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Building Operations and Maintenance Services

Follow these sustainable strategies as your space renovations are complete to help ensure that the building and interior spaces are operated in an environmentally sustainable manner. Operations staff should endeavor to establish best practices in energy efficiency, resource conservation, environmentally preferable products, and other sustainable practices, and implement them. For Federal facilities, these strategies can also help your building become aligned with or meet the Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings.

Refer to the Apply Section for representative project case studies to discover key practices, benefits, results and checklists. See the Green Product Compilation for specific information on sustainable services.

Sustainable Strategies

Sustainability In Action

Education is the key to changing behavior: provide training for building operators and occupants and help them support sustainable workplace initiatives.

Provide information regarding what has been done and how they can support the following sustainable efforts:

Operations Best Practices
  • In large building portfolios, seek opportunities that leverage the scale and diversity of buildings as well as the depth and breadth of experience and operational expertise
  • Test promising sustainable technologies in real-life circumstances to implement innovative products, services, and ideas that offer the broadest possible value to your organization, industry, communities, and the environment
  • Provide quick response to occupants' comfort concerns to help with occupant satisfaction
  • Provide feedback to occupants on energy use to help adjust their behaviors to help achieve energy goals
  • Incorporate preventive, predictive, and reliability centered maintenance, rather than reactive maintenance, on all building systems to ensure reliable service and prevent the costly failure of basic building functions. See DOE’s Operations and Maintenance Guideopens in new window for more information on maintenance types.
  • Follow the DoE’s Ten Steps to Operational Efficiencyopens in new window.
  • Organize the management of maintenanceopens in new window activities to optimize portfolio performance
  • Follow FEMP guidance on planning and conducting an Energy Assessment for a Federal Facilitynon government site opens in new window.
Indoor Air Quality
  • Ensure the building maintenance staff is conducting the preventive maintenance on all building exhaust systems (restrooms, garage exhaust fans, etc).
  • Adjust occupancy based systems like HVAC and ventilation to actual occupancy times of the building or use occupancy-based controls
  • Retrofit existing cooling systems to run on environmentally friendly refrigerants
  • Optimize occupant health through indoor air
Energy Conservation
  • Monitor energy consumption by using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manageropens in new window, with precise thresholds for HVAC operations to ensure energy efficiency, comfort, operation, and productivity
  • Monitor unnecessary electrical demands, such as from plug loads, and ensure they are curtailed immediately
  • Adjust occupancy based systems like HVAC and ventilation to actual occupancy times of the building or use occupancy-based controls
  • Provide high degree of responsiveness for equipment malfunctions. 
  • Ask for occupant cooperation in turning off lights as employees leave in the evening and on weekends. At the same time, encourage cleaning staff to turn off the lights in these same areas once cleaning is completed
  • Explore using day time cleaning to improve air quality and cleanliness of office spaces
  • Install lighting occupancy sensors in utility closets, mechanical rooms, and restrooms when space is not used
  • Set practices for high impact energy use days in summer or winter months, such as closing or opening blinds and turning off equipment and lights that are not in use all the time (e.g., conference rooms, copy area, and kitchens)
  • Schedule large copier jobs during off-peak electic usage, usually early morning
  • Replace old fluorescent lighting with higher efficiency alternatives, such as low-mercury T8/T5 or compact fluorescent bulbs
Water Management
Waste Reduction and Management
Custodial Services
Share non government site opens in new window