Green Construction
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Green Construction
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Commercial Building Efficiency Initiatives are a Win-Win for Everyone

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 30 percent of energy used in commercial buildings is wasted. What does that mean? It’s an incredible opportunity for operations savings, and commercial construction contractors are offering solutions to make it happen.

First, here are the facts about commercial buildings and energy in America:

–       There is more than 81 billion square feet of commercial floor space in the U.S.

–       Commercial buildings account for 36 percent of all U.S. electricity consumption

–       They account for 18 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions

–       Commercial buildings consume more than 18 percent of energy in the U.S.

By 2020, the U.S. Government’s Building Technologies Office is targeting a 20 percent energy-use reduction in commercial buildings through its Better Buildings Initiative. Now, new initiatives and strategies make it easier than ever for commercial building contractors, like Leon Williams Contractors, to reduce energy consumption – which is good for building owners and managers and the planet.

What does this mean for commercial construction in East Tennessee?

Retrofitting existing commercial buildings

Seventy-eight percent of firms plan energy efficiency upgrades in the next two years. Building owners are attracted to the long-term savings of achieving net zero or pursuing renewable energy resources.

The following projects are being done to retrofit commercial buildings:

–       Lighting Upgrades

–       Installing more efficient HVAC systems

–       Including building automation controls

Energy-efficient design in new commercial construction

With new construction, it pays to be energy efficient from the start.

–       Consider a design-build project that meets ENERGY STAR standards.

–       Use of LEDS and solid-state lighting

–       Use of energy friendly roofing materials like metal

–       Window treatments that keep cool air inside

The following programs align with achieving energy-efficiency:

Better Buildings Alliance – An effort of the U.S. Department of Energy, the alliance includes more than 200 members representing 10 billion commercial square feet in six market sectors: retail, food service, commercial real estate, hospitality, healthcare and higher education.

Commercial Buildings Resource Database – Resources that help support the adoption of energy-saving building technologies

Better Buildings Workforce Initiative – The Department of Energy offers training tools, materials and credentialing guidelines to advance an energy-efficiency trained workforce.

 

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