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Green Retrofits Help Facilities Achieve a Sustainable Future

Even if new construction isn't on your company's agenda, building owners can still reap sustainability's benefits with green retrofits.

November 2010
(page 3 of 3)
For example, Watson uses these sustainable features:
• Low flow plumbing fixtures;
• Drought tolerant landscaping;
• Oversized, 100 percent concrete truck yards;
• Three percent skylight to roof ratios and white ceiling insulation to promote efficient energy use and excellent warehouse illumination;
• Abundant skylights and clerestory windows for maximum natural light; and
• T5 or T8 lighting systems.

Instead of cherry picking a series of one-off sustainable retrofits, a holistic renovation program is imperative to maximizing sustainability. In 2005, Watson began an extensive renovation program to upgrade its buildings in the South Bay region of Southern California. Aesthetic improvements included replacing exterior façades, installing new skylights and clerestory glass, and upgrading entryways. Functional improvements entailed replacing outdated heating and cooling systems, increasing truck loading doors, and expanding turning radii to boost parking capacity and improve maneuvering. The program will result in efficient buildings that meet new sustainable design standards and create significant cost savings.

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Opportunity Amid Challenges
Industrial users face a multitude of challenges, from a sluggish economy to a lack of available financing to volatility in global trade. Despite these challenges, the need for sustainable industrial buildings continues to grow. The ability to reduce carbon emissions while enhancing overall building performance has made sustainable building features a mandatory component of all new developments. By shifting the focus from ground-up developments to retrofitting existing buildings, users can realize substantial cost savings for a lower initial investment. In a market where efficiency and environmental stewardship are highly valued, your greatest asset for a sustainable future could be your existing building.

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