Going Green? Your Restroom Cleaning Plan

Think your restroom is clean? Think again. Public and commercial bathrooms contain “too many bacteria to count.”

public toiletThat’s the designation applied when there are more than 250 colony-forming units per millimeter – in the case of high-traffic restrooms, the number approaches 1000. Yuck.

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What You Don’t Know About Cogeneration

You’ve probably heard the term “cogeneration” or seen the phrase “combined heat and power” (CHP). That’s because the concept is catching on – new energy reforms in Mexico aim to encourage the development of cogeneration plants, and work is almost complete on California-based Calgren Renewable Fuels’ anaerobic digester, which will replace the natural gas currently used by its cogeneration plants with cleaner-burning biogas.

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Saving Money With a Water Conservation Program

Commercial buildings have a web of interconnected systems relying on water. Water is one of our most precious resources and yet conservation is an often overlooked aspect in whole-building design strategies.

Wasting moneyMost commercial facility managers struggle with managing its consumption, resulting in lots of wasted water. As water rates rise across the country, it’s an economically wise decision, as well as an environmentally conscious practice, to manage water usage.

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The 7 Tasks You Should Expect From Your Air Duct Cleaning Company

The EPA recommends cleaning air ducts whenever there is a rodent/insect infestation, mold growth, or if the ducts are clogged with dust and debris.

iStock_000019880307SmallAirborne particles can be released from dirty ducts and contaminate a HVAC system, or if moisture gets into the system mold can grow, and mold spores may be released into the air. In those situations, it’s crucial to have your facility’s ducts cleaned.

Dirty ducts can become a breeding ground for mold spores, bacteria and other particles, which can lead to poor indoor air quality.

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Capitalize on the Billions Available in Energy Rebates

There are billions of dollars in rebates available to facilities from utilities across the United States, according to a whitepaper by Ecova.

Skyscraper with dollar signEcova should know quite a bit about rebates as it is an energy and sustainability management company, whose goal is to help clients save resources.

As explained in the paper, there appears to be a growing interest in utility-sponsored rebate programs. Using rebate programs AND energy management, a facility can offset rising energy costs. And that’s important, considering that electricity is expected to increase by at least 4% in 2014 and gas prices may rise by about 10%.

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Sports Fields Go Green with Renewable Energy

Earth Day 2014 has come and gone, as has some people’s attention to the environment. But it’s encouraging to see sports facilities managers jumping on the “green” bandwagon.

Stadium seatsMore and more sports stadiums are trying to become more sustainable, according to articles published by Energy Digital and USA Today.

For example, in 2004 Jeffrey Lurie, owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, contacted Allen Hershkowitz, a scientist at the non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), to ask for help making his team and the stadium, Lincoln Financial Field, more sustainable, according to Energy Digital.

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Top 3 Ways to Prevent Common Building Materials From Causing Asthma

Asthma rates continue to rise despite the asthma control strategies facilities managers put in place, which are mostly in the form of indoor air quality control programs.

Asthma InhalersIn fact, 26 million people suffer from chronic asthma, 8 million of whom are children, according to a report from the Healthy Building Network (HBN).

Currently there is very little focus on preventing chemical exposure that’s linked to causing asthma. Various health organizations have identified several chemicals known to cause the onset of asthma, labeling them asthmagens. But HBN says more strategies need to be in place to prevent the asthma epidemic.

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Financial Incentives for Green Roof Retrofits

Did you know a green roof not only helps you cut your facility’s cooling bills in the summer but it can also help you reduce your heating bills in the winter.

iStock_000000132606SmallIn fact, a green roof  can help you reduce your cooling bill by up to 75% compared to conventional roofing, and it can help you save between 5.63% and 5.95% – up to 61% for upper floors – on your heating costs.

A green roof is a “living roof.” It’s either fully or partially covered with vegetation and a growing medium, and it has a waterproofing membrane. Additionally it may contain drainage and irrigation systems.

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Facilities Save Money by Recovering Blackwater

A facility can save thousands, maybe millions, of gallons of water – not to mention money – by using a membrane bioreactor, according to Buildings.com. The technology uses an activated sludge system to treat wastewater, reducing utility and sewer costs while offering clean water that can be used anywhere in the building.

iStock_000002709981SmallBuildings pay for water twice, one time for potable needs and the second time when sewage is discharged. While some cities have inexpensive water rates, discharge rates and stormwater fees exponentially increase utility bills.

Reclaiming wastewater reduces the environmental impact and relieves pressure on the municipalities, considering that every mile between a building and a water treatment plant is energy expended to pump water and sewage back and forth.

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ASHRAE Rolls Out Next-Gen GreenGuide

HVAC designers, building owners, architects, building managers or any contractor involved in green building design should find the fourth edition of AHSRAE’s GreenGuide a useful resource on many subjects relevant to green building design.

modern interiorQuite a bit has changed in the green building industry in the decade since the first edition of the GreenGuide was published in 2004. While green building programs began as voluntary, ASHRAE says the industry has seen them evolve into the mainstream, sometimes becoming mandatory.

“ASHRAE GreenGuide: The Design, Construction, and Operation of Sustainable Buildings, Fourth Edition,” includes several changes that will affect green building design.

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2015 Industry Trends and Predictions Report

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