Green Operations and Maintenance

An affordable housing project designed and built with green strategies, materials, and systems can be truly green only if it is also operated and maintained with green products and procedures. Energy and water efficiency, indoor air quality, durability, and resource efficiency are determined as much by postoccupancy operations and maintenance (O&M) as by design. O&M practices have significant impacts on the health, safety, and comfort of a building's residents, the overall long-term environmental benefits, and on financial performance, as the cost of operating and maintaining a building over its lifetime usually far exceeds the initial construction cost.

Preventive maintenance to keep a building's systems and materials optimized and in good condition is the most essential, effective, and economic way to keep a building environment healthy and resource-efficient, prevent the need for premature replacement or repairs, and reduce disruption to building residents and staff. While most green materials and components require the same maintenance as conventional products, others do require special maintenance procedures or products.

This chapter provides practical recommendations for green building operations and maintenance procedures in the areas of groundskeeping, building systems, waste reduction and recycling, indoor air quality management, pest prevention and control, and healthy housekeeping.1

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