Today’s emphasis on “green” buildings requires a different way of thinking about homes and office buildings in the nation’s communities. Questions about sustainable materials, energy use and heat island effect should be a part of your building’s design from the very start. Incorporation of environmental concepts will help to ensure that your office building not only functions efficiently from year to year, but they will also increase the desirability of the property in future. When you are ready to build your new office building, you should keep a number of these green concepts in mind to make your structure a financial benefit, as well as a welcome addition to the community.
1 – Planning For Energy Use
In the design phase of your office building, you should talk with your architect about employing the most energy efficient methods to heat, cool and light your building. It is at this phase that you can most easily plan for using whole building insulation methods, as well as determine the best HVAC system for your needs. Your goals should be to utilize the most efficient system, while still considering budgetary restrictions.
2 – Avoid Materials With Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile organic compounds are a group of chemicals that release gases that can cause adverse health effects. These compounds are responsible for “sick building syndrome,” a collection of symptoms that can affect people who spend many hours working in buildings where volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are present. Symptoms can include headaches, eye irritation, nose irritation, skin reactions, dizziness and fatigue. Ensure that your builder avoids materials that contain these VOCs to avoid health problems in those that work in the building.
3 – Avoid Heat Island Issues
“Heat island” is a term given to densely populated areas that is significantly warmer than rural areas due to heavy use of construction materials that hold heat. These areas become an environmental problem because the warmer air causes increase air pollution and warmer waters that flow into streams disrupting local ecologies. Using light-colored materials can help to reduce the heat island issue, and planting vegetation can help to reduce some of the negative effects. These measures can also help to reduce energy use for air-conditioning. Consider the materials used in hardscapes on the property. Hardscapes are any features that use concrete or other durable materials for heavy use. These items include sidewalks, pathways, driveways, parking lots and similar surface. Forward-thinking paving companies, like Lakeridge Paving Company, can advise you on the right materials and processes to minimize the creation of heat islands on your property.
Building structures that use materials wisely and help to reduce the amount of energy used is now a necessity, rather than an option. When you incorporate environmental concepts into your design, your office building becomes an asset for yourself, and for the wider community. These designs make a significant advance toward creating a sustainable society for everyone.