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 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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Top 4 Things to Know About the Incandescent Bulb Phase Out

Around since the late 1800s, the incandescent light bulbs are now on their way out because they no longer meet federal energy-efficiency standards.

Light bulb in hand (green tree growing in a bulb)The incandescent bulb phase out began in 2012 with 100-watt bulbs; 75-watts were phased out the next year.  As part of the Energy Independence and Security Act, this year marks the final stage of the phase out, meaning incandescent 40-watt and 60-watt bulbs will no longer be manufactured.

Most facility managers have already been dealing with the phase out of the incandescent light bulbs for the past couple years, so the effects this year should be minimal.

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4 Ways To Improve Winter IAQ

Poor indoor air quality becomes a much bigger issue during the winter months, primarily because we spend a great deal of time indoors with the windows tightly closed.

Business peopleAnd that means that any indoor pollutants have less chance of escaping and have a better chance of irritating building occupants.

Because 30% of the commercial buildings in the US already have poor IAQ issues, during the winter months occupants are even more likely to suffer the ill effects of exposure – including respiratory issues and allergies – to indoor pollutants.

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Will G4 Simplify Sustainability Reporting?

Will G4 simplify sustainability reporting? The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) seems to think so.

Future TeamworkGRI is one of the most well-known organizations in the sustainability field. The group promotes sustainability through offering reporting tools to organizations to help them become more sustainable.

GRI believes a sustainable global economy should offer profitability in conjunction with ethical behavior, environmental care and social justice.

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New Technology Redirects Sunlight in Buildings

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have developed a technology that might change how the interiors of future buildings are lit.

glass architectureUsing light from the sun, the tech illuminates rooms without windows as well as rooms deep inside buildings where natural light does not usually reach.

The new technology, called SmartLight, is the result of a collaboration between University of Cincinnati researchers Anton Harfmann and Jason Heikenfeld.

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Saving Money by Saving Stray Energy

Building systems are complicated and anytime a piece of building equipment operates under less than its optimum settings, it’s “straying” and wasting unnecessary energy.

iStock_000004998273SmallSome examples of stray energy include:

    • Thermostats adjusted for an event, such as a meeting, that are not reset to the normal schedule after the meeting concludes
    • Broken sensors that cause fans or pumps to run when not needed
    • Problems with energy software that causes automated systems to run in ways not originally programmed, such as turning on at night

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