Each type of project has a selection of issues and questions you should consider before selecting specific materials or products. Following these steps will help you and your team address the most critical sustainability concerns and opportunities for your project type, look for synergies, and mitigate unintended consequences. There are ways to improve even the simplest projects, such as repainting or re-carpeting.
1. Select a Project Type
Identify a project type that best represents your project:
2. Identify Opportunities and Constraints
Consider the following issues and questions as you develop your project:
- Are project capital upgrades and renovations fully leveraging sustainable materials, equipment and technologies?
- What is the function(s) of the space? Does the space design support the work environment? For example, is there a need to adjust the proportion of private office space to team meeting space?
- What existing conditions, structures, etc. must be considered? What is the cost of changing them? For example break rooms can be changed, but it is often best to renovate and work around plumbing and other building systems that can be built into the new design.
- How can sustainability goals be implemented? For example, was daylighting considered as an energy saving strategy? Could the project's approach to ambient lighting be made both cost effective and efficient by incorporating daylighting?
- What regulations and requirements affect the project?
- Are there conditions in the lease that should be considered?
- What is the project budget and timeframe?
- Are there other current or future projects that would benefit from joint planning with yours? Could an office renovation be coupled with a furniture refresh? Could a public corridor project be scheduled to coincide with a tenant space improvement?
- What do the users of the space think about the project? Are they satisfied with the current space or would they like to see changes? Are they comfortable?
- Can the project achieve multiple goals, such as sustainable performance, improved work effectiveness, and enhanced organizational image?
- How can you use this opportunity to educate the occupants regarding the sustainable attributes being incorporated into the project?
3. Compare Systems and Materials
Use the Explore Section to compare various systems and materials.
For valuable information that moves beyond the small projects focus of this tool:
- GSA | Leveraging Mobility, Managing Place: How Changing Work Styles Impact Real Estate and Carbon Footprint
- GSA | Workplace Matters
- WBDG.org | The Federal Green Construction Guide for Specifiers
- GSA | Facilities Standards for the Public Buildings Service "P-100"
- WBDG.org | Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC)
- WBDG.org | Unified Facilities Guide Specifications (UFGS)