The rising costs of energy along with the demand for greener technologies has been felt across all industries even commercial construction. Everyone from the Department of Energy, construction manufacturing and the construction industry itself are looking for ways to build more energy efficient buildings. Energy efficient buildings save money and that makes corporate shareholders happy when they get to keep more of their profits. It also allows us to compete globally while at the same time reducing the amount of pollution spewed into our atmosphere.
Residential home builders have been working with recycled building materials and building homes that are Energy Star Efficient for decades now. Builders know what the market wants and that has allowed manufacturers to come up with some innovative products to allow for greener and better built homes. It has taken a bit longer for the commercial construction industry to catch up, but that is slowly changing and more commercial properties are being built with solar panels and other renewable energy sources.
Green Construction on the Rise
The number of energy efficient commercial properties such as office buildings and even manufacturing plants has seen tremendous growth. According to the EPA green commercial construction has increased by 27% over last year. These buildings have all earned the Energy Star label with many of them using up to 40% less energy than a comparable building with regular construction.
That may not seem like such a big deal but you have to take into account that commercial buildings make up half of our energy consumption in the entire country. Reducing that amount of energy or converting it to renewable energy sources is a big step forward in the fight against climate change.
Business and commercial interests are motivated by the bottom line more than doing good for the environment and that is what has prompted this shift more than anything. In the manufacturing sector there are more than 35 factories that have earned the Energy Star and that has allowed them to save money. If you combine all of the commercial buildings and factories that have an Energy Star rating and combined their savings it would add up to $1.5 billion dollars each and every year in savings. The better news is that it reduced CO2 emissions by 25 billion pounds. It is a win-win for the shareholders and the public as well.
Green construction will be the future of the construction industry. With the amount of savings from energy efficient buildings alone being so high it will fuel innovation for years to come.