July 10, 2015

Sustainable “Green” Building Design Checklist

The many benefits of going green are well known. Not only is it good for our environment, it also makes office building a healthier place to work for employees (boosting productivity), is more aesthetically pleasing, benefits the community, and saves money (boosting ROI). Making the choice to use sustainable architecture are an easy way to lower greenhouse gas emissions and boost business at the same time. Check out our recent blog post, Importance of Sustainable Building Design [INFORGRAPHIC] for more great insight on how our engineers can help by greening the design of commercial industrial buildings.

Green Building Checklist

Whether your goal is to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification for your building or office remodel or to start small, the suggestions below can help you get started on developing a sustainable, high-performance building:

  • Keep building design to a minimum to reduce resources used in construction and operations.
  • Select building materials that require little maintenance and that have minimal environmental impact.
  • Use locally produced materials when possible to decrease transportation costs.
  • Incorporate solar power to save on energy costs. Based on your needs, KMB can provide designs and engineering services for rooftop, canopy or ground mount installations.
  • Rely on daylighting to reduce the number of lights used. This type of sustainable design is a viable option for most building types and locations. It can be a viable, energy savings strategy in almost any climate.
  • Choose construction materials that won’t emit harmful air pollutants.
  • Provide recycling bins near break rooms and office locations.
  • Recycle rain water or water from sinks, washing machines, etc (graywater) to use for irrigation (consider a roof garden or a living wall).
  • Avoid solvent-based adhesives, carpeting and finishes which can release formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air affecting employees and occupant’s health.
  • Choose high efficiency appliances that offer both economic and environmental advantages over conventional options.
  • Use water-conserving toilets and other plumbing appliances that not only reduce water use, but also reduce the demand on sewage treatment plants.
  • Install automated appliances such a lighting, computer, heating and cooling units which can be programmed to shut down when they’re not needed.
  • Decrease HVAC strain by planting vegetation and shrubbery around the building.

Sustainable Design with KMB

Energy and resource efficient, eco- friendly designs are beneficial to the community and environment, socially responsible and thus well received, and often the most economical and best operational choice for our clients. Our philosophy at KMB is first to understand, then provide appropriate solutions and designs, not born out of our personal preferences, but incorporating experience from previous successful projects, that align with our clients’ desires.