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As the world becomes more aware of the impact our buildings have on the environment, a new way to build and manage has evolved. It is called Green or sustainable building, the practice of using healthier, more efficient supplies in construction, renovation, and demolition and the maintenance and operations of a building. There are various ways to implement sustainability into your building management program.
Each area of the building focuses on different elements. The design and operation of the building should be made to use energy efficiently through renewable sources such as wind, solar and biomass. Water is used efficiently without waste. When building or remodeling, using recycled content construction materials with low toxicity and biodegradability. Waste management is dealt with by recycling and the indoor environment is cleaned with healthier green products.
In the early 1990s green meant buying recycled paper and other products. Today, being environmentally green means approaching your purchases and services with healthy living and working environments in mind. Governments and building management teams are looking for ways to incorporate these environmental concerns into their everyday decisions. They need healthier buildings for their tenants and employees.
Being environmentally friendly includes the following practices.
• Replacing lighting with energy efficient bulbs
The cheapest and easiest switch to energy efficiency is to replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. These bulbs produce 75 percent less heat than traditional bulbs helping you save on cooling bills in the summer as well.
• Modifying the water timing system for improved effectiveness
Having lawn sprinklers run for shorter periods at night.
• Reducing the length of time for heating, air conditioning and lighting run or by setting thermostats higher or lower according to the season.
• Monitoring and replacing filters in heating and cooling systems
• Recycling waste products
• Using environmentally safe products
Smart flooring options can reduce indoor pollution and toxins in carpeting. Carpets manufactured from recycled materials are environmentally friendly. They should be made from 100 percent wool or vegetable dyed yarn. Other carpet options are ones made from recycled bottles.
Building management should set up a plan for effective recycling and environmentally friendly resources. Effective recycling reduces the need for new resources and lowers the impact on landfills.
The price paid for recycled material rises as the demand increases and recycling services grow. Managers can increase their cash flow and reduce waste disposal cost by taking advantage of a recycling program at their facility.
Paper and paper products are a widespread, growing market for recycling as well as bricks, textiles, carpet, oil, rubber, latex paint and computer scrap. Managers should look for products with minimal packaging and made with recycled products. The three arrowed symbol on the label represents the recycling loop.
The building management and owners need to become informed buyers of green services as well. They need to look for providers who can help them grow and change with environmental awareness. A business will need to set up a plan based on their goals of being a healthy environmentally green facility.
Other ways a management team can be greener is by the choosing cleaning products that are environmentally healthy. Household cleaners such as oven and glass cleaners and wood or cabinet cleaners are being produced with natural products and are readily available.
Being environmentally conscience in your building management goals means being aware of the products and services you purchase. Being able to offer your tenants a eco friendly safe environment can go a long way to keeping them satisfied.
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