2015 Finalist: It Takes a Village

The most improved commercial tenant space across multiple sustainability categories.

Who led the charge

Molly Westbrook
Property Manager, Cottonwood Corporate Center



Since Molly Westbrook assumed property management duties for the Cottonwood Corporate Center, the building has received many accolades, including a regional Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) award, LEED Gold certification, and Department of Energy recognition for its cost-cutting measures. Westbrook is fluent in both property operations and tenant relations–a skill that she put to use during weekly tenants meetings. Her goal: to ensure that her firm delivers the highest quality products and services to the tenants.


  • Gain buy-in from tenants; help them realize their stake in energy-savings success

  • Strive to maintain the level of building services they've come to expect

Retrofit Helps a Utah Corporate Center Raise its Profile

With an ENERGY STAR® score of 94, the Cottonwood Corporate Center (CCC) had proven its green chops. But that wasn’t enough for Commonwealth Partners, the office building’s property management team. 

Nearly as spectacular as the Center’s view of the Salt Lake Valley were the additional savings—in energy and dollars—the building could realize by upping its sustainability profile.

After what property manager Molly Westbrook calls a “thoughtful assessment,” the team achieved significant energy savings by retrofitting 180 lamps and installing self-adjusting astronomical timers to exterior lighting. And a building automation system now runs the HVAC equipment at peak efficiency.

Along the way, management has kept tenants feeling engaged and feeling they’re part of the energy-efficiency plan. By meeting with tenants individually, and engaging them in a recycling effort, Cottonwood has achieved its recycling rate goals and hit its energy-efficiency targets. The management team has also extended the project’s benefits to other properties in its portfolio: A full time sustainability force has conducted Webinars for teams at ten other Commonwealth sites.

The management is also developing a Corporate Sustainability Web site, quarterly newsletters, events and elevator signage. A Green Office Guide with details on the management team’s 18 sustainability policies rounds out its tenant engagement program.

And that ENERGY STAR® score of 94? It’s on the rise.




"Our program’s obvious energy efficiency improvements help the environment, while also reducing tenants’ maintenance bills."


CLOSE UP: Cottonwood Building 8

What did we do?
CommonWealth Partners retrofitted the Cottonwood Corporate Center parking garage, exterior and roadway/parking pole lamps, while also implementing a new HVAC Preventative Maintenance Program.

Why we did it: 
To increase energy efficiency without having tenants think there’s been any compromise of the complex’s overall maintenance standards.

Our Approach: 
A year-long, four-phase implementation.



  • Working toward LEED EB O&M Certification
  • CCC achieved a 17% energy savings, as compared to its 2012 baseline; An annual energy-cost savings of $35,000
  • Cited at Better Buildings Challenge as a model for other project buildings