Commercial Broker Goes Energy Efficiency – Lands New Tenant

CHERRY HILL, NJ – Bill Pounds, owner of WHPounds Commercial Real Estate, LLC, a commercial brokerage firm, was looking to make significant changes to his Cooper River East office facility in Pennsauken, NJ. The attractive building, constructed in the 1960s, had begun showing its interior wear and tear and was in dire need of a makeover. But to justify the reconstruction expense, he needed to place a major tenant in a long-term lease. Overlooking the 346-acre Cooper River Park, the crown jewel of the Camden Counties park system, the facility sits in an enviable location; one that affords any organization a balanced work environment for their staff.

The park features a 3.8-mile walking and biking loop, two softball fields, a restaurant, driving range, fishing and a sculpture garden.  Camden County Boathouse nearby is home to many prestigious world class rowing events.

So, the decision was made to gut the building down to steel and concrete – and rebuild. One big dilemma, however, was how to properly condition (heating and AC) the space inside.

Bill turned to his long-time HVAC specialist Sean Geraghty of Hutchinson/AMS Mechanical for a design solution. The Hutchinson/AMS team redesigned the HVAC system upgrading from antiquated through-the-wall units to an energy efficient VRV (Variable Refrigerant Volume) system. This type of system is considered the “Rolls Royce” of heating/air conditioning systems. VRV is a very sophisticated technology based on several principles: refrigerant only, inverter compressors that allow lowering power consumption with partial cooling/heating loads, multiple indoor units on the same refrigerant loop, and the ability of modular expansion.

“The system allows for multiple control points on a floor, enabling you to refine the AC and heating of different spaces,” says Sean. “It’s a great solution for businesses with varying numbers of people throughout the office space, along with spaces in the building that might typically be warmer than other spaces due to sunlight. And it is extremely quiet!”

“With each floor measuring just under 10,000 sq. feet in the 40,000 sq. foot building, there are typically just two-three control adjustments,” added Bill. “This new system has 10 adjustments per floor – it’s very flexible and one of the most efficient air conditioners on the market.”

“Without Sean’s design, it would have been extremely difficult to retrofit the building in a modern way for a new tenant,” continues Bill.  “The Hutchinson/AMS team was innovative, timely, and cost efficient.”

WHPounds’ investment certainly paid off. After retrofitting the space, Bill signed a long-term lease with a major health care company.

“Upgrading to an energy efficient system is a win-win; it makes my property appealing to tenants and saves them money in the long run,” says Bill.