Facility Management Drawn on White Brick Wall

In 2010, the building sector generated 45 percent of all U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, largely because residential and commercial buildings use 75 percent of all electricity produced in the U.S., for lighting, pumping, heating and cooling, according to a Multibriefs article.

Since then, construction projects have begun addressing the situation.

Facility managers (FMs) are contributing to lowering these numbers in areas from site selection to post-occupancy energy usage tracking and long-term review processes.

"Existing buildings that do not undergo retrofits have an uphill battle to achieve energy-use reduction goals, with much of this responsibility assigned to facilities management teams," according to recent report, "The crucial roles for facilities management teams in green building" by Linnean Solutions.

Along with the buildings they manage, the roles of facility managers have changed, the article said.

New efforts to operate more efficient buildings are challenging facility management teams to take on new conservation responsibilities. They are now expected to be knowledgeable in sustainability and efficient building practices.

For instance, facility managers must understand how to manage new standards that require buildings be net positive in water and energy usage, waste production and other areas.

In 2009, the U.S. Green Building Council reported in their LEED v3 that, "Achieving these goals, such as net positive water use, would require facility management teams to establish water collection, recycling or on-site filtration policies and practices."

But in 2013, LEED v4 EBOM presented even higher expectations for building performance. New facility types were added, including schools, retail, data centers and warehouse and distribution centers. The USGBC also put more emphasis on energy and water metering.

For more information how things are changing the facility manager role of building efficiency, click here.