“GREEN” CRE: CREATING EFFICIENT BUILDINGS FOR A BETTER TOMORROW March 10, 2021 | Investment , Maintenance , Management , CRE News | real estate trends , business tips , save money , exterior maintenance , interior maintenance , commercial plumbing , commercial electrical , building renovation Being environmentally conscious is one of the most popular discussion topics today. From car manufacturers to small businesses, more and more companies are trying to do their part and reduce their carbon footprint. Even the commercial property sector is adopting new policies in both old and new buildings to get on board with the environmentally conscious movement. There’s a variety of upgrades you can make to your property or incorporate into your new construction to reduce your impact while saving on your bills. Lighting Incorporating more natural light into your building benefits your bottom line and your tenants. Studies show that an increase in natural light during the day increases worker efficiency and decreases health problems like eye strain and drowsiness. It can also cut your energy consumption anywhere from 15-40 percent. Additionally, LED bulbs are brighter and lower your usage compared to incandescents and fluorescents. You can also install timers and sensors to adjust the lighting during certain times of day or to accommodate other needs. These measures will make sure you aren’t leaving lights on all hours of the day and burning a hole in your checkbook. Insulation Insulation is another often-neglected area that can make a noticeable difference in your energy costs. Ensuring that your building is properly insulated prevents air leaking in or out.The EPA states that a simple upgrade in insulation and proper sealing can cut your usage by 10 percent. Recycled insulation is the best of both worlds because it reuses old materials like denim jeans or newspaper to save on heating and cooling costs. You should also check doors, windows and other openings in your foundation where there could be air escaping. Proper insulation will keep your residents comfortable and cut down on complaints when the temperature changes. Plants Plants and gardens are a simple and natural way to help you reach your environmental goals. Rooftop gardens can collect rainwater that is then funneled and reused in plumbing. You can also reduce the amount of runoff water from your building by using the “greywater” from toilets and laundry rooms to water these gardens. Planted inside or outside, vegetation provides a constant supply of clean air that’s highly refreshing. Green spaces on the top of your building even act as another layer of insulation. Not to mention they provide beautiful scenery that’ll make your building stand out. Replace or Upgrade Old Systems If you have an older building, chances are the systems you have are older as well. These outdated pieces could be costing you on the back end. To see what equipment needs to be changed, having an inspector look at them will give you a good starting point. You can also do an energy audit that’ll provide you with information on the most energy efficient technologies and practices to implement. Solar Perhaps the best producer of natural energy is that star at the center of our solar system. There are two types of solar utilization that can be incorporated into your building’s design. Passive solar utilization involves the integration of more windows and openings to let in light and to heat buildings. Combining passive utilization with materials that retain heat well can further diminish your HVAC operating costs. Meanwhile, active solar utilization is the process of installing solar panels to capture the sun’s energy for power. You can use one or both of these methods to optimize your building’s efficiency and brighten up your tenant’s day. Technology New innovations in CRE management software are making it easier than ever to oversee your property. Now you have the ability to see exactly what’s happening in your building with different apps and programs. You can catch small problems before they spiral out of control and save on hefty repair costs. These systems allow you to “talk” to your building and look at what needs improving to meet your efficiency goals. At the tap of a button, you can reduce power consumption, make your building comfortable, and improve safety measures. To be sure that your building is operating at its best, have it inspected by a trained professional from NPI .