(See also the Greening of Our House)
"For as long as I live in the White House, I want Americans to see it not only as a symbol of clean government, but also a clean environment. We're going to identify what it takes to make the White House a model for efficiency and waste reduction, and then we're going to get the job done. . . Before I can ask you to do the best you can in your house, I ought to make sure I'm doing the best I can in my house." -President Bill Clinton, Earth Day, 1994
In an effort to provide leadership by example, the Greening of the White House project is bringing new technology, enlightened operations and management practices, and revised procurement procedures to the First Residence. Modern information technologies (e.g., multimedia) will make information about the new technology and practices employed at the White House available to the public. [To The Greening of the White House web site]
The Executive Residence, the East and West Wings, and the Victorian-era Old Executive Office Building (OEOB) will all receive the benefits of the greening. Audits of these buildings were conducted by an interagency team led by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. The American Institute of Architects coordinated 100 national experts, including the Center's Steve Selkowitz and Francis Rubinstein, who focused specifically on space conditioning, windows, and lighting. The result is that White House operations staff will take more than 50 environmentally inspired actions, including practical and cost- effective landscaping, waste reduction, recycling, and water and energy-efficiency improvements.
Auditors also looked at some indoor air-quality issues. A ban on cigarette smoking in the White House, implemented early in the Clinton Administration, represents a significant improvement in this area.
Many of the energy-saving measures go well beyond the efficiency levels required by current standards. Each will be implemented cost-effectively, preserve the significant historical components of the structures, and maintain or improve comfort, productivity, and security. Among the energy-efficiency actions expected:
In addition to these hardware solutions, an in-house Energy and Environmental Management Council will play a continuing role in educating and training personnel. For example, "green" messages reminding employees to turn out the lights are regularly sent over the email system. The Council will also review and revise operations and maintenance procedures to ensure that the new technologies realize maximum savings and to identify new opportunities.
The Center hopes that the high-visibility "greening" movement will continue. It is evaluating local opportunities such as the San Francisco Presidio, a potentially important example of integrating energy efficiency with ongoing efforts in military base conversion and historical building preservation.
Center for Building Science
(510) 486-6784; (510) 486-5394 fax
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