4 Interesting Facts about Green Sustainable Construction
April 27, 2017 Francine Jones 0 Comments
The goal of green sustainable construction is to create residences and commercial sites that are in harmony with the environment around them. This mission has been a greater success faster than most could’ve projected, and here are four facts that highlight that truth.
Fact #1: Green Construction Is Cost-Effective
This may be the most surprising fact of the four. After all, isn’t this about protecting our future generations and planet? Sure, it is, but environmental friendliness and cost-effectiveness don’t have to be contrasting concepts. There are a couple of factors in play here. One is that the initial investment in green actually makes a property more valuable. In fact, the industry expectation is about 4 percent over non-green construction. The other factor is that green buildings have lower maintenance and energy costs, which means the day-to-day expenses are lower year-to-year. LEED buildings report, on average, 20 percent lower maintenance costs than typical buildings.
Fact #2: Green Construction Is Outpacing Overall Construction Growth
The green building component of the construction industry is growing at a faster rate than the industry overall. This is a remarkable truth that means that the advantages of green building are actually growing the market to the point of even breaking previously established records. The U.S. government estimates that green construction will add 1.1 million jobs by 2018 and that the contribution to the Gross Domestic Product will reach almost $304 billion in that same time frame. Finally, more than 2.2 million square feet of green building real estate becomes LEED-certified throughout the world each day.
Fact #3: Green Buildings Have a Significant Positive Effect on the Environment
Green construction is often painted in the light of lowering utility costs in order to appeal to consumers. Less utilities usage certainly does have an environmental impact in a tangential sense, but the EPA is quick to point out the benefits are much more direct than that. Consider that commercial and residential buildings consume 41 percent of all the energy used in the U.S. That’s substantially more than either the transportation or industrial sector. In addition, these buildings use 14 percent of all potable water, and water usage in green buildings is less, on average, by about 15 percent.
Fact #4: LEED Buildings Have Become the International Standard
LEED buildings not only perform better than typical buildings but have become the international standard. In fact, at the time of this writing, there are almost 90,000 LEED projects under way across than more than 160 countries and territories worldwide. LEED construction projects average 89 out of a possible 100 ENERGY STAR rating, and in a study of more than 7,000 LEED projects, more than 90 percent achieved at least a 10-percent improvement in energy performance.