Small Changes, Big Impact
- Apr 20, 2017
By Heather Mund, Marketing Coordinator
Buildings account for almost 40 percent of national CO2 emissions in the United States, according to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Buildings also account for large amounts of water use globally and construction of projects can create waste when materials are not sourced or transported sustainably.
Green buildings have a reduced impact on the environment and are more economical than traditional options. Because of these benefits, the green building sector is growing at a rapid rate. At Beck, our sustainability team works to keep up with this evolving trend and has helped over 100 buildings achieve LEED certification. Beck’s long-term strategy is primarily guided by the AIA 2030 Commitment. We want to strive to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions in the projects we create and the way we work.
As an integrated firm, we have 221 LEED accredited professionals. These accreditations have provided our employees expertise in the green building market so that they can design and build buildings that are healthier for the environment and the people that occupy them. One-hundred percent of our projects are focused on collaborating early and in most cases utilizing energy modeling software to influence building design and performance.
Our industry is about creating spaces for people to build communities, learn, work, play and live. Because so much of our time is spent indoors, we are seeing a focus on the wellness and health of people. We have developed best practices for architecture that include, water use reduction, energy reduction and giving preference to building materials that contribute to a healthy indoor environment for building occupants.
We are in the process of developing best practices for our construction services and currently create waste management plans on each of our projects in order to help divert construction, demolition and land clearing debris from landfill disposal and incineration whenever possible.
Office best practices are something that we all can commit to every day to help reduce building’s impact on the environment.
Our Dallas and Fort Worth offices use 100 percent renewable power from wind and over the last six years we’ve reported our emissions as a company through the Carbon Disclosure Project and have made significant improvements. In Tampa, our office has solar panels on the roof to help power the building.
We reduce our kitchen waste by providing employees with plates, bowls and cups that can be washed and reused instead of paper or plastic versions that have to be thrown in the trash. Recycling bins are placed at desks and throughout common areas and printers default to double sided print. Employees are encouraged to walk to work, use public transportation, or carpool if they have the ability to do so. Office lights have been replaced with LED and the most efficient fluorescent lighting available.
Small Changes, Big Impact
Being sustainable doesn’t have to mean making sacrifices in design, building materials, and office comforts. New best practices and a focus on wellness allows our work to have an even more positive impact on the people occupying spaces we create and the environment in which they live.