How Climate Change is Affecting Commercial Construction

Climate change has begun to impact every aspect of our lives and commercial construction is no different.  Building owners are demanding greener techniques and materials and the onus is on builders to provide what they want.  This is a big change for the industry and there are new regulations in places to ensure that builders stay compliant.  Environmental impact studies are now the norm and you need to know your project’s impact on the environment and get approval before you can even break ground.

Climate Change and Energy Consumption

When it comes to environmentalism and the commercial construction industry the demand has always been for greener materials and how construction will impact the local area.  That is starting to shift with the threat of climate change.  Not only do we need to consider the materials used in construction but how they will stand up to the weather in the future.  How will the building stay energy efficient and cool as summers get hotter.  How will the building withstand storms and changes in weather patterns?  These are now real considerations that come into the design phase of construction.

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

The first thing that you need to think about before any project kicks off is reducing greenhouse gases and your carbon footprint. This doesn’t just apply during the construction phase although that is important too but after the building is complete if it can be carbon neutral that is ideal.  Here is a look at how that can be done in the construction industry.

You can start by using greener building materials in the construction project.  Recycled materials are far easier to find now and they can be cost effective.  Going green isn’t just a vanity project for celebrities anymore customers are demanding better solutions.

Alternative Energy

The energy consumption the building will use in the future is also a big concern as weather patterns change and more energy is required to heat and cool commercial buildings.  Incorporating alternative energy into construction is also a must.  Solar panels along with geothermic can be incorporated right from the beginning reducing the need for fossil fuels.

Climate change is getting worse and it is starting to impact all aspects of our life.  If we want to fight climate change then we need to make changes to how we do things including commercial construction.  Building techniques are changing to adapt to the modern world we live in.

Going Green with Commercial Construction

The environment is always a consideration in any type of construction project but if you want your commercial construction project to be labelled “green” then there are guidelines that you have to follow to qualify.  Green construction really isn’t that different from a regular project, you are still going to need to have skilled tradesmen onsite and both require detailed planning.  The difference between the two is that green construction tries to keep the effect on the local environment to a minimum.  Going green with commercial construction does mean adhering to different rules, let’s look at what sets green construction apart.

Energy Efficient Systems

During the construction process you will be required to install the most energy efficient systems possible.  That includes things like your HVAC system along with lighting and plumbing as well. Most of the commercial HVAC units that are on the market today use far less energy than they did a decade ago.  The building will also need to be properly sealed to keep your HVAC system efficient.

Reducing Waste During Construction

Construction uses a lot of materials and generates a great deal of waste at the same time.  If you want to maintain your green certification then the construction project will have to use fewer materials and create less waste.  The waste that is generated should be sent for recycling rather than ending up in a landfill.  You should also use recycled materials whenever possible throughout the project.  The idea is to reduce our carbon footprint throughout the project.

Water Conservation

Conserving water is always a big part of green construction, both during the building process and after the building is complete.  The plumbing needs to be installed with that in mind.  That includes low flow shower heads, toilets that use less water along with taps that operate on sensors so they are never left on.  There is also the option of turning wastewater into some type of fertilizer removing the need for wastewater management.

Incorporating Solar

The roof is a prime piece of the project that can help make it greener.  Solar panels can be installed to help meet the energy needs of the building post construction.  That helps reduce the need for non-renewable energy source.  For the building owners it can also reduce the energy costs of running the building afterwards.  Excess energy can be sold off to the local power company making the project pay for itself.

There are plenty of builders that don’t embrace the new green construction guidelines but they are the way of the future.  We need to do all that we can to ensure there is an environment left for our children and grandchildren.