Depending on which side of the grass you’re standing on, it’s a term you either love or hate. For years, the misconception that going green is too costly for small and medium-sized contractors has prevented companies from getting a piece of the sustainable construction market action. A market which, I might add, is projected to top $523 billion by 2026. As customers have become increasingly aware of environmental concerns, research and development of sustainable materials have exploded. What does that mean for you? More building options, more growth opportunity, and a wider pool of potential clients if you’re willing to shift with the changing times. There are several innovative ways to go green. Some may be more relevant than others in your daily operation. Here are a few examples to get your creativity flowing:
- Use of RMC (Ready Mixed Concrete) instead of bricks to reduces wastage
- Radiant-cooling technology
- Rainwater harvesting
- Biodegradable or recycled construction material usage
- IoT Integrated Automated Building Systems
- DGU Windows to reduce sound and heat from coming in
- Shadow concept construction
Off-site fabrication, improved on-site maintenance, lean practices, and landfill avoidance – the list truly goes on.
The reality is, as state and local governments get serious about going green, the opportunity for your business to integrate innovations is there for the taking. Consider that 77% of millennial consumers agree they will pay more for products from sustainable sources, according to Nielsen. Now more than ever, environmentally conscious clients are willing to trade off a slightly higher upfront investment for ongoing savings, especially when a contractor can prove their suggested design will perform as desired with advanced energy use modeling.
If you’re just breaking into this arena, it’s best to follow New York’s green building requirements, you can reference guidelines here. For starters, you should know financial solutions exist to make going green more affordable and cost-efficient for your operation. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides grants for qualified, environmentally responsible programs and The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers still more options for green solution construction. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority offers financial and technical assistance programs and the New York Financial Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency finds state and local financial incentives that promote renewable energy upgrades. Your organization can even achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating by adhering to guidelines outlined and advocated by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED-certified buildings qualify for tax benefits and incentives from tax credits, grants, and expedited building permits to reductions or waivers in fees. When you consider the federal tax credits for building energy efficient projects, you can start to see the true value of incorporating green practices.
Around the globe, countries are continuing to build incentives for going green.
The UK recently introduced the Green Homes Grant and similar structures are likely to be introduced in the states. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has already rolled out an aggressive plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40% of 1990 levels by 2030. They’ll no doubt need to further incentivize, support, and partner with contractors to accomplish that hefty goal. This could mean huge financial motivations for your client pool down the road, all the more reason to be progressive and familiarize your team with green practices now. In many instances, reducing energy consumption has gone from being a “good idea” to a business necessity. The more you explore adopting environmentally-friendly technology and materials, the more we think you will find building green is good for public health, the environment, and your bottom line. Have questions about your business plan? RBT’s dedicated team is here to answer your pressing questions. Contact us here, today.