Written by Mike Swofford Monday, 10 January 2011 02:00
|Green Features and LEED Certification|
|SAC and LEED Overview|
|Energy and Atmosphere|
|Materials and Resources|
|Indoor Environmental Quality|
|Innovation and Design Process|
According to the U.S. Green Building Council, buildings account for 72 percent of electricity consumption. Fortunately, many options exist to help save energy, including the following items that the SAC put into place:
Description: Created a commissioning plan – a plan to test systems after installation – to ensure mechanical systems work properly.
Benefit: By testing equipment prior to use, potential errors can be caught and corrected early on. Commissioning also presents an opportunity to train staff on how to properly use systems.
Tip to get started: The next time new equipment is installed, consider creating a commissioning plan to catch potential glitches. Also, schedule an internal training session to help prevent user error.
Description: Maximized use of natural light throughout office areas.
Benefit: By using natural light, electric lighting is used less, thus energy use and cost are reduced.
Tip to get started: In the design phase, consider adding windows throughout the building to serve as a key source of lighting. Remember that east, south and west-facing glass can provide excessive heat, which can increase cooling costs.
Description: Implemented high-efficiency lighting and air conditioning and heating systems with occupancy sensors.
Benefit: Less energy is used because lights, air conditioning and heating automatically turn on when a room becomes occupied. When the room is vacant, they turn off.
Tip to get started: Implement lighting with occupancy sensors in rooms that are not used regularly to ensure energy is not wasted when the room is vacant.
Description: Implemented exterior lighting (excluding emergency lighting) that is controlled 100 percent by motion.
Benefit: Lights automatically turn on when motion is detected and remain off otherwise, so less energy is used.
Tip to get started: Consider purchasing motion sensors for your exterior lighting to save energy.