Green building materials are taking over the construction industry. The U.S Green Building Council estimates 40 to 48 percent of all non-residential construction in the U.S. classified are green. That’s a staggering increase from just 1.4 percent in 2005.
Green building definitely isn’t a fad. According to USGBC, about 63 percent of construction firms worked on green projects over the past three years.
The government agency classifies more than half of the country’s construction projects as green. What does this mean for business owners, project managers, and general managers of construction companies in the door and hardware distribution, window and door manufacturing, commercial building materials, Division 10 distributing, specialized commercial equipment, and security industries?
Basically: Go green or go home.
What is Green Building?
The green building standard covers site sustainability, water use efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and the building’s impact on the atmosphere in an effort to reduce construction’s impact on the environment.
Green building, or using sustainable materials and practices in construction, is quickly becoming the industry standard. And as the country’s building sector is responsible for 40 percent of primary energy consumption. This is according to a study by the U.S. Department of Energy. It’s imperative that manufacturers create building materials that don’t take too much energy to produce.
In fact, as part of the U.S. government’s plan to modernize the construction industry, the government plans to achieve a 20-percent reduction in costs in the construction of new buildings in the next few years.
Driven by Consumers
While the government is providing a big push for green construction, we can’t ignore the push by consumers.
Increasingly, consumers are valuing environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient construction not only because of its impact on the environment but also because of its cost effectiveness.
Sustainable buildings sell.
Owners want lower costs, better risk management, and increased use of green technologies and building materials. This is because they recognize these approaches allow for less waste, a better use of energy. Also, they bring lower costs for the building.
To keep up with the consumer demand, builders are changing the way they approach construction projects. Additionally, manufacturers are providing more sustainable materials options.
Innovation and Creativity
As any industry changes, doors open for amazing innovations that make our lives easier, better, and more affordable. This is true in the construction industry as more and more consumers and builders look to green options.
Manufacturers meet the demand by continuing to come up with innovative and new high-quality products that work from a sustainability standard.
Because of the shift towards green building, we now have options like high-performance window films, which block UV and IR radiation to stabilize indoor temperatures, as well as paints that reduce volatile organic compound emissions, leading to healthier indoor air.
In addition, manufacturers and builders are looking to ways to reuse what’s already in a construction project, using elements of already-existing structures. This creates less waste and provides unique elements to architecture that couldn’t be achieved otherwise. Consumers love this type of creativity that can’t be matched.
No matter a builder’s project size and budget, green building materials are affordable options. Fortunately, this is becoming as economical as it’s ever been as the demand has motivated manufacturers to create high-quality materials that meet sustainability standards — for less money.
Everyone — from the average homeowner to high-powered companies — can incorporate green building practices into their construction projects. Naturally, green options are featuring prominently in the construction industry.
LEED and Savings
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) projects are responsible for diverting more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills, which significantly minimizes the impact of construction on the environment.
As more and more people become aware of this positive impact, the demand for LEED construction continues to grow.
The benefit is even more substantial because when you’re recognized as legitimately green, you receive property tax credits. In addition, grants are available for eco-friendly construction.
Benefits of Going Green
Going green appeals to almost every demographic because it saves money, it’s good for the environment, and it can offer healthier places to live and work. Using sustainable materials means repairs and replacements happen less frequently. This is a significant draw for most consumers.
When it comes to builders, going green in construction reduces the environmental impact that comes from transport, fabrication, extraction, processing, installation, and disposal of materials.
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