When it comes to sustainability, data is ushering in a new era of green performance. Thanks to the digital age, our ability to capture data is virtually limitless, and the information we gather has the ability to drive better decisions—economically, socially and environmentally.
Over the last two decades, USGBC and GBCI have gathered vast amounts of green building data through transformative tools such as LEED. Recognizing the critical role data is playing, GBCI created Arc, a digital platform that is helping buildings, communities and cities around the world benchmark and improve green performance.
As we continue to prove that financial benefits accrue with environmental benefits, performance data will be at the center of market transformation.
Here are five ways data is driving a new era of green building performance:
- Transparency: Data creates a holistic picture of sustainability efforts and impact. Tracking green performance also helps businesses keep pace with industry changes. Arc gives its users a transparent look at performance using real-time data. The approach encourages incremental improvement and uncovers innovative opportunities.
- Comparison: Comparing performance leads to better results for everyone. Data is a powerful motivator and allows us all to learn from one another's successes and shortcomings. Projects on Arc can see how their efforts are working and how they stack up to similar projects locally, regionally and globally.
- Benchmarking: When you benchmark against yourself, you improve. Benchmarking against others helps you know how much you can improve. Leadership can occur anywhere, at any point. Benchmarking through Arc provides an immediate entry point, no matter where you are on your sustainability journey. It is a clear starting point and can help you move toward LEED certification.
- Collaborative learning: Projects pursuing multiple sustainability efforts at once—energy, water, waste, transportation and human experience—make better decisions when data is shared across teams. Arc connects actions so that buildings, communities and cities can ensure they are performing at the highest possible levels. It also integrates with Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager and other industry tools to drive even greater results.
- Performance beyond buildings: Data allows us to see results. Results are the core of performance. In Arc, net zero performance in energy and water is shown through a perfect score. Data also allows us to be non-linear. So we don’t have to separate buildings from communities and cities. With Arc, users can look at performance of buildings, neighborhoods, districts, cities and more.
By connecting actions, data is redefining our built environment. The more projects harness the power of their data, the more connections are made, the more actions are taken, the more real our work and the better our quality of life.