These days, it’s not enough for companies to simply pay lip service to using green construction techniques when adding a new office building. In fact, green building has become a necessity, as firms become increasingly concerned about the health and wellness of their employees, operating costs, and the image they project to their clients.
While for many these tips may seem obvious, incorporating these four staples of eco-friendly design will ensure your green building project gets started on the right track.
1. Take Advantage of Natural Light
One of the best ways to make your new building as energy efficient as possible is to design it strategically so that it takes full advantage of natural light, Green Building Elements notes. Try to place your windows away from any dark, shady areas or places where they could potentially be blocked by trees. Finally, since it’s inevitable that you’ll need to use some lights, make them LED or fluorescent light bulbs, which cost a little more on the front end but last significantly longer and use less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs.
2. Keep Your Design Simple, Efficient
When building a new office, it can be tempting to take some chances, particularly for aesthetic purposes. However, Green Building Elements explains, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to have the most unique office building in your area. Consider what type of operations you’ll be running, the heating, cooling and related operating costs and your budget, then design your building with these in mind.
3. Use Eco-Friendly Materials
Once you have your design in mind, examine exactly which materials will be used to construct your new office. According to Construction Digital, the best eco-friendly materials are those that are recyclable, including lumber and brick. Such materials can be used in the construction of stairs, flooring and plumbing systems, and require no extra energy to be created, the publication notes.
4. Consider Prefab
The manner in which a new office is built can also greatly impact its lasting environmental footprint. A prefabricated building is constructed in a controlled factory setting that makes the best use of all resources, thus significantly reducing waste. Overall, energy consumption is greatly reduced for buildings that are manufactured in a factory setting. Finally, prefab construction can get your green building up and running up to 50 percent faster than traditional construction, saving you time and money in the long run.