Additional tricks of the trade in using green strategies include managing inventory wisely and protecting your high-performance roof with good roof maintenance.
11. Don’t be a pack rat. When it comes to stocking your facilities inventory, most facility professionals focus on convenience and the comfort of having items, just in case they will need them. A better approach is to balance that convenience with the costs of carrying inventory items. Typically, facility managers estimate what they think they will need to stock and re-order when they run low. Here are two traps with this approach:
a. 50 percent of the items stocked on the shelves aren’t needed that often.
b. 25 percent of the time people cannot find what they are looking for as it’s in the wrong place or just lost in the clutter.
The “Best in Class” approach revolves around “true” inventory management, not gut feel. Start by identifying and measuring inventory levels and use; then adjusting stocking levels, and deciding if items should be removed or added to shelves. This ensures the right items, are in the right place, at the right time while typically reducing inventory costs by 25 percent a year. And the reduction of waste fits well with a green strategy.
12. Ask your elevator service provider to give you a list of obsolete parts for your equipment. Failure of obsolete parts can lead to lengthy down time, unexpected costs, and unhappy building occupants. This information is key in assessing budgets and modernization or replacement plans for this critical building asset. It’s part of holistic approach that is at the heart of green design.
13. Protect the investment in your roof, as high-performance roofs won’t deliver the projected cost savings if improperly maintained. Start with assigning a “roof monitor” to grant access and keep track of visitors to the rooftop. Inspect the roof and flashing on a regular schedule. Clean gutters and remove sharp objects around mechanical units that can puncture the roof.
14. Consider other uses for frequently specified products. Typically, architects, designers, and facility managers only think of using solid-surface material for countertops. Creative use of this material can save the day with application in millwork, elevators, and toilet partitions. Interior wall cladding in high-traffic corridors and places where cleanliness is essential such as hospital operating rooms are an excellent extra use of solid surface material. You can create attractive seamless wall panels and coved joints that do not trap dirt and debris, and are easy to clean.
B. Alan Whitson is president of Corporate Realty, Design & Management Institute (www.squarefootage.net). Whitson’s experience encompasses over 40 million square feet of facilities in the roles of asset manager, corporate facilities manager, construction manager, and development manager.
14 Tips for Success in Green Building
Green Strategies Include Early Use of Safety Experts, Installation Troubleshooting
Other Green Strategies Include Inventory Management, Good Roof Maintenance
U.S. Green Building Council Perspective: High-Performance Green Buildings as a Keystone of a Low-Carbon Economy