Sustainability is a critical factor in the OFMR’s daily work. The Energy Management team supports OFMR and the Smithsonian by paying and tracking all utility expenses for the Institution, providing engineering support for zone and building managers, and by analyzing utility usage data. The Energy Management branch also reviews all significant capital projects to insure that energy efficiency and sustainable needs are being met by the designs. By performing this work, OFMR is able to assist the Smithsonian in meeting energy saving goals.
Several tools and processes are utilized by the Energy Management branch to meet sustainability goals. Green cleaning policies, waste audits, HVAC systems monitoring, reduction of fossil fuels, and a sensor replacement program are all used to increase sustainability at Smithsonian facilities.
To enhance OFMR’s sustainability knowledge, several groups have formed to discuss the unique challenges faced at Smithsonian facilities. Two prominent groups are:
1. The Sustainable Facilities Working Group SFWG: The SFWG is tasked with evaluating the feasibility of LEED certification for SI building stock and creating streamline processes to assist facility managers in properly documenting sustainability efforts.
2. The Recycling Task Force: The recycling task force is responsible for educating SI staff and visitors about reducing solid-waste generation at the SI, and modernizing the way OFMR processes its wastes. The group continually tracks recycling quantities by building zone, creates new programs for waste diversion, and acts as editor of the “sustainability matters” newsletter.