With investment on the upswing, many building developers, owners, and managers continue to invest funds into new construction projects as well as renovations.

That makes this the perfect time for developers, owners, and managers to start thinking about sustainability, according to Stephen Ashkin, president of The Ashkin Group, a consulting firm working to promote green cleaning and sustainability.

Here, Ashkin provides his top five sustainability pre-construction tips:

Planned demolition. Sustainability begins in the demolition phase. Traditionally, old materials are hauled off to landfills. Planned demolition looks for ways to reuse or recycle these items.

Focus on long-term savings: When selecting new construction products, put more emphasis on how they will reduce costs over the long-term rather than on the initial investment. Solar panels, for instance, add to construction costs but they can reduce a building’s electric bill by as much as 75 percent every month for years.

Buy locally. Purchasing from local suppliers helps reduce the energy used for transportation. This reduces the amount of greenhouse gasses released into the environment and it helps the local economy.

Use newer construction equipment. Newer construction equipment tends to use fuel and energy more efficiently, promoting sustainability and helping to lower construction costs.

Emphasize efficiency. Efficiency is key to sustainability. It refers to products and materials that reduce waste, energy, fuel, water, and other natural resources.