Thursday, August 8, 2013

Why your snow removal company shouldn't ignore this trend

'If we as an industry want to be responsive to demands from the facilities management marketplace, we have to improve and be more open minded about this trend.'

By Brian K. Birch
The 2013 Snow Strategies Forum was a great experience. First, it was fun. Second, it was full of useful information. And third, there were some really smart people there.  One smart guy in the room on day 2 was attorney Stuart Kaplow. Pretty much no one in the snow removal industry knew Kaplow before this event. But Kaplow, an expert on LEED for Green Buildings, gave one of the best presentations we’ve seen in a while.

Kaplow presented critical information that we simply cannot ignore in the snow removal industry. Here are some stats provided by Kaplow about the growth of LEED in North America:

  • 44% of new non-residential construction was green in 2012 (7 years ago less than 2% was green)
  • 1.5 million square feet certifies to LEED per day
  • Today there are 53,000+ LEED certified commercial projects either certified or in the process of being certified
These numbers are pretty impressive, but the important idea here is that most snow professionals aren't very informed about green building and LEED in general. If we as an industry want to be responsive to demands from the facilities management marketplace, we have to improve and be more open minded about this trend.

Kaplow did offer some help to those in attendance. He provided insightful information about LEED EB (for Existing Buildings), the part of LEED that can directly impact snow removal. He also furnished attendees with a template plan that can help position them as a proactive resource in helping achieve LEED-certified status for a property. 

SIMA is focusing on this issue as well.  We are committed to positioning SIMA as a key resource where snow contractors can be connected with quality information about LEED and a trend that we all can't ignore. 

Brian Birch, CAE is the Chief Operating Officer for the Snow & Ice Management Association and can be reached at


  1. Kaplow did an excellent job of simplifying the LEED concept and how SIMA members can assist managers of certified buildings in there re-certification process. I would recommend anyone interested in LEED join their local chapter of US Green building council doing so can connect you with like minded people and provide access to LEED seminars.

    John Reffel III, LEED AP
    JLS Landscape & Sprinkler, Inc.
    Sedalia, CO

  2. LEED and snow/ice management should include radiant heating technology in this conversation.

    If "LEED... is transforming the way we think about how our buildings and communities are designed, constructed, maintained and operated" (from the link above), it would behoove everyone in the snow removal operational and managerial chain to include at the design and construction phase all strategies that reduce environmental impact.

    Besides the continuous weather-monitoring, a radiant heat system (what it is) for snow melting (what it does):
    • reduces or eliminates chemical/salt residue;
    • eliminates storage space and costs of inventorying ice-melting agents, particularly off season;
    • reduces or eliminates vehicle fuel, maintenance and labor costs
    • integrates with other automated building systems;
    • mitigates the reliance upon the reactive responses of contracted services*; and
    • promulgates energy efficiency and environmental vigilance

    *How does “Operating always when needed, only when needed” sound?

    Donald Kopis
    Environmental Technology Inc.

  3. ya. Its very important to do with professional. Now i understood. Thanks.


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