5 Trends in Green Construction
These days, everybody is going green; but it’s more than a fleeting fad; it is a permanent trend that has shaken every industry, especially construction. Sustainability is not only good for the environment, but it also saves money for the subcontractor and creates good faith with the public.
Here are 5 green construction trends that are here to stay:
Energy efficiency has become the main focus due to its large impact on the environment, public concern, as well as the contractor’s profitability. Energy use is currently the largest uncontrollable operating cost for the contractor. In accordance with this trend, buildings are being modified to save energy by incorporating power saving mechanisms such as solar panels. Solar investment is expected to be almost 4 trillion in the next 23 years. Some buildings use virtually no energy by utilizing enough power saving mechanisms to ensure that no more energy is used than is being created or recycled. These buildings are known as zero-net-energy buildings and have proved that total sustainability is possible and should be the goal.
Worldwide climate change and regional droughts have put a spotlight on water conservation. Water and sewage rates have increased 100-400% in the past ten years. The construction industry must take steps to combat the issue of water over-use. The most important step often overlooked is educating you and your team to ensure that everyone understands best practices for water conservation. Once you are confident that you and your team are well educated in water conservation, the next step is to include modifications in your building practices that will conserve water. Water conservation activities may include installing something that repurposes used water, using appliances that use low water pressure, or including a landscape that does not require watering.
Cloud computing is becoming a widely used business practice across all industries. Spending on cloud computing is expected to be $160 billion by 2020. Switching to the cloud can save a company 30%-90% of energy (depending on the size of the business). Cloud computing allows for multiple operating systems to run off of one server and creates less machinery plugged in, all of which saves energy. Another way cloud computing is improving energy efficiency is its pay-as-you-go aspect. This makes a person only use what they need, which eliminates unnecessary energy usage.
BIM and Green Technology
Incorporating a construction technology that aids in sustainability can help your company keep an eye on your progress by tracking and quantifying your results. Green technology can also improve collaboration and save time and resources by avoiding mistakes. There is also an opportunity to create greener construction by using BIM technology. BIM allows you to be able to design more energy efficient plans, and collaborate with everyone involved to create the most sustainable model possible. It also allows you to foresee and combat any issues that may arise which will save you from having to do rework that wastes time and resources.
As more people become advocates for the environment, disclosure from companies about their environmental practices will become important to establish public trust. This will benefit the people by allowing them to see whether or not companies are making real changes to their practices to make them more sustainable. It will also give companies a way to gain a competitive advantage if they can show that they have greener practices then other construction firms. Some cities are already required to disclose their green practices with involved parties and sometimes the public.
Going green is the triple threat that your company cannot afford to overlook or brush off as a fad. It positively affects the environment, the public, as well as your future business opportunities.