Part 2: Sustainability Part of Managers' New Normal
Sustainability Part of Managers' New Normal
By Chris Matt, Managing Editor - Print & E-Media - April 2011 - Green
"Normal" has never characterized a day at the office for maintenance and engineering managers.
A typical day for managers and technicians includes scheduled maintenance tasks and reactive activities in response to issues that surface as part of daily operations in commercial and institutional facilities. Those daily duties will never change much, but managers also are adjusting to the new normal that has emerged — one that includes sustainability.
A manager I spoke with recently talked about the way sustainability has become part of every decision he makes, whether researching and specifying products or assigning technicians a task in and around facilities.
Instead of having to consciously remind himself to consider environmental responsibility — or force his sustainability manager to remind him — the manager says he hopes sustainability becomes part of operations he has considered normal for years. Those operations include preventive maintenance, troubleshooting building systems and components, building a budget, and undertaking retrofits, to name a few.
One of the biggest roadblocks standing in the way of a new normal is the fact that many technicians resist change and refuse to relearn operations years of experience have cemented as business as usual.
An integral component in helping technicians overcome reluctance to change — and a new normal — is training. As managers and technicians continue to learn about green building programs and their impacts on facilities, departments need to begin looking at sustainability the same way they do preventive maintenance and answering hot-cold calls — part of a normal day.
Chris Matt offers insights gleaned from conversations with managers who make key maintenance and engineering decisions in commercial and institutional facilities.
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