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Benefits and Challenges of Green Buildings

Green buildings are worthwhile opportunities you should not miss out on. Intel Corporation heavily invests in biogas, solar plants and other green power sources. Apple is another large company with the same passion and environmental responsibility always finding ways to use greener materials and conserve resources. Companies can benefit from the environmental, economic and social benefits of creating a greener workplace.

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Image Credit: Rob Deutscher

• ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS

You can reap various rewards with a green building. Some of them are:

o Savings on electricity

There’s less need to convert fossil fuels into electricity. Greenhouse emissions are reduced when you have more energy efficient equipment for heating and ventilation. For instance, garden roofs are not only aesthetically pleasing, they are also good insulators. They can either absorb the hotness or coldness in the environment.
Solar panels are another efficient source of electricity. Instead of constantly relying on the power grid for your electricity consumption, you can use the power generated from your solar panels.

o Minimise water pollution

Your water system can be another opportunity for you to go green. There are contractors who set up storm water run-off systems. These should directly combine rain water to sewers. This way, pollution will be reduced.

• ECONOMIC ADVANTAGES

Save on thousands of dollars as you take the green route for your building. Here are some ways to do it:

o Save on building costs

Though it may be costly to install, energy efficient equipment is a long-term investment. An average green building can save as much as $19,000 per year with green equipment installed.

A standard building has solar panels, storm water run-off systems and recyclable materials. This should put the average costs down by 25%. On a bigger scale, you can definitely allocate this amount of budget to better company initiatives.

o Gain government support

Check each state’s extent of provisions on green initiatives. Melbourne has the 1200 Buildings Program, which offers rebates when companies use green solutions in their buildings. The same state also funds organisational efforts for building tune-ups towards energy efficiency.

• SOCIAL BENEFITS

A business does not simply exist to earn. It has a mission of giving back to the community. This means you will need to deal with suppliers and the community where your building is constructed. If your neighbours and visitors get the impression of your cause, you will have good will and establish a reputable image.

You will be a beneficial addition to your community because:

o You won’t compete for the power grid

Your neighbours won’t see you as just another entity competing for energy. Queensland’s renewable energy has amounted to 2,700 gigawatt hours. Share this fact with your nearby audiences along with your own green building initiatives. This power combination should enhance your reputation to your community.

If they understand how much you can contribute to the entire state, this should be another point to your company image. Good will is incalculable as it opens the doors for more sources of income.

o Your employees will stay healthy

Did you know extra windows will boost the moods of your employees? You can save up on medical expenses since employees can freely get the sun’s natural nutrients. The sun rays provide Vitamin D and increased endorphins.

With the social benefits you can provide, your company establishes its own brand amidst competitors. You’ll have better differentiation and spread goodwill to your relevant audiences.

• CONSIDER THESE CHALLENGES

The benefits of having a green building far outweigh its possible challenges. Then again, you’ll still need to anticipate these factors:

O  Materials are expensive and tough to source out

Recyclables aren’t commonly available since they’re not mass produced. Fortunately, there are niche contractors who have solid experience and industry contacts to get the green materials you’ll need.

O Resistance to change

Your board of directors and finance department may be resistant to change. In comparison to normal building costs, making your infrastructure green will require $20,000-$40,000. However, you should present your cost savings at 25%, healthier employees with good moods, plus spread of good will throughout the community. This should get them to think twice about their decision.

Environmental sustainability should translate to all aspects of society. You can significantly do your part by turning your establishment into a concrete source of biodiversity. This initiative can be environmentally, economically and socially beneficial for you and your community.

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