Meeting Investor Demand For Green Construction
There is increasing pressure on construction companies to start meeting sustainability goals. As a result, the New York Times reports that investors are now largely prioritizing those companies that engage in sustainable design and construction practices, eschewing those companies stuck in old school traditions. What this looks like for construction companies is not entirely clear, yet, and while sustainable practices are piecemeal across the sector, there needs to be further innovation. The first arena is in the home, and renovations of existing properties, where retrofitting can provide the sustainability measures demanded.
Introducing structural sustainability
Home retrofits are already proving to be effective and easily scaled measures against climate change. PBS Wisconsin reports that such retrofits have helped to drive large reductions in the amount of natural gas being consumed by homes, and the amount of electricity being consumed, too. There’s a great natural incentive for construction companies to get involved in sustainable redevelopment. Sustainable homes are valued up to 10% higher than the average home, according to experts, and are a more attractive proposition to buyers. Whether involved as a contractor, or at the base level in flipping the property, construction companies undertaking relatively straightforward work such as energy conversion and insulation will be well rewarded, and contributing to the climate change goal.
For new developments, construction firms should look to embrace net-zero. According to McKinsey, there is now a sizable market providing net-zero steel, enabling companies to source their materials in a way that is environmentally fair while still providing quality in construction and build. This is an important step for construction companies to take. It’s all well and good creating sustainable architecture and designs, but if the processes behind the actual construction process aren’t sound, then the overall sustainability of the project will be in doubt.
Providing cooling by design
There are simple steps to be taken when considering sustainable design, such as using recycled materials, but to really embrace sustainable design, cooling has to be considered. Global warming is now a case of severity, rather than a question, and that’s something that must be taken into account in construction. In order to improve quality of life, reduce energy usage and reduce heating, Bloomberg advocates for restorative architecture that contributes to the local ecosystem and climate, rather than taking away from it. This can be reflected in construction through the use of, for instance, green walls, high albedo surfaces in white materials, including paint and marble, and plentiful use of shading surfaces and plants. Recreating the conditions that nature promotes in order to manage temperature, and applying them to the modern world, is the key.
Nature has always provided guidance on how to properly cool areas and create good quality of life. Construction can follow in its wake. With the appetite for sustainable construction soaring, there are few other ways that companies can now proceed. It is time for construction companies and architects to really get with the trend.
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