Sustainable commercial restoration and new build practices
Whether you’re a business owner or a commercial property manager; the best thing you can do for a thriving future is to adopt sustainable practices while renovating your business centers or constructing a new facility.
Your business operating costs can have a major dent in your profit margins and that’s where you can turn the odds in your favor by adopting sustainable design and incorporating techniques for greener and more efficient use of resources.
Restoring or renovating your business specifically for sustainability will definitely increase your overall financial performance. It will also enhance your reputation and image of the company which will help you land more sales, attract more customers, and enjoy the confidence of investors.
It’s a smart business decision that will reduce the impact of your business operations on the environment, improves energy and water efficiency, and enhances the overall health and well-being of building occupants.
Making commercial buildings greener and more sustainable is a bit tricky and daunting task. Because of their size and complexity of design; the sustainable design is not always a priority for business owners.
However, times are changing and we’re seeing a rise in restoring, retrofitting and remodelling commercial projects to make them more environmentally friendly. And that is essential for the future of our planet and the well-being of its habitants.
The most challenging aspect of sustainable commercial restoration is the high upfront cost. And that is sometimes crucial for a business to invest in these projects, as the financial benefits are not immediately visible.
However, it’s best to consider the long-term benefits like reduced energy and water bills, improved health and comfort for building occupants and enjoying a more positive image of your company. These benefits can definitely offset the high upfront costs.
Sustainable commercial restoration projects may also qualify for government incentives, and tax credits that will further reduce the financial burden. So, if you can carefully plan to implement energy-saving measures in building design and incorporate renewable energy sources; you can easily find the right balance between energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Work with your contractor and architect
It is critical during the planning stages to discuss your sustainability goals with the architect and the contractor. It’s a joint effort where everyone must be on the same page.
You can discuss your vision of a sustainable space and ask architects to incorporate features that can enhance the energy efficiency, and water conservation by using environmentally friendly materials. Your architect firm can help give their plans and ideas that can maximize the comfort, health, and overall quality of life for your building occupants.
Similarly, contractors now also have experience working with sustainable building practices. And they can further help you find ways to reduce your impact on the environment and save on energy costs. They can help you find best construction practices like incorporating modular design, reducing construction waste, and incorporating greener materials for your commercial spaces.
Incorporating innovative and eco-friendly materials
In commercial building construction and restoration project, using eco-friendly and green materials can significantly enhance the sustainability and efficiency of the space. These materials can range from insulation and flooring options to cutting-edge lighting and HVAC systems.
For example, using recycled materials such as recycled steel or recycled glass can reduce the amount of waste produced during construction and also conserve natural resources. Another innovative material that can improve sustainability in commercial buildings is low-emitting paints, adhesives, and carpets, which can reduce indoor air pollution and improve air quality for building occupants.
Additionally, using energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems can greatly reduce energy consumption and costs. For example, LED lighting uses much less energy and lasts much longer than traditional lighting options, while efficient HVAC systems can reduce energy costs while maintaining a comfortable indoor climate.
Some innovative green building materials are recycled glass, recycled steel, bamboo, sustainable insulation materials like cellulose, sheep’s wool, denim, and cork, polystyrene. So, it’s best that you carefully research your choices for materials and select ones that are less toxic and are best for your sustainable efforts.
High-performance glazing system
Utilizing natural light to enhance the interior of a building not only improves the quality of light but also reduces energy consumption. The right glass selection, with consideration given to light transmission, heat transfer, UV protection, and color, is crucial in sustainable building design. High-performance glazing systems allow for increased natural light while effectively blocking out excessive solar heat, improving daylighting and reducing the need for cooling.
The design and orientation of the building, location, and placement of windows and private offices all play a role in optimizing daylight and minimizing heat gain or loss. Window orientation and placement in proximity to ceilings and work surfaces are additional factors to consider for optimal daylighting and energy savings.
Reduced water consumption
Incorporating techniques like rainwater harvesting and implementing cost-effective measures can significantly decrease water consumption by up to 30%. The latest toilets consume only 1.6 gallons per flush as opposed to older models which used 3 to 5 gallons per flush.
Installing sensor-activated faucets and urinals not only saves water but also maintains hygiene. In regions facing water scarcity, waterless urinals have become a popular alternative. Choosing drought-resistant vegetation for outdoor landscapes can eliminate the need for irrigation altogether.
Managing stormwater runoff
Retaining stormwater on the property and allowing it to seep into the ground helps to prevent pollution in lakes and streams and recharge underground water sources. Sustainable building developers employ techniques like rain gardens, green roofs, permeable pavement, and minimal curbing to effectively manage stormwater runoff.
Adopting renewable energy sources
Electricity is an essential component for any commercial building to function. Fortunately, businesses don't have to solely rely on the grid anymore, they can make the switch from traditional energy sources to renewable energy by upgrading their infrastructure.
One option is the use of efficient and budget-friendly solar panels. By harnessing the power of the sun, businesses can reduce their carbon footprint, lower energy costs and even generate profit by selling excess energy back to providers in certain countries. Solar energy is both environmentally friendly and cost-effective.
The bottom line
Despite the challenges, incorporating sustainable design and construction practices in commercial buildings and spaces is becoming increasingly important. Building owners, managers, and developers are recognizing the benefits of sustainable design and are looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact and improve the health, comfort, and overall quality of their buildings.
With careful planning, attention to detail, and a commitment to sustainable practices, it is possible to make commercial buildings and spaces greener, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly.