Commitment to green building practices pays off
The results are in…when it comes to the business case for sustainability, green buildings “walk the talk.”
In a recently issued white paper, GSA outlined the results of a post-occupancy evaluation study of 22 green federal buildings from across the country; the findings compared to national average commercial buildings:
- They cost less to maintain, by 19%
- They use less energy and water, by 25%
- They emit fewer carbon dioxide emissions, by 36% and
- They have more satisfied occupants, by 27%.
The study, conducted by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, built on a good indication of the potential for increased productivity and performance pilot research completed two years ago, with similarly impressive results.
For more than a decade, the federal government has declared its commitment to sustainable building though presidential directives and executive orders, congressional legislation and governmentwide policies. PBS began its sustainable design program in 1999, and they completed their first green roof in 1975.
There’s no question that focusing on sustainability is the right thing to do for our environment: commercial buildings account for 18% of the nation’s energy use. The numbers show that greening federal buildings in most cases makes good business sense, as well. By looking critically at real world performance, this report demonstrates that the GSA is very much on track to achieve its green building goals, and that GSA is delivering high-performance, sustainable workplaces federal agencies need to fulfill their missions on behalf of the American people.
Find out more by reading the white paper. BD+C
Robert Peck, is commissioner for the GSA Public Buildings Service.