How green is your building?

Most building owners have learned by now that increasing a structure’s energy efficiency helps keep utility costs under control. But an efficient building also means you’re helping your community by reducing carbon emissions and supporting sustainability – not a bad thing for a business owner’s image.

The move toward greater sustainability and energy efficiency isn’t going away. To that end, the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System will continue to grow in importance as the nationwide benchmark for design, construction and operation of efficient buildings. Whether you have an older building in need of upgrading, or you’re planning new construction, awareness of the LEED rating system can help guide you in these areas:

  • Sustainable site
  • Materials and resources
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Design innovation

It shouldn’t be surprising that the commercial door or storefront you select for installation could be an important factor in contributing to achieving a higher LEED rating. For instance, installing a steel door can help boost credits toward a LEED rating, in that steel is a recyclable material. What’s more, steel is durable, so that a building’s lifespan is extended, reducing waste, and the need for further transportation of materials.

A garage door with insulation inserts might also boost a building’s LEED rating, perhaps by using recycled materials for the insulation as well as boosting the R-value of the door and reducing heat transfer.

Or, installing a door with glass inserts may earn credits because the inserts improve indoor environmental quality by connecting a building’s occupants to the outdoors while reducing the need for electrical lights. Further, credits might be obtained by installing a glass storefront with glazing materials that allow natural light to enter, while allowing building occupants a direct line of sight to the outdoors without obscuring or frosting on the windows.

Because commercial buildings in the United States use one-third of our total energy output (two-thirds of our electricity and an eighth of our water), the building industry continues to lead in developing and promoting sustainable design nationwide.