Monday, June 27, 2016

Green... it's not just a color name anymore!

So many things have changed in our lives over the past 5 years, 10 years..... I mean think about the sound, the feeling of a cell phone vibration, that noise or sound or vibration.... our grandparents would not have know what that was had they heard that when they were our age. Same goes for so many things, even the simplest of things like color names.
Take GREEN for example -
Green would conger up images of green grass, trees in bloom, beautiful flora and fauna! It is no longer just a color name, to describe what happens when you mix blue and yellow - it is a verb being green, be green, have a green attitude about they way you live life
I attended a workshop a few years ago, to learn more about becoming a LEED® Accredited Professional - LEED® is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. To summarize what LEED does... it addresses the need for greener buildings from the core and shell to the interior of the building. It looks at all aspects of the project and offers different levels of certificates for companies who elect to build a greener future. In my opinion, or as my dad used to say IMHO, it makes cleaner, better working and living environments for the future. It was an eight hour workshop in which we covered more information than you can possibly believe!
One of the most important things I learned that day is that you do not have to acquire certificates or plaques for your building or place of business to be more green conscious!
Just considering that making a few choices as a business, you can contribute to a better atmosphere for your employees, more so for the future generations and for the earth!
Let's take recycling for instance. Now, everywhere, we are all used to seeing these cans that allow us to separate our garbage for recycling. At times when we do not see them it is odd to us. Just one company in a building can start in their office to set up these containers for their employees. Taking this step, can make the other tenants realize the importance. Then together they can contact the landlord to arrange for the town to make a recycling pick up at a building where it is not yet available.
Adding a safe place to store bicycles for the employees can influence them to feel safe riding to work and therefore using less gas and pollutants, (it also wouldn't hurt in this time when gas is so expensive!). Changing the ventilation so each workstation can control the flow of air they want is more of a major change, but when looking at full renovations, or new space this is a great one to consider.
Outside views, glass walls, better air circulation, more personal lighting;this would include increasing task lighting at each desk therefore reducing the overhead need, plus the daylight from the windows. These all these add to a better work environment and have been proven when utilized to increase productivity, better attitudes and lessen absenteeism and could cost less in the long run. It is positive all around!
I found myself looking and thinking about the other projects in my life, ones with the West Windsor Arts Council and at work, trying to think of ways to incorporate the LEED® way of thinking, their standards into my current and future projects. Why not design a greener future for our children?

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