Walk the Talk

Sept. 1, 2007
I liked Jeff Ferenc's July From the Editor column (Walk the Talk), about the failure of Chicago's plan to cut carbon emissions. is only green until it

I liked Jeff Ferenc's July “From the Editor” column (“Walk the Talk”), about the failure of Chicago's plan to cut carbon emissions. “Green” is only green until it fades to brown and then to black — ask any gardener. In the mechanical sense, green requires the requisite commitment of resources and talent to operate and maintain equipment so that it continues in its most green-related state.

As Greg Smith notes later in that same issue (“Engineering Green Buildings”), “The individuals responsible for designing and specifying mechanical systems can have a huge impact on the green-building movement.” Yes, they can, by designing, building, and installing systems. Unfortunately, they are not around for the life of the equipment they specify, and if they have not adequately informed and “trained” the individuals responsible for operating and maintaining the green systems they specify, they are doing a vast disservice to not only consumers, but the long-term efficacy of the entire green trend.

Anyone can specify a top-notch building; not everyone can ensure that it will maintain a certain level of efficiency throughout its life, unless they track it and make sure it's being operated and maintained properly. Such operation and maintenance requires a different level of ongoing expense and investment with which not all owners/operators are completely familiar.

Thanks for making the point.
W. Randall Rawson
American Boiler Manufacturers Association
Vienna, Va

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