TRENDS IN GREEN BUILDING
Brooks Sports, the athletic shoe and apparel company, first occupied its new headquarters building in Seattle in 2015. About the building, from the Brooks website:
- It’s LEED Platinum certified two times over: for construction and design as well as operations and maintenance. It also meets even higher sustainability standards as the first commercial office building in Seattle to complete the city’s “Deep Green” pilot program.
- In 2015, during our first full year in the building, we consumed about 80% less energy and water than the average office building.
- Rainwater flows into a super-efficient heating and cooling system that uses a lot less energy than standard HVAC systems. Rainwater also irrigates plants around the building and flushes our toilets.
- Daylight is a beautiful thing, and we welcome it in with expansive windows that reduce the need for artificial lights. Smart sensors automatically dim or turn off highly efficient LED lights when they’re not needed.
- We recycled 97% of all materials during construction, diverting more than 1,160 tons of debris from landfills. Reclaimed wood throughout our HQ and in our Brooks Trailhead retail store serve as constant reminders that we’re serious about minimizing our impact on the environment.
What Is A Green Building?
Green buildings are now a key economic driver in the U.S. and around the world.
Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to both a structure and the application of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle: from planning to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition.
Upfront investment in green buildings makes properties more valuable as they tend to have lower day-to-day operating costs. Key facts from the Dodge Data and Analytics Report and other sources include:
- Commercial construction will be the top sector for green building growth on a global scale.
- The global green building sector continues to double every three years.
- In the United States, green building is projected to account for more than half of all commercial and institutional construction by the end of 2017.
- Project stakeholders and some government customers are requesting construction firms to use recycled materials, sustainable materials and easily renewable materials.
- Sustainable construction which uses materials and products that require less use of natural resources is a key trend. Steel, glass, prefabricated parts and additives to concrete serve to reduce waste.
- Off-site construction in climate controlled facilities with warehousing to store and reuse surplus material continues to become more popular.
A recent study from Harvard’s School of Public Health showed additional benefits for human performance and well-being.
The study found that participants’ scores for cognitive function went up by a whopping 101% in buildings that were optimized for green efficiency. During testing, researchers looked at measures of cognitive function like crisis response, information usage and strategy, all of which saw improvements between 97 and 299% percentage points.
Researchers also saw a dramatic improvement in productivity and output in participants when working from green buildings, with efficient ventilation strategies that cost as little as $14 in energy per person per year. In the next part of the study, researchers measured these same factors across many real working environments.
Sustainable construction benefits everyone and increases the value and attractiveness of your commercial building. Fleming West can guide you through green construction, no matter your level of expertise.
We’re always happy to share what we know about green building and other types of construction. If you’d like to chat just call us (480) 951-5301 or email us at email@example.com.