Monday, October 27, 2008

Making offices green with eco-friendly equipment

EVERYONE knows that planet earth is warming up. Global warming is a term residents of Jakarta are familiar with. Many things can be done to prevent the earth from getting warmer. One of the ways is to wisely choose appliances.

In terms of electricity consumption, air conditioners top the long list of household appliances used by residents of major cities. This is understandable as air-conditioners are on all the time. That's why wisely choosing the right air conditioners should be the first step before buying other household appliances for your home.

Many residents in Jakarta use air conditioners to keep their rooms cool and fresh. There are many air conditioner brands on the market. Some of them offer not only cool and clean air but also promise power efficiency and claim to be made of environmentally friendly materials. Air conditioners account for the majority of power consumption above all other electrical appliances in the home, namely 2,147 kWh for a 1. horsepower air conditioner.

In addition, the use of inverter technology enables a 50 percent reduction in power consumption in air-conditioning. This efficiency means that your electricity bill will be smaller and, more importantly, you will be energy efficient and helping to stop the planet from further increasing in temperature.

Indeed, preventing increased global warming does not mean only choosing the right air conditioners but, more importantly, property construction must be designed in such a way that it conforms to the green building concept. The construction materials must also be environmentally friendly so that they will contribute to curbing global warming.

And as people spend a great deal of their time at work, an office should not be just a place where people work. Today's offices must be able to meet various needs that not only keep up with times but are also environmentally oriented. Indeed, awareness of the significance of the environment begins with each individual. Ideally, there should be support from your surroundings, including the presence of eco-offices.

As international oil prices continue to soar, followed by the worsening condition of the environment, which leads to global warming, a green office concept is the most suitable choice. "The most important point in this concept is the use of renewable energy and efficiency in the use of water and energy," said Rana Yusuf Nasir of the Indonesian Association of Construction Physicists (IAFBI) at a panel discussion held in Jakarta in August.

According to Rana, in Indonesia access to renewable energy is still poor. Electricity for property is supplied by state electricity company PLN, which has yet to use renewable energy sources. A different condition can be found in the U.S., for example, as many companies that supply electricity use various fuels, including the renewable fuel. A developer that chooses electricity from a resource of renewable energy will earn the biggest points in the green building concept.

Stephanus D. Satriyo of the Indonesian Association of Property Management said that in many countries the application of the green building concept increases property value. A number of countries such as India, China, Dubai and Vietnam frequently apply the standards of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

In Indonesia, however, much education on this issue is needed. In Indonesia, there is the misconception that a green building is expensive, difficult and not feasible business-wise. "The managements of buildings, as quite big users of energy, should now bear the responsibility to help reduce global warming through efficiency in the use of energy, water, fuel, etc. and so forth," he said.

Indeed, not everyone ignores environmental matters. The Bali branch of the Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association (IHRA), for example, has recommended to the Balinese provincial administration that environmentally friendly equipment should be made available if eco-tourism is to be realized in Bali. "We have stated our readiness to re-invest in the equipment as long as the environmentally equipment that a hotel needs can be supplied to the market," said Ferry Markus of Bali IHRA .

This recommendation is also intended as a response to the plan of the Bali-Nusra regional head office of the Ministry of Environmental Affairs to require that hotels in Bali use environmentally friendly equipment. Ferry, as quoted in, confirmed that all hotels in Bali would foloow up on this government program. (Burhanuddin Abe)

The Jakarta Post, October 27, 2008

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