The recent trend toward sustainable buildings is obvious in new construction as architects and contractors focus on using green techniques in the building process – as well as making sure the building follows eco-friendly standards in its usage. Renovations and additions follow this same concept. There are steps to be taken to make existing buildings follow the same opportunities of green living that are expected from new buildings.
Class-G is a self-certification platform that offers a way to measure and report the steps taken by a company or organization to improve the sustainability of their operating locations, leased or owned. This allows the company to track and improve sustainable actions across numerous locations and business holdings.
The Class-G certification process includes measurements for air and health quality systems, energy conservation, materials used, water management, waste reduction and “other” to include any measures not included within the other topics. Any commercial location can be certified for actions already in place and therefore see tangibly what areas can be improved upon to make a more environmental lifestyle for the building and the employees in it, as well as areas to save money!
This method gives credit to those companies that reuse existing buildings rather than tearing them down to build a state-of-the-art green buildings. Simple daily methods of sustainability can be used such as using less daily supplies of non-reusable materials and recycling the ones that must be used for the business to operate. Introducing fan systems to distribute warm air in winter or cool in summer or replacing older appliances with Energy Star fixtures are realistic and inexpensive ways to improve sustainability while reducing operating costs.
Of course, when renovations are made, they can be engineered to improve the sustainable buildings’ overall ratings by using the proper sustainable methods and materials. Even daily maintenance can be used as a way to slowly improve the building’s efficiency over time by incorporating sustainability techniques. An example would be to replace an old faucet rather than to continue repairing it regularly, and to replace it with one that conserves water.
All told, sustainably managed locations do not have to be difficult to accomplish. They don’t have to require expensive new building contracts or renovations. The key is for the company to introduce an emphasis on green living and insist on its use by their employees when they are at work.