Going green. That term has been used quite often over the past decade, with emphasis on lessening the carbon footprint. In building management, those initiatives still apply, from sustainable construction to the appliances being used. Having a facilities management company handling the operational logistics of the building helps things run smoothly. An integrated facility management team can also develop and implement protocols to help make your building greener. Having the right mindset is key. Here are a few ways:
The building management team should be proactive in utilising tools to increase energy efficiency. This can be accomplished by reducing the use of electricity being used after certain hours by shutting off the lights on floors, or utilising a building automation system. Using eco-friendly lighting can also help in maintaining a “green” balance while cutting costs. Using LEDs instead of standard light bulbs, or installing skylights can add natural light, reducing the need for heavy light usage. Additionally, using smart meters and submeters for the utilities regulates the bills for lower costs. Solar panels or geothermal solutions lowers costs.
Recycling and plastic waste
Commercial spaces are notorious for waste. From plastic to paper, you’ll find a host of items on any given day that can be recycled. Placing receptacles around the building will help encourage tenants to be mindful. Additional measures could be preventing single-use plastics in the breakrooms or café.
Installing low-flow toilets and sinks, and touch-free faucets can assist in maintaining water usage. Installing rainwater solutions can also help in recycling water throughout the grounds of the property instead of wasting water. Increasing the efficiency of the cooling towers is also a good way to maintain the building and keep it green.
Creating green spaces
There are times when individuals want to go outside to think, stretch or take a step back from things. One of the best ways to lessen a carbon footprint and provide outlets to do these things is by creating green spaces. These spaces add beauty to the landscape while providing serene areas for people to enjoy, work or think. Green spaces also work against climate change, making the air cleaner and healthier.
Green building materials
Every building management team is responsible for ensuring the building is well-maintained at all times. That requires not only maintenance on systems, but every aspect of the building. Selecting high-quality, sustainable materials like pain, flooring or wall coverings will help in keeping the building green. When the roof needs repairing, opting for a green roof or cool roof will trap heat and keep everyone in the building cool. Facilities management teams use contractors who specialise in green products and energy-efficient tools.
Vendors & Products
One of the duties of facility management is to ensure the building is properly cleaned. Maintaining the building by using green cleaning products will contribute to keeping the building green while providing safer alternatives for the cleaning staff. Using products with the EPA’s Safer Choice Label demonstrates a commitment to not only having the best managed facility, but the commitment to employees who could be affected. Also, using vendors that have green products in packaging, furnishings and supplies will make an overall impact on the entire facility.
Do you know how much money is being wasted every year by sockets designed to siphon invisible energy? Using smart sockets to prevent standby power usage can enhance green initiatives and save money. If this is not feasible, using power strips that are turned off every day when not in use can accomplish the same thing.
The entire team should be trained on green initiatives to ensure everyone is on the same page. With a better knowledge on the initiatives and how creating a green environment can help everyone, facilities management can improve the carbon footprint throughout the facility.
Workspaces are not usually designed to take advantage of green opportunities. Technology has created new ways of working, with common areas utilising natural light, reducing the overall energy costs and consumption.
HVAC and Insulation
The HVAC system and boilers can have a huge impact on energy efficiency. Using green alternatives for insulation helps reduce energy loss. A high efficiency HVAC system reduces energy waste and increases savings.
Creating effective, highly sustainable buildings through the facilities management team makes a difference. Embracing LEED standards while implementing preventive maintenance by applying green policies keeps the building running at maximum efficiency. Tracking the changes from one platform or use to a green-based one will eventually show the cost savings experienced. Hiring a professional facilities manager ensures your buildings are code compliant and evergreen year-round. They conduct audits to see where the facilities can move away from energy waste and implement more sustainable measures and processes that will reduce the carbon footprint on the environment. Using a building management team that cares about your building and a positive environmental impact makes the difference.