As green building technology evolves, wasteful buildings become a thing of the past. But, despite recent developments in energy efficiency, there’s still work to be done. Many buildings still don’t perform like they should. (Looks like you have your work cut out for you.)
The demand for “green” buildings isn’t going away, so pull up a chair: Let’s talk building efficiency. In this post, we’ve summed up what contractors should know about green buildings, from the economic perks of energy efficiency to LEED® green building program and ENERGY STAR® requirements.
Earning More Green
Builders want to boost ROI without forking out capital funds. Constructing buildings that are more marketable, with higher rental income and improved returns for owners, can help builders improve their ROI. By helping customers meet their goals, you become a more attractive option. Besides winning more bids, you’ll pass savings to your customers in the form of tax rebates and zoning allowances.
Green Building Systems
There’s no question that LEDs are worth their weight in gold. The scientists who advanced energy-efficient LED lighting won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2014. Pope-approved LEDs even light up the Sistine Chapel. That’s right, you heard me: The Vatican invested $2.3 billion, including 7,000 LED lamps, to install an innovative new lighting system in the Chapel.
Besides energy-efficient lighting, here are a few more elements green builders look for:
- Energy-saving heating and cooling systems
- Water solutions to reduce waste, like low-flow fixtures, waterless urinals, dual-flush toilets, and infrared faucets
- Personal environment controls including heating and ventilation levels
- Energy-efficient windows and doors that better regulate temperature, and reduce heating and cooling costs
For a deeper dive into green building systems, check out this article.
Navigating ENERGY STAR
ENERGY STAR buildings are expected to boast low operating costs and high asset value. For contractors, understanding and adhering to ENERGY STAR certification helps you win bigger, better projects.
Graybar knows a thing or two about ENERGY STAR certification. At the risk of sounding like show-offs, we practice what we preach at Graybar. In fact, 27 of Graybar’s “owned” facilities are ENERGY STAR certified. If you need help navigating ENERGY STAR, drop us a line.
Managing LEED Projects
The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® green building program is the preeminent program for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of high-performance green buildings. Learn more at usgbc.org/LEED. If you don’t get clear on LEED goals with customers—and carefully evaluate LEED tasks before the bid—minor project changes quickly snowball out of control, and on your dime. In a previous post, we offered a few tips from a top LEED consultant to help you better manage green building projects.
In case you missed it, here are a few top LEED lessons from the pros:
- Review LEED expectations during the pre-bid: If your bid doesn’t reflect the work at hand, timelines get stretched out, profits do a tailspin, and everyone clambers to keep up. Guess who eats the loss?
- Get clear on LEED goals: Too many projects list a certain LEED rating as a project goal, not requirement. That kind of uncertainty doesn’t exactly compel the construction team to meet any level of certification. No one needs that kind of contractual ambiguity.
- Bring on additional expertise, where needed: Wading through the myriad of LEED requirements can be daunting. If you’re stuck, there’s no shame in asking for help. If you need a hand piloting LEED certification, drop us a line.
Over To You
About The Author
Todd Reed, National Market Manager
Husband to a professionally licensed architectural engineer and lighting designer (a.k.a. Lisa J. Reed) and son-in-law to an electrician, Todd knows the importance of efficiency, safety, and productivity for electrical contractors. Todd is a seasoned professional, with 5 years’ experience within a family-owned distribution business and 10 years as a Graybar employee. As National Market Manager at Graybar, Todd’s goal is to find the best products and solutions to help contractors work more efficiently, stay safe on the job, and win more productive and profitable business.