With the return on investment for energy efficiency spurring a “go green” movement, tools like Smart Grid technology and BIRDS have become vitally important for facilities managers always looking to trim costs and improve efficiencies.
If the goal is improving energy efficiency at your facility via measures that save the planet and dollars, you may want to research the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program.
Considered an internationally recognized mark of excellence, the LEED program creates a structure that identifies and implements measurable and practical maintenance, design, construction and operations answers to unlock energy savings.
And, LEED is versatile. It fits all commercial building types, from retail stores to data centers, warehouses and healthcare facilities, and measures new construction and existing structures too.
If some of the particulars of the LEED program sound familiar, particularly for facilities managers, they should. All versions use Energy Star as a requirement for LEED certification.
Already more than a decade old, the LEED for Existing Buildings’ Operations and Maintenance Rating System has created guidelines for property owners, service providers and facilities managers to help them cut costs responsibly and increase productivity based on real data.
Among the measurements required by this LEED certification:
- Fresh air delivery
- Policies that require green operational policies including green cleaning
- Percentage of waste materials recycled
- Water usage
- Use of mass transit or alternative commuting
Also, you may be wondering, apart from the changes to your operations, if using a LEED program actually works. According to a 2011 study by the U.S. Department of Energy, LEED-certified buildings use 25 percent less energy, produce 36 percent fewer CO2 emissions and cost 19 percent less to operate.
What’s more, a 2012 report by the Office of Management and Budget concluded investments in energy efficiency saved an estimated $18 billion in energy costs over the life of those projects.
In a more recent study of Fortune 200 companies, 60 percent of the respondents feel following LEED affects their return on investment for the positive, and 70 percent use LEED to save costs by being more energy-efficient.
Learn more about LEED programs that can help your facility reduce their carbon footprint as well as energy costs by joining a U.S. Green Building Council chapter in your area.
For assistance with saving on energy costs at your facility, contact Vanguard Resources.