Tomorrow’s Green Buildings: Merging Design and Operations

Nov. 24, 2010
November 2010 Vol. 8 Issue 11

Tomorrow's Green Buildings: Merging Design and Operations

The modern green building movement first targeted new construction and asked developers, building owners, architects, engineers, and contractors to think differently about resource extraction, put systems in place to use less energy and water, and reduce the building's environmental footprint. But once we went back into these structures, we found that many buildings designed to be high performance aren't operating efficiently. The sustainable design industry then turned an eye to existing buildings, and facility managers, building engineers, staff, employees, and vendors took on major roles. Upgrades and retrofits helped set the stage for success, but again, a disconnect between the design intent and the day-to-day operations of a facility often remained. Until the disconnect is resolved, many of the best laid plans for green buildings will continue to fall through the proverbial cracks.

An architect's contractual obligations typically end one year after construction. In most cases, the entire design team has moved on to other projects shortly after building occupancy. These professionals rarely get to see how well their design is performing and help strategize corrections when necessary, so building owners typically do not benefit from the design teams' expertise post-occupancy. Conversely, the people who operate the building usually don't have a chance to be involved in the design process, yet they possess invaluable information about their facility's requirements, staff routines and employee concerns. Building owners can forge a more dynamic, integrated process by restructuring their approach in several key areas.

Read more about merging design and operations in your building …»

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Proper Training: A Trademark of Sustainable Facilities
Today's building owners and managers operate in a tremendously fast-changing environment. Emerging requirements, escalating utility prices, and shifting tenant preferences have inspired building owners to adopt sustainable operations and maintenance practices. For facility managers, that means a shift in operations and maintenance processes, new systems and technology, and getting employees quickly up to speed. Training becomes a critical – but often overlooked – component to ensure that a facility achieves its sustainable goals.
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It's a Bigger Deal than You Think, Part 3: Operations
As we tread through economic uncertainty, re-evaluate our underwriting standards and investment criteria, and scrutinize every line-item expense, going green is making the business case to enhance the economic bottom line, increase marketability, and mitigate risk. This is the final article in a series of three on how to incorporate sustainability into real estate decisions in three primary categories: location, physical attributes, and operational practices.
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Tried and True – The Art of Simple Solutions and Integrated Design
The latest in cutting-edge technology often creeps into the discussion when the subjects of green building design and operation arise. While systems and processes have seen remarkable progress in the past 10 years, going green doesn't demand state-of-the-art advances or sophisticated features. In fact, some of the more successful sustainable concepts are grounded in tried-and-true practices and cost very little (if properly planned).
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The Advenger and Adfinity by Advance
These scrubbers by Advance meet the requirements for sustainable cleaning equipment specified by the LEED-EBOM Rating System.
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AirRenew by CertainTeed
AirRenew uses two technologies to actively improve IAQ.
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Distributed Lighting Control System by World Energy Control Corporation (WECC)
Track and monitor Energy Efficiency Evaluation Measurement and Verification (as defined by the State of California) in lighting applications, in real-time.
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Facilities professionals report that service contracts extend equipment lifecycles and reduce energy costs Trespa Meteon® Helps Inspire Learning in Harlem Germ-Busting Antimicrobial Surface Treatment
Lighting Controls for Daylit Spaces Provide Tremendous Benefits Brownfield Goes Green Anti-Slip Roof Top Walkway Click here to view Whitepapers… Click here to view Case Studies… Click here to view Catalogs…

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