The ROI of Sustainable Intelligent Buildings

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Over the past 30 years, the use and function of buildings have changed dramatically. As a society, we are becoming progressively more aware of and concerned with sustainability, as well as our shared, livable future. That’s why many people today are looking to be in a city where they can live, work and play in the same area, if not the same building. In addition to convenience, people are concerned with their health and long-term well being.

These factors make a tall order for any building, or building owner, to fulfill. This is exactly where sustainable intelligent buildings enter the environmentally-conscious equation – and restore balance to it.

Focus on Sustainability Considering Costs

Designers and architects creating sustainable intelligent buildings today take into account occupant health and well being. Their goal is generally to make built spaces that are better, safer places to live and work. When building owners are considering renovating old structures or constructing new ones, sustainability is a central focus, but cost plays a large role as well.

Common questions and considerations about green buildings include:

  • What’s the business case?
  • What’s the cost?
  • What’s the return on investment?

Green Buildings Have Great Return Potential

The global green building market is estimated to reach $980 billion by 2023. There is a lot of return potential in the world of sustainable intelligent buildings. Savings can be realized in energy costs, fewer greenhouse gas emissions, higher occupancy rates, and lower operating costs.

The ROI of green buildings can be seen in these stats:

  • Smart buildings with integrated systems can realize 30–50 percent energy savings in existing buildings that are otherwise inefficient. (ACEEE, 2017)
  • Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) systems can reduce AC-to-DC conversion power loss by 15 percent compared to poorly designed systems. (U.S. Department of Energy, 2017)
  • Sustainably designed buildings release 36 percent fewer CO2 emissions compared to the national average. (U.S. General Services Administration, 2011)
  • U.S. LEED-certified projects command 3.7% more in rent, have 4% higher occupancy rates, and 5.6% higher tenant renewal rates than noncertified buildings. (Commercial Property Executive)
  • New green buildings have a 14% lower average operating cost. (Dodge Data & Analytics)
  • There is a 7% increase in asset value for green buildings over traditional buildings. (Dodge Data & Analytics)
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The Role of Sustainable Cable in Green Buildings

Being green doesn’t mean having to construct an entirely new building. Sustainable cable can help any building “go green” to become more environmentally-friendly. It can also help earn credits toward sustainable building certifications such as LEED, WELL and Living Building Challenge.

Sustainable cable acts as the building’s central nervous system, interconnecting its smart devices – for access controls, lighting, occupancy sensing, and networking – to create an efficient, dynamic built environment that is customizable and easy to manage. With it, the sustainable intelligent building becomes a thinking, living structure that can take into account human health needs and then respond to them with one of its various, interconnected systems.

In the end, green buildings benefit everyone – the owner, the designer, the builder, the occupants, and the environment. That’s why our team is dedicated to the cause of supporting sustainable intelligent buildings. We believe that the technology that connects the world should also respect it.

A Partner in Sustainable Cable

From connecting energy-efficient smart lighting to full-on sustainable intelligent building solutions, Superior Essex has partnered with numerous other sustainability-minded, technology-forward companies to help everyone reap the benefits of going green.


The opinions expressed in this piece are solely Superior Essex Communications'. They do not necessarily represent WESCO’s views. 

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