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5 Strategies and Approaches for Achieving a Range of Objectives Associated with Federal High-Performance Facilities In Chapter 5 the committee recommends 12 strategies and approaches that the GSA and all federal agencies can use to achieve a range of objectives associated with federal high-performance buildings and facilities. The strategies and approaches are based on the levers of change, the best practices, tools, and technologies identified at the public workshop and other meetings, and on the committee members’ own expertise. They are intended to optimize the use of natural, financial, and human resources and to minimize environmental impacts. The recommended strategies can be applied by federal agencies to their portfolios of facilities as well as to individual building projects. OBJECTIVES ASSOCIATED WITH FEDERAL HIGH- PERFORMANCE GREEN BUILDINGS The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 defined the attributes of a federal high- performance green building. Taken as a whole EISA, Executive Order 13423, Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management, and Executive Order 13514, Federal Leader- ship in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance, establish more than 20 objectives related to federal high-performance facilities, including the following: • Reducing the use of energy, potable water, fossil fuels, and materials; • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions; • Improving indoor environmental quality; • Increasing the use of recycling and environmentally preferable products; • Minimizing waste and pollutants through source reduction; • Pursuing cost-effective innovative strategies to minimize consumption of energy, water, and materials; • Leveraging agency acquisitions to foster markets for sustainable technologies, materials, products, and services; • Locating new buildings in sustainable locations; 59

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60 ACHIEVING HIGH-PERFORMANCE FEDERAL FACILITIES • Participating in regional transportation planning; • Strengthening the vitality and livability of the communities in which federal facilities are located; • Eliminating fossil fuel energy use in new buildings and major renovations by 2030; and • Beginning in 2020 and thereafter, designing all new federal buildings to achieve zero net energy by 2030. Each mandate specifically calls for the use of a life-cycle perspective or life-cycle costing, establishes interim and longer-term targets for the objectives, and establishes baselines and performance measures for evaluating progress in achieving them. STRATEGIES AND APPROACHES FOR ACHIEVING A RANGE OF OBJECTIVES RELATED TO FEDERAL HIGH-PERFORMANCE FACILITIES The strategies and approaches are summarized in Box 5.1. More detailed explanations for each one follow. 1. Use systems-based thinking and life-cycle assessment to identify new ways to provide ser- vices and to eliminate waste. BOX 5.1 Summary of Strategies and Approaches for Achieving a Range of Objectives Related to Federal High-Performance Facilities 1. Use systems-based thinking and life-cycle assessment to identify new ways to provide services and to eliminate waste. 2. Focus on community- and regional-based approaches to fill gaps, leverage resources, and optimize results. 3. Align existing federal facilities to current missions and consolidate the total facilities footprint to lower costs, reduce carbon emissions, reduce water and energy use, and optimize available resources. 4. Operate facilities efficiently to optimize their performance. 5. Aggressively implement proven sustainable technologies as a matter of course. 6. Use integrated, collaborative processes and practices to overcome conventional seg- mented processes that fail to optimize resources. 7. Aim for high-performance, near-zero-net-energy buildings now. 8. Measure, verify, and report performance to improve processes and change behavior. 9. Use performance-based approaches to unleash the creativity of contractors. 10. Collaborate to drive the market for sustainable products and high-performance tech- nologies. 11. Use standards and guidelines to drive change and embed sustainability into decision- making processes. 12. Communicate successes and learn from others.

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61 STRATEGIES AND APPROACHES Systems-based thinking provides a life-cycle perspective that can overcome challenges posed by the federal budget process and by segmented work processes. As importantly, it can help federal agencies identify new ways to use resources, to substitute more sustainable resources, to eliminate waste, and to avoid narrowly focused solutions with unintended consequences. Systems-based thinking begins with the development of goals and objectives for the activity: The more ambitious the goals, the more innovative the strategies are likely to be. A systems-based approach can be especially effective in helping federal agencies meet their goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the use of potable water, conserving and protecting water resources, for recycling and pollution prevention, for minimizing the generation of waste and pollutants through source reduc- tion, and for regional transportation planning. Individuals and organizations are using systems-based thinking for reducing greenhouse gas emis- sions (Oberlin, Ohio; Arlington County, Virginia), for reducing overall energy use and water use (Arlington County, Virginia; Fort Carson, Colorado; Greensburg, Kansas), and for regional transportation planning (Fort Carson, Colorado). Available and emerging tools to support systems-based thinking include NIST’s Building for Envi- ronmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES) software, tools developed by the Athena Institute and One Planet Communities, and EARTHSTER. These tools enable the life-cycle assessment of building materials, components, assemblies, and buildings themselves. 2. Focus on community- and regional-based approaches to fill gaps, leverage resources, and optimize results. Where federal facilities occupy large, contiguous land areas, such as military bases, research cam- puses, office parks, embassy compounds, and the like, they have opportunities to save energy, reduce the use of fossil fuels, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by building on-site combined heat and power (co-generation) plants, installing solar arrays and wind turbines for on-site generation of renew- able energy (e.g., Oberlin, Ohio; Fort Carson, Colorado; Los Angeles Community College District), and installing district energy systems (Arlington County, Virginia). Larger-scale development also facilitates the recycling of potable water and stormwater management. Most federal facilities are dependent, in part, on nonfederal infrastructure systems for power, water, wastewater removal, transportation, and telecommunications. Federal agencies can leverage their avail- able resources and achieve goals for strengthening the vitality and livability of adjacent communities by forming partnerships with local communities, utility companies, and others with shared interests (Fort Carson, Colorado). Power purchase agreements can be an effective method to leverage federal land and buildings to achieve energy-saving objectives. 3. Align existing federal facilities to current missions and consolidate the total facilities foot - print to lower costs, reduce carbon emissions, reduce water and energy use, and optimize available resources. Effective portfolio-based facilities management optimizes the performance of existing buildings and other facilities in support of an organization’s mission, carefully considers the addition and loca- tion of new buildings, and uses life-cycle costing for all potential investments. Federal agencies can use portfolio-based management to align their facilities with mission (e.g., Fort Carson, Colorado; Office of Overseas Buildings Operations of the State Department); to determine which facilities are excess; to identify noncapital solutions for providing required services and avoid the long-term cost and envi- ronmental impacts of new buildings (e.g., virtual embassies); to choose sustainable locations for new

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62 ACHIEVING HIGH-PERFORMANCE FEDERAL FACILITIES buildings; to determine where space can be consolidated; and to optimize the performance of existing buildings. Effective portfolio-based facilities management can help agencies meet an array of environ- mental and cost objectives associated with high-performance facilities. To effectively implement a portfolio-based facilities management approach, federal agencies need a well-trained workforce. The Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act of 2010, when implemented, should help federal managers strengthen the skills of their workforces for operating high-performance buildings and for portfolio-based facilities management. Tools that can support portfolio-based management include “Recommendations on Sustainable Siting for Federal Facilities” and EPA’s Portfolio Manager. 4. Operate facilities efficiently to optimize their performance. The vast majority of facilities that federal agencies will be using in 2020, 2030, and 2040 exist today. Operating building systems as they were designed can result in significant reductions in the consump- tion of energy and water and can contribute positively to all aspects of indoor environmental quality. The performance of building systems can significantly decline over time due to improper installation, the lack of routine maintenance and repair, and simple wear and tear. Such decline means that energy, water, and other resources are wasted, possibly affecting the health and safety of occupants. Building commissioning is a well-recognized best practice for ensuring that building systems operate as they were designed, which can result in lower energy consumption and improved indoor environmental quality. For existing buildings, the recommissioning of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems can be cost effective when undertaken every 3 to 5 years. 5. Aggressively implement proven sustainable technologies as a matter of course. Agencies regularly replace worn-out roofs, lighting systems, heating, ventilation, and air-condi- tioning systems, water fixtures, computers, printers, and other equipment in existing buildings. Federal agencies have significant opportunities to upgrade the performance of existing building systems through effective operations, through routine maintenance, repair, and replacement programs, and through ret- rofit projects. As systems are changed out, more efficient technologies can be incorporated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy and water use, to improve indoor environmental quality, and to meet other objectives related to high-performance green buildings. Technologies are available that have been proven to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., white roofs), energy, and/or water use (e.g., Energy Star rated appliances and equipment, WaterSense fixtures, lighting components, FEMP-designated electronics) and that can be incorporated into existing facilities through routine maintenance, repair, and replacement programs. Energy Savings Performance Contracts can be an effective way to improve the efficiency of building systems when agencies lack the up-front capital to directly invest in such improvements. When more extensive retrofits of building systems are undertaken, agencies can introduce more efficient technologies for heating, lighting, and cooling, for fossil-fuel reduction, and for increased use of renewable energy (e.g., solar panels on the rooftops of buildings, parking garages, and other facili- ties). Commissioning of retrofitted systems can ensure that they will perform as designed. The addition of new monitoring systems can lead to more efficient operations and can be used as a communication tool to help change behavior.

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63 STRATEGIES AND APPROACHES 6. Use integrated, collaborative processes and practices to overcome conventional segmented processes that fail to optimize resources. Integrated, collaborative work processes are essential for achieving the multiple objectives associated with high-performance buildings, including zero-net-energy buildings, such as NREL’s research support facility. They can be used to overcome the wasting of resources inherent in conventional, segmented processes and to support a life-cycle perspective. Agencies could leverage available resources, meet public policy goals, and improve results now and over the long term by consistently implementing existing guidelines such as those in the “Guiding Prin- ciples for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings.” Even greater reductions of energy use could be achieved if, during the design process, agencies considered the energy required to operate lighting, computers, servers, copy machines, appliances, and other equipment. Hundreds of tools and models are available to help agencies evaluate alternative designs for build- ings and help to optimize the use of natural resources in providing lighting, energy, and other services. Technologies to support integrative design processes, such as building information modeling (BIM), are being developed and used by some agencies for some applications. 7. Aim for high-performance, near-zero-net-energy buildings now. The technologies and integrated design processes needed to develop high-performance buildings, including near-zero-net-energy buildings, are already available, and some agencies are using them effectively (e.g., NREL research support facility). Federal agencies that wait until 2020 to begin design- ing zero-net-energy buildings will be missing a significant opportunity to leapfrog ahead to meet their goals and conserve resources. Starting now also provides the opportunity to learn how best to combine technologies and processes to achieve zero-net-energy buildings for a range of climates and locations, and to share that information with other agencies. Historic buildings present an opportunity to create zero-net-energy buildings. Many historic build- ings were originally designed with passive heating and cooling coupled with natural daylighting and ventilation strategies. However, their performance may have been compromised over time through the accretion of mechanical systems and the elimination of original components. By carefully retrofitting and replacing existing systems, some historic structures can become high-performance buildings again (e.g., Wayne Aspinall federal building). 8. Measure, verify, and report performance to improve processes and change behavior. Achieving all of the objectives associated with federal high-performance facilities requires changes in mindset as much as it does changes in processes. Change within an organization requires leadership and effective communication so that everyone in the organization understands and accepts that the goals and objectives are the right ones to continuously pursue. Because effective operation of building systems is dependent, in part, on the behavior of building occupants, occupants also need to understand how their behavior affects building performance and why proper operation is important to their own health and safety and to their agency’s mission. Best-practice organizations have long used performance measurement as a basis for good communication, for changing conventional processes, and for chang- ing human behavior.

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64 ACHIEVING HIGH-PERFORMANCE FEDERAL FACILITIES Because an array of performance measures have been developed to track progress toward different goals or objectives related to federal high-performance facilities, some measures conflict and create disincentives for sustainable practices. For example, agencies have been directed to (1) reduce their energy use per square foot of space and (2) reduce their total square footage of space. Reducing total square footage of space should, intuitively, also lead to reduced energy use. However, if an agency is successful in reducing its total square footage of space, its energy use per square foot may increase and it will appear that the agency is failing to meet the objectives. This lack of alignment among performance measures undermines the achievement of what should be complementary objectives. New performance measures are being developed to track greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint. To the extent possible, the government and its agencies should ensure that all performance measures are aligned to achieve complementary objectives. Other techniques, technologies, and tools that can be used by agencies to improve communication and to help change behavior in support of the range of objectives associated with high-performance buildings include the following: • Providing regular updates to stakeholders on progress in achieving objectives related to high- performance buildings through Webinars, conferences, and other formats. • Using “branding” techniques, including green building rating systems, logos, and energy performance labels for buildings as well as equipment. • Using evidence-based information for making a “business case” for high-performance buildings and sustainable practices. • Using energy audits and other reporting requirements to communicate with decision makers, building operators, and occupants about successes and inefficiencies, and about ways to further improve efforts aimed at energy reduction or other goals. • Using real-time monitoring and feedback systems. • Establishing friendly competitions among building tenants to boost efforts aimed at reducing energy and water use. 9. Use performance-based approaches to unleash the creativity of contractors. When new buildings or major retrofits are needed, federal agencies develop criteria for the proj- ects and then contract with private-sector firms to design and construct them. Federal agencies can use performance-based contracts to set high-level performance goals for new buildings and major retrofits and then challenge private-sector contractors to use their creativity and expertise to design projects that meet those goals. When several years have elapsed between the actual design of a project and its construction, the designs can go stale, such that the project will not be state of the art when the ribbon is cut. In these circumstances, agencies should work with contractors through charrettes or other practices to update the designs to state-of-the-art standards before construction. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) emphasized the use of performance-based contracting strategies to achieve higher-level goals through innovative, creative solutions developed by their contractors. One potential best practice identified in the workshop breakout sessions was to make reduced opera- tions and maintenance costs an evaluation selection criterion in requests for proposals and contractor selection for new and retrofit projects. In this way, contracts could help incorporate a life-cycle perspec- tive. Another suggestion from the workshop was to develop model clauses and best practice procedures

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65 STRATEGIES AND APPROACHES for using performance-based approaches and post them on a public Web site accessible to all federal agencies and their contractors. 10. Collaborate to drive the market for sustainable products and high-performance technologies. Federal agencies can use their purchasing power to drive the market demand for sustainable products and services, such as was done by the LACCD in developing sustainable carpeting. Realizing such oppor- tunities will require agencies to collaborate with each other and with industry, universities, and nonprofit entities in public-private partnerships. Agencies can also drive the demand for high-performance space through their leasing practices, as recognized in Executive Order 13514. Agencies can help drive the development of technologies such as BIM by providing incentives for contractors to use these technolo- gies for new building and major retrofit projects. Federal agencies have the opportunity to drive the wider deployment of new, more resource-efficient technologies and products by using their facilities as test beds for new technologies and practices and then publicizing the test results. In this way, agencies and the private sector can create a knowledge base for new technologies and practices that will help to mitigate the risk of using them. 11. Use standards and guidelines to drive change and embed sustainability into decision- making processes. Federal agencies can meet objectives for high-performance buildings by embedding sustainable practices into their policies, design standards, and acquisition and maintenance practices and through the use of guidelines such as green building rating systems. Many agencies maintain their own sets of design and operations standards to address the types of buildings they typically manage. One relatively easy way to embed sustainability into everyday deci- sion making is to review these standards and revise them as necessary to align with objectives for high- performance green buildings. Specifying Energy Star appliances and equipment, WaterSense fixtures, and FEMP-designated electronics in contracts and task orders would result in improved energy and water performance almost automatically. 12. Communicate successes and learn from others. Sustainable practices and processes are evolving and proliferating rapidly. Federal agencies have already developed numerous databases and Web sites containing policies, guidelines, processes, tools, technologies, and evidence-based data for developing, operating, retrofitting, and managing high- performance green buildings and facilities. Among these are Greening Federal Facilities: An Energy, Environmental, and Economic Resource Guide for Federal Facility Managers and Designers (DOE, 2001), the Federal Research and Development Agenda for Net-Zero Energy, High-Performance Green Buildings (NSTC, 2008), the Whole Building Design Guide (www.wbdg.org), the High-Performance Federal Buildings Web site (http://femp.buildinggreen.com/), Energy Star (www.energystar.gov), and WaterSense (http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense) programs for efficient equipment, appliances, and fixtures, the electronic product environmental assessment tool (www. http://www.epa.gov/epp/pubs/products/ epeat.htm), the Building Energy Software Tools Directory (http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/ tools_directory/), and the newly released Sustainable Facilities Tool (http://www.sftool.org/). However, these Web sites and databases are scattered among many individual agencies and their overall value is diminished by this dispersal.

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66 ACHIEVING HIGH-PERFORMANCE FEDERAL FACILITIES Federal agencies should collaborate to determine how they can best optimize the value of such information so that it can be used more effectively by all federal agencies and so that it can be easily shared with state and local governments, private-sector and not-for-profit organizations, and the public. When agencies test new technologies and practices, they could also place the results on a Web site to help deploy effective technologies to a wider audience.