Green energy is more than a social movement, it's become a business in its own right - one that helps your client, the planet and even you. As the green movement catches on in more businesses and homes and becomes an essential part of our lifestyle, consider making suggestions for energy-conservation and environmentally-friendly design when consulting with your clients.
Whether residential or commercial, there are a number of options for energy-efficiency. Consider these four suggestions for your client's home or office.
1. Eco-friendly lighting. Everything from open plan design to energy-efficient light bulbs and fixtures can help make an office environment bright and eco-friendly. While fluorescent lighting won't fit a home environment, various Energy Star certified bulbs and lamps can help your client save on costs and give the planet a hand. Suggest new LED bulbs for top-of-the-line efficiency ratios.
2. Radiant heat. Central heat is essential in the winter, but it relies on ducts that are unused during other parts of the year. Not only does this negatively impact air quality, but it's a less efficient heating method compared to radiant heat. Radiant floor heating is an eco-friendly way to heat your client's home or office from the ground up and it fits under a variety of floor styles, from hardwood to concrete to carpet. There are a number of other radiant heat options as well - for melting driveway snow, defogging mirrors and even private under-desk heaters.
3. Energy-efficient kitchen appliances. Although we typically think of dishwashers as home amenities, they also have a place in office break rooms. Extremely quiet and energy-conservative dishwashers are available for corporate or home kitchens. Energy Star also certifies a variety of other appliances found in either environment, from refrigerators and water coolers to dehumidifiers and ceiling fans.
4. Good computer habits. While most homes have an average of three to four computers, offices can have anywhere from 50 to 500 or more. The government's Energy Star program certifies computers for their efficiency, but that only goes so far if most of the computers in an office or home are left on overnight. While some design elements can help save your client a lot of money on the electric bill and decrease a home or corporation's carbon footprint, it's mostly an individual's responsibility.