Top 10 Affordable Green Retrofits for Commercial Buildings

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Commercial buildings use a tremendous amount of energy, water and resources, in their construction and in daily operations, but there are numerous ways to reduce environmental impacts and cut those costs at the same time.  The Environmental Building News just issued it’s top 10 affordable green retrofit strategies that are useful even if your building doesn’t undergo a professional energy audit or major operational changes.

  1. Fluid applied roofing products that can be applied over existing roofing to extend its life, increase reflectivity and reduce cooling loads.
  2. Solar-Control Window Films (like those used on the headquarters building for the American Institute of Architects, pictured here) which filter out the sun’s heat without blocking visible light.
  3. Entryway Track-Off Systems that will extend the life of indoor flooring, as well as help maintain good indoor air quality.
  4. Low-Flow Showerheads can save as much as 6.4 gallons of water per minute in older shower facilities.
  5. Dual-Flush Flushometer Valves will cut water usage and utility savings associated with toilet flushing (the largest single use of water in most buildings).
  6. Duct Sealants will help you stop throwing money out the window with those energy-wasting, leaky ducts.
  7. Condensing Boilers (okay, this one isn’t that cheap, but neither is the waste from conventional atmospheric-combustion boilers).  The GreenSpec directory can help you find a high-efficiency condensing boiler when replacement is needed.
  8. Lighting and Plug Load Occupancy Sensors will reduce lighting energy use.
  9. Energy Dashboards are great energy-saving devices.
  10. Use of LED Exit Signs is another way to reduce energy consumption.

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Tag(s): Energy, Greening the Office, Money Saving


4 Responses to “Top 10 Affordable Green Retrofits for Commercial Buildings”

  1. Charles V. Barlow on April 1st, 2009 9:26 am

    I would like to suggest that code compliant photoluminescent exit signs can also make a measurable contribution to reducing energy consumption in commercial buildings. Using NO energy is superior to that used by the most efficient LED signs.

    When installed in locations that have sufficient lighting to properly charge photoluminescent signs, there is ZERO energy consumption, and virtually no maintenance because there are no lamps, LEDs or batteries to replace. EverGlow manufactures aluminum exit signs with ZERO radioactive, toxic or vinyl components and they contain at least 60% post consumer recycled aluminum. They have a sustainable construction, help the structure qualify for 1-3 LEED credits, and last the life of the building.

  2. littlem on April 8th, 2009 9:18 pm

    Some great ideas.

  3. Top 10 Affordable Green Retrofits « Going Green @your library on April 14th, 2009 10:44 am

    […] Top 10 Affordable Green Retrofits April 14, 2009 Filed under: Ideas, building — filarwilliams @ 2:44 pm Tags: building, green, green_practices, library, retrofit From Green Strides Blog Post: […]

  4. Commercial Windows on June 17th, 2009 3:44 pm

    Having the right windows is a key component to any commercial project. Making sure you meet the requirements for green building, sustainable design and LEED certified projects is everything these days. Usiing films as a retro fit will help, but in that case replacement is the only long term solution.

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