IREM® Sustainable Property Challenge

The IREM® Sustainable Property Challenge is an annual competition to accelerate the adaptation for efficient buildings.

Challenge Overview

The IREM® Sustainable Property Challenge allows properties to initiate and accelerate sustainability programs while engaging with peers in friendly competition.

The challenge is designed to:

  • Provide a framework for starting a sustainability program or taking it to the next level
  • Allow property managers and their staff to engage in activities that result in cost savings
  • Lead to the IREM® Certified Sustainable Property Certification so that you can get additional recognition and marketing value for your efforts

All properties in your portfolio are encouraged to participate, regardless of IREM membership status or affiliation.

How this Challenge is different

Several key features set the IREM® Sustainable Property Challenge apart.

  • Free and open to all industry professionals
  • Accessible to different property types
  • Run on the GreenPSF platform
  • Integrated with the IREM® Certified Sustainable Property program

Earn Points

You can earn points by completing activities from seven main categories to move up the leaderboard. You can get credit for activities that you previously completed going back 5 years from the launch of the current year's challenge. IREM wants to reward action!

Win the Challenge

The current IREM® Sustainable Property Challenge runs from October 1, 2014, to September 1, 2015. IREM will recognize winners of different property types in several categories. Grand prizes will be awarded to one LEED property and one non-LEED property in office, retail, and multifamily. Learn more here.

Special Note

Activity ENR-001: Get an energy benchmark and share data is required for properties participating in the IREM® Sustainable Property Challenge in the following localities:

  • Houston

Properties must complete this activity in order to be recognized for participating in the Challenge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can an owner with multiple properties participate?

Yes. Each property should enroll separately.

Can international properties participate?

Yes. Majority of the activities are applicable to international properties, with a few exceptions.

Can people from a property collaborate as a team?

Yes. You can work in teams with an unlimited number of collaborators.

Can tenants participate in the Challenge?

No. The current version of the IREM Challenge is designed primarily for property and facility managers. IREM promotes local entities on their Green Business and Green Office Challenges designed for tenants. If your region has a local Green Business for Green Office Challenge, the Challenge will be accessible in the Space Profile.

Does the Challenge include multi-family properties?

Yes. Multi-family property managers are encouraged to focus on common areas, tenant education, and engagement.

How are activities validated after completion?

Participants write a short narrative and may need to upload supporting documentation when they have completed an activity.

How do I enroll in the Challenge?

Create a free GreenPSF account, login, and add a property. Once added, open the property and click "Challenge". Enroll in the IREM®; Sustainable Property Challenge and start completing activities.

How does the Challenge relate to the Certified Sustainable Property program?

The IREM certification is based on 24 core activities that reside within the Challenge. Completing 20 of these 24 core activities qualifies your property to apply for the certification.

How long does the Challenge run?

The IREM Challenge runs from October 1 through September 1.

How many activities are there?

There are approximately 80 Challenge activities currently available. More may be added during the course of the Challenge or on an annual basis.

How much does it cost to play the Challenge?

Participation is free.

I have an idea for a new activity – whom should I talk to?

Email sustainability@irem.org with your suggestion, or call (888) 950-0474.

I work for a big company – can we run our own internal challenge, just for our staff?

Yes. Contact us to discuss the details. Email sustainability@irem.org, or call (888) 950-0474.

I'm having trouble completing an activity – where can I get help?

Check out the Knowledge Center for supporting resources about the specific activity. Or, you can always email sustainability@irem.org with your question or call (888)-950-0474.

My building is already ENERGY STAR designated – does it make sense to participate?

Yes! Your Energy Star Portfolio Manager Account can be directly sync'd with the GreenPSF database. You'll also earn extra challenge points for having an Energy Star designation and have up to 3 core activities completed towards an IREM Certified Sustainable Property certification. IREM Sustainability can help you with benchmarking and uploading utility data to Energy Star, for a nominal fee. Contact sustainability@irem.org for more information.

My building is already LEED certified – does it make sense to participate?

Yes! You will get "grandfathered" into completing some activities to avoid redundant work and be able to fast track an IREM Certified Sustainable Property certification, easily completing 20 of 24 certification activities in a matter of days. Beyond LEED, this Challenge offers numerous other options to improve sustainability.

What can my property win?

IREM will recognize winners of different property types in several categories, including:

  • Most challenge points overall for LEED and non-LEED properties
  • Most improved energy performance
  • Most improved water conservation
  • Most innovative sustainability project, as judged by a team of qualified IREM Members

Three LEED-certified properties (one office, one multifamily, one retail) with the most challenge points overall on September 1, 2015 will receive the following prizes:

  • Promotional package
  • Waived application fee for the IREM® Certified Sustainable Property Certification.*
  • Choice of the following sustainability consulting services provided by Envision Realty Services at no charge:
    • LEED Recertification Gap Analysis
    • Customized Carbon Offset Report

Envision Realty Services is a leading provider of green building consulting services. To date they have certified 160 buildings, totaling 60,983,985 square feet.

Three non-LEED certified properties (one office, one multifamily, one retail) with the most challenge points overall on September 1, 2015 will receive the following prizes:

  • Promotional package
  • Waived application fee for the IREM® Certified Sustainable Property Certification.*
  • LEED Certification Gap Analysis provided by Envision Realty Services at no charge.

*The waived application fee must be used within six months, and the property must meet the qualifications to earn the IREM® Certified Sustainable Property Certification. If the property is already an IREM Certified Sustainable Property, the winner may choose another qualified property on which to use the waived application fee within six months.

What does "core" activities mean?

Activities marked with "core" indicate that they are one of the 24 activities associated with the IREM® Certified Sustainable Property program. Complete the 12 required activities and at least 8 of the 12 elective activities to earn the certification.

When is the deadline to signup for the Challenge?

You can enroll your property anytime. The current challenge runs from October 1, 2014 to September 1, 2015. You can get credit for activities that you previously completed going back 5 years from the launch of the current year's challenge.

Who can participate in the Challenge?

Any industry professional can participate regardless of IREM® membership affiliation.