USPS Goes Green
In strict adherence to guidelines released by the Department of Energy, the United States Postal Service gets on a fast track to reach the goal for energy reduction. Green roofs, green buildings and an optimally efficient management system of energy consumption form part of the energy-reduction strategy.
Use of air conditioning is one of the main reasons for the ever increasing power consumption. The heat-island effect also plays a part. Concentration of black or dark roofs and paved surfaces raise the ambient temperature increasing the demand for air-conditioning. The air quality also is certainly poorer because of the ever increasing carbon emissions.
The agency is aggressively marching on to reduce power consumption. The plan is to economize energy consumption by 30% by 2015. It is using various approaches to reach the goal. Already 70% target completed, only about one third of the goal is all left to achieve by the USPS.
Cool roof initiatives:
One of the remarkable initiatives in combating power consumption is the cool green roof initiatives as per Energy Department guidelines. In Manhattan Midtown, the USPS has converted the roof of Morgan Mail Processing Facility to green roof topping. This 2.5-acre wide green roof is the largest green roof topping in New York City.
Advantages of Green roof:
Not merely meeting the early performance estimates, this green roof has actually exceeded all expectations since the time it was constructed. The advantages are:
- Cool green roofs reflect sunlight and reduce heat gain.
- Reduction of polluted storm water run-off-– 75% in summer and 40% in winter.
- Reduction in annual energy consumption – 40% per month
- Additional reduction in energy expenses – 15% – because of energy-saving measures like replacing some 1600 windows.
- Longer lasting – lasting for some 50 years – twice as much as the previous one.
Energy saving spree:
The implementation of Enterprise Energy Management System has been a boon to USPS saving some $400 million since 2007. Instead of the estimated $30,000 savings in Morgan Facility alone, more than $1 million was saved as the direct results of the green roofing and other energy-efficient measures.
Success of EEMS:
With measures like green roofing and LEED certifications, the USPS has achieved energy cut of some 21% since 2003 and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and thereby controlling carbon emission by 20%. Now USPS is on the go implementing new measures to make its entire fleet of buildings energy efficient and to use more green environmentally friendly alternative fuels.