Green building refers to a structure and process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient through-out the building’s entire life cycle: from building to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and demolition. This requires an agreement and cooperation from all partners included in the building process. Green Building Concepts expand and add to the classical building design concerns of the economy, utility, durability and comfort.
- Green Team
EPA has learned from ENERGY STAR partners that forming a green team with coworkers is a great way to help increase energy efficiency and reduce office waste. Consider following this checklist of creative ideas from EPA to help your green team get started. Once you’ve formed your team, start by planting the seeds for success with small changes in individual workspaces. Then move through the list and help success bloom with bigger changes that can affect the whole organization. Together, these actions can help your green team build a better world! Download the ENERGY STAR Green team checklist.
- Performance Matters
Understanding past and current energy use is how many organizations identify opportunities to improve energy performance and gain financial benefits. EPA offers free tools to help you gather and track your energy-related data, establish baseline information, benchmark your facilities against each other or your industry, analyze your energy use patterns and trends, and examine energy use to prioritize areas for improvement. EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool for commercial buildings and EPA’s Energy Performance Indicators for industrial facilities can help you get started.
- Waste Not
High utility costs are often a result of paying for energy that is wasted by lights, equipment, and heating/air-conditioning systems that are left on for long periods while not in use. Office buildings, for example, waste up to one-third of the energy they consume. Encourage employees to bring their green actions from home to work. Educate your employees to turn off lights and equipment when not in use and enable the power management features on computer equipment. Work with your energy and facility management teams to make sure systems are operating properly and then consider upgrades to enhance energy-efficiency. Consider installing occupancy sensors in conference rooms, store rooms, or other areas not continuously occupied. EPA offers these suggestions and more in a strategic guide, the Building Upgrade Manual, to help you plan and implement building improvements.