Go the Extra Mile - Planning for Improvement Projects & Tracking Their Progress

If you want to Go the Extra Mile, the first thing you need to do is get a handle on understanding your school’s current water use. Like with every major sustainability initiative, whether it’s energy, transportation, food, or water, before you make major changes, you need to establish an accurate baseline. An accurate baseline tells you how much water you’re currently using, and which buildings or areas are using the most water. Part of establishing your baseline also includes discovering if you have any major water leaks. By examining your past water bills closely and keeping tabs on your water meter, you can sometimes discover unknown leaks. For tips on reading your water meter, visit this page by H2ouse.org.

While developing a baseline of your water use, consider using the Portfolio Manager from Energy Star to help your school or district plan for future improvements. It can help you keep consistent inventories of indoor water use, outdoor water use, combined indoor/outdoor, and wastewater.

Portfolio Manager is a comprehensive tool that allows you to track your water use and energy use simultaneously. Tracking them simultaneously can help you understand how these resources are related to each other, and how you might be able to address needs for both of them through the same improvement projects. Contractors you work with will find it more beneficial because not only does it make their lives easier, but they’ll be able to suggest projects that make sense for a whole building’s needs. The Portfolio Manager also helps you gauge performance once you’ve implemented a project. So, check it out!

If you’re interested in learning about some improvements other facilities have made, check out these case studies by GEMI.