Not-So-Obvious, Low-Cost Sustainable Building Design Measures
Building green doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, it may only cost a little extra effort to ask your designer some simple questions as well as consider a few options outside of your typical cookie-cutter building design. Many sustainable measures make plain good sense and don’t necessarily cost any more than the conventional alternatives. Let’s look at a few examples[i]…
[i] All measures contribute towards LEED 2009 compliance.
[ii] Take a look at most commercial buildings and see how natural and artificial lighting is not in harmony, i.e. all the blinds are shut and all lighting is turned on.
[iii] Measure can be easily verified with whole building energy simulations or energy modeling.
Conclusion: Think Simplification, Optimization, and Integration
As shown in the examples above, sustainable design doesn’t have to cost you more. Another thing to keep in mind is that when building systems aren’t optimized, they may dramatically increase energy consumption! Additional cost savings can be achieved by simply placing a greater priority on efficiency while cutting costs on expensive trim and furnishings. Saved dollars can be in invested in high efficiency HVAC equipment, controls, and commissioning, which generally generate a high return on investment compared to other building expenditures. This upfront planning and optimization will help to uncover more cost effective, long-term building solutions.
Meet the Author
Patrick O’Donnell is a Project Engineer at Michaels Energy. For more information about this topic or additional LEED concerns, please contact Patrick at (608) 785-1900 or PCO@MichaelsEnergy.com