To save energy and safeguard the natural environment, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and several federal agencies, including the Department
To save energy and safeguard the natural environment, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and several federal agencies, including the Department of Defense and General Services Administration, agreed to a set of guiding principles for designing, building, and operating federal facilities. Officially titled The Federal Leadership Memorandum of Understanding to adopt Guiding Principles for High Performance and Sustainable Buildings, the policy statement emphasizes energy efficiency as a key element.
Adopted at the White House Summit on Federal Sustainable Buildings, the guiding principles integrate design, energy performance, water conservation, indoor air quality, and sustainable materials to ensure that new buildings are among the most energy efficient in the country. They also specify that building components should exceed the energy code; further, the actual energy performance of a building during and through the first year of operation should be verified against its design target using EPA’s Energy Star performance rating system for buildings.
Energy Star is a government-backed program helping businesses and consumers protect the environment through improved energy efficiency. Partnering with EPA through Energy Star, more than 8,000 private and public sector organizations in 2004 saved enough energy to power 24 million homes and avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 20 million cars Û while saving $10 billion.
The federal government owns approximately 445,000 buildings encompassing over 3 billion square feet of floor space. In addition, it leases 57,000 buildings that comprise floor space totalling 374 million square feet. If federal buildings reduce energy by 10 percent, taxpayers would save $420 million dollars in 10 years, as greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by a sum equivalent to that generated by 625,000-plus cars.
In meeting President Bush’s call to conserve our energy resources, the federal government is leading the way in the national march toward energy security and a cleaner environment, observes EPA Assistant Administrator for Administration and Resources Management Luis Luna. More information on Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings is available at EPA’s web site, www.energystar.gov/news. Energy Star buildings are featured at www.energystar.gov/buildings.