Green Building for a Sustainable Future

All over the world, leaders have been developing standards that are guiding companies towards a more sustainable future, and the building industry has taken notice. The burgeoning green building industry exemplifies the world’s sustainability concerns and illustrates how an industry can adapt to a changing world. Gone are the days where materials that don’t last, and structures that have a negative impact on the land that they’re built on. With builders and consumers both raising their voices for improved building methods and reduced ecological footprints, the green building industry is driving sustainable practices and evolving its technology for climate-related issues. A few of our favorite developments that we’ve seen in the green building industry are:

INSIGHT

Developed by the US Green Building Council and Skanska, Insight is a new tool that analyzes the design characteristics of LEED-Certified structures and helps builders make increasingly informed design decisions with respect to sustainability – while simultaneously providing actionable data on potential water, energy, and waste savings.  Insight also provides urban leaders the ability to track environmental, social and governance goals, while safeguarding the regulations of new developments.

“As developers around the globe continue to prioritize sustainable development, Insight provides a revolutionary solution to inform the best design and implementation practices that will allow buildings to achieve maximum, environmentally friendly performance,” – Beth Heider, Skanska USA chief sustainability officer.

ZERO CARBON BUILDING

Zero Carbon buildings are highly energy-efficient structures that are completely powered from renewable energy sources and offsets. Net-zero carbon is achieved when the amount of carbon dioxide emissions released from a structure on an annual basis is zero or negative. Launching in 2017, the Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) Standard was initiated to guide the building industry towards helping Canada meet its 2030 international emissions targets. We were big fans of the ZCB Standard when it was announced, and are proud to recognize that Canada has reached the milestone of 10  Zero Carbon certified buildings!

When speaking about Zero Carbon Buildings, Thomas Mueller, president and CEO, CaGBC and CEO, GBCI Canada, asserted that “These projects spur innovation in design, building materials and technology while creating new skills and expertise for tradespeople and professionals. Owners are also recognizing the benefits a zero-carbon building can bring, including increased resiliency to extreme weather events, meeting occupant expectations for comfort and corporate leadership, and future-proofing against rising carbon costs.”

With Zero Carbon buildings proving to be better for builders and the environment, we hope to see many more projects become certified in 2020 and beyond!

FUEL EFFICIENCY

We love hearing that builders are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to reducing their emissions and ensuring their projects are as green as possible. Between 2018 and 2023, analysts have predicted that the green building market will grow by 10.26% annually. While many builders have shifted focus to the materials that are used in their structures, an increasing number of builders are beginning to focus on the fuel efficiency of their equipment. By switching to a fuel with active deposit control technology, the premium fuel’s additives can increase the efficiency of the building equipment, cut overall fuel consumption, and help the entire project reduce its emissions.

GREENBUILD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE AND EXPO

Image Credit: © Greenbuild

The theme of Greenbuild’s recent 2019 conference was “A New Living Standard”, promoting the idea that true sustainability goes far deeper than the built environment, and that the green building industry must also acknowledge the population that resides within its structures. Greenbuild’s new Living Standard campaign is concerned with establishing green cities, communities and entire nations – reminding everyone in the building industry that sustainability can, and should extend beyond the exterior of a structure.

Our focus must be on human beings because the standards we are most committed to raising is that of the quality of life itself — for every member of this community, and in populations spanning every corner of the planet” – Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council.

SUMMARY

While developers and architects have sometimes been divided in the construction world – with architects focused on ground-breaking spaces, and developers leaning towards executing the basic needs of a project – we are pleased to see both parties joining together to adapt to the significant changes and climate-related issues of the modern world. We are continuously proud to exist in an industry that constantly pushes the boundaries of technological solutions and never remains complacent in its actions that impact our future and the generations of tomorrow.