October 5, 2016

Sustainable Building Success: Meeting the Demands of Mixed-use Facilities

Sustainable BuildingSustainable building design practices offer a unique opportunity for organizations to create environmentally sound and resource-efficient mixed-use facilities in their surrounding communities.  Mixed-use structures are, by nature, already sustainable as they are a more efficient use of land, but there’s even more opportunities to incorporate sustainable design, construction and operations strategies into the development.

At KMB, we implement eco-friendly designs that are beneficial to communities and the environment in every project for our clients. Here are just a few of the reasons why sustainable building designs for mixed-use facilities are the ultimate footprint reduction strategy.

Benefits of Incorporating Sustainable Building Strategies into Mixed-Use Facility Designs

  1. Conserve Land Resources

Mixed-use developments can take the form of a single building or even a city block that blend residential, commercial, office, institutional, cultural or industrial uses. Their functions are physically integrated thus providing the opportunity for a convenient, efficient design for the infrastructure. Inherently, this design lessens environmental impacts because it conserves land resources.

  1. Present Energy Efficiency Opportunities

Not only are vertical, mixed-use facilities designed to conserve land resources, these sustainable buildings are also present opportunities to save on energy costs which is attractive to tenants. From solar energy and green roofs to smart energy-saving technology and high-performance HVAC units, mixed-use systems must be flexible and expandable in order to accommodate the evolution of tenants over time.

  1. Decrease Commuting Costs

Mixed-use developments provide convenient, easy access to amenities and workplaces for residents living nearby, which can reduce problems associated with commuting. According to research by Rutgers University, mixed-use patterns can reduce the cost of roads by 25 percent and utilities by 15 percent. Other research has found that people drive up to 50 percent less in mixed-use districts. In addition, this reduction in auto-dependency also reduces roadway congestion and air pollution.

  1. Establish Healthy Communities

Healthy mixed-use facilities with flexible and expandable systems create healthier environments for local businesses and residents. By embracing an integrated approach to design, sustainable mixed-use facilities can be a productive use of space improving their attraction to existing and future tenants. In addition, they often provide the appropriate connections creating pedestrian and bicycle-friendly environments adding vitality to growing urban areas.

  1. Increase Productivity

Increased productivity, boosted positive outlooks, reduced fatigue and eyestrain, decreased absenteeism, fewer errors…no, we’re not talking about a cup of java. As mentioned above, mixed-use developments reduce the length and number of every day trips. Less car travel equates to less stress; less stress means happier tenants. Add green buildings into the mix and you have happy and productive tenants. Researchers say that green spaces not only make employees feel happier, but also leads to more (better) work. This is often attributed to factors such as the amount of daylight, proper ventilation and natural materials used within the building.

KMB Sustainable Building Designs That Work

At KMB Design Group, our Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Fire Protection Engineers design services and systems for our clients to create a sustainable facility not of the future, but with a future.

We have always been passionate about improving energy efficiencies for businesses all over the United States and as a full service engineering solutions provider licensed in the US and Europe, we take a systematic approach to develop comprehensive engineering solutions for all of our clients.

Contact us to find out more about deigns that work, including: energy services, construction administration, master planning, sustainable design, lighting design, utility analysis and more.