Green Building: It’s More than Just a Fad

seacoastSustainably-built buildings soften the impact on the planet by consuming less energy and water, a reduced amount of trash and water waste, and better utilize the land it’s on to minimize ecological disturbances.

While those perks are great marketing material and potentially makes stakeholders feel good, green building suffers from a bit of an image problem in some circles. Because most projects are traditionally designed and priced on a tight budget, it may be unrealistic for many to consider the innovative designs or extra costs of incorporating green features such as recycled materials, energy efficient systems, and water reclamation.

The green-building design process requires an integrated team approach. So it can also be tough for the team of professionals associated with building the structure who are not educated in this field to understand or accept a different approach to and logistical requirements associated with creating a green building.

But the truth is that investing in a facility, restaurant, or any other commercial building and taking steps to minimize many environmental impacts can actually show a significant return on your investment – both financial and social. Let’s break it down:

Financial:

-Buildings can comply with the standards of national green building certification groups without having to pay the pricey accreditation fees.

-Green building design can extend a building’s life well beyond the traditional 50-year life cycle.

-Waste-management practices implemented on the job site can dramatically reduce fees for landfilling waste, keeping prices down for everyone.

-The return on investment can take time but typically payback exceeds the costs of incorporating green design by 4-6 times. Over the building’s life, when factoring in energy savings, increased building durability, or enhanced worker productivity, green design features and materials are easier to justify.

Social:

-Buildings have an effect on the people who live, work, and play in them.  Green buildings offer a better level of control over internal temperatures

-Incorporating design that allows more sunlight in makes occupants happier.

-Green walls – walls that are all plants — add oxygen to the air and improve air quality. A green design is known to help decrease Sick Building Syndrome.

-Green design can offer greater flexibility in space layouts or a rooftop garden for work breaks, both of which can have a positive impact on occupant performance and satisfaction.

Construction of green buildings leaves a smaller footprint on the environment by conserving resources while simultaneously balancing energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and low-maintenance building materials. Green buildings also offer tangible financial incentives that are becoming more popular and are definitely here to stay.

If you have any questions about building a green project, contact us. We’d be more than happy to consult on the ins and outs of the process and help you determine the viability of the project from a construction point of view.

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