13 February 2013 — The new global headquarters of the International Facility Management Association at Houston showcases sustainable practices.
The Service Centre of Excellence, which opens on 21 February, employs innovative technologies and techniques to “benefit the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit”, says sustainability director Marina Badoian-Kriticos.
Ms Badoian-Kriticos said the centre was “conceived, designed and built around the core concepts of sustainability, usability and productivity”.
“By knowing exactly what we wanted to achieve from the beginning, IFMA found ingenious ways to integrate sustainable features and behaviours into the facility in manners that improve productivity and save money,” she said.
“We drew from some of the best tried and true facility management ideas of our 23,000 members around the world, making this a truly collaborative accomplishment.”
Through employee mobility, shared workspaces and smart design, the new IFMA headquarters requires only about half the useable square footage compared with the previous space. This reduces the environmental impact, saves money and increases productivity.
Modular and convertible office spaces created throughout the facility can be quickly and easily repurposed for multiple uses, allowing one room to serve the function that previously required two or more.
Furnishings, finishes and fixtures were chosen with sustainability, as well as aesthetics and function, in mind. Occupancy sensors were installed facility-wide to turn off lights when rooms aren’t in use. IFMA will monitor energy and water consumption in order to refine and improve conservation efforts.
To further connect people to each other and their environment, and to reduce the environmental and actual cost of lighting, the layout maximizes the penetration of daylight into the space while promoting line-of-sight views of the outside environment. This breaks down the indoor-outdoor barrier, and is further facilitated by using lower panels between workstations.
The location, in the heart of Houston’s Memorial City, offers development density and community connectivity which means that a host of amenities are within walking distance. The building itself has an ENERGY STAR rating of 98.
When it is not necessary to physically be in the office, employees can work remotely, allowing them to reclaim time lost in a daily commute while reducing fuel consumption and vehicle emissions.