I recently presented on the topic of Green Procurement at the regional National Contract Management Association (NCMA) conference and workshops. The NCMA is a professional association for those in the field of procurement and contract management. While I often speak about sustainable design, the U. S. Green Building Council and the LEED rating systems to groups in the world of real estate development, building design and construction, but the invitation to speak at this workshop presented an opportunity to talk to a different audience, one that is focused on purchasing products and services. A majority of the attendees were from military and government agencies and companies that contract with them.
Presenting alongside me were two civilian contracting officers from Hanscom Air Force Base, Daniel Koble and Charles Drury. Mr. Koble and Mr. Drury spoke about requirements for federal government green procurement including Executive Order 13514 (Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance), which requires agencies to meet a number of energy, water, and waste reduction targets; the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which gives the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to control hazardous waste from the “cradle-to-grave” ; the Federal Green Procurement Law; and EPA’s Preferable Purchasing Program. They also addressed some of the resources available to help find products and services that meet these requirements.
I spoke about Core Concepts of Sustainable Design for buildings, USGBC and LEED rating systems, and some issues concerning contracting for sustainable design services. The presentation touched on the costs associated with sustainable design, the benefits of lifecycle analysis, the need for meaningful input on design requirements from the owner, and the impact of ongoing building operations on overall building performance.
At the conference I was also able to attend other presentations, which gave me a greater appreciation of issues and complexities of government contracting and procurement. Requirements at the federal state and local levels are some of the primary motivators of the increasing demand for sustainable design in the United States. I very much appreciated the opportunity to share my knowledge of sustainable design with this audience and hope to be able to participate again at next year’s NCMA conference.