The construction industry is gradually turning over a new leaf, as more companies are now looking into environmentally friendly processes and materials for their building projects.
Green building (or green construction) aims to use processes with high resource efficiency and the utmost regard for the environment. This new concept of construction may be applied to just about any step in the building project: planning and design, purchase of materials, actual construction, building operation and maintenance, improvement and renovation, and structural demolition. It requires the involvement and commitment of the people who are part of the project – design staff, architects, engineers, workers, and the building owner.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a non-profit organization that spearheads green construction, reported in a news article that about one-third of construction projects in the U.S. this year follow green building standards. The group foresees the trend to continue for years, and may even surpass conventional construction in terms of income generation and job opportunities. “We found that 2.3 million jobs in green construction are being created this year, so these are architects, designers, engineers and electricians who make up this industry and its contributing $134 billion into U.S. worker pockets this year alone,” said USGBC Public Relations & Communications Director Marisa Long.
This year alone, green building projects poured in $167.4 billion in gross domestic product (GDP). This achievement was made possible through the implementation of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, which the USGBC established. To date, roughly 20,000 companies have been certified by USGBC as compliant with LEED standards.
USGBC is confident that green building will open more opportunities for construction companies to save big. “In our study we saw that over the next four years that green construction is going to create over $2.4 billion in energy savings and about half of the savings is going to come from LEED certified projects, so it’s really a cost saver,” Long added.