Green workspace alterations come in all stripes, from big ones that can help produce significant savings after a payback period to smaller ones that generate savings immediately—and cost little or nothing upfront.
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) recently explored and tracked a number of facility and workspace green alterations to determine their effectiveness and savings. While the GSA study focused on federal office space, the strategies it followed are effective in nearly any work environment, including industrial space.
Tiny tweaks capture big benefits
The first suggestion by the study's authors—which involves turning up the thermostat in summer—is something that any business can easily do. By adjusting summer HVAC output from 74 to 78 F, average energy costs for cooling were cut by 4%, or 10.6 cents per sq. ft. annually in the GSA sample. A side benefit was that the change also increased employee satisfaction: More than 60% of employees said they were uncomfortable working in the colder temperature.
Another easy, cost-saving measure involved replacing HVAC-system filters on schedule, and with high-performance filters. The GSA study estimates that 30% of the facilities examined inspected their filters too infrequently. By checking maintenance records to ensure proper replacement, and using filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value rating of 13 or above, the GSA study predicts these facilities would cut overall HVAC energy expenditures by 2%.
Finally, by replacing bulky CRT monitors with LCD units, businesses can quickly cut their energy use. CRT monitors draw nearly three times the energy of LCDs: 75 watts compared with 20-25 watts of peak energy. LCD screens were also found to produce appropriate brightness levels more consistently—something that current research suggests might improve performance of visual tasks.
For additional information about the study and other energy-saving alterations for the workplace, visit www.gsa.gov LMT
The global fuel-cell industry could create 700,000 green manufacturing jobs over the next decade, according to "Fuel Cells: Sustainability," an Industry Review from Fuel Cell Today (FCT), an organization that gathers market-based intelligence on the fuel-cell industry. The group further predicts that more than a million total new jobs could be created during this period to accommodate fuel-cell installation, servicing and maintenance. FCT projects that Asia will dominate in terms of manufacturing over the next decade, while key adopter regions, including Europe and North America, will be the prime locations for installation and maintenance jobs. The study also raises a number of issues for the fuel-cell industry itself, which, if not addressed, could be a barrier to fuel-cell adoption, including education, skills and training and supply-chain development.
Fuel Cell Today
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Forsta Filters claims that its Green-Clean technology can help to reduce backwash wastewater by as much as 75% for industrial users. Without interrupting system flow during backwash, the products' smaller flush valves minimize the volume of water required to remove buildup on a filter element. Using internal vacuum nozzles, the Green-Clean system scans and removes debris from the filter in 15 seconds or less. Forsta offers a full line of self-cleaning water filters in 1-36" flange size, with screen elements ranging from 5 to 4000 micron. The company's full line of all-stainless steel self-cleaning water filters is designed to provide long-term solutions to a wide range of industrial and municipal applications.
Forsta Filters, Inc.
Los Angeles, CA
According to Sew-Eurodrive, its new compact, modular DR motor is well-suited for most any industry, and allows users to specify the exact options needed for any application. Maintenance-friendly modular brakes, encoders and other options help simplify retrofits and field adjustments. Designed to meet and exceed various international energy standards, these units are available in three efficiency levels: DRS Standard Efficiency (IE1), DRE High Efficiency (IE2) and DRP Premium Efficiency (IE3).