Picking Sustainability's Low-Hanging Fruit
At the 2013 Greenbuild International Conference & Expo in town this week, minds will collide (in a fun, non-violent way) to dream up big ideas. Real Property Solutions' John C. Smyth thinks the future really isn't far off, and he has some practical solutions that all property managers should adopt for cutting energy and operating costs. "Our job always starts with finding out what the owners' objectives are," says John, who also moderated the panels at Bisnow's recent Sustainability & Property Management Summit (above, he's with Comcast Business director of data innovation Chris Connor earlier this year). Tenant and manager cooperation works best through low-hanging fruit solutions, with lighting one of the best areas. No one knew what LEDs were when RPS began installing them in the early '90s; now facilities everywhere are embracing them.
Another trend on the rise is retuning HVAC systems, which John likens to fine-tuning a car for greater mileage. "Effective retuning involves simple but overlooked practices like using quality filters, runtime adjustments, and scheduled preventative maintenance," he says. And in a post-Sandy world, it's hard to overstate the necessity of emergency management systems to tackle utility and communications failures. RPS is already putting its everyday knowledge into practice at properties including the historic 1309 Noble (pictured), a mission-critical facility that needs to be up and running 24/7 to serve the regions's communications infrastructure. (Or at least, to satisfy the young folks ordering late-night Chinese.)