Climate change isn’t recent news, but it’s become one of the major concerns in the last few years. This is because the impact of climate change is more apparent than ever, with 2020 named the hottest year on record and grim predictions about what will happen in the coming decades unless action is taken now.
With activists such as Greta Thunberg and Sir David Attenborough using their platforms to make us more aware of how our actions are affecting the planet, more innovations and ideas are being formulated to try to stop – and hopefully reverse – the damage that’s been done.
As such, consumers have been vocalising their concerns and businesses have been responding. Huge organisations have been asked to take responsibility for their role in climate change, and one way that they’re looking to redress the balance is by looking into the benefits of green construction. Basing their headquarters in more environmentally friendly buildings can be a game changer for leading corporations.
But what is green construction? What are the implications for construction companies? And is it the solution businesses hope it will be?
What is green construction?
Green construction takes green building to the next level. Green building is a building that’s created, constructed, and run in a way that uses less resources, which, in turn has less impact on the environment. It has efficient water lighting and water systems in place and is built from sustainable materials. It also keeps the people working in the building healthy and productive, and costs less to maintain – both significant plus-points for businesses.
However, while green building is moving things in the right direction, in terms of addressing climate change and the detrimental fallout of how rapidly temperatures are rising, green construction is likely to have a more lasting, holistic effect.
This type of construction sees beyond a single green building and ensures that every element of the building process is done in a sustainable way, taking in not just the materials used, but the environment the building is sitting in.
It’s construction that considers how to remain green at every stage, from ensuring eco-friendly materials are used and considering the type of fuel that operates the machinery used in the construction process, to sourcing non-toxic materials and using environmentally aware disposal methods.
Green construction: the pros
One of the most important advantages of green construction is that, as more companies introduced this type of construction, it can have a positive effect on the climate and the natural environment. Green buildings created through green construction methods can, by using less water, energy or natural resources, reduce the negative impacts on the environment. They can also, in the long run, generate their own energy or increase biodiversity.
Green construction: the cons
There are some things to consider when it comes to green construction, however. First, we need to question the materials used. While sourcing sustainable, eco-friendly building materials is key to this construction process, if they aren’t durable or are prone to damp or other concerns, their sustainable credentials diminish as they need to be maintained or totally replaced.
Also, as this a relatively new process, there may be legal issues to consider. While green construction is likely to be something we see more and more of in the coming years, for now there are still questions about the legality of using the methods used.
Policies, codes, and other rules are being reviewed and revised to ensure these buildings are safe just as much as they are green, and green construction businesses must be aware of these in order to avoid lawsuits.
Things to consider
For construction businesses that are making the move towards green construction methods, it’s worth taking the time to do the research int every element of the construction process. Are the materials sustainable and durable enough to withstand the British weather fronts? Are you up to speed on all the rules and regulations in place?
Additionally, do you have insurance? Construction insurance is a significant form of protection that will cover you if things don’t go to plan.
As a construction company, doing your research and asking questions means you could find that green construction is something that you could move towards.