Build a Greener & More Energy Efficient Office with these Tips

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By Cormac Reynolds / Published by Cormac Reynolds
Commercial tenants are looking for sustainable buildings for reasons other than just helping the environment. Entrepreneurs understand that a sustainable building with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications offer many advantages

First, buildings that carry a LEED status offer a healthier workplace for their employees, which improves employee satisfaction and employee productiveness.Because of these things, business owners are searching out eco-friendly spaces. In fact, business owners are willing to pay more for these spaces than non-LEED certified properties. By the year 2023, commercial building owners around the world will spend more than $960 billion upgrading their buildings to meet the United States Green Building Council's standards on LEED.

At this time, there are more than 200,000 buildings around the world that carry the LEED designation. This low number is due to the fact that many metropolitan areas in America have not embraced the codes and guidelines associated with LEED certification due to the fact that industries already must follow numerous regulations. The LEED program is another set of standards that must be followed. Some developers focus on developing Energy Star buildings, while other commercial property owners have not experienced enough demand to justify the investment for a LEED certification. Older buildings require a lot of retrofitting, while the construction on a newer property may be delayed.

Although property owners decide if they wish to pursue LEED certification for their properties, there are many things that tenants can do to increase sustainability in their businesses.

Building Green Habits

If your employees bike to work, you can install a bike rack to increase employee satisfaction. Another option is to offer bus passes at a discount or encourage employees to jog to work.

Developing a recycling program is another way to help build green habits. Enforcing plastic, paper and metal recycling can positively impact your employees. If you see employees not recycling, call them out and tell them what your expectations are

Green Lease

 Have green language included in your lease. Examples of green language include the landlord monitoring and purchasing only sustainable building materials when updates need to be made. 

Upgrading Your Furniture

 If you already have a lease, there are many things you can do to help protect the environment. Start by looking at your layout to see if you can upgrade your furniture to optimize your workspace.

Many large scale furniture sellers like Knoll and Steelcase provides a free audit of your furniture. They will evaluate your current layout and square footage and help determine how to optimize your office space. Then, choose the furniture that helps you maximize your square footage to help your team be more productive and your business more sustainable. 

Greener Heating

Better insulation will keep heat in and a more efficient heating system will ensure heating is more efficient. PV solar panels can be a good addition in this instance. Alternatively, a ground heat pump can also be of benefit.

If you are destined to use more conventional means then a new boiler could be a saver. If you don't have the money to outlay for costs a rental boiler could work well and solve issues. 

Energy Efficient Lighting Options

Using LED lighting is an inexpensive way to decrease your energy costs and become a more environmentally friendly business. Many LED lighting systems will pay for them in less than three years. Additionally, there may be tax rebates that can help offset the cost of these upgrades. If you plan on remaining in a commercial space for a while, energy efficient lighting is a great option. 

There are many cost-effective resources that you can use to help you become an eco-conscious company. Instead of wondering if your company should go green, begin asking yourself how your company can make choices to protect the environment and save money.