Imagine your agency or private business is considering a small renovation project that is supposed to be green but you are not a “sustainability expert.” What would you need to know before starting the project? How would you plan something like this using sustainable building models? What about comparing green products to fit your building project? When do you need to hire an expert?
GSA’s popular online Sustainable Facilities Tool – SFTool.gov – does all of these things, a one-stop web tool to meet all sustainability planning, designing, and procurement needs. Its purpose is to simplify, for both government and private-sector property managers, sustainable building practices and to compare options for renovation projects.
Sustainability is best thought of as a process rather than a thing. It means to create and maintain conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations. New ways of designing, constructing and operating buildings and facilities must be identified to achieve such conditions.
The website offers easy to use learning tools on sustainability and green building planning, customizing sustainable work environments to suit your needs, and an integrated learning section. It also has interactive building models, including virtual office sustainable workplaces and whole building systems.
GSA has now released an upgraded version of SFTool.gov. The new version expands upon some of the features of the original to include 50 percent more web content and the green products compilation tool that allows customers to purchase green building materials directly from the website. It also features an updated interface and new interactive user guides. Additionally, its advanced search engine will help customers find their specific building requirements.
There is also a mobile app called SF Mobile, which provides mobile access to the website on Apple, Android, and Blackberry platforms. The tool’s mobile app has been downloaded more than 1,400 times.
Since its initial launch in February 2011, the popular tool has informed project decision making for more than 30 federal agencies as well as states and foreign countries.
To learn more about the GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool and the new addition of the Green Products Compilation go to www.SFTool.gov.
Kevin Kampschroer is Director of the Office of High-Performing Green Buildings at the U.S. General Services Administration.