Green Technology – 4 of the Latest Advances in Office Buildings

June 3, 2015

Sustainable, environmentally friendly options have become exceedingly important in the world. Green technology has provided improvements in various industries, from transportation to architecture. The latest advances in commercial office buildings offer many eco-friendly advantages:

1. Recycled/Sustainable Insulation. Fiberglass is hardly an environmentally friendly choice for insulation, yet it has been the old stand-by for as long as we can remember. Innovative new builders are looking toward recycled and sustainable materials for insulation. Recycled denim can be used to create rolls of fire-retardant insulation that replicates fiberglass, but without the dangerous fumes. Sustainable options for insulation include prefabricated panels filled with straw, hemp, and flax. They do not require any chemicals and because the filling is fast-growing, they are a fantastic option.

2. Electrochromic Glass. Energy-efficient windows usually increase energy efficiency by using multiple panes of glass or filtering an abundance of light into the room. However, electrochromic glass actually uses electricity to change the opacity of the glass, therefore assisting with heating and cooling. Nanotechnology allows hair-thin ceramic plates between the glass to change from translucent to opaque with an electric charge. This glass offers many benefits, from easing the burden on HVAC systems and eliminating the need for blinds and shades.

3. Photovoltaic Panels. Solar panels have come a long way-the latest in solar technology far surpasses those giant panels you’ve seen stuck to roofs. Photovoltaic panels are used when building a structure, and are an actual part of the structure itself (not added on afterward)-therefore they can be used anywhere on a building, not just on the roof. Semi-transparent panels can be used in place of windows. The versatility of these panels allows for a vast surface area of a building to be solar charged. An office building using photovoltaic panels could literally generate its own electricity.

4. Living Walls. Living walls offer both functional and visual benefits to an office building. Garden systems built on walls and roofs control heating and cooling costs by offering additional insulation. They also improve air quality (making them a great solution even indoors) and absorb rainwater (curbing runoff). Living walls can be created using panels filled with soil, and can be modified depending on the types of plants they are holding.

These advances in green technology are helping to create a whole new world with buildings using sustainable energy and recycled resources. Please feel free to contact us for assistance with your office space needs.