Sustainability Practices for Practical Facilities Management

Professional facilities managers appreciate modern sustainability practices because they not only cut down on carbon emissions, but they also reduce energy costs and waste over time. New advances in conservation practices such as LED lighting, weather based irrigation, energy monitoring systems improvements and roof coatings can help facilities managers cut back on their carbon footprint as well as their operating expenses.

Installation of LED lighting fixtures is one of the simplest ways for managers to lower their energy bills. LED bulbs use around 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, and also last 30 to 50 times longer. The typical operational life of a LED light is 100,000 hours. That adds up to 11 years of continuous operation, assuming it never gets turned off. This prolonged lifespan means that routine bulb replacement is a thing of the past. Coupled with an 80% energy efficiency rate (a traditional bulb operates at 20% efficiency), this longevity makes LED lighting one of the most effective sustainability solutions. delivery

Another great way to cut costs by reducing consumption is by retrofitting irrigation systems with updated weather sensor technology, called Smart Controllers. Sprinkler schedules will be automatically adjusted in response to rainfall amounts, changing temperatures, and even wind rates. Research has shown that smart irrigation controllers can use up to 25% less water than traditional systems. In fact, research results from the Irrigation Association and the International Center for Water Technology prompted the EPA to endorse smart irrigation controllers in their WaterSense program, the water equivalent of the Energy Star program. Imagine saving 25% from your monthly irrigation watering bill. The gallons and dollars saved over a period of years would be substantial.

Thanks to advances in technology, modern energy monitoring systems can be made accessible via a simple interface on a computer or mobile device. These systems can track how much energy is being used on a site, and where it is being used. Then, by tracking energy expenditures, managers can easily identify any spikes in usage. Studies have shown that the real-time feedback energy monitoring systems provide can help users save up to 15 percent on their electric bills.

Applying a cool roof coating is also a simple, yet effective way to cut down on energy bills. An energy saving roof coating is simply a white sealant applied to the roof surface which naturally reflects all sunlight. This lowers the amount of sunlight absorbed by the building, reducing heat and lowering cooling costs. A typical, dark roof will increase in temperature by 50 degrees Fahrenheit when exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time, while a “cool” roof increases by only 5. This improves the comfort level for both customers and employees, and reduces CO2 emissions made by the facility.

Proper implementation of energy efficiency standards decreases power demand, maximizing the efficiency of on-site equipment. By applying these effective sustainability practices, facilities managers can reduce their emissions, their on-site costs, and their carbon footprint. It’s good for the environment, and it’s good for the bottom line.