GREEN INITIATIVE – GREEN GRASS

sprinklers

Commercial building owners and managers are constantly seeking to heighten their competitive edge thru offering a better facility while holding or reducing costs.  Here in Westchester and Fairfield counties, this usually goes hand in hand with various LEED and Green Building initiatives.  Today’s prospective tenants often inquire about the prospective buildings current green footprint and future plans.

After the large projects are complete – HVAC, plumbing, lighting-where to turn?  A look outside will reveal an area where building owners and managers can reap many benefits. The irrigation system at your building may be old and inefficient.  New technology in the past few years can significantly leverage irrigation systems recently installed.

In May’s issue of “BUILDINGS” Magazine, senior editor Janelle Penny turns the focus of the Greener Facilities monthly article to irrigation.

Here are the key takeaways from her article “Keep Your Grass Lush for Less”

“Maybe it’s time to add smart landscape sensors to your arsenal.  These devices interact with your existing irrigation system to put water where it counts and when it’s needed, rather than leaving all the work to a simple timer that waters your lawn daily regardless of weather conditions.  By ensuring that you it, a suite of sensors helps cut down on wasted water.

 

To truly wring every drop of efficiency out of your landscape practices, the EPA recommends installing a separate water meter to measure how much water you’re applying to the landscape – this will give you greater insight and could provide additional sources of savings.

 

Performance results naturally vary depending on climate, landscape, variations in weather, and other factors, but the EPA provided BUILDINGS with a handful of real-world examples to illustrate the spectrum of potential savings:

  • Water-efficient sprinkler technologies can reduce water use by as much as 30% when compared to standard pop-up sprinklers.
  • Properly installing a WaterSense-labeled, weather-based irrigation water use by 15%.
  • A project in Florida demonstrated a savings of 13,567 gallons every time a rain sensor prevented an irrigation event on half an acre of landscape.
  • Turf plot studies demonstrated that water savings from soil moisture sensors ranges anywhere from 4-88%.”

 

While the first reaction may be you don’t have a half acre in Florida, the numbers add up just as fast when you realize you have 2,4, 6 acres in CT or NY.  Savings like these are real and documented.  It all adds up to a great equation—water savings puts cash back in the budget, bolsters your green initiative footprint, impresses prospective tenants and delivers a healthier landscape.

References:
Buildings Magazine, Issue 05.14
Article: Keep Your Grass Lush for Less

 

irrigation pop up

Critical Operations – Fall Irrigation Shutdown

irrigation

As November is just around the corner and the first hard frost arrives, this is the time to ensure your property’s irrigation system has been fully blown out and shut down for winter.  Perhaps there is no more important landscape operation at this time of year.  For New York and Connecticut landscapes, if your system has not been shut down and blown out, the time is now.

As air and soil temperatures drop to the low 30’s, the heads in particular as they are at the surface and the irrigation lines which are usually just a few inches under grade, can freeze.  This causes irreparable damage and often, almost a complete rebuild of the system.  Ouch!  This is a lesson no property or facility manager wants to learn the hard way.

It is a relatively simple process in the hands of trained irrigation technicians.  However, if not performed correctly or worst case, not performed at all, repairs and costs will be significant.  After the fall system shutdown for your commercial landscape, this is a great time to review the year’s performance and ensure necessary budget dollars are in place for any repairs or system enhancement for 2014.

No question about it, this is best left to the professionals.  Here at Eastern Land Management, our irrigation team is led by Jose Igartua, who has his CT Irrigation J-3 license and is a Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor (CLIA).  As your trusted full service landscape maintenance and irrigation provider, you can be sure your irrigation system will be properly shut down for the winter ahead.  Please give us a call quickly if your irrigation system is still active.  We will make certain there is no ouch next spring.