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  1. Improve HVAC Energy Efficiency Year-Round

    December 16, 2014 | 0 comments

    HVAC systems are used continuously in commercial buildings. In fact, HVAC systems account for roughly 41% of total commercial building electrical usage – almost double that of any other building system – according to Alliant Energy. (Air conditioning alone represents 45% of the total peak energy use.) This obviously increases monthly utility bills, but also presents a big opportunity for regular energy savings. (more…)


  2. First Building Achieves WELL Platinum Certification

    December 9, 2014 | 2 comments

    The first building to achieve the WELL Platinum Pilot Certification from the International WELL Building Institute has been identified: the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh.

    This facility was also the first to meet the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge, achieving Net Zero Energy Certification. (Not to mention its LEED Platinum and Four-Stars Sustainable Sites Initiative certification.)

    How did they do it? The Center for Sustainable Landscapes focused on an integrated design process that involved evaluation of end-users’ needs, along with charrettes between the project team and staff throughout the process. (more…)


  3. Learn About New Advances in Window Film

    December 2, 2014 | 0 comments

    Understanding how high-performance window film works and what it can offer to commercial buildings is the first step in deciding whether it will be an effective energy-efficiency option for your organization. But even after you learn about window film’s benefits, it can still be challenging to know what type will address your building’s unique requirements. (more…)


  4. What Can We Learn from Walgreens About Net Zero?

    November 25, 2014 | 5 comments

    To see how well the concept of net zero energy worked – and to test green technologies and initiatives for its 8,100+ stores – Walgreens invested in a net zero energy retail store. (more…)


  5. What LEED Dynamic Plaques Can Really Do

    November 18, 2014 | 0 comments

    Earlier this year, the U.S. Green Building Council announced a dynamic, interactive way to display the performance results of green, LEED-certified buildings: the LEED Dynamic Plaque.

    This electronic display unit lets you control who can “see” how the building is performing, whether it’s through the dynamic plaque on the wall that guests may view, or via occupant-accessible software. (more…)


  6. Using Competitions to Improve Energy Efficiency

    November 11, 2014 | 0 comments

    As a facilities manager, you help establish the framework for energy-efficient, green building operations. But it can be a challenge to find effective tactics that motivate tenants and occupants to change their behavior and help your team achieve energy-efficiency and conservation goals.

    You’ve probably heard about competitions among cities or across the nation, such as ENERGY STAR’s Battle of the Buildings. But you can also develop an internal energy-efficiency competition to channel the competitive spirits within your own organization – whether it’s a competition among departments or floors in a single facility, or a campus-wide challenge between buildings. (more…)


  7. Find Out How Your Building Uses Energy at Night

    November 4, 2014 | 3 comments

    Looking for a good way to see whether your energy-efficiency projects and building equipment are working like they should be? Try taking a walk through your building at night.

    A commercial building is typically only occupied for eight or nine hours each workday, leaving 15-16 hours unoccupied. Although remote monitoring is helpful when it comes to keeping tabs on after-hours operations, it can be difficult for facilities managers to know how buildings are truly operating during the hours when no one is inside. (more…)


  8. Signage Communicates Green Building Features

    October 28, 2014 | 0 comments

    Building signage, digital displays, and electronic kiosks can help spread the word about your green building’s features, the benefits they offer, and ways tenants and occupants can contribute to overall sustainability goals. In the right situations, educational signage can also help a building project earn LEED certification points. (more…)


  9. Window Film Offers Benefits Beyond Energy Savings

    October 21, 2014 | 0 comments

    Energy savings is often front-and-center in conversations about commercial window film. As an effective way to control solar heat gain and reduce monthly energy bills, low-e window film can help commercial building owners and managers save money and improve thermal comfort. But window film can also address several other issues within a commercial facility.
    (more…)


  10. Data Center Energy Consumption is Growing

    October 14, 2014 | 0 comments

    Going paperless has long been touted as a way to help the environment by saving trees, reducing paper manufacturing, etc. But when paperwork disappears, the activities that replace it (email, internet use, social media, etc.) may actually contribute to increased energy usage.

    There are close to 3 million data centers (and 12 million servers) across the country, and a new study shows that most small, mid-sized, and corporate data centers are wasting energy by continuing to draw power while doing little or no work. (more…)