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County's Successful In-house Plumbing Upgrade Delivers Savings

I'm Steve Schuster, associate editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's topic discusses plumbing upgrades.

The process of earning a certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) rating system offer institutional and commercial facilities a host of dividends, from more sustainable operations to lower energy costs that are created by efficiency improvements to HVAC systems. In some cases, however, the process also results in benefits that go beyond traditional.

In the case of the County of Ventura, Calif., earning LEED-EB certification for one of its facilities enabled the county's facility maintenance department to test the waters when it came to performing plumbing-system upgrades using in-house technicians instead of outside contractors.

The process of pursuing LEED-EB certification included installing new HVAC controls and a new roof, as well as upgrading the exterior parking-lot lighting. It also allowed staff to identify a plumbing upgrade as a contributor to certification, as well as a possible template for future work in other county facilities.

The project's success means the department will be able to put its experiences into practice in an expanded effort to conserve water and deliver bottom-line savings to the organization.


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