A recent study by the International Facility Management Association reports that companies are adjusting their thermostats to minimize energy use and cut costs. “Operations and Maintenance Benchmarks, Research Report No. 32” outlines facility trends and how they affect North American workplaces.

Facility professionals are modernizing building equipment and implementing controls such as sensors and building automation systems, the study finds, in an effort to reduce utility consumption. Changing operating hours of a building’s heating and cooling systems and adjusting thermostat settings are two examples how facility managers have achieved energy savings with little expense involved. When compared to IFMA’s 2006 study, the average summer low thermostat setting has risen one degree to 72 degrees F, while the average winter low setting has dropped one degree to 69 degrees F.

The study provided data from 1,422 facilities comprising more than 600 million square feet of commercial space. It examined built environment trends in 34 industries and in various facility types.

The report also included developments in sustainability trends. Of those surveyed, 11 percent reported managing buildings with no green elements or certification; 28 percent reported one or more certified buildings; and 61 percent said their buildings contain green elements but were not certified.

“This year’s results demonstrate that by implementing a variety of cost effective practices, workplace professionals have improved the operational efficiency of their portfolios and contributed positively to their organization’s bottom lines,” states Shari Epstein, IFMA director of research.

For more information about Operations and Maintenance Benchmarks, Research Report #32, go to http://www.ifma.org/tools/research/32.cfm.

Source: IFMA