For the longest time, the construction industry received a free pass on the issue of being environmentally friendly. After all, buildings don’t actively belch smoke. But an examination of the entire construction process reveals a different story: construction is a constant battle with nature. By clearing land for foundations, consuming resources to produce materials and burning fossil fuels for transportation; our industry severely impacts the environment. To mitigate these negative effects, a green building philosophy must be implemented. But what are green buildings and how do you successfully tender for them?
ENGINEERING THE FUTURE
According to The World Green Building Council, a green building, ‘reduces or eliminates negative impacts, and can create positive impacts, on our climate and natural environment.’ Simply put, going green is about design, the materials used and minimising environmental repercussions both during construction and long after completion.
THE BENEFITS OF GOING GREEN
The first question asked on every project is: “What’s it going to cost?” Traditional thinking has always been that going green costs more. However, the long-term benefits outweigh the costs. Research shows the benefits are more than monetary. Findings revealed in the World Green Building Trends 2018 SmartMarket Report show that there are financial benefits, including an 8% recouping of operating costs within the first year of construction and a 7% increase in a building’s value over time. And, from a social aspect, green buildings use less energy for heating and cooling, while employees working in them are shown to be happier and more productive.
HOW DO I GO GREEN?
With the global community pushing for a greener construction industry, it’s best to follow guidelines set by an internationally recognised body equipped with specialist tools for measuring and rating how green a building is. To find an organisation within your region, click here.
TENDERING TIPS FOR GREEN PROJECTS
When estimating costs, you will need to expand your existing tendering process by several steps. A phrase you’ll often hear is ‘Plan for Simplicity and Efficiency’ but the simplest route isn’t always the easiest one. How are you managing your materials from source to usage? Can your team minimise waste and dispose of it without environmental damage? Can your equipment be disassembled for reuse, cutting renovation costs? And what impact will the building have in ten years? It’s like camping: Leave only your footprints behind.
Green is the way the market is moving, and it can seem daunting. But it’s best to start preparing for the future now, even if it is slowly. Research shows that current in-use buildings can cut their energy consumption by 30%–50% using already available technologies. There are also great breakthroughs available; from a Japanese brick-making process that locks away carbon dioxide to a Nigerian programme that turns agricultural waste into particleboard for use as a low-cost building material. In the end, how green you go is up to you. Costs will always play a role but finding the correct balance will set you apart and ultimately help save the planet.
Thanks to the power of CCS software solutions, that allows you to streamline your tendering process—leaving you more time to engineer a greener future.