Green Survival Guide for Building Owners and Managers

July 1, 2009

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Industrial and commercial businesses are embracing the eco-friendly trend not only because they wish to exercise their corporate social responsibilities and help fight environmental degradation, but also to realize great monetary benefits. Customers are more green-conscious than ever, buying cleaner and more efficient products that are also less damaging to the environment. From cars, fuel, light bulbs, organic foods, and even industrial painting products, consumers’ green-hued social conscience is making an impact on how manufacturers and producers create their products to increase sales.

Building tenants are of the same mind, preferring to stay in facilities that consume energy efficiently, conserve water wisely, use low- to zero-voc industrial painting products in their facilities, and in general have a sound environmental plan in place. Tenants are more particular with the quality of indoor and outdoor air, the amount of pollution in the premises, and even the disposal of waste. Because of this, facility managers should adopt eco-friendly practices to keep tenants satisfied.

To implement and sustain a green building plan, below are some points that facility managers should keep in mind:

1. A committed team is key to managing environmental initiatives

A core group of key people can lead the design, implementation, monitoring and reporting of all activities involved in turning the building green. It should be composed of the facility manager, people from the maintenance and service groups, and representatives from the tenants. A LEED-certified expert can also bring great input in the implementation of environment-friendly ideas.

2. Eco-friendly external contractors can deliver green services

Contractors that are periodically called upon to conduct repairs and maintenance work on the facility should preferably be compliant and certified in environmental safety and health policies in the area. This is particularly important in the case of contractors such as industrial painting companies whose products and application methods can cause toxic emissions to be released in the environment.

3. Staying green need not be expensive

When the greening efforts appear to be costly, such as when buying new equipment to recover heat or using low-VOC industrial painting products to re-coat the roof for heat reduction, perform a cost-benefit calculation before throwing the green initiative out the window. Eco-friendly products and installation may cost more than regular products, but returns on investment will be greater because green products last longer and at the same time lower energy and other operational costs. 

4. Green products and materials for the facility

Facility managers should be open in adopting green building innovations like climate controls, high-efficiency HVAC systems, and motion-sensitive lighting sensors. Such products can greatly contribute to reduction in operational costs. Other alternative technologies can even produce electricity, like wind turbines and the like, to realize cost savings. In the case of industrial painting products, green coatings are designed with lower VOCs and lesser toxic emissions, and based from eco-friendly raw materials.

5. Coating protection for green buildings through high-quality, low-emitting industrial painting products

Facility managers must be very careful in choosing the industrial painting product to use in protecting and repairing their facilities. Solvent-based paints may be cheaper than water-based low-emitting near-zero-VOC paints, but they are notoriously damaging to the environment and human health. Facility managers should work together with industrial painting contractors in the selection of the most ecologically-friendly paint to complete their green building initiative.

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