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GSA unveils new sustainability design tool
Monday - 2/14/2011, 10:08am EST
Senior Internet Editor
Agencies are under pressure to save money while being greener. Making small changes to the workspace can lead to big savings. The GSA has a new tool to help.
For example, said Kevin Kampschroer, "it's really easy to over-light a space. Well, if you've over-lit a space, you've overspent. So this really helps you think about that. Just my favorite statistic on lighting: buildings today in the United States have 400 times as much electric light as they did in 1900. We don't need that much light. Getting the right kind of light actually helps people work better, causes less eye strain, and saves you money."
Kampschroer, Director of the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings at GSA, explained the Sustainable Facilities Tool, is designed "to help building managers for all of those small projects, and there are a lot of them that go on in buildings, where you wouldn't normally hire an architect or a designer."
According to a GSA press release, the new "features 3-D interactive walk-throughs of office interiors and material comparisons, where it prompts users to consider multiple aspects of office performance. It suggests dozens of detailed material and system choices to help green the workplace. The website also features sustainable metrics, links to essential regulations and guidelines, case studies, and an easy-to-navigate user interface."
"The key thing," said Kampschroer, "is that it's interactive, it's up on the web, it's available to anybody at SFTool.org, and it's free!"
The tool is available to both the private and public sector. With experience from over 15,000 projects in GSA alone, there's a wealth of lessons learned built right in, said Kampschroer. "It's really designed to hit a niche where there's nothing out there on the market today to help a building manager make the right choices."