Sustainability in 2013 for CRE, Facilities and Construction

Green Building & Sustainability

The United States has become extremely interested in the sustainability of our future and public and private sectors are continuously progressing on policies that support these ecological goals.  “This is evident in the commercial sector.  More than 28 billion square feet- about 40 percent of the country’s inventory- now use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to monitor and report energy performance. [Also], LEED-certified properties in the U.S. and 130 other countries topped the 2 billion-square-foot mark…and the U.S. Green Building Council notes that another 2 million square feet is certified each day ”, according to Dan Probst in an article.

Along with increasing LEED-certified properties and using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, there are five specific trends that will help CRE and construction companies, facility managers, and property owners take “energy and sustainability to the next level”.  The first trend is a renewed interest in resilience.  Companies are “re-examining their ability to bounce back after disaster”.  By adopting strategies that focus on minimizing environmental threats, companies will require less money and time spent on recovery contingencies.

Next is energy measurement and disclosure.  Many cities in the U.S. are requiring large buildings to use Portfolio Manager, “the EPA’s energy management tool, to measure and report energy performance.”  This requirement doesn’t cost building owners anything, and utilization of the tool has shown a reduction in energy by an average of 7 percent.  New York City made their energy performance data public and this may be a requirement for all cities in the future.  This type of transparency will make CRE and construction companies and property owners highly motivated to increase their scores.

Third is smart grid investment.  The United States’ electrical grid is severely outdated so the government has created the Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) program.  This program’s purpose is to update our electrical grid, decrease frequency and duration of power outages and create more efficient power management.  A smart grid will benefit all property owners, by lowering costs associated with power outages.

Then there is smart building investment.  Companies are investing in cloud computing and “technology that can translate data from many different automated systems, allowing a facility manager team to remotely monitor entire portfolios”, according to Drummer.  These automated systems and smart buildings benefit property owners by decreasing energy costs by 15 to 20 percent and giving them the ability to find faulty equipment before it fails, resulting in no delay in operations.

And last is acceptance of renewable energy.  Solar, wind, and tidal power and biomass energy are all types of renewable energy that companies are beginning to convert to, but the adoption rate will depend on the availability of tax incentives and local support of resilience.

In the long run, following any of these trends will reduce costs for CRE and construction companies, facility managers and property owners and increase our country’s sustainability.  Bring A&K’s sustainability expertise to your project. A&K Painting is the leader in the “Green Painting” world, serving General Contractors, CRE Pros and National Accounts. We became fully involved with this major growth area of the construction world well before many companies started researching what it involved.  Learn more about our sustainability program now.