It's relatively easy to build green from scratch. But retrofitting an older building for green purposes can be a bit challenging.

On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Al Franken will speak to the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Greater Minneapolis to discuss energy initiatives, including the Back to Work Minnesota program. Launched in 2011, the initiative brings together local and national leaders to connect public and private building owners to resources that can help them retrofit their facilities.

The meeting begins at noon at the Millennium Hotel Forum Ballroom, 1313 Nicollet Mall.

According to Franken's office, the Democratic senator "hopes to reach a broader audience of those owning and managing smaller to mid-sized buildings who face funding challenges when investing in energy efficient retrofits in their buildings."

That's because energy-efficient buildings cut energy bills, curb maintenance costs, improve real estate values and create jobs, the senator said.

The meeting will also include testimonials from several BOMA members about the payback they’ve experienced with energy efficiency improvement projects in their buildings.

BOMA members have worked with Xcel Energy and other vendors that provide rebates and funding to study high-efficiency lighting, heating and cooling equipment, energy management systems and other equipment to help offset energy costs, the group said in a news release. The group sponsors an annual contest called the Kilowatt Crackdown challenge, which promotes energy efficiency, as well.

Janet Moore covers commercial real estate for the Star Tribune.


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