As the $221.1 billion commercial construction industry continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic downturn, sustainability of future projects continues to be a major focus.
The construction industry added 22,000 jobs on net in September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with 18,600 of those positions coming in nonresidential construction.
Many of these new jobs are coming on so-called green building projects with an emphasis on sustainability with almost half of those polled in a global building trends survey in 2018 expecting 60 percent of their projects to be green by the end of this year.
“Sustainable construction is becoming more important than ever. Even in the face of the pandemic, the green building market remained resilient (in 2020), as consumers and businesses spent over $79 billion on green construction,” said Chris Jackson in Green Building Insider.
Metal, including popular products such as insulated metal panels, are front and center in the sustainability story, especially since the products are not only composed of recycled materials but are 100 percent recyclable at the end of their usable life.
Survey Says: Projects to be Greener in 2021
The trend towards green projects has been building with the World Green Building Trends 2018 SmartMarket Report finding that 47 percent surveyed expected more than 60 percent of their projects to be green by 2021.
“As the world’s largest provider of building technologies, we’ve seen the shift toward more efficient, sustainable buildings,” says Chris Nelson, President, Commercial HVAC for Carrier, premier sponsor of the study. “The fact is, green buildings provide a triple win – delivering measurable benefits for building owners, occupants and the public from reduced operating costs, improved indoor air quality and reduced energy consumption. The trends uncovered in this report reflect what we’re seeing in our business – building green is good for the public health, the environment, and the bottom line.”
The report said green building activity is poised to grow – even double in some regions.
“Enthusiasm for green building is clear in all major markets measured, and that is driven by the business benefits they receive, which have stayed consistent since 2012,” says Donna Laquidara-Carr, Ph.D., LEED AP, Industry Insights Research Director with Dodge Data & Analytics, publisher of the report. “These benefits include eight percent operating cost savings in the first year and increased building asset values of seven percent for new green buildings, which are clearly influencing all those who do green building to deepen their engagement with green.”
It's notable that occupant health and well-being was a focus in this 2018 report, some two years before the pandemic.
Green Construction Trends During the Pandemic
Chris Jackson in his article says that “more government agencies, property developers, corporate real estate managers, and universities now acknowledge and even incorporate green design ideas and measures into their construction projects.”
- Government-Driven Expansions and Projects
- The Rise of Green Hydrogen
- The Use of Green Materials to Achieve LEED Certification
- The Emergence of Living Materials
- The Growth of Global Hydropower
“Builders are being placed under a microscope for their sustainability practices and will need to prove to customers – and investors – that they are taking the future of our planet into consideration,” writes Bob Lester in Constructor Magazine.
Why Metal Can Help Make Your Project Sustainable
Metal makes a great choice for those that want to lower their carbon footprint on construction projects.
Not only are metal panels completely recyclable but they are environmentally friendly as most of the fabrication and assembly is off-site, and installation is streamlined saving on construction time, emissions, and job site waste.
Metal building materials produce a low carbon footprint, making them a great selection for those pledging to become carbon neutral.
U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED certification is important to many – USGBC announced in September that is has surpassed one billion square feet of LEED commercial green building space recertified under LEED – and metal panels can play a supporting role in incorporating features that result in LEED certification.
“Insulated metal panels are manufactured from recycled content and help reduce heating and cooling costs in buildings. By providing a one-step product, IMPs result in less job-site waste and lead to decreased costs for maintenance and replacement. All of this and more contribute to a variety of LEED points for projects,” writes Metal Architecture editor Marcy Marro.
Contact Green Span Profiles today to find out how our insulated metal panels can contribute to your next green building project.