Did you know that the residential and commercial sector represents the majority of energy consumption for all U.S. buildings? According to the Energy Information Administration in 2019, the amount of energy consumed by these two sectors was about 21 quadrillion British thermal units. In other words, the energy consumed in this sector accounted for 28% of total U.S. energy consumption that year. 

Inefficient energy use, contributing to the growth of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, is the primary cause of climate change. According to Architecture 2030, building construction and operations-related energy use account for almost 50 percent of total GHG emissions. Not only are the GHG emissions hurting the environment, but they are also hurting your wallets. Inefficient energy use can be quite costly for home and business owners.

Instead, a trifold balance can bring a comprehensive approach to sustainable design and building to help homes and commercial properties be more sustainable. Let’s take a deeper look to see how the commercial and residential sector is doing its part in creating sustainable practices!

Commercial Sector

There are a dozen factors when it comes to designing a sustainable commercial building. Luckily, as sustainability has become more pertinent, new materials and technology have given more flexibility to satisfy these high standards. Businesses have to then continue with these improved building practices, moving away from the more traditional methods and transitioning to more “green” practices.

For example, Pacific Bio-Foam is a new material on the market, shaping the future of sustainable design. Just as effective as other insulators, this plant-based polyurethane rigid foam is less harmful to the environment. Architectural film is also great for cutting energy costs and protecting from ultraviolet rays. This film can be put on windows to protect against these rays that can damage furniture and flooring in a workspace, making it look dull and worn out. It will also reduce a company’s heating and cooling costs by keeping out the sun’s heat and regulating the interior temperature.

Regarding commercial construction, prefabricated material is allowing builders have more control over the construction process, cutting time, money, and the environmental impact. Traditional construction can be extremely wasteful, with the process being very intense and having poor tracking on efficiency. An example of prefabricated materials is precast concrete, which has been created entirely in a factory setting, with little waste and no damaging impact on air quality. The cement can also be made from recycled materials, whereas traditional construction is known to create much more waste.

Residential Sector 

With an integrated design, sustainable residential landscape practices can improve the environment and also create a net-zero home, by eliminating the need for fossil fuel energy. A great way to do this is by tapping into the potential of landscapes. For example, residential green roofs and wall systems can reduce energy use and home heating/cooling. Some homeowners have used trees and shrubs to shade their home, as compared to more cooling/AC systems. 

Clean technology, like solar-powered LED outdoor lighting, or full solar panel electricity, has also significantly contributed to the sustainability movement. Landscape architects can help homeowners with this by doing an energy audit and identifying solutions for renewable power and reducing energy waste, like longer-lasting, energy-efficient light sources that reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Also, the use of skylights and other more natural light can reduce the demand for energy resources. Sunlight is free, remember that. Using the sunlight during the day helps reduce dependence on fossil fuels and helps your bulbs last longer.

With the benefits of energy-efficient technologies, research shows that multi-family housing and other shared infrastructure also helps to lessen water and energy uses, preserves natural habitats, and lowers transportation-related carbon emissions.

Overall, sustainability is a shared responsibility and the public, as a whole, needs to show interest in saving the planet. Even simple measures like using public transportation can go a long way in reducing your environmental impact. If both the commercial and residential sector does their part, it is possible to balance the curve and maintain a long and healthy environment for the future. 



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Located in Wood-Ridge, Bergen County, NJ, Young and Associates has over 30 years’ experience successfully managing residential and commercial properties in Northern and Central New Jersey.

Maintaining the highest standards of reliability and accountability, Young and Associates gives property owners peace of mind that comes from knowing their property is in trusting hands. Servicing properties primarily in Bergen, Passaic and Essex Counties, Young and Associates manages residential HOA communities, condos, co-ops and apartment complexes, golf courses and commercial properties.

Young and Associates now offers realty services through Young Realtors. Our licensed real estate brokers and associates can help you buy or sell your home. For more information about our services at Young & Associates, click here.

Young & Associates can be reached at (201) 939-8200.

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