The phrase “going green” encapsulates a number of ideas from solar-power to recycling and sustainable materials. Now, commercial buildings have caught onto the trend. Below are a list of the ways that commercial buildings are going green, and why it matters, according to Industry Leaders Magazine.
Commercial buildings are a significant force in our economy. They represent over 50% of U.S. wealth, and billions of dollars are spent each year in renovation and new construction in the U.S. alone. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National laboratory, compared to general commercial buildings, green commercial properties cost less to maintain, use less energy and water, emit less carbon dioxide, and report having more satisfied occupants.
Commercial properties don’t need to be built from scratch to go green. Many times simple improvements can save significant energy. Improvements range from heating, ventilation, air condition, green lighting, and new business models built to encompass green initiatives. Lighting is one of the easiest ways to integrate green practices into commercial buildings. Light-emitting diodes, or LED light bulbs are gaining popularity in both residential and commercial properties. Having a building that is LEED certified or “green” can be a huge selling point as well; consumers are looking for long term benefits to their investments and the conservation savings that green buildings offer can be enticing.
Money is a key factor in motivating more green commercial growth. Currently, the U.S. has a total cost of 202.3 billion in annual energy costs for US commercial and industrial buildings. The Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) estimates that 20 billion dollars could be saved if commercial properties improved their energy efficiency by 10%.
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