Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How “Going Green” with Building & Maintenance can Put Your Company in the Black

Last Friday Examiner.com posted an interesting article on the advantages of going green. An article from the RDTC Tax Help Blog was even quoted towards the end of the article, for a post from earlier in the year that explained the tax advantages of going green in 2010. You can find a section of the Examiner.com article below, or click here for the full text.

Improved customer image

Customers are influenced in their purchasing decisions by whether a business shows environmental consciousness. For instance, Environmental Leader reported in 2007 that 72 percent of rental customers wanted hybrid vehicles included among rental car options, according to a survey conducted by Priceline.com. Nearly half of all cell phone customers consider a mobile carrier provider's "green" credentials, according to a 2009 ABI Research report cited by Green Electronics Daily. In a tough housing market, 70 percent of potential home buyers were more inclined to purchase homes with "green" features, according to LOHAS Online, (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) quoting the 2008 Green SmartMarket Report from McGraw-Hill Construction Analytics entitled "The Green Home Consumer: Driving Demand for Green Homes." Customers also and tend to remain loyal to "green" companies during economic downturns, MoreBusiness.com claims.

Enhanced worker productivity

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines "sick building syndrome" to refer to health-related complaints by workers that cannot be attributed to a particular cause. A similar condition, "building related illness," applies to health-related complaints directly related to airborne contaminants. Symptoms of "sick building syndrome" and "building related illness" include respiratory distress, headache, fatigue and dizziness, according to the EPA. A survey of 100 office workers revealed that 23 percent suffered symptoms related to "sick building syndrome," according to the New York Real Estate Journal, citing research from the ASHRAE Journal (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers).

The nationwide cost in lost productivity related to "sick building syndrome" amounts to 2 percent annually, according to New York Real Estate Journal. Increasing indoor ventilation and reducing the indoor concentration of carbon dioxide to meet the standards established by LEED V3 (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), diminishes complaints related to "sick building syndrome," claims Just Venting, citing research conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. LEED V3 standards for indoor ventilation call for a 30 percent increase above the 2007 ASHRAE 62.1 ventilation standard of 20 cubic feet per minute (CFM) per person. Substituting nontoxic building materials, cleaning supplies and office equipment that do not emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) greatly reduces airborne contaminants related to "building related illness."

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