Green Construction: The Benefits of Sustainability and Certifications
For any business to grow and remain competitive they need to keep up with the times. This is extremely true of a few fields where the state of the art, as well as consumers’ expectations, is continually growing. The fields that most have to be concerned with staying at the top of their game in terms of using modern practices include medicine, technology and construction; let’s focus here on the latter – construction.
The Value of Green Construction Environmentally, construction practices impact everybody in the world. When we construct irresponsibly we can cause earth related issues such as deforestation, ozone depletion and erosion. But through ethical, planned, eco-friendly construction practices a construction company can choose renewable materials and non-toxic products, and manage waste and water run-off in a way that minimizes the impact of the construction on the natural environment.
As consumers call for companies to become more eco-conscious, more and more manufacturers and other commercial businesses will be looking to build their new establishments in eco-friendly ways. This means that the demand for eco-knowledgeable construction companies will increase as well. Additionally, many green practices actually impact a company’s profit margin by saving money in the long run. For example, preventing waste through careful material choice and recycling limits money paid for waste removal. Similarly, companies who invest in eco-friendly electrical and HVAC units save money in the long run. When construction practices go green everybody wins. And with certifications, a construction company can get even more bang for their buck.
Looking at LEED Certification Those in the construction business or considering embarking on new construction for their business may have heard of LEED certification. LEED is a group established by the U.S. Department of Energy called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED certification offers those building a new facility the opportunity to receive accreditation certifying that the building was build with certain sustainable methods and materials. LEED design looks at a great many factors of building including material choice, waste prevention and management, building systems, how humans will use the building, building maintenance and even deconstruction of the building in the future.
LEED offers a variety of information and services to those embarking on a building project, helping them determine what their LEED rating will be. A LEED rating is a number that is calculated using a variety of the above mentioned factors. This nationally recognized certification program can be used in a variety of ways from advertising to assisting in obtaining financing, impressing customers and earning green business certifications. In short, LEED certification looks at the green footprint of a building itself, from construction through use and deconstruction.
Considering Green Business Certification While LEED certification focuses on a building and how the human occupants use that building exclusively, green business certifications, such as the GBB, have a slightly different focus. Yes, when it comes to construction green business certifications will look at how a building is created, whether sustainable materials are chosen and more. But green business certifications also look at the sustainability of the business itself, including products and office practices. For example, a green business certification would be impressed that a construction company was working to go all electronic and eliminate paper invoices. Once a construction company starts to institute green practices, obtaining green certifications is easy and essential.
It’s Easy Being Green When it comes to construction going green is the obvious path into a profitable future. The good news is that going green is relatively easy. It begins with a plan. Any construction company, or company considering building new facilities, should start by planning their goals for sustainability, whether it be financial gain, customer satisfaction or moral pleasure. Once a plan is in the works any company can work with LEED and the GBB to develop and implement the plan, saving money and earning more customers in the long run.