How Do You Sustain Sustainability? Try Building Data


Alan Traugott, principal, CJL Engineering, Moon Township, Pa., took a few minutes at last month's Greenbuild show to give CSE the scoop on what he feels is the future of the green movement: building operations data.

On Traugott's green agenda is pushing for a protocol to gather building information and submit it to a central sustainable building database. "The job isn't done with the LEED plaque," he urged. "You need to get your building data out there." While long-term data on building sustainability won't be available for a while, building owners do have the power to submit performance data that can help identify trends.

Companies already monitor absenteeism and health-care costs; they should also be able to monitor this data and how it's affected by sustainable building systems, said Traugott.

This type of information is helpful in another project Traugott is involved in—convincing the city of Pittsburgh and the state of Pennsylvania to adopt LEED as a mandate for city- and state-funded projects.

Beyond money or recognition, he said, it should be a mandate, as the whole green process is ultimately to benefit the occupants of buildings.

Regarding LEED itself, Traugott pointed out that direct involvement is one of the major benefits of the program. "Sending money to a wildlife organization feels good, but you don't see the results," he said. "With LEED, you are directly involved in making a difference, and you can see that."

Traugott also noted that the program pushes the building industry toward getting a jump on using new materials, fuels and technologies without major cost or completely retooling infrastructure. "It wasn't the end of the world when refrigerants were outlawed," he said.

And speaking of getting a jump on things, he pointed out that China doesn't have much of a choice. While Europe taxed its fuel supply and now embraces a more energy-efficient philosophy and the U.S. is currently in its energy-hog stage, China, due to much of its large population requiring more and more energy every day, might not get its chance to be a glutton, he noted. "China will leapfrog us in terms of energy efficiency because they have to."

Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
How to use IPD; 2017 Commissioning Giants; CFDs and harmonic mitigation; Eight steps to determine plumbing system requirements
2017 MEP Giants; Mergers and acquisitions report; ASHRAE 62.1; LEED v4 updates and tips; Understanding overcurrent protection
Integrating electrical and HVAC for energy efficiency; Mixed-use buildings; ASHRAE 90.4; Wireless fire alarms assessment and challenges
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me