EPA encourages 'green' office buildings
July 22, 1999
(CNN) - Traffic, factories and power plants are the usual suspects when it comes to air pollution.
But there is one contributor most people don't consider -- office buildings.
"The energy you use to light the space that you're in, the computer itself, the heating and cooling systems, all those systems are running," says Bob Rose of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA is building on a familiar program, Energy Star, to help clear the air. Consumers may recognize the star logo that is printed on packages for environmentally friendly products.
"Energy Star is available as a brand on home electronics, appliances, even houses. Now we've expanded that brand to include office buildings," Rose says.
The expanded Energy Star program is a partnership between building owners and the EPA.
New and remodeled structures that adopt the new energy standards get the EPA's seal of approval.
"On a building, the Energy Star plaque means pollution prevention," says Frank Frankini, senior vice president of Equity Office Properties.
Energy star strategies include adding insulation, switching from air conditioners that use CFCs to chillers that rely on cleaner coolants and putting in low-voltage lighting.
"Forty percent of all of the energy consumed with the old lighting system has been saved now with the new lighting system that's been installed," Frankini says.
For participating companies like Equity Office Properties, helping the environment is not always the motivation.
"One of our main goals as a company is to increase our earnings," Frankini says. "The whole energy efficiency program and energy labeling program marries up to that strategy because it's one of the ways we can reduce operating costs."
"It definitely is sound business practice, and it is cost effective," he says.
The EPA hopes that one day warehouses, retail stores and even hospitals will build on their example.
CNN Correspondent Natalie Pawelski contributed to this report.
U.S. Navy goes green
United States Environmental Protection Agency's
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.