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The Green Building Trend, No Longer Just Trendy

“Going green” is not just a phrase for home life anymore, the construction industry is now enjoying the green building trend. As with any earth saving movement, there are those who just shake their heads and give a big sigh at the thought of building environmentally sound. The green movement has been wonderful for the building industries, as well as many others.

The 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study, released by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), stated that the green construction has generated just under $168 billion and will produce more than 2 million jobs this year. The green part of construction projects is out running all other type of construction, and forecasters have said that trend will continue.

There seems to be no limit to what the construction industry can do to help with the green movement. “Going green” is the subject of many popular construction industry magazines and articles. Rescuing materials and using 3D printing are just a couple of the ways that have used less resources.

What is Changing in the Construction Industry?

Competition is fierce in the construction industry, and those companies that are using green construction actions are able to win bids more easily. Companies are looking to differentiate themselves from the pack and frequently use architecture and construction companies that the green actions available to them. Often these companies will proudly boast about the environmental footprint on their websites and in their buildings. Although it is definitely used for “bragging rights,” the fact is these buildings have a much lower utility rate, have less expensive upkeep costs and have better health benefits for those that are in them long term.

Top 10 LEED States
Top 10 LEED States, 2015

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

The LEED rating system is considered to be the most standardized way to tell how green construction is going, and if any given company should be considered a green construction company. The United States Green Building Council designed the LEED Certification, which has gone from just a simple set of guidelines, to an intense six point technique with 100 being the highest score. The six categories are: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Innovation in Design.

A construction company should definitely get a LEED Certification to boast green building, but there are other ways to improve “greenness.” Large solar panel arrangement can be seen all over the country and water collection devices, as well as green rooftops are a few more visible ways to boast green construction actions.

There Are Some Nay Sayers

There have been leaders in the construction industry that have changed their complete operation over to green building, and enjoyed large return on their investments. And there have been many construction company owners who don’t like change and refuse to see, not only the environmental reasons for “going green,” but the financial ones as well.

It is true that larger companies have an easier time switching to green practices, while smaller ones may struggle with the initial cost of changing everything over. The USBGC is always available to give information and advice for certification, and are happy to share any resources they have.

Are you one of the nay sayers? A report from the USGBC study states, “Total U.S. earnings related to LEED building construction projects are estimated to total $8.4 billion by 2018,” and “By 2018, green construction will account for more than 3.3 million U.S. jobs—more than one-third of the entire U.S. construction sector—and generate $190.3 billion in labor earnings.”

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