NATIONAL REPORT—There is tremendous demand for eco-friendly design features and elements not only in residential development but also in commercial development.
There are plenty of reasons for business owners to seek out green commercial spaces. In terms of overhead and operating expenses, with an eco-friendly space, there are opportunities to save money. For example, the integration of an energy-efficient PTAC air-conditioning unit can help cool spaces that central air can’t reach.
Then, there are also chances for businesses to use their dedication to being green as a marketing tool.
Modern consumers want to buy from businesses they feel reflect their values.
The following are some of the features and things to look for if you are seeking an eco-friendly commercial space, or you are a developer who wants to stay innovative.
When it comes to building materials, the most eco-friendly options are typically ones from renewable resources. Low-chemical building materials are also a priority in green developments.
Reclaimed wood is extremely popular, and business owners love not only the green component of using reclaimed wood, but it also looks beautiful and rustic. You can use reclaimed wood to do feature walls, flooring, or to create furniture.
Bamboo is a type of grass, as opposed to being a hardwood, but it’s fast-growing and sustainable. It makes for excellent commercial flooring.
Insulated concrete forms come from concrete with expanded polystyrene and plastic web. They make commercial spaces efficient and quiet.
Smart technology and programmable thermostats are an important part of eco-friendly design and building. When you have a commercial building, a programmable thermostat can help you set different temperatures based on the different times of the day. For example, if everyone in your business leaves the office at 5 p.m., you can automatically adjust the temperature to something less comfortable for the hours after that.
Smart fixtures can include things like low-flow toilets and motion-activated lights.
A green roof is a modern feature being implemented in cities around the country and the world. There are intensive and extensive green roofs, but either way, the concept is similar. Green roofs have a layer of vegetation that goes over a waterproofing system. There are a lot of purposes for a green roof. For example, a living green roof can help absorb rainwater, and it can also provide insulation for the building.
When commercial developers use a green roof, it provides tenants with the opportunity to escape to the natural beauty, which can improve the productivity and mental health of employees.
There is some evidence green roofs can help lower the temperature of urban air and reduce what’s called the heat island effect. The heat island effect is a temperature difference that means an urban area is warmer than surrounding rural areas because of human activity. Green roofs can reduce energy consumption and reduce heating costs.
Another similarly interesting concept for commercial spaces is the use of living walls, also sometimes called green walls. Living walls can be used inside a commercial space to reduce harmful chemicals and toxins in the space. The use of interior green walls can also help cool the surrounding environment so businesses and commercial property owners can save energy in the hot summer months.
There are also psychological benefits of green walls. For example, they can improve worker productivity and create a more positive work environment.
A lot of commercial renters are looking for properties that utilize solar power in some form. Solar energy can reduce overhead costs for commercial property owners and help reduce utility bills. Commercial solar panels are available in different styles. For example, business owners might opt for flat rooftop systems. These attached systems can be attached, ballasted, or they can be a hybrid. Attached systems require that the panels be attached to the roof’s surface, while ballasted systems are dependent on the weight of the system. Commercial solar panels are also available as slanted rooftop systems and ground-mounted systems.
Along with reduced operating costs, other benefits of commercial solar panels include fixed energy prices and a reduced carbon footprint.
Commercial developers are increasingly looking for ways to design more eco-friendly spaces, and business owners are embracing these ideas as a way to reduce their operating costs and give their marketing a boost.
An eco-friendly or green space can be used as an ongoing part of your marketing strategy, regardless of your industry. It shows your corporate values and sense of community responsibility.