Nearly 18% of all US Energy Consumption is from commercial buildings. Investing in a green office building seems like the way to go these days – and for many reasons, it certainly is. EnergyandCapital.com reported about the newly green California EPA Headquarters Building in Sacramento, “Overall, $500,000 was invested in efficiency upgrades, operations, and employee practices. A total of $610,000 is now generated in annual savings.”
While this is merely one example, it’s the reason why so many are considering investing in a green office building. However, when putting a significant amount of money into a building for your business or to rent, you want to ensure that you will in fact be saving and potentially making money in the end. If you invest in a building that doesn’t actually qualify as a “green” you’ll miss out on the opportunity all together.
So, before signing a contract and filling up your new green office space, consider the most important details.
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What makes a building green isn’t just the design or over-all structure; there are a number of aspects that should be in place to make it a smart investment that will be worth the upfront expenses and provide you cost savings down the road. Consider the qualifications when choosing the right building.
- Ventilation: There should be an efficient use of airflow with the right sort of ventilation system. This is generally a mechanical system and can incorporate a number of elements.
- Site: The building can’t be built on sensitive land such as wetlands and groundwater recharge zones.
- Materials: Materials used to build the structure should be recycled, reused, adobe, rock or gravel or any other locally sourced material.
- Water: Low-flow toilets, for example, should be found in the building.
If choosing a building for your new business, be sure to keep your investors’ interests at heart. This can an expensive initial investment, and while most support the purchase/investment in an environmentally friendly building, others may consider it a waste of their money.
Many states offer rebate money for those businesses that choose to invest in a green building. These often come in the forms of cash incentives in accordance to state environmental initiatives. However, there are also a number of tax deductions, grants and credits you can take advantage of as well.
However, studies have found that less than 5% of companies are claiming their cash and incentives. Be sure to see what your building qualifies for so you can make the most of each penny spent.
Investing in an environmentally friendly building for your business space or to rent out is a smart idea, and one that is growing in popularity. However, in order to reap the benefits of tax deductions, grants, or rebates the building needs to be fully green certified. So, if you know what to look for, you can be sure that you’re getting into a truly profitable investment.