Implementing Green Building Design for Businesses In Australia

As people become more conscious of their environmental impact, green buildings provide an appealing and sustainable alternative to traditional structures. Implementing green building design for businesses in Australia can bring positive outcomes.  

There are numerous ways for facility managers to incorporate eco-friendly practices into their daily operations, such as using sustainable painting solutions or investing in energy-efficient products 

And, as global demand for green buildings and innovations grows, as does technological advancement, sustainable building practices become more affordable and accessible. So, what exactly are green buildings?

What are green Buildings?

Green buildings aim to minimize or remove harmful environmental effects through design and operation.  

They also strive to conserve natural resources while enhancing occupants’ overall quality of life. According to the World Green Building Council, several characteristics distinguish a green building: 

  • Efficient utilization of energy, water, and other resources 
  • Integration of renewable energy sources 
  • Implementation of waste reduction and recycling strategies 
  • Promotion of high indoor air quality 
  • Utilization of sustainable and non-toxic building materials and maintenance practices 
  • Incorporation of environmentally conscious design, construction, retrofitting, and ongoing usage 
  • Capability to adapt to changing environmental conditions

Why is Enhancing Building Sustainability Essential?

As the demand for eco-friendly companies, services, and products rises, building and facilities managers increasingly prioritize sustainability to ensure the long-term viability of their properties.  

According to the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). It is attributed to the various financial, productivity, and wellness advantages that sustainable buildings offer occupants, such as: 

Moreover, by taking the lead in implementing green building practices, you can gain a competitive edge over industry peers who have yet to embrace sustainable measures. 

While new constructions often tout Green Star certification and incorporate the latest technologies, sustainability is not exclusive to new builds.  

Benefits of Green Building

Implementing green building design

Turning your current building into a greener one using eco-friendly practices and features can significantly reduce how many resources it uses and how many greenhouse gases it releases.  

You can do this by upgrading your current building or using more eco-friendly ways to take care of it.  

Here are some benefits:

Helping the environment

Currently, buildings use about 40% of all the energy in the world and more than two-thirds of the electricity. This puts a significant strain on the environment. By making your building more resourceful and using less energy, you can help make the future better for everyone.

Saving money

Using less energy and water and managing waste more smartly can reduce the costs of running and looking after your building. 

Getting new tenants

Many people are looking for places to live or work that are good for the environment. If your building is eco-friendly, it can attract new people to rent or use it.  

Also, saving money on running costs and providing a healthier environment can make it even more attractive to potential tenants. 

Increasing property value

More and more people want to be in green, eco-friendly spaces, so the demand for these buildings is increasing. Because of this, your property’s value could increase, too.  

A study looked at office buildings in places like London, Sydney, and Melbourne and found that green-rated buildings could sell for up to 18% more than buildings without a green rating.

Improving your company’s image

Making your building greener is not just good for the environment. It also makes your company look good.  

People will probably see your company in a better light because you’re committed to being eco-friendly, especially if you get a Green Star certification 

This certification is known and respected worldwide, showing that your company cares about living responsibly in the community and beyond.

Benefits for Different Industries

Besides the general benefits, different industries can benefit from investing in green buildings. 

Eco-Friendly Hospitals

Green hospital buildings offer many advantages for both healthcare workers and patients. Studies like The World Green Building Council’s Business Case for Green Building show that patients in green hospitals tend to have better care.  

They spend 8.5% less time in the hospital, have 11% fewer secondary infections, and recover 15% faster. Patients also feel more relaxed, comfortable, and secure in sustainable hospitals.  

Hospitals that use green building practices are also more likely to get donations and funding because of their energy efficiency and efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.

Eco-Friendly Schools

Being environmentally friendly can attract new students and high-quality staff to schools. Schools that focus on eco-friendly design and methods create a better learning environment.  

It can improve a student’s academic progress by up to 25% throughout the school year. There are many ways to make schools greener, like using natural light and ventilation, which can improve student performance by up to 15% on tests and save energy.  

Eco-Friendly Commercial Buildings

Green commercial buildings can bring in higher profits compared to non-eco-friendly ones. The Australian Green Property Council found that green CBD offices could perform better than non-green ones, giving an average extra return of 10% annually.  

This is because they use resources more efficiently, reducing costs for running and maintenance.

Eco-Friendly Strata Buildings

Many Australians want to live in homes that are more sustainable and eco-friendly. The World Health Organization states that green homes can improve residents’ health and well-being by reducing respiratory conditions, allergies, heart disease, and stroke. 

Eco-Friendly Retirement Villages

Retirees are looking for residential communities that are sustainable, affordable, and promote a healthier lifestyle. Green buildings are more likely to attract buyers and give retirement facilities a competitive advantage over traditional ones.  

Make Your Existing Building Green

green building design

You can make your property better for the environment by implementing eco-friendly maintenance or upgrading parts of your building. 

Here are nine steps to help you make your existing building more sustainable.

Check the Impact on the Environment

The first step is to understand how your building affects its surroundings. It means assessing how your building impacts the environment, including its impact on nearby habitats and the conservation of the environment. 

Manage Sustainably

Ensuring your building lasts a long time and is sustainable is suitable for everyone involved. You can do this by managing your property to focus on sustainability. For example, energy-efficient methods can reduce how much maintenance is needed. 

Improve Indoor Air Quality

Ensuring the air inside your building is suitable for people’s health is essential. It equals having good ventilation and reducing particles in the air that can make people sick or uncomfortable.

Save Energy

Using less energy in your building is better for the environment and saves money for tenants and owners. You can do this by using renewable energy sources like solar panels, choosing energy-efficient devices, and turning things off when they’re not in use. 

Think about Transportation

Encouraging people to use greener ways to get around is essential for reducing pollution. This can include providing bike racks, offering public transport discounts, or having a shuttle bus service. 

Save Water

Using less water in your building means you’re not wasting this vital resource. You can collect rainwater and recycle water to ensure your fixtures are water-efficient. 

Respect the Environment

Think about how your building affects nature and the local community. You can do things like leaving wildlife areas alone and introducing recycling programs. 

Reduce Emissions

Cutting down on pollution is essential. This means using eco-friendly paints and collecting and filtering stormwater properly. 

Be Innovative

Being a leader in your industry means trying new things and promoting creative ideas that help the environment. 

Many of these steps are essential for getting a Green Star certification, which shows your building is sustainable. 

Green Star buildings use less electricity and water than regular buildings, and they’re cheaper to run because they’re more efficient.  

Green Building Rules in Australia

green building

In Australia, rules for green buildings are based on policies and codes that aim to lessen the environmental impact and make people healthier and happier.  

These policies want buildings to produce more energy than they use and create better communities for the environment through more innovative, more sustainable ways of building. 

Rating Systems and Certifications

Different rating systems give them approval to ensure buildings meet these goals. Here are two main ones: 

Green Star: This system, run by the Green Building Council of Australia, rates how eco-friendly fit-outs, buildings, homes, and communities are.  

It looks at nine areas for existing buildings, including management, air quality, energy, transport, materials, ecology, water, emissions, and innovation. 

National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS): This system, run by the NSW Office of Environment, rates how sustainable buildings are regarding energy, water, indoor environments, waste, and carbon neutrality.  

Do You Need Certification?

It’s up to building owners and operators to get certified, but a green building can attract tenants, students, patients, and residents. Certification shows that your building meets recognized standards for sustainability, which can improve your reputation. 

Also, check out Renewable Energy Certificates For Australian Business 

Government Help for Green Buildings

The government offers incentives to help make buildings more eco-friendly: 

Financial Incentives: Governments offer help like rebates, rate reductions, and grants to businesses that want to make their buildings more energy-efficient. 

Clean Energy Finance Corp (CEFC): This government agency helps businesses invest in clean energy by offering financial support for energy-efficient projects. 

Non-Financial Incentives: Many local governments approve faster building projects with sustainability measures. 

Want to make your business more sustainable? Contact Cyanergy right now!

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