BIT IN ACTION
When buildings with sustainability opportunities meet motivated, knowledgeable operations staff, BIT can be the catalyst for real, measurable improvements, cost savings, and recognition. BIT in action means people and buildings, working in concert, toward sustainable operations.
Every building is operated by, and for, people. BIT People are building operators, owners, managers, engineers and occupants - everyone who plays a role in sustainable operations. BIT gives those people the structure, tools, and peer support to move boldly towards sustainability in their buildings.
Lauren Riggs manages the Sustainable Operations program for Google's Real Estate and Workplace Services organization. She oversees sustainability programs for Google buildings and offices all around the world, including the ten Google locations enrolled in the BIT Beta.
"Google has a uniquely diverse and dynamic portfolio of buildings and offices. BIT is appealing to us because it accommodates that diversity within a simple rating system that emphasizes improvement over time, and - bonus - it's focused on the same key areas of building performance as our internal programs. We think BIT gives us a scaleable vehicle for guiding improvements and for recognition; with a portfolio as large and diverse as ours, both those goals really matter."
Katie Kaluzny is an Associate Director at USGBC-Illinois, and has been leading the effort there to support Chicago’s energy benchmarking and disclosure ordinance. USGBC-Illinois has been working with other leading energy, environmental, and real estate organizations to provide the education, outreach, and training program necessary to support energy benchmarking and verification efforts for buildings owners, managers, and tenants. As the BIT framework has taken shape, Katie has been working to connect benchmarked building owners and managers, City of Chicago representatives, and technical service providers to the BIT community.
“Because of Chicago’s energy benchmarking ordinance, many building operators are looking closely at their energy usage for the first time and are surprised by their performance. The ordinance has opened up new conversations about energy and sustainability at these buildings, and BIT provides a framework to help them take positive next steps that anyone can do.”
BIT buildings aren’t limited to the top performers; any building committed to improvement and making progress toward sustainable operations is a BIT building. In fact, BIT buildings don’t even have to be buildings; tenant spaces within a building can use BIT just as effectively to reduce their ecological footprint and to track performance improvements.
CHICAGO HOUSING AUTHORITY
In Chicago, an array of collaborators are driving early uptake of the program in building types no normally touched by the green movement, including affordable housing and public school facilities.
At the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), there has been consistent investment since 2009 in sustainable best management practices for energy and water efficiency. BIT, along with USGBC-Illinois and the Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps program is helping CHA build on this work by improving their preventative maintenance programs and increasing operational efficiencies.