Today is Earth Day – a terrific reminder of the importance of sustainable designs and that green building is at the forefront of many conversations in the MEP industry. RTM strives to provide sustainable solutions from incorporating LEED principles to recommending what plants work best in an office cubicle space.
In celebration of Earth Day, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite eco-related blog posts:
It’s important to keep in mind how the space will be used once a project is completed. With commercial projects and renovations, office spaces need to incorporate trends that inspire production and retention, such as sustainability. In addition to lighting and ventilation systems, an easy way to make a space eco-friendly and more personal is to include plants throughout the space.
Taking the initiative to go green can be a challenging step. The up-front costs to make a building more sustainable are sometimes high, but the result of lower energy bills over time is worth it. To counter those initial investment costs, there are a variety of incentives offered by the U.S. government that encourage the development of energy-efficient green buildings including tax incentives, expedited permitting, grants and net metering, to name a few.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a points rating system to recognize green buildings. Plumbing is a significant factor in most projects and offers easy points toward achieving LEED certification for a modest cost. Some of the best changes to make include using smart fixture placement, installing Energy Star equipment and Water Sense-certified fixtures, harvesting and re-using rainwater, and heating domestic water with solar energy.
RTM was contracted in 2013 to provide the MEP design for an indoor vertical farm producing a variety of lettuce and herbs spanning three 30,000-square-foot demised process grow areas. The project required a deep understanding of temperature control with aeroponic and hydroponic systems, as well as appropriate HVAC and ventilation systems to moderate temperature fluctuations. To keep the project environmentally friendly, dimmable LED fixtures were installed and all of the humidity extracted from the air is collected and re-used in the hydration and fertilization process.