BOSTON - VFA Inc., a leading provider of solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, has announced its new Green Building Assessment Services. Designed to identify opportunities to enhance the sustainability of an organization’s facilities, the new services prioritize potential green investments based on operational savings, reduction in environmental impact, and other business factors.

VFA’s Green Building Assessment Services evaluate building sustainability using criteria consistent with the guidelines of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) for Existing Buildings, as well as other emerging green initiatives. Organizations may use the results of a Green Building Assessment to plan for future LEED-EB certification.

“Implementing more sustainable building systems and maintenance practices in existing facilities can yield significant economic, environmental, and social benefits,” said Lisa Raffin, vice president of professional services at VFA. “Many organizations that are not yet prepared to pursue LEED certification for their facilities can still achieve many of these benefits. VFA’s Green Building Assessment Services give them detailed data about the costs and benefits of potential sustainability initiatives, and help them evaluate options based on both short- and long-term results.”

VFA LEED-accredited professionals evaluate five critical areas of a facility as part of a Green Building Assessment, identifying the best opportunities to maximize operational efficiency while promoting a sustainable environment:

• Energy Efficiency - evaluates energy performance, including electrical and mechanical systems and renewable energy sources, and recommends techniques that reduce operating and consumption costs and decrease emissions.

• Water Conservation - examines water treatment, consumption, and discharge systems and practices in order to identify opportunities to increase efficiency, reduce waste, and support enhanced water conservation.

• Indoor Air Quality and Environment - assesses make-up air, exhaust, and air quality monitoring systems, and evaluates requirements for air filters and indoor pollution control systems. VFA evaluates compliance with ASHRAE standards for ventilation and thermal comfort, and identifies options for reducing ozone-depleting gases from HVAC, refrigeration, and fire suppression systems.

• Site Sustainability - identifies strategies to promote a sustainable site, reduce resource consumption and erosion, and prevent pollution by assessing the environmental impact of the site, considering natural areas and requirements related to water use, drainage, lighting, and transportation.

• Materials and Construction - determines approaches to reduce waste associated with operations and maintenance, and promote greater environmental safety, including analyzing cleaning products and current waste management practices. VFA also recommends materials and practices that support reuse and recycling.

VFA offers two levels of Green Building Assessments. Level 1 assessments target relatively low-cost initiatives than can deliver short-term paybacks by reducing energy and natural resource consumption. Level 2 assessments evaluate greening opportunities that can provide both short- and long-term environmental, social, and economic benefits. In both cases, a Green Building Assessment provides a recommended actions report, a summary of expected benefits, an estimate of operational cost savings, and detailed data on related building requirements and costs.

VFA offers both levels of service either as a standalone assessment, or combined with a detailed Facility Condition Assessment.

“VFA has been helping organizations optimize their investments in facilities and building systems for several years. Over that time, organizations have become increasingly focused on reducing facility energy consumption, minimizing environmental impact, and improving the sustainability of building operations,” said Jerry Kokos, president and CEO of VFA. “The Green Building Assessment Services are a natural outgrowth of the services we offer today. They provide organizations with an objective evaluation of the many potential investments they could make to promote sustainable building operations as an integrated addition to their current capital planning process.”

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Publication date:08/27/2007