Updated: Oct 24
Over 50% of the global population lives in urban areas, but cities use over 75% of the world’s energy and emit more than 70% of the world’s CO2 emissions. Why is this a problem? Because if something doesn’t change soon, then city emissions could double by 2050, causing even further climate damage and guzzling resources that the planet simply does not have.
If you’re aware of this and want to do something about it, there’s an answer.
Green building is a method of constructing or altering buildings to reduce their environmental impact. And who owns or operates a considerable amount of buildings in cities? Businesses. If every business did something to make their building just a bit greener, the impact would be huge.
So, whether you’re a facility manager searching for tips or a business looking to do your bit, read on to find out how to make a building green.
What Is a Green Building?
A green building, also called a sustainable building or green construction, is a building that implements strategies through its design, construction or operation to minimise its negative environmental impact and creates a positive one.
Their aim is to halt our usage of natural resources and improve quality of life for those who use the building as well as anyone in its vicinity. They do this by maximising efficiency in all areas and considering factors like energy, waste, pollution, water and the community.
The good news is, any building can be a green building – from offices and schools, to warehouses and stadiums.
What Are The Benefits of Becoming A Green Building?
Green buildings are known to provide benefits in three main areas: environmental, economic and social.
By using less natural resources, like energy and water, green buildings have less environmental impact. If they generate their own energy, through solar panels for instance, or increase biodiversity, then green buildings can even have a positive impact.
In terms of the economy, green buildings can help the tenants or owners save money through being more resource efficient, are usually cheaper to construct, have increased occupancy rates and create jobs for people in the area.
And green buildings can improve the wellbeing and the health of people who live or work in them. If they’re well ventilated, people can experience better brain function and productivity and they sleep longer, which has numerous benefits.
5 Ways To Make Your Building Greener
There are loads of ways to make a building more sustainable. If you’re not involved in the construction process, here are some things you can do to existing buildings:
1. Use resources more efficiently and intelligently
You’d be surprised at just how much energy and water gets wasted if it’s not properly monitored. Have a look at the water and energy usage and assess where both they’re coming from.
Many buildings are making the switch to renewable energy, such as solar power, but if this isn’t possible, it’s worth measuring natural resource consumption and making a plan for reducing this.
This could involve assessing wastewater and how this can be minimised or redirected, harvesting rainwater for indoor use or new insulation.
2. Reduce Waste
The waste production of buildings is astounding, with much of it ending up in landfill. Switching to more robust materials, using less of them and starting a recycling programme are all super simple but effective ways to become greener.
3. Create Better Air Quality
Air pollution is a global issue. Good air quality not only improves the people within buildings' wellbeing, but allows them to enjoy their surroundings more. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if the people in it were healthier and more comfortable?
Some ways to improve air quality are:
Avoid products that emit harmful chemicals or emissions
Improve the ventilation system
Installing systems like Pure Air Zone, which clean the air naturally
4. Improve the Community
Making buildings greener is just as much of a social responsibility than an environmental one. Creating environments that connect communities has positive social and economic impacts.
To improve the community in your area, you could engage local people through events, allowing them to use your space, employ more people from within the community and purchase supplies from local businesses.
5. Go Super Green
What says green building more than a bit of greenery? Construction is the number one killer of natural biodiversity. Existing buildings will have likely destroyed some of the natural environment that it was built on, but there are ways to offset this.
Many green buildings install green walls, either externally or internally, to encourage wildlife back into cities. You could also plant a bee-friendly garden in any outdoor space, bring agriculture back into urban life through vertical vegetable gardens or campaign to preserve natural areas within your city that are at risk of being built on.
It Feels Good to be Green
We hope we’ve given you enough ideas to help your building become more sustainable. If you’re looking for a super simple solution for your business, why not join a global collective of organisations who have become a Pure Air Zone?
By installing a suite of air purification solutions that naturally neutralise pollution and contaminants, you’ll be keeping the people within your business safe, make your building greener and make a positive impact on the planet!
Are you ready to start cleaning the air in your environment? Book a call with one of our air quality specialists today and start your journey!