As a facility manager, it is important to make your building as sustainable as possible so that there is a minimized consumption of non-renewable resources. Implemention a CMMS program at your facility, allows for easy tracking of your on-going switch to creating a "greener" environment.
While this may be something that is foreign to a lot of facility managers, here are a few tips to creating sustainable buildings:
Wherever there is waste, that is where you need to take a second look and make sure that you locate practical energy saving alternatives. One of the major energy wasters is lighting. Here are a few ideas to save energy with your lighting.
- Delamping: This means removing unnecessary bulbs or fixtures that aren’t being put to use or are not needed.
- Lamp Replacement: Replacing high output lamps with lower output, lower wattage ones
- Dimmers: Controls to manually adjust the light output of fixtures as needed
- Dimmers with Sensors: Automated controls that adjust light output depending on available ambient light
A few other ideas that help with energy conservation are adding motion sensors for lighting controls, implementing a variable air valve system to cool or heat individual spaces properly, use borrowed light techniques to share artificial or natural light from external spaces with internal spaces, lock up thermostats, increase output by regular cleaning of lamps and fixtures, minimize the number of equipment and appliances used, and enable power saving modes on electronics.
Another way to create a more sustainable building is to rely less on the local grid and this can be done with a few on-site energy generation techniques.
- Solar: Used mainly for electrical energy generation using photovoltaic panel but can also be used to pre-heat air and water using infrared absorbing materials
- Wind: Used for electrical energy generation
- Geothermal: Used mainly for heating and cooling purposes
- Biomass: Used mainly for heating
Water conservation is another area that greatly reduces your carbon footprint. A few of the areas you can change are with rainwater or storm water harvesting if available in your area, low flow fixtures, focus on water conservation in your building by teaching employees, add motion sensors for water fixtures, add dish or clothes washers that are energy efficient if you use those items.
There are many basic measures which can be taken to improve how 'green' you go at your facility, CMMS is one. But, you will need a consensus from everyone that they want to improve your environmental credentials.. Everyone has to buy-in to the change and play their part in making your facility more sustainable.