Fri Jul 7th, 2017
Going “Green” is one of the newest trends paving its way through houses, businesses and corporations. Green certified buildings follow criteria aimed to improve the environmental performance of buildings through sustainable design. Buildings have direct and indirect environmental impacts throughout construction, occupancy, renovation, repurposing, and demolition measured by the use of energy, water, and raw materials, which generate waste and emit potentially harmful atmospheric emissions.
The Environmental Services (EVS) Staff and Southern Ute Clean Team Division Supervisor, Jess Baidwan introduces the trends within the green building industry, referring to the Nano-septic handle wraps used across Tribal Campus to reduce germ sharing. The EVS staff is responsible for engineering water, ozonated or electrolyzed water, to even further reduce chemicals used in cleaning.
The Southern Ute Clean Team is working hard to provide healthy spaces for tribal members, visitors and building occupants throughout the tribal buildings. The Leonard C. Burch building being the first in Indian Country to receive the certificate in 2015, influenced Tribal Council’s goal to certify 2-3 buildings to become green for 2017.
Shattering the goal, there are 6 buildings that are green certified: 2 Gold and 4 Silver. The gold certified buildings are the LCB and Multi-Purpose / Chapel. The 4 Silver Certified Buildings are the Medical Clinic, Dental Clinic, MCB and the Justice & Regulatory Administration.
International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) is the world leader in the Cleaning Industry and the movement associated with the green certified buildings is CIMS (Cleaning Industry Management Standard) and GCI (Green Clean Institute). They are in line with improvements with existing buildings, cleaning, maintenance and sustainability that is all about human and environmental health. “These movements exist because it is the right thing to do to show we care about people today and tomorrow — we, the Clean Team for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, remain committed to both,” said Baidwan.
So why go green? “As a Clean Team we are the frontline for Healthcare … going green is important because it is our mission to keep everyone safe and healthy,” Baidwan said. “Our short-term goal is to reduce exposures and the long-term goal there should be happier, healthier people and lower absenteeism.” The process for a building to improve environmental performance and become green certified depends on the standards and differ between Gold and Silver certifications.
Gold certified buildings take a couple of years because of the multiple layers, like staff education, removal of caustic chemicals and improving processes. How things must be done correctly is based on a point system and need to be proved through photos and videos. “In 2015 we earned 550 points for the LCB, this year the LCB and the Multi-Purpose each hit 700 points, which at a glance shows our improvement,” said Baidwan, with 1400 being the maximum possible points a building can receive in total. Silver certified buildings are easier to accomplish because the requirements of work in education, chemical reduction and process improvements. Additional buildings on Tribal campus can meet such standards set forth to receive the green certificate, such as the Sky Ute Casino and Resort, and discussions have started in regards to the Growth Fund buildings.
In honor of the tedious process and work having to be done to achieve healthy, clean, workable spaces for tribal members, visitors and building occupants, the Southern Ute Tribe’s Custodial Department recently introduced the “Janus” Award. This award is given to the custodian that exceeds set expectations across the board. “I am a strong proponent of praise and recognition … I keep a monthly tally of the excellence of my staff, and they are recognized on a monthly basis, however, I felt more was needed for those who pursue excellence consistently; month after month,” said Baidwan. The Southern Ute Indian Tribe Custodial department wishes to recognize Jeremy Rock as the first recipient of the “Janus” Award.