What Sustainable Initiatives Can My High-Rise Building Take?
The rate of construction of high-rise buildings is higher than ever.
But with increasing concerns about environmental sustainability and green initiatives, how can you make your building more sustainable?
There are many possible sustainable initiatives that you can take which improve your building’s carbon footprint and can reduce operating costs, but these are just a few examples.
Improving Energy Efficiency
There are multiple areas of your building where you can improve your energy efficiency.
Heating & Cooling
Heating & cooling loss can be high, especially in older buildings or in buildings located in colder climates such as in Canada.
Make sure to check your insulation, and in new buildings, keep them as airtight as possible and opt for high-performance insulation. In older buildings, consider investing in replacement windows and doors to reduce air leaks. If you are replacing your windows, there are double-glazed windows available that have ventilation between the panes to reduce heat consumption.
Equipment & Lighting
When making an initial purchase or replacing equipment, opt for high-performance, energy-efficient systems such as those certified by Energy Star.
Work to replace your lights with LED lights, which not only are 75% more energy-efficient than incandescent, but also have a much longer lifespan.
Invest in Alternative Energy
High-rise buildings are perfect candidates to consider alternative energy sources. Examples of these include:
-solar panels on the roof
-thermal energy planned during design
-wind turbines on the roof
For new construction buildings in Canada, Energy Star is offering a new construction pilot program to help builders adopt energy efficient practices.
Implement Building Management Systems
Improving your sustainability in existing builds starts with monitoring your systems to determine where improvements can be made.
By integrating SMART technologies with building architecture, you can create new experiences and opportunities for collaboration. SMART sensors can feed data to the integrated Building Management Systems to allow the building to adapt and optimize for improved energy efficiency.
One example of an integrated sustainable building management system is a water management system. By implementing a flood detection system, you improve your sustainability by reducing water waste from leaks and floods. You can also utilize water management to implement submetering to encourage tenants to monitor and regulate their water consumption.
Once you have begun utilizing sustainable efforts in your building, you can look into a sustainable certification. One example in Canada is LEED through the Canada Green Building Council.