Why is Florida so behind in LEED?
And 3 ways to make your Sunshine State building more eco-friendly
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released their rankings for the top ten states in LEED certifications for 2015. Demonstrating the best in sustainable design and transformation, Illinois came out on top for a third year in a row, while Maryland and Massachusetts followed a close second and third respectively. But one state that’s not on this list is Florida.
The Sunshine State still lags behind on LEED certification, possibly due to the often expensive sticker tag on designing new construction to LEED standards. This often includes pricy renewable materials and energy-optimizing equipment. But a bulldozer isn’t the only way to boost your building’s sustainability. Several practical and thoughtful strategies that can be applied to increase your property’s eco-functionality. Check out these three ways to improve your building’s environmental friendliness.
Energy produces the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. To reduce your energy output, consider more affordable retrofit options for your energy guzzling systems. Update your lighting fixtures with new models that provide better lighting quality for a fraction of the regular energy needs. Air conditioning can be improved with retrofits such as air-side economizers. This takes outside air to cool inside without the use of an HVAC compressor. These changes also have the added benefit of utility savings in the long run.
Waste Not, Want Not
The recent headline-making droughts in California has highlighted the importance of water conservation. In commercial spaces, pumping water throughout a building can rack up heavy energy costs. For typical office buildings, installing low flow faucets and retrofits on toilets, such as dual-flush conversion devices, can easily enhance water efficiency. Regular maintenance also becomes more important than ever. Your daily water conservation goals could be flushed down the drain with one flooding toilet.
Contracting a LEED-based cleaning service is the best way to guarantee a chemically safe working environment for your tenants and employees. Your cleaning company should be using green-certified products such as Green Seal, EcoLogo, Safer Choice and GREENGUARD that can clean and sanitize without noxious residues. A good provider will also support your building’s recycling program, ensuring that the recycling depots are maintained and regularly cleared out – encouraging others to participate with an accessible and organized system.