A week or so ago we posted the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) report on the “Top 10 Ways to Use Recovery Funds for Green Building.” The report outlined ways local and state governments, as well as community organizations and socially-conscious businesses could draw upon the Obama Administration’s . With the federal government ‘closed’ and snuggling under a thick blanket of snow, we thought this the perfect time to study the 10 Ways in greater detail for our clients and readers. [Paul Schafer, cue the music!]
Number 10: Greening Piece-by-Piece: Laying the Groundwork for Future Holistic Measures
Long-term sustainability is critical to the USGBC because it wants to make the most of its grant dollars and because the ‘green agenda’ is all about sustainability (including, but not limited to, carbon neutrality and recyclability). To achieve such noble ambitions in a one-off or short-term project is nice for now, but defeats the underlying concern of dwindling fossil resources without sufficient replacements.
In our state, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) hasand to benefit those entities (for- and non-profit) that invest in green technologies within their infrastructure. are not left out either, though the focus here will be on the business end of greening.
Local projects include the Bowie Corporate Center, which opened in 2007 and continues to draw businesses into its offices and keep the environmental impact to a minimum. The property is even future-oriented enough to have dedicated hybrid and e-car spaces.
But new buildings need not be the only ones that get into the act. The delectable Natty-Boh is brewed in buildings retrofitted with a ‘green roof‘ and other carbon-reducing technologies. So enjoy your beer, recycle the cans and bottles of course, and do your part for the environment!
Number 9: Make Informed Energy Resource management Decision through Metering
“Installing meters for individual buildings and for major building systems is an effective measure in energy management that also enables greater accountability, tracking, and ultimately, opportunity for efficiency. Meters are a central component to optimizing existing building performance over time â€“ after all, you canâ€™t manage what you canâ€™t measure.” Indeed. The drive of this initiative is to get away from centralized metering of entire building systems to specific metering of specific subsystems within the complex. A nice introduction to the benefits of multiple-metering systems can be found at a recent USGBC update (scroll down to “From the Desk of Frank Mobilio, AIA, LEED AP”). Multiple meters covering various aspects of a building’s fuel uses and losses helps identify specific areas where improvements can be made, and they encourage transparency and accountability for the departments that need to improve their measurements.
As we move forward with the Top 10 List over the next week or so, I think it is important to remember that these greening plans are not about tree-hugging, save-the-darter-fish, leftist agendas. They are about making (and saving) money, growing (and saving) jobs, and expanding business opportunities. If capitalists could see the waning of the whaling industry and move toward other sources of energy and food, we can certainly plan for the waning of the carbon economy and get a jump on future possibilities to expand wealth and raise living standards. Let’s close by hearing how the USGBC pitches the plan:
USGBC advocacy video emphasizes the green to be made by moving your company toward a greener infrastructure