Embracing the Green Lifestyle: How to Build an Eco-Friendly Office Building

December 8, 2012

When you think about saving energy, your mind may immediately jump to simple tasks, like turning the lights off as you exit a room or turning the air conditioning up just a few degrees higher in the summer. Still, if you are committed to becoming an eco-friendly businessperson, there is more you can do, and it all starts during the construction phase of your office building. Now, more than ever, there are “green” options when it comes to the materials and technology you use for your project. The following tips will help you as you go through the building process.

Carefully Consider Window Placement And Treatments

Where you put your windows actually deserves quite a bit of thought. When placed efficiently, they can draw in heat from the sun, reducing your need to use your heating system as often during the colder months. Obviously, it is important to start by selecting energy efficient products. From there, put the biggest windows on the south side of the building. This allows you to draw in energy from outside. Place smaller windows around the rest of the property; this makes it less likely that the heat you are drawing in will simply be pulled back outside again.

These windows are going to draw heat in the summer as well, so it is also important to think about energy efficient window treatments. Awnings are one option; they can be rolled up or retracted in the winter to allow the sun to come into the building, and when unrolled, they can reduce the amount of solar heat gain by more than 50 percent. Blinds, draperies and shades are other options to consider.

Keep Construction Reasonable

There is no need to have the biggest or most elaborate office building in your area. If you are operating a Tampa website design company, for instance, you probably don’t need too much space for your daily operations. Come up with an efficient design for the property that allows you to be comfortable but not waste space or the energy it would take heat and cool such a building. If you know ahead of time there will be a room or two that you don’t use as much as another, come up with a layout that allows you to close those spaces off so they don’t waste energy.

Use Natural Light

Design the layout of the building so it is as open as possible in order to best utilize the natural light coming into the space. Make sure there are no large trees or bushes that could block your windows and keep your property dark throughout the day. Of course, you will have to turn on the lights occasionally, so it is important to install either fluorescent or LED light bulbs. They cost a little more than incandescent bulbs, but they last much longer, so you will eventually recoup the initial expensive.

Put In Loft Insulation

Heat rises, and unless your roof is insulated well, you are going to have trouble keeping your space warm. Loft insulation doesn’t cost a lot of money, and it can save you quite a bit in heating expenses. It will also help you conserve energy, which is good for the environment.

The process of building your own office space is exciting. Use the tips included here to ensure your property is as “green” as possible.

Image credit: Some rights reserved by thorinside



Chris Keenan

is a green and general blog writer. He also maintains a personal cooking blog.