“Although water in the U.S. is very inexpensive, that’s not going to be the case for very long,” said Luis Luna, assistant administrator in the EPA Office of Administration and Resources Management.
Addressing some 200 government officials at the first White House Summit on Federal Sustainable Buildings on January 24, Luna pledged that the EPA is committed to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating program. “LEED gives us a comprehensive toolkit,” he said. “EPA has committed to seeking the highest possible LEED ratings in the buildings we occupy.”
Luna cited the EPA’s Denver facility (LEED Silver), whose energy consumption is 35% below ASHRAE 90.1, and the Kansas City Science & Technology Center, which uses only 60% of the energy of the EPA facility in Research Triangle Park, N.C.—“all without a negative impact on our employees.”
But more could be done, said Luna. “For EPA labs, do we need to ventilate the whole lab, or can we find a more efficient mechanism?” he asked. He noted that EPA scientists sometimes store chemicals in a fume hood, when they could be stored in a cabinet so that the fume hood ventilation could be lowered.
Next up for EPA: a new building in Arlington, Va. “We’re going for LEED Silver or maybe Gold,” said Luna, and the building is programmed to save $129,000 in energy costs.