By: Kevin Ahern on December 14th, 2018
Best Eco Friendly Building Materials To Use In Commercial Construction
Eco friendly construction is good for business and the environment. A successful sustainable remodel can save your business money and help you protect your community. In fact, a good sustainable remodel even gives local patrons a reason to choose that business over others in the area.If you're a business owner who is planning to remodel your business sometime in the near future, familiarizing yourself with eco friendly building materials can help you as you move forward with your remodel.
Bamboo, cork, reclaimed wood, and ferrock are all examples of the types of materials that you can use to make your business remodel project eco friendly. Installing low-flow fixtures and green roofing can help as well. The range of options available to business owners can be overwhelming. At Litchfield Builders, we help business owners choose the most sensible environmentally-friendly materials and products for their business.
Why Should You Care About Eco Friendly Building Materials?
Use of eco friendly building materials and adopting green technology in your commercial structure results in a lower consumption of fossil fuels and less waste. The less energy your business uses, the more money your business will save. Installing the most modern eco friendly building materials also reduces maintenance costs and usually results in increased customer support, since the most modern and energy efficient building materials are often made by reputable companies that produce quality products.
Best Eco Friendly Building Materials
Eco friendly building materials typically come from renewable resources and are made with fewer chemicals. In addition to being better for the environment, they're often healthier for people too. Many eco friendly building materials cut back on pollution for a cleaner, healthier planet.
Reclaimed wood is previously used wood that has been repurposed for new construction. Reclaimed wood can be used for just about anything, from flooring to furniture. Business owners love reclaimed wood because it's rustic and historic. It's also considered sustainable because no trees are cut down to harvest it.
Bamboo isn't a hardwood, it's a grass. That said, most people can't tell the difference between bamboo and hardwood flooring material. Bamboo is sustainable because it's fast growing. It takes about 3 to 5 years for bamboo to reach full maturity, which is a lot faster than a hardwood tree. Bamboo is an excellent flooring material in show rooms, lobbies and in other areas where hardwood flooring would be appropriate.
Cork is another type of flooring that has been growing in popularity in the last few decades. Made from the bark of a tree, cork is eco friendly because harvesting can be done without killing the tree. It takes about 8 to 14 years for the bark to grow back, and then it can be harvested again.
Recycled steel roofing is quickly rising in popularity in commercial construction as well as residential construction. It's highly desirable because it's lightweight, durable and long-lasting. It's eco friendly because it's made from old steel structures, cars, and other recycled items. Finally, recycled steel can be molded into different shapes, so it can resemble clay tiles, slate, and wood shingles.
Insulated Concrete Forms
Insulated concrete forms (ICFs) are created from concrete, expanded polystyrene and a high-density plastic web. ICFs are strong, energy efficient, quiet, and incredibly long-lasting. They make excellent office buildings and are attractive as well as highly functional.
Sheep wool isn't just for clothing anymore; it's also for insulation. Sheep wool is environmentally friendly because it's natural, biodegradable, and safe to work with. It can be used in walls and ceilings to keep your building warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It's also resistant to flames and mold, and will regulate humidity where it is installed.
Ferrock is a carbon-negative alternative to cement. It's even harder than cement, so it's wonderful stuff for use with building and paving. Cement is very polluting, but ferrock isn't. In fact, it absorbs more CO2 than it emits. It's an excellent option for business owners who want to reduce their business's carbon footprint.
Other Ways to Increase Sustainability in Commercial Buildings
There are many ways to increase sustainability in commercial buildings, and using green materials is just one way to make that happen. Sustainable technologies can be found throughout modern architecture and building practices. Everything from the fixtures to the floors and walls themselves work together to create a unified sustainable whole. Below are some of the features that you can install in your existing commercial building to reduce your carbon footprint and energy usage.
Leaving your thermostat at the same temperature all the time is a waste, unless your commercial building is in use at all hours of the day and night. A programmable thermostat enables you to set different temperatures for different times of day. You'll save money by adjusting the temperature to a less comfortable setting after hours, when no one is around.
There are many eco friendly fixtures that can save businesses money on water, electricity, or gas, depending on the fixture. For example, low flow toilets can reduce a business's consumption of water by hundreds of gallons annually, while motion detected lights ensure that lights will only turn on when they're needed, and will remain off when they're not.
Green Walls and Rooftops
Green walls and rooftops save businesses money by preventing heat loss or heat gain, depending on the time of year. This can help save business owners on heating and cooling costs at times of the year when temperatures are at their most extreme.
ENERGY STAR Rated Appliances
ENERGY STAR rated appliances can save businesses water and electricity, which in turn reduces their monthly utility bills. Over time, ENERGY STAR appliances enable businesses to save hundreds or thousands of dollars annually on their normal utility bills.
Solar energy is energy harvested from the sun through solar panels. It's clean, and therefore, environmentally friendly. Solar panels are an excellent option for businesses of all sizes, and can save companies as much as 75% each month on their electricity bills. Best of all, prices for solar panels have been dropping for years, so solar panel installation is more affordable than ever.
Contact Litchfield Builders
Has the time come for you to renovate your commercial property? What environmentally-friendly changes will you be making? Leave your comments in the box below.
Eco friendly renovations can help your business save money while also enabling you to take care of your community. Using green materials and installing eco friendly fixtures can cut back on your water and power usage.
Litchfield Builders has been making green upgrades to businesses for many years. If you're not sure what kind of upgrades will be most beneficial for your business, contact us for a consultation. We'll be happy to walk through your property and make recommendations, or discuss ideas that you have.
To find out more about green construction and how it can impact your business, check out our free download, Sustainability & Green Building in 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.