Measurable productivity benefits of enhanced indoor air quality

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Every few years, a groundbreaking study propels our understanding of the impact indoor environments have on employee wellness and productivity. Old-timers will recall one of the first and most famous studies – a lighting retrofit at the Reno, Nevada U.S. Post Office letter-sorting department in 1986, which was merely intended to save energy. An unexpected surprise was that not only did it reduce energy use but the improved quality of lighting also increased the speed of sorting by 10 percent, decreased errors, and achieved a measurable half-million dollars in productivity gains per year.

Since then, our understanding of wellness in the workplace has greatly expanded. Recently, another trailblazing finding has been causing a stir in the wellness industry. It’s a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, which shows a remarkable correlation between carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and productivity.

The experiment consisted of participants playing a computer simulation game in three different office environments in turn: one ‘bad’ environment that had 1,400 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 (such as is often found in offices and schools); another with a moderate level of 945 ppm of CO2 (a typical industry standard); and a third, which had an exceptionally good level of CO2 at 550 ppm. The game was designed to measure nine cognitive functions, including information processing, decision-making and recall.… Read More

A class act: Spalding University greens campus and community

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In an effort to improve its campus, Spalding University brought green and sustainable enhancements to the surrounding urban community.

In 2003 Spalding University, a private, liberal arts college located in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, committed to improving its campus and facilities. Spalding partnered with JLL’s Integrated Facilities Management service team to bring about the improvements, while controlling costs under the university’s tight budget. Over the years, Spalding has made environmental protection and sustainability a core part of its mission to not only enhance the campus, but also the surrounding community and neighborhoods.

Now, nearly 15 years into our partnership, Spalding’s mission has expanded far beyond original expectations. Working collaboratively, JLL helped Spalding achieve its ambition to become a sustainability leader in the community through the planning and renewal of Louisville’s South of Broadway “SoBro” neighborhood.

As part of the SoBro neighborhood development team, JLL uncovered opportunities for Spalding to contribute improvements to the community by transforming parking lots around the school into green spaces and parks. Spalding has more than doubled its acreage from 10.65 acres to more than 23 acres, adding almost three acres of green space to its campus and acquiring additional land for conversion into green space. While Spalding’s footprint has grown significantly, the facility management budget has not.… Read More

Impact of solar eclipse on power grid shaped by solar

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On Monday, August 21, a rare total solar eclipse will cast a shadow across the U.S. – from the West Coast to the East Coast – for the first time in nearly 100 years. Almost a century ago, the modern power grid system was just getting its roots set in major cities. Now with solar power representing one percent of the U.S. energy generation mix and four percent of installed power capacity, this daytime darkness will have an effect on our power – but by how much?

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the solar eclipse will obscure the sunlight at nearly 1,900 utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the U.S.

While the direct shadow will last a mere three minutes, the entire event is expected to last three hours. … Read More

How thinking in circles could save the planet

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By 2050, the world might need three times more resources than we use now, according to the United Nations. The traditional “linear economy” model of using and disposing things “is forcing the planet into a state of disrepair,” said Sophie Walker, Head of UK Sustainability at JLL.

A better system is circular, in which materials are reused endlessly and produce little to no waste, Walker said. In real estate, concepts like modular construction and quick-to-build low-impact materials could be the future of building. This circular mindset, Walker said, offers a path toward a more efficient, environmentally conscious future.

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Categories: recycled waste.

Strategies for greening FM

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When it comes to facilities management, sustainability just makes sense. It affects the bottom line, it’s woven into operations, and in the experience economy it plays a major role in employee and client satisfaction. That’s the message from JLL’s President of Global Integrated Facilities Management Maureen Ehrenberg, who offers some suggestions on how to improve your sustainability game, no matter your FM role. New technologies, the latest vendors and extra training all provide new pathways towards sustainability in FM, Ehrenberg says.

Read more of Ehrenberg’s article on page 10 of IFMA’s FMJ magazine.… Read More