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Reducing carbon footprint of facilities using a facility management approach

Manish K. Dixit (Department of Agricultural Sciences and Engineering Technology, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas, USA)
Charles H. Culp (The Built Environment, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)
Jose L. Fernandez-Solis (Department of Construction Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)
Sarel Lavy (Department of Construction Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)

Facilities

ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 7 March 2016

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1598

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the importance of a life cycle approach in facilities management practices to reduce the carbon footprint of built facilities. A model to holistic life cycle energy and carbon reduction is also proposed.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature-based discovery approach was applied to collect, analyze and synthesize the results of published case studies from around the globe. The energy use results of 95 published case studies were analyzed to derive conclusions.

Findings

A comparison of energy-efficient and conventional facilities revealed that decreasing operating energy may increase the embodied energy components. Additionally, the analysis of 95 commercial buildings indicated that nearly 10 per cent of the total US carbon emissions was influenced by facilities management practices.

Research limitations/implications

The results were derived from case studies that belonged to various locations across the globe and included facilities constructed with a variety of materials.

Practical implications

The proposed approach to holistic carbon footprint reduction can guide facility management research and practice to make meaningful contributions to the efforts for creating a sustainable built environment.

Originality/value

This paper quantifies the extent to which a facilities management professional can contribute to the global efforts of reducing carbon emission.

Keywords

Citation

Dixit, M.K., Culp, C.H., Fernandez-Solis, J.L. and Lavy, S. (2016), "Reducing carbon footprint of facilities using a facility management approach", Facilities, Vol. 34 No. 3/4, pp. 247-259. https://doi.org/10.1108/F-11-2014-0091

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited