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This team is required to work together from the beginning in order to seek an integrated design. Innovative design is developed to meet energy, environmental, and social goals at the same time keeping costs within budget. The team can include many strategies that would increase first costs via their collective, interdisciplinary analytical capability. The team can include some expensive sustainable features which meet environmental goals as well as reduce operating costs by remove unnecessary features such as expensive finishes. In a green building design project, tradeoff exercise is conducted. This can be achieved by trading off the cost of optional features against the cost of features that will result in the improvements of energy, environmental or social. Concentrating on integrated design and evaluating tradeoffs will have a lower or same cost compared to a more traditional building. Some design and construction strategies which a team can use to reduce first costs are shown as following:
Optimize site and orientation
Re-use/renovate older buildings and use recycled materials.
Reduce project size
Eliminate unnecessary finishes and features.
Avoid structural overdesign and construction waste
Fully explore integrated design, including energy system optimization
Use construction waste management approaches
Decrease site infrastructure
Concrete with slag content or fly ash
Carpet with recycled content
Low-emitting paint and recycled paint
Certified wood products
Energy-Related Features of the Visitors Center
Energy cost saving
A building's energy costs can be effectively minimized using a wide a range of building design methods and technologies available. Integrating the architectural and mechanical features of building is an important concept in sustainable design to lessen energy use and decrease cost while maintaining comfort. When the most cost effective holistic system can be designed, the integration is best done during the very early stages. The annual cost savings result in lower lifecycle costs although some energy efficiency strategies have a higher first costs.
Furthermore, innovative entrepreneurs introduce latest products that reduce excessive energy consumption and have short paybacks. For instance, a device reduces the electricity consumed by vending machines up to 46% with a payback period 1 to 2 years while maintaining the proper temperature of the food.
Moreover, commissioning is another important aspect of achieving energy efficiency in new building. This refers to the justification and
Annual water cost savings
Water efficiency can be achieved using several technologies that decrease indoor water consumption such as no-water urinals, ultra-low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators and dual-flush toilets. Facilities can also lower drinkable water consumption by using:
using nonpotable water for productive uses. For example, using rainwater harvesting system that harvest rainwater or treat wastewater for re-use in various other applications in the buildings,
better energy systems,
re-circulating water systems,
leak detection and repair,
Various water-saving approaches are available including site-specific techniques and process-oriented technologies. However, the following measures are very cost effective:
Cooling towers are one of the largest water users for large office buildings, hospitals, and industrial facilities. Dissolved solids remain in the system and build up over time as water is evaporated through the tower, requiring water to be purged from the system through what is known as "bleed-off." Maintaining water quality is important in saving water in cooling towers and decreasing bleed-off. Proper water quality can be maintained and bleed-off and water consumption can be reduced by chemical treatment, side stream filtration, and ozonation.
Boiler and steam systems are always found in central plants, hospitals, large office buildings, barracks, and industrial process plants. Water use in these systems can be reduced by proper maintenance of steam traps and condensate return.
Leak detection and repair of water distribution systems can provide large water savings with very quick payback. Water losses and operating costs can be reduced by such systems and understanding of system operating characteristics can be increased.
Lower Costs of Facility Maintenance and Repair
Green building designs seeks to enhance durability and ease of maintenance. Cost of scheduled maintenance, repair, and eventual replacement will e reduced by easy access. The methods below can also reduce annual maintenance costs using sustainable design:
Maintenance and repair costs can be reduced using durable, long-lasting green materials. For example, cement companies have tested fly ash and slag concretes and found that, if properly cured, they have greater strength and durability than concrete made from normal Portland cement.
First rate durability according to some vendors is offered using low-emitting paints.
Designing buildings with areas for efficient and convenient collection of recyclable materials, such as paper, plastic, and glass, can reduce annual waste disposal costs.
Labor costs for maintenance is reduced using fluorescent lamps. These lamps last about 10,000 hours as opposed to 1,000 hours for incandescent lamps. Thus, about 10 lamp changes are avoided by using fluorescent lamps.
A roof's lifetime can be prolonged by lightening roof colour.
The need to replace carpet is reduced by using recycled carpet tiles that can be removed and replaced individually.
Lawn mowing, fertilizer use, and irrigation are usually decreased by using sustainable landscaping techniques and has short payback periods.
Lower Absenteeism and Improved Productivity
Building dwellers respond to some features of green buildings by working more productively, making fewer errors, and being absent less often, hence reducing labor costs.
Figure below shows that, as a fraction of total expenditures, labor costs in the government far exceed construction, energy, or other annual costs, so measures that positively influence worker performance and absenteeism rates could have a much higher financial impact than energy efficiency or other measures affecting operating costs.
Lower Cost of Dealing with Complaints
Building maintenance engineers spend hours dealing with complaints when building occupants are uncomfortable. Green buildings that have well-designed HVAC and control systems that have been specially made are less possible to experience comfort problem.
Less time dealing with complaints bring about more time to complete preventive maintenance tasks, increasing equipment longevity and reducing operating costs overall.
Decreased Risk, Liability, and Insurance Rates
Building owners and operators deal with a wide range of risks which are particularly troublesome and costly in mission-critical governmental activities. Those risks may be partly mitigated by green building design.
â€¢ Property loss prevention.
Some sustainable building technologies decrease the probability of physical damages and losses in facilities. For instance, the chances of property damage from flooding, mudslides, and soil subsidence are reduced by sustainable siting. The risk of ice-dam formation on roofs is reduced by competent thermal envelopes and reduction in losses from lower-level lighting or thermal distribution systems located above ceilings.
â€¢ Business interruption loss prevention.
Unintended power outages and improperly designed or maintained HVAC systems can trigger temporary closure of facilities, resulting in interruption of operations and relocation costs. Using onsite energy generation resources and energy-efficiency features, these business interruption risks is reduced.
â€¢ Hedge against energy price and cost increases.
Energy is a major part of facility operating costs. The chances of budget overruns from unexpected energy price spikes can be reduced by energy-efficient design that reduces overall consumption.
â€¢ Natural disaster awareness and recovery.
A range of energy-efficient and renewable technologies make facilities less exposed to natural disaster events, such as heat catastrophes, which are a particularly high risk for centralized operated low-income housing. Well-insulated attics, natural ventilation, and heat-reflective roofing materials can significantly lower indoor temperatures during heat waves, averting hospitalization or loss of life. Using triple-glazed windows can lessen the threat of fire-related losses.
Greater Building Longevity
Many principles of green building design lead to longer building lifespan and better flexibility of the building for future uses that cannot always be foreseen. Total construction costs will be lower over the long run if buildings do not have to be regularly demolished and replaced. For example, keeping a building's initial form simple will make it easier to change as needs develop.
Ease of Siting
The natural environmental advantages of a green building will decrease its bad environmental impacts and enhance its acceptability to regulatory bodies, the surrounding communities, environmental groups, and other interested parties. These benefits will be likely to lower both the time delays and the cost related with siting the building. Gaining early respect and support from a community can greatly boost up project approvals.