In an attempt to build a strong case for sustainability, the U.S. General Services Administration is making its green practices public. GSA recently released a collection of case studies and best practices called “Sustainability Matters,” which offers examples of how the agency and its partners have executed sustainable strategies in acquiring, operating and maintaining GSA buildings.
The 220-page publication is intended to help firms that work with the agency meet or exceed GSA’s sustainability goals. The agency has steadily increased green initiatives in recent years as it has faced looming federal mandates. These include the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which requires new buildings and major renovations to be designed so that fossil-fuel consumption is reduced by 55% by 2010.
The publication is not a set of specifications. “It’s an idea producer,” says Kevin Kampschroer, acting director of the agency’s Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings.
Some subjects in “Sustainability Matters” are early use of collaborative design charrettes, preconstruction performance analysis, maximizing space usage, reuse and historic renovation issues, green products and operations and maintenance considerations. Case studies of buildings certified under the LEED green-building rating system include breakdowns of specific certification points.� The publication follows the June release of GSA’s “Assessing Green Building Performance” white paper, which evaluated 12 completed GSA buildings. The buildings, of which seven received LEED ratings, produced 33% lower carbon emissions, required 26% less energy and used 3% less water compared to national averages.