Sustainable strategies used for commercial buildings range from energy-saving to the holistic approach addressing wider environmental issues such as water use, selecting sustainable materials and carefully managing waste.
- Renewable energy
Renewable energy helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by absorbing carbon dioxide. Examples of renewable energy include solar photovoltaics (PV) and small wind-power technologies.
- Green roofs
Roof-top planting lowers greenhouse gas emissions by absorbing carbon dioxide, helps reduce and treat stormwater run-off, and provides an attractive environment for the occupiers.
- Rainwater collection
Collected rainwater can be used to flush toilets or water landscaped areas. Using rainwater minimises mains water use, reduces flood risks, and saves on energy costs required to pump water up into the building.
- Passive heating and cooling
Insulate using materials with good thermal mass properties to reduce energy used for heating and cooling.
Ensure maximum daylight use and install energy-efficient light bulbs and sensors regulating the brightness as required.
- Electronic technology
Controls for heating and cooling bring significant savings. User interfaces, such as screens showing occupants how much energy the building is using, can raise awareness and influence positive behaviour.
- Fine tuning
Make sure that building systems work efficiently so that water and energy is not wasted.
- Construction waste
Use an environmental management system to reduce, reuse and recycle waste, and to control stormwater and sediment run-off.
For large-scale developments, sustainability should be addressed from the beginning of the design process. Tell the design team what is required before they begin work. Many decisions are made about a project in the first 10 minutes of the first meeting.
New Zealand Sustainable Business Network
The business network helps business owners learn about their options and how they can benefit:
The Sustainable Business Network