28 Mar CubeSmart Brings Net Zero Energy Self Storage Facility to Austin
By Alex Hassel, Storage.com
Recently, CubeSmart opened the very first “net zero” commercial building in Austin, Texas. This means the self storage facility makes more solar energy than it uses.
The facility at 6130 E. Ben White Blvd. opened in March 2016. Farragut Investments, Inc., the property owner, worked with Austin Energy Green Building to put the innovative energy, water, and material conservation strategies into place at the 77,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, climate-controlled facility. Together, the features create the net zero energy status, which includes one of the largest solar cell arrays used for self storage in the state, geothermal heating and cooling, geothermal wells, three rainwater towers, and a regenerative drive elevator that creates electricity when the elevator moves.
At this time, the facility is considered energy positive, which means it’s making more energy than the location needs. When a second storage building is completed on the site in 2017, it’s expected to bring balance to the surplus of energy.
CubeSmart operates 20 facilities in the Austin area and will operate the net zero facility for Farragut with its third-party self storage management program.
“This building is a valuable addition to our third-party management program and our Austin self storage portfolio,” says Guy Middlebrooks, Vice President of Third Party Management for CubeSmart. “This new state-of-the-art facility allows us to serve environmentally-conscious Austin customers with a convenient location that is easily accessible to most Downtown and South and East Austin residents.”
Farragut is dedicated to keeping its new facility green. If, for some reason, in the future the building does require more power, it’s subscribed to Austin Energy’s GreenChoice Program. Should the site need more power, Austin Energy will provide Texas wind-generated energy rather than power from fossil fuels. Farragut is also working for a four-star rating from Austin Energy Green Building.
“We’ve worked diligently to ensure our facility is a positive addition to Austin by providing efficient features that serve the local community in many ways,” says Robert Ruggles, Vice President of Development for Farragut Investments, Inc. “Every inch of this project—from energy management to the preservation of green space for conservation, natural resources, native trees, and landscaping—has been designed to give back to Austin and the environment.”
The new CubeSmart facility is fully fenced and gated and features a 24-hour digital security monitoring system, high-definition surveillance cameras, and a secure keypad entry. The building is carpeted to enhance customer experience.
Just a ten-minute drive from the South Lamar, South Congress, and Downtown Austin neighborhoods, this new facility is also in a convenient location for many customers in the area.
Illinois-based Farragut Investments, Inc., is a privately-owned firm that invests in real estate and other alternative investments on behalf of the principals of the firm and a group of long-standing investment partners. Since the firm’s inception in 1990, the principals of Farragut have personally been involved in 87 distinct transactions valued at $8 billion with an average size of more than $90 million.
CubeSmart is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust. CubeSmart owns or manages 703 self storage facilities across the United States. According to the 2016 Self Storage Almanac, CubeSmart is one of the top four owners and operators of self storage facilities in the U.S.