One of the most popular trends in new construction and renovation is green building, an effort to be more environmentally friendly and reduce energy costs. This is especially important in industries where facilities tend to use more energy, such as healthcare facilities. However, transitioning to a green facility is easier said than done. If you plan to engage in a green building or renovation project, it is important that you are aware of federal green standards. In the U.S., the dominant standard is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating. Commercial buildings that are LEED certified have lower operating costs and provide a healthier and safer work environment for occupants. They also allow owners to qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives.
Here are 3 tips for starting your Green Building:
Choose an Experienced Contractor
Make sure that the contractor you choose has experience building and designing according to LEED standards. One of the most common problems occurs when a contractor cannot deliver on the promised design, leaving the client with a building that does not meet LEED standards or impact energy usage to the degree expected. Do your research before choosing a company and be sure to check all of their references. Compare several options before finalizing your decision.
Make sure that everything is put in a contractual form when working with a contractor. If the job is not completed according to your specifications or up to the standards promised, you can hold that contractor liable. Green building is expensive, so you want to make sure that you receive the proper return on your investment. You also want to make sure that your contractor and sub-contractors are properly insured in case of a problem.
Building a new facility or renovating your existing one to incorporate green features is a huge undertaking. There are a few small steps you can take in the direction of efficiency & sustainability before building and renovating:
- institute a recycling policy
- use energy efficient products and machines
- reduce or reuse materials when it is practical and sanitary
- choose environmentally friendly sanitation products
Contact Carriage Trade Insurance if you have any questions about Business, Woodworking or Lumberyard Insurance.