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Why Green Building Is Important
As you have probably noticed there has been quite a bit of “buzz" surrounding the concept of green building. Did you know that in the U.S. alone, there are nearly 5 million commercial buildings? Commercial buildings along with residential buildings are responsible for 1/3 of all energy consumed. They are also responsible for 2/3 of the total electricity used within the U.S. This is why it is important for companies to incorporate green construction and green products for architectural and operation costs. So what makes a green building cost effective? And how is building green cost effective? It all starts with careful planning. When businesses effectively plan their green building strategy it can affect how much money is saved on a variety of services and resources. What are the factors that make green building a cost effective choice?
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Resource conservation includes conserving all elements needed to keep the business up and running. It also incorporates innovative strategies, where the use of resources is kept to a minimum.
Practices Energy Efficiency- This means monitoring the use of lighting and to turn lights off when they are not in use. It also means investing in energy efficient light bulbs that help to conserve energy use. Businesses will save money on electricity over the long-term.
Practices Renewable Energy- Use green products, which are powered by the sun. A renewable energy solution is to implement solar panels throughout the building. These resources help to harness heat produced by the sun, in order to keep buildings warm during the cooler months. Utilizing solar panels and other renewable energy resources will also help reduce the cost of heating and cooling bills.
Implements Water Conservation Features- Use WaterSense labeled products to help cut down on the use of water. WaterSense products must undergo strict testing to meet EPA’s for both efficiency and performance factors. These green products are specifically designed to help conserve water and the amount of water used, which can help reduce the amount of money spent on the total water bill.
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Considering the Impact on the Environment
Most green building products are also made from non-hazardous materials, meaning not only do they help the environment when they are in use, but also when they are thrown away.
Helps to Minimize Waste- Most green products are biodegradable and do not add toxic chemicals or materials to the environment. Other green products may also be recycled or reused for other purposes. As the waste stream increases and states are forced to charge fees for large amounts of waste from commercial buildings, materials that are able to be either reused or safely decomposed will be a great financial as well as environmental benefit.
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Healthy and Comfortable Environment
Reduces Operation Cost- In order to reduce operation cost and save money on utilities, businesses need to examine places within the building where energy and money can be lost. For example: the heater can work harder and undergoes more wear and tear when the insulation in the building is not sufficient in confining warm air; therefore, the warm air escapes through weak spots in the building and the heater has to work harder to keep the building warm. This can increase the amount of money spent on the monthly heating bill.
Reduces Maintenance Cost- This boils down to easy installation, as well as how well the construction stands up against various elements of nature, such as wind, rain, snow, etc. It also includes being able to easily replace components that are needed when a new part is broken or when the item fails to perform as it should.
To revisit the initial question, “What makes green building cost effective?" All of these concepts are important factors that make green building a cost effective choice for all companies and businesses throughout the world. By implementing a well-planned green strategy, companies can save quite a bit of money over the long-term.
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Photo by: Salvatore Vuono