High “R” value (resistance to heat loss) insulation materials (walls and ceilings), which results in increased energy use efficiency.
Low “U” value (thermal transmission) rated windows/ storefronts.
Energy use monitoring (to verify performance). Use of sustainable finishes, such as renewable floor materials (example: bamboo floor boards or linoleum) and low-VOC (“volatile organic compounds”) finishes. Low-VOC paints, which are now available in many colors, perform very well.
Storage and collection of recyclables.
Read the fine print Make sure to read all landlord and municipal requirements carefully and understand the capital and operating cost implications, as well as the corresponding impact to the “look and feel” of your space. Look for these requirements in different documents that you sign: The main lease document. CC & R’s (Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions) that are private operating covenants mandated for all tenants. These are common if you’re part of a shopping center, and can cover items such as advertising displays on the sidewalks, outside seating and rules for trash disposal and collection. They have a similar purpose as private covenants you may have in your residential subdivision.
Landlord’s “Design Guidelines.” This document sets design standards for the shopping center and could include at least some green building elements. Signage colors and styles, awnings, and storefront design requirements might be addressed in this document.
The Tenant’s Work Letter (space build-out requirements that the tenant is obligated to perform). Examples of items typically covered in this document are HVAC units/systems (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), insulation and storefronts (example: type of storefront glass that is required to be installed).
Worth the investment? While improvements such as energy-efficient lighting and HVAC may require a larger capital investment, many retail tenants pay their own utility charges and will realize significant savings over the term of their lease. You can reduce any “green premiums” (the difference in cost between a green/sustainable material and traditional materials) by seeking out sustainable substitutes early in the design phase of your space. Selecting an architect or space planner who has
experience in designing sustainable retail spaces, as well as experience working with your municipality, is advisable. An experienced professional should also be knowledgeable about potential green building rebates, tax credits or other
cost savings that may be available from your state, county, city or various local utility companies. Dsireusa.org
is a comprehensive online database of state, local, utility and federal incentives that are available as a result of public policy efforts to promote energy efficiency. A green indoor environment is becoming increasingly
valued by customers. It may not be the reason someone initially visits your store, but it might be the additional motivation they need to become a loyal, repeat customer. The use of sustainable materials also creates a real opportunity to educate your customers. Whatever green elements you choose to incorporate, make their presence known as part of what makes your products and/or services special. This can be accomplished through a comprehensive in-store signage program that points out your energy saving features and use of sustainable materials and practices. This is a feel-good service, appealing to both adults and children. At the same time it will promote your business as a responsible member of the community.
Elizabeth Angyal is a real estate development expert with more than 25 years of experience managing the real estate plans of high-growth, multi-unit national tenants. She has worked for Fortune 50 companies such as Pepsi and McDonald’s as well as retailers and service providers such as FedEx-Kinko’s and Pep Boys. For more information, visit angyalrealtyadvisors.com
Green Your Store Now Sometimes the simplest ideas for conservation
can be the most powerful. Here are some green ideas you can implement in your store right away and with minimal expense:
Recycle the packing materials that you receive.
Use minimal packaging at your point of sale or use packaging made of recycled materials.
Give your customers the choice of a reusable bag (charge only to cover your costs) that has your business name or logo.
Replace your light bulbs with more energy-efficient bulbs, such as LED’s.
Shut down electronic equipment when not in use.
Install automatic lighting controls (on/off) to minimize energy use in areas such as storage rooms or restrooms.
Use programmable thermostats.
Use energy efficient products and equipment whenever possible (see energystar.gov
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