Cost-Effective Solutions for Facility Upgrades

Cost-Effective Solutions for Facility Upgrades - Lee Company

When you own or manage a commercial building, many responsibilities fall on your shoulders. And many of those responsibilities are interconnected — the safety of your occupants, preventing issues that can disrupt operations, and ultimately driving sales and revenue. All of these hinge on the proper maintenance and upkeep of your facility. If your property is falling behind, it’s time to consider some cost-effective solutions for facility upgrades.

Below, our Lee Company experts have gathered practical and budget-friendly strategies for upgrading your commercial building. Each of these capital improvements not only enhances the functionality and appearance of your facility but also contributes to property value, tenant satisfaction, and ultimately the success of your business.

Energy-Efficient Commercial Lighting

One of the most impactful upgrades you can make to your facility is switching to energy-efficient lighting. Traditional incandescent bulbs not only consume more electricity but also have a shorter lifespan and require frequent replacements. This results in higher energy bills and maintenance costs.

On the other hand, LED lighting offers significant benefits such as longer lifespan, lower energy consumption, and improved lighting quality. According to Energy.gov, switching to LED lighting can save up to 75% on energy costs and last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. This translates into thousands of dollars in savings for your business.

In addition to these cost-saving benefits, LED lights also offer better lighting design options. This is especially important in facilities like:

Commercial HVAC System Improvements

Another crucial consideration for facility upgrades is improving the efficiency and performance of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. These systems account for 44% of energy consumption in commercial buildings — making them a prime target for cost-saving measures.

Energy-efficient systems are known for their higher operational efficiency, which typically leads to less frequent breakdowns and lower HVAC maintenance demands. This savings gives you more wiggle room in your budget to invest in other aspects of your facility.

Upgrading to an energy-efficient HVAC system can also improve indoor air quality and occupant comfort. Improved ventilation systems can reduce the spread of pollutants and allergens, creating a healthier environment for employees and customers. This translates into fewer sick days and better productivity among employees, and increased customer satisfaction.

If a full system replacement just isn’t in the budget, there are still low-cost maintenance practices that can help improve the efficiency of your current system:

  • Regular filter changes to improve airflow and reduce strain on the system.
  • Keeping vents clear of obstructions for proper airflow.
  • Scheduling regular tune-ups and inspections to catch any potential issues before they become costly problems.
  • Sealing air leaks in ductwork and improving insulation to reduce energy waste.

Lee Company’s Facility Maintenance Plan makes it easy and affordable for you to stay on top of these important tasks.

Integration of Smart Building Technology

With the rise of technology in every aspect of our lives, it’s no surprise that commercial properties are also embracing smart building technologies. These systems offer numerous benefits, from energy and cost savings to increased efficiency in building management.

One of the most significant advantages of smart building technology is its ability to optimize energy usage. By automating tasks such as lighting and temperature control, these systems can reduce energy consumption and costs on a daily basis. A study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) revealed that monitoring and automation for just your HVAC systems, lighting, and window shading can lead to remarkable energy savings of 30-50%!

Moreover, smart building technology offers an unparalleled level of control and visibility into your facility:

  • Remote access to monitor and control building systems from anywhere, at any time.
  • Real-time data and analytics for more informed decision-making.
  • Customizable alerts and notifications for early detection of issues and potential cost-saving opportunities.

But what about the cost? When it comes to implementing smart technology, there are affordable solutions available for buildings of all sizes.

And you don’t need to overhaul your entire building at once. Consider simple improvements like:

  • Smart thermostats that automatically adjust temperature settings based on occupancy and time of day.
  • Motion-sensor lighting so that lights are only used when needed.
  • Automated window shades for efficient natural light management.
  • Smart plugs and outlets to monitor energy usage and turn off unused devices.
  • Occupancy sensors to optimize heating, cooling, and lighting in unoccupied areas.
  • Leak detection systems to identify and address common commercial plumbing problems and potential water leaks before they become costly issues.

Interior and Exterior Enhancements

When someone drives into your parking lot or walks into your lobby, what impression do they get? Are they greeted with an inviting atmosphere and well-maintained premises, or do they notice peeling paint, outdated fixtures, and overgrown landscaping?

Curb appeal is crucial for attracting and retaining customers, tenants, and employees. It shapes their entire impression of your business.

But a commercial renovation can be costly and disruptive. So how do you modernize a commercial building on a budget? By investing in small, yet impactful upgrades.

Exterior Commercial Property Improvements

  • Update exterior lighting with energy-efficient LED options to improve visibility and safety while reducing energy costs.
  • Repaint the building’s exterior for a fresh, attractive look.
  • Repair any cracks or damage in sidewalks and parking lots for improved safety and aesthetics.
  • Enhance landscaping by removing dead plants, adding seasonal flowers, and maintaining healthy trees.
  • Install outdoor benches and seating for a more welcoming atmosphere.

Interior Commercial Property Improvements

  • Upgrade lighting to energy-efficient LED options for lower utility bills and better lighting quality.
  • Replace old, worn-out carpet with new, durable flooring in high-traffic areas.
  • Give walls a fresh coat of paint for a clean, modern look.
  • Update restroom facilities with touchless fixtures and features.
  • Enhance break rooms and common areas with comfortable furniture, plants, and artwork for a more inviting atmosphere.

You’ll be amazed at how these minor updates can transform your building’s appearance and enhance its appeal to customers, tenants, employees, and even future investors.

Sustainable Construction Materials for Commercial Buildings

If you’re considering a large commercial building renovation or new construction project, the materials you choose can make a significant impact on the long-term sustainability and efficiency of your property.

And if your bottom line is a top priority, you’ll be pleased to know that sustainable construction materials offer several practical and tangible benefits, especially for business owners and facility managers focused on safety, operational efficiency, and revenue growth:

  • Enhanced Safety: These materials often exceed standard safety requirements and have a lower risk of toxic emissions.
  • Cost Savings: Durable and low-maintenance, sustainable materials can significantly reduce long-term repair and replacement costs. Improved insulation and energy-efficient upgrades lead to lower utility bills.
  • Increased Property Value: Sustainable buildings often attract higher market values and rental rates.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Building codes are increasingly focused on environmental sustainability. Eco-friendly construction materials can help you stay ahead of increasingly strict environmental regulations.
  • Positive Public Image: Using sustainable materials boosts your brand’s reputation and appeals to environmentally conscious consumers, tenants, and investors.

How to Upgrade a Commercial Building on a Budget

If cost is the main factor holding you back from making much-needed upgrades to your facility, it’s important to remember that sometimes, small changes (like many of the ones above) can make a big impact. But there will be investments that require a larger budget, so it’s important to plan and prioritize.

Capital planning can help you prioritize which projects to tackle first, while also identifying areas of your building that may be costing you money in the long run.

For example, your HVAC system may be outdated and inefficient. Given that 44% of the energy consumed in commercial buildings is used for heating, cooling, and ventilation, upgrading to a more modern and energy-efficient HVAC system – while a large investment – can yield substantial savings in energy costs. It also provides a more comfortable environment for your tenants, employees, and customers.

Cost Management Tips for Facility Upgrades

To effectively manage costs during facility upgrades, consider exploring options like government rebates for energy-efficient installations. These rebates can significantly offset the initial costs of upgrading your commercial property.

Currently, under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), commercial building owners and facility managers can benefit from tax deductions for energy-efficient upgrades. Key details include:

  • Eligible Upgrades: Interior lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, hot water systems, and building envelope.
  • Savings: $0.50 per square foot for 25% energy savings, increasing by $0.02 per square foot for each additional percentage point, up to $1.00 per square foot for 50% energy savings.
  • Additional Benefits: An increased maximum deduction applies if local prevailing wages are paid and apprenticeship requirements are met.

The IRA can make upgrading to energy-efficient systems more financially viable while offering significant cost savings in the long run!

***Lee Company is not providing tax advice. The content on this webpage has been prepared for informational purposes only. You should consult a tax professional if you have questions regarding federal tax credits.

An energy audit can also be a great tool for identifying initial areas of energy waste and inefficiency within your building. This can help you target the specific upgrades that will have the most impact on reducing operational costs.

Finally, working with a reliable and experienced commercial contractor can also help you find the most cost-effective solutions for your specific needs and budget. Look for a contractor with expertise in energy-efficient upgrades, building automation, and renovations that can help you save money while improving functionality, aesthetics, and overall property value.

Financing Options for Your Facility Upgrades

If budget constraints are still a concern, there are various financing options available to help you invest in facility upgrades without straining your financial resources. These options include:

  • Energy Efficiency Loans: Low-cost loans that can be used for energy-efficient improvements.
  • Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing: A type of financing that allows property owners to pay for energy-efficient upgrades over a longer period of time through an assessment added to their property tax bill.
  • Energy Performance Contracts: A financing option where a third party (such as an energy service company) pays for the upfront costs of equipment and installation, while you repay through guaranteed energy savings.

At the end of the day, investing in facility upgrades is a smart and necessary move for commercial building owners, business owners, and facility managers. With the right planning, budgeting, and financing options, facility upgrades can be completed in a cost-effective way without sacrificing quality.

Professional Facility Management and Maintenance Services

Along with making necessary upgrades, it’s also important to implement low-cost maintenance practices for your commercial property. Partnering with a professional facility management company helps you keep up with routine maintenance tasks and address issues before they become more significant (and expensive) problems.

A facility maintenance contract also allows for better budgeting and cost control, as it eliminates the risk of unexpected repairs or replacements.

Lee Company offers reliable and cost-effective facility management services for commercial properties across Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, and Georgia. Our team of experts provides comprehensive maintenance and repairs for all commercial building systems, including HVAC, plumbing, electrical, general maintenance, and more.

With our help, your building can operate smoothly and efficiently, saving you time and money on operational costs. Contact us today to learn more about our facility management solutions and how we can help you save money while keeping your commercial property running at its best!

Want to learn more about facility upgrades?

CALL US NOW AT 615.567.1000