Over the past few decades, the topic of environmental sustainability has become increasingly important in every industry. Green construction specifically has emerged as a vital concept within the construction industry.

Green construction– also referred to as sustainable or eco-friendly construction– operates with the aim to minimize the negative environmental impact of construction.

But what exactly does “green” mean in the context of the industry?

Energy efficiency

Green construction aims to reduce energy consumption.

This includes implementing energy-efficient designs, utilizing high-quality insulation to bring down energy bills, and incorporating energy-saving technologies like LED lighting, solar panels, and efficient HVAC systems.

Lowering energy usage means that green buildings can contribute to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and do their part to combat climate change.

Sustainable materials

Choosing sustainable building materials is a fundamental aspect of green construction. Sustainable materials that are reclaimed, rapidly renewable, or recycled are preferred, in order to minimize the environmental impact.

A great example of this is the use of bamboo in construction projects. Bamboo is a highly and rapidly renewable resource– it reaches maturity within 3-5 years, in contrast to hardwood trees that can take decades to fully mature.

Bamboo, unlike hardwood, can also be harvested without killing the plant.

To understand just how useful materials like bamboo can be for green construction, we should compare them to other materials like vinyl. Vinyl flooring is made from PVC, which is derived from petroleum– a non-renewable resource. The production of PVC involves significant energy consumption and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

Additionally, when vinyl flooring or other building materials have reached the end of their life cycle, it’s difficult to recycle– and will most likely end up in a landfill.

Water conservation

Green construction projects strive to reduce unnecessary use of water.

Some great examples of reducing water waste include low-flow fixtures, rainwater harvesting systems, and landscaping that doesn’t require excessive water to maintain, making it drought-tolerant.

These efforts to reduce water waste benefit the environment, but they also help to reduce water bills for building occupants.

Waste reduction

One of the most important tenets of green construction is the effort to minimize construction waste through efficient planning and material usage.

This means recycling and reusing construction debris whenever possible, and aiming to minimize the amount of burden on landfills while conserving natural resources.

Longevity and durability

An important factor in green construction is the longevity of constructed environments. Using high-quality materials and solid construction techniques, buildings can stand the test of time– which reduces the need for renovations and replacements, further conserving natural resources and materials.

Certification and standards

A number of green building certifications exist to motivate builders to follow green construction practices. LEED certification is a good example– it stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

A LEED-certified building demonstrates a commitment to sustainability, energy efficiency, and environmental responsibility.

These buildings are constructed using sustainable materials while prioritizing energy efficiency by utilizing efficient HVAC systems and effective insulation. While constructing a LEED-certified building may be more expensive, building owners can enjoy long-term savings when it comes to energy bills, water bills, and the need for maintenance and renovation in the future.

A better future for the industry

Focusing on green construction benefits all of us, whether it’s through decreased energy bills and maintenance costs, or through the decreased emission of greenhouse gasses and conservation of water that benefit our planet.

If you’re interested in working for a company that understands the value of green construction, check out RedStone’s careers page!