By Mike Szczesny
Across the globe, organizations are taking a closer look at their environmental impact. For many companies, the sustainability of their buildings is a major consideration. Traditional construction methods often leave much to be desired when it comes to sustainability. As a result, many organizations are coming to terms with their commercial buildings’ impact on the planet, both from profits and a sustainable practices perspective. “Green” or sustainable practices are beneficial, as they produce healthier and more resource-efficient daily operations and management methods.
While newer buildings are often designed with various sustainable tools and technologies, a building doesn’t need to be built from the ground up to be sustainable. Instead, older, existing buildings can receive green updates and retrofits.
Environmental stewardship calls for action, and green retrofits are often the difference between an existing building that isn’t energy-efficient and one that earns trophies for sustainability.
Energy-Efficient Options For Sustainable Facilities
The following three energy-efficient options can help you reduce your facility’s environmental impact. Implementing these solutions promotes energy conservation and contributes to long-term cost savings, as well as a greener future.
1. Real-Time Visibility
One of the best ways to achieve energy efficiency is by making real-time adjustments to your facility’s energy usage through real-time visibility of its energy consumption. This technology makes it possible to adjust energy usage on demand, rather than switching practices after you receive an energy report or utility bill. You can go beyond the basics of real-time visibility by using technology that reads submetering data. This kind of information will deliver even more accurate results than a utility company’s basic-level data readings.
Building products manufacturer CCM is pursuing LEED Platinum certification for the nearly 500,000-square-foot production and manufacturing facility in Southern Missouri. Read more…
2. Water Efficiency
Implementing sustainable water practices is a great way to achieve sustainability within your facility. With real-time visibility technology, monitoring the energy consumption of a building’s cooling towers is possible. Some buildings can also be retrofitted to collect and recycle rainwater.
3. Green Roofs
Installing a green roof on a building is an excellent way to move the needle toward sustainability. This is especially crucial in cities: Vegetation growth (such as plants, flowers, bushes, etc.) can help reduce the urban heat island effect, which creates hotter temperatures in urban settings due to too many structures and too few green spaces. Urban infrastructure (buildings, roads, and bridges) absorb and re-emit the sun’s heat. A green roof can help offset a building’s impact on the heat island effect, and as a bonus is visually appealing and can provide a pleasant environment for employees to visit during a break.
As a bonus, retrofitting facilities to make them more sustainable can help increase your company’s profits, as “going green” is pleasing to many consumers. It’s also a great way to increase morale with employees. Our planet needs such action to survive, and we can always start somewhere.
Mike Szczesny is owner and vice president of Fort Lauderdale, FL-based EDCO Awards & Specialties, which supplies recognition products, branded merchandise, and crystal trophies to help companies express gratitude to employees.