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Introduction to Columbia’s Office of Sustainability

June 28, 2010

The Office of Sustainability, for Columbia Mo., will be providing content for KOMU’s 8 Goes Green blog on a biweekly basis. Contributing to the blog will be  Columbia’s Sustainability Manager, Barbara Buffaloe. Buffaloe joins the City from University of Missouri Extension, where she served as a Housing and Environmental Design Specialist and Resident Instructor in the Department of Architectural Studies. Buffaloe developed home energy conservation publications and workshops for residents throughout Missouri and specialized in sustainable building construction. The office will discuss current issues, future events and developments across Columbia.

Columbia’s new Office of Sustainability (OS), created in 2010, is committed to decreasing our environmental impact as a city, and like all positive change, this must start at home. We are working towards making city buildings and programs environmentally sustainable. The new City Hall building is the greenest city building yet, seeking LEED-Silver certification from the US Green Building Council. All are welcome to visit and learn more about the sustainable aspects of the building. Did you know that the blue glass under the new keyhole is all recycled?

The first step in making the city of Columbia more sustainable is to complete energy audits on city buildings. These energy audits will demonstrate how energy efficient these buildings actually are, and what areas can be improved. We will work towards making improvements to the buildings, including lighting retrofits, building envelope improvements, and hopefully a lot more. We are also hoping to create an online interactive map, detailing how city buildings stack up against each other in terms of energy use.

The OS will eventually collaborate with City agencies, business groups, nonprofit organizations, and other partners to protect and enhance Columbia’s distinctive environmental quality and livability. The purpose of this Office is not only to inform, but also to inspire individuals and organizations — both within and outside City government — to take actions because there is an important connection between energy efficiency, a healthy economy, and a sustainable future.

Keep an eye out for more from the Columbia Office of Sustainability.

Tip of the Week:

For every degree you move your thermostat down in the winter or up in the summer, you will decrease your heating and cooling costs by 3%. Keep your thermostat set at 78 degrees in the summer and at 68 degrees in the winter.

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