There has been so much talk of LEED and making your building more energy efficient. LEED certified buildings can be compared to the honeymoon phase of a relationship. At the beginning everything works perfectly, everything is great, but without proper maintenance it slowly all falls apart. Just like every relationship, a LEED building needs to have maintenance and checkups to function properly! So that leads to the question, how green is your LEED building? If the building doesn’t perform and isn’t maintained, the bottom line is, it isn’t sustainable.
Nature doesn’t care about our best intentions, nature cares about CO2 emissions. Energy performance reports need to be mandatory to see if the building is performing properly. If this isn’t done, we won’t be taken seriously if we claim a building is performing when in reality it is not. The European Union requires energy reports, predicted and actual numbers from all buildings.
If a green building is working properly, it can reduce up to 25% of carbon. Even in the slow economy, green building is growing rapidly! Many businesses are retrofitting their existing buildings to make them more sustainable. There are many benefits to having a successful sustainable building: Financial, reputation, social and environmental.
What are some of the financial benefits of having a successful sustainable building?
- Lower rents with more occupancy (using less energy and water results in lower utility bills)
- Higher tax benefits
- Increased resale value
What are the reputational benefits?
- Higher recruits and less employee turn over
- Increased stock value for the building and company
- Great marketing/PR
- Investors and donors are more interested
What are the social benefits?
- Health gains- it has been proven, there are less sick days if there is more natural light and natural ventilation in an office environment
- Increased employee morale
- Increased productivity results in increased profits for the company
What are the environmental benefits?
- The building is sustainable
- Storm water management
- Renewable energy
- Less CO2 emissions
The bottom line is, keep up with the happenings of your LEED building and always keep it in that honeymoon period. If the building is in the honeymoon phase, chances are so are your employees. If the employees are happy, there is more productivity, which in turns makes for a successful business!