As a commercial developer, providing a sustainable building for businesses should be a priority. Incorporating sustainability into your building design will minimize heating and cooling costs and make the space more attractive to potential clients. Here are a few tips for creating a commercial space with this feature in mind.
How to Incorporate Sustainability Into Your Building Design
1. Consider Sun Exposure
Effective building design focuses on the entire property rather than just the structure itself. For example, southern-facing windows provide additional warmth during the winter, reducing pressure on the heating system. This translates to lower energy consumption and fewer fossil fuel emissions.
2. Refurbish an Existing Building
Many businesses prefer the character of older buildings but are looking for modern amenities and environmental friendliness. Adaptive reuse not only preserves the unique architecture of an existing structure, but it also requires fewer materials than new construction. Reducing the demand for manufacturing saves natural resources and lowers the fuel used to transport building supplies.
3. Choose Energy-Efficient Appliances
Heating and cooling constitute over half of most buildings’ energy needs, so even marginal improvements can add up to significant savings. Investing in the most efficient HVAC equipment available may add to the initial budget, but may lower operating costs by thousands of dollars per year. Energy efficiency also makes a building more attractive to prospective tenants, potentially increasing your rental rates.
4. Invest in Renewable Energy
Solar panels are an increasingly popular choice for new construction. Depending on the size of the building, this energy system could make the structure entirely self-sufficient. Adding renewable energy to your building design can be the most impactful method for reducing your carbon footprint.
5. Choose Green Materials
Paying attention to the source of your building materials can also reduce the environmental impact of your project. Always purchase certified wood from sustainably managed forests, and look for recycled steel products whenever possible.
Some building materials, like spray foam insulation and white roofing products, also provide additional insulation. These products typically outperform others on the market and can reduce the power demand of your building by minimizing unnecessary heat loss or gain.