Building green commercial real estate buildings can be both environmentally and financially positive. While some environmentally friendly building methods can be more expensive than less efficient methods and materials, the cost is usually relatively small, sometimes as little as 2 percent, according to the US Green Building Council.

One way to make a building more environmentally friendly is to use materials that are designed for efficiency. The Bautex composite insulating concrete form wall system is durable and allows for rapid construction. At the same time, it also offers excellent insulation from heat in summer and cold in winter. This lowers energy costs.

Some construction methods don’t require anything special in terms of components. Instead, they require builders to take a different approach to how the building is located on the site. Paying careful attention to how the sun moves across the site during the year can provide useful insights as to how to configure and locate a building to take maximum advantage of the sun’s light while avoiding the heat that it generates during the summer months. Known as “passive solar building,” this technique can generate savings in both lighting and HVAC costs for little to no additional building cost. Adding additional landscaping to support passive solar design can not only create further savings but also create a building that is more conducive to employee health and satisfaction.

Upgrading the efficiency of building systems remains a powerful way to decrease a building’s environmental impact. High efficiency HVAC systems can significantly reduce energy usage, especially in parts of the country with warm summers and cold winters. At the same time, the enhanced ventilation that many of these systems bring can also improve the overall health of the building and its inhabitants. Low energy usage lighting, ike LED fixtures, can also lead to significant reductions in electricity consumption.

Finally, one of the most powerful green building techniques is to simply build less. A smaller building requires fewer materials to construct and less energy to light, heat, cool and otherwise maintain. Intelligent design focusing on giving every person the space that they need, no more no less, allow companies to do more with a smaller footprint. The best thing to do is take an active role in the construction of your commercial real estate building to make these changes happen.