5 Tips for Green Commercial Remodeling
Everybody and their grandma are adopting more and more “green” and eco-friendly solutions. And the commercial remodeling industry is not an exception—offices, retail stores, warehouses—everything is going green! As a Maryland commercial remodeling company, we’ve been asked on several occasions by our clients to incorporate green features into their new spaces, whether it’s to cut down on utility bills or earn some LEED points. Whatever your motivations are, we are happy to accommodate by using these and other green remodeling methods and materials.
Passive Solar Heating
When you hear the words “solar heating,” you are probably picturing solar panels. However, panels are not the only way to use solar energy to your benefit. Passive solar heating involves adapting the building’s design and materials to maximize the heating properties of the sun. For example, adding more south-facing windows or increasing the size of current windows helps collect solar energy. Using materials such as brick, concrete and tile helps retain that energy and radiate it back into the indoor environment. By making slight changes like switching out glass in your windows, adding a roof overhang or tiling the floors, you can make your warehouse or work area more comfortable and pay less for heating at the same time.
Low-Energy Light Fixtures
Commercial buildings tend to have their lights on for the most part of the day, often when it’s not even necessary. When you have a large facility, it can be difficult to track all of your employees and make sure they turn off the lights in non-common areas. One solution is to switch to low-energy lighting fixtures, such as Energy Star LEDs. They often have a slightly higher upfront cost, but they use less power and burn a lot longer, saving the hassle of frequent replacements. And if you also took advantage of passive solar heating, you may bring enough daylight into your work areas that lights may not be necessary during the day.
Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures
If you own a large facility that goes through a lot of water every day, such as a hotel, hospital or nursing home, low-flow plumbing fixtures can save you thousands of dollars. You can replace everything from toilets and urinals to faucets and shower heads. For the biggest impact, also add a leak detection system and flow restrictors. For Example, LaGuardia Airport has seen over $150,000 in annual savings after making all of these improvements to their facilities.
Radiant Heat Flooring
If you have a large commercial facility with high ceilings, forced air heating often doesn’t make sense and may be inefficient. First of all, cold air rises; second of all, why heat the entire space if you only need warmth in one small area where people are working? Radiant heating is a great way to heat some areas and not others, even if they are within the same room. And it keeps feet warm—the first part of the body to go cold! Best of all, radiant heating can be adapted to work with solar panels, so it could cost you nothing after your initial investment pays off.
Recycled Building Materials
Using recycled building materials is another way to preserve both natural resources and money. Recycled steel materials can be used for building both structure and exterior. And if you are tearing down an old building and building a new one in its place, you could even recycle the concrete rubble to use as an aggregate for parking lots or as a backfill material. There are many other ways to reuse, reduce and recycle during a commercial remodeling project. If this is one of your goals, we’ll be happy to work with you to figure out the best approach!
Contact us today for a consultation!