I Work in a Green Building

This audio was created using Microsoft Azure Speech Services

As a member of Schneider Electric’s Green Buildings team (and an active member in my local USGBC chapter), I try to exemplify sustainable practices in my professional and personal life. I am fortunate to work for a company whose business practices—including our internal Planet and Society Barometer and Schneider Electric Foundation—also support this mission.

What if I worked for a company that wasn’t in the green buildings business? How—as a building occupant—could I benefit from green building principles in my daily professional life? Let’s look at a best-case scenario of a high-performance commercial building, whose owner values corporate social responsibility and energy efficiency.

On a gorgeous Tuesday morning, I scan my smartcard to gain access to the parking garage, and I then use the same card to charge my car with the onsite electrical vehicle charging station. My smartcard is loaded as a cashless vending card, so after I swipe it to gain entry to the elevator and go to the 15th floor, I hand it over at the coffee bar to pay for my morning treat.

I then head to my office—which is perfectly conditioned, as the HVAC, lighting, and sun blinds operate in a fully coordinated way according to the actual measured need of heat, cool fresh air, and light. I power on my laptop and check to make sure my car is properly charging: it is. Before I dial-in to my first conference call of the day, I smile to myself, knowing that I can change the temperature slightly within set points for direct interaction with my office environment.

After a productive morning—yes!—I head to another floor of the office for a meeting I initiated. Knowing that rooms are sometimes hard to come by, I registered this meeting last week in the room booking system. So, when I get to the meeting room, the environmental controls are optimized according the actual number of participants that I indicated when booking the conference room. Now, if I only had remembered to order snacks, my colleagues would be very impressed!

While the above scenario combines best practices of integration and green building design, it can be achievable. To me, as a passionate green building fan, it sounds like the perfect working environment—if I can’t choose to work from home in my PJs and reduce my carbon footprint further. Read here for more about Schneider Electric’s green building solutions.

What does best-case scenario of a high-performance commercial building look like?




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  • Shan, very nicely written article. I love that you walked us through a “day in the life” to make us see how Green principles are present in (and affect) your professional life, as opposed to just rattling off some statistics and studies. Gives me a much better idea of how such technologies can be applied and enjoyed.

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