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Green Construction: What you need to know

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Guest Post

Green Construction

Construction is always changing, as we aspire to build faster, easier, better and the most important, in ways that protect the environment and people’s wellbeing. With a growing interest toward protecting the environment, sustainable construction has become a great investment for builders. Green construction has achieved a significant growth during the last few years and it is expected to grow even more in the near future.

Green construction has already managed to come a long way today, thanks to renewable resources (e.g. sunlight, green roofs or rain gardens). Moreover, green technology provides a wide variety of materials and appliances that help to build the houses in an energy efficient way.

What is Green Construction exactly?

The sustainable construction is a way of constructing that involves putting together environmentally friendly building structures, while at the same time putting extra attention to smart resource management. This applies to whole life cycle of building from its design until its demolition. The aim of green construction is to minimize the impact on its surroundings and to harm the environment as less as possible. To do so, a variety of practices, techniques and skills are required. Given the importance of the topic, we did our detailed research and we present to you all you need to know about it.

Solar Roof

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Benefits of Building Green

Sustainable constructions have several advantages which we can divide into three main categories: environmental, social and economic.

i) Environmental benefits

The primary benefit of the sustainably constructed buildings is that they protect our natural surroundings and by extension the environment. These innovative constructions not only protect the ecosystem but they are improving the air and water quality. Since the construction industry covers 32% of waste in the EU, it becomes obvious that a sustainable building process can contribute significantly to tackling this problem. It would be no exaggeration to mention that green construction could almost eliminate this number.

ii) Economic benefits

There is a common misconception that sustainable construction cost a lot. To the contrary, constructing green buildings can entail many financial benefits. Despite the fact that green materials and products can be pricey, the construction process should be thought as a long-term investment. It’s true that, in the beginning, building a green structure can be more expensive than it would by following the traditional path. However, in the long run a green building doesn’t need that much maintenance. On top of that, due to the efficiency in terms of energy people are saving resources and by extension money.

iii) Social benefits

Green buildings are responsible for much more than helping the ecosystem. Sustainable construction has a significant impact on the social environment too. People who are living in green buildings have experienced improved quality of life, health and wellbeing. This applies also to the professional environment, where it has been observed that individuals who work in green building structures tend to be more productive and well-focused.

Disadvantages of Green Construction

Now that we have a better understanding of the main advantages that eco-friendly construction has, it would be a good idea to dive into certain drawbacks that this type of process may entail.

i) Location

First and foremost, finding the right location can be a great pain. It is a very important part every construction project and even more when we are talking about green projects.  Whenever deciding on a location, we should take into consideration the impact on the environment, the customer preference and the renewable energy availability. Sun exposure is fundamental especially if the residents want to invest on renewable energy resources. Therefore, the buildings should be strategically positioned. This requires a lot of planning and space. The latter can be a big challenge to be found in overpopulated cities.

ii) Lack of materials

Another point of concern about green construction is the lack of materials. You have to elaborate a much smarter and more detailed plan than with an average building. The reason behind this has to do with the various eco-friendly materials that are required. In many cases, it can be very hard for them to be found, as they are not always available in every country. This signifies that some essential parts of the construction process should be imported. It goes without saying that, such issues can increase the final bill.

 iii) Temperature Regulation

Another disadvantage of the green construction could be the difficulties in regulating the indoor temperature. Due to the natural ventilation, people don’t have full control over the increase or decrease of the temperature. This can be very unpleasant in places with extreme weather conditions.

Green Construction Certifications

Another vital parameter about green construction has, of course, to do with the set standards that define it.  A well-known advocate for sustainable building is the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). It has established detailed specifications based on which the building’s sustainability is determined. These standards are under the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) rating system. Depending on the ratings which include various categories (e.g. design and energy efficiency), the buildings can get Silver, Gold or Platinum status. This LEED certification is widely recognized, especially in the US, although there may be many other alternatives.

Another worth-mentioning certification that takes green construction to a whole other level is the Living Building Challenge (LBC) by International Living Future Institute. These specifications can be encountered to buildings that meet extremely strict standards of sustainability.  According to the LBC standards, a building has to be a natural part of its surrounding environment.

Working in Sustainable Construction

As the interest towards green construction is constantly increasing, more and more people want to work in this field. Based on reports of the U.S Bureau of Labour Statistics, there is a noticeable increase in the employees working in green construction. The growth has become visible in the green construction services, too. Many contractors, builders and other professionals in the industry are adding green skills to their CV as they can considerably improve their career prospects.

As stated in the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) study, the green building industry contributes more than $134.3 billion in labour income to working Americans. This study also shows that green construction is rapidly growing and it will continue to rise. By 2018, the study finds that green construction will account for more than 3.3 million U.S. jobs and generate $190.3 billion in labour earnings.

“Green Building is playing a massive role in the U.S. construction sector, the clean and efficient energy sector and the U.S. economy as a whole,” says Rick Fedrizzi, Former CEO of USGBC.


Green construction is today a growing part of our industry which is expected to develop even more during the following years. This growth can provide more job opportunities and a great opportunity for further optimization of the construction process. A better future both for our industry and our planet is closer than we think.

About the author: Rebeka Nagyova is marketing coordinator in GenieBelt.



One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Debbra Johnson

    A critical disadvantage that isn’t mentioned is that “Sustainable” can be counter to reducing the impacts of natural hazards such as storms, flooding, or earthquakes. In fact sustainable construction can and has put many in harm’s way.