allowable costs, which include the base building and tenants. Lerner Enterprises occupies their LEED Gold corporate headquarters on the 7th and 8th floor, while The Tower Companies occupies their LEED Platinum corporate headquarters on the 9th floor. The partnership is eligible to claim a tax credit of $1,690,308 in 2008 and they have up to ten years from the first year the credit is collected to finish claiming the credits.

Some of the LEED Platinum features in the building include:

• Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR and reduced total building energy consumption by 28%;
• Green-E certified Renewable Energy Certificates were purchased for 100% wind power for the building’s total annual electric energy usage;
• A four-stage air filtration system circulates at least 30% more
outside air than required by code, turns over every 51 minutes,
controls odors and removes over 90% of airborne contaminants before
it reaches tenants;
• Outdoor airflow devices and CO2 monitors increase fresh air when
necessary;
• Reduced building water consumption by 41%, drought resistant plantings reduce the required water for irrigation by 60%, and condensate water provides 100% of the building’s irrigation needs;
• Stormwater runoff is captured and treated (naturally filtered) on-site in the stormwater pond;
• 90% of occupants have outside views;
• Night-sky light pollution and light trespass from the site is
minimized;
• Electromagnetic field (EMF) shielding around all major electrical
rooms;
• 22% of the total building materials contain recycled content and 22% of the building materials were extracted and manufactured within a 500-mile radius; and
• Over 85% of the construction waste was recycled.

About The Tower Companies

The Tower Companies of Rockville, Maryland, a family owned real estate firm founded by Albert Abramson in 1947, is the largest Green Builder in our nation’s capital. Tower is EPA-certified carbon neutral, has developed six LEED certified buildings; 7 projects are under renovation for LEED EB and currently has 3 EPA Energy Star rated buildings. Over 25% of their staff are LEED Accredited Professionals. It is a leader in the promotion of Fortune-Creating(sm)/Vedic architecture.

The Tower Companies is a member of EPA’s Climate Leaders, Energy Star and Green Power Partnership programs. Their award-winning portfolio includes 4.5 million square feet of office buildings, office parks, 1,400 apartments, regional malls, residential communities, lifestyle centers, and hotels within the DC area. Of this total, one million square feet are Green or sustainable projects, and another 2.5 million square feet are in the planning stages. Recent awards include 2009 National Association of Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP) Best Green Building of the Year for 2000 Tower Oaks Boulevard, 2009 DC Mayor’s Environmental Excellence Awards, 2009 Circle of Excellence Smart CEO Awards, and 2009 Peerless Rockville Preservation Awards. For more information, visit www.towercompanies.com.

About Lerner Enterprises

Lerner Enterprises of Rockville, Maryland, founded by Theodore N. Lerner in 1952, is Washington, DC's largest private real estate developer and is involved in all phases of office, retail, hotel and residential real estate including planning, development, construction, leasing and property management. Lerner has also been a leader in creating LEED certified environments building the first Gold Certified Office Building in the District of Columbia as well as Tower Oaks. Lerner has developed, and currently
manages more than 15 million square feet of office buildings, retail centers and residential communities.

Lerner's office portfolio has several well-known developments including: The Corporate Office Centre at Tysons II, McLean, VA; The Corporate Office Park at Dulles Town Center, Dulles, VA; 2000 Tower Oaks Boulevard, Rockville, MD; White Flint North, North Bethesda, MD; Washington Square at 1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW and the LEED Gold certified 20 M Street, SE. For more information, visit www.lerner.com

By Authority: Friends of Peter Franchot, Tom Gentile, Treasurer
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