Green Assessment Integrates Sustainability Initiatives into the Capital Planning Process
BOSTON – March 31, 2009 – VFA, Inc., a leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced completion of a green facility condition assessment of 18 buildings and nearly 530,000 square feet of real estate at Salem State College in Salem, Mass. VFA identified potential green opportunities on campus, providing the college with a strategy for achieving both traditional capital planning and sustainability goals.
Like many higher education institutions, Salem State College had recognized the importance of understanding the condition of buildings in its portfolio, prioritizing projects during the capital planning process, and establishing defensible funding requests through traditional facility condition assessments from VFA. Using the guidelines of LEED®-Existing Building Operations and Maintenance, VFA has now delivered recommendations for green actions and established a sustainability baseline for the campus.
“Salem State College is committed to operating and maintaining sustainable buildings in order to provide a productive and healthy environment for students, faculty and staff,” said Stephen Keyes, Director of Campus Development, Salem State College. “It is critical that we are prepared to pinpoint the specific projects that could positively impact the sustainability of the campus so that we are prepared to execute on those projects when funding does become available.”
In conducting the green building assessment of Salem State College, in conjunction with a facilities condition reassessment, VFA was able to focus on low-cost, easily executable initiatives that deliver a short-term payback and provide tangible improvements to the quality of the work environment, as well as identifying long-term initiatives with more wide-ranging impact and extended payback. The use of a performance scoring system allows Salem State College to compare buildings with one another and set benchmarks to monitor each building’s sustainability progress over time in the following areas:
- Optimization of energy performance;
- Conservation and protection of water;
- Enhancement of indoor environmental quality; and
- Reduction of impact of materials and operations on building sites and the environment.
“With the establishment of a sustainability baseline, Salem State College has laid the foundation for a comprehensive green implementation plan,” said Jerry Kokos, president and CEO, VFA, Inc. “Our Green Building Assessment is just one of the ways that VFA demonstrates a commitment to help higher education organizations readily integrate green facilities programs into their overall capital planning and project definition process.”