Google achieves first BIT Building certification

An image of Google BIT Building Certification, Leadership, Google achieves first BIT Building certification

The Southface Institute recognises sustainable best practices at Google’s 6th Street campus in Kirkland, Washington.

Southface Institute announced today that Google’s 6th Street campus in Kirkland, Washington is the first office campus in the world to certify its operations under Southface’s BIT Building program. Successful certification under BIT reflects Google’s adoption of the program’s 16 Best Practices for resource efficiency and sustainability.

What is the BIT Building program?

Southface’s BIT Building program allows facility operators and managers to implement performance improvements to their buildings no matter the year of construction or condition, unlike other sustainability certifications such as LEED or Energy Star.

“BIT Building is a framework for sustainability operations and maintenance of existing buildings,” said Andrea Pinabell, President of Southface. “It’s tailored to portfolio managers and building operators who want to generate savings and make building operations more efficient and healthier for tenants. The name refers to the small steps that eventually complete a long journey. We want clients to take efficiency efforts’ bit by bit’.”

Certified BIT Pros guide participating organisations through the program’s 16 Best Practices for resource savings and optimisation, and the organisation determines which practices to implement first. Trained BIT Aides work with program participants to monitor and benchmark building operations, evaluate potential improvements, and implement a continuous improvement plan.  

Google joins the Chicago Housing Authority in certifying buildings under the BIT Building program, representing the increasing adoption of green building practices by organisations as diverse as municipal urban housing agencies and global technology companies.

BIT on Google’s Kirkland Campus

Google’s 6th Street campus in Kirkland, consisting of four buildings, was the perfect venue for applying the BIT certification model. Sustainability is a core principle in Google’s facility operations, and the company sought a platform for evaluating and improving upon its existing efforts. BIT certification provided a practical, time- and cost-efficient way for implementing such a process.

Google’s engagement with BIT required extensive investigation, analysis, and ultimately developing sustainability initiatives to align best practices with Google operations. Operational improvements included:

  • Achieving a campus-wide estimated energy savings of over 20% from energy audit recommendations and operational adjustments
  • A full review of the pest management program: updating approved products and removing toxic pesticides from use, implementing improved protocols focused on prevention, and adopting a better communications and feedback loop between the service provider, property management, and Google
  • A roadmap to increase green purchasing by 15% and implement a battery recharging program for return to the office

Google Sustainability Partner Rich Navarro notes, “At Google, we believe that sustainable workspaces are good for both people and the environment. We aim to create the healthiest possible workplaces for our employees by focusing on people in our buildings the same way Google engineers focus on the user. We were excited to use BIT as a tool for improving sustainability, and we’ve been thrilled with the results in Kirkland.”

Jimmy Horne, who led the effort for the Kirkland office, adds: “BIT certification was a challenging but truly worthwhile process. I am glad we had an opportunity to examine our programs, explore and adopt several new ideas, and ultimately make the Kirkland facility more sustainable.” 

Navarro was particularly pleased with the alignment between Google’s internal efforts and the BIT rating system: “BIT’s focus on sustainable practices and constant improvement year after year was particularly important to our sustainability team. Combined with BIT’s flexibility for campuses and the ability of the program to work for buildings of any age, anywhere on the globe, we felt it was a perfect fit for our needs.”

“For the sustainability and health of existing buildings, we are thrilled Google Kirkland has achieved the BIT certification,” Pinabell said. “With the BIT program, Southface is empowering organisations to improve the operations of their buildings; it’s a great fit for Google’s innovative sustainability efforts. As Southface continues its work to improve the efficiency of the existing building stock, partnering with a global organisation like Google allows us to expand our reach and amplify the effort to bring resilient practices to the operations of buildings everywhere.”

READ MORE:

About Southface Institute

Southface Institute, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organisation, is leading toward a sustainable, equitable and healthy built environment for all. Since 1978, our programs have closed the gap between environmental awareness and action by promoting scalable resource efficiency and clean energy solutions for homes, workplaces, and communities. Our practice of regenerative placemaking amplifies real-world strategies to create a built environment where the synergy between ecological and human needs supports health and well-being while creating resilient, equitable and thriving communities, striving to achieve a low-carbon future.

For more news from Top Business Tech, don’t forget to subscribe to our daily bulletin!

Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter

An image of Google BIT Building Certification, Leadership, Google achieves first BIT Building certification

Luke Conrad

Technology & Marketing Enthusiast

AI alignment: teaching tech human language

Daniel Langkilde • 05th February 2024

However, Embodied AI refers to robots, virtual assistants or other intelligent systems that can interact with and learn from a physical environment. In order to do this, they’re built with sensors that can gather data from their surroundings, with this they also have AI systems that help them analyse data they collect, and ultimately learn...

CARMA announces acquisition of mmi Analytics

Jason Weekes • 01st February 2024

CARMA announces acquisition of mmi Analytics, expanding expertise in Beauty, Fashion, and Lifestyle sectors The combined organisation is set to redefine the landscape of media intelligence, providing unparalleled expertise and comprehensive insights for PR professional and marketers in the exciting world of beauty, fashion and lifestyle.

Managing Private Content Exposure Risk in 2024

Tim Freestone • 31st January 2024

Managing the privacy and compliance of sensitive content communications is getting more and more difficult for businesses. Cybercriminals continue to evolve their approaches, making it harder than ever to identify, stop, and mitigate the damages of malicious attacks. But, what are the key issues for IT admins to look out for in 2024?

Revolutionizing Ground Warfare Environment with Software-Enabled Armored Vehicles

Wind River • 31st January 2024

Armoured vehicles which are purpose-built for mission-critical operations are reliant on control systems that provide deterministic behaviour to meet hard real-time requirements, deliver extreme reliability, and meet rigorous security requirements against evolving threats. Wind River® has the partners and the expertise, a proven real-time operating system (RTOS), software lifecycle management techniques, and an extensive track...

The need to prove environmental accountability

Matt Tormollen • 31st January 2024

We are currently in the midst of one of the most consequential energy transitions since records began. The increasing availability of clean electrons has motivated businesses in the UK and beyond to think green. And for good reason. Being environmentally conscious attracts customers, appeases regulators, retains staff, and can even gain handouts from government. The...

Fuelling Innovation in Aftermarket

Jim Monaghan • 31st January 2024

One section of the motor trade is benefitting from the cost-of-living crisis: with consumers keeping their cars for longer, independent repairers are in huge demand. But they are also under pressure. Older cars need more repairs. They require more replacement parts, tyres and fluids. With car owners looking for value and a fast turn-around, independents...

The return of the five-day office week

Virgin Media • 25th January 2024

Virgin Media O2 Business has today published its inaugural Annual Movers Index, revealing four in ten companies are back to the office full time, despite widespread travel delays and disruptions With 2023 cementing the cost-of-living crisis, second hand shopping and public transport use surged as Brits sought to save money Using aggregated and anonymised UK...