There remains a wide range of concepts and practices that people define as ‘Green Building’. The term can mean anything from a building project that has a net positive environmental impact to a building project that is simply less environmentally detrimental in comparison to other buildings. The main goal of green building is to execute your construction and design project in such a way that it maximizes efficiency and minimizes disruption of land, water, energy and resources. In some cases green building projects can actually be regenerative for the land on which they are built. The health and well-being of the construct’s occupants is also considered even during the preliminary stages. What follows is a brief overview of what green building and design is and why you should be considering it.
In a green building and design project the most important stage is the beginning. Without proper planning, materials, and coordination the economic feasibility of a green design project can be put in jeopardy even before ground is broken. With deliberate action, concerted vision, and the right team, green design can be an excellent option for contractors and property owners alike. By considering and utilizing the natural setting around a project one can take advantage of variables that would be overlooked in other design projects such as sunrise and sunset, locally available materials, nearby water sources, and other benefits allotted by the site’s surrounding landscape. A green building design project takes a construct’s entire lifespan into consideration. This means many of the positives afforded (and drawbacks avoided) by green building continue well past the construction stage and on through the structure’s entire existence.
There is a pervasive misconception that green building projects cost more than their counterparts. While this may be true in some cases, there are many instances where green design can cost the same or even be cheaper than standard building activities. This is particularly so when one considers long-term costs like future utility expenses, the possibility of remediation projects, and other disbursements incurred by ignoring ecological and environmental factors during the construction and design process.
New laws and regulations like CALGreen make green building and design an even more incentivized option. While green building offers its own benefits, policies like CALGreen reward those already involved in green building and design while simultaneously encouraging more to adopt the practices. The CALGreen building code is abided with ease when green building design is properly implemented. The policies align with the practices of the industry, allowing green building vets to comply with these recent regulations with ease.
At MEP, our team of professionals assists our clients not just in complying with policies like CALGreen and Title XXIV, but finding the right green building design project for you. From our specialized energy conservation consulting services, to feasibility studies, and through design and preparation of construction documents and construction phase services, MEP assists customers in all phases of green building design. Services offered by MEP like LEED certification, LEED commissioning, feasibility studies, ASHRAE Level I and II Audits, Green Property Needs Assessments, and ENERGY STAR Benchmarking and Certification can keep your building’s green improvements increasing after your green design project is complete. Contact MEP today to find the right fit for your project and start reaping all the benefits this burgeoning industry has to offer.