Sustainability at the Nation’s Airports

June 24, 2013

Today, VFA Project Director Susan Buchanan, LEED-AP, speaks on “The Synergy between Asset Management and Sustainability” at the 22nd Annual National Aviation Environmental Management Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. She will be highlighting opportunities to improve both facility condition and sustainability.

In order to take a significant step towards an overall greener facility, sustainable improvements must be incorporated into long-term capital planning processes.


Starting Out

In order to effectively integrate sustainability into a capital plan, organizations must evaluate what improvements will ultimately provide the greatest long-term and short-term results. Once green initiatives are aligned with an organization’s overall business goals, a strategy can be mapped out so that competition with other capital and operational investments is resolved before any plan execution. While organizations may single out specific opportunities to improve building sustainability, ultimately those investments will need to be assessed in the context of other building requirements. Some green programs can have relatively low-cost initiatives that deliver short-term paybacks by reducing energy and natural resource consumption, bringing a short-term cost savings that reinforces the long-term plan to go green.

Going the Distance

Truly integrating sustainability into a long-term capital plan requires major changes, such as major building renovations or large-scale master planning programs. But there are many opportunities that can provide both short- and long-term environmental, social and economic benefits. Green building assessments make it possible to capture and evaluate these opportunities. By combining green initiatives with traditional maintenance and renewal requirements across an existing building portfolio, organizations can get a holistic view of a facility’s needs– allowing them to maximize operational efficiency while promoting a sustainably built environment.


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