Design & Construction
Most of us know there are some real benefits. We all understand the advantages of using recycled materials, seeking alternative fuel and power alternatives and other eco-friendly building options. But, do they really save us money? Or, more to the point, do they cost more to implement than they end up saving?
The Gold Standard
By Being Being Green
Here’s what every building and business owner should know about green building certifications.
In 1990, the world’s first green building rating system, BREEAM, was launched, and with it, what would become an industry-wide push toward improving the environmental performance of both old and new buildings.
Shortly after BREEAM was launched, the United States Natural Resources Defense Council, along with scientists, architects, engineers, developers, builders and the US Green Building Council, began work on what would become America’s first major green building certification. From the time it was first introduced in 1998 until today, this certification has grown to a comprehensive system and a “gold standard” for the industry.
LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design)
The most well-known green building rating system in the world, LEED certifications act as proof that a building has been constructed or modified in such a way “that ensures electricity cost savings, lower carbon emissions and healthier environments for the places we live, work, learn, play and worship.”
The higher the ratings earned, the more “points” a structure accumulates, which can translate into cash through incentives, municipal credits, savings on building materials, salvage/recycling, repurposing construction “waste”, the ability to charge higher prices and additional benefits.
Compellingly, a 2008 study found that 56 percent of builders felt that it was easier to market a “green” house rather than one of standard construction, while 60 percent of builders agreed that consumers are more likely to buy a “green” home.
However, the benefits of infusing eco-friendly products and practices into businesses and buildings don’t stop with the LEED Certification. Business and building owners can take their “green ROI” to the next level with the WELL Building Certification
Developed by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), the WELL Building Standard is “a performance-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.”
Often described as “picking up where LEED drops off,” WELL guidelines were cited in a 2016 Forbes article as having transformed the workspace at drug giant, McKesson, from one that was “overcrowded, inflexible, technologically outdated and lacked daylight” to one that “extend(s) wellness beyond physical health to emotional and social support.”
Get Green to
Improve Your ROI
So, is there a fairly simple, sustainable, creative, even beautifully inspiring way to improve ROI using LEED and WELL Building Points as a guide?
From extreme hurricanes to daily sun exposure, weather can do some serious damage to our homes and businesses. And, until about 10 years ago, it was believed that having plants growing on the side of your building was similarly harmful to its structure.
However, studies conducted at the University of Oxford found that ivy growing on a building’s walls actually protected it by acting as a thermal shield from extreme temperatures. Instead of promoting more cracking in the walls of these historic structures, the ivy actually prevented cracks from forming in the first place.
Like the University of Oxford’s ivy plants, outdoor living walls not only look beautiful — they protect your buildings, too.
Create your happy space
Encourage wellness and cultivate care by inviting nature back in.
Life's too short to skip the charming, nature vibe.
A natural environment brings people together.
The Cost Reduction &
The same Oxford study found that ivory-covered walls increased the wall temperature by about of 15 percent in cold weather and reduced the surface temperature in hot weather by an average of 36 percent.
Other studies of outdoor vegetation in urban environments indicate that plants and foliage growing on the outside of buildings — also known as living walls or vertical gardens — help to increase shade, so there’s less of a need to run indoor air conditioning, reducing energy costs.
Outdoor living walls also help to reduce runoff from rainwater, contributing to better water quality, and the plants absorb harmful pollutants in the atmosphere, offering improved air quality.
Ready to Bring Your Space to Life?
We'll connect you with a Sagegreenlife Project Manager to learn more about your living wall project.