Green building and contracting can add tangible value to your business in 2009. It’s a hot button with home and business customers and a surefire way to differentiate your company from the competition.
Building green means constructing sustainable buildings and structures that use resources such as energy, water, materials and land more efficiently. It can also mean generating less waste during the construction process, or using products that have a reduced carbon footprint, like cabling that produces less smoke, acid gas and carbon monoxide during combustion.
Green buildings and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) have become popular buzzwords in the design-build construction industry, prompting keen interest in sustainability. LEED is a voluntary system that defines what elements make a building efficient and sustainable. The LEED system was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council and now has more than 10,000 member organizations (www.usgbc.org).
Integrated building systems fit nicely with the premise behind the LEED benchmark, as it recognizes performance in several key areas, including energy efficiency. Part of energy efficiency encompasses controls and lighting, building automation and occupancy sensors.
For the low-voltage specialist, being green means offering things like occupancy detectors in bathrooms and offices to dim or shut lights off after a specified period of time with no activity or on weekends or evenings; temperature and humidity sensors with presets and automatic controls; and ancillary products such as blinds that close or open based on temperature and ambient light settings. Indoor air quality solutions are other products to consider as part of a total managed green building system.
Video conferencing as a green strategy
Some corporations are encouraging green practices by advocating less travel and more teleconferencing. An emerging specialty niche an integration company might also consider for these customers is video conferencing. According to BCS Global, New York City, technologies that allow for effective remote face-to-face communication not only reduce energy consumption, but “hold great promise for companies interested in reducing their overall business costs, gaining competitive advantages and increasing employee productivity and effectiveness.”
Consumers and end-users understand the benefits of green contracting and how it adds to their bottom line. Why not give your company an edge by making it a business management strategy this year?
Deborah O’Mara is the editor of Security Dealer & Integrator magazine, reaching some 25,000 installers.
Grab Some Green
Living the green lifestyle might mean the following to your customers:
• Energy cost savings in lighting and less use of heating ventilation and air-conditioning
• Less overall impact on the environment
• The ability to automate functions within the facility for a more efficient workplace
• Systems that automatically turn on or off depending on occupancy
• Non-critical devices that can be powered off or down to save energy—or powered at times when utility costs are lower
• Remote and automated solutions that give control in an instant and don’t require running to the home or jobsite, including some of the latest Web monitoring services offered by central stations