Monthly Archives: June 2014

Green Building Certification Made Easy

class-g sustainability plaqueMany organizations and businesses today are becoming more environmentally aware than ever before. Clients and potential investors, too, are beginning to favor organizations that facilitate green building initiatives and sustainability measures. Earning a certification for fostering an eco-friendly environment is important for many organizations. With the help of Class-G, you can easily gauge the sustainability efforts of all your locations and earn certifications to demonstrate it online.

Maximize and Promote Sustainability

Thanks to the various tools and resources provided by Class-G, it’s much easier to develop a comprehensive approach to sustainability for virtually any organization, especially those with multiple locations as these are even more difficult to manage. With Class-G, companies can acquire valuable insights about how to boost your environmental efforts and receive recognition for your organization’s pre-existing facility eco-friendly endeavors. Your organization’s positive endeavors will be also published online by Class-G, alongside hundreds of other prominent, green-certified locations.

Fair, Simple and Affordable Certification

In as little as 60 minutes you can get a measured evaluation of the sustainability of each of your locations and be certified immediately. After completing a 100+ question checklist regarding your organization’s environmentally-friendly initiatives, a sustainability score will be calculated. Once completed, a plaque will be sent to you to proudly display at each location. While LEED certification demands overwhelming prerequisites to qualify, and an onerous amount of time and talent to accomplish, earning an objective certification through Class-G is a straightforward, efficient process.

No Costly Renovations Needed

Earning a LEED certification often requires thousands of dollars in renovations to any one location. Other times, LEED requires that a building be constructed to very particular standards before even being considered to qualify. For many organizations, this can be difficult if not impossible to accomplish, especially if the facilities are in existing buildings. With Class-G, your organization is evaluated by factors such as energy, water and waste reduction, air quality, materials used and more. The use of green building materials for roofing, insulation or infrastructure will also help you earn a higher rating. Simply using CFL light bulbs or recycling everyday office materials should be lauded and rewarded.

The best part is that you don’t need to spend an enormous amount of money to do a comprehensive sustainability evaluation. With Class-G, everything can be done online. Class-G aims to ensure every organization receives the recognition they deserve for improving the environment. Any effort, big or small, is worth applauding.

Showcase your commitment to a better environmental future by earning a sustainability certification through Class-G. You will attract new clients, employees and investors to your organization by simply helping to make the world a cleaner, healthier place. Moreover, you will identify dozens and dozens of sustainability initiatives that you can accomplish in any of your locations that will save you money. Besides saving the planet… saving money is what sustainability is all about.

Latest Developments in Green Energy Technologies

Solar panel and eolic system on green park

Today, the quest for green certification is at the forefront of national media and political debates. With suppliers and consumers alike becoming more environmentally focused, the current energy market is expanding to reduce reliance on fossil fuel technologies. Government schemes and incentives encourage industry leaders to follow green certification initiatives in order to reduce the national carbon footprint. As technology advances rapidly, there are a number of options which come to the forefront of the discussion.

Solar Energy

Harnessing the energy emitted by the sun is not a novel concept. However, it has taken a significant amount of time and research in order to refine this energy source and increase its efficiency. Currently, there is a significant push in harnessing solar energy as the Government intends to reduce the investment tax from 30% to 10% in 2017. As such, solar energy is nearing grid parity in various parts of the South-West, where the natural climate and sunlight exposure lends itself easily to the installation of roof panels. Across various parts of Nevada, California and Arizona, solar energy is currently priced at $65/kWh, which is a significant decrease in price from levels throughout the 90s.

Biofuels

Investors’ interest in biofuels has fluctuated rapidly over the years, due to an inconsistency in the research and development of such fuels. However, there has been vast improvement in the quality of ethanol biofuels due to significant involvement from the USDA and various universities. Interest in crops such as Jatropha (In 2007 Goldman Sachs cited Jatropha curcas as one of the best candidates for future biodiesel production) continues to rise, indicating a significant global investment in biofuels.

Energy Efficiency at Home and at Work

As public knowledge of climate change grows rapidly, many suppliers are finding ways to increase

Within the workplace, the Better Buildings, Better Plants program aims to challenge industry to achieve green certification with ambitious targets. Over 120 partners and 1,750 plants are involved in the program, each committing to reduce energy use by 25% by 2023. energy efficiency in homes and workplaces. The ‘Smart Meter’ allows consumers to easily manage their energy use in order to keep a tab on their expenditure. However, despite the installation of over 30 million Smart Meters nationwide, the concept has not been as successful as intended. Rather, the inclusion of broadband meters, allowing connected home service and lower costs, has vastly outperformed these meters as customers are responding to the possibility of a communal home service.

Collecting Rain Water for Lawn Irrigation Systems

green building rainwater

Green building is a concept that includes a collection of practices meant to reduce whole-building costs and environmental impact through better site selection, design, construction, operation and maintenance. Over the past few years, these practices have significantly expanded, complementing the classical concerns regarding building utility, economy, durability and comfort.

Although most technologies focus on creating greener constructions, new advancements are constantly being developed to help both organizations and homeowners reduce waste, environmental degradation and pollution so that impressive economic, social and environmental benefits can be achieved. One of the best examples of green building practices is rainwater harvesting.

Why Collect Rainwater for Lawn Irrigation

Rainfall replenishes much of the water we use. However, we are still going to face a global water crisis in the near future, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. High population growth rates, rapid urbanization, fast-paced economic development and climate changes, characterized by higher temperatures and lower precipitation amounts, are the most important factors behind groundwater depletion.

Nowadays, world governments make massive efforts to find new, inexhaustible sources of fresh water. To support these efforts, a recent hydrological study conducted by the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension attests that, by harvesting rainwater, we will be able not only to reduce the use of drinking water for various domestic, industrial and agricultural purposes, but also to minimize the devastating effects of drought, rainfall runoff and nonpoint source pollution. Rainwater collection also allows groundwater to recharge. Since groundwater protects the environment against climate changes, adopting techniques to increase groundwater recharge is another essential green building practice.

Rainwater Harvesting Methods

Rainwater harvesting systems are divided into two main categories: passive and active. Passive systems are actually small barrels placed at the end of downspouts. Active systems often include pumps, which supply water to distribution systems. Although rainwater is non-potable, it can be safely used for lawn irrigation and washing cars. Some active systems incorporate water treatment technologies, which make rainwater safe for washing, toilet flushing and evaporative cooling.

Rainwater harvesting systems can be connected to different distribution systems for lawn irrigation, such as direct systems, which pump rainwater directly to draw-off points, and gravity systems, which can switch to drinking water when the rainwater supply is depleted.

In conclusion, green building is not only about sustainable design and construction; it is also about integrating the latest technologies in building design to ensure rational use of natural resources.