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Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to be a member of BOMA to submit my building into the TOBY competition?
Yes. The building must be a member, or managed by an entity that is a member, in good standing with both their BOMA local association and BOMA International in order to compete at the regional and/or international levels. Specifically, all membership fees, and any other debt, must be paid prior to entry.
What category is my building eligible to compete?
Log into the TOBY portal, refer to Requirements and Forms and select the TOBY Entry Requirements for the category in which you are interested in applying. All buildings must have at least 50 percent of a building’s space used as office space with the exception of Industrial, Mixed-Use, Public Assembly and Retail. Buildings submitted in the Industrial category must have more than 5% and less than 50% office area as measured by BOMA standards. Buildings submitted in the Mixed-Use category must have at least 10% office space. Buildings with office space must be at least 50 percent occupied.
Am I able to enter my building in more than category?
No, Each building may enter in only one category per TOBY cycle.
May I compete in TOBY consecutive years?
If a building is competing in the same category in which they have already won, they may not compete again until after 5 years. If a building is competing in a different category in which they have won, they may not compete again until after 3 years. (i.e. Same category winners from 2018, may not compete until the 2024 TOBY cycle; building competing who’ve won in 2018 and wish to compete in a different category may not compete until the 2022 TOBY cycle.)
Does my building have to be EnergyStar certified to compete?
No. Buildings are only required to benchmark their data and share it with BOMA International. Industrial, mixed-use, public assembly and retail buildings do not have to share their data. Canadian Entrants are required to obtain a BOMA BEST® certification and all other international entrants should contact BOMA International regarding energy performance benchmarking requirements.
How old does my building have to be to enter into the TOBY competition?
The building must be occupied for at least one full year from the date of occupancy of the first tenant by June 15 of the TOBY competition year with a minimum of 12 months of building operations.
Does every TOBY participant need to compete on the local level, even those that may have won Regional last year?
Yes. Regional winners must resubmit their entries each year to compete.
May I submit more than one building as one entry?
You may submit two or more buildings as one entry if the buildings are connected by a lower lobby, share a central plant, connected by a walkway and/or there are any other common features the two buildings share.
Square Foot Categories
When submitting in the square footage categories, should a building reference rentable square footage or gross square footage?
Net rentable square footage as measured by BOMA standards.
When should the work projects be completed?
The completion of the work projects should be January (of the Award year) since the International judging takes place in May (of that year).
In the tenant relations section, do the events hosted by the corporation qualify as tenant relations activities?
Events hosted by the management company should be specified and not the corporation’s activities.
If my building fits under more than one category, which one should I choose?
When entering you should consider which category highlights your management company’s best performance and/or what factors drive the building’s operations.
Does the Statement of Energy Performance generated from Portfolio Manager need to be signed and approved by a Professional Engineer?
No. The report is system generated and does not require a signature.
Can more than one building be awarded a winner in any given category?
There should only be one winner in each TOBY category.
Are video attachments allowed during the application process?
Video attachments are not permitted or accepted in the online system. Recognized file types are .jpegs, pdfs, docx.
What is expected in identifying the buildings access controls?
Explain how the building controls entry into the building, especially during non-business/non-peak hours. Also explain how the building monitors activities in common areas. It is not necessary to include an entire policy manual on how this is handled.
Under the Training for Building Personnel section, what is appropriate for providing a list of qualifications for buildings staff?
Provide a list of any industry certifications such as RPA, FMA, etc. as well as degrees held and/or continuing education or industry training programs that staff may have participated in. Any training or programs that staff has participated in that helps them do their job function better is appropriate for this section.
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