What is Green Building? Definitions and Concepts

We’ve all heard the term “green building”, but what exactly does it mean? Simply, green building is a method that uses efficient design, advanced technology, sustainable construction and maintenance elements that creates a building that has very little impact on the environment and a promotes a healthy atmosphere for those who live or work in the building. These environmentally-friendly buildings can be high-rise office buildings, apartments, residential homes or schools. Furthermore, they can be found all over the country, from the deep, hot South to the cold, snowy North.

One of the challenges of living in an eco-conscious society is making buildings and homes that already exist conform to greener standards. Buildings can be retrofitted to encompass efficient technology so their emission level and energy consumption is as minimal as possible. An easy way to start making your facility more energy-conscious is by purchasing energy-efficient appliances, which will save you a lot of money on your electricity bills. You can also begin to employ techniques that will reduce your total water consumption and winterize windows and doors to prevent heat loss.

Many green buildings use solar lighting and generate their own energy. Solar panels on buildings will not only provide your facility with all the energy it needs to function, but in many cases, you can sell the excess energy to the local power company. Solar powered heating and lighting are a great way to significantly reduce your building’s energy consumption and harmful emissions.

Green buildings can also use natural ventilation systems to help reduce indoor air pollution and allergens. This is especially beneficial for those with asthma, suffer from allergies or have other respiratory problems. Building materials that are free from chemicals and toxins, along with a natural ventilation system, will allow people to breath easy while inside the facility. It has been shown that people who work inside of buildings with modern ventilation systems are more productive and use fewer sick days than those who work in conventional office buildings.

Do not be overwhelmed by the staggering amount of green technologies that can be applied to a building. You do not have to employ each one right away. You can start by making small changes and work your way up to a totally green, energy efficient facility. A green building consultant can help you focus your energy conservation goals and show you exactly how your building’s performance efficiency will change with each step you take. Also, this type of consultant can help your maintenance department implement CMMS software (or Computerized Maintenance Management Software), which helps a maintenance department run more effectively and efficiently.

Green buildings can save, on average, 40% of their total energy costs. This means more money in your pocket and less harmful emissions being sent out into our surrounding environment. This type of decrease in energy consumption means the burning of coal and oil is reduced, thereby helping lessen the impact of global climate change. The recycled materials used in the construction of green buildings help keep our ecosystem regulated.

Any small step you take to make your facility run more efficiently, or “green”, would be a wise decision. You’ll be saving money in the long run, promoting a healthier lifestyle and helping to conserve our delicate ecosystem.

Team Building Training Consulting

In a day and age where many companies are looking to for their employees to cooperate instead of working independently, team building is essential. In many cases, effective team building can be achieved through many different team-building events. A successful team-building consultant can dramatically affect your company’s productivity for years to come. However, if a consultant offering team-building events does not properly facilitate due to a poorly structured team-building event, the result could be worse than not performing a team-building event at all. That is why it is so important to have a professional consultant that specializes in this field to help organize and run your events.

A professional consultant can help for many reasons. First, those who have team building training best accomplish some of the most important qualities that a company is looking to improve upon, such as cohesiveness among group members, enhanced problem solving, generation of ideas, and improved morale. These organizations have been performing these activities for many years and know what does, or does not, work. Second, the knowledge that these companies have can be used to design a team-building event that is not only unique to your company, but also unique to the certain aspects your company is trying to improve. Many of the people who run these companies specialized in corporate team building, and know the ins and outs of how they work. This knowledge allows them to understand a company’s specific problem and find the best way to solve it. Finally, a professional organization can take care of all the details that would bog down a member of your company. Many of these organizations already have locations, restaurants, and possible lodging already lined up if a company needs it. This ends up saving the company valuable time, and money, for other things.

How do these all affect effective team building training? All of these components are necessary in order for an event to work properly and successfully. In addition, with these components, Effective team building can be achieved, along with all the benefits that come along with it. That is why effective training in this vital field is so crucial.

It can be useful to consider a case study in how effective team building consultants work. Usually, an effective consultant will begin with a needs assessment process to determine the real needs of a client organization. Then, the consultant will work with the client to determine the best approach for developing a given team. Time, budget, and skill development needs should drive the development process. Finally, the consultant will deliver the training services and provide a follow-up evaluation and next step training opportunities. Hiring a Team Building Consultant can help your organization become a more effective performance-based organization.

Popularity of Bicycle Team Building

Almost ten years ago an Event Planner in Dallas asked my colleague to generate a conference event with a philanthropic element. After a good bit of brainstorming on our team, the bicycle team building was created. The Dallas program was warmly received with some minor glitches. We rethought some of the elements and I conducted the second ever bicycle team building in Orlando for a large pharmaceutical company. The Senior Vice President emailed me to say, “Your bicycle program was the single best team building event I have ever attended. And let me tell you I’ve attended plenty.”

When I last checked online there were 80+ companies offering bicycle team building events. Over the years tens of thousands of bicycles have been given to children in need. As someone who did the second event ever held and since that time has conducted over 200, I think I am uniquely qualified to answer the following questions: Why has this program become so popular? What are the key elements that make a bicycle team building successful?

1. Why so popular? A well-planned bicycle team building has three key elements…

A. Accomplishment – Team building can be fun, and at the conclusion of a bicycle team building your group has accomplished something tangible. Participants feel a sense of pride after coming together as a team and creating something valuable for needy children.

B. Bikes – Everybody has had one. Think about how you felt when you received your first bike. Remember the thrill of ownership and feeling of freedom your bike gave you. Quite simply, bikes engender fond memories for most adults.

C. Kids – The well-selected charity will bring children who need bikes and often times have never owned one. The look in a child’s eyes when they receive their first bike is something adults won’t soon forget.

2. What are the key elements? There are many decisions to be made correctly when planning a successful program.

A. Venue – Making a decision where the event will be held is important for two reasons. The first is to insure sufficient square footage for the size of your group. Participants will be moving around and assembling parts. If they do not have enough space it can create logistical problems. The second decision is whether to hold the event indoors or outdoors. When the weather is good, having the event outdoors gives participants a break to the indoor meetings they have likely been attending all day. A change of surroundings can foster a change in mood. Keep in mind that temperature and weather conditions where you are traveling from can be radically different than where the event will be held. Late spring can be extraordinarily pleasant in the Northeast, but uncomfortably hot and humid in Florida.

B. Charity coordination – It is highly desirable to work with an organization that is accustomed to moving their children in groups. They are likely to have suitable transportation and staff to manage their youngsters. They must select children of the appropriate age for the bicycles being built. Finally they must need the bicycles. I live in Orlando, a key convention destination. Some charities have become saturated with bicycles. If you don’t ask, they won’t tell. I was recently told by a nationally known organization with branches here in Orlando, they had almost a hundred new bicycles in storage. Your team building consultant should be able to find a children’s agency in need of bicycles.

C. Secrets – Who knows what? I believe it adds a vital element of “POP!” to the event if participants don’t know what they are going to be doing. So calling the event Bicycle Team Building pretty much gives away the story. I also strongly encourage the presence of the children receiving their bikes at the end of the event. The surprise experienced by the participants who are building bikes is surpassed by the excitement of meeting the children for whom the bikes were built.

Bicycle Team Building has grown from a standing start ten years ago to the most popular team building event. Many of our large corporate clients do events repeatedly for different divisions within their organizations. I was recently talking with a large healthcare client at the conclusion of an event and she told me, “This is my tenth bicycle team building and I cry every time!”