How Commercial Buildings Are Going Green
Going green is a trend that has made its way into the business world. More commercial buildings are being modified to lower the impact that these buildings have on the environment while allowing companies to benefit from the cost savings offered by reduced energy usage. A green contractor can work with companies to create a functional commercial space that maximizes on environmentally-friendly design elements.
It is estimated that half of all commercial construction will be green by the year 2016. The fact that a knowledgeable general contractor can build to suit the needs of any business makes building green more attractive.
The Move To Green Construction
The green living movement has prompted companies all over Houston and every major city in the United States to begin constructing green commercial buildings, but this is not the only reason for the change. Governments in countries worldwide have taken notice of the large energy consumption of commercial buildings, and steps have been taken to reduce the negative impact that these buildings may have on the environment.
Much of the energy consumption associated with commercial buildings involves systems that can be made more efficient. For example, heating and cooling systems in large commercial spaces tend to use a substantial amount of energy. Even seemingly small changes like efficient lighting can significantly reduce energy consumption.
Benefits of Green Commercial Buildings
The standout benefits of green commercial building is the substantial energy savings that is offered by this construction choice. Customers across the country are more concerned with the environmental footprint that businesses have when it comes to producing goods, so it is important for companies to choose green building options to improve their public image.
However, the energy that is saved through green construction is not the only benefit to be enjoyed. A substantial cost savings allows companies to recover any additional costs that are put into the construction process when a green construction company is chosen. It is estimated that green commercial buildings cost 19 percent less to maintain than traditional commercial buildings.
Insurance expenses may even be reduced when a commercial building is designed with energy efficiency in mind. Some insurance companies are beginning to offer discounts to commercial customers who have buildings that are certified as green.
Over one-quarter of people who work in a green commercial building report that they are comfortable with occupying the building. This could lead to an increase in productivity, so it is apparent that the benefits of going green are many.
How To Go Green
Green construction services have become widely available due to the rise in the popularity of saving our environment. Contractors must obtain a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification to comply with standards set forth for green building construction.
Buildings that are considered to be green need to reduce energy use as compared with traditional buildings by 30 to 50 percent. Carbon emissions should be reduced by 35 percent, water emissions should be reduced by 40 percent and a 70 percent solid waste reduction is needed. Extensive knowledge of the design and building process that is necessary to achieve these goals must be obtained by contractors before they offer green building services.
It is important for companies to understand that the initial costs of construction tend to be higher with green construction. However, the reduction in energy expenses will make up for the addition to the initial construction expense.
Length of construction may be longer when green building designs are chosen. Companies that are considering green construction for their commercial buildings should take the additional time into account. An LEED-certified construction company can help businesses better understand the costs and time frame associated with such a project.