Green buildings make employees see red
Would you like to work in one?
By Carolyn Duffy Marsan, Network World | Techworld | Published: 09:00, 07 December 2007
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"Mr. Coffee uses about 1000 watts when it is brewing, and it cycles on and off. It’s 250 watts of constant power if you’re keeping a hotplate warm," Long says. "We have rules that allow no more than two coffee pots for every dozen or so people."
"Our employees are not supposed to have coffee pots, heaters or refrigerators in their personal workspaces. It’s a constant fight," Pegnato says. "We probably get 90 percent success on that."
Pegnato says he chooses his battles when it comes to forcing employees to adhere to strict electricity usage in their offices. For example, he isn’t likely to force an employee to turn off the lights on a desktop Christmas tree.
"It’s a balance and a trade-off," he says. "Do you literally run an office where you have Big Brother watching you? Where you plug in a pencil sharpener and somebody absconds with it? It depends on the culture of the organization."
There is a plus to working in a green building: Lots of natural light. Green buildings are designed to make maximum use of sunlight. The fluorescent lighting in these buildings often have automatic dimmers so they adjust to the amount of sunlight in the room, and lighting automatically turns off when the room is unoccupied.
"No employee is more than 65 feet from natural light," Pegnato says of NSOF. "We have five large courtyards and skylights."
Green building operators say the biggest complaints from employees are about losing their printers, copiers and coffee pots.
"It’s a huge mindset change because everyone wants their own close by," McCauley says.
"The coffee pot and the printer are the big things," Lt. Col Dunic agrees. "This is something near and dear to people."