Today, many successful businesses have caught on to the benefits of “going green.” It no longer is a trend, but a practice that has sustained momentum to become a major component in the way companies conduct good business. You can see it in their marketing pitches, product lines and annual reports. Sustainability is as much the design of a successful business at it is the built environment, and inextricably interwoven.
As business owners and consumers become educated to the benefits of sustainable design it becomes another business success factor. Just as consumers have come to demand green products, they also are demanding that companies operate green. In today’s age of unfettered access to information, corporate operations, especially the largest, are carefully monitored. If the consumer learns something that does not align with their values, the company pays the price. It is the smart business leader who takes action to make sure the sales needle is pointed in the right direction as they respond to new trends and many are doing it well.
In comparison to the average commercial building¹:
- Green buildings consume 26% less energy
- Green buildings have 13% lower maintenance costs
- Green buildings have 27% higher occupant satisfaction
- Green buildings have 33% less greenhouse gas emissions
- The cost per square foot for buildings seeking LEED certification falls into the existing range of costs for buildings not seeking LEED certification².
¹GSA Public Buildings Service (2008). Assessing Green Building Performance: A Post Occupancy Evaluation of 12 GSA Buildings
²Davis Langdon (2007). Cost of Green Revisited: Reexamining the Feasibility and Cost Impact of Sustainable Design in the Light of Increased Market Adoption.
Packaged goods giant, Proctor & Gamble, is seeking the top spot as a leader in sustainability. They successfully responded to and launched environmentally friendly products such as “Green Works” and a “Future Friendly” lineup. To continue their push to win over consumers and investors alike, they are currently undergoing a sustainability audit of their suppliers, vendors and other business partners to examine their sustainability practices. They’ve also undergone building performance audits to find opportunities to be greener. P&G knows that if it’s important to their consumers, it needs to be a priority for the way they do business.
The largest American-owned spirits and wine company and Luckett & Farley client, Brown-Forman, publishes their Corporate Responsibility Report online, which includes their plans and examples for sustainable business practices. The report covers the company’s Energy & Greenhouse Management, Waste Minimization & Material Selection, and Water Quality & Conservation. It even touts their use of solar panels for its California operations and their green roof at their Louisville facility, claiming it “reduces the building’s heating and cooling demands.”
Another Luckett & Farley client, Yum! Brands, the world’s largest restaurant company, knows firsthand the importance of sustainable design as good business. They’ve been working for the past two years to reduce energy consumption of their U.S. company-owned restaurants and doing so “achieved total annualized savings of 60,000 metric tons of CO2. The savings - equivalent to 10,700 cars being taken off the road or eliminating the energy use of 4,400 households - benefited shareholders as well because Yum! saved $17 million in energy costs.”
At the end of the day, that’s what we do as architects and engineers at Luckett & Farley. We find solutions to help reduce operating expenses for the people who hire us to design, commission or audit their facilities. If we’re not providing that value, what use are we to our clients? They’re not environmental activists, but businessmen and businesswomen who realize that if there are low-cost ways to increase productivity, decrease employee absenteeism, mitigate turnover and lower operating expenses, they want Luckett & Farley to provide them with sustainable strategies to garner a piece of the action. Sustainable design makes the best use of resources in a cost-effective way that
brings value to our clients.
Luckett & Farley is a leader in sustainable design with more multi-disciplined LEED™ accredited professionals than anyone else in the area. This depth of expertise allows us to mine every opportunity for our clients, allowing them to maximize their savings potential. We equip our professionals with the latest technology to design for the greatest efficiency and can demonstrate to a business owner the exact benefits they can receive.'
Our experience designing for sustainability includes LEED certifiable buildings locally and across the country. Two local projects currently on track for LEED Gold certification include the 200,000sf renovation and addition for the University of Louisville School of Dentistry and the new Transit Authority of River City Bus Maintenance Annex. Luckett & Farley is also currently designing IU Southeast’s new Education & Technology Building, which will be LEED Silver, and scheduled for occupancy in 2012.
Each client has its goals and we work with them to find the best solutions, which may not be represented solely on reducing resources. Studies attest to the fact that even the proper use of natural daylight alone can boost morale and reduce employee turnover because of the psychological benefits that one can get in an environment that’s more in tune with the way God intended it to be, taking full advantage of what the world has to offer us. After all, would you rather be in a room that is washed with natural daylight or lit with a bulb? It’s a better feeling for everybody. It’s proven to just make good business sense!