Green construction, sustainability, growing in popularity
November 08, 2012
Throughout the United States, an emphasis on green energy and sustainable business has grown in recent years. People want to lessen their environmental impact while using as little energy as possible. Demonstrating the popularity of these trends, 90 percent of real estate owners, developers and corporate owner-occupants said their company is committed to environmentally sustainable practices.
Financial and non-financial factors causing firms to practice energy efficiency
After understanding the importance of sustainable business, construction projects are changing to incorporate less energy use and take advantage of green energy. When executives are deciding whether or not to add green features to a project, 84 percent said both energy efficiency and ongoing operation and maintenance costs play a large role in their decisions.
"Energy efficiency figures prominently in the decision-making process of green building primarily because of its large economic impact," said Michael Deane, vice president and chief sustainability officer at Turner Construction.
By the same token, business executive believe that green initiatives can add several benefits to a firm besides aiding in cost reductions. Seventy-four percent of respondents believe green construction can improve indoor air quality, while the same percentage think the health and well-being of occupants also plays a role. Adding green initiatives through the use of builder construction software is being seen more in today's construction projects.
Businesses not as concerned about water efficiency
While corporate sustainability seems to be a growing trend among today's companies, fewer firms are demonstrating that they want to cut down on their use of water. Only 57 percent of executives said their companies would be extremely or very likely to invest in improved water efficiency when embarking upon a new construction project, while only 37 percent said it was very important to reduce the carbon footprint of their buildings.
"Water efficiency in green construction was seen as less important," said Deane. "This is in spite of a growing awareness that water is a finite resource, both in its operational use and its role in the production of goods and materials. While the direct economic impact of water efficiency is less than the savings on energy, its environmental impact is quite significant."