Sustainable construction practices are becoming increasingly important as we work to combat climate change and build healthier spaces to live and work in. “Green construction” refers to the use of processes and materials that are environmentally responsible and resource efficient throughout the life cycle of a building project. As green building continues to grow in popularity, more construction companies are adopting eco-friendly practices and offering green services. However, not all companies have the same ideals when it comes to sustainability.
When looking to hire or work with a green contractor or builder, there are several important things to consider beyond just their environmental practices. It’s key to find a company that aligns with your own ethics and priorities in addition to having expertise in green building. These are some of the main values to look for when evaluating and selecting green construction firms or professionals.
Benefits of Choosing a Green Company
Partnering with an eco-friendly construction company that shares your values provides tremendous benefits for your project and wider community. Firstly, working with a firm dedicated to sustainability promotes environmentally responsible practices that help combat climate change.
Methods like recycling materials, reducing waste, installing energy-efficient systems, and utilizing renewable energy actively reduce your project’s carbon footprint. As circular business MPB explains, “A truly circular approach to making and using products, combined with renewable energy, is key to halting the climate crisis and ensuring healthy air, water, and soils, for future generations.” Your development can serve as a model for green building practices when paired with a contractor committed to reducing environmental impact.
Additionally, green construction and design principles contribute to healthier residential and commercial spaces. Materials are carefully selected to avoid toxins and improve indoor air quality, while enhanced ventilation and air filtration systems support occupant health and comfort. Thoughtful design decisions like maximizing natural light and indoor greenery also promote well-being. The expertise of a green builder ensures your project incorporates features to foster a healthy indoor environment.
Cost savings are another major advantage of green construction. With energy efficiency as a priority, green buildings consume significantly less power, yielding smaller utility bills. Renewable energy systems like solar panels or geothermal further reduce energy costs, along with smart building technology. Your green contractor can advise on the best technologies and innovations to maximize savings.
4 Main Values to Look for
1. Sustainability Practices
A green construction company’s commitment to sustainability should be evident in its practices. Look for firms that utilize recycled and reclaimed materials as much as possible and those that focus on energy efficiency, water conservation, and waste reduction in their projects. This not only encourages more of these practices in the industry, but also lowers the carbon footprint of buildings.
Examine which green certifications firms have obtained to verify their knowledge of sustainable building standards. Premier certifications to look for include LEED, ENERGY STAR, Green Globes, and the Living Building Challenge. These credentials validate a business has the expertise to meet strict standards and best practices for environmentally responsible construction. There are a number of certifications that indicate a firm’s capabilities in green building. When firms have relevant certifications, it indicates commitment to meeting the highest benchmarks for sustainable, high-performing projects. This third-party proof is a testament to their green building qualifications.
3. Ethical Business Practices
In addition to sustainable construction methods, choosing companies with ethical business practices in areas like fair labor policies and community engagement is key. Make sure they provide fair wages and treatment for their workers, and see if they support local businesses and nonprofits too. Also look into where and how they source their building materials: Do they use responsible vendors who share their values, for example?
4. Expertise and Experience
You’ll want to select a firm with proven expertise in green building. Look for those that have been in business for several years and have completed numerous sustainable projects. In-depth knowledge of the latest technologies like energy-efficient HVAC, smart lighting controls, renewable energy systems, green roofs, and more is a must. Check what green certifications and credentials team members hold. A firm at the forefront of advances in sustainability should be well-versed in both time-tested and cutting-edge green building practices.
Questions to Ask Firms
When evaluating green construction companies, review their track record on energy efficiency in their processes and designs. For example, do they regularly incorporate ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and equipment that reduce power usage? Also look at how they aim to conserve water on job sites and their stance on reducing waste whether it be through material choices or conscientious disposal methods.
In addition to environmental practices, assessing companies’ ethics and contributions to the community reveals their integrity. Make sure they provide living wages, fair treatment, and satisfactory working conditions for all their employees and contractors. Building projects can greatly impact local neighborhoods and ecosystems, so selecting a firm that engages positively with the surrounding community is ideal.
Examine whether they support local businesses, donate to nonprofits, or are involved with community development associations. Responsible green builders will also use local vendors and material suppliers that share their values around sustainability and ethical practices. This helps reduce the carbon footprint associated with transporting materials as well.
Making the Right Choice
When it comes to expertise, it’s vital to choose an established company with many years of experience in green building. The company should have completed numerous projects showcasing energy-efficient design and the latest green technologies. Knowledge of advanced mechanical systems like geothermal HVAC, smart lighting controls, water reuse systems, solar installations, and more illustrates a firm is up-to-date on innovations in the field.
The most knowledgeable teams stay current through regular training on ever-evolving green standards and methods. Choosing an experienced firm well versed in both time-tested and cutting-edge sustainable techniques will ensure an intelligently designed, technologically advanced green building that aligns with your values.
As green building continues to expand, it’s important to carefully assess potential construction firms to find one that matches with your principles. While many companies today market themselves as “green,” not all approach sustainability with the same vision and integrity. By looking beyond just environmental practices to factors like ethics, community engagement, experience, and expertise, you can find a partner truly committed to responsible green building.
Chester Avey has over a decade of experience in business growth management and cybersecurity. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with other like-minded professionals through his writing. You can connect with Chester by following him on Twitter @ChesterAvey