7 Ways Your Building Can Go Green
From handing out eco-friendly products to creating a green outdoor space, here are ways to make your building a sustainable one!
In recent years, there has been an influx of green buildings, as more and more apartment complexes, commercial properties and residents have turned to sustainable designs. In fact, the number of LEED-certified projects in the United States rose from 296 certifications in 2006 up to over 65,000 in 2017.
Eco-friendly buildings are, of course, better for the environment, and they are also more attractive to apartment complexes’ target demographic - millennials. Many in this age group have student debt and have put off buying a home. But this age group also grew up with recycling, hearing about Earth Day and learning about climate change, so the thought of green living is appealing - and to some, a must.
Therefore, here are seven ways to go green in your building and to draw in that target audience!
- Grow a garden. A great way to attract more residents and guests is with a garden. This community space will encourage people to get outside, can offer great views from a rooftop and should have herbs and vegetables that can actually be enjoyed!
- Add a rainwater cistern. Take that sustainable outside space even further by adding a rainwater cistern. The collected water can then be used to wash off the veggies and to water lawns, landscaping, pets and plants.
- Offer bike racks and charging stations for electric vehicles. Those who care about the environment may turn to bicycles and electrical vehicles in order to get around, so make sure there are plenty of racks, as well as charging stations, available.
- Hand out reusable bags. When residents move in or when visitors enter your building, have reusable bags ready to hand out. These can be used to haul items and are even necessary in some cities, such as Austin, where plastic bags were banned up until recently and are still highly discouraged by many.
- Put in solar panels. The U.S. solar industry generated $154 billion in 2016, with revenues growing from $42 million in 2007 to $210 million in 2017. That being said, commercial buildings that have the opportunity to put in solar panels should consider the benefits that these can bring - such as saved energy, saved money and an increase in property value.
- Use thicker windows and better insulation. Similarly, when it comes to the design of a building, developers and builders should use thick windows, efficient insulation and other systems that will support an overall green building.
- Raffle off eco-friendly gifts. A final way to encourage sustainability is to raffle off gifts like imprinted bottles and cups (that discourage the use of plastic water bottles and styrofoam cups), plant kits (which encourage green efforts) and office supplies (made of biodegradable materials). These efforts will be smiled upon by many...and everyone loves winning a prize or two!
How has your building gone green?