The rise of green building has brought with it a ton of ideas, strategies, and best practices. Each one of these is designed to make buildings more environmentally friendly and cost-effective in the long run. With that said, green building is not just about putting solar panels on the roof or installing an electric car charging station. It’s about creating spaces that are more energy efficient and have a smaller carbon footprint. Let’s take a look at 10 practical tips for implementing green building principles in your organization. These simple steps can reduce your organization’s negative impact on the environment while simultaneously saving you money over time.
Make Sure Your Building Is Well-Insulated
The first thing you should do before any other green initiative is to make sure your building is well-insulated. Why? Well, for one, it will keep your building’s temperature consistent, reducing the need for heating and cooling throughout the year. More insulation can reduce your building’s energy use by as much as 40%. That’s a massive amount of power that can be saved. There are several types of insulation that you can choose from. They include fiberglass, cellulose, mineral wool and spray foam. Each one is designed to meet the needs of different buildings, so make sure to select the right option for your situation.
Use Natural Light Whenever Possible
Natural light has many benefits, including reduced energy use and better indoor air quality. Many offices make the mistake of installing lots of fluorescent bulbs in the building, which is not very environmentally friendly. Fluorescent bulbs, although cheap and easy to install, can be extremely harmful to the environment once they are thrown away. They also have a very short lifespan, which means you will have to replace them on a regular basis. Instead, you can use natural light by installing plenty of windows in your building. Alternatively, you can also use skylights or other forms of roof lighting to bring in more natural light.
Go Ultra-Green With Your Building’s Roof
The roof is one of the most important parts of any building, as it is where all the water is stored and collected. If your building’s roof isn’t designed properly, it will create major drainage issues. Your roof also dictates how much sunlight gets into your building, which affects how much natural light you can use. Your roof’s longevity, maintenance cost and weather resistance are also important factors to consider when designing a roof. The best materials for a roof include concrete tiles, asphalt shingles, clay tiles, and metal, among others. Depending on which material you choose, you will have different benefits and drawbacks. For example, concrete tiles last longer and resist heat, but they are much heavier than other materials. You can also add Green Roofs to your building, which are great for increasing your organization’s sustainability. Green roofs are very environmentally friendly, as they trap and retain rainwater, reduce temperatures, improve air quality and add aesthetic value.
Install Energy Efficiency Equipment
The more energy-efficient your organization’s equipment is, the less electricity it will use. This is especially important when it comes to large machines and appliances that use a lot of power. When it comes to things like elevators, water heaters and air conditioners, there are a few key features to look for. For example, when purchasing a new elevator, you should look for a model that has regenerative brakes. This type of braking system uses the energy from your elevator to feed back into your building’s electrical grid. This reduces your energy costs, as you are not paying for the electricity that the elevator uses. Other examples of energy efficiency equipment include voltage reducers, smart energy meters and solar panels.
Go Organic With Your Building’s Interior Decorating
When it comes to interior decorating, you have plenty of options to choose from. However, not all materials are eco-friendly. For example, cork is a great material to use for your organization’s wall panels and office cubicle dividers. These types of materials are eco-friendly, durable, easy to maintain, and are designed to last a long time. Cork is also an excellent acoustic material, so it will reduce noise in large rooms. There are plenty of other eco-friendly interior decorating materials to choose from, including jute, linen, hemp, paper, and more. You can also use recycled materials, such as repurposed wood, to create wall panels, bookcases, desks, and chairs. When decorating your building, you should try to reduce the use of plastics. Although plastics are durable, long-lasting, and easy to clean, they are not very eco-friendly.
Change Up Your Windows
Windows are an important part of any building, not only because they let in natural light, but also because they regulate the temperature of a room. When designing your building, you should consider the type of windows you want to use. You have a few choices, including single-paned, double-paned, and energy-efficient windows. Double-paned windows are great for regulating temperature, but they aren’t that energy efficient. Energy-efficient windows are the best option if you want to reduce your building’s energy use. Furthermore, when designing your windows, you should consider their placement in your building. For example, you should avoid placing your windows near direct sunlight when possible. Also, make sure that your windows allow for a lot of natural light to come into your building. This will make your workspace much more enjoyable and productive.
Add A Green Roof Or Walls Made From Plants And Vegetation
A green roof is a great way to bring nature into your building. It’s a lot more than just adding a couple of potted plants to your roof. When designing your building, you should consider adding a green roof, a green wall or both. A green wall is a great option if you don’t have enough room on your roof for a full-blown green roof. A green roof or wall is great for improving your building’s air quality, temperature and aesthetics. It will also reduce your overall energy costs. Green roofs and walls are more expensive to install than regular roofs and walls. However, they are designed to last a long time, so you will save money in the long run by installing them. Green roofs also add value to your building, as they increase its visual appeal.