Built Environment


Utilize lighting occupancy sensors and daylight harvesting to reduce energy use.

  • Install daylight responsive controls in daylit areas, which dim lighting sources based on available sunlight.According to a study done by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) , “Occupancy sensors can reduce energy waste by as much as 68% and increase energy savings by much as 60%.”
  • Occupancy sensors are available through multiple vendors, providing ample options for specific facilities.**Links to companies that sell sensors. 
  • Both the above lighting options provide LEED certification!

Employ LED lighting and other energy-saving lighting technologies to reduce energy use.

HVAC Systems

Program HVAC (Heating & Air Conditioning) systems sensors to reduce air changes when rooms are unoccupied in order to reduce energy use.

  • This is controllable through the building’s BEMS (Building Energy Management Systems).  In a school setting, facility managers should monitor occupancy trends and alter HVAC performance accordingly.
  • Follow ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) standards for indoor air quality when determining air exchange rates.

Employ ceiling fans to circulate air to reduce energy use and improve occupant comfort.

  • Depending on your thermostat set-point, installing fans can provide up to 20% HVAC energy savings.
  • Key considerations for fans include:

Countertops & Flooring

Utilize durable countertops and flooring that do not contain harmful substances. 

Building Management

Use an anesthetic gas capture system to capture waste anesthetic gases (WAGs) and prevent venting to outside air.

  • Follow OSHA guildelines for anesthetic gas exposure 

    Anesthetic Gas Reclamation, LLC developed a Dynamic Gas Scavenging System (DGSS) which collects and reuses 99% of anesthetic gases without chemically altering them in the process.

Utilize modular casework that does not contain harmful substances. 

Utilize epoxy-free and bisphenol A (BPA)-free coatings for walls. 

  • Inspect all Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for wall coating to ensure they are epoxy-free and BPA-free.
  • Learn more about the toxic effects of BPA in this fact sheet

Implement ASHRAE 170 – Ventilation for Health Care Facilities, guidance as a mechanism to reduce energy use in the dental clinic. 

  • ASHRAE standards serve as a baseline for many aspects of building performance, they also publish guidance documents for high performing buildings and energy design guides.  Use them to generate ideas for improving your facility’s performance.

Use paperless documentation systems to prevent errors, speed information exchange, conserve resources, and reduce space.

Incorporate natural design elements like plants, artwork, or structural elements.

Provide user control over ambient conditions with operable windows, temperature control systems, fans, or other technologies.

  • Occupant control over temperature, noise, air movement, and lighting are important components of an effective work environment.
  • When possible, provide control to occupants to manage their individual thermal comfort, airflow, lighting and noise levels.
  • Consider implementing smart building technology to learn occupant trends and preferences.

Employ a Building Management System (BMS) to track energy and water use.  Track performance and implement changes as needed.

  • A BMS provides potential to realize up to 50% energy savings within a building, and can help digitally control a building’s temperature, illumination, security, and other mechanical or electrical operations.
  • A BMS should be tailored to its building, and many commercial systems are available which provide varying degrees of control, tracking and management of building systems.