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Why Sustainability is So Important to Us

Sustainability is one of the most common goals of every facility manager. The idea that you can implement some materials and designs that will not only stand the test of time, but greatly reduce any harmful output to our environment is what managers, designers, and architects yearn for. However, why is sustainability so important to us in the commercial facility industry? There are several answers to this question, so we’re going to explore the many benefits of sustainability and how it can help commercial facilities thrive.

The Importance of Sustainability

The overall goal of sustainability is to prevent the unnecessary depletion of our natural resources. While this may not seem like it has a correlation with your facility, it actually does. Given the various energy required to heat and light a facility, the amount of waste generated by a facility’s occupants, and the toxicity of certain cleaning products and chemicals that are used within a facility, it’s now more important than ever to make facilities and commercial buildings more sustainable. There are several ways you can set sustainable goals and achieve them. Here’s a few to help you get started:

Waste Reduction & Improved Recycling

One of the key principals of sustainability is to reduce waste and increase the ability to recycle. Since there’s finite space on the planet, there’s little room for waste. Unfortunately, we’ve got plenty of it to go around. By implementing a thorough recycling plan for your facility, you can cut a lot of disposal costs and you’ll reduce the amount of waste generated by the occupants in your facility. Properly recycling materials can actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our atmosphere.

Using Clean & Sustainable Energy

Installing solar panels on the roof of your facility has nothing but positive benefits. It significantly cuts costs on your energy bill because the energy that you’re using gets replenished every day. Depending on where your facility is located, local organizations often give incentives and tax breaks for businesses who utilize solar panels for clean and emission-free energy. Overall, solar panels pay for themselves within a matter of years, so you’re essentially cutting down on your operating costs.

Use Green Building Materials

Another way you can make your facility even more sustainable is by utilizing some green building products anywhere Sustainabilityyou can. While bamboo and hemp may be sustainable materials that can be used to build a home, it doesn’t really hold sway in a commercial facility. However, recycled plastic, like HDPE (high-density polyethylene), can certainly be used inside your facility to help add to the sustainability efforts.

HDPE solid plastic has been used in commercial facilities across the country as toilet partitions, storage compartments, and even lockers in schools. It’s a solid material that doesn’t scratch, rust, crack, or dent. It’s not absorbent, so moisture and mildew won’t wear it down. HDPE plastic is very low maintenance, so it only requires a little cleaning periodically. Above everything else, it can outlast other plastic materials on the market, so you’ll cut costs by not having to replace the product frequently.

There are plenty of benefits to trying to make your facility more sustainable. It not only helps you cut operational costs with your facility, but it can help reduce the harmful effects of emissions in the environment. Do you want to learn more about how to make your facility more sustainable? Check out this free eBook, Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom, from your friends at Scranton Products.

How Architecture & Sustainability are Working Towards a Greener Future

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Sustainability is one of the most important aspects to building managers, whether you’re about to break ground on a new facility, or you’re looking for ways to make your current facility more efficient. Green architecture has become increasingly popular since it helps reduce carbon emissions, as well as show a massive drop in energy consumption. The goal is to leave as little of a carbon footprint as possible, so finding ways to make your facility more sustainable is crucial.

The Importance of Sustainability & Green Architecture

Most buildings, skyscrapers, and high-risers you see that are made of glass and steel may appear alluring and awe-inspiring, but those buildings certainly use up a lot of energy, which maximizes their carbon emissions. Tall glass and steel structures require significant energy to keep the interior of the building at the optimal temperature, depending on the weather and season. According to The Economist, “In America, buildings account for 65% of electricity consumption, 36% of total energy use, and 30% of greenhouse-gas emissions.”

The ultimate goal with green architecture is to drastically reduce these numbers to a more manageable and sustainable level. By getting started now, we can work towards a greener future with less emissions and energy use collectively. Using these different materials is the first step towards a green and sustainable future.

Utilizing the Best Green Building Materials

The first step towards making a green facility is by utilizing sustainable materials. You’ll want to sort through materials that can help your building maintain its optimal temperature without having to kick the HVAC system into high gear. Certain woods and rock types make for ideal construction material due to their thermal mass. Utilizing recycled material can also have its benefits because it’s reducing waste while getting more use out of a previously discarded material.

How to Make Your Current Facility Greener

If your facility was already constructed before the idea of green architecture really caught on, don’t fret. There are still steps that can be taken to increase the sustainability of your facility. A major area that you can focus on is your facility’s restrooms. More importantly, replacing your standard partitions with a more sustainable material, like HDPE plastic.

These green building materials can help retain the heat in your restroom while combating the elements, such as humidity and moisture. They’re durable, scratch-resistant, and non-absorbent, so you won’t spend a lot of time and money on maintenance. They’re made from recycled material and they’re backed by a 25-year warranty, so you won’t have to shell out a small fortune to replace them.

Getting Started on Making Your Facility Sustainable

By using HDPE plastic in your facility, you can start small and work towards a greener future for your building. This plastic will outlast your current toilet partitions in your restroom, and they’ll incur less damage and won’t have any mold growth due to their strong and reliable structure. If your facility has lockers or storage compartments, you can replace the metal with HDPE plastic lockers, which will provide secure storage and durability while increasing your buildings sustainability.

Want to learn about how HDPE plastic and other materials can help make your facility more sustainable? Download this eBook, Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom, from your friends at Scranton Products.

10 Ways to Make Your Existing School a Greener Facility

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Do you ever try to come up with new ways to improve your school’s efficiency? Making a pre-existing school facility greener can be a frustrating concept; but, actually, it’s not that hard to take the building in a greener direction with a few implementations and additions. Here are 10 ways that you can make your existing school a greener facility.

 1. Use Green Cleaning Products.

One of the best ways you can take a step toward making your school greener is by using green cleaning products. These products are free of harmful chemicals and leave very little effect on the environment.

 2. Improve Recycling Programs.

Getting behind a more thorough recycling program is essential. Make sure that your facility is executing these practices. You can also use it to educate students about the importance of reusing, reducing, and recycling.

 3. Use Green Building Materials.

If you’re considering any remodels or renovations in the coming year, you may want to utilize green building materials that’ll not only last, but will make your facility more efficient. Materials like HDPE (high-density polyethylene) not only provide high durability, but they’re also recycled and sustainable—requiring very little maintenance.

 4. Open the Windows.

If the weather’s right, you may want to consider opening the windows, rather than relying on the HVAC system. It helps by providing fresh air to students and faculty, and it helps you save energy costs.

 5. Get Plants for the Classroom.

Placing a plant in each classroom has numerous benefits. A plant can help reduce dust and carbon dioxide levels while preventing the growth of pollutants. It can also help improve humidity.

 6. Find Weaknesses in Your HVAC and Water Systems.

There’s nothing like a flaw in your energy systems to prevent your school from entering the green realm. Conduct an audit of your HVAC and water systems to find out if there are any repairs you should make in order to avoid wasting energy.

 7. Improve Your Air Quality.

Improving your air quality is one of the benchmarks for greening your facility. While air fresheners can be effective, seeking out the culprit that’s reducing the quality of your air is far more effective. Most often, the stalls and partitions in the restroom and locker rooms of your school are sprouting mold. Consider replacing them with the previously mentioned HDPE, which is resistant to moisture and humidity.

 8. Consider Going Solar.

A lot of schools and commercial buildings have made the jump to solar energy. With just a few panels, you can reduce your energy costs while having your facility run on clean solar power.

 9. Test Your Water.

It’s always smart to ensure that you’re supplying your students and faculty with the cleanest drinking water possible. Check the quality of your water supply to make sure it’s in good standing.

10. Reduce Your Energy Use.

While the classrooms and hallways should be well-lit, there are other ways that you can reduce your energy use. One of the best and easiest ways is by turning off all the computers before leaving for the day, rather than setting them to sleep mode.

 

By implementing a few of these practices, you’ll see a noticeable difference, and your school will become greener every day. Do you want to learn more about how to make your school greener? Download the Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom eBook, courtesy of Scranton Products.