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General Office

According to the "Whole Building Design Guide" by the National Institute of Building Sciences, the life-cycle cost distribution for a typical service organization is about 3 to 4 percent for the facility, 4 percent for operations, 1 percent for furniture, and 90 to 91 percent for salaries. As such, if the office structure can leverage the 3 to 4 percent expenditure on facilities to improve the productivity of the workplace, it can have a very dramatic effect on personnel contributions representing the 90 to 91 percent of the service organization's costs. (Read More)

Cross-Cutting

Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)
Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) is most simply described as the conditions inside the building. It includes air quality, but also access to daylight and views, pleasant acoustic conditions, and occupant control over lighting and thermal comfort. It may also include the functional aspects of space such as whether the layout provides easy access to tools and people when needed and whether there is sufficient space for occupants. Building managers and operators can increase the satisfaction of building occupants by considering all of the aspects of IEQ rather than narrowly focusing on temperature or air quality alone.Americans spend the majority of their time indoors; not surprisingly, studies have shown an increase in worker productivity when improvements are made to a space’s IEQ.

Energy Efficiency

7 Ways to Make Your Office More Energy Efficient
But there are several cost-effective ways businesses can substantially cut down energy use in the office and save money. Here are seven to consider.

Simple Office Energy Checklist
Easy energy conservation and efficiency measures to use at the office.

Hazardous Waste

EPA: Design for the Environment
A list of all partners and products recognized under the DfE Safer Product Labeling Program. When you see the DfE logo on a product it means that the DfE scientific review team has screened each ingredient for potential human health and environmental effects and that—based on currently available information, EPA predictive models, and expert judgment—the product contains only those ingredients that pose the least concern among chemicals in their class.

Indoor Air Quaility

IAQ in Large and Commercial Buildings
Indoor air quality (IAQ) problems are not limited to homes. In fact, many office buildings have significant air pollution sources. Some of these buildings may be inadequately ventilated. For example, mechanical ventilation systems may not be designed or operated to provide adequate amounts of outdoor air. Finally, people generally have less control over the indoor environment in their offices than they do in their homes. As a result, there has been an increase in the incidence of reported health problems.

Outdoors

How To GreenScape
Think about the millions of tons of waste materials that are hauled away, buried, or burned each day from landscaping and grounds keeping operations—trees, shrubs, brush, lumber, asphalt, and concrete, just to name a few. Also, consider the millions of gallons of water, pesticides, fuels, and oils in use each and every day. The costs of these materials—both economic and environmental—can be easily reduced or eliminated with updated landscaping methods.

Purchasing

EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Design for the Environment program helps consumers, businesses, and institutional buyers identify cleaning and other products that perform well and are safer for human health and the environment.

CleanGredients 
An online database of cleaning product ingredient chemicals, providing verified information about the environmental and human health attributes of listed ingredients.

EPA: Green Products
The EPA Greener Products portal is designed to help the user navigate the increasingly important and complex world of greener products. 

Water

EPA WaterSense- Office Buildings
WaterSense, a partnership program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes, and services. (Ideas for Commercial Businesses)

Sustainable Facilities Tools: Water Efficiency
Buildings are significant users of the Earth’s freshwater supply. The goal of a responsible building operator should be to encourage a smarter use of water, both inside and outside the facility. Indoor water use reduction is typically achieved through efficient plumbing fixtures, fittings, appliances and process equipment used to heat and cool the building; outdoor water use reduction efforts should focus on water-wise landscaping and efficient irrigation. By using less potable water, a building will also reduce the amount of energy needed to transport, treat, and redistribute that water, not to mention the cost savings associated with reduced potable water consumption. Innovative solutions for water efficiency should include not only a reduction in the amount of potable water used, but also a reduction in the use of non-potable water where appropriate (for flushing toilets, watering the landscape, etc).