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Building Operations and Maintenance Services

Follow these sustainable strategies once your renovation and construction projects are complete to help ensure that the building and interior spaces are operated in an environmentally sustainable manner. Operations staff should endeavor to establish and implement best practices in energy efficiency, resource conservation, environmentally preferable products, and other sustainable practices. Federal projects should meet or exceed the Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings. Refer to the Apply Section of SFTool for representative project case studies to discover key practices, benefits, results, and checklists. See the Green Procurement Compilation for specific information on sustainable services.

For sustainable strategies specific to non-office workspaces, such as cafeterias and labs, refer to the Explore Section.

Sustainability In Action
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Education is the key to changing behavior.

Provide information and training regarding key sustainable strategies of the building and interior spaces and how occupants and operations staff can support the following sustainable efforts:

Operations Best Practices
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  • Establish a green team to promote sustainable practices
  • Leverage operational expertise, as well as the scale and diversity of buildings, across building portfolios
  • Test promising sustainable technologies in real-life circumstances and implement innovative products, services, and ideas that offer the best value
  • Respond quickly to occupants' comfort concerns to help with occupant satisfaction
  • Evaluate the impact of operations policies and practices on energy performance
  • Provide feedback to occupants on resource use (energy, water, materials) to help achieve sustainability goals
Procurement Best Practices
  • Use Life Cycle Thinking as a decision-making tool
  • Compare materials and systems across environmental, social and financial criteria
  • Understand how purchases can impact both human and natural resources
  • Analyze supply chain risks from climate change
  • Ensure purchases are Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)opens in new window compliant
  • Identify any minimum content requirements and environmental programs recommended for specific federal purchases
  • Use the Green Procurement Compilation (GPC) to identify applicable federal sustainable acquisition requirements, sample source selection criteria, and sample contract language
  • Use SFTool Product Searchnon government site opens in new window to search products that align with federal sustainability requirements
  • Consider exceeding compliance requirements when procuring products and services
  • Incorporate requirements for responsible business conduct when procuring products and services, particularly when sourcing from a foreign country
  • Verify contractor compliance with sustainability requirements
  • Reduce Packaging
    • Buy in bulk
    • Prioritize products with minimal packaging
  • Reduce Disposal Waste
    • Prioritize reusable items over single-use
    • Consider ease of maintenance and repair
  • Increase Recyclability
    • Look for items that can be easily disassembled into component materials
    • Confirm the availability and operational details of recycling infrastructure
Indoor Environmental Quality
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Energy Performance
Water Management
Waste Reduction and Management
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  • Communicate facilities guidelines and announcements electronically, versus using printed materials
  • Confirm the availability and operational details of recycling and composting infrastructure and institute a program to recycle materials
  • Host recycling and composting workshops to educate occupants about what can be recycled and composted and how materials are collected
  • Provide well labeled and easily accessible containers for the collection and storage of recyclable and compostable materials; make recycling and composting the default option
  • Divert construction waste from landfills and facilitate the recycling of construction waste through the standardization of processes
Custodial Services
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  • Purchase items that are reusable, refillable, and/or washable
  • Purchase only the amount needed
  • Purchase “post-consumer” materials made from recycled content


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