Are you planning renovations or repairs to your building? If so, it’s a great time to take advantage of innovative ideas that will help you improve your building’s Eco Performance. Here are some things you can do to make your buildings more environmentally friendly.

There are now plenty of eco- and health-friendly options for insulation. One of the latest is a soy-based polyurethane spray-in foam that expands to fill cracks and provides an airtight seal with high thermal resistance.

Some batting insulation products are now made from postindustrial cotton and denim fibers that contain no chemical irritants. Some blown-in insulation is now odor- and formaldehyde-free. There’s also alternative fiberglass insulation that resists mold and is formaldehyde-free, as well.

More property owners and managers are considering eco-friendly materials like slate, metal, composite, or recycled plastic and rubber. These materials offer superior fire and impact resistance and are available in a wide range of colors.

Some manufacturers are now selling shingles made from 100 percent recycled vinyl and cellulose fiber that resist fading and are fire retardant. Other shingles are being made from 98 percent post consumer recycled metals. They look just like wood but will never warp, crack or mold.

Windows and Doors
When replacing windows or doors, look for low Ufactor ratings (the measurement of a window’s heat flow). Average Ufactor values range from .25 to 1.25. An always-effective way to reduce energy loss is by sealing air leaks around windows and doors with caulk.

Consider dual pane glass with argon chamber and patio doors with double and triple pane glass to cut down on heating and cooling loss. There are now wood windows and doors manufactured using water-based treatment that decreases Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), a key cause of indoor air pollution.

Talk to Tenants
Put together a list of energy saving hints that are not only eco-friendly, but will also save your tenants cash. Print the list, display it at various locations on your properties, and post it to your web side. Ideas include such as:

  • Installing faucet filters to avoid using plastic water bottles. If the faucet is older, use a filter pitcher to achieve the same results. Use stainless steel bottles when on the move.
  • Unplug cell phone charges, coffee makers, and other items you only use for short periods of time. They draw energy even if not in use.
  • Turn thermostats down in winter and up in summer. A difference of only two degrees can save significant amounts of carbon emissions. Wearing a sweater in the winter is free.
  • Wait until you have a full load to turn on washing machines or dishwashers.
  • Cover large windows with thick drapery or shades. This reduces heat loss in winter and keeps sunlight out in summer, which will reduce AC costs.

Operating a green building is good for the environment, your tenants, and your business.