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Los Angeles Building Owners Must Benchmark Water, Energy Use

By Cathryn Jakicic Energy Efficiency

In Los Angeles, and likely true in other large urban areas, commercial buildings are the single greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, in LA. four percent of the city's buildings are responsible for half of the total energy used in the city. In what may an example of things to come, the city of Los Angeles has recently passed an ordinance requiring building owners to benchmark energy and water use by using Energy Star Portfolio Manager. The sustainability ordinance applies not only to industrial and commercial buildings, but also to larger residential facilities like high-rise apartments. It requires buildings of 20,000 square feet or more to:

• Benchmark their use of energy and water consumption
• Disclose (provide) this information to the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety
• Demonstrate steps being taken to reduce energy and water consumption.

According to Klaus Reichardt, Founder, and CEO of Waterless Co, a California-based manufacturer of no-water urinals and other restroom products, "The program will be phased in over the next two years [and], while it is somewhat involved, there are many benefits to building owners as well." These include:

• Benchmarking consumption is likely new to smaller facilities, but it is the first step in reducing consumption.
• Facilities will be able to compare their use of energy and water to comparably sized buildings.
• The ordinance lets building owners know about and take advantage of tax incentives that help reduce consumption.
• Reducing consumption invariably helps lower operating costs.

"Another benefit we see here in California and throughout the country is that sustainability not only saves money, it also makes money," says Reichardt. "The stats show that greener and more sustainable buildings command higher rents and attract and retain more quality tenants, making this a win for both the environmental and building owners."

This Quick Read was submitted by Cathryn Jakicic, Healthcare Industries Editor, FacilitiesNet. For more on water and energy conservation, visit https://www.facilitiesnet.com/green/


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