Go Green and Save Money
It seems like every night we turn on the news, we hear a politician talking about how he or she will go green and make the environment a better place if elected. The idea of sustainable energy and becoming environmentally friendly isn’t just a topic among politicians, but also a key consideration during the design and building process during a construction project. In our line of work, we’re often asked how to make a building more energy efficient.
Thinking about being green during your next construction project not only leaves a lighter footprint on the environment through conservation of resources, but also saves the owner, or businesses, money down the road.
Here are a few simple ways to remain environmentally aware during your construction process.
Windows and Doors
When selecting what doors and windows you want to put into your project, take the time to research. Energy-efficient doors and windows can help keep your company’s cooling, heating and lighting costs low. So how do you know which ones are the most energy-efficient?
Look for products labeled ENERGY STAR®. ENERGY STAR bases their qualifications on three factors: U-factor, solar heat gain coefficient and air leakage. Basically, you want to choose the door or window with the lowest number. The lower the number means the more energy it is saving you in the end. You can go green and read more about energy-efficient doors and windows here.
Solar power is a big green movement that has a lot of people talking. So what is so great about it? The biggest factor is that it is a way to access natural power from the sun. The panels break down sunlight from your roof and recycle it into energy that you can use in your structure.
Another big factor is the amount of money you will save. Solar panels may cost a good chunk of money up front, but you will end up saving on your electricity bills in the long run. There are many different sizes and types of solar panels to choose from so make sure you pick the best one for your business.
It may seem like a no brainer, but choosing an adjustable thermostat can save you energy and money. Heating and cooling make up almost 50 percent of your electricity bill each month. This can really add up in the middle of July when temperatures can reach over 100 degrees!
We all know that the weather in the South is not reliable. One day you may need heat and the next you could be switching on your air conditioning. By installing a thermostat that you can adjust, you have the ability to dictate how much energy you use and when you use it.
Insulation is like the life insurance of your structure. Without good insulation, you will not only be wasting money – but also lots of energy!
You already will lose a considerable amount of heating and cooling through windows and doors (no matter how energy-efficient), so protect what energy you have left with proper insulation. Walls are not the only thing that can be insulated- you can also have your floors, ceiling and windows/doors insulated. This tip is for maximum energy saving and will save you the most money on your bills as well.
Environmentally Friendly Lighting
There are two types of light bulbs people are talking about: LED and CFL. Both are energy efficient and last longer than regular light bulbs.
So what’s the difference between them? LED bulbs usually cost a little bit more money then CFL bulbs, but last just as long. They are safe and environmentally friendly. CFL bulbs are slightly cheaper, but contain mercury. Both bulbs are a good choice when looking to go green.
There are so many ways to make your building process go green. A few simple steps not only save you money, but can also make you feel good about the work you are doing.
Are you interested in making your next project more energy-efficient? Let us know and we’d love to help start planning the steps to make your next building a green building. Visit our website or call us at (843) 546-4491.