“Green” construction is only one of the latest in a long line of trends toward environmentally safer and friendlier design. While much of the focus of such construction projects is on reducing the structure’s carbon footprint, going green also results in reduced energy costs and enhanced productivity.
The move toward green construction has been a bit slow to take hold in the United States, given the industry’s traditional reluctance to adopt new methods of design and construction. Nevertheless, green construction is definitely the here and now, thanks in part to programs such as the LEED rating system implemented by the U.S. Green Building Council. Because of the work of these and a few other organizations, many of the concepts associated with green construction have now become standard practice in the construction industry.
That being said, there is still quite a bit of resistance to the idea of going green, especially among some of the longtime players in the construction industry. Much of the hesitation seems to stem from the lack of clear-cut information with regard to the financial and economic implications of green building design. Many builders and developers are also wary of the high cost of going green, which is a valid concern with certain designs.
Nevertheless, the benefits of green construction can no longer be ignored.
Green construction benefits more than the just the environment and not just in the long-term either. There are many good reasons to go green and even a few compelling reasons to implement such practices immediately. With the development of new green materials, more efficient processes, and increased awareness, it is only a matter of time before green design becomes the norm rather than the exception. With the realization that going green enhances productivity in the workplace as well, building owners and developers will soon have no reasons not to go green.