Washington County received the Sheila Sheridan Award for Sustainable Facility Operations and Management for its programs that save energy with day cleaning and an energy efficiency program.
The award, given by the International Facilities Management Association, was presented at the association’s international conference in Philadelphia earlier in October.
This award recognizes an individual or team that demonstrates an outstanding example of strategic, sustainable operations and management that has led to successful tactical and operational adjustments in the management of a facility, including stakeholder engagement, overall performance, energy efficiency, innovation, audits and reporting, and long-term solutions for facility management success. The county was awarded for a number of initiatives started in the recent past, such as its day cleaning program, which allows custodians to clean during the daytime when lights and heat are already on, allowing for lights and heat to be shut down in the evening and overnight, saving energy. In addition, the county has done an energy audit, and used the information gained to make buildings more energy-efficient and introduce energy-saving practices, which reduced the county’s energy consumption by 9 percent annually, saving $135,000 each year.
In addition, the county uses “Green Seal” certified cleaning products, reducing its cleaning product consumption and costs by 65 percent.
Washington County is the first local government agency to win the award. The only other government agency to win the award is the Federal General Services Administration.
The award is named for Sheila Sheridan, who is retired from Harvard University as Director of Facilities and Services at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. At the school, Sheridan was responsible for construction, renovations, operations and maintenance, administration, food service, telecommunications, real estate, scheduling and space planning. She was one of the very early sustainability proponents at the university. The Kennedy School was the first at the university to be designated a Green Energy and Green Star facility in the 1990s.She is currently the LEED for Existing Buildings Core Committee Vice Chair for the U.S. Green Building Council.