By Jim Rice, LEED AP BD+C, CxA –
“Green.” “Sustainable.” “Eco-friendly.” These words have become a part of the modern lexicon, applied to everything from the cars we drive to the food we eat. Sometimes they’re used so often it can be hard to remember that they actually are more than just buzzwords. The environmental challenges the world faces have never been greater. Soon, over nine billion people will share our planet; increasing demands for resources, energy and infrastructure are pushing nature to its limits. The impact will only continue to magnify as our global population does the same. No industry should be more aware of this than construction – not only is it the top global consumer of raw materials; it also generates between 25 to 40 percent of the world’s carbon emissions.
Fortunately, not only has the industry taken notice, it’s taken action. According to a 2018 study, the majority of projects in the next three years will be green buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) also notes that between 2011 and 2014 green construction generated $167.4 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In fact, the green building sector is outpacing the overall construction industry in growth and is estimated to maintain traction into the foreseeable future.
It’s safe to say that green building isn’t just a passing trend. While the long-term benefits to the planet are obvious, are there any other incentives to “go green?”