11. Use standards and guidelines to drive change and embed sustainability into decision-making processes.

Federal agencies can meet objectives for high-performance facilities by embedding sustainable practices into their policies, design standards, acquisition and maintenance practices, contracts, and task orders, 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 facilities they typically manage. One relatively easy way to embed sustainability into everyday decision 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 FEMP2-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. However, these Web sites and databases are scattered among many individual agencies and their overall value is diminished by this segmentation. 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, with private-sector and not-for-profit organizations, and with the public.


2Federal Energy Management Program.

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