Sustainable architecture is becoming increasingly popular in the construction of new buildings around the globe. Design for these buildings isn’t just aimed at reducing environmental impact, they are also a new way to cut costs and create better work places for people. Proponents of green architecture are attempting to highlight the many unique benefits and companies are starting to take notice of the many economic incentives and boosts to productivity. Whether by sourcing building materials locally, or using novel approaches, like incorporating perforated metal panels, architecture is evolving exponentially. Here are some of the many reasons sustainable architecture is making waves.
Cutting Construction Costs
The theory of sustainable architecture begins at the conceptual stage, when architects first seek to lower the initial costs of construction. Design teams, from the architects and engineers to the landscape designers and safety experts, take into account a number of factors when setting out to create a sustainable design. Optimization of the site and orientation are just some of the considerations when attempting to reduce costs, other methods include exploiting natural lighting and temperature control systems like sunlight and vegetation. Other key tenants of the process involve reusing or renovating old or recycled materials, like perforated metal panels, eliminating unnecessary finishes and features, space-efficiency, avoiding structural over-design and construction waste.
Reducing Energy Costs
Large corporate buildings come with high energy-consumption costs, so it’s natural that one of the greatest benefits sustainable architecture offers is energy-efficient design to reduce these costs. Creating a building’s architectural and mechanical features to minimize energy use and reduce costs starts with raw materials and location. Green design can incorporate cost-effective holistic energy systems into buildings, lowering annual costs significantly through a variety of design features like skylights.
Lower Costs of Facility Maintenance and Repair
The costs of facility maintenance and repair are also reduced with well-thought-out sustainable design. Cost reduction in the areas of scheduled maintenance, repair, and replacement can be accomplished by leaving mechanical equipment easily accessible and having plenty of space in service areas. Site location also plays a large role in what elements can be added, but some of these include using durable materials, roof color choice, landscaping techniques, and sustainable storm water management systems.
A Healthy & Happy Workforce
The days of the industrial revolution are far behind and companies now realize that a happy and healthy workforce is far more effective. Sustainable architecture sets out to create these types of environments, focusing on how people use the space and adjusting it to their needs. Studies have already shown that such elements as improved ventilation can increase worker productivity by 11% and better lighting by a full 23%. These numbers translate into significant dollar amounts for companies.
In the end sustainable architecture isn’t just about costs, but the environmental and social benefits offered, do have economic pluses. Elements introduced for their environmental benefit, such as a ‘green’ roof, can lower roof temperatures and directly reduce the cooling tonnage needed. The key is that elements are holistic; features chosen for the environment become beneficial for workers and for building or energy costs. As technology improves, these benefits will only become more pronounced. Ultimately, what is good for the environment has huge indirect savings.
Since its founding in 1988, Wade Architectural Systems has worked on over 2500 projects throughout the U.S., particularly in the state of Texas. The company specializes in design and detailing assistance, educational presentations, detailed engineering drawings, calculations and test reports.