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Sustainable Airports

The Future of Airport Sustainability

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The future of airport sustainability is about to soar.  Until recently, there was no standard approach to sustainability in the aviation space but that is changing.  Many airports have their own definition of sustainability and are doing projects or approaching sustainability project by project; however a new trend is emerging. Many airports are shifting to approaching sustainability from a campus-wide perspective while focusing on metrics and measurement.

The big question is “How do you measure sustainability so that airports can track against each other and truly understand what sustainability is domestically and internationally?”

To answer, measuring and comparing sustainability against airports globally and domestically is going to be a trend moving forward.  LEED for Communities and LEED for Airports are two sustainability certifications that airports can use. These certifications by US Green Building Council are relatively new and ground breaking but are projected to pick up steam quickly. ArcSkoru is the technology platform that aggregates airport data and tracks sustainability metrics.

Measuring sustainability no matter what platform is key to setting goals, tracking progress and continuous improvement.  The main categories for airport sustainability are sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, human experience and sustainability innovation.

Passenger(Human) Experience is considered an essential component of sustainability. Features of terminal improvements that are considered sustainable include the reduction and elimination of smoking in airports to improve air quality, increased usage of natural sunlight by placing sky lights in terminal ceilings, and improved layouts for increased walkability.

Other practical yet innovative feature include employee and passenger transportation improvements, food waste recycling and construction waste recycling and diversion.  There many ways to approach sustainability from a design/build or operations perspective.

In summary, airports are developing ways to improve passenger experience and attract carriers while examining and implementing sustainable solutions. The Dragon Group is passionate about designing and providing strategies to airports for improved sustainable solutions.

For more information on The Dragon Group’s Aviation Sustainability practice contact Yvonne Dragon – [email protected]

5 Tips to Easily Save Energy and Money in Your Facility

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5 Tips to Easily Save Energy and Money in Your Facility

One of the biggest misconceptions about sustainable design is that it is insanely expensive and complicated. That is not the case. Sometimes a difference in a window, light fixture or water faucet can vary only a few dollars. There are many small tweaks a project team can make that can enhance the health of building inhabitants and value of your commercial or multifamily assets.

Here, we’ll discuss five tips you can begin implementing today that will help you save energy and positively impact operating costs.

1. Conduct a Lighting Assessment

Older buildings tend to have lighting that are an energy drain and drive up power bills. If this is the case for you, substitute your current lighting for LED lights or CFLs (compact fluorescent lights). Both are energy-saving light options that can make a big difference in your operating costs.

2. Develop HVAC Maintenance Schedule

Sometimes people underestimate the impact of changing a filter. By developing a maintenance plan and regularly servicing your HVAC, you can be sure building systems are working at optimal efficiency.

3. Assess Water Conservation Opportunities

Take a look around your facility. Where can you cut down on water consumption? By installing water conserving faucets and toilets in your building, you will drastically lower your water utility bill.

4. Install Occupancy Sensors

Have you ever walked into a room and the light suddenly comes on? Those are called occupancy sensors. By installing these, there is no need to rely on people to turn off the lights. As an alternative, you can also use light timers.

5. Seal Dry Wall to Avoid Air Penetration

Take a look around your building and see if you have any space around your fixtures, plumbing and ducts. If you do, air may seeping in or seeping out. That means less temperature control in your building and more money coming out of your pockets.

Remember, going green does not have to mean tons of green. You can make small adjustments to your building that can greatly enhance building performance while increasing the value of your asset. If you would like to discuss more cost saving and operational strategies or how you can employ our green building consulting services, feel free to contact one of our green building experts, Randall Dragon LEED AP BD +C at 770.312.5437 or [email protected].

Why You Need a Green Construction Manager on Your Next Project

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Why You Need a Green Construction Manager on Your Next Project

The standard role of a construction manager is to plan, direct, coordinate, and budget activities on the project site. The owner depends on them to oversee the project’s organization, scheduling, and ultimately, implementation.

Typical, right? Not anymore.

A Building’s Impact on Human Capital

On average, people spend about 90% of their time indoors. As a result, buildings have a unique ability to positively or negatively influence the health and cognitive function of those inside. To deeper understand the impact, Harvard designed a study to simulate indoor environmental quality conditions in green and conventional buildings and evaluate the effects on cognitive function.

What they found was astonishing. The study showed 61% higher cognitive function scores in green building conditions compared to the conventional building conditions across nine functional domains, including crisis response, strategy, and focused activity level. Read more about the Harvard Study.

Standard Construction Management is No Longer Enough

Particularly in the healthcare, transportation, education, sports and entertainment industries owners are now looking to design and construct green buildings that drive productivity and invest in society’s most valuable — human capital. In order to oversee and execute performance centric buildings, a construction manager must understand what owners expect from a building and human performance perspective in order to implement sustainable asset solutions.

The Need for a Green Construction Manager

Consideration of building and human capital performance coupled with market demand and government mandates having a green construction manager (GCM) is the key to successful commercial project. The GCM acts as a champion of sustainable design while also transforming green concepts into a cost effective constructible reality.

Anytime an owner pulls a team of architects, engineers, contractors and other vendors together, communication can be challenging. A GCM can develop a strategy to partner with design and construction teams to meet overall project goals and attend to small details that make a big difference in the building’s sustainability.

Overall, the role of construction management is shifting and requires an expanded skill set to meet the market demand of high performing and sustainable buildings. Will your standard construction management approach be enough?

Want to learn more about how our Green Construction Management team can boost the health of your building and those inside? Let’s talk. Contact our one of our green building experts, Randall Dragon LEED AP BD +C at 770.312.5437 or [email protected] to discuss your upcoming project in more detail.