Sustainable Solutions In Commercial Architecture And Home Improvement

Sustainability allows us to preserve the environment and manage resources responsibly even in highly commercial enterprises. The design and construction sector is one of the industries in which eco-friendly solutions create a positive impact.

Green buildings create healthier and more functional living and working spaces. Carbon footprint can also be reduced by implementing sustainable practices in residential and commercial projects. These practices help minimize the negative impacts of human activities, such as waste production and overconsumption. People are believed to be generally happier and satisfied within a clean and safe environment.

This post explores the ways you can embrace sustainability in commercial architecture and home improvement. Read on!

Adopting Sustainable Solutions In Commercial Architecture

With its influence on urban landscapes and local communities, commercial architecture yields paramount significance. Property owners and design experts can assuredly wield their craft to preserve and cherish the environment at large as they embrace the principles of ecological stewardship and effective resource management.

This concept of sustainability has opened the minds of commercial building developers at present, giving birth to the following solutions:

1. Use Available Technologies

If you’re a building owner, wouldn’t it be convenient for you or your staff to remotely adjust or automate lighting controls in a space based on desirable lighting levels? 

Smart technology can do that for you and your facility! 

Lighting and control systems leverage technological advancements to help you cut down on power consumption and energy costs, as well as streamline the building maintenance process. In favor of the environment, these solutions also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint.

While adopting such technology may require you to defray significant upfront costs, you can benefit from it in the long run since doing so will help reduce the building’s power consumption and increase your chances of securing a LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). 

All building and project types certified with this green building rating can enjoy benefits like tax incentives, energy savings, increased occupancy rates, higher rents, and a healthy environment. 

It’s a win-win situation for owners like you and the building users!

2. Install Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures

Being a commercial building owner, you most probably know how much water is consumed to operate your facility. It uses water for everything—irrigation and landscaping, restrooms, HVAC systems, food service areas, etc. 

But the good news is, you can lower water consumption by using water-saving fixtures!

Low-flow faucets and high-efficiency toilets are on top of the list, but you may also consider dual-flush or low-flow urinals, sensor-activated fixtures, and even water-saving showerheads.

3. Design Green Spaces

Nature is known to have a therapeutic effect that alleviates stress and relaxes the mind. Green spaces, which often come in the form of landscaped gardens, are an essential component of sustainable architecture. 

Aside from a calming influence on our well-being, they also help reduce the so-called ‘urban heat island effect’ or the higher temperatures experienced in urban areas compared to rural settings due to human activities and city development.

However, if your property can only accommodate unpaved surfaces at a minimum, your designers can still incorporate green spaces into your commercial development by utilizing green walls in its interiors or installing green roofs, which provide good insulation in commercial buildings.

With such additions, people will love coming into your space because it allows them to connect with nature and a healthy environment.

4. Use Sustainable Building Materials and Minimizing Wastage

Considering commercial architecture and developments require significant resources, building materials and energy, switching to environmentally friendly options help promote sustainable construction. For instance, design professionals and business owners can use sustainable materials such as bamboo, reclaimed wood, recycled plastic, and precast concrete.

But beyond the materials used for the project, sustainability extends to the construction methodologies and practices implemented. For example, designers and builders should ensure accurate dimensions and measurements when procuring materials to minimize material wastage. 

Implementing a zero-waste policy is also a great approach to managing waste generation in the construction site more efficiently and minimizing the environmental impact of commercial developments.

5. Invest In Renewable Energy

Renewable energy relies not on finite natural reserves but on alternative resources that don’t run out—solar, hydro, wind, and geothermal. 

You can install solar panels or wind turbines to contribute to the sustainability movement for commercial buildings. This will enhance energy security worldwide and promote public welfare, economic growth, and safer environments. 

On top of this, investing in renewable energy yields long-term cost savings and independence from the electric grid that utilizes fossil fuel-generated power.

With the design innovations and sustainable solutions above, design professionals and property owners like you can create well-designed commercial buildings that complement and protect the environment.

6. Incorporate Sustainability Practices In Home Improvement

Sustainable practices aren’t just for commercial structures since they can also be applied to already constructed residential properties. This is especially true since many homeowners are becoming more environmentally conscious and looking to make their homes more energy efficient.

To give you some ideas, here are sustainable solutions you can implement when making home improvements:

Energy-Efficient Appliances

Ordinary daily chores such as cooking, doing laundry, cleaning, or commuting, promote the emission of these harmful gasses — and even more so when people undertake a home improvement project and use energy-intensive appliances and equipment.

If you plan to replace your appliances at home, getting energy-efficient machines or devices can help lower your energy consumption and minimize your carbon footprint. When buying a new appliance, you can check the energy label and compare it with other models to determine which uses the least energy. You may also want to look for inverter appliances.

As a homeowner, you can also invest in smart technologies. Smart thermostats, for instance, can help manage your HVAC system efficiently and regulate your home’s temperature. This helps you save energy and diminish utility bills while creating a positive impact on the environment.

Insulate Your Home And Check For Air Leaks

Home insulation manages the temperature inside your home. During winter, you’d want your house to be warm and cozy, while in summer, you expect a cool space to remain comfortable. 

Proper insulation does that. 

If installed correctly with the right material, it will assist your heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems to avoid expensive electric bills and keep a healthy and relaxing indoor air quality.

As a good measure, inspect your home regularly for cracks, especially during home renovation projects. If there are air leaks and cracks on any surface, your indoor air quality gets affected. Your home will be penetrated by polluted air coming from outside, noise, humidity, and moisture, promoting mold growth. Over time, air leaks also lead to structural damage, which you want to avoid. Therefore, it’s a sustainable practice to insulate your home properly and fix air leaks as soon as possible.

Allow Natural Light Into Your Home

Imagine being awakened by the sun’s natural light after a good night’s sleep. It surely is a mood booster! 

Adding more windows and skylights permits more sunlight into your home, not only making you feel ready to start your day but also reducing the need for artificial lighting during the daytime and lowering your household’s power consumption. Not to mention this helps improve your productivity and focus during the day as you work or study at home!

However, if you can’t add more windows or skylights anymore, you can try placing a mirror opposite a window to reflect and bounce light within your living space or make the area appear bigger and brighter. 

One more thing, ensuring your windows are clean can remove the dust and dirt that obstruct the sunlight that enters your home.

Wrapping It Up

Sustainable solutions can significantly transform the design and construction industry. If you’re planning to start a residential or commercial project or renovate an existing property, you can talk to your architect or construction manager about employing passive and sustainable design strategies. 

Taking advantage of your site’s natural resources, such as orientation, natural ventilation, and daylighting will save you money on installing artificial systems. Applying smart solutions and high-performing HVAC systems also helps support your building’s energy efficiency.

Whether it’s a commercial building or a residential property, all the practices above lead to visually appealing and secure structures that protect the environment for present and future generations.