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By Sarah Stanley, media and communications manager, USGBC
Energy Efficiency Article Use Policy
In the pursuit of a greener built environment, facility managers are being asked to focus on the continual improvement of their facilities. From energy efficiency to the health of building occupants, tracking performance now requires a careful monitoring of a variety of forces that reflect a deeper understanding of building performance.
Thanks to the digital age, data and technology can provide this holistic view facility managers need to accurately review green performance and make more informed decisions. Data is helping buildings benchmark real-time performance and ensure they are delivering expected performance goals. Buildings now have the ability to continually improve green performance while delivering financial, social, and environmental benefits.
Over the last two decades, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) have been collecting more green building data than any other organization. As a result of tools like LEED and other green building rating systems, facility managers have a flexible framework for identifying practical and measurable green building strategies. With more than 90,000 LEED projects across 165 countries collecting and tracking performance, a wealth of data is ushering in a new era of green building.
In an effort to help facility managers connect actions and collaborate, GBCI launched Arc, a state-of-the-art digital platform that uses real-time data to help benchmark, measure, and improve sustainability performance. The Arc platform is the first of its kind to track progress using a performance score, capturing all activity in one place. Whereas other platforms collect one or more pieces of the sustainability story, such as energy and water, Arc tracks energy, water, waste, transportation, and human experience. The platform provides a performance score from zero to 100, creating a holistic picture of a building’s impact.
Since Arc was launched in 2016, five pivotal insights have emerged with regards to how facility managers are using Arc to push the envelope when it comes to green performance:
1. Transparency. With the breadth of data available, teams have a clearer look at a building’s performance and how it has changed across the five categories. The real-time access encourages incremental improvement and uncovers new opportunities that positively impact occupants, building owners, investors, and others.
2. Portfolio Perspective. The platform that tracks progress for one building can also host data for multiple projects enabling managers to look at progress across its entire portfolio. It becomes a motivator for projects and can be a lesson in best practices for buildings just getting started.
3. Starting Point. To green the built environment, projects of all shapes must commit. The Arc platform not only tracks performance for projects pursuing LEED or other green certifications, but it is also provides an entry point for projects just starting to explore sustainable practices.
4. Net Zero. For buildings that have already adopted green practices, measuring and tracking net zero performance using the Arc performance score is possible. Arc is able to track net zero carbon emissions associated with energy and transportation. According to a report from New Buildings Institute in October 2016, zero net energy buildings increased 74 percent since the previous count a year before.
5. Building Community. Comparing performance leads to better results, which is why Arc lets facility managers and staff see how their buildings or portfolios compare to local, regional, and global averages. Benchmarking against other projects can provide a glimpse into sustainability at the neighborhood, community, and even city level.
Facility managers can learn more and register their projects in Arc by visiting www.arcskoru.com.
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USGBC Perspective: How Arc Uses Data And Measurement To Drive Green Performance