2,000 construction industry professionals in 86 countries were surveyed this year about their green building projects. Dodge Data & Analytics performed this survey for the World Green Building Trends 2018 report.
Almost half (47%) said that they expect to be increasing the percentage of construction projects that utilize eco-friendly building techniques. Those surveyed said that by 2021, they anticipate increasing their green building projects from 32% to 45%.
The top four reasons for moving in this direction were cited as:
- Improve the health and well-being of the global population and the planet (77%)
- Meet client demands (34%)
- Comply with health and environmental regulations (33%)
- Do the right thing! It’s socially responsible to build eco-friendly structures. It will benefit our grandchildren.
Construction industry experts weigh in
Most constructions professionals now agree that building superior structures that fit well into our eco-system is a much better concept than simply building something, then getting paid for it. Since the world is being taken over by concrete structures, the least we can do as a society is create incredible places that blend into nature.
The president recently said that the Campfire Fires in northern California were due to park workers not raking all the leaves in the forest. Actually, there’s more evidence to support the conclusion that wildfires are caused from:
- Overbuilding in an area
- Global warming
- The presence of humans
- Wind (does not directly cause fires, but makes it harder to put them out)
With the increase in tornadoes, hurricanes and floods, many construction professionals are starting to see that the right construction plans can help with damage levels. For instance, when Galveston residents and business owners began rebuilding after hurricane Ike in 2008, many structures were built on 4-5 foot pedestals. The City of Galveston now requires that all buildings be constructed at least 18 inches off the ground.
Is 18 inches enough?
However, those who have lived through a hurricane in the area agree that most structures should be at least four feet off the ground. Since Galveston is a coastal town on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, there’s every reason to believe they will eventually have another hurricane like Ike.
Some residents still talk about the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 where there were at least 6,000 deaths. It was the deadliest hurricane on record. The storm surge was 8-12 feet and every home or building in the town received some damage from the storm.
As more and more people are affected by these storms, the trend to build stronger, more resilient buildings will continue.
One odd note from the Dodge Data & Analytics survey: construction professionals said that even though they were planning to move toward green building techniques, they agreed that they were not planning to pursue proper certification from environmental agencies. This could be caused by several different factors.
Often these certifications are not required by city planners or other agencies, so why go the extra step to get them? If agencies begin requiring certifications, then this will no doubt change.
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