More building owners have made certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) a priority for new construction and upgrades to existing facilities. LEED is a program run by the U.S. Green Building Council, and its requirements for energy efficiency and sustainability challenge facility managers to adjust the way they serve clients.
According to a May 1 press release, a prison facility in Virginia has completed construction of a new LEED-certified detention center. The Amherst County Adult Detention Center received a LEED Silver rating, which means the building's construction earned between 50 and 59 points out of a potential 100 in meeting LEED's standards for innovation in design.
One of the key elements in the building's design was its AcornVac system, which is a vacuum plumbing system designed to save water and costs. Elton Blackstock, administrator for the Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority, explained that the system would reduce wastewater by 70 percent, potentially saving 3.5 million gallons of water each year.
That will be an asset to the building's administrators as they look to save costs. However, it would also be beneficial to the building's facility maintenance department, as vacuum plumbing systems are heralded for their potential to ease maintenance tasks.
Maintenance staff will also be tasked with overseeing the maintenance of high-performance mechanical equipment, on-site vegetation and an energy-efficient lighting system.
"The owners, building users, architects, and engineers were focused on determining the most energy-efficient options that complied with the facility's security requirements," explained Carrie Henaghan, the project manager for the architectural firm that designed the facility.
Facility managers are increasingly asked to ensure their staff can support the energy-efficient initiatives building owners seek. To ensure steady workflow amid sustainable upgrades, these supervisors may want to invest in work management software with mobile work order capabilities.
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