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The Merchandise Mart’s green efforts are far from complete.
“It’s a way of life,” Bettin says. “It’s not projects, it’s a process.”
Future sustainability initiatives include: reducing water use by installing more efficient fixtures; improving energy efficiency through lighting retrofits; encouraging renewable and alternative energy sources; expanding green purchasing; and continuing to eliminate sources of indoor air pollution.
Before the LEED process began, operations and maintenance staff, contractors, architects, LEED consultants and engineers met to discuss their roles in achieving certification.
“We’ve had that meeting a couple times now, but the first one had a lot of energy,” Bettin says. “It really was to get the message out that, ‘Hey, architect or engineer, don’t specify something that’s going to make it difficult for the contractor to install (or maintain).’”
Now that the Mart has achieved certification, Bettin says it is critical the same collaboration exists with current and future green building initiatives.
Says Bettin, “The intent is you’re making the right purchasing decisions or making the right maintenance or cleaning decisions all the time. You’ve educated enough of the staff that everyone has a piece in the activity.”