Site Energy intensity = 1,000 British Thermal Units (BTU's) per Square Foot of Building Space. This measure combines all energy use within a building, most often electricity and natural gas. Our goal is to lower this number by wisely managing our buildings, making investments in energy efficiency, and by making new or renovated facilities as energy-efficient as possible. Our target reduction is 1% per year from 2012 levels.
Weather conditions may also play a significant role in building energy performance, as reflected statistically by Degree Days. Degree Days is defined as the number of total hours in a year that are above or below the threshold at which buildings can be expected to maintian a comfortable indoor temperature without the aid of heating and cooling equipment. Typically, 45% of energy consumed in building operations is expended to heat, cool, and ventilate.
The City is also measuring total metric tons of carbon dioxide associated with building energy use in Charlottesville school and government buildings. The carbon footprint metrics are derived by multiplying measured energy usage (electricity and natural gas) by industry standard conversion factors.
In accordance with City Council's resolution that all major construction projects related to City owned buildings and renovation projects adhere to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, the Facilities Development Division has incorporated best practices to implement these standards for all eligible capital construction projects related to City buildings.
Developed by the USGBC (US Green Buildings Council), the LEED Rating SystemTM is a nationally accepted benchmark for evaluating sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere efficiency, material and resource selection, and indoor environmental quality. LEED certification provides independent, thrid-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health. There are four levels of LEED Certificaiton - Certified, Silver, Gold, and the highest rating, Platinum.