There is much talk about going green. There is a shared need by many to make our environment more healthy. To leave as less of an impact as we can on the world. It has been proven time and again that the way things are going, we will run out of all the resources that we need to keep ourselves alive.
There has been a global change in the way people consume. Consumers have started to change their lifestyles which is why Airbnb got such popularity. The reduction in waste and purchase of disposable goods and an increase in collaborative consumption has set a trend where people are actively influencing major industries.
A more green focus is changing the way businesses operate. Various steps have been added or removed in order to be more green. At the same time, new technologies have been created that focus on sustainability, efficiency and reduction in waste.
What is Green Construction?
Along with other sectors, the construction industry has been focusing on green building. Green building or green construction is a practice to preserve the natural environment while creating the desired building. The process should have a minimum impact on water, land, energy and other resources near the construction site.
According to U.S. EPA, Green building is developing structures and using different methods that are environmentally friendly and manage resources well throughout the construction process which starts from idea conception at the design stage and ends with the destruction to the building. It is included in the construction, maintenance and renovation. At the same time, the practice should answer the needs to have an economic, durable and comfortable building structure.
The Advantages of Green Construction
Due to the progression of technology in the form of project management software, Building Information Modelling (BIM) and various other machines, it has been easy to move to green construction. We are able to see the incredible ways construction can help create a more sustainable world.
The benefits provided by green construction and building practice can be divided into three main categories: Environmental benefits, Economic benefits and Social benefits. Let have a look at every category to see how green construction benefits us.
The most significant benefit of green construction is the reduced impact on our natural environment. Not only do they have less impact on the surroundings but they also positively benefit the environment. By using technologies that generate energy without using natural resources, green construction gives the environment a chance to be revived.
Globally, the construction industry produces a high level of greenhouse gas emissions. With green construction, the potential of saving these emissions is said to be as much as 84 gigatonnes of CO2 by 2050 just by measuring the change in fuel, energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. According to world green building council, the building sector has the potential to bring 50% or more energy savings by the year 2050.
There are various certifications that contractors and builders can get in order to be recognized as green contractor (example LEED Certification). LEED certification is the label that enables you to be recognized by various relevant parties as green construction. More and more builders and contractors are using this global symbol of sustainability and are planning to acquire the LEED certification plaque.
Through this certification, contractors have been shown to consume 25% less energy and 11% less water as compared to builders that use traditional methods. Through this, we see that green construction makes it possible for the construction industry to consume less resources.
Green construction has had a bad reputation of being an expensive alternative but there are various economic benefits to going green in the construction industry. So start with, a green building will provide cost savings on utility bills for occupants in rented apartments and households residents (water and energy efficiency).
Another benefit is the reduced cost in construction projects. A cheaper budget and a green certificate can result in a competitive advantage when getting projects. This alone should be the leading economic reason, the main and subcontractors, for getting on board with green construction.
On a building level, owners and contractors claim that green construction is responsible for increasing their property value which means that it is the best technology in construction to invest in. This can be a gold mine for clients.
Other than the benefits to the environment and economy, green construction brings various social benefits. To start with there are many health benefits to people who work and live in green spaces.
World Green Building Council has started a better places for people project that promotes the development of buildings that are good for people to live in. Not only that, the project is trying to encourage healthy, happy and productive living.
The Future of Green Construction
There has been much focus in the construction industry to change the way projects were done. There is change in every sector. Technologies have been created that can optimize entire work processes. Project Management Software, BIM, Advancements in Concrete and much more. We are already seeing the need to go green. Contractors are moving towards this direction.
There is more awareness of this practice. A collective conscious shared by many has forced various agents in the construction field to manage their resources, to reduce the impact they have on the environment and to focus on creating a better place for us all. In short, we will see more green construction in the upcoming years.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Shaneel is a content marketing assistant at GenieBelt.