“You actually separate the waste into containers so everything that can be recycled is and doesn’t end up in a landfill,” Plunkett says.
Similarly, when building Safe & Secure Automated Self Storage Systems in Coconut Creek, Fla., all trash left on the jobsite went to a co-mingle yard and was separated into plastic, paper, wood, cement and dirt materials. The facility, the first fully automated self-storage project, provides direct access to individual units using a patented retrieval machine. “When it comes to energy, we have a huge advantage on the conventional facility,” says Paul Talley, vice president of Automated Self Storage Systems LLC.
Because the building is automated, minimal lighting was installed. Water-efficient products, such as dual-flush toilets and automatic water faucets in restrooms, reduce water usage. And the building’s electric and climate control are on a management system, keeping use on track.
In addition, the developer, Automated Self Storage Systems LLC, made careful choices when purchasing materials for the facility. “We tried to use material with high-recycle content as well as regional materials, things mined or manufactured with in 500 miles,” Talley says.
The demand for green products and services is only going to increase. “Green building is absolutely the thing of the future,” Plunkett affirms.
According to a McGraw Hill Construction Smart Market Trends Report, green building demand in 2008 was $12 billion. In 2010, it’s projected to be $60 billion. There are many reasons for this: government initiatives, the demand from a population concerned about the environment, and improvements in sustainable materials.
While choosing green can often be more expensive, it can also be an effective marketing and sales strategy. A self-storage facility that has some green aspects may be able to win over more customers. “The manager will say, ‘By the way, our facility is green-friendly.’ If everything is equal, that individual may decide to rent from the green facility,” says Plunkett, who likens it to buying an alternative-fuel car or organic foods. “What percentage of the population will do that? I don’t know, but there is a portion of the population that will choose to rent from that facility because it’s eco-friendly.”