Natural Resources Defense Council BUILDING GREEN FROM PRINCIPLE TO PRACTICE
Home Build Your Business Case Set Your Budget and Goals Adopt a Whole-Building Approach Apply Sustainable Building Strategies Capitalize on Your Achievement
CHOOSING YOUR SITE

If you're constructing a new building, think carefully before making any decisions about location, orientation and shape, since these elements will have lasting impacts on the overall costs and savings of your project.

By locating your business in or near an urban area, for example, you may have to pay more to buy or lease the land, but proximity to mass transit, shops and restaurants will be a strong selling point for prospective tenants, buyers and employees.

On the other hand, if you choose to build on an undeveloped plot, you may save money on land costs, but other expenses associated with development in more rural areas, such as the installation of a water and sewerage system, the addition of transformers and the extension of natural gas and electric distribution lines, can really add up.

In addition, you can save up to 30 percent on your energy bills by choosing an orientation and shape for your building that will optimize solar heat gain and loss. If you're building in a warmer urban area, you can combine this strategy with features such as a planted roof to help control the heat island effect.
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TOP THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Choosing Your Site
Maximizing Water Efficiency
Saving Energy
Making Smart Use of Materials and Resources
Safeguarding Indoor Environmental Quality
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Detailed Strategies: Choose a Sustainable Site »

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