Green Construction: Challenges and Impacts

What is Green Construction?

Green or sustainable construction is a home building and maintenance method that saves energy and building materials. The goals of green construction are to create a healthy, comfortable living environment by using as much available resources as possible while exploiting less of other natural resources, to use recycled materials and build energy saving homes. These methods are intended for high productivity and efficient construction with the least possible waste. Green construction is not a magic formula. The green concepts of resource conservation and lower maintenance spending have a tremendous positive impact on the environment. In other words, green construction means tapping the fragile balance between planning construction projects and environmental circumstances without tipping the scales.

Toward a Widespread Acceptance and Application of Green Construction

Despite the raised awareness regarding the necessity of green construction in the short range, a long road to its acceptance in the long range is still ahead of us. Despite the current knowhow about green construction techniques, building materials and high efficiency technology, some accurate quantitative data and basic information are still missing regarding the financial and economic impacts in this field, especially concerning cost/efficiency ratios. According to several Israeli green construction firms, there is a basic discrepancy between invested capital and operating costs. For instance, a landlord is aware that about 40% of total construction costs are spent on green elements, but this budget changes every year. Such budget swings may become a formidable obstacle. Many experts recently analyzed and calculated the actual costs of green building projects and examined the buildings’ performance after construction in order to convince the industry that these budgets stand the test of reality.

The Basic Benefits of Green Construction

Builders and developers committed to eco-friendly construction concepts say that such methods have many benefits including better ventilation, temperature and lighting control, natural daylight and natural airflow. These factors have a great positive impact on workers or inhabitants of green buildings, office spaces and homes. Indoor air quality is associated with better productivity and health in workplaces and educational institutions. Thus, the main benefit of green construction is basically a better quality of life for workers and inhabitants. Furthermore, profits earned from maintaining green buildings ore over ten times larger compared to the initial average investment required to plan and erect them. Construction industry experts say that energy costs saved by green buildings return the initial investments easily because green building features reduce energy consumption in many ways.

The Impact of Energy Costs on Green Construction

These days, when cost/efficiency, productivity and environmental consciousness go hand in hand, builders and entrepreneurs can erect green buildings for healthy and meaningful life or continue wasting energy and build accordingly. According to experts, the amount of green building projects rises at a stupendous yearly rate of 40-50%. This is no coincidence: if energy costs do soar as predicted, the risks of conventional construction must be carefully considered.

This is food for thought.