Policies & Strategies
Rachel Shepherd, DOE-FEMP’s Renewable Energy Program Manager, introduces the White House goal “for civilian agencies to procure and facilitate development of 1 gigawatt of new renewable electricity by 2021,” announced in October 2016. The presentation includes a look at how this new goal would build on current progress toward federal renewable energy targets.
See the White House blog announcing the new civilian GW goal at https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/10/14/continuing-administrations-commitment-deploying-clean-energy-federal-facilities. For more information on DOE-FEMP’s work on renewable energy projects and technologies, visit: http://energy.gov/eere/femp/federal-renewable-energy-projects-and-technologies.
Paul Sheaffer of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory describes the status of the U.S. Department of Energy’s 50001 Ready Program. 50001 Ready is a three-step DOE program to recognize conformance with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 50001 standard for energy management systems, which helps facilities save energy and money through continuous improvement. Paul discusses the DOE Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) resources available to agencies who pursue 50001 Ready, including structured training and ongoing “help desk” support; and lists several federal agencies in active or planned FY 2020 FEMP 50001 Ready Cohorts.For more information, visit the DOE 50001 Ready Program website at https://www.energy.gov/eere/amo/50001-ready-program and the ISO 50001 standard website at https://www.iso.org/iso-50001-energy-management.html.
ISO 50001 is an international standard that specifies how building energy management systems should be established, implemented, maintained, and improved. In this presentation, David Boomsma of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (DOE-FEMP) introduces DOE’s pilot voluntary recognition program for “50001 Ready” facilities. Interested agencies should contact Mr. Boomsma at the email address contained herein.
For more information, visit the DOE 50001 Ready Program website.
David Boomsma of DOE's Federal Energy Management Program described the Assisting Federal Facilities with Conservation Technologies (AFFECT) grant program and invited agencies to provide input for AFFECT's future. For more information, visit the program’s website. To offer comments on what your agency would or would not like to see in terms of topic areas for FY16 and FY17, contact David Boomsma, David.Boomsma@ee.doe.gov.
Analysis of Guiding Principles for High Performance Sustainable Buildings - CMeincke, MMyers, Mar. 2012
A discussion of how standards, compliance and reporting may be improved to help agencies meet sustainability goals. Visit the Federal Energy Management Program for technical assistance with renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 and 10 CFR 433 Regulations, Requirements, and Tips – M. Halverson, December 2019
Mark Halverson of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) discusses past and future changes to ASHRAE Standard 90.1, with implications for how commercial and low-rise multi-family residential buildings in the federal building portfolio are required to save energy. He describes compliance paths for ASHRAE 90.1-2013, including the Performance Rating Method (PRM) whole building design tool.
For more information, visit the ASHRAE Standard 90.1 website. Also see the U.S. Department of Energy’s full list of building energy software tools and Guiding Principles Compliance webpages.
Sarah Jensen of DOE's Office of Sustainable Environmental Stewardship provides a briefing on the new DOE rule updating the energy efficiency performance requirement for new federal buildings to ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013. To learn more, visit the Federal Register page.
Building & Grid Integration: A New Frontier for Federal Buildings – K. Sandler and K. Porst Hydras, December 2019
Ken Sandler and Kinga Porst Hydras of GSA’s Office of Federal High-Performance Buildings (OFHPB) introduce the concept of grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs), where buildings that provide demand flexibility services such as load shedding and load shifting can help improve energy efficiency, provide cost savings, reduce carbon emissions, and more. To illustrate GEBs’ potential benefits to the federal government, they summarize the findings of a 2019 report by GSA and the Rocky Mountain Institute, “Value Potential for Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings in the GSA Portfolio: A Cost-Benefit Analysis.”
Ken Sandler of GSA’s Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings describes the recent findings and recommendations from two task groups of the GSA Green Building Advisory Committee (GBAC): 1) Embodied Energy and Carbon in Federal Building Materials and 2) Sustainable Response to COVID-19 in Federal Buildings.
Daryl Haegley of the Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Energy Installation & Environment (DOD-OASD (EI&E)) discusses topics including: the current status and 2020 goals for DOD advanced meter installations; vulnerability of internet-connected devices, utilities, etc. to cyberattacks; DOD’s use of the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) Cybersecurity Evaluation Tool (CSET); and some results of facility site assessments performed by Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab, showing scenarios in which control systems could be used to exploit vulnerabilities.
For more information: ICS-CERT CSET: https://www.us-cert.gov/ics/Assessments
United Facilities Criteria (UFC) 4-010-06: Cybersecurity of Facility-related Control Systems (via Whole Building Design Guide): https://www.wbdg.org/ffc/dod/unified-facilities-criteria-ufc/ufc-4-010-06
SERDP-ESTCP (DOD’s Environmental Research Programs): Cybersecurity Guidelines: https://www.serdp-estcp.org/Tools-and-Training/Energy-and-Water/Cybersecurity
Dan Pomeroy, Director of the IT Portfolio Management Division in GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy (OGP), explains the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI) announced by the Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) in August 2016. DCOI replaces the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative and sets aggressive goals for data center consolidation and optimization to be met by FY 2018. For more information, visit the CIO’s DCOI home page, at https://datacenters.cio.gov, and the press release announcing OGP’s participation as the DCOI Managing Partner, at http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/141466.
Driving Health Through Built Environment Interventions: Evidenced Based Design in Action – L. York, July 2017
Liz York, Chief Sustainability Officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), describes the Fitwel building certification system. Operated by the Center for Active Design (CfAD) and developed by CDC and GSA, Fitwel is a voluntary system providing more than 60 low-cost interventions whose high effectiveness in improving occupant health and productivity is supported by research. For more information, visit the Fitwel Website.
An overview of Portfolio Manager, which assists building managers and owners with evaluating compliance with the Federal High Performance Sustainable Building Guiding Principles. Learn more about ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and see what additional trainings apply to you.
Craig Haglund of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updates the Interagency Sustainability Working Group (ISWG) about the agency’s ENERGY STAR Tenant Space recognition program. After reviewing the results of a pilot phase with more than 30 “charter tenants,” EPA planned a market-scale launch for office tenants in summer 2020. Tenants will use an online tool within Portfolio Manager to determine their eligibility for recognition. For more information, see 2018 EPA ENERGY STAR for Tenants.
EPA Assessment and Recommendation of Private Sector Standards and Ecolabels – A. Kinn Bennett, May 2017
Alison Kinn Bennett of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes the importance of the EPA's Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program in the development, assessment, and recommendation of sustainability standards and ecolabels, and in helping federal agencies—and their contractors—choose products based on those recommendations. The presentation includes a look at EPA's implementation focus for 2017, "integrating EPA recommendations into federal procurements.
For more information:
EPA's "Sustainable Marketplace: Greener Products & Services" page
SFTool.gov Green Procurement Compilation
U.S. policy and information resources on standards
FEMP ENABLE Program Manager Ira Birnbaum provides updated data and information on the streamlined ESPC ENABLE program. Among other topics, this presentation reviews awarded project investment figures, improvements to the investment grade audit (IGA) tool developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and FEMP resources available for agencies looking to get started with their own ENABLE projects.
For more information, visit the FEMP ESPC ENABLE Website or contact your region’s Federal Project Executive.
DOE-FEMP's Tracy Niro explains how an early 2017 IRS Revenue Procedure (Rev. Proc. 2017-19) may help increase deployment of renewable energy conservation measures on federal buildings and/or land via energy savings performance contract (ESPC) energy sales agreements (ESAs).
For more information, see Rev. Proc. 2017-19 and the Internal Revenue Bulletin of February 13, 2017.
Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act (FBPTA) and Facilities Management Institute - BGilligan, updated Apr2015
An overview of the Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act. GSA's Facilities Management Institute offers pathways to professional development for early or transitional employees as well as more advanced employees.
Eliza Hotchkiss of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) details the results of a climate resiliency pilot project launched by the White House Council on Environmental Quality, in which NREL partnered with the State of Colorado. Initiated in 2014, this pilot was meant to combine state and federal expertise to determine and plan for climate-related vulnerabilities in that region, and to produce models and lessons learned that could be applied to other localities and agencies. As the main output of this effort, NREL infused its stakeholder-driven, participatory process into an interactive tool, the Climate Change Resilience Roadmap, which guides users through a “collaborative approach to multi-jurisdictional planning.”
Test out the Climate Change Resilience Roadmap here: https://www.nrel.gov/resilience-planning-roadmap/
FEMP offers guidance and resources on the variety of pathways open to federal government entities looking to meet their renewable energy procurement goals. In this presentation, Tracy (Logan) Niro of FEMP and Chandra Shah of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory describe these pathways—including but not limited to alternative financing options, power purchase agreements (PPAs), and renewable energy certificates (RECs)—in detail. For more information, visit the FEMP Renewable Energy Projects and Technologies website. Viewers are also encouraged to visit the FEMP Training website to explore renewable energy training opportunities.
GSA’s Amy Bourne reports on a 2014 pilot program that involved 89 public sector buildings pursuing Fitwel certification. In particular, she describes GSA’s efforts to operationalize and refine its Fitwel approach in support of the agency’s focus on maximizing occupant health and wellness. She closes with a look at GSA’s lessons learned and next steps. For more information, visit the Fitwel “About” page.
Chris Tremper of the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) breaks down federal sustainability performance data from fiscal year 2016. Among the key findings: Federal facility energy intensity fell 5.3 percent year-on-year compared with FY 2015, surpassing the 2.5 percent reduction goal. For more information, visit FEMP’s “Federal Comprehensive Annual Energy Performance Data” Website.
Green Building Certification Rule and Fossil Fuel-Generated Energy Reduction - SJensen, updated May 2015
A look at the requirements of the Fossil Fuel-Generated Energy Consumption Reduction Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Fossil Fuel SNOPR” and the energy and water requirements of the Green Building Certification Rule.
2013 progress on green leasing, showing the development of a green lease, GSA sustainability requirements for leases, LEED standards for green leasing, ENERGY STAR requirements and green leasing resources. Learn more at the GSA Office of Leasing or DOE's Green Lease Procedures.
Alexandra Kosmides updates the ISWG on the GSA Leasing Office’s current issues of focus: GSA Green Leasing Requirements, including implications of Executive Order 13693; Guiding Principles in Leased Space; Utility Consumption Reporting and EISA Benchmarking Provision; Model Commercial Leasing Provisions – Net of Utilities Leases; and what’s ahead for FY 2017 and FY 2018. For more information, visit the GSA Office of Leasing website: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104480.
The GSA-OFHPB Advisory Committee was established by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 to advise GSA’s Office of Federal High-Performance Buildings. In this presentation, OFHPB’s Ken Sandler summarizes the committee’s latest recommendations regarding health and wellness, high-performance building adoption, and power purchase agreements.
For more information, visit the Advisory Committee home page at GSA.
To help agencies navigate the 2016 Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings, FEMP has developed and is planning several GP resources, tools, and training sessions through FY 2018. Nic Baker, Carol Meincke, and Mike Myers describe these plans, identify the major changes between the 2008 and 2016 GP, and discuss the implications for projects that began prior to the 2016 GP revision.
For more information, visit the FEMP 2016 GPs website at http://energy.gov/eere/femp/articles/council-environmental-quality-issues-2016-guiding-principles-sustainable-federal.
GSA’s Patrick Dale discusses GSA’s third review of high-performance building certification systems under the 2007 Energy Independence & Security Act (EISA), providing an overview of GSA’s findings and outlining next steps for the study. For more information, see the GSA HPBCS Review website.
Michael Myer of Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL) describes this national program, with a goal to document high-efficiency retrofits of 1 million troffers by April 2017. The campaign met its goal three months early. Also covered in this presentation are case studies of some of the impressive lighting projects that counted toward that 1-million-troffer goal, as well as the new PNNL certificate series on Advanced Lighting Systems available to federal agencies.
For more information, visit the Campaign’s Web site.
Mastering Campus Sustainability Management: Tools for Success – N. Baker, K. Fowler, O. VanGeet, and J. Maestas, September 2016
Led by Nic Baker, DOE-FEMP’s Large Campus Innovative Change (LCIC) Team explores why the federal government could benefit from a shifting its sustainability focus to the site- or campus-level. A FEMP analysis of EISA reporting data, for example, indicates that the top 450 energy-using federal campuses account for roughly 75% of all federal energy use. LCIC team members Kim Fowler of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Otto VanGeet of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; and Jesse Maestas of Verus Resource Management provide a wide-ranging overview of this topic. Included in the presentation are best practices for campus-level sustainability, a particular focus on energy management, and an exploration of the financing options available to agencies doing energy projects.
Useful links for further information:
Resources from LCIC team’s pre-conference workshop at Energy Exchange 2016: http://energy.gov/eere/femp/downloads/mastering-campus-energy-and-water-management-tools-success-presentations-and.
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Global District Energy in Cities Initiative: http://www.districtenergyinitiative.org/
Jeff Lape, National Program Leader for Water Reuse at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water, discusses the draft National Water Reuse Action Plan released at the WateReuse Symposium in San Diego, CA, in September 2019. Noting that in the United States, 40 of 50 state water managers expect freshwater shortages in their states within a decade, the report identifies 10 strategic objectives and 46 proposed actions for stakeholders. Two of these proposed actions directly involve the federal sector.
For more information, read the plan and its appendices on the EPA Water Reuse Action Plan website.
Net Zero Energy, Water, and Waste for Campuses and New and Existing Buildings – R. Shepherd and K. Fowler, Oct. 2017
Rachel Shepherd of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) and Kim Fowler of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) give an overview of three new FEMP Net Zero Handbooks. For more information, and to download the handbooks, visit FEMP’s Net Zero Energy, Water, and Waste for Federal Buildings and Campuses web page.
Following on recommendations made by the GSA OFHPB Advisory Committee, Ken Sandler (GSA Office of Federal High-Performance Buildings) proposes the formation of a Health and Wellness subgroup under the auspices of the Interagency Sustainability Working Group (ISWG).
Summary Impacts of Energy Act 2020 to Federal Sustainability Community: ISWG Update - N. Baker, February 2021
Nicolas Baker of the U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Energy Management Program (DOE-FEMP) reviews what the relevant provisions of the Energy Act of 2020 (EA 2020) mean for federal sustainability. Among the main changes, EA 2020 adds water conservation and water metering requirements and establishes a Federal Smart Building Program. The law also codifies FEMP.
An overview of EPA's environmentally preferable purchasing program and timeline for developing EPP standards and ecolabels. Learn more at EPA's Green Purchasing Guide or see EPA's guidance on Environmentally Preferably Purchasing.
Roger Fernandez of EPA's Green Power Partnership and Center for Corporate Climate Leadership describes how these two voluntary programs are helping increase renewable energy use. Includes information on Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and the EPA-sponsored Climate Leadership Awards. To learn more, visit the EPA websites for the Green Power Partnership and the Center for Corporate Climate Leadership.
Guidance for agencies with meeting water efficiency goals and reporting requirements, including adding water use in Portfolio Manager.
Challenges in Implementing an Agency-wide Advanced Metering System: IT Security and Support Needs – K. Curran and S. Shadchehr, January 2017
GSA’s Karen Curran and Sandy Shadchehr provide background for and describe ongoing efforts of the agency’s Advanced Metering Program. The presentation includes a look at some best practices for advanced metering in federal facilities and how new metering devices are assessed for security and eventually added to the GSA network.
In early 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that outlined resilience-related goals on which the agencies will collaborate, including DHS's reassessment and protection of its critical infrastructure. FEMP’s Sandrine Schultz and DHS Energy Manager Crystall Merlino describe DHS efforts to date, including developing the DHS Resilience Framework and working at pilot sites to determine resilience technology best practices. For more information, visit the DHS Resilience web page; the MOU announcement; and FEMP’s Energy and Water Resilience and Security page.
Describes the development of the Department of Defense's Sustainable Buildings Strategy. Visit DOD Sustainability to learn more.
Details GSA's successes and challenges in achieving mandated sustainability targets in its owned and leased buildings portfolio. Includes information on the Guiding Principles, GSA's "On Green" performance measure, and more. Visit the GSA Sustainable Design site to learn more.
GSA's office makeover to reduce energy, space, and rent while increasing workplace collaboration. Visit GSA to learn more about this program.
Details the timeline of NASA's sustainable facilities policy and presents their guiding principles, highlighting six retro-commissioning examples.
Timonie Hood, Zero Waste & Green Building Coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Pacific Southwest Region (Region 9), introduces the concept of net zero waste and details progress on waste reduction nationally and in her EPA region.
Useful links for further information: EPA’s annual report, Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures
Using reusables in packaging: UseReusables.org (includes some inspiring success stories)
EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge and Federal Green Challenge websites
Guam Environmental Protection Agency
Lifecycle Building Challenge
An overview of how the State Department is making overseas missions more sustainable with several case studies. Visit Sustasinability and the U.S. Department of State to learn more.
Dr. Stephen Dornbos, a climate and water resilience specialist at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment OASA(IE&E), provides an update on the U.S. Army’s climate readiness and resilience work. This includes the Army Climate Assessment Tool (ACAT), developed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which installations can use to assess their exposure to climate-related threats.
For more information, see the ACAT launch memo and quick guide, as well as the Army Climate Resilience Handbook (published August 2020). See also the full text of Army Directive 2020-08, U.S. Army Installation Policy to Address Threats Caused by Changing Climate and Extreme Weather.
Wanda Johnsen of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy & Environment) describes how the Army is carrying out its net zero waste policy. This includes the use of various tools: waste characterization, material flow analysis, green purchasing, an integrated waste management plan, and a recycling program.
For more information, including net zero waste case studies from Joint Base Lewis-McChord and other installations, visit the Army Net Zero website. For the official policy, see Army Directive 2014-2 (Net Zero Installations Policy).
A description of the Coast Guard's energy metering program, looking at required equipment, data management and lessons learned. Visit the USCG Office of Energy Management to learn more.
An overview of the Department of Veteran's Affairs' green building program including sustainable building surveys and future plans. More information is found at VA: Energy Management Programs.
Abby Morris of the Presidio Trust gives an overview the agency’s co-management of the Presidio of San Francisco, and how ratcheting up waste diversion fits into the Trust’s mission. The Presidio, a former military base turned national park, looks for opportunities to reduce waste wherever possible. For example, its composting program not only saves some $75,000 in disposal fees annually, but nearly all compost produced is used by the Presidio’s reforestation program, which has restored 30 acres of forest since 2004. In addition, its salvage program allows wood, lighting fixtures, stone countertops, and other building materials and equipment to be creatively repurposed in offices, restaurants, etc. She closes by describing some of the Presidio’s ambitious goals for getting to net zero waste.
To read more about the Presidio, visit http://www.presidio.gov/about.
An overview of ASHRAE's standard for green buildings and updated sections on site requirements, water, energy, IEQ, materials and construction. Visit ASHRAE to learn more about this standard.
Building-Grid Integration, Zero Energy Buildings, and Strategic Energy Planning – R. DiNola and A. Miller, Mar. 2018
Ralph DiNola and Alexi Miller of the New Buildings Institute (NBI) update the ISWG community on three building sustainability topics: 1) NBI's findings on the state of zero energy buildings in North America; 2) The new GridOptimal Initiative, a collaboration between NBI and the U.S. Green Buildings Council to encourage grid-friendly building design and operation; 3) Strategic portfolio energy planning. For more information, visit the NBI websites for Zero Net Energy and the GridOptimal Initiative.
Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS): 2012 Preliminary Results - J. Michaels, Sept. 2014
An overview of the CBECS survey and timeline for data releases. The Energy Information Administration has posted the CBECS to provide more detail.
A look at the High Performance Building Council and the process of defining zero energy buildings (ZEBs): An energy-efficient building where the actual annual source energy consumption is balanced by on-site renewable energy. Visit the National Institute of Building Sciences’ Whole Building Design Guide to learn more.
Emma Elgqvist of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) presents a high-level overview of energy storage. For more information, visit the NREL Battery and Thermal Energy Storage website.
Shows progress on the Living Buildings Challenge, which rates buildings on their actual performance, and looks closely at buildings in Hawaii, New York, Washington, Wyoming and Canada. Visit the Living Building Challenge to learn more.
New Data from the 2012 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS): Consumption and End Uses – J. Michaels, May 2016
Joelle Michaels, the CBECS Survey Manager at the U.S. Energy Information Administration (DOE-EIA), reports on the final consumption and expenditures data from the 2012 survey, released in May 2016. She also requests feedback on interest in a potential CBECS microdata workshop.
For more information, visit the CBECS home page at http://www.eia.gov/consumption/commercial. Also look for an article describing the CBECS results on EIA’s blog Today in Energy: http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/.
Dr. Andrew Persily of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Dave Walls of the International Code Council (ICC) discuss the course of the integration of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) and ASHRAE Standard 189.1, “Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings.”
Heather Zichal and Karen Quintana of the International WELL Building Institute introduce the WELL Building Standard, a certification system that promotes human health and wellbeing in the built environment. Buildings pursuing WELL Certification are scored on the standard’s seven core concepts: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Comfort, and Mind. Beyond building design, the standard also focuses on building operations and occupant behavior. For more information, visit the IWBI Website.
Dr. Susan Chung of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) explains how her organization’s headquarters became the world’s first space to earn platinum certification in both the WELL and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) systems. ASID continues to track wellness indicators at its headquarters over time to assess progress and determine areas that need improvement. For more information, visit the ASID website.
Cody Taylor of DOE's Building Technologies Office presents on the DOE report, "A Common Definition of Zero Energy Buildings," released in September 2015. Download the full report here.