Greening A Building from Top to Bottom
Greening A Building from Top to Bottom
Advances in sustainable building have made it easier than ever to create green buildings and office spaces that take a minimal toll on the environment. From the highest point of your building to the lowest subterranean basement, there are steps you can take to make your building greener and more sustainable. Here are some of the ways buildings can become more environmentally friendly.
A roof garden or green space on the roof of a building provides a number of benefits to the building itself as well as the workers inside it. Green roofs reflect heat so you can run interior cooling systems less. They can also collect rainwater that can be reused for landscaping.
In addition to the environmental benefits, green roofs also have health benefits. Workers can access roof gardens to soak up some natural light and relieve stress on their breaks or lunches.
Buildings that receive plenty of sun have lots of space for solar panels. While installing enough panels to power a full-sized office building is an expensive proposal, solar power is an investment that will pay for itself in the long run.
For new buildings, consider using recycled or sustainable materials for the exterior. Locally-sourced materials that don’t require a lot of fuel to transport to the building site also help reduce the carbon footprint of new construction projects.
There are many changes that can be made to the interior of an office building to make it more environmentally friendly. Most of these are the same as the suggestions given to homeowners on how to make their residential properties greener. Install LED light bulbs for all fixtures, low-flow toilets in the restrooms, and make it easy for employees to recycle to greatly reduce a building’s impact on the environment. Incorporating glass into interior spaces can also help to reduce the building’s reliance on electricity for lighting, allowing natural light to enter interior spaces.
Greening your building can start before you even walk in the front door. Make the building easily accessible to public transportation, and provide plenty of bike racks for workers to use so they don’t have to drive.
When landscaping, use native plants that don’t require a lot of additional watering. This reduces the need for irrigation and also creates a relaxing and inviting green space for employees. It is also a good idea to get educated regarding landscaping methods that can reduce water runoff. Allowing rainwater the chance to penetrate into the soil replenishes groundwater and keeps plants looking greener with less watering.
Greening doesn’t stop once you descend below street level. This is where cisterns that collect rainwater for reuse are located. These large tanks store water for use in building toilets, sinks, and other sources of water that are not used for drinking.
Geothermal pipes can also be installed underground. These provide a natural and green energy alternative to solar that makes use of the natural temperature of the earth to heat and cool buildings year-round.
Few buildings have taken advantage of all these sustainable building practices. However, instituting one or two is a relatively simple and inexpensive way to invest in the future of your building and the future of the planet.
Avanti Systems USA are the experts in manufacturing and distributing of interior glazed solutions. For more information, visit www.avantisystemsusa.com.
Company: Avanti Systems USA
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