Are you looking to construct, redesign, or flip a building? Going green with your blueprint might be a good idea. Investing in long-term and energy efficient equipment will increase the value of your property. Not to mention decrease the energy usage.
Plan and Organize
The first and most important step in this process is planning. You will need to carefully pick out sustainable materials, estimate construction times and budget, and note how to deal with waste, recycling, and any troubles you may have throughout the rest of the process.
There is a limited amount of resources in the world. Choosing resources that are already in the form you need them is a great way to reuse old materials. Check out your local ReStore for appliances, doors, and more. These products may be slightly used, but are in working condition, much cheaper, and readily available. If you can’t find hardware or other materials used, make sure you learn about sustainable materials management. There are a lot of resources for hardware and planning.
Design and Construction
Make sure your blueprint matches the environment. There are many ways to do this. If you’re building from scratch, make sure you can allow for adjustments in your solar panels; also be prepared to adjust to your local optimum angle.
If the main water pipe to your property on the West side of the building, it is possible to have most or all of the water appliances on that side. Using fewer pipes will reduce cost of materials and maintenance.
Going geothermal is a great way to sustainably manage your heating and cooling needs. Don’t forget about insulation. Many buildings and homes are under-insulated. All the energy it takes to power any air conditioner is wasted.
Operations and Maintenance
To assure a green building’s green operations, make sure to choose the latest in innovative green technology. Newer solar panels are much more efficient than the ones that rolled out 5 years ago. Same with HVACs, LEDs, and other energy efficient technology.
Building an eco-friendly building is exceptional. But don’t let the green practices stop at the door. Incentivizing employees to take public transit or bike to work can also make a huge impact. Offer rewards for those who think of new ways to cut energy costs. Dim lights when the sun is shining in and turn off those computers at the end of the day.