Green Building Practices for Energy Efficiency With Alaska Structures

From construction to operation, “green” building practices are more prevalent than ever. Green buildings for commercial, industrial, and governmental use are popping up in all 50 states as well as worldwide — and the trend shows no signs of slowing down. 

Statista reported that 47% of firms worldwide will dedicate more than 60% of their projects to green building designs by 2021. Green building construction has grown from 27% to 47% since 2015. 

A green building is one that efficiently uses energy and other resources while protecting occupant health and reducing waste, pollution, and environmental degradation according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The push to “go green” means the spigot of grant money is open and flowing. As a result, there are many available grants that you can easily search and apply for.

Finding a Green Building Solution

If you're in the market for a new building, you’re probably already looking at different kindsof structures that can help save more of your organization’s hard-earned money.

One of the easiest ways to reduce expenses is with an energy-efficient structure. You’ll cut down on lighting, heating, and cooling expenses. In some cases, you could even earn tax breaks or rebates.

Retrofitting an existing structure for better energy efficiency is one option. Building a new metal, wood, or brick-and-mortar structure is another choice. However, both are often expensive and time-consuming.

Alaska Structures® offers a better solution. We’re committed to environmentally responsible building practices, and our fabric buildings reflect that commitment. Our tension membrane structures are environmentally superior alternatives to wood structures, metal buildings, and brick-and-mortar buildings, and they set the standard for energy efficiency. 

Our fabric buildings are engineered for safety, long-lasting durability in extreme environments, can be installed as a permanent building solution or taken down and easily relocated.  Engineered fabric buildings from Alaska Structures, once installed are virtually maintenance free. You’ll save time and money in the short term thanks to our rapid construction and installation timelines, as well as in the long term due to our high-quality materials and maintenance free building solutions.

Skylight materialsallow the use sunlight during the day to cut down on lighting costs.

Roofs

The roofs of fabric buildings offer a high solar reflectance, high thermal emittance, and translucency to allow in natural light. These properties alone can lead to reduced energy consumption when heating, cooling, or lighting a fabric building. Unlike metal roof systems, roofs made of a tensioned fabric membrane are resistant to corrosion, meaning no leaks or drafts from rust.

As Alaska Structures project manager Kevin Cullen puts it, “Metal, wood, and brick-and-mortar buildings don’t allow for natural light to come through the roof, and that means they need to use electric lights for illumination, which uses more energy.”

What’s more, using a high-quality  fabric membrane that allows in natural light can add a point or more to a building’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) score.

Mild Environments With Insulation

Choosing an eco-friendly tension fabric building from Alaska Structures can also cut down on heating and cooling costs. Fabric buildings maintain interior temperatures that are usually 15°F cooler than exterior temperatures in the summer and 15°F warmer than exterior temperatures in the winter. 

The need for HVAC is lowered and sometimes even eliminated due to our reflective fabrics that reduce roof heat and keep interior environments comfortable.

Save even more energy and money when you add Alaska Structures' proprietary EnerLayer™ and SuperLayer™ insulation. You can add any R-value insulation you need to your fabric membrane structure.

EnerLayer™ provides a 35% reduction in heat required to maintain 70°F at -25°F ambient temperature. It also provides a 22% reduction in air conditioning needed to maintain 70°F at 125°F ambient temperatures. Lean manufacturing and recycling of the EnerLayer insulation system cuts down on manufacturing waste.

Our SuperLayer™ insulation system is another smart choice to obtain maximum energy efficiency. It features an antimicrobial batting material made of 30% recycled components, and the external layer is impermeable to moisture with soil release properties and an inherent ultraviolet (UV) light inhibitor. The interior fill is made of 100% recyclable material.

Lighting

Alaska Structures can design your fabric structure to include energy-efficient plug-and-play lighting systems, including occupancy sensors to ensure that you’re not illuminating an empty room. We offer a large assortment of fabrics, some designed to allow an amazing amount of natural light to flow in, and we can also add skylights and side panel windows if desired.

Environmental Control Units (ECUs) and HVAC Systems

Adding an energy-efficient 16 kW heater, a military-grade Alaska ECU™, or HVAC system from our wide range of product options is another way to keep more of your organization’s hard-earned revenue where it belongs!

Denali Building System

From workshops to warehouses, or offices to housing, our energy-saving product options are available in each of our fabric buildings. We also offer the eco-friendly Denali Building System™, which sets the standard for green fabric structures.

The Denali Building System™ is a green building for  remote camps and operations needing an environmental responsible and relocatable solution . The Denali Building System  has virtually no environmental impact because they have minimal to no foundation requirements, reduced logistics for assembly and installation, and high-grade energy-efficient designs.

It’s possible to use a Denali Building System™ for 30 years or more and remove the infrastructure with no environmental impact.

The Denali Building System from Alaska Structures leaves no environmental impact.

The interiors of Denali Building Systems™ feature motion sensors in hallways to avoid wasting electricity. This leads to a smaller carbon footprint than competing buildings. 

“The interior walls of the Denali Building System are made of a foam core and extruded aluminum,” Cullen says. “The foam core helps reduce heat transmission and noise pollution, and the aluminum is 100% recyclable.”

Recycling Programs

Alaska Structures utilizes lean manufacturing processes and has extensive material recycling programs that significantly reduce waste. Additionally, our modular fabric building designs allow for easy installation while cutting down on waste associated with traditional construction methods. 

Installing an Alaska Structures portable building could gain you a point on your LEED score due to minimal waste during the building process. 

Alaska Structures rotomold container for compact transport of fabric buildings

We also offer rotational-molded (rotomold) containers for shipping that are reusable across multiple projects. Our ability to create low-cube packaging options for shipping allows us to deliver more products in less space, reducing our overall carbon footprint.

Contact Alaska Structures for Green Fabric Building Solutions

For more information about Alaska Structures’ commitment to environmental responsibility, or how we can create an energy-efficient fabric structure that fits your organization’s needs, contact us today. Email us or complete our online inquiry form to request a quote.