No matter what kind of building you're paying for, whether it's a home or a business, its costs are most likely expensive. You'll have to pay for heating and cooling, water, and electricity, along with taxes and repairs. It can be overwhelming at times. However, by developing a green building from the start or by making the one you already have more eco-friendly, you'll see fewer costs listed among the endless benefits you'll experience.
Owning a building comes with countless bills. However, getting it Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certified can help you reduce those. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, making your business environmentally friend can reduce your operating costs by 40 percent. You'll end up using less water and electricity. You may even receive a few tax rebates, and your property will be worth much more if you ever decide to sell it. While initial costs to make the changes may be a little higher than you would like, your savings in the long run will be worth the extra expenses.
2. Energy efficient
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, buildings consume approximately 39 percent of the nation's energy. They require an abundance of energy to heat, cool and light. If people forget to turn anything off inside the structures, even more electricity is used. However, by adhering to LEED criteria, you may see a 45 percent reduction in energy usage and 53 percent lower maintenance costs, Kevin Kampschroer, director of the Office of Federal High-Performance Buildings at the General Services Administration, said in a presentation to a House of Representatives' subcommittee. By using less energy, you'll start to see the difference in your bills. You'll also help to slow the depletion of the Earth's natural resources and reduce waste, the EPA explained.
3. Employee satisfaction and productivity
No one wants to work in a building that's stuffy. Insufficient ventilation, chemical-filled cleaning habits and general office activities can lead to poor air quality, which will make your workers sick and reduce overall productivity. Yet, not many people consider those aspects when designing buildings. When employee benefits and salaries make up a majority of business expenses, companies should be taking measures to ensure their health and satisfaction, the World Green Building Council recommended. Employees may experience a 25-percent improvement in their memory just by sitting near a window. Their productivity can increase by 23 percent with better lighting and 11 percent with better ventilation. According to a Current Environmental Health Reports review by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, green buildings lead to fewer absences, better mental and physical health, and lower turnover rates.
4. Job creation
Green building offers a whole new industry to be explored. While people may know how to design and construct buildings, they don't necessarily have the knowledge to make them eco-friendly. That will require a new set of workers who go to school and are trained specifically for sustainable construction. According to Kampschroer, the GSA can identify more than 50 professions that will see gains from the increase in green building. Alternative energy companies and manufacturers will have increased production, architects with environmental experience will be needed to design the structures and specialists will be used to ensure the building's are up to certification standards.
5. Environmental benefits
Traditional building and energy practices lead to an excess of waste and pollution. They use too much water and unnecessary amounts of electricity. According to the EPA, buildings produce 38 percent of the carbon dioxide the nation generates. These greenhouse gas emissions lead to pollution, which lowers air quality, increases temperatures and reduces public health. Carbon may also contaminate the ground and water, which affects not only people, but plants and animals as well. Environmentally friendly buildings reduce the amount of CO2 produced and lower the natural resources consumed. By using LEED-certified construction practices, people can cut the waste in landfills by 95 percent, Kampschroer claimed.
Sustainable construction offers countless benefits for people and the environment. With reduced energy usage and waste production, green buildings cut costs, conserve the environment and improve health for the people who live or work in them.