Posts Tagged 'McGraw-Hill Construction'

Reports State that Building Green is Hitting a Record High

The worldwide economy may be struggling, but the demand for green buildings are at an all-time high, according to studies conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction (MGH) and Turner Construction.

Sustainability Dashboard Tools LLC CEO Stephen Ashkin credits this to the institutionalization of sustainability. This is precisely what the public demands: organizations that have an admirable policy on sustainability and make a deliberate effort to contribute to the lessening of environmental degradation. Organizations that report on their green efforts tend to have a more positive public perception. Because of the institutionalization of sustainability in corporate practices, corporations have taken it upon themselves to integrate it into their corporate practice.

But this is not the only reason why companies are keen on adopting green policies. The top reason is that a green building decreases building and operating costs.

Another reason is the increased productivity of employees, because of the improved indoor air quality (IAQ). The protection of building users also serve as a compelling reason for building owners to shift to green buildings. Askin states that “U.S. executives are no longer going Green just because they think it is the right thing to do. Today, the bread-and-butter issues like protecting [building user] health, enhanced worker productivity, and lowering operating costs, are center stage when it comes to why organizations want to be Green and more sustainable.”

From $10 billion in 2005, the worldwide growth of green building construction has escalated to $85 billion in just 7 years. This shows the mainstream appeal of green buildings in the construction industry. It might very well be the future of the entire industry.

The rising number of LEED certification, however, is going on the opposite direction, with corporations seeking LEED certification down from 61% in 2008 to less than 50% today. Does this mean that LEED is about to fade away? Probably not, according to Ashkin, as it will mostly likely remain as the standard as to whether or not a building deserves to be called a green building.

Building Owners Want Green Buildings but not LEED Certification

The global economy may be weak, but that is not stopping homeowners and commercial building owners from putting up green buildings.

At least 51%, of companies said that their buildings will be certified as green in 3 years or by 2015. That is a 28% increase from 2012 and a 13% increase from 2009.

The main motive behind going green is not so much the preservation of the environment but the financial advantages of going green. With smart windows and LED light bulbs among a few other innovations in the green construction, the case for green buildings has just gotten a lot stronger.

According to McGraw Hill Construction’s Harvey Bernstein, “It’s a business decision.” While the main reason for going green three years ago was to save the environment, the prevailing reason now is to improve health and productivity of the occupants, to lower operating costs, and to meet the demands of the market.

Another shift in attitude according to another report is the number of building owners applying for LEED certification—arguably the largest certification body on green construction. In a recent survey of corporate executives by Turner Construction, 90% were into green buildings for eco-friendliness, 84% were in it for lowering maintenance costs and 74% were primarily motivated for improvement of indoor air quality. And yet, the number of these executives looking to certify their projects with LEED is just 48%–in contrast to 2010’s 53% and 2008’s 61%.

This is because many construction firms and building owners no longer believe in the necessity of LEED. Citing the difficulty of the application process and the fact that the entire industry is starting to go green, the role of LEED in the industry may be shrinking.

Ironic as it may sound, LEED may be losing its relevance just when it starts to reach its goal—to increase the number of green buildings.

Green Construction Getting Even Better

Construction Vehicle. Image Source: Public domain.

Although several construction companies are still skeptical about the impact and popularity of green construction, a recent survey by the McGraw-Hill Construction shows the impact of green construction. A particular industry that has benefited most from the benefits of green buildings is residential construction. In 2011, green construction in residential houses made up 17$ of the total work by cost. A five-fold increase is expected in the next four years, so that by 2016, green construction will make up about ¼ of residential houses.

Other details in the report are also most enlightening. For one, green construction costs have declined. Well known is the fact that green construction will help curb utility costs, but that the cost of investing in a green building can strain the pocket. However, this no longer holds true, as the upfront investment for a green building have come down—which means that building owners get to recoup the cost of their building faster and reap the benefits as well. Do not forget that energy costs constantly escalate too, so the long-term benefits of green construction is unquestionable.

Another finding reflected in the report is that the primary motivators for putting up green buildings are not environmentally driven. Rather, better indoor quality and better savings are the major reasons for turning to green residential buildings. These two reasons are more than enough for building owners to spend a little extra for them.

The report also highlighted the fact that green retro-fitting is becoming a major trend. For current building owners who cannot afford to tear down their buildings, remodeling the ones they have to fit green building standards is the best option. In fact, homeowners are willing to spend as much as 5% more for retro-fitting.

With the government catching up on legislation to fit to green standards, there need be no doubt as to the emphasis green construction will ultimately have in the industry.

If you are looking for a pre-fabricated environmentally conscious steel building, contact Norsteel for more information.