By: Kevin Ahern on February 22nd, 2017
6 Innovative Green Building Ideas for Your Next Commercial Remodel
Eco-friendly construction is more than just a trend. Your business can save money and help the environment by renovating your commercial building with environmental upgrades. Green construction is a relatively new concept in commercial structures, and many business owners find the planning and implementation of these upgrades to be overwhelming.
Working with an experienced contractor can take some of the mystery out of planning an environmentally friendly remodel. In this post, we’ll discuss four innovative building ideas for your next commercial remodel.
Learn environmentally-friendly and energy efficient practices for commercial construction in Connecticut
Benefits of Green Building
There are many reasons to make your next commercial remodel environmentally friendly.
- Cut energy costs. Electricity, water, and gas can be costly. Making eco-friendly upgrades to your building can help your business save money on monthly utilities. Over time, your business can save hundreds or thousands of dollars on its energy bills. For businesses seeking to get the most savings possible from their eco-friendly renovation, we recommend performing an energy audit to determine where upgrades are most needed.
- Reduce consumption of non-renewable resources. Eco-friendly upgrades allow your business to cut back dramatically its use of non-renewable resources like petroleum and natural gas.
- Help your community. What’s good for the earth is good for your community. By joining the ranks of businesses that have made a commitment to protecting the environment, your company will help make your community a cleaner and more desirable place.
- Attract environmentally conscious customers. Many people who prioritize protection of the environment will seek out businesses that do the same. By making green improvements to your business and by advertising these improvements to the general public, your business is more likely to attract environmentally conscious customers.
- Take advantage of tax credits. In some cases, businesses that invest in green building upgrades can claim tax credits. Your business’s accountant will be able to tell you more about tax credits for energy efficient improvements. Consult with your accountant to find out more information.
- Put your business on the cutting edge. Environmentally friendly upgrades tend to incorporate the most recent advances in building and construction, which can put your business on the cutting edge of modern construction.
Environmentally Friendly Upgrades to Commercial Construction
Solar panels can be used to supply a building with all or just a percentage of its electrical needs. Often commercial buildings will use a combination of solar panels and electricity from the local grid. Some businesses choose to place their solar panels on the roof, while businesses with a great deal of land may choose to place their solar panels on the ground.
To get solar panels for your business, you’ll need to have a consultation with a company that can determine how many panels your building will need to satisfy your energy consumption.
Reclaimed or repurposed materials are materials that have already been used once and are now being used again. Reclaimed materials can come from anywhere. In Connecticut, many reclaimed materials come from old barns, sheds, and warehouses. Wood and metal are among the most common types of reclaimed materials. Even old, unused paint can be given a second life.
Some businesses intentionally seek out reclaimed materials for the aesthetic value. Reclaimed wood can include certain types of hard to get species and even extinct woods that are no longer available. Often, reclaimed wood bears scars, scratches, nail holes and other imperfections, giving this type of material a rustic appearance. This decorative and aesthetically interesting material is often used in showrooms, restaurants, and rustic shops. In addition to natural beauty, reclaimed materials can also save businesses money and eliminate waste.
Many business owners don’t think of skylights as being green, but skylights are used to allow natural light to illuminate interior spaces. Skylights save electricity that would be used to power electric lights, and also create a more pleasant interior environment. In establishments like restaurants and other businesses that rely heavily upon ambiance, skylights are desirable and attractive in addition to being practical.
Heated floors are a good investment for a variety of reasons. Heated floors keep warmth close to the ground, which helps keep people warmer. Heated floors are an especially wise investment for establishments like spas, massage clinics, and hotels, where customers are likely to walk around barefoot.
Heated floors also save money by heating only space they intended to be heated rather than heating the entire interior space in order to keep customers comfortable.
Water systems like rainwater barrels, tankless water heaters and other appliances can help your business save water. For businesses that use water to conduct business, a water collection system like a rain barrel can reduce the amount of water that the business draws from nearby water supplies.
Old windows that no longer fit properly in their frames can be a major source of heat loss during the winter. In the summer, old windows can contribute to the warming of interior spaces. Both of these problems force your business’s HVAC system to run extra hard just to keep your commercial space comfortable for your employees and customers.
Green windows represent a significant upfront cost. In some cases, businesses choose to save money by installing a low-e coating over their existing windows. A low-e coating can prevent the exchange of heat through the glass. In other cases, businesses choose to replace their existing windows with brand new windows. Costs for window replacement can be recouped over time by saving money on utilities. In addition to lower heating and cooling costs, green windows reduce pressure on the building HVAC system, thus reducing HVAC maintenance costs.
Contact Litchfield Builders
What green improvements would you like to make to your commercial structure? Leave your comments in the box below!
Litchfield Builders helps clients in the New Haven area to make green improvements and upgrades to their commercial structures. Making improvements to your building helps make your business more sustainable and energy efficient. Eco-friendly commercial construction is also good for your pocket book! Whether you’re trying to install a single skylight or are seeking all new windows, insulation or a cool roofing system, we can help.
If you're interested in making these cost-effective changes, contact us today, or download our eBook below to learn more about sustainable commercial construction.
About Kevin Ahern
Kevin is the Co-Founder of Litchfield Builders, an award-winning, industry leader with a reputation for managing projects others shy away from. They are known for their high-quality work, customer service, and reliability and though still relatively small in size, Litchfield Builders now competes with some of the areas largest firms in both the residential and commercial arenas.