Green Features for a New Office to Discuss With Your Builder
When working with a commercial builder to have a new office building or complex built, you may want to think about green or eco-friendly features. These features can mean saving the environment and using fewer natural resources, and saving money for yourself or future tenants as well. Note a few green features to discuss with your commercial builder when you're considering having a new office built.
Cutting water use
Aerators on faucets can mean more air and less water every time a faucet is turned on; this saves on water and the energy to heat hot water. Add these to bathrooms and kitchen areas for maximum water savings. Add timers to bathroom faucets so they turn off after a few seconds; this prevents their overuse and being left on accidentally. If installing dishwashers in kitchens, choose energy-efficient models that allow users to opt for a low-water, light load when needed; after all, coffee cups used in offices rarely need a good scrubbing! Low-flow toilets and more urinals in the men's room also translate into less water used in bathrooms.
Rainwater irrigation systems on the lawn can also cut water use. If your commercial builder is in charge of the landscaping systems, ensure that there are collection points at the building's downspouts that then divert water to pipes under the lawn so the grass is watered with rainwater and not fresh water.
Office workers may be more likely to recycle if there are recycling options built into a facility and they don't need to bring in recycling bins. In a kitchen area and throughout the office, have a built-in space with totes for plastic water bottles and paper to be recycled. The more of these there are in each office area including in the hallways and kitchens, the more likely workers are to recycle their materials.
Natural light can help to cut down the use of artificial light in an office complex, saving money on electric bills and the pollution created by electric plants. During winter months, natural light can also keep a building warmer so you use less power for heat. During summer months, windows can be covered with blinds or shades. Discuss your options for large windows in the office areas of your new building and for skylights in hallways and foyers. Design the seating area for workers around the windows of the office rather than having conference rooms that are rarely used in the outer areas of the office, where those large windows are illuminating empty rooms.