The construction process on a commercial property is a one of the bigger expenses; however, it’s not always the biggest expense long-term. It’s important to consider the maintenance and operational cost of a property in order to be financially responsible. When designing a space, it’s important to consider the long-term maintenance required including building upkeep, utilities, cleaning, grounds and parking. Constellation Energy estimates that building owners spend an average of $2.15 per square foot annually for routine building repairs and maintenance alone. It’s imperative to factor these costs in when constructing.

Let’s look at ways you can design a low maintenance commercial space in order to keep annual costs of upkeep low.

  1. Consider the size and shape of your build project.
  2. Utilize multi-purpose space.
  3. Utilize natural light.
  4. Consider LEED certification or requirements.
  5. Utilize smart landscaping.

Consider the size and shape of your build project.

An architect will assist in creating a functional design that maximizes both the size and shape of your build. According to billwarch.com, rectangles and squares are the most economical to construct. They are also easier to maintain. Squares and rectangles produce buildings with less wasteful space.

Utilize multi-purpose space.

In the design phase, it’s important to consider the use of the space. For example, consider if every floor needs a common meeting area or if one meeting space can be utilized for multiple floors. Additionally, current trends indicate that open workspace requires less maintenance and provides greater functionality in the work environment. Allowing for one common meeting area per floor may be necessary, but should be carefully considered since walls and partitions increase building and maintenance costs. Each tenant will then share the cost of the common meeting areas.

Utilize natural light.

Natural light is especially beneficial as it reduces energy consumption, improves working conditions and has positive health benefits on building occupants. While natural light and the use of windows will naturally require window cleaning, the benefit of the natural light offsets the cost. Exposure to natural light throughout the day is important for health and productivity because it generates vitamin D production in humans. Even internal walls made of glass panels are especially helpful because the building will feel more open throughout.

Consider LEED certification or requirements.

You can read more about LEED here and here. While certification of a building may be more challenging, meeting some of the LEED requirements as you build is definitely attainable. Meeting LEED requirements in construction will also be better for the environment as well as helping with maintenance costs long-term. LEED buildings are energy efficient and use less water and energy.

Utilize smart landscaping.

Depending on the location of your commercial project as well as the square footage to cover, xeriscape, hardscape, artificial turf and native species plants and trees should be utilized. Xeriscape is designed to utilize minimal water. Hardscape is a concrete path that can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing in addition to minimizing maintenance. Artificial turf allows for green grass year-round if that’s something that matters to you, but there is some maintenance required long-term that should be factored. Always use native species of plants and trees no matter how much you’d love to use something else. The upkeep required for non-native species simply doesn’t outweigh the cost.

At Weaver Realty we work with clients every step of the way to ensure your project is beautiful, efficient and low maintenance. Call us today to find out how we can help you with your commercial project at 904-733-0039.