STEP Project Consulting
STEP Process Consulting at Fraunhofer CSE
Signature AV is working in collaboration with The Sextant Group on the implementation of one of the first U.S. STEP projects in Boston, Massachusetts.
This renovation project for The Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy, will house a research and showcase facility for sustainable systems of all kinds, located in Boston's Innovation District. Signature AV is leading the engineering and design of the showcase lobby and working with Crestron Electronics, Pepperdash, The Sextant Group and other well-know AV partners, to demonstrate the true value of "GREEN AV" in practice.
Our project management and engineering teams are working very closely with The Sextant Group, to identify all areas of possible "points" leading to the ultimate certification.
What is STEP?
STEP is an acronym for the Sustainable Technology Environments Program™ (STEP), a rating system and guide managed by the STEP Foundation, a nonprofit organization comprised of technology trade associations representatives, their members and STEP supporters. At its core, STEP is intended to bring sustainability to the process of planning, designing, integrating and operating technology systems, as well as reduce long-term environmental impact from technology deployment.
STEP was envisioned to encompass all low-voltage building and communication technologies into a phase-by-phase, sustainable deployment process. STEP not only accounts for the ongoing energy consumption of information technology systems but also for the reduction of raw materials in the deployment of information technology solutions and indoor environmental quality of technology-rich environments. STEP also encourages the use of information technologies to make buildings smarter and reduce paper consumption, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with travel.
Why Choose STEP?
STEP joins a list of sustainable rating systems like U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) RatingSystem and other green building ratings systems and sustainable codes and standards from organizations such as the International Code Council (ICC), Green Globes, ASHRAE and others. The major difference is that STEP specifically addresses the approach to the sustainable planning, design, integration and operation of low-voltage building and communication technologies; others do not.
STEP focuses the project team on important environmental issues such as the energy consumption and heat loads resulting from building technologies which can represent a significant percentage of the overall energy loads and environmental impact of the facility. None of these issues are specifically addressed in any of the current green building design and construction guides, so the environmental impact of many hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of information technology systems deployed in today’s buildings is given far too little attention.
What are the Phases of the STEP Rating System?
The five phases of STEP fall into two main categories. The first main category is represented by the first four phases of STEP-Planning/Program through systems integration. These four phases represent the design and integration phase of STEP wherein the primary responsibility to document the sustainable aspects of the project’s technology systems falls on the project’s technology design and integration professionals. Because the STEP Foundation envisions RFPs and contracts requiring these professionals to meet a certain level of STEP performance, the first STEP award occurs at the conclusion of the integration phase. The second category shifts the focus to the owner’s designated technology manager who has the primary responsibility for tracking credits for a period of no less than one year. The later phases of STEP are designed to allow owners/tenants to track the environmental performance of their technology systems as they take ownership and operate the building. As such, there is a STEP award for operations phase.