As discussions of climate change, alternate energy sources and clean living continue to garner spotlight, sustainable buildings are attracting more attention. So why aren’t more businesses converting?
One issue holding back a larger scale transition is the fact that many organizations still don’t understand how it can directly impact a business. Sustainable buildings aren’t just about creating a structure with a low environmental impact — they are an innovative approach that can improve the way people live and work.
Let’s take a look into sustainable buildings and the multiple ways they can benefit your business.
Advantages of Sustainable Buildings
Whether through new construction or renovation, the benefits of sustainable buildings typically fall into three main categories:
Overall, the construction process eats up a significant amount of natural resources. The construction materials, both used and scrap, can have a large environmental impact. In fact, some estimates indicate that buildings utilize upwards of 30% of the raw materials consumed in the United States.
Applying sustainable building design principles significantly reduces these impacts. By utilizing renewable resources and recycled materials, sustainable buildings can significantly minimize waste and decrease the overall environmental impact. Water reduction measures, through recycled water or collecting rainwater, for example, can preserve water resources and lower overall consumption. Additionally, sustainable buildings can also preserve, store and reuse natural energy through the use of photovoltaic PV solar panels.
Sustainable buildings can offer a number of cost reduction benefits, making them surprisingly good for the bottom line. Overall, sustainable design and construction cost less than a typical building, due to resource efficiency throughout the project completion. They also use less energy year over year, reducing annual operating costs.
According to USGBC, owners of green buildings reported that their ROI improved by 19.2% on average for existing building green projects and 9.9% on average for new projects.
Green building design can have a positive impact on employee and tenant health and productivity. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the concentrations of some pollutants are often two to five times higher than typical outdoor concentrations. In response, many green building standards have emphasized health and well-being. In fact, some reports demonstrate that environmentally friendly workspaces help employees perform better and also reduce absenteeism. The healthier the environment, the easier it is to work effectively and concentrate.
Whether it’s through improving indoor air quality (IAQ) or comfort through daylighting, many sustainable building designs aim to enhance the quality of life for employees.
Implementing Green Building Design for a Sustainable Future
Demand for sustainable buildings is expected to grow across the nation in all industries. Additionally, organizations should expect to see changes in building codes as environmental standards evolve. Whether you’re beginning a new construction project in hospitality or sustainable renovations for your office building, it is important to work with skilled professionals to implement the right sustainable building designs.
Contact KMB Design Group to find out more about sustainable buildings and designs for your next project.
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