The sustainability consulting company CodeGreen Solutions has unveiled an online software tool called ProAct.
The software, which tracks sustainability and operational performance in existing buildings, is expected to be instrumental in helping building owners comply with mandatory energy and water efficiency reporting required by the "Greener, Greater Buildings Plan." The new laws, which recently passed in New York City, require all buildings exceeding 50,000 square feet to report energy and water efficiency benchmarks by May of next year. Other requirements of the laws, including energy audits and commissioning of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, can be avoided if buildings earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, but such certification is not required.
ProAct, which some CodeGreen clients already are using, can track ongoing sustainable building operations such as energy and water use, recycling rates, recycled paper purchases, cleaning products, and maintenance schedules. The software tracks more than 25 independent metrics and helps consolidate and streamline sustainable operations for buildings at all levels of sustainability, according to the company.
For building owners pursuing LEED certification or re-certification, ProAct tracks and reports performance data to streamline the LEED application process. For building owners interested in adopting "green" practices without pursuing LEED certification, ProAct can be used to track building initiatives and produce a "report card" of building sustainability for annual reporting and marketing as well as to attract and retain tenants.
"The ProAct process gives building owners an initial energy benchmark and sustainability assessment that are used to develop energy and environmental targets," CodeGreen Managing Director Chris Cayten said. "The software tracks all progress against these targets and can produce reports instantly to present to stakeholders and current and potential tenants."
New York City's new legislation applies to 22,000 buildings in five boroughs, accounting for 45 percent of the city's building area.
The price of ProAct depends on the building, "but it is literally a penny or two a square foot," CodeGreen representative Sarah Currie told GBI.
ProAct is designed to manage LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) throughout the United States, Currie said. "We've added some key additional features to further tailor the site for several markets, including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
When asked how ProAct differs from comparable software tools, Currie said, "Other software focuses on the new construction process whereas ProAct was designed to work with existing buildings. LEED-EB is extremely data-intensive, and ProAct's proprietary software makes it easier to collect, input, and manage all of this data."
CodeGreen is consistently updating ProAct to make it easier to administer the LEED-EB process, Currie said. "We're adding tools every day to ProAct that clearly show our users the environmental consequences of their actions and purchasing decisions. They haven't made a LEED for Dummies book yet, but ProAct makes LEED easier and more streamlined than ever. Think of it as a TurboTax for LEED-EB."