Schools zero in on green building practices
November 15, 2012
The shift to green practices is expanding to the construction sector as businesses, schools and homeowners are focusing on adding energy efficient technology and other sustainability efforts to reducing their carbon footprints.
Recent research conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction found K-12 schools and universities are putting a higher onus on green construction to achieve both financial and social benefits. In fact, 39 percent of higher education respondents said green buildings have lead to increase levels of enrollment at their universities.
Green construction leads to decreased energy use, lower costs
The benefits of green construction are far and long, as sustainability practices enable businesses to save on their energy bill, while also cut back on pollution. According to the New & Retrofit Green Schools study, 58 percent of administrators, facility managers and school designers, and construction and real estate staffs at K-12 schools report decreased energy use in their green buildings, while 55 percent said they experience lower annual costs.
"Over 75 percent of respondents consider improving indoor air quality and enhancing health and well being as key drivers, which is nearly the same percentage that cite financial benefits, such as lower operating costs and reduced energy use," said Harvey Bernstein, vice president of Industry Insights and Alliances for McGraw-Hill Construction.
The future of construction will be more green
While more than 40 percent of both the K-12 and higher education respondents do not know the longer-term impact of their build improvements, businesses, universities and schools are still planning more green construction in the future.
"Aside from the real benefits to our young people in their development, this is also particularly important at driving future green building growth, as our next generation of construction industry professionals learn practices that will become embedded into the design and construction of all buildings in the future," Bernstein said.
Taking advantage of construction software will allow entities to work with contractors on their plans for green improvements to their buildings and to forecast the potential costs for the additions. Innovations in technology can also permit contractors and their clients to work together in the cloud on the specific green investments they want to make.