Nearly every industry is embracing the global mission to protect our planet. Simple choices can make a difference every day, and the construction business is no exception. In fact, our business has incredible potential to reduce waste during new builds and renovations. At the end of the day, embracing sustainability isn’t trendy, it’s necessary.
What Is Sustainability And Why Is Sustainability Important?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), sustainability is based on the principle that everything we need depends on our natural environment, both directly and indirectly. By creating and maintaining the conditions in which people and nature can exist in harmony, we’re supporting future generations.
While the U.S. has been pursuing new and innovative ways to boost sustainability for several decades, the public’s interest has grown significantly. Many states are making considerable progress as companies and individual citizens work together to follow best practices. This doesn’t just have an environmental impact, it also helps us support economic and social well-being for years to come.
Green Construction Examples
For contractors and homeowners, the idea of building with sustainability in mind is attractive. First and foremost, using fewer materials and generating less waste can make a big difference. For example, recycling demolition waste to reuse will cut costs and lead to a better outcome for our environment.
Further, using durable materials that will stand the test of time and natural disasters is essential. In the end, this will reduce the need to rebuild structures if there is less damage, as well as general wear and tear. Creating resilient structures has a range of benefits for communities and the environment.
Other green construction examples can be as simple as making specific design choices. For instance, maximizing the use of natural light can cut down on a homeowner’s need to use electricity. Likewise, using windows and other ventilation sources for fresh air will reduce energy needs when it comes to air conditioning. All of these simple choices can make a difference when we commit to creating more sustainable buildings.
Using green construction materials
While there are so many ways to increase sustainability, making the switch to green construction materials is greatly beneficial.
Here are some materials that can have an impact:
- Sustainable concrete – Traditional concrete manufacturing has been designated as a major source of carbon dioxide emissions. Fortunately, there are new methods and technologies that result in environmentally friendly solutions. These include fly ash and slag cement.
- Wood – Widely considered one of the only renewable building materials, wood is versatile and sustainable. Properly managed forests help supply trees for a diverse range of wood materials that are strong and reliable.
- Recycled metal – Metals can be recycled over and over without altering metallic properties. While steel is the most recycled metal in the world, aluminum, copper, silver, gold, and brass are also highly recycled. This enables us to preserve resources and cut costs in construction.
- Wool bricks – Researchers have combined wool and clay material with alginate, a natural polymer extracted from seaweed, to create bricks that are stronger and more sustainable.
- Straw – For natural building insulation, straw bales can be used in place of plaster or concrete. It is sustainable and affordable, making it a great alternative.
The Benefits Of Green Construction Technology
It’s true, we are in desperate need of changing the way we live on earth. This is the only way we can ensure our environment is capable of handling the generations that will come after us. Beyond this simple fact, there are a range of other benefits to adapting to green construction technology. Here are a few more reasons to embrace sustainability while designing and constructing commercial and residential buildings.
Construction is always a financial investment requiring tight budgeting. Fortunately, sustainable construction can help homeowners and investors save money and boost value. In the short-term, green construction requires less resources, bringing down the cost of production. With reuse, recycling, and sustainable materials, you can increase the upfront costs associated with building.
In the long-term, your ROI (return on investment) will be positive because of increasing demand driving up value. The market for green building technology is among the fastest growing industries in the world. In fact, it was an $81 billion market from 2005 to 2014. In addition to creating millions of jobs, the market for sustainability in construction is far-reaching. From California to Texas, homes built to LEED standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) continually trend higher in terms of value.
Builders face a range of challenges on any construction site. While some issues are related to injuries from falls and hearing damage, others are due to airborne toxins and hazardous materials. Resulting conditions may include lung cancer, occupational asthma, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Switching to green construction materials may help reduce the harmful side effects of completing construction jobs.
Further, green construction technology offers positive benefits long after a building is complete. Tenants, whether they’re homeowners or employees, may enjoy better air quality. This has a direct impact on long-term health and happiness. A 2018 survey of office workers revealed that people who work in certified green buildings are even more productive. Better ventilation, sound proofing, and natural lighting will all contribute to wellness.
A diverse reputation
A solid and dependable reputation is essential in the construction business. While great customer service and high-quality work is important, diversification is as well. Companies embracing sustainability will attract more customers due to growing interest in green construction.
From adapting to green materials to embracing sustainable technology, there are many ways to build a reputation in this industry. Consider implementing software and digital practices in order to reduce paper use. This helps the environment and helps you streamline systems and processes.
When you have a reputation for being sustainable, you’ll naturally attract more business and referrals.
Above all, adopting a sustainable approach to construction will help us conserve natural resources and reduce global emissions. According to the World Green Building Council, the building industry has the largest potential to make an impact in comparison with other sectors. Here are some statistics to consider:
- CO2 emissions savings potential could reach 84 gigatons by 2050
- LEED certified buildings have been shown to consume 25% less energy and 11% less water than non-green buildings.
- Green construction technology is responsible for diverting more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills
In the end, pursuing sustainability in construction gives you the power to change the world. This allows you to pave the way for other companies and serve as an example.
Go Green with MLM Incorporated
Going green is more than a mantra, it’s a lifestyle. Homeowners are searching for ways to decrease their carbon footprint and work with the climate in a sustainable way. When it comes to new builds, this includes maximizing heating and cooling options, while also relying on green construction materials. What’s more, smart home technology can also boost energy efficiency to lower your monthly utilities. It’s a win-win situation!
If you’re interested in learning more about how to build or renovate in a sustainable manner, contact MLM Incorporated. We’d love to help you create your dream home. Start planning your project today!