2019 Federal Green Challenge Award Winners in the Pacific Northwest Region
Recognition is an important part of the Federal Green Challenge (FGC). Awards were given in the categories of energy, innovation, waste, electronics and water in the Pacific Northwest region.
In Region 10, which serves Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, the 2019 regional award winners are the Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District; the Bonneville Power Administration; and the U.S. Coast Guard, Seattle Base Support Unit and the General Service Administration, Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building. The award winners shared details about their diversion activities, and about their awards with EPA. Below are the stories they tell behind their accomplishments.
Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, Seattle, Wash.
The Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District reduced its electricity consumption by 15 percent and its natural gas consumption by 21 percent.
The Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District, with full engagement and active participation from the General Services Administration, analyzed peak work hours to develop strategies for reducing energy load at the LEED Gold certified Oxbow building in Seattle, Washington. The implemented strategies resulted in a 15 percent reduction of electricity consumption and a 21 percent reduction in natural gas consumption. As with most energy efficient buildings, many don't consider changing the settings as they assume these settings are optimal, but by taking control and conducting real-time data collection and having the ability to manage the sequencing based on current conditions, it allowed the agency to better manage energy use and reduce wasted consumption. This sequence control effectively reduces energy load when employees are not at work, thus reducing energy and gas consumption.
The criteria used to develop these strategies and innovative methods included workforce verification and actual number of employees occupying the building at certain times of the day. By verifying occupancy and peak working hours, these controls were managed more appropriately to facilitate reduction in energy use during non-peak hours. Moreover, as employee workforce decreased, these sequence controls could further be changed to meet real-time occupancy. This has led to a significant change in operating conditions, allowing the end user to assist with decreasing workload and energy load based on current conditions vs. arbitrary settings. With changing conditions, this method allows for immediate sequencing change and adaptation to current status without relying on change over time, thus resulting in a delayed response.
Electronics and Waste
Department of Energy, Bonneville Power Administration, Portland, Ore.
The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) had a 97.7 percent increase in EPEAT registered equipment and a 63.3 percent increase of municipal solid waste recycled.
In fiscal year (FY) 2018, BPA built on its previous successes to nearly double its purchases of energy efficient computer equipment. Using an existing master contract with Dell, the IT Asset Management group undertook a comprehensive replacement of nearly 2,000 laptops, desktops, monitors, tablets and thin clients. Each of these new items was ENERGY STAR certified and rated EPEAT silver or higher. In addition, the new notebooks were purchased with removable hard drives; this transition meant that broken items could be repaired rather than disposed. The response to these changes has been universally positive: the new equipment is faster, smaller, and lighter while still reducing energy consumption considerably.
Additionally, BPA's waste recovery efforts resulted in a 63.5 percent increase of recycled materials from FY17 to FY18 and a 94 percent overall diversion rate. This increase reflects hard work across the agency. At its highest-impact facilities (Portland headquarters and the Ross Complex in Vancouver) BPA continues to undergo regular waste audits, host recycling 101 trainings, and connect its workforce with local waste reduction resources during its annual Sustainability Fair.
BPA’s Investment Recovery Center also strives to responsibly dispose of materials and equipment that are discarded or surplussed during its operations. In FY18, for example, the center purchased a linear chopper that enabled the recovery of 650,000 pounds of aluminum from scrapped high-capacity conductor. The group also assisted in a massive clean-up of one of its substations; this project alone recovered 100,000 pounds of metals and 126,000 pounds of glass and wood.
General Service Administration, Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building, Portland, Ore.
The General Service Administration for Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt had a 57 percent decrease in natural gas consumption.
The General Services Administration achieved a 57 percent decrease in natural gas consumption and an overall 25 percent total energy use reduction at Edith Green Wendell Wyatt building, located in downtown Portland, by implementing a dynamic ventilation air system. The modified sequence of operation uses carbon dioxide (CO2) sensors installed throughout the building to gauge the occupancy level of the building, and adjusts the ventilation air intake accordingly. The energy savings are generated by lowering ventilation system fan energy and corresponding heating and cooling energy. With this modification the building’s energy performance was reduced from 33,000 BTUs/sq-ft/year to 24,670 BTUs/sq-ft/year, at the end of FY 18. The total improvement cost was less than $10,000.00. The net cost savings for fiscal years 2017 and 2018 amounted to $28,111.00, which is approximately 3-times the cost of investment made for this project.
U.S. Coast Guard, Seattle Base Support Unit, Seattle, Wash.
The Seattle Base Support Unit used 30 percent less potable water.
The U.S. Coast Guard Base Seattle continues to monitor overall water and energy consumption to identify areas for water and energy use reduction. Effective management, improved energy usage monitoring, and implementation of new measures resulted in notable water and energy savings. Base Seattle proactively installed water flow reducers and repaired leaks, resulting in 30 percent reduction in potable water usage in 2018. Base Seattle also repaired and updated their Energy Monitoring System (EMS) to improve energy use tracking; enabling better over-usage and water leakage identification. Repairs to water flow meters and electrical transducers improved the accuracy of EMS data collection. Improved EMS data collection also led to development of new heating and cooling zones, schedules and temperature ranges to reduce energy usage. U.S. Coast Guard Base Seattle proactively seeks to improve their EMS to enable more energy saving initiatives; and currently works to assist other units with implementation of wireless EMS.