State of the Planet

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Sustainability Student Explains How “Smart Buildings” Are Better

M.S. in Sustainability Management Student, Greg Falco

The 36 credit Master of Science in Sustainability Management program, jointly offered by the Earth Institute and the School of Continuing Education, is designed to meet the growing demand for sustainability managers and train leaders to bridge the gap between the principle of sustainable development and its practice. This program is ideal for practitioners and aspiring professionals eager to learn practical management techniques and sophisticated environmental measurement tools. This blog is about a current student who is addressing these issues both as a student in the program and a professional in the field.

Sustainability Student Explains How “Smart Buildings” Are Better

In a recently published paper, M.S. in Sustainability Management student, Greg Falco, explains the benefits of Smart Buildings, those that address energy efficiencies using innovative, data-driven techniques. Rather than dealing with energy problems through capital-intensive equipment replacements, Smart Buildings provide insight to system issues that can be resolved by simply changing a setpoint or conducting a minor fix. The paper, which Greg co-authored with several other experts, is the result of collaboration between Microsoft and Accenture, in cooperation with Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory. The paper details a pilot program launched by Microsoft’s Real Estate and Facilities organization to address energy consumption and cost through fault detection and diagnosis, alarm management and energy management. The results of this program demonstrate the real feasibility of a smart building solution.

A current Sustainability Management Consultant at Accenture, Greg joined Columbia’s Sustainability Management program as a part-time student in Fall 2010. The program, co-sponsored by the Earth Institute and Columbia’s School of Continuing Education, trains students to tackle complex and pressing environmental and managerial challenges. “The M.S. in Sustainability Management program is well-rounded and covers many disciplines that comprise the very nature of sustainability,” says Greg. “The diversity of courses offered has been essential to my career development as I have been able to use what I learn in the classroom on various topics to better appreciate client perspectives. Comprehending the requirements and needs of a client is essential in management consulting and the [program] is providing me with a thorough arsenal of knowledge in many functional areas to better understand my clients.”

The full paper written by Greg and his co-authors may be accessed here:

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