One of the most popular trends of the 21st century is green construction. Sustainable building is typically characterized by using environmentally responsible and resource-efficient materials throughout the entire process. It also covers the processes before and after the actual construction, including operation, maintenance, renovation, demolition, siting, and design.
Sustainable construction is extremely important because of the hefty impact it has on the environment. According to research from Line Shape Space, United States buildings account for 68 percent of electricity consumption, 38 percent of energy use, 38 percent of CO2 emissions, and 30 percent of landfill waste.
Consumers are realizing how their actions affect the environment, and demanding a change in the way things are done. This has spurred a movement that calls for greener building processes and a more sustainable lifestyle. But there’s a lot more to this eco-friendly movement than just saving the earth. You can also save a lot of money, too.
1. Tax Credits
The U.S. government is offering certain rebates, tax credits, and other incentives to those who pursue green construction. These incentives vary by state and location, and they can put a significant amount of money back in your bank. Every time you install an alternative form of energy like solar, wind, or geothermal, you’ll be up for a credit of some form. Even changing your light bulbs to CFLs or choosing Energy Star rated appliances can make you eligible for tax credits.
2. Saved Water and Energy Costs
Sustainable building almost always means increased efficiency, which means lowered energy bills. It’s true that the cost of green building can be two percent more than traditional forms of construction, but you’ll quickly make that money back in lowered utility bills.
On average, owners of sustainable buildings save approximately 30 percent on their energy and water bills, including heating, cooling, and gas. Before long, this savings can pay for the increase in building costs…and then some.
3. Less Maintenance
A major part of sustainable building is maintenance, repairs, and upkeep. Most green building supplies come with reduced maintenance. For example, by choosing bamboo flooring – which is easily renewable, highly popular, and sustainable – instead of hardwood, you can maintain the style and functionality of beautiful wood flooring without worrying about upkeep.
4. Lowering Costs
Though green building currently costs two percent more than traditional methods, the costs are rapidly decreasing. The economy is investing more and more in green materials, which reduces the costs of manufacturing. Before long, it will be just as affordable to use green construction as traditional – it may even cost less. The more you invest in the industry, the more affordable it will become.
5. Long Term Cost Savings
The cost-saving benefits of sustainable construction are unparalleled in the long term. It raises your property values, which will fetch you a better price for your home. You’ll also see savings on your living costs for the rest of your life – not to mention a decreased carbon footprint.