As concern for the environment has grown, more companies are jumping on board with the sustainability movement. Sustainability means having little to no impact on the environment. To help reduce their carbon footprint, companies are finding they are capable of manufacturing their products in sustainable ways. Just as important, companies are learning sustainable methods to create and operate their places of business. While the manufacturing process of every business is going to differ, there are some things every company can do when erecting a new commercial building.
- Solar Power
Solar power is one of the best renewable energy sources that is accessible to anyone. Installing a solar power system will usually pay for itself in just a matter of a few years, after which the savings are impressive
Many systems pull power from the sun and push it into the grid of the local utility company. However, it is possible to house that energy in a solar power battery so there is no reliance on the utility company. Either way, this type of energy is earth-friendly and every solar power system going up today makes a big impact on tomorrow.
- Passive Heating and Cooling
You may have heard of passive homes. The same concept can be applied to a business. The concept is simple. You utilize the sun in the winter, but keep it out in the summer. For this to work, you have to build according to the sun’s location during each season. This is achieved by planning window locations and overhangs for shade. Because the sun is in a different location during each season, with a little strategy this can be made to work.
- Collect Rainwater
Catching rainwater is another small contribution to the environment. The less water supplied by your utility company you use, the less power will be needed in getting that water from their storage facility to your facility.
While you may not use rainwater to wash your hands, unless you want to get into water treatment as well, you can use rainwater for your toilets and your landscaping. An added benefit of using rainwater is it reduces your water bill, so you won’t feel guilty if you want to go with a more elaborate landscape next year.
- Green Roofs
A green roof is literally a living roof. The most important component of a green roof is vegetation. From there, it can be as simple or elaborate as you like. It can have a root barrier, a drainage system, and an irrigation system. It may sound strange and even look strange if you’ve never seen one before, but it’s actually quite genius.
The benefits of a green roof is it reduces greenhouse gas emissions, provides insulation and lessons your buildings impact on creating heat in your city. A regular roof can create temperatures twice as warm as the outside air temperature, whereas a green roof will stay relatively the same as the temperature of its environment.
- Smart Systems
Smart technology helps reduce energy usage. Whether you’re using solar or you’re on the grid, saving energy is to your advantage. Smart systems can regulate everything from the temperature inside your building to all your lighting, security and safety features. The best part is your smart system can be accessed from anywhere you are.
So, if you’re at home and see someone forgot to turn out the lights before calling it a day at the business, you can simply turn them off and never leave the comfort of your couch. Smart technology is always evolving and you can have as much or as little of it as you’re comfortable with.
Green technology and sustainability are great for the environment, but it turns out, they’re pretty great for you, too. All of these sustainable building features have the ability to improve the way you interact with the world and operate your business. They provide for efficiency and beauty. As you plan your next commercial project, keep sustainability in mind.