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
NAWSA and Wind Drives
Wharton, NJ and Milwaukee, WI
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
The newest GoatThroat Pumps for environmentally safe transfer of flammable liquids are in production now. Featuring a lug with a grounding wire on their fronts, SCP-6500 models will be available March 1, 2010. The lug will allow users to ground the pumps, making them safe for use with class 1 and class 2 flammables. All components that come in contact with the pumped fluid are created with conductive plastic. Available in four models, GoatThroat Pumps fit containers and drums from 5 to 55-gallons; typically have a service life of 10 to 15 years; and provide for spill-proof, safe transfer of over 850 fluids and solvents. RoHS compliant, these food grade products are designed to drain containers dry, making them Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) empty. They also meet UN safety standards, helping customers meet compliance and environmental requirements.
Westcott Distribution Inc.
New York, NY
Ludeca has opened its LUDECAwind Division to provide system support services for wind turbines. Services include installation and start-up of condition-monitoring systems, telediagnosis services with remote monitoring, laser alignment and geometric measurement systems, continuous alignment monitoring and consulting. The Germanishe Lloyd (GL) Wind certified VIBROWEB XP Wind online monitoring system supplied by Ludeca was developed exclusively for wind-turbine condition monitoring. According to the company, it is an easy-to-install, intelligent and compact unit that operates autonomously without a PC.
LiQuifix, a patented "green" spray lubricant is an effective, easy-to-use, non-aerosol, non-toxic and odorless formula with low VOCs. Its manufacturers note that the product is the only spray lubricant that meets California standards for indoor air pollution. It contains no PCBs, trichloroethlylenes, dioxins or metals, and has a high flash point of 275 F. LiQuifix complies with new EPA regulations that identify methane and five other greenhouse gases as dangerous to humans and also meets FDA Regulation 21 CFR for incidental food contact.
Nutek has launched a SmartGreen™ offering of lubricating and cleaning items. The line features extra-large, biodegradable wipes or towelettes that have soy-based lubricants and environmentally friendly cleaners. Unlike tube packages, the company says these wipes can be kept anywhere and not dry out. Simply Soy wipes can be used to clean and lubricate tools and other metal surfaces to prevent rust build-up, and are certified for safe use in food areas. Extra-large, heavy-duty Gas Off wipes remove, suspend and absorb gas smells from hands and surfaces. Grime Off removes drips and smears from non-porous surfaces like tools and equipment.
Chagrin Falls, OH