This post highlights how facilities management is an important, if often unsung part of so many businesses… any businesses with facilities, in fact. Sustainable facilities management is an area that can have a profound and near term impact on overall business sustainability. Very large potential energy savings and hence carbon footprint reduction could be realized in facilities management areas such as HVAC or lighting for example; the embodied energy of facilities — their materials and recurring requirements; how runoff is handled and so forth all are areas in which sustainable facilities management can really impact the triple bottom line in a positive way.
Take even a passing glance at an aerial picture of any urbanized area and it is amazing how much of it is paved over to provide for the various highways, arterials, feeder roads, alleys, drive ways, parking lots and roadside parking spaces that our car clogged cities require. Look more closely and one quickly discovers that a significant portion of this paved over space devoted to the car and getting around is comprised of parking lots as well as the ubiquitous curbside parking strips so common in almost all urban settings. This two part series looks at the problems that parking lots, curbside parking strips and other non road paved areas exacerbate; it then goes on to illustrates various ways in which we can make these facilities greener and how doing so can improve the urban environment; lessen its impact on waterways and beautify the urban spaces all at the same time. Promoting the adoption of green parking lots and roadside parking strips is win-win scenario.
This, the fourth article in our series on green (sustainable) buildings focuses on the twin subjects of energy efficiency and water efficiency two fundamental areas of importance for green buildings. These are important not only because they reduce usage of and promote reuse of these precious resources, but because in so doing to minimize the building environmental impact. A well designed green building, can not only reduce its own environmental impact, but can improve a surrounding environment.