The facilities management director for Armstrong World Industries shares insights into the company’s LEED Platinum recertification pursuit.
>” […] Q: When the LEED recertification process began for the Armstrong Headquarters facility (Building 701), how did you and the rest of the team begin evaluating the status of the building, in terms of its readiness to be re-certified?
A: Since our initial certification in 2007, we had established specific policies/procedures to follow for the building. We had these in place so it was more a matter of reviewing what information was needed and fine tuning some of our data processes. We continue to utilize our building automation system (Johnson Controls Metasys) for controlling all of our building systems and collect much of our operational data through that system. During our performance period, we read our data points on a more frequent basis to understand if systems were operating as designed. If readings were off, metrics signaled a physical change to be made to improve operations and data.
One surprise to our team was our Energy Star score. We realized we had some searching to do when we saw that our building score had dropped below the 90’s where it had been in 2012. However, to recertify and meet the prerequisite for the E&A category, our Energy Score needed to be 70, and we met that.
In short, our recommissioning process helped us pinpoint many opportunities for improving building operations.
Q: For the recertification, which systems or strategies were newly introduced to the facility?
A: As a building owner, you are always thinking about improving building operations along with budgeting dollars to make the changes. Items that were budgeted for 2014 that were included in our building recertification included: a new roof with an SRI (Solar Reflectance Index) of 78; LED lamp replacements in the lobby; and electrical sub-meters for building lighting.
One other item that was completed in 2010 after electrical deregulation was daylight housekeeping. We traditionally did our housekeeping from 5 pm to midnight. However, as we reviewed our electrical costs and determined a savings opportunity, we moved to daytime hours for cleaning. This saved Building 701 approximately $750 weekly in energy costs. We implemented daylight housekeeping across the entire corporate campus, saving the company $150,000 annually in energy costs.
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of running a LEED Platinum facility? And what is most rewarding?
A: The most challenging aspect of operating and maintaining a LEED- EBOM facility is making sure you have qualified and trained technicians to understand and manage the building operations.
The most rewarding aspect is meeting with customers and guests to discuss the sustainable characteristics of the building and thinking about what to budget for in the upcoming year to improve overall building operations and maintenance to reduce costs. […] “<