Green construction is a building methodology that centers around the use of environmentally friendly and energy-efficient materials, systems and processes. Although it’s been around for decades, it’s become increasingly popular in recent year – and for good reason. Green construction offers cost-savings benefits to both construction companies as well as tenants and property owners who occupy the newly constructed space. To take advantage of these benefits, construction companies should consider the following tips.
#1) Recycle and Reuse
When possible, construction companies should recycle or reuse materials rather than disposing of them. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), only 40 percent of all building-related construction and demolition (C&D) materials are recycled or reused. From drywall and steel to electrical wires, insulation and even glass windows, though, countless C&D materials can be recycled.
#2 Energy-Efficient Lighting
According to the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, lighting accounts for up to 40 percent of the average commercial building’s energy usage. Whether it’s a high-rise apartment complex or a multi-tenant commercial office building, using energy-efficient lighting promotes a greener construction project while reducing energy costs in the process. Traditional incandescent lighting has the shortest lifespan and consumes the most energy of all modern lighting technologies. Compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) is a smarter choice. Both of these alternative lighting technologies last longer and use less energy than their incandescent counterpart.
#3) ENERGY STAR HVAC
When choosing a heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system for a building, construction companies should consider an ENERGY STAR-certified model. These systems are designed with stringent specifications to achieve a higher level of energy efficiency than traditional models. When used in conjunction with proper building practices, an ENERGY STAR-certified HVAC system can lower a building’s cooling costs by up to 30 percent.
#4) Water Conservation
Construction companies shouldn’t overlook water usage in their projects. Water conservation technologies like low-flush toilets and low-flow showerheads can reduce a building’s water usage and help property owners save money on utility bills.
#5) Eco-Friendly Materials
Another tip for a green construction project is to use eco-friendly building materials. Bamboo, for example, has become a popular alternative to hardwood flooring. With an average growth rate of 3 to 5 feet per year, bamboo is a fast-growing plant that’s easy to harvest and perfect to use as a flooring material. Even steel is considered an eco-friendly building material, as it’s easy to recycle. While its exact content varies depending on the product, most stainless-steel products consist of roughly 60 percent recycled material.
As a commercial installer, UBS is a leader in metal stud framing. Contact us for a quote on your next office building, high rise or apartment complex. 303.466.7200.