Top 10 green building tips

Green building tips

Photo credit: pjan vandaele via photopin cc

To really change society, we all need to push green development forward. Here are some ways to do that:

1. Ask yourself if there’s any reason not to build green.

2. Involve affected parties early in the process so you can incorporate their opinions and concerns into the solution, rather than try to find remedies afterwards. Turn suppliers into partners so you can best utilize their knowledge, experience and enthusiasm.

3. Take the entire lifecycle of the building or structure into account during planning. The operational cost of a building over time has traditionally been much more than the initial cost of construction. And look at new financial planning models that support long-term value rather than the lowest cost in the short term.

4. Consider the financial and social benefits of how building green can improve human health, wellness, productivity, social equity, diversity and inclusion. These attributes have the potential to dwarf the beneficial impacts of saving carbon, energy and water, and are relatively easy to quantify.

5. Think long-term flexibility to avoid the high costs and environmental impact generated by rebuilding when having to respond to evolving space needs.

6. Be open to innovative and elegant solutions. Consider the local conditions, local materials and utilize leading technologies. State-of-the-shelf technologies elegantly deployed can transform building today.

7. In the planning and design process, keep the four R’s in mind: reduce, reuse, recycle and recover.

8. Define your own plan for the Deep Green journey and make it visible. Start now. Communicate the strategy and operations so everyone involved understands their necessity, and what they need to do. Consider the impact that the occupant and facilities management team has on building performance and inspire all of your building stakeholders to think greener.

9. Consider the positive effects of green building on the brand equity of your company.

10. Again, ask yourself if there’s any reason not to build green.

Elizabeth Heider

Elizabeth Heider

Chief Sustainability Officer, Skanska USA

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Kendall Everett June 30, 2016, 5:47 pm

    I love the reminder you give to remember the four R’s when planning and designing. There is no better way to go green than follow the four R’s as much as possible. Having someone else view your plans to see if there is any other way to go green may help you to know that you didn’t miss anything.


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