On Wednesday, July 21, 2010, the Government Management, Organization and Procurement Subcommittee held a hearing to examine to what extent the federal government has incorporated green, high-performance building practices into the renovation and construction of existing and new U.S. government owned and leased buildings in accordance with the Energy Independence and security Act of 2007 (EISA), and Executive Order 13514 and other relevant statutes and directives.

Kevin Kampschroer, Director of the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings (OFHPGB) at the United States General Services Administration (GSA).

A principal duty of the OFHPGB is to ensure full coordination of high-performance green building information and activities within GSA. Under the Recovery Act, GSA received $5.55 billion to be re-invested in the Federal buildings portfolio on an accelerated basis.  Among projects identified as appropriate for Recovery Act funding, GSA examined opportunities to improve the performance of projects already designed, with a focus on building systems, human performance, renewable energy generation and water conservation.  GSA prioritized buildings with the worst performance in energy and poor physical conditions, and the best plans for improvement. The following improvements were incorporated into all projects, where possible, based on funding and return on investment:

1. Building tune-up (re-commissioning, controls improvements, minor systems repairs and equipment replacement)

2. Lighting (day lighting control and occupancy sensors; control systems replacement and re-wiring)

3. HVAC retrofit/replacement

4. Renewable energy generation by photovoltaic, thermal solar or wind

5. Water conservation projects In addition, GSA has worked to establish geothermal and lighting technology acceleration programs.

Preliminary Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 data indicates that the Federal Government used approximately 386 trillion British thermal units (Btu)1 of energy in nearly 3.2 billion square feet of facility space.2 Federal facility energy use is a little over a third of the Federal
Government’s total consumption.3 The Federal Government consumed about 1.6 percent of the Nation’s total energy.4 Within this context the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) and Building Technologies Program (BTP) work together with other Federal agencies—particularly the Department of Defense (DoD), the General Services
Administration (GSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—to help them adopt sustainable practices and technologies. I’m pleased to be here today to provide further information to this Subcommittee on these efforts. Constructing and operating Federal facilities in a sustainable manner has numerous welldocumented benefits, including:
• Saving taxpayer dollars through optimized life-cycle cost-effective actions;
• Enhancing employee productivity through the provision of safe, healthy and environmentally appealing workplaces;
• Reducing environmental impacts through decreased energy, water, and materials use; and
• Moving the overall market conditions toward higher performance, through the Federal demand for sustainable facilities.
Currently, Federal building sustainability performance is rated on Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Scorecards (Energy Management and Environmental) using six primary metrics, which link to requirements under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct), the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), and Executive Order (E.O.) 13423. The six current performance metrics are:
1. Reduced energy intensity;5
2. Consumption of electricity from renewable sources;6
3. The percentage of appropriate facilities which have been metered for electricity use;
4. Reduced water intensity;7
5. New construction compliance with Federal design standards to be 30 percent more energy efficient than applicable code; and
6. Application of sustainability guiding principles in Federal buildings.8
However, OMB Scorecards are expected to be updated this year, as OMB develops performance metrics that also reflect the new requirements of President Obama’s E.O. 13514 which includes ambitious new targets for agencies to meet in the areas of:
• Greenhouse gas emissions measurement and reduction;
• Pollution prevention and waste diversion;
• Regional and local integrated planning;
• Improving water efficiency and management; and
• Strategic Sustainability Performance Planning.
EPA occupies 11 million square feet (SF) of office, support and laboratory space across the country, which houses over 17,000 federal employees and 8,000 support personnel.
An area that is having a growing impact on our green building efforts is building operations and maintenance. Buildings designed to be energy efficient are frequently complex to operate and maintain. Locating and retaining qualified, competent and experienced building operators is becoming increasingly difficult, leading to inefficient and ineffective facility operations in certain locations. EPA is using EISA required energy assessments and re-commissioning to identify and correct poor preventative maintenance practices, improve mechanical system operating efficiency, and evaluate O and M contractor performance. EPA believes that EISA Sec 432 implementing guidance setting minimum training requirements for federal Energy Managers also should improve O and M at EPA and other federal facilities. EPA has also developed a Building Management Program to improve and standardize facility O&M best practices at all EPA-owned facilities.
Several tools that EPA developed include the Portfolio Manager and Target Finder, two on-line energy management tracking and assessment tools. Portfolio Manager is being used by 15 billion SF of commercial building market (20% of the market) to track energy and water usage, assess the performance of buildings, set goals and make reductions across building portfolios. Recently, as part of a joint effort between EPA, DOE and GSA, EPA expanded Portfolio Manager to include the Federal Sustainability Checklist, allowing federal agencies to track and report their progress on the sustainability goals required as part of Executive Order 13514. EPA’s ENERGY STAR Program is also providing training to federal agencies as part of this collaboration.
In recognition of the unique position of the Institute, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) called for the establishment of a High-Performance Building Council within the Institute tasked to look at the diversity of codes and standards for buildings and determine the needs necessary for implementation of high-performance buildings.
As its initial task, the Council identified the eight attributes that define a high-performance building. They are:  Sustainability Cost Effectiveness Accessibility Productivity Historic Preservation Aesthetics Functionality Safety and Security These attributes are reflected in the definitions of High-Performance Building and High-Performance Green Building as defined in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) which defines high performance as “the integration and optimization on a life cycle basis of all major high performance attributes, including energy conservation, environment, safety, security, durability, accessibility, cost-benefit, productivity, sustainability, functionality, and operational considerations.” As the Subcommittee will note, sustainability or “green” is just one aspect of a high-performance building. Federal agencies have numerous requirements related to these high-performance attributes beyond the energy, water and sustainability requirements in EPAct, EISA, and Executive Orders 13423 and 13514. Additionally, these requirements are likely to expand and change due to emerging issues impacting building occupancy and use including those tied to our aging population (e.g., addressing low vision) and to increased interest in technology and sustainability (e.g., flexibility for new technologies and new work environments). A sample of relevant laws and Executive Orders appear below: Americans with Disabilities Act National Historic Preservation Act Public Buildings Act National Environmental Policy Act E.O. 13006: Historic Properties E.O. 12977: Security Standards E.O. 12941/12699: Seismic Safety Presidential Memorandum on Disposing of Unneeded Federal Real-Estate (June 10, 2010).
As the High-Performance Building Council reported, common metrics are needed to measure and compare achievement of individual attributes and then to understand the interactions across attributes.
Ellen Larson Vaughan Policy Director Environmental and Energy Study Institute
EESI is a nonprofit policy-education organization dedicated to developing innovative solutions to climate change and other critical energy and environmental challenges and bringing sound science and technology information to policymakers through briefings, publications and other activities. Founded by members of a bi-partisan Congressional study conference, EESI has been an independent organization since 1984 1984 and is funded primarily through foundation grants and charitable contributions.
The federal government owns and operates nearly 500,000 facilities and can establish its own performance goals, above and beyond what Congress has already required. With about 3 billion square feet of floor space, federal buildings have a substantial environmental footprint, consuming 1.6 percent of the nation’s total energy use at an annual cost of $24.5 billion, according to the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP).
The terms high performance and green have evolved substantially over the years. We are grateful that your committee in Section 401 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 defined high performance green buildings for the purposes of the activities of the Department of Energy and General Services Administration in a way that captures best current thinking. These definitions challenge the government to design, construct, and operate its buildings at the state of the art and pave the way for these agencies to show leadership over the next two decades, a period during which we will need higher performance from federal and other buildings than ever before.
Retrofit is very important because new construction adds only a very small percentage to our national building inventory each year. Therefore, if we are to have a significant number of high performance green buildings in our lifetimes, much of the work will have to be retrofits of existing buildings.
Lynn G. Bellenger, P.E., FASHRAE President, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
Standard 90.1 now serves as both the federal building standard, and the national reference for state adopted commercial building codes through the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), the Energy Conservation and Production Act (ECPA), and the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct).
The impact of our nation’s buildings is surprisingly large. Our nation’s buildings account for 40 percent of our primary energy use—more than either transportation or industry. Buildings are responsible for 72 percent of the electricity consumption and 39 percent of the total U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. The CO2 emissions from US buildings alone approximately equal the combined emissions of Japan, France, and the United Kingdom for transportation, industry, and buildings.
Building Modeling
My presidential theme is “Modeling a Sustainable World.” Building modeling represents one of the most powerful tools for optimizing building performance, and it is an area worthy of increased support from Congress. Today, we have the tools to create a virtual model to consider options in size, shape and appearance. But more than just a visual representation, our models can simulate energy performance, assess daylighting options and predict thermal comfort.
Integrated Building Design
To exploit the full capability of modeling tools, we must transform our design approach from a sequential process — where one discipline completes its work and hands off the design to the next — to a collaborative integrated building design process — where all of the disciplines involved in the building design and construction work as team from the beginning to evaluate options and optimize the design.
Our biggest challenge is implementing integrated design into daily practice. The traditional sequential approach misses the rich opportunities for optimizing building performance through a collaborative approach throughout the design process.
It is going to require a cultural shift in our industry to transform the design process, and it’s a shift that has to occur if we are going to reach our goal of net zero energy buildings.
To help expand awareness throughout the federal government of the potential benefits of increased energy savings that can be achieved through integrated, whole building design, we recommend creating a new demonstration program with selected, geographically diverse federal buildings. A report on the success and challenges of such a demonstration program would yield useful lessons learned that could be applied and expanded to other federal buildings, as well as buildings in the private sector.
Standard 189.1: A New Foundation for Green Building Standards Earlier this year, in our continuing efforts to push the envelope on building efficiency, and in collaboration with the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), ASHRAE published Standard 189.1 – the first code-intended commercial green building standard in the United States. Standard 189.1 also serves as a compliance path of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), published by the International Code Council. Standard 189.1 represents a revolutionary new step for building standards, as it provides a long-needed green building foundation for those who strive to design, build and operate green buildings. From site location to energy use to recycling, this standard will set the foundation for green buildings through its adoption into local codes. It covers key topic areas similar to green building rating systems, including site sustainability, water use efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality and the building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources.
The energy efficiency goal of Standard 189.1 is to provide significant energy reduction over in ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007. It offers a broader scope than Standard 90.1 is intended to provide minimum requirements for the siting, design and construction of high performance, green buildings. For this reason, ASHRAE recommends authorizing a pilot program with a select group of geographically diverse federal buildings to examine the effects
requiring all new federal buildings, by 2020, to meet the IGCC, and include ASHRAE Standard 189.1 as a compliance path of the IGCC. This will help the federal government meet the objectives of Executive Order 13514 of ensuring that beginning in 2020, all new federal buildings are designed to achieve zero-net-energy by 2030. A report on the success and challenges of such a demonstration program would also yield useful lessons learned that could
applied and expanded to other federal buildings, as well as buildings in the private sector.
James Bertrand President, Delphi Thermal Systems
Today, air conditioning use alone represents nearly 13% of all U.S. electricity consumption! On the residential air conditioning side, the consumption rate is already at 17% and will grow to 19% by 2030.
Furthermore, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is forecasting that consumers in the United States will increase their use of electricity by 1.4% annually through 2030. This data already accounts for the energy-efficiency legislation enacted that will impact future consumption. With energy consumption on the rise and the associated implications the increases will bring, it’s an issue both government and industry can not afford to ignore.
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