Energy and water conservation are significant elements of the Architect of the Capitol’s (AOC) sustainability program. From building standards to maintenance procedures, the AOC strives to improve energy and water efficiency and reduce consumption of natural resources. Actions to leverage the retention of embodied energy in buildings and grounds through careful preservation-oriented maintenance, as opposed to disposable architecture, ensure that iconic facilities survive in perpetuity. The result is that future generations can continue to be inspired by, learn from and work in the same environment that inspired our forefathers.
Conserving energy and water conserves resources. Research has shown that even independent reductions in either water or energy lead to indirect reductions in the other. The reduction of energy and water use also results in financial savings.
The Architect of the Capitol is focusing on improving its capacity to manage and wisely use its water resources. The AOC places water consumption reduction high on its agenda and is exploring mitigation measures and identifying, promoting, and implementing water reuse strategies that reduce potable water consumption.
Plans are in place to assess water usage, potential water conservation actions, water consumption and runoff patterns. The data will inform design practices that will maximize water and energy cost savings, and facilitate the application of best management practices. Specific action items and recommendations include developing a binding water reduction goal and supporting funding for water savings initiatives.