With the ever evolving LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) movement, the building industry continues to move toward green building standards. With LEED certification for buildings and LEED accreditation for industry professionals, the building industry is changing though the incorporation of governmental polices, technological advances, and building requirements intended to enhance both the industry and humanity, though green building techniques.
All of this puts pressure on businesses to act in a morally conscious manner, not only as it relates to business practices, but also as it relates to environmental friendliness. For this reason, going green in your buildout is important to how the public (as well as your employees and customers) view your business. Going green includes making your business property more energy efficient and reducing your carbon footprint. Being proactive in going green will, in effect, reflect well on your business.
Making your Commercial Property a More Environmentally Friendly Work Place
Air pressure testing is now a requirement for all new builds, but you can also have it performed on your existing property to determine the airflow and if energy is being wasted. Essentially air pressure testing determines the amount of air escaping from the building (which means heat in winter and cool in summer). Once you’ve had the testing done, you can reduce the air loss by upgrading insulation, using green friendly low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds) products, and thus improving your property’s energy efficiency.
As you begin your green buildout, there are a number of options you can utilize to make your company’s property more environmentally friendly. Here are some areas to consider using eco-friendly products.
Countertops, Walls, and Floors – If your property will have counters, walls, and floors, there are a number of environmentally friendly options including recycled glass and concrete for counters and floors. Also in the mix are a number of green lumber options – wood from certified managed forests, reclaimed or recycled wood, composite hardwood veneered products, and even natural bamboo are amazing environmentally friendly choices. If you have outdoor spaces for employees and clients to enjoy, consider treated lumber or today’s composites. When it is time to paint walls, consider using low- or zero-VOC paint which are also both stain resistant and washable.
Windows – Replacing old windows with today’s high performance models is an easy way to go green, saving you and your business from rising energy costs.
Water – Water in a buildout? Why, yes, after all your business property will include bathrooms and possibly a break room for your employees. Choosing Energy-Star appliances and premium quality water-saving toilets is a great place to start! Tankless water heaters are another green option for offices; they only heat water when needed and are up to 70 percent more efficient than traditional water heaters, saving energy and money.
Solar Panels – If you really want to go all in with your green buildout, consider adding solar panels and generating your own power from the sun. In many instances, this addition will also include tax credits and utility rebates, saving you and your business even more.
And as you implement environmentally friendly products in your business, consider these little things you and your employees can do to keep it going as you enjoy your new space:
- Shut down computer systems when the office is closed.
- Rather than leaving electrical items on stand-by when not in use, turn them off.
- Use energy efficient lighting throughout the property.
There are so many little ways your business can make a difference. Plus, in doing so, your business’s utility bills will go down and you’ll have a more comfortable environment for employees and customers. Let Perillo Construction help you discover all the ways you can go green in your upcoming buildout.