Green Building Tips for Small Business Owners

Our environment is getting worse because of the masses of energy we use, but we are still in need of more buildings for homes and businesses to accommodate the expanding population. For this reason, the need to be more eco – friendly is critical – which means that we need to begin creating buildings that use, or at least partly use energy sources that are renewable so that we can reduce our carbon footprint. We also should pay more attention to the waste levels our offices and homes produce in terms of emissions, trash, and waste water. These things can damage our environment while also costing a lot of money to properly dispose of. However, with on – site recycling facilities and water treatment plants, our structures can become more eco – friendly.

Let’s talk a bit about buildings that will cater to our need for space while also avoiding having too much of an impact on the environment.

Make it Metal

Did you know that steel framed buildings are easy to put up and that there is virtually no waste, dust, or noise that will upset the neighbors? When it comes to conventional building methods, waste is a massive factor. When a steel building is erected, wood timber is not wasted and water to wash away messes is also not wasted because there are no messes to wash away. Steel buildings also save fuel due to the fact that because they are quickly and easily built, the workers will not be using so much gas for the commute.

For those worried about the cost, a metal building cost per square foot isn’t nearly as much as the cost per square foot of a traditionally constructed building.

Go Solar

Many sustainable buildings reduce their carbon footprint even further by using solar energy. You might already know that, but what you might not know is that solar energy isn’t just restricted to rooftops anymore. In Manchester, England, the CIS Tower has been retrofitted with more than 7,000 solar panels. In Chicago, the former Sears Tower – now known as the Willis Tower – installed photovoltaic panels of glass in various windows as a part of a project to lessen the amount of energy used by the building.

Don’t Use So Much Water

When doing the plumbing in the building, you can make it more water friendly by adding aerators to the sink faucets and use efficient toilets that only use 1.28 gallons of water to flush. When it comes to the outside of the building, use plants that are native to the area in the plan for landscaping and stay away from landscaping ideas that are high maintenance – such as turf grass. This will conserve water while still giving you a beautifully landscaped lawn.

Go Low – VOC

You will be able to improve the quality of the air inside by making the change to products that do not emit VOCs – Volatile Organic Compounds. Some of the low – VOC products can include things like:

  • Paint – most paint brands offer low – VOC paint.
  • Cleaning products – There are cleaning alternatives that are low – VOC. You might also choose to make your own with simple household items such as borax, vinegar, and baking soda.
  • Get your HVAC system tuned up. This will lower the VOCs while also making it use less energy due to it running more efficiently.

Flooring

Have you considered your flooring materials for your new eco – friendly building? Cork and bamboo are both materials that are long – lasting and durable. They are a popular choice for those who want to build floors in a way that is friendly to the environment. These flooring options are also a great choice for anyone who suffers from allergies.

Pro – Tip

Build up as opposed to building out. Having a smaller footprint will reduce the impact on the land as well as the environment while it also reduces the roof and foundation area square footage. Furthermore, it  allows for the floor and ceilings systems to share components, which also makes the structure easier to heat and cool.

Building construction and land development is always going to tax the local environment and the greater ecological system at large. However, life goes on, leaving green minded business leaders with the option to go about construction as efficiently and environmentally friendly as possible. If such methods are taken up on a mass scale, the planet will reap the rewards along with all living things within.

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