At the end of January, the Navy Yard
in South Philadelphia welcomed its latest tenant -- the Sydney, Australia-based energy efficiency firm Ecosave, Inc.
Ecosave's U.S. headquarters took up residency at Navy Yard's Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub
), a uniquely specialized space
that was funded three years ago by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE
); they hope to significantly transform the energy efficiency market for existing commercial buildings. EEB Hub is the only such U.S. government campus-within-a-campus of its kind in the country.
According to Ecosave CEO Marcelo Rouco, his firm had already decided that the Northeast Corridor would be its American base when it eventually entered the U.S. market.
"Because in the Northeast, you have the highest cost of energy," he explains. Ecosave makes its money by helping large commercial buildings use significantly less energy and water; it also offers an ongoing energy-monitoring service to holders of commercial real estate.
"[But] we weren't even thinking about Philadelphia," explains Rouco, until an office in Sydney with connections to the PA Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED
) brought the city to their attention. This was two years ago, and in the time since, Rouco and his team expanded their search for the company's first North American office to Toronto, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., and New York.
In the end, Rouco says, the existence of the Navy Yard's EEB Hub was a major factor in Ecosave's decision to choose Philadelphia.
"We liked the idea of being part of [a community that] in the future could be the equivalent of a Silicon Valley for green buildings," he says. "An area where we could meet with new technologies and best practices that are being developed, and deploy them early, before they hit the market."
According to a press release distributed by Governor Tom Corbett's office, Ecosave's new Navy Yard headquarters will create 125 new jobs for Pennsylvanians.
Writer: Dan Eldridge
Source: Marcelo Rouco, Ecosave