what is ARC?

While LEED ensures that buildings are designed and constructed to sustainable standards, its certification ends at time of occupancy. ARC, a USGBC program, continues by tracking building performance throughout occupancy. By recording five sustainable aspects of operational use - Energy, Water, Waste, Transportation, and Human Experience - Arc provides LEED projects a streamlined way to monitor performance data and identify areas of improvement.

MUNICIPAL ARC PROJECTS

featured project:

AUSTIN CONVENTION CENTER

Managing a building's performance is no easy task, and Austin Convention Center is a big project that comes with big challenges. Camala Jones, ACC's Environmental Compliance Specialist, tackles the complexity of tracking this unique building's performance. From finding water leaks to taking responsibility for event-generated waste, hear what she has to say about the benefits and difficulties in using Arc to track building performance. An existing building that achieved LEED Gold certification, ACC has now progressed to seeing building performance in operation through the Arc program.

how does arc scoring work?

10

base

points

Base points depend on the LEED building design score.

33

possible

energy

points

Energy scores are generated based on comparisons with other buildings of similar occupancy, function, and square footage; scores automatically tracked by linking your Energystar Portfolio to Arc.

15

possible

WATER

points

Water scores are likewise benchmarked against buildings of similar occupancy, function, and square footage; scores automatically tracked by linking your Energystar Portfolio to Arc.

8

possible

Waste

points

Input a one-time annual audit of landfill and recycling waste by weight.

14

possible

TRANSPORTATION

points

Administer at least one annual survey concerning mode of transportation.

20

possible

HUMAN EXPERIENCE

points

Monitor indoor air quality readings, and administer at least one occupant survey for Arc to generate a score.

100

total

points

why is this important?


Energy Usage

According to the 2015 Austin Climate Plan, buildings are responsible for over 40% of all carbon emissions in the Austin area. Tracking energy usage creates a visual way to measure energy performance, enabling users to set goals to protect the environment while saving in operational cost.  

Water Consumption

Water conservation is imperative to the decreasing potable water source on the planet. Only 1% of the world's drinking water is potable and accessible. Using Arc, leaks can be found, preventing wastefulness of water.

Waste Generation and Diversion

While ARC's waste score factors in both amount of waste generated and the percentage of waste diverted, the score is weighted more heavily towards reduction of generated waste with the hope of encouraging users to consider reducing the overall impact of waste on the planet.

Transportation

Single Occupancy Vehicles are the dominant mode of transportation by Austin commuters. While convenient, SOVs exacerbate traffic congestion, takes up valuable parking space, and contributes to the increased carbon emissions in the city. A single person carpooling, using a bike, or taking public transportation method greatly cuts down the carbon impact and creates a healthier Austin.


Human Experience

Occupant Satisfaction, VOCs (Voltaile Organic Compounds) and carbon dioxide testing contribute to this category. VOCs are harmful gases emitted by nearly all man-made consumer products. High indoor concentrations of Carbon dioxide or VOCs can cause a feeling of 'stuffiness', headaches, fatigue, drowsiness, and lack of attentiveness.

CO2 ASHRAE Standards
300 -500 ppm: Normal outdoor levels
350 -1000 ppm: Normal indoor levels
1000 ppm: ASHRAE indoor maximum
1000-2000 ppm: Complaints of drowsiness and 'stuffy air'
Volatile Organic Compounds
A high VOC content in the air can cause headaches, nausea, fatigue, and damage to internal organs. This is labeled as "sick building syndrome", and affects the health and performance of employees.

The LEED maximum standard is 500 ug/m3.