Homebuyers and businesses looking for commercial premises are increasingly interested in curbing the impact the building has on the environment.
Implementing eco-friendly systems, therefore, can potentially improve the commercial return of your development, in addition to increasing the positive impact on the environment.
However, what’s involved in implementing eco-friendly systems?
Using energy from renewable sources, and implementing products, techniques, or technologies that reduce the amount of energy needed to heat the property, can all reduce a building’s negative impact on the environment.
In some situations, it’s possible to reduce the need for a heating or cooling system to almost zero.
One way to make the building as eco-friendly as possible is to design and build it according to the Passivhaus standard. This involves building the property in a way that maximises its airtightness. There’s also, usually, mechanical ventilation included in the design.
Of course, this is not an entirely energy-neutral solution. Energy is required to produce the materials needed to build the airtight structure. It is a solution, however, that’s far more eco-friendly than a structure built according to minimum environmental standards and a great selling point.
Installing a heating system using a renewable energy source is another way of making the property more eco-friendly. Burning fossil fuels like coal or gas to generate energy is very damaging to the environment. The process releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which contributes to the greenhouse effect and global warming. Renewable energy sources such as those listed below, don’t exacerbate global warming. Also, unlike coal and gas which are finite resources and will eventually run out, renewable energy sources will always be available.
Options include the following:
For example, fitting solar panels to roofs and heat pumps that heat radiators and water, will greatly reduce the energy required to heat and power a home or other premises. Similarly, fitting a wind turbine to power a commercial building greatly reduces energy bills and environmental impact.
There are a number of other ways to make a property more energy efficient. This includes options for existing properties that can be applied during renovation or refurbishment work.
Fitting insulation in lofts and wall cavities is a must for all modern buildings. Insulation should be added to older buildings to improve their energy efficiency. This is a more expensive energy reducing strategy, but is highly effective and of huge benefit to the environment.
Manufacturing building materials from scratch uses huge amounts of energy. One of the ways you can reduce this impact on your next development, redevelopment, or refurbishment project is to use recycled materials.
Recycled materials are often cheaper to buy and the impact of their production on the environment is far reduced, because it takes less energy to refabricate them from already existing materials.
Reusing materials in this way means that fewer materials need to be manufactured from scratch. A double positive for the environment and a plus for your pocket too!
Creating driveways and paved areas are not particularly environmentally friendly practises. The processes and materials involved in creating hard surfaces for walking or driving, use massive amounts of energy, plus their manufacture disturbs the natural habitat of insects, birds, and other animals.
Meadow gardens and areas with lots of plants, including wild flowers, are much better for the environment and the ecosystems it supports.
However, if you prefer to install a driveway, or paved areas in your development, but you’re concerned about the environmental impact, or you’d like to create a build that lessens the environmental impact, then you could go down the recycled materials route outlined above.
LED lighting has a lower impact on the environment. It uses less energy and lasts longer than conventional lighting.
Installing double glazed windows, or secondary double glazing, is energy efficient as it prevents warm air escaping and cooler air getting in. This is good for the environment and reduces heating bills.
Taking as many of these steps as possible or focusing entirely on implementing eco-friendly systems will help you achieve your commercial and environmental goals.