What Is Sustainable Construction, and Why Is It Important?

Looking to make your business more eco-friendly? Many business owners who are excited about the prospect of promoting sustainability are looking into sustainable construction practices. But what is sustainable construction, exactly? Moreover, what is the purpose of sustainable construction? Read on to learn the basics.

What is sustainable construction?

The sustainability movement in construction has developed over the past several decades. Primarily, it’s characterized by a heightened attention to using renewable and recyclable materials during the building process, reducing the structure’s impact on the environment.

Sustainable construction isn’t over once the building is complete and occupants have moved in. Truly sustainable buildings should reduce their environmental impact throughout their entire lifespan, incorporating elements that offer positive, meaningful environmental benefits.

Just some of the sustainability considerations that can be included in the design and construction of buildings include:

  • Energy-efficient appliances, light fixtures and HVAC systems
  • Water-saving plumbing systems and fixtures
  • Proper insulation to improve HVAC efficiency
  • Landscaping featuring native vegetation for reduced water consumption
  • Rainwater harvesting and greywater reuse
  • Choosing furniture and finishes with low VOCs
  • Waste reduction, particularly adherence to zero-waste programs, during construction and normal operations

What is the purpose of sustainable construction?

The guiding principle behind sustainable construction is to reduce a structure’s overall impact on the environment, as well as promote the health and safety of business occupants. From reducing energy in the construction and daily operations of the building to reducing carbon emissions, eco-friendly benefits can be realized throughout the entire lifespan of the building. In addition to significant environmental benefits, sustainable construction offers the following advantages:

  • Cost reduction: It’s expensive to construct a new building, but it’s expensive to keep it running, too. Sustainable buildings have a great return on investment, providing significant reduction in energy and maintenance costs. Business owners can also invest in other sustainable solutions to reduce their operational costs even further, such as waste reduction or elimination programs.
  • Improved health: Sustainable buildings improve the health of their occupants. Surprisingly, carpets, paints and certain cleaning products can be dangerous to employees and visitors alike. Use sustainable materials to promote better indoor air quality and keep building occupants safe.
  • Enhanced ESG: Environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns are top of mind for many investors and consumers. ESG can be considered a holistic approach to sustainability, and companies who care about it will outlive ones who don’t. In construction and operations, businesses need to place a priority on environmental- and people-first practices. Companies need to be seen as stewards of nature and the community, as well as be accountable to shareholders and investors to stay competitive.

Forward-thinking businesses need to explore what sustainable construction is and why it’s so important. Even if you’re not currently in the market for a brand-new building for your business, there are sustainable solutions to reduce your overall environmental impact on a daily basis, particularly in terms of waste reduction. Reach out to CIWA, Inc. today to learn more about zero-waste programs and other sustainable solutions for your business.