Eco-friendly (green) building is becoming increasingly popular each year!
In honor of Earth Day this month, we’ve decided to take a closer look at the most common practices and benefits of Eco-friendly design and construction. Whether you’re building new, or overhauling an existing structure, there are many ways to implement Eco-friendly building practices into all types of designs.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says “Green building is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Green building is also known as a sustainable or high-performance building.”
Rich & Associates is committed to our environment and to responsible sustainable design. In every project we design, sustainability is always a leading program criteria. We take great pride in having played a part in the design of several LEED / GREEN Certified parking structures including;
Blue Cross – Blue Shield Parking Structure, Detroit MI.
City of Traverse City – Old Town Deck, Traverse City MI.
LEED Silver Certified
Washtenaw Community College Campus Green Parking Structure, Ann Arbor, MI.
LEED Gold Certified
Ames Intermodal Facility, Ames, IA.
LEED Silver Certified
Some of the most common Green building practices are:
- Using sustainable building materials like recycled glass and steel.
- Installing energy-efficient windows and doors.
- Using lower-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and stains.
- Constructing green roof systems (aka “plants on your roof”) that offer many benefits, including on-site gardens, rainwater management, and protecting your roof from the effects of harmful UV light.
- Adding water harvesting and purification systems that don’t just manage, but also make the most use of rainfall.
- Maximizing natural light, which cannot only save on lighting requirements (and subsequently energy costs), but also help keep buildings warmer during the colder months.
- Using renewable energy to power the building—for example, installing a commercial solar panel system.
Benefits you will get from a Green building:
- Reduced energy costs while efficiently reducing trash, pollution and degradation of the environment.
- Efficiently using energy, water, and other natural resources.
- Reduced operating costs.
- Enhanced indoor environment quality.
- Low maintenance and operation cost.
- Reduced carbon footprint.
At Rich & Associates, sustainable design is not just what we preach, it is also what we practice in our own parking structures. Through our affiliates, MEDPark and MEDPark Management, we are also involved in the development and management of parking structures. While some of our projects were completed before sustainable design was widely practiced, today we are upgrading our facilities to improve their operating performance and lesson their impact on the environment. We are always looking at ways to improve accessibility to reduce vehicle idling thus carbon emissions.