The environmental performance of buildings fundamentally impacts people’s lives and the health of the planet. Although role of Facilities Management (FM) includes, but is not limited to, maintenance of building engineering equipment and cleaning, it plays a major role in fighting climate change and delivering sustainable economy. FM not only makes a positive impact on public health and the environment, it also reduces operating costs, enhances building and organizational marketability, increases occupant’s productivity, and helps create a sustainable community.
Real estate owners are amplifying the sustainable impact of their properties by embracing LEED certifications. Also, end-user organizations already expect facility managers to provide environment and energy-related services. As the green building sector grows exponentially, progressive facility managers look for ways to manage the environmental issues of their properties. They try to manage natural resources without compromising the ability of future generations to use the same natural resources. There are specific environmental goals, such as storm water management, reduction of use of water, construction waste management, and indoor chemical and pollutant source control. Some of the internationally applicable categories with environmental performance of operational building are measured as below:
• Sustainable sites - The most comprehensive system to align land development and management with innovative sustainable design
• Water efficiency - Maximize fixture water efficiency within buildings to reduce the burden on potable water supply and wastewater systems and protect natural habitat, waterways and water supply from pollutants carried by building discharge water
• Energy and atmosphere- Verify that fundamental building systems and assemblies are performing as intended to meet current needs and sustainability requirements
• Materials and resources- Establish minimum source reduction and recycling program elements and quantify current waste stream production volume
• Indoor environmental quality- Establish minimum Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) performance to enhance indoor air quality in buildings, thus contributing to the health and well-being of the occupants
• Innovation in operations - Provide building operations and upgrade teams with the opportunity to be awarded points for additional environmental benefits
Regardless of the above categories, facility managers should use LEED or various other approaches to attain environmental sustainability and achieve one common goal i.e. to integrate environmental consideration into facilities management.