Sustainability is often taken as both a trend and a money pit. At a superficial view investing money in sustainability seems to be the equivalent as syphoning money from the bottom line for no real purpose. While this is partially true from a certain point of view, we believe that incorporating sustainable design actually has more benefits than by disregarding it.
In this article, we will talk about the perks that sustainable design has to a developer, a development organization’s brand, the public, and the property owner.
This is the ninth article in our ongoing series about high-performance commercial development projects. In this series, we will cover such topics as: the components and benefits of high-performance design, the effects that high-performance design has on your development organization, and the effects that it has on the final product. If you have found this article of use, you may like to take a look at the rest of the series.
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Sustainable design adds value to a building in a number of ways. Among the reasons, incorporating sustainable practices means that the building’s systems are more efficient and therefore use less energy. Less energy means a smaller power bill and less repairs.
Another way that it increases value is by combining sustainable practices and efficiency, which means that a building is more durable: it’s lifecycle is increased and its resale value increases.
One final way that sustainability adds quality is by increasing tenant’s well-being and health. The construction materials and daylighting used in sustainable projects are better for the occupants, create a higher quality of indoor air and an increased sense of well-being.
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Brand enhancement and protection
As we covered in our last post, sustainability affects a development organization’s brand positively in several ways. Sustainable practices, by adding quality and showing social responsibility, enhance a development organization’s brand by communicating a positive brand image through the organization’s most direct brand communications channel: the building itself.
It also protects the brand by maintaining a standard of quality and avoiding occupant dissatisfaction and post-occupancy litigation.
Pleasing the community and neighborhood
Sustainability pleases the governing body and the public. The knowledge that a development organization is taking steps in order to create a high-quality, low waste, and long-lasting product that also complement its neighborhood means that the governing body and the public will be more likely to work alongside any development project in the future and not against what they see as perceived harm to where they live, work and play.
Little bonus here: many governing bodies offer tax rebates for incorporating sustainable design. Talk to your architect about the tax rebates that could be offered depending on the county your site is in – it is most likely worth your time to consider the options.
Showing responsibility as a businessman is an admirable trait. This does not mean that you need to lose money, but rather that choosing a target yield and creating a high-quality product is a better method of development than striving for the quick “in and out” at every turn. In the long run, even if it redirects profit back into your brand in small quantities throughout individual products, this style of developing will create a strong and profitable future for your development organization and higher returns in the long view.