Green Building Designs Benefits Both Companies and the Environment

Many companies claim that their products and services are “the future”. But no one has more of a right to this claim than companies in the green building industry. As we all know, the industrial practices of the 20th century have significantly compromised the environment in more ways than one, necessitating a change in the way that we regard the environment on both a personal and public level. On a personal level, many of us choose to support the environment by participating in recycling and buying non-toxic products. But on a public level, we often choose to stick with old, unsafe building practices because a changing of the guard would require more time and money than we care to invest.

However, we often fail to consider that implementing sustainable design in new and existing buildings will do more than preserve the environment; it will also save us money. Although implementing green designs can cost more up front, the lower operating costs that they bring can easily offset the initial investment, and then some. For example, if implementing an energy efficient water system costs $24,000 more than implementing a traditional system but we end up cutting our water bill by $2,200 a month, then the entire additional investment is returned in one year and after that all of the return is pure profit..

When you consult with a green buildings design company, you can apply a project life cycle cost analysis to determine what design implements justify their start up cost in terms of long-term savings. After determining projected cost savings, actual cost savings are determined during the conceptual design phase of a green building project. Unlike traditional building practices that view a building’s operating systems independently, green building practices strive to integrate operating systems, maximizing energy efficiency and therefore reducing energy costs.

While green design practices are an excellent long-term investment for both companies and the environment, some companies don’t have the budget to incorporate large-scale changes all at once. In such cases, pursuing smaller changes that still yield significant cost savings, such as replacing incandescent exit signs with photoluminescent exit signs, is the best option. Research shows that replacing 100 incandescent exit signs with photoluminescent exit signs will save a company over $3,500 a year in power costs, proving that small green changes can help create a budget for larger changes.

Just as the building practices that compromised the environment were brought into effect gradually, the adoption of building practices that support the environment is also occurring gradually. Although the prospect of global warming and polluted waters can fill us with environmental urgency, committing to green building practices in whatever way we can will create a financial pathway for making our buildings totally green. In the interest of both company budgets and the health of the environment the time to start making this commitment is now.

Why Consider Green Building Design

Green building design is now the most used phrase in the construction community as it is increasingly leading the modern day building policies in the western world. Unlike conventional homes, the aim of green architecture is to address various aspects like energy conservation and reduction in water consumption along with smart usage of renewable energy sources to power the building premises.

A well trained and experienced green architect can help you with the process of constructing an Eco-friendly building by making use of the best tools and materials. It’s not just about making use of the Eco-friendly systems like using HVAC systems but also designing every inch of the property, for instance the ventilation, walls, insulation and windows to achieve your energy objectives. It’s not just about making your building cost effective (at least 30% savings) but also reducing the carbon impact it makes to a great extent.

By engaging a green builder you are not only saying yes to making use of solar panels wherever possible but even usage of nontoxic paints. This not only pushes you to the pinnacle of modern living but a healthy living environment for your family. It is essential to engage a builder who is well certified (LEED) and trained in this field. Before hiring one, it’s better to have an initial meeting to know more about the experience and knowledge the architect holds to take up your project.

An expert architect will deal with several aspects of the construction process such as:

– Designs the building in such a way to reduce any negative effect it can have on the environment.

– Makes use of sophisticated green technology and tools along with renewable systems and Eco-friendly products to construct and equip the building

– Comes up with a plan to decrease the overall energy and water usage

– The green construction will make use of the latest environmental systems whether for heating/cooling purposes. For instance, the usage of geothermal heat pumps can have a big impact on how your building’s temperature gets affected

– The builder will also educate you on the whole construction process and maintenance required later on. So in essence he/she will keep you informed about the advantages and savings you can make every month on your new green home

Needless to say, your green Eco friendly building’s market value will be a lot higher when compared to conventional homes. So it’s time you interviewed your local architects to find the best contractor among them.

Top 7 Building Design Trends in 2010

A lot has been said on how the sub-prime crisis and the ensuing credit crunch have impacted new construction projects on timelines. That said, building design work has never stopped for a moment, what with architects and building designers working overtime to come up with modern and trendy designs for the latest building projects. The result – You could find a lot of modular building systems and eco building products showing up on the design sheets.

Here, for your information, are top 7 building design trends in 2010

1. Safety and security clearly top the list – If the September 11 attacks brought about a positive enforcement to building structures and their safety, it is in the fact that safety and security took precedence over other parameters in building designs. More stringent codes for building standards ensured that buildings were completed to be proof from wind, earthquake, other natural disasters and man-made catastrophes too.

2. Priority to accommodate the need for updated information systems – A lot of lessees have been demanding the need of increased bandwidth in their buildings. That’s probably why you would find developers working overtime to look at the wiring and ducting of the building. This may eat up some space, but developers and building designers aren’t willing to compromise on this aspect.

Increased electrical capacity, fiber optics connectivity, and the heating and air conditioning mechanisms are the need of the hour.

3. Green buildings, of course – More and more designers and developers are working on how buildings could get green. Energy efficiency and cost savings in energy is driving a lot of designers to work on green designs. Given the fact that these buildings provide fresh air, closer connect to nature and a whole host of other benefits, developers seem to giving a lot of importance to this aspect too.

4. Light, ventilation, space and other natural elements – No tenant today wants to move into a room that is congested. People just don’t want to be stifled for space, which has forced designers and developers to make sure that the rooms are spacious enough and well-ventilated. A lot of buyers are paying attention to the configuration of the rooms. Ones with more columns are seemingly getting rejected on count of them eating up some space.

5. Enforcing the brand of the company, key too – The focus on having their office space as a way to reinforce the company’s brand has forced a lot of buyers to look at buying properties that fulfill these conditions. The subtle message delivered by the brand identity does enough to motivate employees and also strike a good relationship with clients too.

6. Collaboration works even in this day of telecommuting – Although telecommuting seems to be more of a trend what with about 40 Million telecommuting from their homes, latest building projects seem to address the face-face interaction aspect. As a result, you would find a lot of building design work revolving around having dens, meeting places in offices.

7. Creating comfort at workspace – Some years back, offices were more of recreational areas than being strict office spaces, by the traditional stretch of imagination. Agreed that the dot-com bubble bursting has had its own effect on some business owners, but the fact that some recreational space does wonders for employee motivation hasn’t been lost on business owners. As a result, you would find a lot of buyers looking for these facets to be integrated in their office spaces.

Apart from eco building projects and modular systems, you would find that buyers of today are increasingly sensitive to the price they pay. Most importantly though, they also wish to have full value for the price paid.