Over the past few years, there has been a considerable shift towards green construction, from building owners, builders and governments alike, and here in the United Kingdom the tend certainly holds true. Green building itself is hardly new, but we are certainly seeing attitudes on the matter change. In previous years, builders and contractors who utilized environmentally sound options such as solar panels typically did so of their own accord. They would brand themselves as an environmentally conscious company and solicit work only from those who were specifically seeking out green options.
Today, however, things have changed considerably. According to a study conducted earlier this year by Dodge Data and Analytics, the number one motivator for green building globally is now client demand, which is responsible for triggering 40% of decisions to go green. Environmental regulations account for 35%, market demand accounts for 30% and the contractors own ethical decision making counts for just 25%.
According to the study, back in 2008, these numbers were reversed. 42% of the triggers towards green building came from the contractor himself, 35% were courtesy of market demand, just 25% came from environmental regulations and 34% were the result of client demand.
So what does this mean?
Well, unless people had a sudden change of heart in the last eight years in regards to the ethical component of green building, it means that, across the board, there are more external forces demanding green building. The drop from 42% to 25% is likely to do with the rise in public awareness. As the cost lowers and people become more aware of the benefits of green building, it no longer has to just be an ‘ethical’ decision. Green building is now a viable alternative for both building owners and the builders they employ.
That is not to say that there are no obstacles. Here in the United Kingdom, for example, one of the greatest misconceptions is that green building is prohibitively expensive can only be used in high end projects. On a worldwide scale, the study listed some of the greatest obstacles to green building as a lack of political initiative and a lack of public awareness. Here we have already moved past that, and I’m sure green building will continue to be a thriving part of construction for years to come. As builder myself, who also happens to be a father wanting to leave nature as pristine as he found it for his children, I applaud this development.