Sustainable Building Practices in 2023

The construction industry is one of the top consumers of natural resources and minerals, resulting in direct and indirect impacts on the environment. However, with growing concern over the finite nature of resources and climate change, there is a need for sustainability in construction. The intent is to ensure construction companies reduce their environmental impact and adopt sustainable building practices.

At Gateway Building Company, we understand the importance of sustainable construction and how incorporating such practices into our projects in 2023 can help us create more efficient and cost-effective buildings. But what exactly is sustainable construction, and why consider sustainable building practices in 2023? Read on to find out.

What is Sustainable Construction?

Sustainable construction entails using recyclable and renewable materials on building projects, reducing toxic waste and energy consumption. It aims to decrease the environmental impact through sustainable building techniques, green technology, and energy efficiency. Therefore, construction firms striving to become more environmentally responsible can utilize sustainable construction to reduce the effects of global warming.

Green Vs. Sustainable Buildings

Green building is a construction practice focusing on the environment and refers to individual practices and processes promoting environmental sustainability. For instance, switching to renewable energy sources like solar or minimizing carbon footprint is an effective way to becoming more sustainable. Some green building standards include LEED and WELL certifications, outlining practices buildings can adopt to become more environmentally friendly.

On the other hand, sustainable building is a broader term that involves a building’s ability to offer a comfortable, productive, and healthy environment for the long term without impacting the environment negatively. Besides the environment, sustainability also considers the three pillars of sustainability: people, profit, and the planet.

elements over a landscape to symbolize sustainable construction.

Why Consider Sustainable Building Practices?

Sustainable building practices offer construction companies a perfect solution to embrace modern designs without impacting the environment. Some of the greatest reasons to consider sustainable building practices include the following:

Building Long-Lasting structures

Using sustainable building materials to construct buildings ensures the structure is long-lasting with lower maintenance costs. Reduced maintenance costs and extended lifespan make it one of the top reasons to construct a sustainable commercial building.

Energy-Efficient and Cost-Saving

Sustainable buildings utilize renewable energy in an effort to conserve energy use. This can save property owners significant energy costs in the long run. In addition, builders and property managers can use more efficient materials, such as natural insulating materials and low-flow toilets, to conserve energy.

What are the Benefits of Sustainable Construction?

Construction sustainability is crucial for the environment, with several proven benefits supporting individuals’ well-being and communities.

Reduced Waste

Sustainable construction incorporates renewable resources and practices that help minimize pollution and the depletion of natural resources. While global warming remains a steadfast concern, construction firms building sustainably tend to promote a cleaner environment, slowing the imminent effects of climate change.

Decreased Material Cost

Sustainable building procedures use eco-friendly materials while retaining the quality and structural integrity. Besides, most of these materials are reusable and recyclable, others being bio-composites with proven reliability and durability like non-renewable materials. Furthermore, building structures can also generate energy from natural resources, such as the sun, wind, and water, which are favorable to the environment.

Promotes Cost Efficiency

Construction firms utilizing sustainable building techniques enjoy lower maintenance costs, especially engineered design elements. This helps reduce water and energy bills, mainly lowering maintenance and operational costs that would be invested elsewhere. Although construction costs may be initially higher, such efficient designs can save high maintenance costs.

Encourages Healthier Living

Since the environment impacts an individual’s physical, mental, and emotional health, the development of sustainable architecture continues to affect the overall state of green buildings. In addition, introducing modern appliances, such as power sources, thermal conditions, and ergonomic features, enables those living or working in sustainable buildings to improve their health, overall quality of life, and stress levels.

Ways to Ensure Sustainable Construction

Several ways exist to make building or construction structure projects more sustainable.

Renewable Energy

The construction industry has taken critical steps in introducing renewable energy to construction sites. Among the most popular solutions is the modular battery system suitable for onsite deployment and can recharge through solar panels readily. These systems can power various elements, including electric power tools, security equipment, and vehicles on construction sites.

Building Using Sustainable Construction Materials

Construction firms can use wood, alternative bricks, and sustainable concrete for their building projects. Sourcing wood from properly managed forests will provide ample habitat for wildlife while supplying valuable construction materials. Wool and mud can create alternative bricks as strong as traditional building bricks, while recyclable materials and plastics are great substitutes for traditional concrete.

Plastic Construction Materials

While plastic is the leading polluter in the environment, it possesses strength when adequately used in construction. Moreover, it is a perfect solution for building more extended lifespan structures since it degrades gradually, meaning limited replacement and maintenance. Hence, manufacturers can use plastics to generate recyclable and durable construction materials.

Implement Sustainable Building Practices in Durham, NC Today!

Sustainable building practices have become crucial in the construction industry to minimize adverse environmental impacts from traditional building techniques. At Gateway Building Company, we can help with your project using sustainable building practices. Request a meeting with us for an initial consultation about your project, budget, and vision today.

Image Credit: yuttana Contributor Studio/metamorworks/Shutterstock

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